Hayden Homes and St. Francis of Assisi officials break ground on a new convent.
Hayden Homes and St. Francis of Assisi officials break ground on a new convent.

Welcome back from a Labor Day weekend we hope meant family, fun, rest, and celebration of all that comes of hard work and a sense of purpose that fuels it.

Why not start the week on a high note, recognizing in some small way that the work we do sometimes means simply saluting you in the work you do.

And why it matters in so many ways.

One small example speaks volumes about what home builders, their partners, their families, and their associates do, 24-7, 365 days a year, whether or not the market's booming, slowing down, or reduced to a faint shadow of itself.

The parish of St. Francis of Assisi--and it's so-named Catholic pre-K through middle school--in Bend, Ore., needed two things to stay viable, and continue serving a community it's had a presence in for 82 years.

Teachers and a place for them to live.

As it turns out the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco, an order of nuns whose U.S.-base is in San Antonio, were willing to offer a solution to the first problem, deploying six women to the Pacific Northwest community of Bend, Ore., as part of their mission.

As for the second issue--a place for them to reside--well, home builders took care of that challenge. Namely, Hayden Homes, one of the region's largest privately-held home building organizations--on pace to close on more than 1,650 homes in the Northwest in 2018, stepped up to the plate.

Hayden Homes' Waterbrook plan served as the model for the new 3,200 sq. ft. convent in Bend, Ore.
Hayden Homes' Waterbrook plan served as the model for the new 3,200 sq. ft. convent in Bend, Ore.

This past weekend, on Saturday evening at 5 p.m. Pacific time to be exact, church and local officials joined with a few of the executives of Hayden Homes to welcome the nuns of the Salesian Sisters into their new home, a 3,200 square foot, 6-bedroom convent, whose floorplan and elevations bears uncanny resemblance to a popular Hayden Homes plan, the Waterbrook.

That's because, that's exactly the floorplan Hayden Homes, led by ceo Dennis Murphy and team, produce on a lot in a long-settled Hayden neighborhood subdivision called Oak Tree, with a few adjustments.

"We designed what would normally be the 'den' as a chapel space," says Murphy, whose children have been attending St. Francis school. "It's been exciting and gratifying to have this project come together, particularly with support from our trades and suppliers on this effort."

Construction of the new convent began with a groundbreaking and blessing attended by Fr. Jose Thomas Mudakodiyil and Fr. Victor Meña as well as the Building Committee members: Dennis Murphy of Hayden Homes, Dan McLean of Tri-County Paving, Crystal Mooney, St. Francis School Principal and Kevin Link of SunWest Builders.

“We are grateful Hayden Homes, the Parish community and numerous partners have come together to ensure that the Salesian Sisters will have a new home as they join our community in Bend,” said Crystal Mooney, St. Francis School Principal. “Education is central to their charism and their presence will be most impactful to our students and families. Their order has been rooted in education and the Catholic Faith for 147 years; bringing their expertise and traditions to St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School will deepen our 82 years of education in Bend.”

The convent is only part of Hayden Homes cultural DNA of giving back and giving forward to its communities, having contributed $13.3 million through the 501(c)(3) Non-Profit, First Story, since 2001. To date, First Story has provided 72 families throughout the Pacific Northwest with a safe, healthy affordable home and a first step toward financial freedom.

"We'll deliver five to seven homes to families who otherwise might not have a home during 2018 along," says Murphy.

A big BUILDER hat tip to the folks at Hayden Homes, and all the home builders around the country like them who devote time, effort, materials, labor, land, and money to continue making home building the uniquely noble livelihood it is. We thank you.