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Groundbreaking held for Fenton Avenue convent

Their prayers have been answered. The Sisters Oblates to the Blessed Trinity this week celebrated the groundbreaking for their new convent, finally giving them a place they can call their own.

For 50 years the Sisters lived in St. Clare’s convent while they taught in the school, but in 2003 they had to leave and found a home in St. Anthony’s Convent on Matilda Avenue.

Now teaching at Immaculate Conception School on Gun Hill Road, the Sisters were in dire need of a place of their own to accommodate the specific needs of the sisters.

“I used to work at St. Clare’s where they used to teach and we remained friends,” said Maria Gerbasi of Bella Casa Realty of New York. “One day they approached me in need of property and after looking and looking we finally found this piece of land, which was perfect. The location and the size of the property was ideal.”

On Saturday, October 17, the Sisters celebrated the groundbreaking for what will become their new convent on the corner of Fenton and Astor avenues. Father John LoSasso of Immaculate Conception Church led the prayer service and blessing of the land for the event.

“The Sisters have worked hard and tirelessly for the church and the community,” said LaSasso. “I can’t think of anyone who deserves this more.”

According to Vito Occhino, of Vianna Construction, what is now an empty lot will be transformed into a beautiful three-story brick building, totaling approximately 9,000 square feet. The front of the building will face Fenton Avenue and the new convent will include a facility for a daycare.

The convent will be home to all 14 sisters and include special amenities for the several handicapped and elderly members, who have had trouble in their prior living spaces.

“It’s been very hard for all of them, especially the handicapped Sisters,” said Sister Leticia Aviles, principal of Immaculate Conception. “Its good for all families to have a place of their own. This is being built with the blood, sweat and tears of every sister who has worked so hard.”

Occhino expects construction to begin by November.

“It was truly heartwarming to see the Sisters break ground on their new convent building. They are thrilled to be joining our community, and we are equally thrilled to welcome them to the Pelham Parkway area,” said Councilman Jimmy Vacca. “At a time when so many construction projects raise concerns among local residents, I think we’re all happy to see this project move forward. We wish the Sisters the best.”

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