The sisters can stay.

Twenty-four aging nuns residing at the Saint Francis Convent in Manoa had recently been notified they would have to move to an assisted living facility in Pearl City.

Many of the sisters have lived in the Manoa convent for their entire adult lives — some for 60 years or more.

The announcement spurred protests by the nuns themselves, as well as faculty and students at the Saint Francis School where many of the sisters had taught and continue to interact with students. Those protests were the subject of Denby Fawcett’s latest Civil Beat column.

Front row from left, Sister Norberta Hunnewinkel and Sister Marion Kikukawa. Back row from left, Sister Joan of Arc Souza, Sister Rose Annette Ahuna, Sister Samuel Marie Settar and Sister Francis Regis Hadano.

Front row from left, Sister Norberta Hunnewinkel and Sister Marion Kikukawa. Back row from left, Sister Joan of Arc Souza, Sister Rose Annette Ahuna, Sister Samuel Marie Settar and Sister Francis Regis Hadano.

Cory Lum/CIvil Beat

Those protests paid off, as the Syracuse, New York-based Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities issued a statement Tuesday announcing that it was rescinding the decision and allowing the nuns to stay at the Manoa convent “until the assisted living facility proposed by the St. Francis Healthcare System at Kupuna Village is ready for occupancy. At that time, all the sisters living at the convent will move to Kupuna Village.”

That option, which will relocate the nuns to Liliha, is one they were open to.

“Leadership heard the concerns the sisters expressed regarding the plan to move two times within a short time frame,” said Rochelle Cassella, congregational director of communications for the sisters, in the statement.

The original plan that led to the protests would have had the sisters moving to The Plaza in Pearl City next spring with the option to move to Kupuna Village when it is available.

“The sisters expressed a strong desire to support the health care system’s expansion into assisted living and the sisters have agreed that they will move to Kupuna Village when it is ready,” Cassella said.

The Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities is a congregation of 420 Catholic sisters in 12 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as in Kenya and Peru.

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