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From left: Sr. Mary Malone, president, Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt; Archbishop Dolan, Sr. Catherine Howard, councilor, Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt; Sr. Mary Eileen O’Brien, president, Dominican College; Sr. Margaret Flood, president of the board, St. Dominic’s Home; and Sr. Kathleen Sullivan, chancellor, Dominican College.

Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt
Archbishop Dolan joins sisters for anniversary celebration

On Nov. 5, 1878, Sister Mary Ann Sammon, with six other Dominican nuns and nine young homeless immigrant girls arrived at their new home, St. Joseph Convent in what was then known as Blauveltville, New York. When Mary Ann Sammon and another Dominican sister were looking for suitable property to house orphaned children who were living on the streets of New York, they came upon a house for sale in Rockland County. When they entered the house and saw a painting by French artist Francois Grellet of Saint Dominic raising a child to life, Mary Ann Sammon exclaimed, “Here we shall be.”

One hundred and thirty two years later, Archbishop Timothy Dolan arrived, taking much of the same route as that first group of nuns and children, to celebrate the anniversary of the first mission of the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt. Beginning with a liturgy in the Motherhouse, sisters, students, faculty, staff, administrators, board members, benefactors, friends, family, neighbors, and associates came to join in the celebration. Archbishop Dolan greeted the many people representing both the founding ministries of St. Dominic’s Home and Dominican College, as well as the many other ministries in which the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt currently serve.

Following the liturgy, Archbishop Dolan greeted everyone, then visited the sisters who reside in the infirmary. Simple blessings and a gentle touch from the Archbishop meant so much to the sisters who gave their life to the Church and are now ministering through their full-time prayers of intercession.

Archbishop Dolan visited Dominican College and St. Dominic’s Home. At Dominican College, Archbishop Dolan had the opportunity to meet with students, staff and administrators. Dominican College is a four year liberal arts college and has as its focus excellence, leadership and service. It originally was founded as a teacher-training school for sisters.

St. Dominic’s Home, which was founded for the care of orphans, now serves adults with developmental disabilities. In addition, St. Dominic’s Home serves many children/teenagers in need physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially and behaviorally.

The Archbishop had the opportunity to visit Holy Rosary Chapel in which Mother Mary Ann Sammon prayed. This chapel later became a prayer home for the myriads of young women who entered the congregation as this building served as the original novitiate.

Although caring for orphaned children is no longer the primary ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt, they continue to care for the needy, especially women and children. The care of the marginalized remains the prominent feature of the ministries of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt.

For more information about the Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt, visit their web site at www.opblauvelt.org.

Editor's note: On Nov. 16, Archbishop Dolan was elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.