Catholic Convent Coming to Rural Bourbon County In April


The interior of the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception.
After Easter, in April 2024, a group of 17 Catholic Sisters will be moving to a rural Bourbon County property to make their home.
“We Sisters were invited to make our home on a piece of property near St. Martin’s Academy, by Dan Kerr and by the organization Ave Philomena,” said Mother Maria Regina, a spokeswoman for the Sisters “We have obtained the property we will live on to serve as a place to support the spiritual life of the students, faculty, and families at St. Martin’s Academy. If all goes well, we hope to come very soon after Easter.”
Submitted photo.
“Our present convent home is in Minneapolis, Minnesota,” she said.  “While we have been grateful to live in Minnesota, we needed a larger place, as we had outgrown our home there.  Also, we have longed to live in a more rural area, which is more conducive to our lifestyle.”
The name of the new Catholic establishment is St. Joseph Convent on Hackberry Road, southwest of Fort Scott.
Submitted photo. This photo is the housing for the Sisters, located at St. Joseph Convent, rural  Bourbon County. Each cottage is 16 ‘ by 20 ‘ with two sleeping quarters and a shared bathroom in between.
The name of this group of Sisters is Filiae Laboris Mariae, which means “Daughters of the Work of Mary.”
“We are a group of Catholic religious Sisters, who dedicate our lives to prayer and to service,” she said.  “We are a rather new community.  We were founded in 2017, and most of our Sisters are still rather young–the large majority in their 20s and 30s.”
The 5,300 square-foot chapel is flanked by the Sisters’s cottages on the left in this photo.
“Our primary purpose is to dedicate our lives to prayer and that is the reason that the largest building for our new convent is the chapel,” she said.  “We Sisters give our lives entirely to God and live in community: praying together, working together, recreating together each day.  In addition to our life of prayer, we also intend to serve the community by organizing events that will foster the spiritual life for various groups of persons.  We have heard that there are nursing homes in Fort Scott and would very much like to make regular visits to the residents of the nursing homes.”
Submitted photo of the Sisters.
They are a community of 17 Sisters.
  “Nuns is the term for those Sisters who serve the world exclusively by their prayer and sacrifice.  Since we also have some external service to others, we are called Sisters,” she said.
“For those who become Sisters, there are stages of formation,” she said.  “The first stage is called the postulant and we have one postulant.  The next stage is that of the novice (you can tell a novice because she wears a white veil), and we have eight novices.  The last stage is that of a Sister who has professed the vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and total consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The professed Sisters wear a blue veil, and there are eight professed Sisters. “
Submitted photo. The  Novice wears a white veil.
Submitted photo. A blue veil is worn by a Sister.
About the build
Steve McTavish, Olathe, is the project manager for Ave Philomena, the owner of the project. The 160-acreage was purchased from Delbert and Darla Crays.
“We started last August,” he said. “April 2 is the scheduled move-in.”
The current phase of the build is the 5,300 sq. ft. chapel,  16′ by 20 ‘ residence cottages, a 2,000 sq. ft. community center, a 4,000 sq. ft. dining, kitchen, sewing laundry center,  and a small cottage for meetings.
The future phase is for three other buildings for community and additional lodging, and a replica of the House of Loreto with courtyards,  McTavish said.
Almost all of the work on the St. Joseph Convent project has been done by local tradesmen.
The people who have helped with the build are Advantage Building and Remodeling-Fort Scott; R2 Construction-Fort Scott; Geiger Plumbing-Fort Scott, H2 Painting-Fort Scott; Wes Davis Drywall, Kelly Electric-Uniontown,  5M Restoration, LLC-Prescot; George Collinge (road and land clearing work); Bar/Rose Custom Wood Designs-Fort Scott; C.D. L. (HVAC); Aegis (fire protection); Rural Water District #2; Heartland Electric Coop; Harris Propane, Invictus Roofing, Mike the Carpet Man (flooring) and Winvent/Extrusions (windows).


6 thoughts on “Catholic Convent Coming to Rural Bourbon County In April”

  1. I live in Mound City about 20 miles north of Ft. Scott. We will be glad to have you close. I attend St. Philip Neri Church in Osawatomie, Ks.. I grew up in S. E. Kansas. My husband and I will add you to our prayers! We are members of the Legion of Mary. Welcome to Kansas. May God Bless you all.

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