November 20, 2013
Sr. Diane Kennedy, OP, discusses Dominican traditions with some
of the Mount’s scholars.
Sr. Diane Kennedy, OP, the vice president for Mission and
Ministry of Dominican University in Illinois, recently
congratulated some of Mount Saint Mary College’s brightest
Sr. Kennedy, a member of the Sinsinawa Dominicans, was an
integral part of Spirit of the Mount Week, which celebrates the
Dominican Sisters who began the Mount Saint Mary College
Invited by the Catholic and Dominican Institute, Sr.
Kennedy presented the college’s Aquinas and Ralph Scholars with
their honor cords, to be worn at graduation. Aquinas Scholars are
juniors or seniors with a minimum GPA of 3.60. Ralph Scholars are
sophomores with a GPA of 3.40 or greater, who have received the
recommendation of at least two faculty members.
Right: Emily Blew of Columbus, NJ examines her new honor cord.
The black and white cords, the same colors as the Dominican cross,
serve as a reminder of the Mount’s motto, “Doce Me Veritatem”
(Teach Me the Truth).
Sr. Kennedy discussed the college’s Dominican Heritage, and its
tradition of study and academic excellence.
“A tradition is a precious living legacy that gives us our
identity,” she explained. “That identity is not dependent on a
white habit, but rather on the collaborations of persons who share
the vision, who understand the meaning and the history and the
grace of the tradition, and who have a similar passion for truth,
for study, for contemplation, for community. That’s why you’re
She told the scholars that while they are the beneficiaries of
the college’s traditions, it is also up to them to continue those
“Become men and women who are rooted in, and transformed by, and
nurtured from, that transition,” she said. “Tonight we say to you
scholars, you’re becoming what we hope you’ll become.”
The Catholic and Dominican Institute, directed by Charles Zola,
assistant professor of philosophy, promotes the heritage at Mount
Saint Mary College; advances the Dominican charism of study and
service; provides a forum for discussion of contemporary ethical
issues; and enhances Catholic and Jewish dialogue.
Recent CDI presentations have included Vatican astronomer Fr.
George Coyne, SJ, discussing faith and the stars; author Stephen
Mansfield exploring religion’s deep significance to Abraham
Lincoln; Dr. Jeffrey P. Bishop, director of the Albert Gnaegi
Center for Health Care Ethics at Saint Louis University, examining
the history of end-of-life care; theologian Fr. Robert Christian,
OP, discussing the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council;
author Nancy Brown’s lecture on the profound contributions that
Pope Sylvester II made to modern mathematics; and a presentation by
Sr. Nancy Murray, OP, (actor Bill Murray’s sister) embodying the
Dominican saint Catherine of Siena.
Sr. Diane Kennedy, OP, and college president Fr. Kevin E.
Mackin, OFM, recently congratulated the Mount’s Ralph and Aquinas
Scholars. Front row: Devon O’Brien of Beacon, NY; Angela Wise of
Bloomingburg, NY; Sara Baloga of Binghampton, NY; Nicole Havrilla
of East Northport, NY; Sr. Kennedy; Fr. Mackin; Stephanie Weaver of
Rockville Centre, NY; Rebeka Mitchell of Naugatuck, CT; and Megan
Green of Poughkeepsie, NY. Back row: Nicole Speranzo of Montgomery,
NY; Jeremias Ramos of Monroe, NY; Joseph Henain of Hopewell
Junction, NY; Charles Zola, director of the Catholic and Dominican
Institute and assistant professor of philosophy; Allison Cowan of
East Hampton, CT; and Emily Blew of Columbus, NJ.