Our Preaching VOL. 13 / NO. 1 WINTER 2015 To Praise To Bless To Preach Congregation of the Holy Cross A P U B L I C AT I O N o f t h e D O M I N I C A N S I S T E R S o f A M I T Y V I L L E , N Y Dominicans in Action S. Mary Erica Burkhardt: Walking the Humble Footpath of a Ministry in History by Carol Hansen T he task of archiving and preserving the vast and intricate history of the Dominican Sisters of Amityville seems a daunting task indeed, and yet the Sisters have done exactly that for over 160 years. Their efforts are lovingly displayed in the Motherhouse Heritage Center, public face of an extensive archives housed in Amityville. It was S. Evangeline who first brought the archives of many convents under the Motherhouse roof, where they were later given a place of honor in their current location by S. Frances Maureen Carlin. In 1995, S. Erica Burkhardt was asked to join S. Frances Maureen as a Heritage Center historian, and she has been there ever since. S. Erica compares each person’s life to a tapestry. As the eldest daughter of Erich and Hedwig Burkhardt, Erica grew up with four sisters in Astoria, NY. Following a public school education, and a stint as a stenographer for Dry Dock Savings Bank, she entered the Amityville novitiate in 1948, and eventually taught at St. Joseph (Above) A historian at her desk: Sister Erica has been aﬃliated with the inspiring Heritage Center since 1995. (Right) Valuable treasures share space with sweet memories like these Dominican dolls. Did you have one? Patron School, St. Nicholas High School, Dominican Commercial High School, and Queen of the Rosary Academy. She was also principal at Blessed Virgin Mary School in Woodside, 1969–1972. During the Leadership terms of S. Irene Garvey and S. Mary Ryan, S. Erica was appointed Secretary General for the Congregation, with duties that included care of the archives. It might be said that S. Erica’s path through ministry led her right to the Heritage Center! A ministry in history is multi-faceted; there are no “typical work days.” Tasks vary. Maintaining online files, changing physical (Left) Student desk, St. Pius V School, Jamaica; (Right) Queen of the Rosary Academy uniform donated by alumna Barbara Zimmerly. continued on page 3 INSIDE 2 3 4 Letter from the Prioress In the News / Event Overviews Who We Are & How To Reach Us Recent Grants & Awards 5 6 7 8 Our History: In Loving Memory In Our Donors’ Words Veritas Society: Legacy Gift Options Calendar / Dominican Business Partners OUR PREACHING From the desk of Mary Pat Neylon, OP Prioress Dear Friends, Winter is doing it again! It fooled us into thinking it would be relatively mild this year, and it was—until Juno arrived on January 26-27! It has been said that there is a time for every season under heaven: a time for snow, and a time to leave the snow behind and welcome the crocuses and daffodils. As bleak and as dark as winter time can seem in the northern hemisphere, we know it is the prelude to the birthing place of new life and therefore, part of the life cycle of all creation. As we draw nearer to the 800th Jubilee year of the Dominican Order in 2016, we embrace the jubilee theme for this final preparatory year which is: If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:31-32). Truth is the motto of the Dominican Order. Our feature story offers a glimpse of S. Mary Erica Burkhardt’s pursuit of the truth as Director of the Archives/Heritage Center. We are astounded at the breadth and depth of the work she has been doing since 1995. The written material and artifacts in the Center speak for themselves but S. Erica herself is a unique repository of our living tradition, a tradition in search of truth these last 162 years in service to the Church and the world. Now, as she embraces her upcoming retirement, we are so grateful for the diligence with which she has pursued her ministry these past 20 years. Each one of us and each of you, our benefactors, holds precious memories within us of our families and communities. The popularity of websites like ancestors.com tells us we are not alone in this and we want to know more about who