LEWISTON — The Center for Wisdom’s Women invites the public to attend a community celebration to launch the last phase of the capital campaign for Sophia’s House.

It will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, on the grounds of 143 Blake St. behind St. Mary’s Nutrition Center. Food, building tours, games and community building activities will be available, with special guests sharing music and poetry. 

Women with Wings will lead several singing circles in the former chapel of the old convent. Each session will be followed by a tour of the building. Women with Wings’ purpose is to create a safe and sacred space for women to explore and nourish their spirits through song and chant.

Also in the convent, Claire Hersom will read from her poetry collection titled “Drowning: A Poetic Memoir.” Claire has taught at the women’s center and her poetry is inspired by her experiences as a single mother living on a limited income.

Other musicians include Greg and Jessie Boardman sharing tunes and folk songs on fiddle and guitar. Jessy Kendall will lead a drumming circle. Rhythm instruments will be available for use, and attendees are invited to bring their own.

Top It Frozen Dessert Bar will provide free frozen yogurt along with other snacks. Volunteers from Health Affiliates Maine will offer creative activities for the young and young at heart, including painting Sophia Stones with positive messages. The stones will then be hidden around the neighborhood and shared via Facebook posts when found.


The Sophia’s House project involves restoring the convent building to provide a long-term residential recovery center for women who have survived trafficking/exploitation, prison and addiction. It has been vacant for 16 years and is being donated by St. Mary’s Health System. 

The total cost of renovations and repairs is estimated at $1.6 million. The bulk of it will be provided by a combination of historic tax credits, a grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston under Norway Savings Bank’s sponsorship, a Community Development Block Grant from the city and two significant lead gifts. 

A campaign cabinet is working to raise the additional $550,000.

The goal is to begin renovations late this year and open the house before the end of 2019.

The kick-off event is funded by a grant from Healthy Neighborhoods. In case of rain, it will be held in St. Mary’s Nutrition Center and the convent building. For more information contact Klara Tammany at 207-513-3922 or visit wisdomswomen.org.

Audrey Chapman and Mike Carey are campaign cabinet co-chairmen of the Center for Wisdom’s Women fundraiser for Sophia’s House in Lewiston.

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