In the mid-2000s, it was repurposed to provide housing for the international students who came to Ryan from Asia to study in the United States. However, once COVID hit in 2020, this program came to an abrupt end and since that time, the Friary has remained vacant.
We are excited about the future plans for the Friary as it will take on a whole new meaning within our community. Throughout Northeast Philadelphia, the need for senior living facilities remains one of the most significant issues. An organization named Catholic Housing and Community Services has a tentative agreement with The Archdiocese of Philadelphia to acquire the building, the beautiful space in front, and the parking lot behind the building. Catholic Housing and Community Services has plans to add an addition to the building and creating 44 apartments for seniors. A presentation was made to the community last February, and it was well received. The facility will be renamed “The Saint Katherine Drexel Place” – a nod to the special relationship St Katherine Drexel and Archbishop Ryan shared.
There are many steps that still need to take place before any work begins on the Friary, including working with the State of Pennsylvania to finalize funding. While we may be several years away from completion, we look forward to welcoming our new neighbors!!!