Group of nuns fighting to build winery, brewery, nursing home

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MARENGO, Ill. -- The McHenry County board will vote on whether a group of religious nuns can move forward with major development plans on a large parcel of property they own in Marengo.  But it the plans are not without opposition.  More than 800 people signed a petition opposing the development plans.

The Fraternite of Notre Dame, a religious monastery not affiliated with the Catholic Church, sits on 95 acres of land in northwest suburban Marengo.  Their mission is to help the poor and needy.

The order just got approval from the McHenry County zoning board of appeals to build a winery, a brewery, a nursing home including hospice and a private boarding school for at least 80 students.  The nursing home and school would be built first.  A winery and brewery are common among monasteries.  It’s how they make money to support their charity work. The sisters don't understand how "God's work" could be fought so vigorously.

But some who live in the area say they are not against the order being there, they just don't want to endure more years of construction, noise and traffic that such a big project would bring.

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