Created By: Nazareth College
Address: 4421 Lower River Rd, Stella Niagara, NY 14144
Stella Niagara is a hamlet in Niagara County, New York located along the Niagara River just north of Niagara Falls. Within New York state, a hamlet is defined as a small unincorporated settlement, which means it is not ruled by the local municipal government.
The main religious organization in Stella Niagara is The Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity, also known as, The Sisters of Stella Niagara. The Sisters of St. Francis were originally founded in 1835 in the Netherlands, by Mother Magdalen (Catherine) Damen. Catherine had become familiar with the Franciscan spirituality and decided she was going to dedicate her life to the Franciscan order. The core values, beliefs and traditions of the Franciscan spirituality are heavily immersed in Catholicism and the Catholic faith. They focus on charity, kindness, and selflessness. In 1874, a few missionary Sisters immigrated from Europe and arrived in Buffalo, New York where they went on to establish one of the congregations in the United States. It was there, in the Diocese of Buffalo, that the first American motherhouse was created. Then in 1907, the sisters moved from Buffalo to what would eventually become known as Stella Niagara. Here they honored many of the traditions and beliefs of St. Francis of Assisi. In 1971, The Sisters of St. Francis founded the Stella Niagara Education Park. It has a private Catholic school, convent, and hospitality renewal center. With a passion for education, they wanted to ensure there was a school for kids (ranging from preschool to eighth grade) to learn
spiritually, mentally, and physically. It was also very important to them to encourage and teach children the kind and loving ways of St. Francis of Assisi. They believed this values-based curriculum would enrich a child’s heart, mind, and body.
Finally, in carrying on the traditions of St. Francis even further, The Sisters of St. Francis
of Penance and Christian Charity, opened The Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center
in 1974. Their mission statement is, “The Center of Renewal is a community of service. In the
spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, we provide hospitality, promote spiritual growth, and foster the
development of people. Individuals and groups are welcome to this environment of peace and
beauty”(Center Of Renewal).
Center of Renewal.“Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center.” Center of Renewal
Retreat & Conference Center at Stella Niagara,
https://www.stellaniagararetreats.org/About-Us/Brief-History. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.
The Sisters At Stella Niagara. “The Sisters at Stella Niagara.” Sisters of St. Francis,
https://www.stellaosf.org/the-sisters-at-stella-niagara. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.
Stella Niagara Education Park “Stella Niagara History - Catholic School between Youngstown &
Lewiston NY.” Stella Niagara Education Park,
https://stella-niagara.com/stella-advantage/stella-history/. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.
Written by: Dominic Delvecchio
This point of interest is part of the tour: Historic Religious Site Tour of Lewiston & Youngstown NY