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Four Dominican Sisters Celebrate 70 Years In Orangetown

From left to right: Sister Louis Marie Baxter, Sister Mary Ellen Cameron, Sister Eileen Tierney, and Sister Victoria Sloane.
From left to right: Sister Louis Marie Baxter, Sister Mary Ellen Cameron, Sister Eileen Tierney, and Sister Victoria Sloane. Photo Credit: Katie Beckman

BLAUVELT, N.Y. - If one wishes to see selflessness embodied, they should look no further than Blauvelt.

This Sunday, sisters Victoria Sloane, Eileen Tierney, Louis Marie Baxter, and Mary Ellen Cameron will be honored at a jubilee celebration mass for their 70 years of service as Sisters of Saint Dominic at the Saint Dominic Convent. Sisters Mary Doris and Dorothy Golden will also be honored for 60 years of service.

Sister Sloane, Sister Tierney, and Sister Baxter joined the sisters in September of 1946 and Sister Cameron followed shortly thereafter in February 1947.

"It was a very, very happy 70 years," Sister Sloane said.

"They were good years, fulfilling, and a big part of it I think is you could find your own space. We were never stopped from doing for others if it was for the betterment of everyone," Sister Baxter said.

Before joining all four were inspired by the selflessness shown by Dominican Sisters.

Beginning in 1878 the Sisters of Saint Dominic have dedicated themselves to several causes including education. (Sisters of Saint Dominic founded Dominican College after Fordham University disbanded a campus in the area.)

Part of this cause, in addition to caring for the children at Saint Dominic's home, involved undertaking missions typically lasting six years.

The list of places the sisters went is like an alphabet soup of catholic schools, many of them in the Bronx: St. Nicholas of Tolentine School, Our Lady of the Assumption School, St. Luke's School, Lavelle School for the Blind, along with Oceanside for Sister Cameron and Providence, R.I. for Sister Tierney. (Sister Sloane recalls crying the entire ride up to Rhinebeck where she went on her first mission.)

Despite the years the sisters still chuckle as they retell old stories, like the one Sister Cameron told about one boy from the Saint Dominic's who crafted himself a makeshift press pass, went to an event in Nyack, and ended up on the front page of the newspaper shaking President Dwight D. Eisenhower's hand.

Even now the sisters still hear from children they either had as students or from the home.

"If you asked, us we'd do it all over again," Sister Tierney said.

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