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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

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Nothing of Immaculata HS is Left

See article: Demolition in Full Swing at AU Tenley Campus

Dunblane, built as a private estate in the first half of the 19th century, was home to a hunt club in the late 1880s and later an elementary school in the 20th century. Capital Hall was the former site of the Immaculata Seminary, established in 1905 by the Sisters of Providence. It subsequently became Immaculata Preparatory School and then Immaculata High School, which closed in 1986.

The sisters were in a terrible situation. They sold the place for a couple million and the president told us at a dinner afterwards that he felt bad they took the first offer. American University was prepared to pay ten times as much. The religious community had not seen a vocation from the school in a dozen years. I think we could have saved the school. Alumni and families could have purchased it. Moving the campus under new management to Maryland was a farce. The tradition was broken. Poor Msgr. Boland (the Chancellor now a retired bishop) took a lot of heat. An angry person took an ice pick to his car. He was hardly in the loop. The sisters were determined to sell. Many were sick and aging. A great high school died that could have been salvaged. It still saddens me. I recall the last graduation at St. Ann’s next door. Now even the shell is gone.

4 Responses

  1. Actually they’re keeping the old building that fronts on Tenley Circle and are converting the chapel to a mock courtroom. Also the old lodge house at the back of the property is being retained.

  2. Just found it. Thanks for the tip! https://www.serra.org/

  3. St. Paul’s, you got it! That’s cool that you could tell. I love my church, and my priest is a holy and kind man. I’m so proud of him.

    I’ve never heard of a Serra group. I will look into this.


  4. “The religious community had not seen a vocation from the school in a dozen years.”

    Hello, Father. I see my priest taking a lot of time and care in training up altar boys (he only selects boys at my church, since Mass is in Latin) but none of these young men are showing the slightest interest in becoming priests. The average age of priests in the United States is mid-sixties, if I recall correctly. Does it make you sad that young men aren’t interested in doing your job? What do you think we can do differently?

    I am a single woman who has never, and will never, bear children, so I can’t make a son for the Church. ūüėÄ Other than that, and occasionally having Masses said for an increase in vocations (I schedule one on my priest’s ordination anniversary every year), is there anything else I can do?

    FATHER JOE: Let me guess, do you go to St. Paul in Warren? A classmate of mine is pastor of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, also in the Worcester diocese. I think prayer and encouragement is a good effort. The priests also need to be expressive of their joy in the work. Young men are inspired by good and happy priests. Sad and complaining men drive vocations away. Does your diocese have a Serra type group where cards of support are mailed to priests and school children adopt priests for whom to pray? Every young man should be urged to ponder a calling.

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