From top left: Dominican Sisters of Hope Patricia Magee, OP, Mary Feigen, OP Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt Mary Ann Collins, OP, Ellenrita Purcaro, OP, Dominican Sister of Hope Connie Kelly, OP, Colin Jarvis, Dominican Sisters of Hope Margaret Anderson OP, Catherine McDonnell, OP From bottom left: Dominican Sisters of Hope Andrea Jurewicz, OP, Eileen Hollen, OP, Dominican Sister of Blauvelt Didi Madden, OP

As Dominican Sister of Hope Eileen Hollen, OP has watched the world respond to COVID-19, her stomach dropped. She watched cars line up to receive food donations. At the same time, Newburgh Ministry in Newubrgh, NY increased their number of meals served as residents required shelter for 24 hours. It was clear to Sister that people are in great need.

Sister Eileen is a member of the OPSCC grant committee, and one of the grants claimed her attention. Harmony Farm, in response to many challenges created by COVID-19, is maximizing production, holding the CSA to 30 families and will be donating all remaining produce to local pantries and soup kitchens.

Sister Eileen spearheaded an effort for sisters to donate to Harmony Farm so that they could increase production and make a donation to Newburgh Ministry.

Dominican Sister of Hope Eileen Hollen, OP hands the donation check to Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt Ellenrita Purcaro, OP and Didi Madden, OP of Harmony Farm

Through the generous donations of individual Dominican Sisters of Hope, which were then matched by the leadership team, $4000 total was donated to the farm.

During this time of food need for individuals and families, Harmony Farm will use this donation for seeds and salaries for local workers needing jobs. In paying this forward, the farm will also send weekly organic produce to the Newburgh Ministry in addition to other local Food Pantries and soup kitchens. Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York, Ellenrita Purcaro and Didi Madden committed 22 weeks of fresh organic produce to be donated to the Newburgh Ministry.

The Dominican Sisters of Hope leadership team, along with Dominican Sisters of Hope Eileen Hollen, OP and Andrea Jurewicz, OP gathered at Harmony Farm this week to present the donation. Colin Jarvis, Executive Director of the Newburgh Ministry, was also present.

Dominican Sisters explore Harmony Farm

The Dominican Sisters of Hope are “especially pleased” with Harmony Farm’s networking with the Newburgh Ministry.

“We Dominican Sisters of Hope are excited to support the work of our Blauvelt Dominican Sisters as they work to nurture Earth while assisting those who are burdened by food insecurity, an issue that is exploding with urgency at this time of global pandemic,” the Dominican Sisters of Hope Leadership Team said in a statement. “As one of the founding congregations of this hospitality center, we have supported their compassionate and collaborative presence to the people of Newburgh since its inception. We believe this kind of networking releases the transformative power of Hope well beyond our reach.”

In an email of thanks to the congregation, Sister Eileen wrote succinctly, “Wow!”

“I feel like we became sowers of other seeds: seeds of grace, seeds of interconnectedness to each other in mission, to the earth and those in need,” Sister Eileen said. “The mystery of this story is the mystery of Presence in our everyday life — this is Sacrament.  This is the transforming power of Hope!”

Dominican Sister of Hope Eileen Hollen, OP (right) points at lettuce at Harmony Farm