|By Rick Winterson
When Marian Manor announced its intention in 2003 to expand into a major new facility outside of South Boston, it was not yet clear what this meant. Now, plans for a new Manor, along with a living concept called “Stella Maris”, are firmed up. It is located 20 minutes from here in Quincy. Occupancy is expected in 2009.
A scale model of the Stella Maris A model interior of a one-bedroom
complex, in front of an architectural. apartment proposed for the Stella
Maris independent living community.
The 77-year-old order of The Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and the Infirm is relatively new in historical terms. It was founded in 1929 by Mother Mary Angeline Teresa McCrory, who left the Little Sisters of the Poor to work with the elderly in America.
Mother Mary Angeline recognized a growing need. People were living longer. Elder care, in a dignified and caring facility, was becoming more necessary. The Carmelites, first led by Mother Mary Angeline and her six companions, have been devoted to their life’s mission of caring for the elderly ever since. Marian Manor is one result of her vision.
You have heard that Marian Manor is relocating from the old Carney Hospital site on Dorchester Street, which the Carmelites took over back in 1954. There are three major reasons for this:
The existing Marian Manor is no longer suitable for the mission of caring for today’s elderly population. It is run down; many areas don’t have air conditioning. Consulting architects have advised against doing any more renovations on the existing buildings.
Also, people are living much longer – from the low 60s in 1929 to almost 80 these days. Older people want to live independently, and fortunately, most of them are healthy enough to do so.
Finally, relocating within the borders of South Boston is not practical. What land is left is not big enough, and it is very expensive. Clearly, an entirely new approach for Marian Manor was needed, but the Carmelites have always been extremely good at re-inventing themselves.
After years of looking and planning, Marian Manor decided to locate on an eight-acre site in the Quarry Hills area of Quincy. This is a 15- or 20-minute drive from South Boston. The views in all directions are breath-taking. And, of course, ample parking will be available for visitors and guests.
The new Marian Manor will have a campus-like design and atmosphere. It will offer three modes of living. Two of them – assisted living and skilled nursing care – are services for which Marian Manor is already well known. In response to changing needs, the new Marian Manor will also include a 169-unit “independent living” community on the new campus. This community will be called “Stella Maris”, Latin for “Star of the Sea”.
The Stella Maris community will be designed in the Romanesque style. It is to be built using substantial amounts of granite, which echoes the area where it is located. Perhaps most important for the Stella Maris residents are the amenities that it will have. These include shops, a café, an auditorium, a wellness center, and many common areas done in wood and stone with cathedral windows. The outside grounds feature winding nature trails. An enclosed bridge will connect Stella Maris to the Marian Manor’s skilled nursing care facility.
Obtaining an apartment in Stella Maris involves an entry fee and a monthly living fee. The monthly fee includes a large number of services – dinner every evening, weekly house keeping and linen, cable, 24-hour security/emergency systems, underground parking, and many more. Stella Maris is a very attractive alternative style of independent living.
You can get on the Stella Maris Priority List with an initial deposit, which is completely refundable. More than one-third of the Stella Maris apartments are already under these Priority Agreements.
For more information on Stella Maris and a visit to their model apartment (9 to 5, Monday through Friday), call Ms. Gardi Hauck at (617)701.1414, or log onto www.stellamaris.org