Florida Couple Opens Home To Nuns Displaced By Hurricane Ian

The cloistered nuns found themselves with nowhere to go when Hurricane Ian destroyed their monastery in Fort Myers Beach.

Fort Myers Nuns
Photo: John Rossi

A group of cloistered Florida nuns found themselves with nowhere to go as Hurricane Ian made landfall as a deadly Category 4 hurricane last month.

Sister Mary Frances and three other nuns recalled watching in horror as water flooded the first floor of their monastery in Fort Myers Beach, confining them to the second floor.

"I couldn't believe when it came over our eight-foot wall. It was just unbelievable," Sister Mary Frances told Fox News. "And we [had] no idea of the devastation under[neath] us."

In an interview with National Catholic Register, Bishop Frank Dewane explained that the nuns are a part of the Poor Clare order. The women made vows of permanency, meaning they never leave their homes.

"We had tried to encourage them to leave before the storm, but they decided to stay," Dewane explained. But with their home at San Damiano Monastery unlivable, the nuns found themselves in a dire situation.

Fortunately, Mark and Joanne Stahlman invited them into their home in Naples, until they were able to move into more permanent homes in Ave Maria.

Joanne's brother John Rossi shared a photo of the couple and the nuns shopping at Publix on Facebook.

"I told my sister Joanne, sometimes God places people in positions who he trusts to handle unforeseen circumstances," he wrote.

Sister Mary Frances told Fox News that the sisters hope to be able to rebuild soon.

"We just have to take it day by day," she said.

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