Preservationists in Los Angeles are forming a nonprofit group to acquire and continue to care for a local historic monastery in danger of being sold or redeveloped.
The convent, known as the Monastery of the Angels, is located in the heart of Hollywood. It has long provided spiritual sustenance to followers of all faiths, besides serving as a home for a cloistered community of Catholic nuns of the Dominican Order whose numbers have dwindled.
The Monastery of the Angels Foundation of Los Angeles is “committed to ensuring that alternatives to permanent closure are found for historic Catholic churches and sacred spaces.” The organization is prepared to raise funds to purchase the four tranquil acres so the monastery can be looked after as a Catholic sacred space.
“Sacred spaces, be they churches or cathedrals frequented by the laity or monasteries inhabited by cloistered religious are an integral part of Catholicism and the practice of the Catholic faith,” the nonprofit says.
“A teaching of Catholicism is that the world is divided into two types of space, ‘sacred’ and ‘profane,’ with sacred space reserved solely for Catholic worship and sacramental activity. …Thus, losing the monastery to non-Catholic redevelopment will both deprive Catholics in Los Angeles of the ability to take spiritual nourishment from its grounds and also remove a place of prayer from a community that badly needs it.”
Last year, the foundation launched an online petition to prevent the monastery’s closure, after learning the Dominican Order might no longer be able to maintain the monastery and the land might be sold for private use or redevelopment.
The petition states the monastery has performed nearly 100 years of prayerful service to its community since it was established in 1924 by the first cloistered nuns in California.
Prioress Sister Maria Christine, president of the Association of North American Dominican Monasteries, said, “Our goal is to retain the beauty of the property and continue to be a source of spiritual enrichment for all who come to pray. The world needs prayer and we keep everyone in our prayer intentions.”
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