preceded us on the journey and how we carry some aspect of their search for truth within our own search for the kind of truth that sets us free. This issue also contains the names and photos of our Sisters, former members, and friends who have been part of our lives and have preceded us into new life this past year. They were remembered in our special November liturgy. Again, I invite you to study the names and faces and consider how each one has been a gift to us in some special way. You just may recognize someone from your past whose story (truth) you are now carrying forward. Remember to glance at our website (http://www.amityvilleop.org) from time to time to read about other parts of our ongoing pursuit of truth and to get a sense of our continuing ministries. The growing edges of our lives help us enjoy new forms of membership and delight in the ways our gracious God continues to nudge us to be “women of joy and hope…searching for truth and ministering to the people of God.” May you continue to be blessed for all the ways you are part of the life and mission of the Sisters of St. Dominic as we, with your help, continue to spread the gospel through the life and example of Jesus, the inspiration of the Spirit and the richness of Dominic’s charism. Prayerfully and gratefully, S. Mary Pat Neylon, OP Prioress “We Dominican women religious called to be signs of joy and hope, commit ourselves to incarnating the Gospel, deepening our life of prayer, searching for Truth, discerning the needs of the Church and ministering to the people of God.” Excerpt from the Vision Statement of the Dominican Sisters of Amityville WINTER 2015 Four Sisters Honored For Local Achievements Four Sisters were recently recognized for their contributions and ministries on Long Island: S. Leonore Toscano was honored at the 2014 CARACEN (Central American Refugee Center) Awards Dinner for her work as Executive Director of the OPening Word ministry. S. Dorothy Fitzgibbons received a Lifetime Achievement Award at Molloy College this past fall for her many years of dedicated service there. S. Joan Martin was honored by St. Agnes Academic High School and inducted into its Hall of Fame for her long tenure as Principal there. S. Ave Clark received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Douglaston-Little Neck Lions Club for the tireless efforts of her “Heart to Heart Ministry,” which serves those who have survived trauma and abuse. Congratulations to all. We are so proud of you! S. Leonore Toscano, OP S. Dorothy Fitzgibbons, OP S. Joan Martin, OP S. Ave Clark, OP Dominicans in Action: A Ministry in History continued from page 1 stories. The postulant’s bonnet, exhibits, and posting current habits and dolls give insights of events can be offset suddenly what has been. Photographs of by unexpected inquiries. hospital wards, schools and “Our mission is to help orphanages portray our many anyone who comes in for ministries over the years. As a assistance. This ministry is to answer the requests of all who Prie-Dieu from Casa Santa place of welcome, we strive to contact us,” explains S. Erica. Caterina in Siena, presented show how we have reached to Mother Polycarpa. out to the people of God since Inquiries come from many 1853 and continue to do so.” sources: families of Sisters; A touchscreen computer now enables adults helped as children by the Sisters, such visitors to access a vast collection of photos as orphans who attended the Nazareth and oral history, or you can visit the Trade School in Farmingdale; genealogists Heritage Center’s YouTube channel at: researching family history; and the media. www.youtube.com/heritageamityvilleop. Tours (by appointment only) are tailored Sister Erica will be retiring from her to accommodate diverse groups: students, position in June after 20 years, a legacy in graduates of Dominican schools, parishes, itself! She plans to continue as a volunteer, donors, and Rosary Societies. cross-referencing the archives, while care “The Heritage Center, through its of the Heritage Center is entrusted to displays, artifacts and collections, reflects Sisters Margaret Kavanaugh and Denise the words of the Amityville Dominicans’ Nolan. We welcome them both and thank Vision Statement: called to be signs of joy Sister Erica for her dedicated service. and hope,” notes Sister Erica. “We keep the During her long tenure, Sister Erica helped other Congregations to set up their archives. Asked for words of wisdom to close this article with, she offered this advice to fledgling archivists who may want to organize their community’s history: “Don’t throw anything away!” Heritage treasures include statues and relics. …and the preaching continues. 