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Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne






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845-745-1319 Sister Catherine Marie

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Hawthorne, New York and Atlanta, GA

Patron Saints/Famous Saints of the Community

St. Rose of Lima is our patron saint - as we are the Congregation of St. Rose of Lima. Naturally, we also have great devotion to our holy father St. Dominic and to St. Catherine of Siena. Our foundresses cause is currently under review for canonization.


Like Saint Dominic who was full of solicitude for all of humanity, Mother Mary Alphonsa was moved with tender compassion for the most neglected and marginalized segment of society in her day, the cancerous poor. Mother Alphonsa’s intention in forming her Congregation was to bring the healing spirit of Christ and his Church to those who were most in need while asking nothing in return. She learned in all things to recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit and to find hidden spiritual treasures in the lives of those who supported the work no matter what their religious or cultural background. The apostolate of the Servants of Relief for Incurable Cancer is founded on a living and dynamic faith in Jesus Christ and his twofold commission of witnessing to the truth of the Gospel and serving the poor. Because ours is a Congregation of both contemplative and apostolic elements, each Sister has been called by God to witness first to the reality of Christ’s presence in this world through her life of consecration. From this consecration flows our engagement in the works of the apostolate.


In 1896 Rose Hawhtorne Lathrop, who became Mother Mary Alphonsa, OP, began to care for those with incurable cancer free of charge in a tenement flat she rented on the lower East side of Manhattan. In 1899 she and Mother Mary Rose were received as tertiaries of the Dominican Order by Fr. Clement Theunte, OP. From there the Order slowly grew and after caring for the sick in several different areas of the lower East Side, a home was built on Jackson Street, and by then the group of Sisters were known as "Servants of Relief for Incurable Cancer." A home was purchased in Hawthorne, NY in 1901 to provide a place in the country for the patients. The first sisters had to suffer many privations; the house was cold and there was little money to meet expenses. Mother Alphonsa set them a splendid example of patient endurance, and as time went on matters improved. Mother Alphonsa died in 1926 and the community unanimously nominated Mother Mary Rose, the co-foundress, as the Mother General. Our community has continued our foundresses legacy of caring for the sick with incurable cancer for free.
In recent years we have placed a return of emphasis on our Dominican roots, returning to a more traditional habit.

Prayer Life

Our apostolate is only fruitful because of our life of prayer. Our day begins with the Mass. We pray the rosary and the Divine Office daily. We have 2 holy hours every day and the Sisters strive to live a Dominican life which is both contemplative and active with our particular Order, being one that brings that fruit of contemplation to the sick and to be a witness to the truth of the sanctity of life.

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