Home Home


UPDATE Monday, 22 October
photos from the sale are here on the abbey_flickr page AND
follow the Vianney Renovation Project on Google+

From Friday, 12 October to Sunday, 14 October, the seminary held The Great Vianney Hall Estate Sale, a yard sale to support the Vianney Hall Renovation Project and to empty out the future dorms. Br. Simon talked to Kit Friedrichs-Baumann, who organized the sale.

BrS: I know that when you were cleaning it out, you found some of the photographs from Vianney. What a great treasure that was. Our internet friends obviously enjoyed seeing the 80s monks again. But what else did you find? What did y'all sell?
KFB: We sold everything from sinks to doors to light fixtures to antiques, pots, pans, chairs, tables, you name it. Everything stored in the building had to go.

BrS: When the people came to shop, what did they say? How did they react?
KFB: The general consensus seemed to be that people were excited to get a part of the abbey, to take something home with them from the abbey. They were all very sweet, long-time fans. There were some rude antique dealers, though.

BrS: We're not going to give them airtime. (laughs) But overall?
KFB: Overall, the people who came were people who have an association with the abbey, who were looking for a keepsake. They got to take away something, a souvenir. They were very pleased and excited with their treasures.

BrS: Any good stories?
KFB: I had a priest call me frantically on Friday morning, saying that he was looking at the web site and he saw a statue he had stored there in the late 1980s. That's how long things had been in that building! He wanted to know if we had sold it yet. I said, I have really bad news for you. . . He cried a little, but he was very nice about it, a real good sport. That's the kind of stuff that was in there, though - student storage that had been there for 25-30 years.

BrS: Was it a success?
KFB: Overall, I think it was a really nice way for the abbey to spread some goodwill and to publicize that we are renovating Vianney. That was what people wanted to talk about - they kept asking, "What are y'all doing with the building?" I explained that we're popping at the seams with seminarians, and we need more dorm rooms. So it was all good.

BrS: No, no, I mean, was it financially productive? (laughs)
KFB: I'm not really sure. Ballpark figure? About $10,000, gross. But we still have to pay this one and that one, you know how it goes. It was a nice donation to the cause, though.

BrS: So what did you do with the stuff that didn't sell?
KFB: We donated it to Goodwill. They came out and picked it up early the next week.

BrS: So everything's gone?
KFB: Everything's gone. Well, some things went to the Christian Life Center. (laughs)

BrS: What's the next step for Vianney?
KFB: The next step is that they are starting Monday morning, (22 October) to demolish the inside of the building. I met with the demo team this week, and helped move the rest of the stuff out. So everybody's gone, and the renovation begins on Monday.

Stay tuned for the latest news here and on the Vivite Vianney Google+ site.

Garage sale devotees! Memorabilia hunters! Antique seekers! And just plain curious folks! Here is an event you don't want to miss!

In preparation for renovation, Vianney Hall has to be emptied. Since the late '70s, when it was no longer needed as a dorm, it sat idle, and over the years has gradually filled with things to be stored and saved. Now, happily, it needs to be cleared of its "treasures," everything from dorm laundry boxes to door knobs to old furniture to modernist light fixtures. It's all too much to list, but here's a facebook link for photos, or, if you prefer, zip on over to pinterest.

So save the date and mark your calendars:

12 October, Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
13 October, Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
14 October, Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.

Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to find some treasures!