A Time to Build: Maryland Province Provides a New Spiritual and Nurturing Home for Its Senior Jesuits
The Jesuits of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus recently completed a breathtakingly modern new building on their northern Baltimore campus. This new residential community is designed to offer senior Jesuits assisted-living services while also enabling them to continue their ministries in and around Baltimore and throughout the Maryland province.
The new, light-filled steel and concrete St. Claude la Colombiere Jesuit Community Residence, designed by the architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, replaces the previous residence on the property which was built in 1961. Designed around a stone entry courtyard, the two-story chapel is the central design feature and the heart of this Jesuit community home. The facility provides rooms for the 38 members of the community along with a dining hall, commercial grade kitchen, living room, library, office and work space as well as recreational facilities.
“The new building, built in harmony with the beautiful site, will promote better spiritual and psychological health for our men,” notes Jesuit Father William Rickle, superior for the Colombiere Jesuit community.
As the need for assisted living had grown more pressing for the Maryland province, with more than 60 percent of the 349 Jesuits in the Maryland province 60 or older, officials began looking at their options to provide for its senior men in the Society.
Dedicated in the fall of 2011, the new structure is located on the highest point of the property, set among mature trees and open space. Since the need for assisted living is predicted to decrease in future years, the design of the building is flexible so that it can in the future serve as a community for Jesuits in active ministry, allowing the continuation of a dynamic Jesuit presence in Baltimore for decades to come.
In the video piece below, created by Halkin Photography, Jesuit Fathers Rickle and James Casciotti, socius for the Maryland province, discuss how the building ties in with the spiritual elements of Jesuit community life and, in turn, how the building fits into the landscape of the property.