New $300,000 Matching Challenge!

Exciting News!  A group of generous donors has collectively provided $300,000 in matching funds. Your gift, matched dollar-for-dollar, doubles its impact and helps the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon reach their funding goal and their dream of an updated kitchen.

Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Motherhouse Kitchen Renovation 2019 Case Statement

SSMO History
The Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon dedicate our lives and ministry to serving others through faith and action, and are deeply rooted in the community. For more than 130 years, we have been committed to compassionate, joyful service. Today, almost 60 Sisters reside at the Motherhouse on our 43-acre campus in Beaverton, providing education and health care on our campus and beyond.

Motherhouse Kitchen History
Our Motherhouse was built and dedicated in 1930. Meals were prepared in our new home on a gas stove. The 1950’s brought modern improvements to the kitchen, including an electric stove and steam cookers. A cafeteria unit and a scullery room for dishwashing were installed at that time, simplifying meal service and enhancing the communal space for meal preparation and enjoyment. Today, breakfast, lunch and dinner are prepared in the kitchen in less than optimal conditions, impacting the workload of the cooks as well as the quality of food served.

Today’s Kitchen
The kitchen has served us well and we are grateful for the meals that have been lovingly prepared for so many in our community. Our kitchen is in urgent need of a major renovation and the installation of new, modern appliances. There has not been a substantial renovation of the kitchen in more than 60 years, although some appliances have been replaced and added. The existing kitchen is not energy-efficient; presents accessibility barriers due to having a desk for an office on the corner of two pathways; is poorly configured for the high traffic patterns that accompany meal preparation and the need for others to pass through to the west wing; and is not fully compliant with the latest safety codes (e.g., grease interceptors, existing kitchen flooring, and plumbing) and clearance requirements (e.g., the relocation of electrical panels and stainless-steel tables with double sinks). A kitchen renovation is vital for the health and wellness of our Sisters and the reduction of stress and strain on the kitchen staff.


The SSMO Kitchen Renovation Committee has selected R&H Construction Company ( to handle the project. They have been building successful commercial construction projects throughout the Pacific Northwest since 1979.

R&H Construction Company is charged with the following:

  • construct and install new cabinets
  • install hoods over both steam and open flame cooking areas
  • install code compliant grease interceptor
  • remove existing plumbing and install new plumbing in the kitchen
  • remove existing flooring and install new quarry tile
  • relocate existing electrical panels
  • construct a larger cooler near the kitchen
  • redirect traffic pattern
  • improve seismic upgrades to exhaust system
  • handle other carpentry work

Renovation estimate is $787,102 (includes contingency for City of Beaverton permits, improvements and floor demolition of $245,000)


The SSMO Kitchen Renovation Committee has partnered with Bargreen Ellingson ( for equipment. The committee has managed the kitchen design and identified the equipment best suited for our needs. Bargreen Ellingson will oversee the installation of new, gas-powered, energy-efficient appliances (e.g., Energy Star®, EcoSmart®). Bargreen Ellingson has twice been named foodservice dealer of the year and is consistently ranked in the top 10 dealers by volume in the country.

New equipment includes:

  • countertops
  • deep fryer
  • dishwashers
  • faucets
  • mop sink
  • ovens
  • shelves
  • sinks
  • stainless-steel worktables
  • hot/cold serving unit in main dining room
  • warming cart (to send food to the Infirmary on the 3rd floor)

New equipment estimate is $213,144.

This 1652 ft2 space, once remodeled, will be much more than a kitchen in the Motherhouse. It will be the space where the compassionate spirits of our Sisters gain sustenance. The tradition (and necessity) of home cooking can be traced back to our Sisters’ very first home founded in Sublimity, Oregon in 1885, and celebrated 100 years later with the publication of Sister Clotildis Smith’s Cookbook of 100 Pies.

The benefits of a renovated kitchen will positively impact the Sisters. Nearly two hundred healthy meals per day will be prepared more efficiently in the newly updated kitchen. Food will be kept warm for meals scheduled around Mass and prayer time. Celebratory meals, such as Sisters’ Feast Days, Jubilees and Holidays will require less effort. Following meals, Sisters will be able to wash and sanitize pots, pans, cookware and dinner dishes much more effectively and efficiently with the new equipment for washing. After a day of teaching at Valley Catholic School, caring for residents at Maryville, serving the Sisters, or offering outreach to the community, our Sisters will gather for dinner. They will have the peace of mind knowing the meal prepared in a safe, energy efficient kitchen, will nourish their bodies and provide the sustenance to continue their ministry.


The nearly $1 million renovation is scheduled to begin in June and last through September 2019.