WILMINGTON, Del. — The last Dominican nuns in Delaware are leaving the state.

The News Journal reports (http://delonline.us/2wTagCj ) the three nuns, their two cats and 3,000 religious books will be moving to Illinois at the end of the month.

Holy Spirit Catholic Church held a mass and dinner in the sisters’ honor on Saturday.

The move comes after they have struggled to recruit novices.

The youngest of the three nuns is 72. They first arrived in Delaware in the summer of 2007. By 2012, two novices had arrived, but both decided to leave the vocation.

The nuns will temporarily by staying with a dozen other nuns at the Monastery of Mary the Queen in Springfield, Illinois. Then, they will move 30 miles south to a new monastery overlooking a lake.

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