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Leaders, residents dedicate Mount Carmel Bluffs



Leaders playing key roles in the redevelopment of Mount Carmel Bluffs gathered with residents to dedicate the senior living community. A shared ministry of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) and Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS), the community serves BVM as well as older adults of all faiths in the greater Dubuque area.

LaDonna Manternach, BVM president, addressed the impact the beautiful campus has on area residents.  “We are grateful to be part of and to share in the PHS mission of compassionate care for seniors at Mount Carmel Bluffs,” said Manternach. “May the natural beauty of this sacred place, which served as our congregational home for over 120 years, continue to inspire and generate peace for all who live here for many years to come.”

Located at 1040 Carmel Drive on the scenic bluffs of the Mississippi River, Mount Carmel Bluffs offers a continuum of care, including 16 townhomes, 116 independent living apartments, 40 enriched living apartments, 21 memory care apartments and 60 care center suites. This array of living options enables Mount Carmel Bluffs residents to enjoy the quality of life they desire with the assistance they need. Daily life at Mount Carmel Bluffs offers desirable social programs and convenient amenities for a comfortable and engaging lifestyle.

Geri Schilling-Johnson, Mount Carmel Bluffs campus administrator, welcomed 100 guests to the dedication. “Our mission of enriching lives and touching the hearts
of older adults is made tangible through the efforts of our incredible, caring staff,” Schilling-Johnson stated. “We seek to empower our community to connect, grow, thrive and celebrate the gift of each new day.”

City of Dubuque Council Member Katy Wethal thanked both BVM and PHS for their work in revitalizing the community. “The presence and service of BVM has been transformative and touched people and projects everywhere you look in Dubuque,” observed Wethal. “We are so blessed that Presbyterian Homes & Services has joined in [providing] community and care for citizens for decades to come.”

David Palmer, project developer, Senior Housing Partners, credited the important contributions of project partners who brought the redevelopment to fruition. MidWestOne Bank, Dubuque Bank & Trust, and Fidelity Bank & Trust provided financing; Pope Design Group, Saint Paul, Minn., served as architect; and, Conlon Construction, Dubuque, served as the general contractor. “Our team was tremendous and this bright, beautiful campus is a credit to their professionalism,” Palmer shared.

The Rev. Monsignor Thomas Toale, moderator of the curia, Archdiocese of Dubuque, closed the celebration with a blessing. “As we gather to bless this beautiful space,” he stated, “we give thanks for all the hands and hearts, the gifts and skills which built this place. … May the blessing of our loving God be upon this place … and upon all who live and work here.”

In addition to Mount Carmel Bluffs, PHS owns, co-owns or manages four additional senior living communities in Iowa, including: Highland Ridge, Williamsburg; Mill Pond, Ankeny; Prairie Gate, Council Bluffs; and Walnut Ridge, Clive. In addition, HallMar Village, Cedar Rapids, will open this fall.

Mount Carmel Bluffs has been in the care of the BVM sisters since 1889. Now open to all older adults, the campus includes a barber shop, beauty salon, café, chapels, library, outdoor walking paths, private family dining rooms, restaurant-style dining rooms, and the Roberta Kuhn Center for adult learning and leisure opportunities. At the heart of Mount Carmel Bluffs is the BVM Motherhouse, a landmark preserved and remodeled as the “Town Center.”  Learn more at: www.mountcarmelbluffs.org.

The Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) is a community of women religious whose members, in response to a personal call from God, have chosen a vowed life of prayer, ministry, and community. Founded in 1833 by Mary Frances Clarke, BVMs express their mission of being freed and helping others enjoy freedom in service to God’s people through their core values of freedom, education, charity, and justice. Mount Carmel is the home of nearly 180 retired sisters and the administrative headquarters of BVM. Learn more at www.bvmcong.org.



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