They are building their monastery according to traditional methods in the hope that it will last hundreds of years, and they'll be the first to admit that it's far from a typical, modern-day, commercial housing unit.The second phase of the building project will be the church enclosing the quadrangle. Ad orientem, anyone?
"It's complicated," said building superintendent John McKay, the man in charge of the project for March-Westin Construction Co. "Because it is all masonry-bearing, as opposed to steel, or wood structure, or brick veneer."
...For monastery architect Jim O'Brien, the project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. "There are not many of these out there; it's a pretty unusual project," he says. "We have had to do a lot of unlearning about the way people live, because the nuns' life is very different from ours."
The church will face east, in orientation to the rising sun, and a side chapel for visitors and a resident chaplain's quarters will be built on this side of the quadrangle.Here's a construction photo:
From the previous article, a friend and advisor to the nuns, DC lawyer Greg Granitto said this about cloistered life:
"Cloistered nuns do not stand with their faces turned toward the world to teach or correct," explained Granitto. "Rather, they stand, faces upturned to God, speaking words of praise and adoration. They must be hidden and unavailable because they are engrossed in a work that is unseeable."I look forward to making a retreat there in the near future.