2022 Hearts Afire Gala Recap

By Katie Mahon, Communications Manager


This week’s “Embracing Faith” article will focus on Embracing Faith through Giving.

Embracing Faith Through Prayer

“…for God loves a cheerful giver.” -2 Corinthians 9:7


The sun was shining on Piermont, New York, on Sunday, April 24th, as the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York, gathered together with friends and supporters for the 2022 Hearts Afire Gala.


After a two-year in-person hiatus, Gala attendees were delighted to be back together at the View on the Hudson as the Sisters of Saint Dominic honored Jerry Haas and Peter McKeever with the Mother Mary Ann Sammon Award for Compassion and Service.


When speaking about the honorees, Sr. Michaela Connolly, OP, Prioress, shared how both Jerry and Peter’s lives mirrored the qualities of the life and ministry of Mother Mary Ann Sammon, as well as spoke about their generosity and service to others.

Sr. Michaela Connolly, OP, and Jerry Haas
Sr. Michaela Connolly, OP, and Jerry Haas

“Jerry Haas has been a faithful and generous friend of our congregation for over 20 years. He and his late wife, Joan, were introduced to us through friends at Greenwich Catholic who invited Joan to serve on our first Gala committee in 2001,” shared Sr. Michaela.


She then spoke about the deeper connection between the congregation and the Haas family regarding the adoption of their eldest child, Meghan.


“The social worker who handled that adoption was the mother of our deceased Sr. Catherine Howard. Before Sr. Cathy was president of the congregation, she was Director of Development and came to know Jerry and Joan, who worked with her on developing our first Gala more than 20 years ago. Imagine everyone’s surprise when they realized they were connected through Sister Cathy’s mother. Since that first Gala, Jerry’s relationship with us has grown, not only as a benefactor but as a friend.”

Peter McKeever and Sr. Michaela Connolly, OP
Peter McKeever and Sr. Michaela Connolly, OP

While Jerry’s relationship with the congregation began in his adult life, Peter McKeever first became connected with the congregation when he was young.


Sr. Michaela shared, “He probably does not remember his first encounter with us, but one of our sisters shared it with me. When Peter was just a few months old, his parents brought him to St. Luke’s convent in the South Bronx to meet his aunt, our deceased Sr. Mary Foley, then known as Sr. Crescentia. Needless to say, the sisters living in the convent were all delighted to meet such an adorable and engaging child.”


She then added, “Peter’s friendship with our sisters has grown over the years, as has his generous support for us and our mission of service to the poor and marginalized, especially women and children.


Along with the Mother Mary Ann Sammon Award presentation, other highlights of the Gala included the annual Silent Auction and the announcements of the 50/50 raffle winner and treasure chest winner.


Overall, the 2022 Hearts Afire Gala was enormously successful for the congregation and all proceeds from the event benefit the Sisters of Saint Dominic.


We thank our Gala Sponsors whose extraordinary generosity contributed to the success of the event:


Gala Sponsor

Teresa Radzinski/Bank of America

Silent Auction Sponsors

Laura and Dan Grable

Award Sponsors

Saint Dominic’s Family Services

Clifford and Diane Lai

Floral Sponsors

Pavarini North East Construction Co.

Marquis Home Care

William H. Connolly & Co.

Mrs. Peggy Kalter

The Smee Family

Journal Sponsors

Phyllis and Bruce Schweizer


Wine Pull Sponsor

Manhattan Beer Distributors

General Sponsors

Berard & Associates, CPA’s P.C.

Hayden Building & Maintenance

Helen and Norm Schaaf

Janet and Lane Jorgensen

Marge McLoughlin


For any inquiries about the Gala, contact Kerrin Kissel at kkissel@opblauvelt.org.


2022 Hearts Afire Gala