The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 9, 2014

Convent relocation plans under way

By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News

— DANVILLE — Plans are progressing to relocate sisters and graves from a Danville convent recently sold to Geisinger System Services.

About 60 retired nuns from the Society of the Sisters of Christian Charity at Holy Family Convent are expected to move to their motherhouse property in Mendham, N.J.

“The sisters are in the process of working with an architect to construct a retirement home for them,” project coordinator Sister Teresa Ann Jacobs said Wednesday.

She said the retirement home should be built within the next three years. The sisters have three years to relocate.

The sisters owned the Danville property for 115 year. It was for sale for about a year and a half.

She also said the 289 graves behind the convent will be moved. “That is definitely going to happen. We are in the process of having four cemetery companies submit proposals for the project. We will review the proposals and hope to award a contract in the near future,” she said.

The graves, of sisters who died there from 1927-47, will be relocated to another cemetery. She said the graves will be moved locally and not to New Jersey. Where the graves are moved to will depend upon the firm awarded the contract, she said.

“This is quite a process. We will need to get approvals. This will take some time,” she said.

She expects the grave relocation to be done in three years. The graves are located on the hill behind the main convent building.

The closing was recently held for Geisinger System Services to purchase the 19-acre Holy Family Convent property, at 1 Montour St., for $4.5 million.

Geisinger plans to renovate the vacant fifth and sixth floors of the six-story residential building. The floors will be converted to general office space and most likely used for information technology.

The renovations and additional parking lot are expected to be finished by fall with those floors occupied at that time.

Eventually, 300 to 400 employees can be expected to work in the building.

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.