SAN DIEGO — Some 18 members of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity lived in three small bungalows that served as their convent in San Diego.
Their leader, Sister Ancy, considered expanding the garage, which served as their chapel.
“I didn’t have a plan,” she recalled.
But Terry and Barbara Caster soon came up with one.
Long-time Catholic benefactors, the couple had been close friends with Mother Teresa, founder of the order, since she first visited San Diego in 1991. They traveled with her in their motorhome across California and Baja California, as she established houses.
Over the years, they rehabbed the bungalows to accommodate the arrival of more sisters in San Diego. Terry Caster is the founder of the Caster Group, which builds and manages A-1 Self Storage locations.
By December 2015, it was clear that expanding them, or doing more repairs, were not options.
“The plumbing was so old and the houses needed new wiring,” recalled Terry Caster.
The couple’s architect, Michael Stonehouse, suggested they look around for land to build on.
Coincidentally, the lot next door to the convent on Boston Avenue was for sale.
“Why don’t we buy it and build something?” Sister Ancy recalled Caster asking.
“That’s easier said than done,” she told him.
He instructed her to ask for permission from the order’s central office in Calcutta to build a new convent. It came swiftly, as did the rest of the construction process.
The couple bought the property. By last February, the architect had drawn up the plans for a new convent to be built to meet the sisters’ needs.