Only $280,000 per member of the community

Kathy Shaidle blogs about the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a washed-up teaching order whose 200 remaining members have an average age of 86. They haven’t let that statistic stop them from undertaking a $56 million eco-renovation on their headquarters near Detroit.
At this point, they owe $37 mil on the construction costs, and Heaven knows if they can ever foot the bill. I certainly wouldn’t want to be their creditor.
The sisters seem to be very progressive-minded, but may have overlooked a possible justice issue somewhere: taking on debts that you know you can never repay. Or is this a sort of reverse mortgage, where the sisters get to enjoy the loan now and pledge to give up the property later?
Eventually the building can be sold and converted into a Museum of Dead Religious Movements or a John Cardinal Dearden Cultural Center. (Oh; same thing.)
Update: Here’s another angle on this: if you have $56M to spend, consider the option of not spending it. Conservatively invested, it would generate about 10% a year, or $5.6M. You can do a lot of building maintenance with that, and still have money left to buy some carbon-credit indulgences.

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