Fultonville

Fultonville, New York, a peaceful and verdant spot in the historic Mohawk valley, was the setting for a group of Sisters of Mary Reparatrix to establish a community and retreat house on June 16th, 1941. Fultonville was a four hour train ride to Manhattan, New York where the Sisters had already begun their ministry in 1908. Four miles from Fultonville was the shrine of the North American martyrs in Auriesville, New York and birthplace of Kateri Tekakwitha. For the sisters to be near the places where these holy persons had lived and ministered was very significant. It is interesting to note that while the Sisters were occupied with expanding their ministry, the United States had just entered World War II on the side of the Allies. Sisters of Mary Reparatrix in Belgium, Holland, France and Hungary were suffering greatly at the hands of Nazi Germany. But that is another story.

After years of patient searching in different areas adjacent to New York city to find the right setting for a retreat house, the sisters chose Fultonville. The property was about 122 acres with several houses/buildings on the property. There were flower gardens, wooded areas with apple trees, garages, a brook with spring water and other amenities which would provide an excellent setting for retreatants. A working farm was also part of the property. Though situated in a quiet residential area of New York State, the main line of the New York Central Railroad provided excellent service to all the principal cities of the state. Some major highways, at the time, also afforded easy access to the retreat house.

The owner of the property was a prominent woman of the time who had received the property as an inheritance from her parents. She was willing to sell the property for a nominal price as long as it was used for a charitable/spiritual purpose. At the same time an anonymous donor came forth and purchased the property and in turn gave it to the sisters. The only stipulation was that if the property would ever leave the ownership of the Sisters of Mary Reparatrix it would be given to another religious group who would continue some form of charitable or spiritual work.

After doing some minor renovations eleven sisters moved to the property in Fultonville in 1941. Over the course of the next several years many retreats, days of prayer, and other forms of spiritual ministries took place in this peaceful setting.

With the establishment of a new location/retreat house in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Sisters could no longer keep sufficient personnel in the Fultonville location. So, the Sisters said goodbye to their beautiful retreat house in Fultonville. God was calling them to a new ministry in the “Queen-city” of Cincinnati.

For some years the Fultonville property was left vacant. But in 1958 it was legally deeded to the Capuchin Fathers of New York. Thus ended another chapter in the history of the Sisters of Mary Reparatrix but new chapters would be opening up.