The Church of The Ascension Will Rebuild


That’s the word from Father William Adams who, along with the Poor Clare nuns, was on the church campus at 6025 Estero Boulevard when Hurricane Ian ripped their buildings apart. Everyone who stayed through the storm at the property survived.

The home on the property, where Father Adams lived, was also destroyed leaving him with only the clothes on his back. He told Beach Talk Radio News he found out this week that even though the church was deemed structurally sound, repairs far exceed FEMA’s 50% rule, and the buildings (the Church, the Church Hall, the Monastery Chapel and offices) need to be demolished. He says that will happen in the next few months. The church did have insurance and was covered for catastrophic loss.

The Monastery, home to the Poor Clare nuns, was a total loss. The nuns have been on Fort Myers Beach since 1988. They are cloistered, a secluded life to foster intense prayer. The nuns do not minister outside their residence but dedicate their lives to contemplation and prayer for others. According to Sister Mary Frances the nuns will not ever be returning to Fort Myers Beach. All of their prayer cards were washed away in the storm and they lost all of their computers.

The church office was totally destroyed

Today the church property is completely fenced in and locked. Father Adams says the facilities were looted in the days after the storm. It’s impossible to predict how long it will take the church to be rebuilt. Like everyone else on the island the church will go through the various phases of rebuild, from tearing the structure down, to designing and planning the new building, permitting and construction. Father Adams says he’ll be following the model of a church in Pine Key which had to be torn down after Hurricane Irma. He says that process took four years.

There are no services being held for church members because the parking lot floods all the time. Adams is sending members to St. Leo’s in Bonita.

Father Adams says there was 18 feet of storm surge in his home and he expects to be living in a trailer for at least another year.


  1. As a member the rebuild could not happen soon enough. The interruption to everybody spiritual life has been difficult to say the least. Thank God neither of our priests were injured. As a Kight I look forward to the rebuild and will dedicate any and all of my resources to help this be accomplished. God bless.

  2. It is good to hear that all the staff made it through Ian. It would be great to read the nuns accounts of their experience during the storm. Intense praying for their daily lives must have been a huge resource in their survival. Best of a less traumatic future to them. The Catholic Churches have very deep resources and I would assume, how they were covered with insurance. Looking forward to another church to return to FMB. They ALL are needed.

  3. Very happy to hear that The Church of the Ascension will be back. My wife, children and I loved attending mass there. We have been attending St. Columbkille since Ian and they have been very welcoming.

  4. Excellent News! Kind of sad about the Nuns. St Leo’s is awesome!

    Look a church with insurance what?! The concept escapes some I guess.


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