By Katie Beckmann Mahon, Communications Manager, Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, NY
Since March, it has felt as if life has been on pause, and only recently, that the world is beginning to get back to a “new normal.”
For Sr. Monica Paul Fraser, OP, a Sister of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York, and a Pastoral Associate at Incarnation Church in Sarasota, Florida, her return back to her ministry couldn’t have come at a better time.
Sr. Monica Paul and others at Incarnation Church have been ministering remotely since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak.
During those months, Sr. Monica Paul and other volunteers would frequently check in with her parishioners over the phone to see how they were doing, as well as let them know about remote resources on the parish website that they could utilize to stay connected.
“It was such a worthwhile project, and people were grateful for the calls,” shared Sr. Monica Paul.
As much as Incarnation Church’s 3000+ parishioners have appreciated those check-ins, Sr. Monica Paul’s role in bereavement ministry has been just as valued during the pandemic.
As a Pastoral Associate and primary contact for bereavement ministry, Sr. Monica Paul has hosted weekly support groups for those suffering the loss of a loved one, as well as a chronic or terminal illness.
Sr. Monica Paul also provides her parishioners with an opportunity for individual conversations regarding the bereavement process.
“I meet with people who are grieving and continue to be inspired by them.”
The opportunity to serve and connect with those in need was significant to Sr. Monica Paul in becoming a Pastoral Associate and a Sister of Saint Dominic.
At a young age, Sr. Monica Paul felt called to be a Women Religious, when she read about Dominican spirituality.
After entering the Congregation at age 21, Sr. Monica Paul has “never stopped thanking God for this tremendous gift.”
Sr. Monica Paul shared, “I have been blessed with wonderful assignments and opportunities to serve. I have lived with women who have inspired me by their goodness and dedication. The Community has provided me with an education, both academic and spiritual, that makes me able to do my ministry. Every single day has been a blessing, a total gift.”
One of the most significant gifts of Sr. Monica Paul’s time as a Sister of Saint Dominic came when her mother became ill and needed care.
“The Community allowed her to live with me for 11 years before she went to God. I am certain that this gift and her knowing several of our Sisters contributed to her desire to become Catholic. Four weeks before she went to God, she was baptized, and I was her Godmother. She is buried in our Cemetery, and my friends visit her grave when they go to pray for our Sisters. It doesn’t get much better than that. I can never adequately express my gratitude to God and the Community. I trust that God does and will.”