WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne have assisted their community for over 100 years by taking in patients who suffer from incurable cancer and are unable to afford their needed nursing care. Their support does not come from the Federal Government nor the private insurance companies or the patients. They are supported by charitable donations.
"The home truly is a beautiful place with excellent patient care," said Maria Galli, an agent with ERA Insite Realty Services in Thornwood. "The patients are well fed, bathed and cared for; it's unbelievable how much they influence the community." Galli has donated turkeys at the holidays, personal necessities and other items over the years, anything that can help the Sisters in their compassionate mission to bring some cheer to the patients.
Founded in 1900 by Mother Mary Alphonsa, the Dominican Sisters have three homes where they provide personal care to patients. They operate Rosary Hill Home in Hawthorne, Sacred Heart Home in Philadelphia and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Home in Atlanta.
Mother Alphonsa wanted to find a way to help the less fortunate on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, so she eventually brought terminally ill patients to a home to give them proper loving care. She wanted the patients to feel like guests who she had "put up in her best bedroom."
"We give the patients palliative care, which is providing comfort and care for all their needs when they need it most," said Mother Mary Francis, who currently presides over the Congregation. "Having a place to be treated like family and dying with those who care for you like one of their own, showing God's love, that is what we strive to achieve," she said.
All the homes rely on charitable donations to keep patients as well cared for as possible. Thanks to the support of individual contributors and community support, the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne are able to continue serving society's most vulnerable. They operate somewhat under the radar and don’t actively solicit donations, so not everyone in the area may know of them when considering where to make donations of food, clothing or other useful everyday items.
"We would like to give care to as many patients as possible," said Mother Francis. "We want to take care of those people who need us so that they can die in peace and comfort with dignity when God is ready to call them."