Effective August 1, 2010, the office has been closed at Mount de Chantal. Requests for copies of transcripts or
arranging a paid search of the Academy archives should be pursued with staff at the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston
(information can be found by clicking on the buttons in the Navigation Menu on the left-hand side of this page).
All other requests and communication should be directed to: Sister Joanne Gonter VHM, Georgetown Visitation Monastery,
1500 35th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007-2700 Phone: 202-337-0305, E-mail: email@example.com
Sisters of the Visitation to Depart Wheeling ¨C Wheeling Hospital Is Exploring Purchase Options
At an Ohio County Public Library Lunch With Books program held April 13, 2010, Sister Joanne Gonter, VHM noted that the three remaining
Sisters of the Visitation are leaving Wheeling Saturday, April 17th for the Georgetown Visitation Monastery. In the interim, Wheeling Hospital will
provide security for the Mount property and is currently exploring how acquisition of the property could fit into the HospitalĄ¯s strategic planning.
For more details, see:
Sisters to Relocate to Georgetown
After maintaining a presence in Wheeling, West Virginia since 1848,
the remaining women religious in the Sisters of Visitation community at
Mount de Chantal will be relocated to the Georgetown Visitation Monastery
in Washington, D.C. The relocation has been dictated by the Vatican and
is typical when a religious community grows smaller in size.
Here is a press release of December 1st with the details of this move:
Sisters of the Visitation in Wheeling Moving to Washington, D.C.
WHEELING, W.Va. - After 161 years of service to the people of the Wheeling
area, five Sisters of the Visitation will be moving to Washington, D.C., to
reside at the monastery at Georgetown Visitation Academy. The move is
likely to take place late this winter or early next spring.
"The deciding factor for this action is based in Church law relative to
monastic communities with declining numbers," said Sister Mary Alicia
Sours, V.H.M. "It is typical for the Vatican to move a smaller congregation
like ours into the nearest monastery within the order."
Sister Mary Alicia expressed the gratitude of the sisters to the Most
Reverend Michael J. Bransfield, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston,
who had applied to the Vatican on behalf of the Sisters with a
proposal to keep the Sisters of the Visitation in Wheeling. "Bishop
Bransfield strongly supported our desire to remain in Wheeling, but our
request to Vatican officials was not approved. The decision of the Vatican
is consistent with Church law; however, we were hoping to be given an
With ages ranging from 75 - 83, the Sisters of the Visitation who will move
to Georgetown Visitation are Sister Mary Josephine DiBiase, Sister Joanne
Gonter, Sister Eleanor May Klaber, Sister Mary Alicia Sours, and Sister Mary
"While we will greatly miss our friends and alumnae in the Wheeling area, a
move to a larger religious community in Washington is more suited to the
monastic life we have chosen," Sister Mary Alicia said. "The convent at
Georgetown Visitation is beautiful, and most importantly, we will be
affiliated with a dynamic school, which was our mission in Wheeling for so
many years." Mother Mary Berchmans Hannan, Superior of the Georgetown
Monastery, stated that the Sisters at Georgetown have had a long standing
relationship with the Sisters at Mount de Chantal and that she and the
other Sisters are looking forward to receiving them into their home.
The future of the Mount de Chantal complex of six buildings with
construction dates ranging from 1865 to 1982 has been and will continue
to be studied by a group of expert advisors who assist the sisters. "Being
listed as we are on the National Register of Historic Places does not
guarantee the preservation of buildings as some would believe," said Sister
Joanne Gonter, Alumnae Director of the former Mount de Chantal Visitation
The Sisters in Wheeling will be moving to the first Visitation monastery
established in the United States. Founded in 1799, the Georgetown
Visitation community sent sisters to found a convent and school in
Baltimore in 1837. In 1848 eight Visitation Sisters came from Baltimore to
Wheeling, Virginia, to establish their monastery and academy on April 4th.
just six days later the Sisters welcomed their first pupils at the new
"Wheeling Female Academy." In 1849 the Sisters started Wheeling's first
parochial school, Saint joseph's Benevolent School. It was set up in the
basement of the diocesan Cathedral, which was next door to the convent.
The Sisters later moved to their new location on what is now Washington
Avenue in 1865.
"Since the formation of the United States Second Federation of the Order of
the Visitation in the 1950s, the Sisters of the Visitation in Wheeling have
had many opportunities to spend time with sisters from other houses,
particularly from Georgetown, and we are deeply grateful that they are also
looking forward to our joining them," Sister joanne Gonter said. "We plan
to maintain contact with our many friends in and beyond the Wheeling area
and to enlist Wheeling area alumnae to keep alive and active an alumnae
association founded in 1898 that has been such a vital sisterhood since
Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy graduated
its final class
On May 31, 2008, Mount de Chantal graduated its final class after 160 years of operation.
The Final Alumnae Day in Wheeling was held at Mount de Chantal on April 10, 2010.
Subsequent Alumnae Days will be planned at the new Georgetown Monastery location
If you are interested in joining the Mount de Chantal Alumnae Association or need to contact
Sister Gonter or any of the other the Sisters please use the following contact information:
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Chantal. All rights reserved.
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