|All that remains. November 5, 2017. I never realized until I saw this rubble that the mortar used on these bricks was purple. Yellow bricks with purple mortar. All these years, and I never noticed that.|
The former convent at the old St. Mary's school in Nanticoke has been torn down.
|St. Mary's church (background), new rectory (left), convent (right), November 6, 2005 - twelve years less one day ago.|
|"New" rectory, convent, and school, March 2005|
There also weren't enough nuns to teach all the grades. Kindergarten was taught by a lay teacher, as were second and third grade. At least one other class was taught by a lay teacher - sixth grade, I believe. The nuns were getting older, and more of them went to the retirement home in Reading each year.
I graduated from eighth grade in 1981. Not long after, St. Mary's and St. Stan's combined their schools with the nearby Holy Trinity parish. (Another parish, St. Joseph's, had closed its school a few years earlier, sending its handful of students to St. Mary's.) All of the classes were held in Holy Trinity's school. St. Mary's school closed.
With the closing of each school, the associated convent became superfluous. While nuns provided other services in the parish, their primary role was educational. Without students and a school, the nuns were no longer needed. They moved out of the convents, which, like the schools, were either repurposed or left vacant.
And so the convent at St. Mary's has been vacant for over thirty years. Until this week, when it was torn down.
|Church and convent. The area where my mom and her classmates would take shelter during WWII air raid drills is in the foreground, now covered with creeping weeds.|
|The rubble that was once a convent.|