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Renovated barn becomes center for ministry, community events

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

By David Eck

ST. MARGARET MARY DEANERY — A century-old barn at St. Clare Convent in Cincinnati has been renovated to house a new health and spiritual growth ministry, as well as provide space for community events.

Named the Centennial Barn, the 8,000 square-foot structure is located on a 26-acre parcel on Compton Road. The property is owned by the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor.

The barn, which dates to the 19th century, features a 2-story area for weddings, meetings and other community events. A smaller area of the barn will house Clare’s Corner, a ministry focusing on healing. The ministry will offer classes such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, chanting and reflexology.

Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk blesses the Centennial Barn, assisted by Deacon Francis Wagner. (CT/Tony Tribble)

Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk was among three religious leaders to bless the barn during a ceremony Oct. 10. Rabbi Kari Hofmaister and Buddhist Monk Jamyang Lama also participated. About 55 people attended the blessing.

“This is the Sisters’ way of revitalizing their mission,” said Rose Curtin Aleman, Centennial Barn director. “We will offer a range of programs designed to nurture the mind, body, and spirit.”

Renovations of the barn began about 18 months ago. It is expected to be operational late this year. Revenue from the community events at the barn will be used to fund the classes at Clare’s Corner.

The barn can accommodate up to 200 people and features several amenities including gathering spaces, a dining area in the loft, a large meeting area, a patio, a catering kitchen and plenty of parking.

The barn was most recently used for storage, but at one time was part of the working farm.

“They retained as much of the historical nature of the structure as they can,” Aleman said. “We’re also making it as energy-efficient and earth-friendly as possible. We looked at ways to maintain as much historical character of the barn while at the same time keeping it modern and efficient.”

The Compton Road property also includes Mercy Franciscan Terrace, a historic chapel, gazebo, walking paths and gardens.

David Eck can be reached at [email protected].

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