3 Our Preaching Vol. 13, No. 1 Winter 2015 The American Congregation of the Holy Cross, Dominican Sisters of Amityville, is a Congregation of over 400 women religious. Our Motherhouse is in NY but our Sisters minister in four other states, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. We are a preaching/teaching Congregation always seeking creative ways to minister in the present moment. COUNCIL Prioress Mary Pat Neylon, OP Councilor for Dominican Identity Pat Hanvey, OP Councilor for Charism Antoinette DeAveiro, OP Councilor for Stewardship Pat Koehler, OP Councilor for Mission Peggy McVetty, OP Councilor for Wellness Peggy Warren, OP Provincial of Puerto Rico Teresita Rivera, OP Development Office Acting Director of Development Eileen M. Nolan, OP ext. 241 email@example.com Director of Special Projects Ann Marie Ellingham ext. 238 firstname.lastname@example.org Director of Donor Communication Carol Hansen ext. 269 email@example.com Development Associate Susan Jappell ext. 246 firstname.lastname@example.org Grant Writer Amy Lax email@example.com Our Preaching is a publication of the Dominican Sisters of Amityville Development Office 555 Albany Avenue Amityville, NY 11701-1197 631-842-6000, ext. 269 www.dsaopdev.org Congregation Website: www.dominicansistersofamityville.org 4 The Season of Joy and Giving Dominican Young Adults, Molloy Chapter and Dominican Volunteers (above) gathered in Amityville on Sunday, December 7th, for an afternoon of prayer and sharing with our Sisters. Afterwards, our guests sang Christmas carols throughout the Motherhouse, bringing Christmas cheer wherever they visited. It was a wonderful day for all. Recent Grants & Awards The Sisters would like to acknowledge: The Mary Alice Fortin Foundation has approved an $80,000 grant to the Sisters’ Ministry Support Fund, which subsidizes educational, health, and human service programs in which our Sisters are engaged. A special thanks to S. Alice Byrnes, OP. The George Link Jr. Charitable Trust has gifted $17,000 to the Congregation, which will enable a Dominican Volunteer to serve as a nursing assistant in our infirmary and St. Catherine’s Residence. The Dominican Volunteer will also have the opportunity to live in our House of Hospitality, located in St. Hugh’s Parish, Huntington Station, NY. The Calvin Klein Foundation awarded $10,000 to the Ministry Support Fund. The TD Bank Foundation has granted $7,500 to the OPening Word program. The Raskob Foundation awarded $5,000 for the After-School and Summer Camp programs in Sol Naciente del Japon, El Salvador, organized by S. Flor de Maria Buruca, OP. The camp serves 60 children. The PSEG Foundation has given $2,500 to S. Joan Donovan to be used towards the Hurricane Sandy Project. Office Depot has granted $1,500 for use by the Sisters’ Hurricane Sandy Project. United Way has donated $1,500 in gift cards to the Hurricane Sandy Project. The John and Susan Dewan Foundation awarded $500 to S. Flor de Maria Buruca for the After-School and Annual Summer Camp Programs ministry in El Salvador. Thank you to these generous benefactors! WINTER 2015 Our History In Loving Memory We remember in our hearts and prayers these Dominican Sisters of Amityville who were called home to God in the past year. S. Alicia Lanni, OP October 22, 2013 S. Cecilia Aymong, OP November 30, 2013 S. Janet Fitzgerald, OP December 1, 2013 S. Catherine Reilly, OP December 1, 2013 S. Virginia Maguire, OP December 5, 2013 S. Mary Ann Tirelli, OP December 12, 2013 S. Grace Sierp, OP January 8, 2014 S. Barbara Mullen, OP January 