Q: Where do Dominicans go when they get old?
Sounds like the start of a bad joke, uh? Like, "How many Jesuits does it take to change a light bulb?" Answer: "Thirteen. One to change the bulb and twelve to write articles in America condemning papal infallibility!"
You will sometimes hear religious say, "We don't retire. We just drop dead." True enough.
Seriously, as long as a friar is not in need of 24/7 nursing care, he can live in his assigned priory. We have one friar in my province who is 95 and still going!
If intensive nursing care is necessary, most provinces have facilities where friars can live and receive the care they need. About ten years ago, my province joined with several other congregations of religious to build a facility in New Orleans called "Our Lady of Wisdom." It serves as a traditional nursing home and as a place for friars to get temporary intensive care. It's nothing like the nursing homes we imagine--sterile hospital smell, bright surgical lighting, etc. OLW is very homey--lots of plants, warm colors, wood, etc. It's organized into "neighbors" based on the intensity of care the residents need. There's a large chapel, library, and outdoor space for walks.
Thanks for the question. Please pray for the brothers and sisters at Our Lady of Wisdom!
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