On Sunday, September 25, 2022, the Sparkill Associates celebrated their 42nd Anniversary with the commitment renewals of 12 Associates and the recognition of Associates Josephine Capone, Carol Davide, and Ellen O’Sullivan for their 40 years of dedication to the life and mission of the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill.
The celebration was held in Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel in Sparkill, New York, and attended by Sisters, Associates, family, and friends. Sister Irene Ellis, Prioress, began the ceremony by welcoming all to Dominican Convent, followed by Ellen O’Sullivan, New York Associates Co-Director, who shared a glimpse into her 40 years as an Associate, “My faith grows here, especially when I question so much of our world today. I find answers here and support here. I have lifelong friends here; we share a bond that doesn’t exist anywhere else.”
The history of the Associates was shared by Sister Mary Dempsey who was one of the first Co-Directors from its inception in 1980 until 1983. Associate Frank Cappadona then read from the Paul’s Letter to the Romans (12:4-8) which was followed by a reflection by Associate Carol Davide: “God’s invitation to become an Associate is a gift to all of us. It provides opportunities for lay women and men to join the vowed members in prayer, service, and presence, while still living these values within our own vocations. How supportive this has been for me and my fellow Associates!”
The Ritual of Commitment commenced with Sister Nancy Richter’s inviting the following Associates to renew their commitments: Frank Cappadona, Carol Davide, Diane Dunne, Mary Ann Genito, Terese Heim, Yesenia Kopperman, Patti McCallion, Robert O’Neill, Susan O’Neill, Ellen O’Sullivan, Ellen Tambini, and Adele Tesseyman.
Eight other Associates were unable to attend and are renewing individually: Rosemarie Byrnes, Josephine Capone, Stephanie Carpentieri, Linda Colandrea, Anne Donohue, James Russell, Alice Schulman, and Patty Schulman.
After the renewal and signing of commitment documents, the ceremony concluded with the Dominican Blessing and a closing prayer by Diane Dunne, New York Associates Co-Director.
That was not the end. The celebration continued in the Dominican Convent dining room, with wonderful appetizers and desserts. The gathering allowed for the sharing of stories and memories of the past 42 years with laughter, and some tears, as those gathered remembered the Associates who are no longer with us.
Sister Irene Ellis, Prioress, expressed a communal sentiment, “It is such a joy to celebrate the 42nd Anniversary of our Associates. The Dominican Sisters of Sparkill are so grateful, and we congratulate those Associates who have renewed their commitment to continue sharing life and mission with us.”
A photo exhibit, Our Associates – A 42-Year Journey, remains on display in the gathering space of Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel.
– Yesenia Kopperman, Sparkill Associate