16, 2014 S. Mary Teresa Brown, OP January 25, 2014 S. Joseph Lucille Lipps, OP February 8, 2014 S. Mary Higgins, OP May 25, 2014 S. Rosemary Giebel, OP June 27, 2014 S. Charlotte Tighe, OP June 28, 2014 S. Prague Maria Fortier, OP August 10, 2014 S. Clare Patrice Farrell, OP August 27, 2014 S. Cora Marie Sprolle, OP September 7, 2014 Remembrance of Our Former Members Mary Lee Collins Bedford Mary Schiller Elaine Hallisey Jean Farrell Wade Dear Friends of the Congregation Sister Juanita Barto, RSM Sister Virginia Farnan, RSM Brother Patrick Murphy, OSF S. Mary Joyce LeRoy, OP October 8, 2014 5 OUR PREACHING In Our Donors’ Words Memories of Many Good Times Summer Joys at St. Joseph’s Dear Sisters, I was taught by Dominicans through grade school and high school, including: St. Barbara’s in Ridgewood, St. Pancras in Glendale and All Saints in Brooklyn. I remember Sisters Rose Winifred, Vincent Marie and Margaret Mercedes, among others. Sister Mary Ellen was my favorite. I was ten years old and I would go to college with her after school. The Sisters would not travel alone, and my sisters and I would go with them as we lived on the same block as the convent. In the All Saints auditorium we had a phonograph—in a suitcase in 1943/1944! One or two Sisters would be with us, and we all danced the Lindy with them. When my mother died in 1971, Sister Margaret Mercedes (then living in NYC) saw the obituary in the paper. She took a train and a bus to come to us, as all six of us had her as a teacher in St. Pancras. As you can tell, I have many happy memories of these lovely Dominicans. Helen Engelhart Brightwaters, NY As a member of the community from 1955–1971, I recall happy summers at St. Joseph’s in Monticello. We took college credit courses there as we got away from the congested city, breathed in the mountain air and felt wonderful freedom. We went for long walks “around the block,” rowed and swam in the lake, laughed and giggled, and praised God for the gift of St. Joseph’s! Terry Rouge Jackson Heights, NY Would you like to share fond memories of the Dominican Sisters of Amityville? Letters are published here as space permits. Greetings From Villa Veritas Dear Sisters, Your heartfelt, beautifully written article* brought tears to our eyes! God spoke to us through you today with a direct reminder that He is in charge and He will keep the Villa going no matter what. Reminded that we are the instruments, we must keep the Faith. It has been a tough year. You don’t know how much we needed your message of hope and encouragement. We are still so honored the Dominican Sisters gave us the opportunity they did so many years ago. Thank you so much. Sue and Jim Cusack Villa Veritas, Kerhonkson, NY * Fall 2014 Our Preaching, “Our History: Veritas Villa” Around the Motherhouse The Dominican Worldwide Order of Preachers will be celebrating 800 years of ministering to God’s people in 2016. Members of the Dominican order are preparing for this event around the globe! A year of celebration begins in November 2015 and concludes in January 2017. It was on December 22, 1216 that Pope Honorius III approved the order founded by the Spanish priest Saint Dominic de Guzman in France. Since then, Dominican charism has grown upon the Four Pillars of Dominican life: Prayer, Study, Community and Ministry. …and the preaching continues. 6 Sisters enjoy appointments at the Beauty Salon on the third ﬂoor of the Motherhouse, where manicurist Margaret (below, left) and stylist Agnes (bottom, center) tend to them with professional and loving care. The salon is a busy place! Veritas Society leaving a legacy of Truth To Praise To Bless To Preach Congregation of the Holy Cross Dominican Sisters of Amityville Our legal title is Sisters of the Order of St. Dominic, Amityville, NY What Will Your Legacy of Truth Be? V visionary donors, and the Dominican Sisters of the motto of the Amityville. By creating a Dominican Order, proplanned gift that benefits claiming our dedication to the Sisters, you can leave a common search for a “Legacy of Truth” which truth with mutual respect. will touch the lives of the This search