By God's Providence Society

In 2016, the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi embarked on an ambitious new project: build a new $36 million convent incorporating best practices in assisted living and enhanced care services for our elder Sisters. An assessment of residences at that time revealed that our elder Sisters’ health, safety, and well-being were at risk in the buildings in which they were living. Because of age and massive design challenges, renovations were not feasible. 

The new convent opened in spring 2019, welcoming 80 of our elder Sisters. It is located on the site of the former St. Mary’s Academy and overlooks the shores of Lake Michigan. The two-story building features a chapel, country-style dining facilities, private bathrooms, a library, and wheelchair-accessible landscaping and outdoor gathering spaces.

Under the leadership of Sister Ellen Carr, OSF and honorary campaign co-chairs Gale Klappa and Marysue Michels, the Spirit of St. Francis capital campaign set out to raise $11 million for the new convent. This represented one third of the overall cost, with the balance coming from a mortgage and Sisters’ savings. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we successfully met our campaign goal of $11 million by October 2022. 

By God's Providence Society

L-R: Judi and Gale Klappa; Sister Ellen Carr, OSF; and Lynn and Scott Molitor. October 5, 2022.

Exterior with New Banners

By God’s Providence Society

God’s providence is apparent and abundant because our many generous benefactors. By God’s Providence Society honors the individuals, families, foundations, and businesses who contributed to the Spirit of St. Francis capital campaign and made the new convent a reality. Thank you. 

These are the major categories within the By God’s Providence Society.

  • St. Francis of Assisi: Gifts $1 million and over
  • St. Clare of Assisi: Gifts $500,000 to $999,999
  • St. Elizabeth of Hungary: Gifts $250,000 to $499,999
  • St. Mary of the Angels: Gifts $100,000 to $249,999
  • St. Joseph: Gifts $25,000 to $99,999
  • Mother Ameliana: $10,000 to $24,999

By God’s Providence Society Benefits

  • Recognition as a By God’s Providence Society member, with name and support level identified in our donor rolls, website, and digital signage.
  • Special invitation to programs, events, and presentations
  • Opportunity to share your story as a By God’s Providence Society member.

By God's Providence Society Members

Click here to download a list of By God's Providence members who have donated gifts of $10,000 and above to our Spirit of St. Francis capital campaign. If you do not see your name on this list or your name is spelled incorrectly, please email us with your full name.

Crowded room in former motherhouse. 

Assisted living residential room in new convent. Photo: Josh Groth. 

Administrative Leadership Team during construction, 2018

Sister Margaret Gardner, OSF, keeping an eye on the construction process, 2018.


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