From the streets of New York City to service trips to El Salvador, Edward Cramsie thanks Sister Diane Capuano, an Amityville Dominican, in a reflection written for the most recent issue of the Dominican Youth Movement Newsletter. Here is the reflection.
Before I even attended a single class at Molloy College, the first person I met was Sister Diane Capuano. From the moment I met Sister Diane, I knew that she was the embodiment of the Four Pillars of Dominican Life and she immediately became a role model in my life. We initially spoke for 20 minutes on the different service programs that Molloy had to offer and she wanted to start me off with a Midnight Run. From there, I traveled with Molloy on numerous service trips to El Salvador, West Virginia and New Orleans. Each trip I grew deeper in faith and friendship with other students and counselors and I could never truly put my finger on why these connections became so meaningful to me. One day after class, I got a call from Sister Diane in 2018 if I would be interested in going to Caldwell University to attend the National College "Preaching in Action" Conference. The conference opened my eyes to truly understand the meaning of the Four Pillars of Dominican Life. I truly understood the pillars of community and study after spending a week growing closer with other students from all around the country who also went to Dominican Universities while going to different courses and lectures. From there I came to the realization that the Four Pillars of Domincan Life extend past service trips and time on campus at school. At the end of a trip to El Salvador, one of my friends told us about wanting to do more for the kids in El Salvador that we had known and wanted to do a fundraiser. The Summer after, my friend, Jeff Lozano, threw the first fundraising event and raised more than $2,000. The next summer, we had a bigger location and more people and ended up raising more than $4,000 for the community of Sol Naciente, El Salvador. After seeing the beautiful work that Jeff had done, I went to another friend of mine, Joey Marino, and told him since we were both majoring in business that we should give presentations to local businesses to see if we could try and get bigger donors to help our cause. Joey then mentioned that he had been having similar ideas and wanted to start a non-for-profit organization. Joey, Jeff and our other friend Mary Roedig then began work on creating a Corporation and from there filing for 501c3 non-for-profit status. In March 2020, we got the official paperwork back that HOPE Sol Naciente LTD is now an official 501c3 non-for-profit organization! I cannot thank the Dominican Sisters through the Preaching in Action Conference and specifically Sister Diane for being such wonderful role models and mentors throughout my life in College.