On Sunday, September 12, 2010, six young adults, who had all been to the College Preaching Conference, were invited over to the Amityville Motherhouse for the Dominican Sisters’ celebration of Founder’s Day. Liz Alarcon (Bellerose, NY), Sean Mundy (Graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas College, Sparkill), Brian DiRaimondo (Molloy College, Rockville Centre), Tommy Barone (Graduate of Molloy College, Rockville Centre), Andy Abberton (Molloy College, Rockville Centre) and Desiree Gebon (Molloy College, Rockville Centre), joined Dominican Volunteer Liz Droel (Dominican University, River Forest, IL) for a day comprised of a walk through the heritage room, a mass, a meal, and a lot of celebration! “We Dominicans have made a firm commitment to include our young people into our congregations whenever we can. Inviting them to our Founder’s Day is just another example of how we can do that,” said Gina Fleming, O.P. from Amityville.
Liz, Sean, Brian and Tommy got to share their talents by joining the choir at mass and they even got a crack at the hand bells for the closing song. The celebration was not only recognizing the 157 year anniversary of the Dominican Sisters of Amityville, but also the celebration of 100 years in Puerto Rico and now 10 years in the Dominican Republic. During the mass, a sister from Puerto Rico reflected on the homily and brought words of gratitude to the sisters in Amityville for being a model and inspiration for their congregation in Puerto Rico.
After the mass was over, the party began. First everyone ate together, then the music (provided by a great DJ), which up until then had been a best of ‘50s and ‘60s spun to every era, including this one! The young guys were a hit in the center of the dance floor, but those sisters really know how to cut loose and dance the evening away! The young adults didn’t quite expect to see all of the sisters doing the Cha-Cha Slide, but they handled it like pros. “The best part of the entire experience was being able to talk with the sisters and make those connections!” exclaimed Dominican Young Adults (DYA) Communications Chair Sean Mundy. “It is what we as a national organization had in mind when we set a goal of connecting with local constituencies of the Dominican Family.”
The young adults especially felt welcome when the Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Amityville, Mary Hughes, O.P., joined them at the celebration. “You are welcome anytime. I mean that!”
Inviting young people, especially from the High School and College Preaching Conferences, the Dominican Young Adults, Dominican Volunteers, and students from Dominican institutions of learning are a great way to keep this Dominican charism alive and fresh. We strongly encourage any and all members of the Dominican Family to invite young people to exchange wisdom, spirituality, and love with each other and have a blast!