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St. Dominic Chapel

In 1888, St. Dominic Chapel was built not only as a house of prayer for our sisters, but also for those to whom the sisters ministered, especially the elderly. During that time, “The Chapel in the Woods” – as it was called – was located on the west side of Albany Avenue in the beauty of the trees. It was constructed under the direction of Mother Seraphina Staimer who sadly died in 1889 before the chapel could be dedicated. During her funeral, the bell in the tower rang out loud and proud! DING! DING! DING! Thus, began a new tradition! The bell would be rung at the burial of our sisters. Throughout the chapel’s history, it has been threatened by natural elements including forest fires, electrical storms, and even woodpeckers!  In 1905, for its protection, it was moved to this new location. Rolled on telephone poles, it was pulled by a half dozen horses to this man-made hill where it now welcomes you and all people to peaceful prayer. St. Dominic Chapel has been listed as a National Historic Site.

REFLECTION: “With the faith of a mustard seed, you can move mountains.” – Jesus

This chapel was renovated in 1988 in honor of its 100th anniversary. In 2022, the chapel was again refurbished: the bell tower was fixed, the interior repainted in the original style, and air conditioning and heat were installed to keep the structure well preserved from the elements. When it was moved to its current location, truckloads of sand were hauled in to create this small hill it sits atop now. We believe St. Dominic’s may be the tiniest chapel on Long Island, seating only between 20 to 30 guests at a time. Other notable tiny worship spaces include St. John’s Historic Episcopal Church in Oakdale.

In the garden in front of the Chapel, you will see the statue of St. Dominic that was housed in Dominican Commercial High School.

Scroll down on this page for a video about St. Dominic’s Chapel.

Other stops on the trail: