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Sisters of St. Joseph Donate East Wheeling Building to Grow Ohio Valley

photo by: Photo by Shelley Hanson

The Most Rev. Mark Brennan, bishop of the Wheeling-Charleston Catholic Diocese, blesses with holy water Grow Ohio Valley’s new house on 15th Street along with people in crowd during a transitional ceremony organized by the Congregation of St. Joseph on Friday. The Sisters of St. Joseph gave the 15th Street house, which once served as Wheeling Hospital, to Grow OV.

WHEELING – The Sisters of St. Joseph provided a transitional prayer ceremony for its 15th Street house, which it recently donated to Grow Ohio Valley.

The ceremony, which included a blessing of the house and the people in attendance, was held Friday at the home in East Wheeling. The Most Rev. Mark Brennan, bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, did the blessing with holy water.

Several of the sisters made remarks, as did Grow OV Interim Executive Director Glynis Board and Susan Hogan, chairwoman of the Grow OV board.

The historic property once served as Wheeling Hospital and was staffed by the sisters starting in 1853. Eventually the hospital moved to Main Street in North Wheeling and then later to its current and much larger facility at 1 Medical Park. It is now named WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital.

The sisters decided to purchase the original 15th Street building in 1996. It served as a residence for some sisters for about 15 years.

photo by: Photo by Shelley Hanson

Sister Mary Palmer reads a statement during a ceremony blessing the giving of a house to Grow Ohio Valley on Friday. Also shown is Susan Hogan, chairwoman of the Grow OV board.

Board said the organization plans to use the building mainly as office space, but also to house AmeriCorps students who are working for the organization. In the future they may use the house as an “air bed and breakfast” to promote agricultural tourism in the area. One of Grow OV’s greenhouses is located just yards from the home.

Grow OV’s mission is to build an accessible food system in East Wheeling and the Sisters of St. Joseph has been supportive of the effort from the beginning, Board said.

“I want to boldly love how these sisters demonstrate,” she said.

In a press release, Board added, “The values and work ethic they continue to model for us have had a major impact on our goals and how we operate.

“We strive to live up to the high bar they place for all of us who find ourselves involved in serving our communities. This house provides a beautiful and historic location to work from. We are extremely grateful to the Congregation of St. Joseph for offering us their beloved house in East Wheeling.”

photo by: Photo by Shelley Hanson

Susan Hogan, chairwoman of the Grow Ohio Valley board, talks about the significance of the Sisters of St. Joseph giving Grow OV the 15th Street house during a prayer ceremony on Friday.

Grow OV, a non-profit, also operates the Public Market, located on the first floor of the Robert C. Byrd Intermodal Transportation Center in downtown Wheeling. It sells produce and other food items and operates a restaurant there, too.

Board also read a statement from one of Grow OV’s founders, Danny Swan, who could not attend because he is on vacation with his family. Swan’s co-founder, Ken Peralta, was in attendance and was recognized during the ceremony. Peralta said he is no longer with Grow OV, but still lives in Wheeling.

Sister Carmella Campione, at right, unwraps and shows a statue given to Grow OV Interim Executive Director Glynis Board, at left, on Friday during the blessing of the 15th Street house given to Grow OV by the Congregation of St. Joseph.

People talk outside the 15th Street home on Friday after the blessing of the house given to Grow Ohio Valley by the Congregation of St. Joseph.

Ken Peralta, co-founder of Grow Ohio Valley, stands up Friday while being recognized during a ceremony for the 15th Street property given to Grow OV from the Congregation of St. Joseph.

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