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Insurance company evicting nuns from housing occupied for 80 years

September 24, 1997

BALTIMORE (AP) _ An insurance company has served an eviction notice to a group of nuns, ordering them to leave the historic home where they have lived and worked for 80 years by the end of November.

USF&G Corp. says Provincial House is unsafe to live in and that the Sisters of Mercy have broken off negotiations over renovating the home in exchange for a long-term lease.

The nuns also have been using the home rent-free since USF&G bought the building and surrounding 74 acres for $2.5 million in 1982.

``I think it’s very ironic that our 15-year history of generosity, first to the Sisters of Mercy, and later to the theological center, is what has put us in this untenable situation,″ said Jay Erbe, vice president of administrative services for USF&G.

The eviction notice was served Monday.

Sister Mary Aquin O’Neill and Diane Caplin, co-directors of the Mount St. Agnes Theological Center for Women, which is run from the home, told The (Baltimore) Sun they did not know where they would go.

``I haven’t a clue,″ O’Neill said. ``It’s not just an educational institution, but it’s a question where living human beings will reside.″

The nuns sold the blue-stone, 10-bedroom home and property in order to raise money for their retirement. Six nuns work in the home; two live there.

Since negotiations have broken off, USF&G is no longer interested in improving and maintaining the home for the nuns.

``We’re certainly not going to put any investment dollars into a structure we cannot use,″ company spokeswoman Kerrie Burch-DeLuca said.

The building must be vacated now because it has an inadequate heating system, falling roof shingles and bad electrical wiring, Erbe said.

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