For years, I had passed by the grounds of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt. I was always struck by the beauty of the motherhouse, and intrigued by the women who lived there.
The convent seemed like the antithesis of my 21st-century childhood. No matter how many times I turned onto Western Highway, the motherhouse stood in place, its cheery, red brick face untouched.
From the outside, the building seemed to symbolize its inhabitants—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 the building does not tell the whole story—although the Sisters of St. 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, or interviewed one for an article, I was surprised—and inspired—to hear about the impact of her ministry.
One word describes the Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt: 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 to 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 as never before. Though I had attended years of religious education classes, this summer was the first time I 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 St. Dominic of Blauvelt, and all of the lay people 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 the Sisters of St. Dominic. I know I will support the sisters for years to come!
Maria Bohan is a volunteer for the Communications and Development Office of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt. She is a student at Bryn Mawr College majoring in English and a graduate of Pearl River High School.