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My Summer with the Sisters

By Maria Bohan

Maria Bohan

For years, I had passed by the grounds of the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York. I was always struck by the beauty of the Motherhouse, and intrigued by the women that lived there.

The convent seemed like the antithesis of my twenty-first-century childhood. No matter how many times I turned onto Western Highway, the Motherhouse still stood, its cheery, red-brick face untouched.

From the outside, the building seemed to symbolize its inhabitants—they both were pristinely preserved artifacts from the past, things that did not fit with the architecture of today’s modern, fast-paced world.

After my first day as a volunteer in the congregation's Communications and Development departments, I realized that the building does not tell the whole story—although the Sisters of Saint Dominic are members of an 800-year-old religious order, they are firmly grounded in the here and now.

Each time I spoke to a sister conversationally, or interviewed her for an article, I was surprised—and inspired—to hear about the impacts of her ministry.

There is only one word to describe the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, NY: engaged.

Through serving the most marginalized individuals in our society, the sisters come face to face with our world’s biggest problems.

Like true Dominicans, the sisters speak out about the issues facing our society and work to make systemic changes that will benefit us all.

As a young woman, I was so happy to spend my summer surrounded by strong female role models. It was great to see women making a difference in our community.

Volunteering with the sisters also allowed me to understand Catholicism in a way I never had before.

Though I'd gone through years of CCD classes, this summer was the first time I ever felt truly connected to my Catholic faith. Working alongside God's "boots on the ground" helped me see the power faith can have in making a difference.

I'm so grateful to have met the Sisters and Associates of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York, and all of the laypeople that work for the congregation. They afforded me so many wonderful opportunities to write, interview sisters, design a website, and more.

I'll never forget the guidance and knowledge I gained from everyone at the Sisters of Saint Dominic. I know I will support the sisters for years to come!

Maria Bohan is a Volunteer for the Communications and Development Office at the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York. She is a student at Bryn Mawr College majoring in English and a graduate of Pearl River High School.


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