PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The planned closing and sale of the Bensalem convent started some 125 years ago by Philadelphia’s St. Katharine Drexel is drawing closer.
This Saturday, the St. Katharine Drexel shrine on the grounds of the 44-acre motherhouse property off Interstate 95 at Route 13, owned by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, will be closed to the public.
Ken Gavin, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia says sometime next year, the saint’s remains, entombed in a crypt at the convent chapel, will be moved to the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.
He says the Drexel archives and other historic artifacts from the saint’s life and mission work among Native Americans and African Americans have already been transferred to the archdiocesan archive in Northeast Philadelphia.
The head of the order acknowledges several elderly sisters in their 70s, who were living at the Bensalem site and other mission sites, have taken up residence at Paul’s Run Retirement Community in Northeast Philadelphia.
A real estate advisor has been vetting potential buyers for the Bensalem property, but the sisters won’t disclose how close they are to a deal or how soon they expect the motherhouse to close.