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Nuns battle to build winery and brewery

A group of nuns are fighting to build a winery and brewery as part of a major development in suburban Chicago.

Two nuns enjoying a beer

The Fraternite of Notre Dame, a Catholic religious order founded in 1977, has submitted an application to The McHenry County board for moved forward with the plans at a 95 acres at a site it owns in Marengo, as reported by

If approved the nuns will begin work on building a brewery and winery, as well as a nursing home, hospice and boarding school for 80 students on the site.

However the plans have been met with opposition from residents with some 800 signing a petition against the development. Many have cited years of construction, noise and traffic as the reason.

Coming up against opposition to the plans, the nuns have said they don’t understand how “God’s work” could be fought so vigorously.

Wineries and breweries are common at monasteries, which are used primarily to make money and support its charity work.

Last year a group of Massachusetts monks set up a brewery with support from the Trappist monks of Europe, having travelled to Europe to learn the craft. Trappist monks have been brewing and selling what many consider some of the best beer in the world exclusively at just eight European monasteries — six in Belgium and one each in Holland and Austria. Brothers of St Joseph’s Abbey just outside of Boston became the seventh Trappist brewery, the first outside of Europe.

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