Every now and then, I have the opportunity to visit Stella Niagara, which is located two miles north of the Village of Lewiston on Lower River Road. I’ve gone there for painting classes, as well as for a volunteer weekend with the New York State Master Naturalist Program.
It is a peaceful and a pleasant place to visit. Located ten miles north of Niagara Falls, Stella Niagara is a community of service, and programs offered include a Montessori school for smaller children (ages three to five), as well as a school for all grades up to eight. There is also a Center of Renewal, which offers to the community a range of retreats and other programs to encourage spiritual growth.
Stella Niagara was established by the Sisters of Saint Francis of Penance and Christian Charity, Holy Name Province, an order that was established in the Netherlands in 1835. Sisters from that order came to the United States in 1874 to offer assistance to the German parishes in Buffalo of Saint Michael’s and Saint Ann’s.
A teaching order, the order founded the Seminary of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in 1908. Not long afterward, Stella Niagara Educational Park was founded. The Center of Renewal was founded in 1974.
Stella Niagara consists of several buildings, including the Center of Renewal, the Pottery, and a few others. The architectural style of the buildings is Gothic. Across the street from the main building is a 29 acre plot of land that was sold in 2015 to the Western New York Land Conservancy.
The land includes a quarter of a mile of shoreline on the lower Niagara River. This project is the Land Conservancy’s largest and most ambitious thus far, according to its website. The Land Conservancy has been restoring the land to its original condition by removing invasive plant species.
The Land Conservancy is also adding nature trails and interpretive signs.
Native plant species and trees are being planted there for visual appeal and also to protect against soil erosion.
Also, on this property, you will find a very tiny chapel, which is the smallest religious structure in Western New York, a grotto, and a natural site for launching kayaks and canoes.
4 thoughts on “Exploring peaceful Stella Niagara”
Beautiful complex. Thank you for the tour. You have so much history in your area; I wonder if they open up during Pathways of History weekends. I am enjoying your series.
I love the pictures. It really does look fairly peaceful there. Thanks for sharing.
Always interesting to see where these religious orders decided to build their havens.
What beautiful photos. Your tours always make me feel like I'm walking around with you.