Cardinal Dolan to attend Sisters, Servants of Mary’s centennial luncheon

The Sisters, Servants of Mary with Timothy Cardinal Dolan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral last year.
Photo courtesy of Susan Trammell

When is the last time you had lunch with Timothy Cardinal Dolan at the Marina del Rey? If never, then you will soon get your chance.

The Sisters, Servants of Mary will hold a special celebration commemorating one hundred years of ministry in America. The order will celebrate the milestone at an annual gala awards luncheon benefit and silent auction on Sunday, November 16 at noon at the Marina del Rey located on Marina Drive near East Tremont Avenue and Schurz Avenue. His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan will attend and serve as the gala’s special guest emcee.

“This year, we will be celebrating one hundred years of service in the United States,” said Sister Germana Contreras, mother superior. “We have this luncheon every year, but we wanted to make this one special.”

Originally from Mexico, Sister Contreras emigrated to America in 1992. She has been mother superior for three years and a sister for 25 years.

Tickets for the luncheon are priced at $75 each and can be purchased by calling the convent, (718) 829-0428.

Their convent is located on 3305 Country Club Road in the Bronx and their local community serves the borough, Yonkers, Brooklyn, sections of Queens, upper Manhattan, and lower Westchester.

The sisters are all registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants who care for the chronically sick and terminally ill patients, regardless of his or her religious beliefs, ethnicity or disease. Patients are referred by Calvary Hospital as well as other local hospitals as they plan for a patient’s discharge or transfer to a hospice. The American Cancer Society, New York Hospice, churches, doctors, nurses, medical supply companies or family and neighbors whom the sisters have served may also refer patients to their service.

They are known to spend the night at a patient’s home so families and caretakers can rest. Providing healing, compassion, and unconditional loving care to all they serve is the order’s trademark.

When Medicare or Medicaid benefits have ceased or are unavailable, the sisters step in to cover the costs. Since their order does not charge service fees, they rely instead on Divine Providence and donor’s generosity in funding their ministry. Many of the Sisters continue serving the sick well into their eighties.

Guests at the luncheon are welcomed to donate to the Centennial Fund, designed to support the ministry, maintain the convent, and cover living expenses. Their goal is to reach $253,000. If you wish to contribute, you may make your tax-deductible donation online at serva‌ntsof‌mary-‌ny.org.

In addition, the sisters will also be conducting their first ever silent auction. According to Susan Trammel, Pro Bono Development consultant, there are over 30 prizes to win including four tickets to meet Brian Cashman, New York Yankees general manager, inside his suite; Giants football tickets; and chances to dine at some of City Island’s finest restaurants.

“There’s really something for everyone at this luncheon,” said Trammel. “There’s going to be a lot of interest in our silent auction.”

Trammel, a freelance corporate writer is responsible for composing grant proposals for a handful of Catholic non-profit organizations. In 2005, she read an article about the sisters needing help in repairing the convent’s roof.

“That was the genesis of my involvement with them,” she explained. “Thanks to the Internet, I continue to stay engaged with the sisters over these seven years.”

The Sisters, Servants of Mary, were founded in 1851 in Madrid by Saint Maria Soledad Torres Acosta. In 1914, the Ministers to the Sick emigrated to the United States and established the Bronx community the following decade. There are reportedly more than 1,600 Servants of Mary serving 22 countries throughout the world.

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