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Blue Cloud Abbey monastery sold to Catholic group

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SIOUX FALLS (AP) — A group of Catholic men and women from South Dakota and Minnesota has bought a monastery and retreat center near the states' border.

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Blue Cloud Abbey near Marvin in northeast South Dakota housed Benedictine monks for more than six decades.

The monastery's 14 resident monks voted in May 2012 to close and sell the 80-acre property.

A group called Saving the Abbey says the buyers will develop a mission and vision in the coming months.

It says it hopes to preserve the site's Catholic identity and form a faith-focused nonprofit organization that can continue the monks' mission of using the site as a retreat and a place to host events and faith activities.

The buyers say they've started a fundraising campaign to raise money needed to keep it open.

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