Update on the Sale of St. Ursula Center
These are challenging times for the Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk and we ask for your prayers as we move forward with joy and hope. Over the past few years, the Leadership Teams have worked hard to look at our properties and analyze our resources. The results of this evaluation have led to the difficult decision to sell St. Ursula Center. Although change is never easy, the choice will enable the community to maintain sustainability.
Today we are forty Sisters, the majority of whom have passed the traditional retirement age. These demographics, along with diminishing income and increasing healthcare costs, have required us to take a careful and realistic look at our finances as we prepare for the future. Our focus is to ensure a safe and dignified retirement for all our Sisters now and going forward.
The National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO), an organization created to assist religious institutions with retirement planning, assisted us with a “Retirement Needs Analysis” to measure the funding needs of our community. In 2014, with the help of NRRO and other advisers and consultants, we began the financial analysis and planning, financed through grants from the NRRO. The purpose of the grants was to assist us in finding financial solutions to the large unfunded liability of our retirement fund so we can ensure a dignified retirement for all Sisters. With the 2008 downturn in the economy, our retirement fund was impacted greatly.
The advisers looked at the costs associated with operating the Blue Point property and the costs for the care of our elderly Sisters living there. The advisers were clear that we needed to sell the property in Blue Point and re-locate our Sisters to facilities with skilled nursing care and assisted living options that accept Medicaid. A committee of the Sisters visited nursing homes and assisted living facilities on Long Island and presented the plan to the community.
In June 2015 the Sisters agreed that we needed to sell our Blue Point property. The Belgian Province offered to loan money to the U.S. Province to help with cash flow. The community hired Colliers International to oversee the sale of Blue Point and the property went on the market in January 2017.
We are currently addressing housing needs for our Sisters living at St. Ursula Center. Our elderly and infirm sisters will move to Maria Regina Residence in Brentwood. Other Sisters are on a waiting list for an assisted living facility.
While the sale of St. Ursula Center will provide financial relief, the need for funds continues to be critical for the long-term needs of the forty Sisters now and into their retirement. With one Sister who is 100, three in their 90’s, twelve in their 80’s, 15 in their 70’s, 8 in their 60’s and 1 in her 40’s, there are a few Sisters working full-time and some working part-time. Therefore, your financial support is greatly appreciated and needed.