The Brothers have been making up for lost time on the IHM School Expansion Project throughout September and October! The skeletal structure of the first floor is now visible and the goal is to have the roof on before Christmas. Before the framework began, however, the CMU block firewalls had to be built between the buildings, as well as an elevator shaft and a three-story fire-safe stairwell.

Joseph Maney, a stone mason by trade, has been tirelessly working to finish the project while the good weather lasts. A graduate from IHM in 1994, Joe and his wife Sarah are Third Order members at IHM Chapel. The completed stairwell is 30 feet high for three levels of stairs, while the elevator shaft on the opposing wall is even taller.

The Brothers, master builders, having already built six of the twelve buildings on the monastery, and the 15 cabins and 7 buildings at Montfort Retreat, are working with Joe and the rest are busy with the other levels of construction. The walls and windows on the first floor have been framed and raised up and now the beams for the second story floor are being installed. Fire-treated lumber is being used for the perimeter walls and “I” joists for the larger spans on the first floor. This space on the first floor will be used as a larger kitchen and larger dining rooms for our growing Religious community. The present dining room will be renovated later into a larger library and meeting room for the school, and the old kitchen will serve many creative and science classes.

Saint Philomena has been designated as our patroness for the project, and a statue of this powerful little saint is perched high on the firewall, overlooking progress. “Our goal is to reach her before the snow flies,” said Brother Anthony Marie, MICM, the supervisor of the IHM School Expansion Project. At the rate they are going, it is looking very possible… but New England winters are no joke! If the crew of Brothers and volunteers are going to reach their objective, it’s going to take a lot of hard work, prayer and generous donors!

As we approach the final months of 2020, and the season of “Giving Tuesday,” please consider supporting the IHM School Expansion Project. Once we get these walls and joists firmed up we will jump up to the next floor which will have 4 large classrooms! With these new classrooms and the reconfiguration of the existing rooms, the enrollment of IHM will be able to double! Every gift towards this project directly supports Traditional Catholic Education and our Catholic Future! God will reward you abundantly!

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