‘Dominican Sisters of Sparkill and Sisters of Our Lady of Christian Doctrine Formally Enter Covenant Relationship’
SPARKILL, NY, June 7, 2018 – Two congregations of women religious based in Rockland County, NY, the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill and the Sisters of Our Lady of Christian Doctrine, formally entered into a Covenant Relationship today. This Relationship is a commitment and a promise between the two religious institutes to face the future together, as one institute completes its journey and the other assists in that completion. In planning for their future, the members of the Sisters of Our Lady of Christian Doctrine determined that due to their demographics they needed assistance with governance and the management of the day-to-day and future affairs of their members and ministries. In a process that began years ago, the Sisters sought out a partner congregation to work with them in these areas of leadership and administration. The Christian Doctrine and Sparkill Congregations were a strong fit for this relationship, each with a similar founding mission (to work with immigrants, particularly women and children, in New York City) and being located close to each other with many of their Sisters having known each other and worked together over the years.
The Covenant Relationship is not a merger or a union of the two congregations. The Sisters of Our Lady of Christian Doctrine will remain their own separate entity, preserving their unique identity, community membership, and culture. Their congregational leadership, however, now shifts from their own President, Sr. Veronica Mendez, RCD, to that of a Canonical Trustee: Sr. Mary Murray, OP, the President of the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill. Sister Mary Murray was appointed to this role by Cardinal Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York to ensure that the Sisters of Christian Doctrine are able to carry out their mission and care of their members going forward. Three Sisters of Our Lady of Christian Doctrine will work as a team with Sr. Mary in their new leadership structure.
“My Congregation is very grateful to the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill for being willing to enter into this relationship with us,” said Sr. Veronica Mendez. “They are a concrete sign of God’s providence! Our Sisters are hoping to continue doing ministry until the Lord calls us. Meanwhile we know the Dominican Sisters will call carry out our legacy when we are no longer here.”
The beginning of this special relationship was marked with a Liturgy on Thursday morning, June 7, at Dominican Convent’s Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel. During the celebration the Presidents of the two congregations signed the Covenant Relationship documentation amidst Sisters, Associates, and friends.
“We feel very blessed to be entering into this new relationship of support for the Sisters of Christian Doctrine as they face the challenges of their future,” Sr. Mary Murray shared. “Our friendship as two Religious Congregations of Sisters will deepen and strengthen each one of us so that our life and work as Catholic Sisters serving others will continue to address the needs of our times.”