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County Conservation Futures buys Holy Names Sisters’ Spokane convent, campus

The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM), U.S.-Ontario Province, announced April 21 that the City of Spokane has acquired 31.14 acres of their former 65-acre Spokane campus at 2911 W. Fort George Wright Dr.

The city bought land along the Spokane River with $2.65 million from the Spokane County Conservation Futures Program, which sought to permanently preserve the site for its ecological, recreational and environmental attributes. Holy Names Sister Kathleen Hilton, who led the property planning process, is grateful the land will be preserved.

“Proceeds from the sale will help fund long-term housing and care for our aging sisters. It will also enable us to continue our Spokane ministries of education, social services and financial assistance to organizations who serve the poor, especially marginalized women and children,” she said, adding that they also continue to be engaged with Holy Names Music Center and Transitions. 

The Sisters of the Holy Names sold part of the land last year to Catholic Charities for the “Rising Strong” program. 

Catholic Charities, in partnership with Spokane-based Inland Group, is also using part of the property to develop affordable housing for seniors and families. The city had previously zoned the property for high-density housing.

Since 1967, the Holy Names Sisters used the campus that includes two buildings with residential units, administrative offices, a chapel, common dining and recreation areas, an art studio, gathering spaces and retreat facilities.

Three years ago the sisters began a long-range planning process. With many aging, they looked to others with expertise to manage long-term housing and health care needs. In 2013 and 2014, the Holy Names Province moved sisters from the convent to Brookdale at South Regal and nearby apartments.

Sr. Kathleen said Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher founded the religious community in 1843 in Quebec, Canada. Today, more than 800 sisters world-wide serve the underserved, especially in primary to higher education, plus in arts and music.

The sisters came to Spokane in 1888 before Washington statehood. They built Holy Names Academy, 1216 N. Superior, and Holy Names College, 1116 N. Superior.  They later moved to Fort Wright College, serving thousands of students over the years.

For information, call 910-734-3761 or email

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