FROM THE ARCHIVES
Permission having been received to form not two, but three provinces, M. Lidwina headed back toward Denver to conduct visitation in the middle western part of the country and to find a place suitable for the proposed Sacred Heart Province. She visited several properties, but none seemed suitable, particularly in comparison with the “perfect” location obtained in California. However, on May 2, she and M. Lucille Renier seemed “guided” by the Blessed Mother “to the place destined for them, afterwards to be known as ‘Marycrest,’ a beautiful 20-acre tract just outside the city limits, with a large house in perfect condition and admirable (sic) suited to their needs for several years.” Once again in record time, on May 3, 1938, the purchase price of $25,000 was agreed upon and the deal was closed! As the property had been appraised at between $30,000 and $50,000, it was agreed that a very good bargain had been made.
The house, itself, set back from Federal Boulevard and was about ten years old. “The front faces the mountains with a superb view of the entire range, from Pike’s Peak to Long’s Peak.” Large and well planned, it was well suited to the adaptations necessary to turn it into a convent with space for a chapel, parlor, two refectories, a kitchen “with all modern conveniences,” large bedrooms to be converted into dormitories, community room, provincial’s office and novitiate space.
The grounds, too, seemed perfectly designed for the new motherhouse property, “ with velvety lawns, beautiful trees . . . From early spring to late fall the sunken garden is a riot of hundreds of varieties of flowers laid out in formal beds . . . and, to one side of the garden, . . . a beautiful lily pond, the fountain in the shape of a lily, . . . Truly it is all a veritable fairyland during the spring, summer, and fall.”
M. Lidwina then continued her visitation trip of the Midwest houses, but returned to Denver in June where she and M. Cherubim Rohr from O’Neill did much of the necessary shopping for Marycrest—including “some feathered, white inhabitants of the chicken house.”
Upon her return to Stella Niagara, M. Lidwina spent the next few months directing the preparation of the two new novitiate houses and many trunks and boxes were packed up with useful articles and sent off week after week to Denver and Monrovia.
One interesting piece of trivia concerning the Marycrest property is that it was purchased from a Mr. and Mrs. Winslow; back at Stella Niagara, the southern portion of the property was originally the Winslow farm—however, there is no relation that we are aware of between the two Winslow families!