Philanthropy is generosity in all forms…giving of time, talent, and treasure. The ministries of the Dominican Sisters of Peace are blessed with friends who are true philanthropists…who give generously of their time to volunteer, their talents to help us create new ways to serve the marginalized in our communities, and their
treasure to support the work that we do.
Julia McNamara, PhD, is an example of one such philanthropist. She will tell you that she has been associated with the Dominican Sisters of Peace for most of her life, attending our founded high school, Dominican Academy, in New York City, and Ohio Dominican University in Columbus.
She went on to earn a master’s in philosophy and a PhD in French Language and Literature. She contributed her time and talents to our work for most of her adult life, serving first as a visiting professor, later as Dean of Students, and from 1981 to 2016, as President of Albertus Magnus, our founded college in New Haven, CT.
“Albertus is a Dominican institution, and I really found my place working with the Dominican Sisters of Peace. It is such an important focus for me,” she said in a 2016 interview with the Hartford Courant.
“Organizations evolve,” said Julia, “to meet the needs of the time. We are required to participate in the work and the life of the church, and of one another. The Dominican Sisters of Peace do that through community, service to the Church, and through their ministries of ecology, education, health care and spiritual guidance. This why I supported the Congregation even before they became Peace and continue to do so today.”
William “Bill” Keck, of Dayton, OH, says that his support is a direct result of the fine education that he received from our Sisters who taught him while a student in Newark, OH.
“I attended Catholic school for all 12 grades, starting at Newark Blessed Sacrament, St. Francis High School, and Newark Catholic.” Bill chuckles as he says, “I needed a lot of encouragement from the Sisters. They were stern,
but they were good teachers.”
Bill remembers several of those teachers by name, but most important was Sr. Marie Bernard Kennedy,
OP, who taught Bill as a senior at Newark Catholic High School.
“She taught me geometry, physics, and advanced math, but the most important thing that Sr. Marie Bernard
taught me was that I was a better student that I thought I was. She inspired me to go from a C student to an A
student – she taught me that I could do that if I applied myself,” Bill recalls.
“I was lucky to have her as a teacher, even if for only one year. She had such a profound impact on my life…
her encouragement shaped the rest of my life.”
Bill studied accounting at the University of Dayton and has had a successful career as an accountant. He stayed in contact with Sr. Marie, visiting her at the Motherhouse even after she retired.
For Columbus, OH, resident Mary Rae Kelley, supporting Dominican Sisters is a family tradition. “My father was taught by Dominican Sisters at St. Francis on Buttles Avenue, I was educated by Sisters at St. James the Less and at St Francis DeSales.”
This affection for the Dominican order seems to be a family vocation as well. Her great Aunt was a Dominican, and she remembers trips to the Columbus Motherhouse and Mohun Health Care Center to visit her aunt and two second cousins who were Dominican Sisters of Hope. Many of Mary Rae’s donations have been earmarked for the care of our elderly Sisters.
Of her 24+ years of support of the Dominican Sisters, Mary Rae says “It’s just the right thing to do. I have spent my life around the Dominicans, and the Sisters taught us a lot.”
Julia, Bill and Mary Rae are just a few of the friends who have given so generously of their time, talent and treasure since we became Peace – and even in the years before. We are grateful to them – and to you – for your gifts that enrich our ministries at home and around the world.