Sisters of St. Francis convent is home to 40 students at Neumann University.
Hannah Cote EducationMarch 14, 2023
PHILADELPHIA — Attending religious sisters’ vow renewals, going to Mass and eating breakfast with nuns isn’t a typical college student’s morning routine.
But one such morning was shared by students and sisters this past autumn — thanks to the newfound friendships that have developed due to a new housing initiative at Neumann University.
Last fall, Neumann University discovered they needed more on-campus housing. The saving grace? The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.
In 2022, Neumann University purchased the Our Lady of Angels Motherhouse Convent, one of the Sisters of St. Francis’ buildings. The convent currently holds 40 sisters in one wing of the building; the school proposed the idea of using the other wing for student housing.
“It made perfect sense to use the space, especially since they share our values and have their own values,” said Sister Esther Anderson, who has been in the order for 60 years. “The university is built on five values: reverence for persons, excellence, integrity, stewardship and service.”
Now, 40 students live at the convent alongside the sisters. Both the students and sisters live in a self-contained wing, allowing for privacy and separation. Though the convent has housed students before in emergencies, such as during snow or ice storms, this is the first time they’ve hosted students long term, according to Sister Esther.
The Sisters of St. Francis have been very involved on campus — teaching classes, working on staff, and being on the school board. Through these opportunities, the sisters foster and develop friendships with the students.
READ ON BELOW>>>Dorm Life With Nuns: Turning a Convent Into a College Residence| National Catholic Register
Dorm Life With Nuns: Turning a Convent Into a College Residence| National Catholic Register