Two unforeseen issues related to the construction of a new candy house at Mount Saint Mary’s Abbey has put the project over budget and three months behind schedule. The Cistercian Nuns who live at Mount Saint Mary’s make Trappistine Candy as their livelihood. The new facility will increase their working space and help expand production. Since the project’s price tag has increased, the nuns turned to past donors and have put out a call to help raise $800,000 to cover unanticipated expenses.
The first problems arose when in the course of construction, old fuel tanks that predate the Nuns’ ownership of the land, had been unearthed. The tanks and the soil surrounding the tanks needed to be removed. This was a significant expense that wasn’t factored into the plans that were meticulously developed over five years. It also pushed the completion date from December to February. “As they were excavating the foundation of an old barn, they ran into old tanks,” explained Sr. Pamela Clinton. “That held up the project and was an added expense.”
A further complication to the project was the septic system on the property. It was starting to fail. Not wanting to tie the new candy house into a troubled septic system, the decision was made to address that problem at this time. In the course of replacing the old septic, more expensive issues surfaced. “The septic system encountered ledge which was unexpected even though we had some careful plotting by the surveyors,” explained Sr. Pamela.
To cover the added expenses, the nuns took out loans, sold some property and have stepped up their fundraising efforts. Letters were sent to past donors and messages regarding the need were posted on Facebook. “We’ll do whatever else is necessary,” says Sr. Pamela. “We will continue to fundraise to payoff the loans, but we do have immediate needs.”
The call to donors is having an impact. As of Monday, $112,000 had been raised. “We are grateful to everyone who has supported us up until this time, whether by their prayers, by giving a $1, giving a $1000,” said Sr. Mariann Garrity. “The support of the people means very much to us. We thought it would be a way of sharing our life to let them know what the situation is at the moment with the hopes that they can help us.”
Sr. Pamela added, “We are so grateful for the support of the local people; the people of Wrentham and the people of Franklin. It is tremendous to live in a community that receives us and supports us. We’re just very grateful. There was a time in the past where both the religious and others maybe didn’t let other people know their needs. We’re just letting people know we do have a need.”
The old candy house remains in production while the project on the new facility is being completed. December is the busiest time of year for candy production. Trappistine Candy does not contain preservatives. In order to fulfill Christmas orders, production must continue through the month. To order the candy, visit their e-commerce site here. Once the new candy house is completed the equipment will be moved into it from the current facility.