“They have taught us, they have taught our children and even our children’s children. They have stood at our bedside hours after the doctors have gone. They have comforted us in times of need, and shared in our triumphs and joys. They have founded our hospitals, our nursing homes, as well as our social service enters, homeless shelters, schools, colleges and universities, many times through force of will alone. They care for poor children, and walk fearlessly into the slums to tend to the homeless, the sick, and the mentally ill. . .
These are the women of the religious communities of the Archdiocese of New York. . . they are quiet giants, these gentle women, and collectively, the impact of their work is simply beyond measuring.”
From the Campaign for Marian Woods
Reflective of the demographics of the United States, members of the religious communities of the Archdiocese of New York are aging rapidly. The number of sisters who will need elderly care outnumber the number of sisters available to care for them. Further, religious communities for the most part are not in a position economically to provide the kind of care necessary for their members.
“We will do together what we can not do separately.”
- The Sisters of Mercy
- The Society of the Holy Child Jesus
- The Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt
- The Franciscan Sisters of Peace
- The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament
These communities commissioned a study to both assess future demographic needs and develop a long range plan for the care of elder religious.
The study found that in the year 2000, 40% of the members will be age 70 and older, and in the year 2018, less than 10% of the members will be below age 70
Recognizing the urgent need to care for these elderly Sisters while maintaining their dignity and commitment to vocations and vows, all five communities came together to explore options outside of unlicensed infirmaries or geriatric units within local hospitals. Utilizing these outside options often compromises on the quality of patient care and are financially burdensome for each community to handle alone. The task force concluded that building a new facility, licensed as an adult home by the State of New York, was the most effective and cost-efficient choice.
These draining costs hindered their important missions to teach, comfort and heal. Thus the five religious communities jointly agreed to share the responsibility of constructing Marian Woods and serve as its founding members. Each community pledged their own resources towards the construction and is responsible for determining which Sisters are eligible to live at the home. The partnership between the five congregations and the subsequent building of Marian Woods was truly faith in action. It has provided a greater, more efficient array of quality healthcare to our Sisters than previously served by the five institutions separately.
Marian Woods is fully equipped to care for over 50 residents complete with a ground floor chapel so Sisters and community members can come together to worship. The average age of our residents is 82. Although the majority of residents are members of the five founding congregations Marian Woods welcomes Sisters from other Religious Congregations with the need and interest to become a resident when rooms are available.
Today, eleven acres of peaceful property in Hartsdale have been designated for Marian Woods. The 120 acres that surround the property will be preserved as a town park.