To accommodate their rapidly growing community, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist announced today that they will purchase the financially beleaguered John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. near the Catholic University of America.
The center, which was the brainchild of the now retired Archbishop of Detroit, Cardinal Adam Maida, has been beset by numerous financial difficulties over the years. Intended to be a museum and Catholic intellectual hub, the center borrowed heavily from the Archdiocese of Detroit, owing them $40 million as of 2006, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The Ann Arbor sisters have had a different problem as they’ve been unable to build facilities fast enough to house new members.
In an e-mail announcement on Oct. 26, the Dominican order wrote that their community “welcomed 22 aspirants in August of this year – a gift from the Lord that continues to call us to ongoing discernment of how to provide for the formation and education of the young women seeking to enter religious life.”
“In order to plan and care accordingly for these vocations, the Dominican Sisters of Mary,” the community is “in the inspection phase of a purchase and sale agreement to buy a building at 3900 Harewood Road, known to many as the JPII Cultural Center, near the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.”
“It is our hope to use this building as a House of Studies for the continuing education and formation of our Sisters.”
The Dominican sisters made headlines in February, when they made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show – fielding questions regarding their vocation and discernment, their vows of poverty and chastity, and their life in community. Sister Maria Guadalupe Hallee, Director of Mission Advancement for the sisters, told CNA last March that since the show, almost all the feedback the sisters have received has been overwhelmingly positive.