This small house is the oldest building on the property. It was the farmhouse of Adam and Mary Elizabeth Schlegel. In 1876, they donated their 83-acre farm to the sisters as a gift for their good work in Brooklyn. In exchange for the land, the Schlegels asked our congregation to care for the neighborhood orphans and the elderly. Mother Seraphina Staimer agreed, purchasing 11 more acres adjacent to the farm. When construction began for the Rosary Hall novitiate and chapel, sisters moved into the farmhouse. For a few months, this building served as the very first novitiate on the Motherhouse grounds. A novitiate is a place where women are educated before professing religious vows. Currently, this house serves as a place for sisters to rest or make a retreat.
REFLECTION: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King Jr
Seraphina Cottage is listed on the National Historic Register. Learn more about Seraphina Cottage and the other sites on Motherhouse grounds that are on the National Register at Dominican Life website.