By Will Shaw
Just before the fourth of July weekend seemed like a good time to re-visit the Immaculate Heart of Mary Novitiate in Godfrey, IL and see how the renovation has progressed since March. The house, which sits on over 200 acres, was originally built in 1916 as a summer home for the Levis family, owners of the Illinois Glass Company in nearby Alton. The Oblates acquired it in the late 1940’s for their novitiate. Several additions and updates have been made over the years, but at long last the time had come for a major overhaul of the building. With the expert direction of Jasmine Engineering, and a formidable crew of carpenters and crafts people, the historic building is being beautifully restored for the formation of new generations of Missionary Oblates.
As you will see below, I’ve tried to provide “before” and “after’ photos placing pictures from my previous two trips to the novitiate over those which were taken on July 1.
The target date for completion of the work is early August, the construction supervisor told me they plan to make it so, the next update should be the finished Novitiate in all its renewed splendor. Move in for the formators is not expected to take place until later in the fall.