Old Windows At Ossining Convent Have Elderly Nuns Suffocating Through The Summer

OSSINING, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Elderly nuns in Westchester said they feel trapped in suffocating heat in their convent, because of old windows that desperately need to be replaced.

As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, the sisters who have helped others, now need help themselves.

“I love it. It’s my home,” Sister Noel Doescher said.

Web Extra: Help Out The Maryknoll Sisters

Doescher, 89, spent nearly 40 years in Kenya as a missionary for the Maryknoll Sisters.

Now, she along with 200 other nuns, some in their 90s and older are at the ‘motherhouse’ up the Hudson River in Ossining, to either recharge or retire from traveling.

“I chose this life, and I’m very happy that I did,” Doescher said.

But, she’s looking forward to a better window. Doescher can barely open and close the one in her bedroom, neither could CBS2’s Sanchez.

The 92-year-old convent building window’s haven’t been replaced since the 1950s. On hot days like Tuesday, some nuns can’t crack them open to find relief from the heat.

“You have to open it like this and hope it stays there, and then ugh, I can’t move it,” Doescher said.

More than 400 windows need to be replaced. Each one costs $1,200 and there isn’t any money the budgets for the new windows. For the missionary sisters asking for help instead of providing it isn’t easy.

“We don’t like to complain,” Doescher said.

The nuns have pulled muscles and injured their backs because of the deteriorating windows, so they decided to turn to social media.

“Our energy bills are to the skies, which means the money that we’re giving to the electric company we could be using for the poor. So, in a way, asking for the windows is a way of responsibility and accountability,” the nuns said in a youtube video.

After always putting others first, perhaps now others will step forward to care for them.