When Judy Pond is in need of words to spark courage and hope within herself, she doesn’t have to go very far. The words of St. Paul to the community in Philippi echo inside her, “Whatever is right, whatever is admirable,… put into practice and the God of peace will be with you.” ( Philippians 8: 8-9 )

Judy has been an Associate of the Dominican Sisters of Hope since 2015. Her experience of Dominican Sisters goes back farther than that. Her great aunt, Sr. Clementine Reedy, was a member of the Dominican Sisters of Newburgh, NY and Judy, herself, was a member of that community for 11 years serving in their teaching ministry.

Judy Pond (center) with Dominican Sisters of Hope Monica Socinski (left) and Teresa Paul Heinke (right)

After leaving the community, she refocused her life through marriage and raising a family, but, she says, “I’ve always been grateful for the long-lasting relationships I’ve had with the sisters.” That is why in 2018, after months of praying, studying, and meeting with many of the sisters, she requested to make an enduring commitment as an Associate.

Judy continues to make prayer and service in her local community in Connecticut priorities in her life. She is an ESL instructor for a four and a half year old Ecuadorian child who with her family has resettled in America.

Recently, a group of lay men and women, whose lives have been influenced by the charism of the Dominican Order, have formed a lay community near her home. She has been part of welcoming them and helping them to set up their new home in Connecticut. This lay community is called the Benincasa Community because their model of being persons of service is St. Catherine (Benincasa) of Siena, noted peacemaker, mystic, theologian, and patroness of the Dominican Order.

Judy also is a member of one of the small group Community Chapters of Associates and Sisters of Hope who meet throughout the year for prayer, study of social issues, and how to take action for relief of those affected by unjust global issues.

 She readily admits, “As an Associate of Hope, intermingling my life with the lives of the other Associates of Hope and of the Sisters, has been a transforming and joyful experience.”