PEEKSKILL, N.Y. — Their boilers are broken and winter is around the corner, but these nuns would rather throw on another sweater than complain.
Still, with a 105-year-old resident under their care and winds from the Hudson River chilling their convent, it became clear that the boilers at the Franciscan Sisters of Peekskill needed to be fixed. The trouble is, the sisters don’t have the $350,000 to make the repairs.
“We’re running on one boiler and that, to me, is just not safe when we have a lot of elderly sisters here,” Sister Laura Morgan told PIX11 News.
The sisters, who live in a 150-year-old convent in northern Westchester County, discovered last month that four of their boilers were broken when a maintenance company came by for a quarterly checkup, said Sister Morgan, who is in charge of the convent.
Facing the daunting cost of repairs, Sister Morgan turned to youcaring.com to raise funds to help. The campaign had raised about $44,000 as of Friday morning. The plight of the nuns was first reported by the Journal News.
"I'm a very quiet person, but I'm in charge of the sisters and I have to make sure we have basic comfort," Morgan said.
The boilers are very old and have outlived their lifespan, Morgan said. They've had problems for a while, but the convent lacked the money to fix the boilers.
The Franciscan Sisters of Peekskill is part of an international community, so it does not receive funds from the Archdiocese of New York, Morgan said. The 21 nuns living there are mostly older and no longer work; the community survives largely on the basis of donations.
The sisters have been praying for help since they learned about the broken boilers.
"They're praying all the time," Morgan said. "They're 80, 90, 100 years old most of them, but never a complaint. They'll put on a sweater before they'll complain."