As Dominican Sisters and Associates,
we endeavor to proclaim the good news
of the compassionate love of God for each person
with a special consciousness and of presence to,
those who are poor and on the margins of society.
The Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt have been serving
our community for over 130 years.
Learn the story of our History and Heritage.
The Dominican Order
Before his birth in 1170, Dominic de Guzman’s mother had a dream in which she saw a dog with a burning torch in its mouth racing around the globe. For over eight hundred years, since the founding of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) in 1216, women and men on fire with a love of God, a burning search for truth, and aglow with compassion have willingly vowed to follow in the footsteps of this joyful servant of God who desired to set the world afire by preaching and reaching out to people in need. Over these centuries, followers of Dominic have fanned into flame this passion to bring life and love to the world. For over eight hundred years, since the founding of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) in 1216, women and men on fire with a love of God, a burning search for truth, and aglow with compassion have willingly vowed to follow in the footsteps of this joyful servant of God who desired to set the world afire by preaching and reaching out to people in need.
Mother Mary Ann and the Founding Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, NY
In 1869, Mary Ann Sammon, an Irish immigrant alive with love of God and God’s children, entered a Dominican convent of German nuns on Second Street in New York City. These Sisters had been invited from the cloister in Ratisbon, Bavaria to New York in order to open a school for the children of German immigrants. Seeing the many children wandering the streets, Sr. Mary Ann, herself an orphan, saw the need to establish a home away from the urban streets, where these youngsters could be cared for and educated. Accompanied by her Superior, Mother Hyacinth, Sister Mary Ann sought a suitable location for an orphanage. The ideal spot was found in Blauveltville, New York where Sr. Mary Ann and Mother Hyacinth found a house for sale. So the seed was planted, and in 1878 the ministries began that would spread God’s love and compassion across many decades.
Expansion and Change
Besides caring for the children, the sisters kept the rule and fasts of the cloister. In order to best serve the children, the Sisters moved from being a cloistered community to an active one. . As the new century began, requests for teachers arrived from Illinois, so the first schools the Sisters staffed were quite a distance away, — it wasn’t long before schools in the Bronx, Yonkers, Manhattan and many counties along the Hudson River, as well as in Rhode Island, Florida, and New Jersey were being staffed by the Sisters from Blauvelt. The Sisters taught in elementary schools, high schools, and a college; some also ministered to cancer patients, taught the blind, and served as house mothers for orphans in what is now St. Dominic’s Home.