The Sisters of St. Dominic, Amityville, are planning to sell their former Dominican Commercial H.S. in Jamaica, according to press release dated July 26.
“On behalf of all the Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville, N.Y., a decision was made to sell a large piece of property in Jamaica, N.Y.,” said Sister Mary Pat Neylon, O.P., prioress of the Sisters of St. Dominic.
The property, buildings and parking lot are located at 82-14 161st Street and 89-25 162 Street, respectively. The buildings being sold include the school and two convent-residences: Bethany Convent and Kairos Residence which currently house a total of seven sisters. The religious sisters are in the process of relocating to other residences.
Dominican Commercial H.S., 1936-98, served as one of the premier business schools for young women in New York City. Over the years, it prepared girls to attend college as well as equipped them for carrying out clerical, secretarial, administrative roles in the work force. When it closed in 1998, due to declining enrollment, it became a host site for several not-for-profit organizations.
The Sisters of St. Dominic have a rich history in the New York area. In 1853, four Sisters from the Holy Cross Monastery in Regensburg, Germany, responded to a request to travel to the U.S. to teach the children of German immigrants.
Father Stephen Raffeiner of the Redemptorist Fathers in Manhattan offered shelter to the religious sisters in the rectory basement of Most Holy Trinity parish in Williamsburg.
By the 1870s, the growing congregation of sisters moved to a farm in Amityville, L.I., and became known as the Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville. Through the years, the sisters have always responded to the signs of the times as presented to them in the beckoning needs of the people, leading to expansion of their work throughout parts of the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
“We are part of the international, 800-year-old Dominican Order of women and men founded in 1206 by St. Dominic de Guzman in southern France,” said Sister Mary Pat, “and this decision to sell will help the Sisters continue the mission of our Congregation which includes preaching the Gospel of Jesus, being responsible members of the universe, and helping to alleviate social ills.”
A portion of the proceeds from the sale will serve to support and care for retired sisters.