TUCSON, Ariz. — A Tucson monastery is shutting down after housing nuns from a Missouri congregation for about 75 years.

The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration announced the closure is less than two years away, citing aging members and fewer nuns, the Arizona Daily Star (http://bit.ly/2dl216L ) reported.

It’s unknown whether the 16 nuns in Tucson will join the congregation in Clyde, Missouri.

“It was a difficult decision to come to, but it has to do with basically a fewer number of sisters today and the fact that everyone is aging,” said Sister Joan Ridley, superior of the Tucson Monastery. “We don’t have many newer members, so we want to regroup forces and consolidate sisters in one spot.”

She says there are about 65 nuns in the congregation.

“We may be in touch with some other national Catholic organizations that purchase property and convert it to senior housing or things like that,” Ridley said. “Our first desire is that it would be used for the good of seniors and stay within the religious tradition.”

Some of the nuns have lived at the monastery for about 25 years.

The monastery holds four chapel services daily as well as Sunday Mass.

“We’re very sad,” Ridley said. “It’s a real loss to the city of Tucson and the people that we have grown to love and who love us.”

Bishop Gerald Kicanas of the Diocese of Tucson released a statement on the upcoming closure.

“The Benedictine Sisters have been a blessing and gift in our community since 1935,” he said. “They have held us in prayer and opened their home to us all. . They cannot imagine the impact they have had on us, not just as Catholics but all in our community.”

Information from: Arizona Daily Star, http://www.tucson.com

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