April 25, 2017
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Left to right: Meredith Murphy of Mahwah, N.J.; Victoria
Kuhr of Holbrook, N.Y.; Raiya Isaac of Hawthorne, N.J.; Sr. Bette
Ann Jaster, OP, a Dominican Sister of Hope; Charles Zola, associate
professor of philosophy, director of the Catholic and Dominican
Institute, and chair of the division of philosophy and religious
studies; Ilona McGuiness, vice president of Academic Affairs;
Jeanne Conboy, administrative assistant of the Catholic and
Dominican Institute; and Jessica Kovach of Queens,
Mount Saint Mary College’s Dominican Scholars of Hope recently
donated nearly $350 to help the children of the war-torn city of
Aleppo in Syria.
“We decided that our community service project for this year
would involve aiding children,” explained associate philosophy
professor Charles Zola, founder of the Dominican Scholars. “The
students researched what was going on in Aleppo, presented to the
campus community, and raised the donations. They’ve done a great
job for a good cause.”
The Dominican Scholars of Hope is a nonacademic living and
learning community for highly motivated Mount freshmen. Rooted in
the values of the Judeo-Christian and Dominican heritage of the
Mount, it was inspired by the four pillars of Dominican life:
study, spirituality, community, and service.
The program is spearheaded by Zola, director of the Catholic and
Dominican Institute and chair of the division of philosophy and
religious studies. It is now in its second semester and consists of
about a dozen students.
The money was presented to Sr. Bette Ann Jaster, OP., a
Dominican Sister of Hope, before her recent Mount lecture, “The
Catholic Social Justice Teachings Made Real and Active in our
Time.” It will be utilized in the Dominican Sisters’ “We Have
Family in Iraq” charitable program.
“By donating to this program, we know the money will be used for
the purpose it was raised,” explained Zola.
According to Sr. Jaster, nurturing community isn’t just the
right thing to do – it’s ingrained in the Catholic experience.
“The Gospel urges us,” explained Sr. Jaster, “and the world
needs what we have to offer.”