The Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters are getting ready to say goodbye to Marywood, the place they've called home for 100 years. With an increasing number of older members, their Congregation recognized the building no longer met their needs.

They called it Motherhouse, and Fox 17 reports that he Sisters are in the last stages of moving out of that grand building on Marywood off of Fulton Street.

The Tabernacle is gone, and that was hard to see that go Sister Mary Navarre said.

"Any time of the day, the light is different in here and the year too. So, in spring, you get green, and in winter, the windows look white because of the reflecting outdoor snow, and in fall, you will get gorgeous fall colors. It was thoughtfully done."

Over the past one hundred years, Marywood was home to the Dominican Sisters, and housed around 80 sisters at its peak.

I have many friends who were students in sciences, art and music at Marywood, so it's sad to have seen that go as well.

 

Courtesy History Grand Rapids.org
Courtesy History Grand Rapids.org
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This picture was taken in 1944 and shows the four-story building set on that vast expanse of lawn. The portion of the building to the left of the central section housed classrooms and sleeping quarters for boarding students; the area to the right was living quarters for the nuns; and a chapel was located on the first floor of the central section.

The good news is that the Sisters aren't moving far. They will live at Aquinata Hall and Benincasa. Their new Motherhouse, named Marywood, will be the former Marywood Health Center, actually on the same campus.

Dominican Sisters at Marywood
Dominican Sisters at Marywood
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It has a lot of upgrades the have wanted. There will be a much larger full-service kitchen and more. They have basically just been upgrading, cleaning up the rooms, and putting in some new flooring in some areas.

The Sisters say they knew they needed a more updated place to continue their mission.

What will happen to the old building? Well, it certainly won't be torn down The new owner of Marywood plans to make the older building into affordable homes for low-income seniors.

 

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