In just 12 months, these nuns of New Jersey managed to plan, fundraise, and expand their monastery.
“And how do you propose to raise the money for this project Sister?” they asked, regarding the proposal to expand their aging monastery. Smiling, she replied, “God will provide!”
And provide He did.
On May 17, in this year marking the 100th anniversary of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary in Summit, New Jersey, beneath a sunny blue sky, the smell of fresh paint was the evidence that their faith and trust were well placed.
Cardinal Joseph Tobin of the Archdiocese of Newark delivered the homily at the dedication Mass. He kidded that compared to the movement of the Roman Curia, the project was done at “light speed.” The sisters had planned, broken ground, and completed a new wing for their aging monastery in a breathtaking 12 months. As one attendee at the dedication put it, “Perhaps the Sisters should consider going into the construction management business!”
The new wing provides some much needed space for the growing order to house postulants and guests, as well as more expansive work spaces for the many activities that the Sisters perform. Handicap access that had been previously lacking was also added, overcoming what had been an immense challenge for those with wheelchairs and walkers in accessing the chapel.
Sr. Mary Magdalene put her skills as woodworker to use by building a dozen or so mission-style beds and tables that will be used for guests. And not to let anything go to waste, she even harvested much of the lumber from the trees that were cut down to make room for the new addition.
While on the surface, this herculean undertaking was truly impressive for this small community of cloistered contemplative nuns, there is here a deeper lesson in faith that far outshines the new marble floors at the entrance.
As the chapel’s capacity crowd stood that day to dedicate this new wing, the hidden message was that every brick, every gallon of paint, every window was, in fact, a gift of Faith.
To say “God will provide” and concretely believe it reveals a degree of faith that is too often overlooked by the world. It’s a faith that’s anchored in trust, and prayed for in love.
It’s the faith that each person is invited to; the relationship that patiently awaits. It’s the faith that could change the world if only it would be fully embraced.
And atop a small hill in Summit, New Jersey, sits a brick and mortar structure that concretely proclaims to the world this truth; a testament to trust, and a miracle of faith.
Take a birds eye view of the new wing of the monastery!