top of page

Embracing Faith Through Ministry – Downey Side

By Katie Beckmann, Communications Manager

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

Embracing Faith Through Ministry

“God defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.” -Deuteronomy 10:18

During November many Americans begin to prepare for Thanksgiving and the holiday season, as well as enjoy football season at its peak.

An observance that November is also known for is National Adoption Month.

Advocates of National Adoption Month raise awareness during November about the urgent need for adoptive families for children in foster care.

Adoption and Foster Care are two causes that are very close to the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt’s own Sister Elizabeth Engel, OP.

Sister Elizabeth ministers as a Supervisor for Downey Side, an agency dedicated to helping the neediest children of America, find permanent families and homes.

Downey Side, an organization that “works in partnership with the government as a licensed adoption agency to place America’s waiting children who otherwise would remain homeless,” was founded by Father Paul Engel, OFM, Cap., a Capuchin priest, and Sister Elizabeth’s brother. (1)

In 1967, Father Paul started Downey Side when he helped place a seventeen-year-old boy into the home of Margaret Downey in Springfield, Massachusetts. (1)

Since then, Downey Side has placed over 7,000 children into permanent adoptive families. (1)

Even with all the successes that Downey Side has achieved, there is still much work to do.

In the new book, America’s Youngest Hostages, author Ian Keldoulis shares that “half a million children are suffering in the limbo of foster care at any time.”(2)

While there is no immediate answer to address this crisis, people can raise awareness about Adoption, Foster Care, and the work of Downey Side.

To learn more about Downey Side and support their work, visit:


bottom of page