Associates Forming Community March 3, 2022

One of the four Dominican pillars is community. Many of our sisters live in communities such as in the Motherhouse, convents, apartments and houses. While that is expected of Sisters, what may surprise some is that a few Associates are choosing to live together as well.

Appropriately located on Dominik’s Court, Associates Catherine Crawford, Jennie Amendola and Diane Sheehan as well as S. Lora Bannon currently live in the same apartment complex building: Gail Grace Manor East in Lindenhurst.

These associates have a lot in common. Before the pandemic hit, they were part of the same group of volunteers who often visited the Motherhouse to help S. Bernadette DeMayo and Recreational Coordinator Joan Regan with special events and activities for the sisters. Now, that these associates live in the same place, S. Bernadette has jokingly referred to the apartment building as the “annex”.

When Dominican Associate Diane Sheehan was considering moving into her apartment, she noticed the address: Dominik’s Court. “I knew it was a sign from God,” she said. “It was like God was saying, come on over here and get to Dominik’s Court.”
S. Lora Bannon, who doesn’t drive, appreciates the trend of Dominican friends moving in. She is grateful for the associates who are “so good to me,” she said. The associates and S. Lora visit each other, go out for lunch together, go shopping and even take each other to doctor appointments when needed.

“If anyone needs anything, it’s like a family here,” said Diane. “All our families feel very secure that we are here. It is senior citizens taking care of each other. We all have each other’s keys. We each have our own little apartments, but we can see each others’ apartments from our own.”

“The idea that there are so many of us that are able to help each other is wonderful,” agreed Catherine Crawford.

Even though the pandemic has kept them from the Motherhouse, they still show the sisters they care! In the complex’s multi-purpose room dubbed “the clubhouse”, they get together with other volunteers to work on projects. In October, “we wrapped Halloween bags for the sisters,” said Diane. “We wrapped tulips for Easter and packed ‘Back to School’ bags for them in September,” said Diane.

The clubhouse is also the location of the newest Associate Prayer group. In February, a dozen associates attended the first meeting of a monthly prayer group led by S. Elaine Jahrsdoefer in which participants reflect on the upcoming Sunday Gospel reading.

“I love it,” said Diane. Especially, noting the pandemic, “It is a God-send since we have not been able to be part of a big community for so long. I feel very loved and very blessed. There is a real network here.”

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