We prayed and we listened. For the last few years, our congregation has been discerning the call to steward our mission according to our current realities. This has not been an easy process as our individual sisters have also needed to discern their next step according to their own individual health needs. Through all of our prayer and discernment, we looked at the changing health needs of the sisters, continuing our mission within our current reality, leaving a smaller carbon footprint and a better stewardship of resources. These were all reasons that led to our decision to build two new congregational residences. We continue our mission of service to people in need as we move out into the neighborhoods.
In June 2019, groundbreaking took place for Presentation Center in Sioux Falls and Presentation Place in Aberdeen, both of which are located on Avera (our sponsored ministry) property. As we work to do nothing alone, we felt this partnership with Avera was an important part. In Aberdeen our building is connected with Avera Mother Joseph Manor and Nano Nagle Village; in Sioux Falls, we built just south of Avera McKennan Hospital. The two residences are built similar with 20 independent living apartments and shared community space to include: sacred space, conference room, library, fitness room and offices for leadership. This residential set-up let us fulfill our current needs, but also work with the possible future needs of Avera Health when we no longer would need the residences.
Our sisters have started to transition to their new homes, some in Sioux Falls and some in Aberdeen. Before each of these moves, we gather together for a farewell ritual, remembering the special times at our motherhouse. We then present each sister with a lantern as they continue to carry on Nano’s mission, wherever they are residing.
In Sioux Falls, sisters began moving into Presentation Center this past September. Due to COVID-19, community living is not what we anticipated when this project began 18 months ago. However, we are learning new ways to come together, while safely working toward a new set of community guidelines to meet the needs of our time. We aspire to be like Nano in the neighborhood. With Covid challenging our going out into the neighborhood, a beautiful, bright shining light is offered high up in our front window for all, a beacon of hope. Our contractors suggested this symbol as a sign of hope and light to those who witness it.
Construction with our residence in Aberdeen is on schedule to be completed after the first of the year. Weather, as well as adding on to an existing building, led this timeline to be extended a bit longer. Our sisters anticipate moving into Presentation Place in January.
Our next focus is planning for our existing 125 acres of property, in service of the mission and in collaboration with our partners and ministries. We ask for your continued prayers as we discern these next steps.