St. John Neumann Residence
Have you seen the sign in the front of the St. John Neumann Residence that reads: “Sale Pending” ?
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
You have probably seen in the local papers over the past few months stories about a possible sale of the Residence that for nearly 100 years was home to numerous Redemptorist priests and brothers. Recently I have been involved in meetings with the prospective buyer as well as neighborhood groups, parish committees and City Council meetings as an offer has been made and an explanation of what the building will be used for has been discussed. While a formal closing on the property has not been finalized, I think the pending sale is close to being a reality and I want to bring all parishioners up to date on what is happening.
An offer to purchase the building and roughly 11 acres of land has been made by Bonacio Construction, Inc. The proposal is to take the existing Residence and renovate it while adding two wings off the back of the present Residence. This would allow the building 85 units that would be for Senior Housing (55+). The Redemptorist Fathers and Brothers, as the owners of the Residence and Land, are in favor of the proposed use. Since St. Clement’s Church is the closest neighbor to the Residence,
Bonacio Construction, Inc has made a presentation at which members of the Staff, Pastoral Council, Finance Committee and Buildings and Ground Committee were present. Those at this presentation spoke in favor of this proposal.
So, in the near future you will be noticing activity on the grounds of the Residence and within the Residence itself. There is no time frame yet for when construction and renovations will commence since Bonacio Construction, Inc still has a few more planning meetings that need to occur with the City. Some questions that I might be able to answer in this forum:
► All religious items that were in the Residence have been removed. These include all items that were in the Chapel … stained glass windows, altars, crosses … all these items either have been stored by the Redemptorists or have been used in Redemptorist Properties (like our present infirmary outside Baltimore, MD). In accordance with Canon Law (1212) “Sacred places lose their dedication or blessing .. if they have been permanently given over to [other] uses, de facto …”
► The large crucifixion scene in the back of the Residence (that many might not be aware of) will be generously moved to the Parish’s Memorial Garden by Bonacio Construction, Inc.
► The driveway between the Residence and the Church will be a shared driveway and the Church will be responsible for its maintenance. The new Senior Residence has no plans to use this driveway EXCEPT if emergency vehicles are needed. They plan on installing a new driveway for their use across from Macarthur Drive. The present garage located by the back of the Church will become property of St. Clement’s Church. (This building and land are a gift to the Church from the Redemptorists.)
► The Grotto to Our Lady will remain where it is presently located. Language is being worked on where St. Clement’s Church will be responsible for its maintenance and upkeep.
► Finally, the sale of St. John Neumann Residence brings to a close a long chapter in the history of the Redemptorists here in Saratoga Springs. The sale does not mean that the Redemptorists are considering handing staffing of the parish over to the Diocese. When I arrived in August of 2008 and the closing of the Residence as a Health Care Facility occurred, many incorrectly speculated that the Redemptorists would be departing from St. Clement’s Church. I said time and time then that the Redemptorists staffing of St. Clement’s Church was in no way tied to the St. John Neumann Residence. With the soon to be completed sale of the Residence and Property, I once again want to state that at present the Redemptorists will continue to staff St. Clement’s Church. One day in the future, the Redemptorists may discern otherwise but that decision would be based on the number of Redemptorists we have to staff all our commitments in the United States, where the Lord is calling us to minister and not because of the sale of a building.
I realize that many may have additional questions or concerns. In this letter I have tried to answer what I feel are the most obvious ones (and questions that have already been raised to me). If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact me by email at email@example.com or by phone at (518) 584-6122, extension 18. As this chapter of St. John Neumann Residence begins to come to a close we pray that the new chapter and life that will come to this Residence and Property may be blessed by our Lord. Thank you for your support of the Redemptorist Congregation. Remember in your prayers all those Redemptorists who lived and died in the Residence. Continue to pray for an increase of vocations to the Redemptorists and keep in your prayers our elderly and infirm men who now reside at Stella Maris Health Care facility in Timonium, MD.
With the blessings of the Risen Lord,
Fr. Paul borowski.p @ scpny.org