Sisters begin dome renovations

From Local Sources

FERDINAND — On June 16, the Sisters of St. Benedict began renovations to the very top of the iconic dome of Monastery Immaculate Conception. The cupola, a small dome made of copper and gilded with gold at the apex of the larger dome, leaked water into the monastery chapel during heavy rains.

The problem first arose in August 2019. A deluge of rain poured into the church during a morning Mass. The shocking and significant inflow prompted immediate professional evaluation.

The cupola’s roof at the dome’s apex hadn’t been included in the extensive restoration of the church in 2005 as professionals had deemed it sufficient. While there was occasional leakage, the sisters attributed the light drips to the wind blowing just right, causing rain to enter through the louvers. The Aug. 13 incident made it clear that the structure was failing and that the sisters needed to take action.

After a professional evaluation, the sisters determined that it would cost about $100,000 to complete renovations. The repairs included replacing the cupola roof and regilding the cross on top. This task would not have been possible without the help of an anonymous family of donors, who donated the full amount at the beginning of this year.

The sisters thank everyone who has contributed to the renovation of their historic church, including their anonymous donors and Helming Brothers. The monastery church is at the heart of the Sisters of St. Benedict’s community, and they are thankful for the community’s support.

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