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The Life of a Dominican Volunteer

By Katie Beckmann Mahon, Communications Manager

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

Embracing Faith Through Ministry

“Each one should use whatever gift she or he has received to serve others,

faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” -1 Peter 4:10

The Dominican Volunteers USA (DVUSA) program has led many lay women and men to connect with Dominican congregations.

Through their program, DVUSA volunteers are matched with congregations and their ministry sites then assigned to live in community with them for 11 months. Together, these volunteers live out the Dominican mission through ministry, common life, prayer, and study.

Sr. Mary Doris and Andrea Meyer at Siena House
Sr. Mary Doris and Andrea Meyer at Siena House

For Andrea Meyer, an Associate of the Sinsinawa Dominicans for over 30 years, the DVUSA program led her to take early retirement from her job as a speech pathologist. She would then match with the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York, and minister at Siena House while living in community with several Blauvelt Dominican Sisters.

On the most recent episode of the Hearts Afire Podcast, Andrea discussed the program, as well as what led her to join DVUSA, a program that she was previously “familiar with” and “held close to her heart.”

She explained, “I decided I wanted to give back to the community and have some adventure as I neared my retirement years.”

Andrea is presently in her third year of ministry at Siena House, where several Blauvelt Dominican Sisters minister and assists Sr. Mary Doris, the Executive Director.

“I’ve met some wonderful friends at Siena House. The staff is extraordinary.”

Along with her ministry at Siena House, Andrea has lived in community with Sisters Grace Augustine Canevari, Amadeus McKenna, and Gertrude Simpson for three years.

“It’s great; it really is. I wouldn’t be here a third year if it wasn’t. I have been welcomed tremendously into the community.”

Andrea was filled with nothing but gratitude when reflecting on her ministry, community life, and time in the DVUSA program.

“It’s given me an opportunity to give back, feel safe in a new environment, make new friends, learn more about myself, and explore my faith.”


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