A series of delays and red tape in trying to convert a 1922 St. Paul building into a convent has led the Handmaids of the Heart of Jesus to pause their establishment in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.continue at The Catholic Spirit
“As much as we were so sad about it, we’ve come to follow the Lord, and we know that his ways are actually better than our ways,” said Mother Mary Clare Roufs, who formed the order in 2007 with three other women. “So, there’s a real peace, even though there’s a sadness, but also hope, insofar as we hope to be back soon.”
The New Ulm-based order announced last May their plans for a convent that would house four sisters to primarily serve at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul. A few months later, they began transforming a former chancery building next to the Cathedral that served as the longtime offices of The Catholic Spirit. But coming up on a year of work with no real progress, the sisters saw the obstacles as a sign from God that the timing isn’t right.
Mother Mary Clare said the sisters had completed significant work with help from many volunteers and professionals: They removed all carpeting and restored hardwood floors; scraped, patched and painted walls; refinished window sills and installed donated wooden blinds; installed new lights and ceiling fans; installed tile in a kitchenette; removed wires; and cleaned the attic, which they had hoped to use for bedrooms.