Opening Our Hearts to Providence
The Society of the Missionary Catechists of Divine Providence found themselves needing to develop a
the comprehensive long-range plan for both their property and the care of their elder members.
"Rooted in Christ…we give witness to the Providence of God in the lives of all people, especially women, children,
and the immigrant. We trust in God's grace to transform us as we journey with gratitude, hope, courage, and
humility," the MCDP missionary spirit has remained constant.
We felt it was essential that the solutions provided were comprehensive, realistic, implementable, and had long-term sustainability. Our goal was to work in concert with the Sisters to ensure that:
- The MCDP mission would continue and provide a legacy in the San Antonio community
- The health and well-being of the Sisters were paramount now and in the future
- The MCDPs would maximize the financial value of St. Andrew's Convent to ensure the MCDP's fiscal stability into
In Support of the Sisters
REALM went to work with the MCDP's Strategic Planning Committee.
Insightful planning and coordination involved:
- conducting Congregational Small Group Educational meetings to engage and educate Sisters throughout the planning process
- creating a Reflection guide that each Sister completed initiating "You Ask…We Respond" to address any questions the Sisters had about the process
- coordinating post-meeting surveys to ensure the Sisters were comfortable with the direction of the process and to secure additional information that would be helpful to the process
Through extensive research and due diligence, REALM recommended partnering with Westchester Care at Home, who met with each Sister to create and implement her Life Plan, coordinate with medical professionals, maximize benefits, and achieve her goals.
Concurrently, REALM worked to develop a plan to determine the best future use for St. Andrew's Convent to maximize the MCDP's investment, continue their mission, and serve their West Side neighbors. As a result, we identified several prospective qualified buyers that would maintain the spirit of the property in the future.
"We're thrilled that our sacred
land, which has been our home for
many years will remain a visible
sign of our legacy. It will continue
to serve the poor and most
vulnerable people, especially the
west side of San Antonio."
The Way Forward
The mutual commitment to supporting the common life of all members while keeping their demographic and financial realities in mind was critical to a successful partnership between REALM and the MCDPs. In honoring this commitment to promote a high quality of life and remaining in San Antonio, Sisters needing supportive services moved to Our Lady of the Lake campus, which offers independent, assisted, memory, and skilled care. The CDPs graciously welcomed the Sisters, and their needs were met and surpassed. In addition, the MCDPs moved their congregational offices to the campus, so Leadership is right next door! In addition, two communities of independent Sisters will be moving to two new residences, currently under construction, in a nearby active adult community.
Since its inception, the MCDP members have collaborated with other religious congregations and civic organizations in advocating for social justice for immigrants, women, children, and urgent needs in the San Antonio community. REALM and the MCDPs are proud to continue this legacy in selling their sacred land, St. Andrew's Convent, to the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), who will continue those efforts by transforming the convent into a campus dedicated to helping women out of poverty.
"YWCA San Antonio is thrilled to have this opportunity to expand our services offering housing for young women as they pursue education and training to obtain jobs that pay a living wage. This will eliminate a major barrier they face. Our vision is to support vulnerable young women as they obtain personal and economic independence for themselves and their families."
Francesca Rattray, CEO, YWCA San Antonio