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Hundreds of Supporters Sign Petition To Save Monastery Of Angels In Hollywood

Dominican nuns light candles and read from pamphlets as they celebrate a mass.
Dominican nuns hold candles as they celebrate a mass.
(AHMAD GHARABLI
/
AFP via Getty Images)
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Hundreds of supporters have signed a petition to save the nearly century-old Monastery of Angels in Hollywood.

The monastery, which is home to nuns from Roman Catholicism’s Dominican order, was founded in 1924. More than 2,300 people signed a change.org petition in the first seven days to preserve the monastery — famous for its homemade pumpkin bread. The monastery is located off Gower St., just above Franklin Ave.

Although occupied by nuns, the institution is not technically a convent. The monastery moniker is applied by the Dominican order when nuns are cloistered from the outside world.

“The Monastery of the Angels in Los Angeles, California is in danger of closing after nearly 100 years of prayerful service to its community,” reads the online campaign, “We are asking the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the Master of the Dominican Order, and the President of the North American Association of Dominican Monasteries to please reconsider the closure/potential sale of the Monastery.”

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This is not the first time in recent memory the institution has nearly closed its doors for good. In 2009, the monastery deeply felt the pangs of the great recession as investments and annuities took a hit to the tune of 70% and mounting medical bills drained the institution’s coffers.

Sister Mary Raymond, wearing glasses, a white nun's habit with a black cornette, looks into the camera's lens.
Sister Mary Raymond in 2009. Raymond was the mother superior at the Monastery of the Angels in Los Angeles and said medical bills for the nuns drained the monastery's bank account.
(Mandalit del Barco
/
NPR)

"So that was when we began to get really scared," Sister Mary Raymond told NPR in 2009.

But the nuns persisted, overcoming obstacles much like their founders first did.

"It's been a long history with the sisters," Raymond said. "Four old ladies — not old, they were young then — had to struggle to get this place going. And they had to go out and beg, just like we're doing now, but they went from door to door."

In 2007, 22 nuns occupied the monastery. That number dropped to 20 in 2009. Today, just five nuns live on the four-acre property, according to the L.A. Times.

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