When the Sisters of Mercy first came from Albany in 1926, to staff the new School of the Annunciation in Ilion, their residence was a large wood frame home, formerly part of the Bennison estate. Situated adjacent to the school, this house served admirably as their home until 1959.
At this time, during a canonical visitation, Bishop Scully suggested that more suitable living quarters be made available to the Sisters. With the increase of Sisters in the parish from four to eight, overcrowded conditions resulted.
Consequently, the residing pastor, the Rev. Daniel A. Horan, purchased the adjoining land and property from Mr. George Gilmartin. The Sisters moved across the street into the former home of Dr. Jones, awaiting the construction of the new convent. The Gilmartin property and the abandoned convent were demolished to clear the way for the new convent.
Under the direction of Edward R. Scheibler, a representative from Foley Associates Company, Rochester, N. Y., a parish drive was initiated to raise the anticipated goal of $175,000. At the initial fund dinner, Bishop Scully told the workers "the work you do in this drive will determine the success or failure of your mission." And success it was! More than 300 workers made a house-to-house solicitation, and the co-operation and generosity of the parishioners was overwhelming.
The new convent, designed in the shape of a "T" by Myron A. Jordan, architect, provides 9,860 square feet of floor area. One arm of the "T" includes the Chapel, sacristy, superior's office, two parlors, foyer and a lavatory while the other arm comprises the Sisters' community room, dining room and kitchen.
The leg of the "T" is a two-story unit. On the upper level are 16 Sisters' rooms and related bath and lavatory facilities. The lower level includes the boiler room, sewing room, laundry, storeroom and a large recreation ball.
Finally on March 10, 1961 the Sisters moved into their new home at 61 West Street. Bishop Scully came to Ilion to congratulate the parishioners and bless the new convent.
When the parishioners toured the new convent on March 17, 1961 at the public open house, they experienced great feelings of pride and accomplishment.