calls each most vulnerable in society Sister and Associate to and our Sisters well into credibility in their various the future. ministries, wherever those There are several ways ministries may be. he true meaning of life you can create your legacy VERITAS has led us is to plant trees, under of truth. Bequests, Stocks, to 161 years of searching whose shade you do Charitable Gifts, IRA’s, for truth, listening deeply, not expect to sit.” Annuities and gifts of discussing honestly, and —Nelson Henderson paid-up life insurance are seeking God in all things. practical and fairly simple From our mission work in to initiate. Other vehicles such as trusts Colombia and the Dominican Republic, and gifts of property provide alternate to our long history of community service avenues of participation that will fund via ministries such as the OPening Word, the work and care of the Sisters for years we have been led by the pursuit of truth. to come. Veritas Society members are Dominican Village and St. Agnes High recognized on the VERITAS SOCIETY School continue to promote Dominican plaque in St. Albert’s Chapel and on our Charism, while new ministries develop as website, www.dsaopdev.org. the need arises. To learn more, please call the The VERITAS SOCIETY guarantees Development Office at 631-842-6000, the continued success of these ministries. ext. 241 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. It is a sacred partnership between you, our ERITAS—Truth—is “ T Veritas Society Members Anonymous Helen M. Bingert Elisabeth V. Bohnert† Mr. James V. Bologna & Family Mr. & Mrs. Gregory M. Bouley Emilie Cerar Patricia Chapel Dorothy & Paul Clark Maureen G. Collins Deacon Tony Cuseo Patricia Chambers Daly Rev. John J. Fitzgerald Floramay Gannon Margaret C. Gehnrich Marie DeSantis Gragnaniello Rev. Martin J. Hall Ms. Carol J. Hansen Dolores Hayden Cynthia M. Johnson† Claire B. Joseph William Kort John LaRocca Joseph Levonas Angela Minsavitch Diane Muzio Richard C. Nerod † Lester J. & Frances M. Poggioli Terese Rouge Howard & Antoni Shannon Thomas & Carol Silvestri Joseph F. Stein Rita E. Stufano Marie Stufano Mary J. Verrall Marie Wahn Frank Wranek† † indicates deceased members Our legal title is Sisters of the Order of St. Dominic, Amityville, NY Yes, I am interested in becoming a member of the Veritas Society. Please contact me regarding: q Bequest q Charitable Gift Annuity q Gifting Appreciated Stock q IRA Gifting q Life Insurance Name _______________________________________________________________________________________ Address __________________________________________ City ______________________________________ State ______ Zip ________ Phone ___________________ Email _____________________________________ Please return to: Sisters of St. Dominic, Attention: Development Office, 555 Albany Avenue, Amityville, New York 11701 7 77 Queen of the Rosary Motherhouse, St. Albert’s Chapel, Amityville, NY 4:00 pm March 15 June 7 April 19: Bonding of Associates Evening Vespers Friday, June 26, 2015 Crest Hollow Country Club Woodbury, NY Beauty of the Spirit Luncheon Wednesday, May 6, 2015 John W. Engeman Theater Northport, NY Spring Event : “A Chorus Line” Irish Night Saturday, March 7, 2015 St. Brigid’s School Westbury, NY Please Save the Date: Development Calendar INSIDE: Dominicans in Action / In Loving Memory / Awards & Honors / Veritas Society Dominican Business Partners promote Dominican ministries by supporting these events: Beauty of the Spirit Luncheon, the Dominican Spring Event, and the Dominican Autumn Event. For more information, please call the Development Office at 631-842-6000, extentions 241 or 238. LEADER Islip Car & Truck Recycling, Inc. Pinnacle Associates Chem RX Pharmacy Services, LLC STRATEGIST Farrell Fritz, PC Trinity Automotive Services, Inc. TRUSTEES In Memory of Chris Waldorf ~ The Waldorf Family Foundation The Koehler Organization AMBASSADORS Partnerships We acknowledge with Gratitude our Dominican Sisters of Amityville Development Office 555 Albany Avenue / Amityville, NY 11701 Our Preaching NON-PROFIT ORG. 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