Press Release: Monastery renovations

[email protected]

Contact:Michael Dolan, Director of CommunicationsAugustinian FriarsPhone: 610-527-3330 ext. 248

“St. Thomas of Villanova Monastery:Embracing the Future”

Villanova, PA – The Augustinians of the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova are embarking on a $25 million campaign to raise funds for its various ministries and for renovations to Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery on the campus of Villanova University. The Province, which comprises the East Coast sector of the Augustinian Order, as well as missions in Peru, South Africa and Japan, is headquartered in Villanova, PA. The “Embracing the Future . . .” campaign is the first major fundraising effort the Province has undertaken in over 40 years. The $25 million goal will support a renovation to Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery on the campus of Villanova University and create endowments for: Augustinian missions; the Augustinian Volunteers program; vocation, education and formation of Augustinians; nursing care and programming for aged friars; Half of the $25 million goal will go toward current renovations of Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery. The needed renovations will not only bring the aged building into compliance with current building codes, but it will enable the friars living inside the building to better interact with the Villanova University community. Says Father Donald F. Reilly, O.S.A., head of the East Coast Province: “The renovations to the monastery will truly enhance the community life of the friars living within the monastery, just as it will enhance the Villanova University community as well. The monastery has always been home to great men who gained a wealth of experience and wisdom over the course of their lives. We hope to make these friars more accessible with the current renovations, so that, in essence, the building continues to teach.” A major way Fr. Reilly aims to accomplish that goal is the addition of a new glass chapel facing the heart of the Villanova University campus. The new structure will enable students and staff to see friars at prayer, thus becoming an inviting presence on campus. The renovations will also include a new “Heritage Room,” which will give visitors the opportunity to learn the history of the Augustinians and Villanova University, and a new “Augustinian Way of Life Center,” which will give students and others the opportunity to learn about the Augustinians’ volunteer program, religious vocations, and more. Much of the renovations to the monastery is centered on making the entire second floor of the building a health care center. Augustinians are a religious community of brothers, and this health care center will enable aged and infirm friars to live in community for as long as possible.

# # #