Having just experienced the 25th anniversary celebration of Siena House and having seen the extraordinary work being done there, it’s a pleasure to share with you that Sister Mary Doris has been selected to be one of the four key speakers at the March 8, 2016 Voices of Faith (www.voicesoffaith.org) event in Rome at the Vatican. Sister Mary has been asked to speak about the work of Siena House over the last 25 years, including the Carnegie Hall Lullaby project. Click HERE to read more
Siena House Director and Staff were honored with VERITAS Medal at Dominican College Graduation on May 19th, 2015
Our Director Sr. Mary Doris and Staff were honored by Dominican College with the 2015 Veritas Medal for compassionate vision, servant leadership and generous service.
Over the years, Sr. Mary Doris has been joined by many of the Sisters of her congregation, among them, Sr. Cecilia Byrnes, Sr. Lauria Fitzgerald, Sr. Patricia Ginty, Sr. Rose Ellen Gorman, Sr. Ann Connolly, Sr. Gilmary Walsh, Sr. Maureen Gibbons, Sr. Catherine Howard, and Sr. Margaret McDermott. Together with a dedicated, lay staff, who work to move young mothers from a situation of homelessness and poverty to independence and self-worth. Many of these residents have gone on to become nurses and social workers, contributing to the vibrancy of their own communities.
Sr. Mary Doris and her companions have been the inspiration behind Siena House for these past 25 years. The fruits of their labors are well known and appreciated by the thousands of women who have benefited from Siena House’s welcoming environment and innovative, enabling programming.
A Shelter With a Mission: Young mothers in the Bronx find refuge and guidance at a former convent. By Kendra Hurley
Uranga’s weekly workshop is just one of the volunteer-led programs that Siena House provides its families. There is also a volunteer life coach who comes on Tuesday evenings, and a volunteer nurse educator who teaches morning workshops and helps mothers with breastfeeding. In the past, Siena volunteers and staff have led the moms in topics like baby massage and how to create a soothing bedtime ritual. They also once had a Mommy and Me group, where mothers played with their babies while picking up parenting tips. Providing programs like these was part of Sister Mary Doris’s mission when she founded Siena House 25 years ago, at the height of the crack epidemic. Then, as now, her vision was of a shelter that worked closely with young, first-time mothers, taking advantage of that window of opportunity just before and after a baby’s birth when parents—and particularly first-time moms—are especially open to help. “If we could really zero in on program development for the first-time mother who winds up homeless, we can short-circuit the trend toward having more children before you are able to provide for them or finish school or get some skills,” says Sister Doris. “I call them a captive audience. If we have them, I want to provide them with programs.”