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Sisters of Charity, BVM Donations Help Launch Dubuque ReStore

BVMs and Mount Carmel Bluffs are featured inside the new Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Dubuque, Iowa.

BVMs Karen Conover (l.), Kate (Joseph Marie) Hendel, Carol Marie (Joseph Louis) Baum, Kathryn (John Laurian) Lawlor, Mira Mosle, Diane (Malia) Rapozo, Maureen Patrice Fury, Gwen (Leontia) Farry, Lois Dolphin, LaDonna Manternach, Congregational Secretary Ann Sweeney, and BVMs Jean (Allan) Beste, and Theresa (Martin Jerome) Calouri attend the ribbon cutting on Jan. 25 for the new Habitat for Humanity ReStore located at 4949 Chavenelle Rd, in Dubuque, Iowa.

Mount Carmel has been in the care of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary since 1889. Today, the BVM Sisters are sharing this beautiful location by inviting seniors to choose Mount Carmel Bluffs (MCB) as their home too.

MCB is a shared ministry of the Sisters of Charity, BVM and Presbyterian Homes & Services that will allow sisters to remain living on the Mount Carmel campus as well as offer a full continuum of care to the greater community.

To make way for the new apartment buildings, Caritas Center, BVM Center, and Marian Hall were deconstructed. In the spring of 2021, COVID-19 and a one-month tear down timeframe created a hectic clearing out process.

To keep as much out of the landfill as possible and to reuse and repurpose a majority of the items, donations were made to nursing homes, churches, schools, and nonprofits. Dubuque and Jackson Counties Habitat for Humanity received six semi tractor-trailers, 12 straight trucks, and six trailer loads of tables, chairs, lamps, chests of drawers, and other salvaged materials, such as wood molding, bathroom fixtures, kitchen equipment, appliances, and more.

This donation to Habitat for Humanity was integral to the opening of Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Rachel Daack and Tom Riley had been working since the spring of 2019 to start a ReStore in Dubuque. They assembled the original ReStore committee and spent many months learning Habitat International’s requirements and visiting ReStores across the tristate area to understand the elements that make a successful ReStore possible.

Because of the work Rachel and Tom had already been putting into the development of the ReStore, as well as the aligned missions of the ReStore and the BVM sisters, it only made sense to accept the challenge of this amazing donation. Rachel and Tom organized the removal of tons of materials from the Mount Carmel campus and personally put in hundreds of volunteer hours, and the generosity from many others in various ways have resulted in the Habitat for Humanity ReStore building you are standing gin today.

BVMs have received many gifts over the years. Sharing what has been received with those in need is simply part of the BVM mission.

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