To Teach As Jesus Did
From their earliest years in the late 1870s, the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill have embraced the ministry of education. The seeds of the Congregation’s ministry in education took root in New York City where the Sisters cared for destitute orphaned children and expanded to Rockland County when they relocated many of the children when they opened St. Agnes Home and School in 1884. As early as 1890, the Sisters began staffing parish schools—St. John School in Piermont, followed by St. Ann School in Nyack in 1897.
As the congregation grew, the Sparkill Dominican Sisters started the first of many schools in Missouri in 1900. September 2021 marks the 120th anniversary of Holy Rosary School in Monroe City. Principal Sister Suzanne Walker is the latest of a long line of principals and teachers in its 120-year history of continuous leadership by Sparkill Dominicans.
Back in the East, the Sisters opened more schools in the Archdiocese of New York, and then in the New York Dioceses of Albany, Brooklyn, Rockville Center, and Syracuse, and in the Diocese of Wilmington, DE. Known for their excellence as educators, the Sisters have been honored on many occasions. In 2014, Cardinal Timothy Dolan joined Principal Sister Mary Elizabeth Mooney for the 100th anniversary of the Sparkill Dominicans’ ministry of education at St. John Chrysostom School in the South Bronx when the street was renamed “Dominican Sisters of Sparkill Place.”
In 1958, the Sisters went international when they responded to an appeal from the Dominican Fathers to educational ministry in Pakistan. Sixty years later, native Pakistani Sparkill Dominicans continue to administer and staff five schools in Pakistan. And in the 1970s, the Sisters’ educational ministry expanded to include St. Paul’s Mission School in Montana.
Learn more about the legacy of the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill in Catholic education at the secondary and college levels: