Photo of the Week: Former Noah’s Ark Resident Rallies Around S. Dolores after Fire

Sister of St. Dominic of Amityville Dolores Christi Gartanutti’s house burned down on Monday, August 31.  It happened when she left to bring communion to her 90+ year-old friend. One hour later, her house exploded and burned to the ground. Her dog, Danny Boy, passed away in the explosion.  She is lucky to be alive.

Her friend, Erin Orjuela Radziewicz, has started a “Go Fund Me” page which, as of publication time has raised more than $24,000, to help rebuild a handicap-accessible home at the same location.  Funds will also go to furnish the new space as well as clear the land of debris.  The goal is to raise $150,000.   

It is touching that Erin is helping S. Dolores (Dee) rebuild her home, especially since Dee helped her find a home years ago.  Erin was one of the first people to live with S. Dee as part of a ministry Dee founded in 1974 called Noah’s Ark, a foster home in Richmond Hill, Queens.  In this ministry that spanned more than 20 years, S. Dee helped nearly 2,000 adolescents.  

“I had been homeless for three days before I met Dee,” recalled Erin. “In addition to her giving me a safe place to live and continue my education, she loved me into being.”

In 1997, Dee retired to Parksville to her cabin.  Although she is “retired,” she continues to work with adults in a detox center and to help children in the court system.  

“If we get even half of the support Dee has given to countless people over her lifespan we will have more than we need,” stated Erin. 

For more information, please visit the Go Fund Me Page at