Left to right: Nancy Benfer ’04, Bishop Dunn Memorial School Principal; Sr. Lucy Povilonis, OP, Religious Coordinator at Bishop Dunn and former Mount Saint Mary College board member; Fr. Gregoire Fluet, chaplain of Mount Saint Mary College and director of Campus Ministry; Michael J. Olivette, vice president for Academic Affairs at the Mount; Dominic Moffa, who built and donated the new pavilion; and the Moffa family.
Fr. Gregoire Fluet, chaplain of Mount Saint Mary College and of director Campus Ministry, blessed Bishop Dunn Memorial School’s new Rosemarie Moffa Pavilion, the school’s Sensory Garden, and a set of new benches at a dedication ceremony last month.
“We thank you, Lord, for the people who have worked so very hard to make these possible,” said Fr. Fluet.
Bishop Dunn students enjoy mixing numbers and nature at the Sensory Garden, located outside of the school. The Sensory Garden is an outdoor learning space intended for use by all students. Charles Benfer of Milton, N.Y. and Vita Bosco of Chester, N.Y., both Mount Mathematics majors on the Education track, and faculty mentor Mike Daven, professor of Mathematics, spent the past two summers creating the garden for the young students’ use. Thanks to newly added QR codes, students can immediately scan and access new educational material at the gardens via smart devices, keeping the educational experience fun and fast-paced.
Sr. Lucy Povilonis, OP, Religious Coordinator at Bishop Dunn and former Mount Saint Mary College board member, thanked the college for its help in starting the Sensory Garden.
“The vision of the garden is continuing to develop and to grow,” she said. “The children are part of it – they plant in the garden, the water in the garden, they harvest in the garden.”
The new pavilion, located near the school’s playground, was donated to Bishop Dunn by the Moffa family. It was designed and built by Dominic Moffa, and the family donated the building supplies. It was dedicated to Rosemarie Moffa, a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother in the Moffa family.
“I’d like to thank the Moffa family for working so hard and making dreams come true,” said Sr. Povilonis. “It’s going to be wonderful for the children…They’ll be able to have class out here sometimes, and maybe even enjoy their lunch here.”
Fr. Fluet also blessed four new park benches, each named after one of four pillars of Dominican life: study, spirituality, service, and community. The Dominican Sisters of Newburgh established Mount Saint Mary College as a four-year institution 60 years ago, Sr. Povilonis reminded those in attendance. And the four pillars are still an integral part of life at both Bishop Dunn and the college, she said.
“We wanted to make sure that the Dominican charism is kept alive on this campus,” Sr. Povilonis said. “It’s part of our legacy and part of our future.”
The benches were sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Hope.
Bishop Dunn is a Pre-K to eighth grade school in the Catholic tradition, located near the campus of Mount Saint Mary College. It was founded in 1883. The school is committed to the academic, spiritual, emotional, social, and physical development of children, pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.
The college maintains a close relationship with Bishop Dunn. Mount Education students do fieldwork at school, under the guidance of seasoned Bishop Dunn faculty. Many Mount grads go on to work at Bishop Dunn, including Principal Nancy Benfer ’04.