Dominican Sisters of Sparkill

Women making a difference

All Come Bearing Gifts

In late October 2021, Catholic Charities of San Antonio (CCOSA) sent out a request for Religious Sisters to volunteer for at least two weeks to assist with the influx of Afghan refugees arriving in San Antonio, Texas. The refugees were members of Afghan security forces who had been working with the American Military. The men and some family members with visas had travelled for months from Kabul or Kandahar to Italy or Germany, then to Qatar, and from there to a military base in the U.S. and finally to San Antonio.

Sisters from many congregations were able to respond to this request, including four Sparkill Dominicans, Sisters Jeannine DeClue and Martha Jaegers from St. Louis, Catherine Patrice from New Jersey, and me (from Montana). We were there for periods of two weeks between October 29 and November 20. Housing for the volunteers was provided by the Sisters of Divine Providence in their convent at Lakeside.

Volunteers were assigned to various duties. My assignment included greeting new arrivals at a hotel, setting up a used clothing room, helping to distribute food, and demonstrating how to use microwaves, washers, and dryers. After processing paperwork for the refugees, CCOSA personnel relocated individuals or families to apartments, Airbnbs, or mobile homes. Volunteers delivered bedding, kitchen utensils, cleaning supplies, and groceries to those who transitioned from the hotel into rentals. Staff members assisted the men with employment options. Children were enrolled immediately in school, and adults were encouraged to attend language classes.

Refugees travelling
refugees traveling

One evening, another Sister and I delivered groceries to a young refugee couple. The husband spoke a few words of English and invited us to visit. Since they had no furniture, we sat on the floor and tried to converse while his wife boiled water for green tea. Despite the language difficulties, we had an enjoyable visit. Eventually, they indicated that it was their prayer time, so we thanked them for their hospitality. My only concern was whether or not I would be able to stand after sitting uncomfortably for over an hour on the floor, but fortunately “Kane was able.”

The most memorable part of my two weeks was conversing with Afghans about their food, faith, and families. Men frequently stopped by to share pictures of their wives, children, or parents. Widows and children grieved for friends and family they left behind or those lost in the war. All were hoping for a better future.

On the wall in my office in Montana, I have a poster from National Migration Week 1995. It is a picture of a beautiful quilt with faces of migrants and refugees from around the world. Beneath the quilt are the words: All come bearing gifts. Every newcomer adds color, beauty and strength to the fabric of our society.

Sr. Kathleen Kane– Sister Kathleen Kane, OP

Sister Kathleen has ministered among the Native Americans in Montana since 1973. She currently does pastoral outreach in Big Sandy and at Box Elder, Rocky Boy’s Reservation.

Photo by

A Journey to Freedom

Afghan refugees, gathered in San Antonio, have come here with little more than the shirts on their backs. Most have...
Photo by

Your Prayers Heard and Answered…

The call came in a letter from LCWR (The Leadership Conference of Women Religious) looking for more volunteers to help...
Photo by

Widening the Pegs of My Tent

My experience of volunteering with Catholic Charities of San Antonio was truly one of "widening the pegs of my tent."...

News & Happenings

Sister Suzann Walker at Retirement Event

The Miracle on Locust Street

A Holy Rosary Legend, Sister Suzanne Walker Retires On June 12, 2022, 400 people gathered in the Knights of Columbus...
students posing in front of sign

Dominican Sister Joins STAC Trip to Oglala Lakota Nation

Sister Peggy Scarano, OP, member of the St. Thomas Aquinas College (STAC) Board of Trustees, accompanied a group of STAC...

Dominican Volunteers USA Comes to Completion

For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes! These words of Dag Hammarskjöld seem appropriate as...
one to one learning anniversary celebration

One to One Learning 25th Anniversary Gala

Friday, May 13, 2022, One to One Learning, Inc., a sponsored ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill, celebrated 25...

Upcoming Events

calendar icon


Annual Golf Tournament

25th Annual Golf Tournament

The Dominican Sisters will celebrate their 25th annual golf tournament at the New York Country Club again on Monday May 23, 2022.  This silver anniversary event will include exciting raffle prizes and the 50/50 raffle.  To learn more or to reserve your spot and/or purchase raffle tickets, go to our…

Learn More


calendar icon


Father James Martin Lecture graphic

Building Bridges: The Gospels and LGBTQ Outreach

Often in the Catholic Church, the question of how to reach out to LGBTQ people ends up focusing on the few lines written about them in the Catechism. But are there other places to look for insights? Even though Jesus never talked about homosexuality, can the Gospels tell us anything…

Learn More

Categories: ,

Living Our Mission

See how we make a difference.

aquinas high school

Aquinas High School Graduates Its Final Class

After ninety-eight years of educating young women in the Bronx, Aquinas High School held its final Commencement Exercises on June...

We recognize the connection between the cry of the poor and the cry of the planet. We work to make a difference by promoting gospel justice, defending human rights, and protecting and caring for the planet.

View Video >

Sparkill Sisters in St. Louis

There but for the grace of God…

Social Justice Ministry has been active in my home Archdiocese of St. Louis for my entire life. As I look...

Learn how you can share in our mission

as a

as an

as a


as a

Scroll to Top