PMA not affected by nuns' departure

TIM JEAN/Staff photoPresentation of Mary Academy in Methuen

METHUEN — Presentation of Mary Academy, a private high school that serves students from across the region, will not be impacted by the closure of a portion of Searles Estate also at 209 Lawrence St. that houses nuns, according to Head of School Rose Maria Redman.

A statement last week from Provincial Assistant Sr. Janice Perrault said plans are in the works for 38 nuns who live at the estate to be relocated.

She said a year-long financial planning study found it unrealistic to maintain the sisters' housing — which is big enough to fit 100 nuns — as well as a health care facility, administration offices for the religious community and a cemetery for the sisters.

The Sisters of the Presentation of Mary founded Presentation of Mary Academy in 1958. Only two sisters currently living at the estate work at the neighboring Catholic co-ed college preparatory school, Redman said.

"One wasn't even living here last year," Redman said. "She was at another of their houses."

There was no immediate timeline in place for when the portion of the estate would be closed. The action will not cost the two sisters their jobs at the school, Redman said.

Research is continuing into possible future uses of the property, Perrault's statement said.

She said the decision followed "a process of future planning" with the help of consultants from Plante Moran CRESA, a commercial real estate adviser.



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