by Mark Abrams
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Motherhouse, founded by Philadelphia’s St. Katharine Drexel in Bensalem, is up for sale and the order of nuns who have been there for more than a century will move out of this historic property next year.
Sister Donna Breslin, president of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament founded by Drexel, says the congregation of nuns have reached a point where it is difficult to keep the 44-acre property off Bristol Pike in Bucks County.
“There are many buildings that are underutilized. We have vacant buildings and the cost of continuing to keep the buildings operating was beginning to really affect also our ability to reach out in our missionary work,” said Breslin.
She says the order has 104 nuns, about 50 of whom are living at the Motherhouse, and many are retired.
She says the nuns also will be selling a 2,200 acre property near Richmond, Virginia, the former site of two schools for black students.
The remains of Saint Katharine Drexel, located inside a shrine at the Motherhouse, will also be moving.
“When the time comes her remains will be transferred to the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. We feel this is another homecoming. During her lifetime, we know that she attended liturgies at the cathedral,” said Breslin.
Breslin says she will be working with archdiocesan officials to find a new home for the order in the greater Philadelphia area.