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Catholic Life

Remains of Dominican Nuns moved to Mount Calvary Cemetery


The new Our Lady of the Rosary section of Mount Calvary Cemetery in Cheektowaga. (Photo courtesy of Mount Calvary Cemetery)

A blessing and dedication of the new Our Lady of the Rosary section of Mount Calvary Cemetery in Cheektowaga took place on Aug. 22. This section is the final resting place of 71 Dominican nuns who served in Buffalo and Cincinnati through prayer.

“Our legacy is our prayer, our life of prayer, of contemplation, of sacrifice, of penance that we offered for the Buffalo community, for the needs of all who came, and for the Church. That’s who we were. We were a place of prayer,” said Sister Veronica Mary, an extern for the community that moved from Buffalo’s East Side to Newark, Ohio, last August.

Like most cloistered orders, the sisters had a cemetery on their property where their sisters were buried. When they sold the Our Lady of the Rosary monastery last year, the remains of the sisters were moved to Mount Calvary in the newly named section.

“We had to move the bodies from our cemeteries. Mount Calvary was very gracious in allowing us to have a plot where we can have our sisters,” said Sister Veronica Mary.

Fifteen of the sisters had already been moved once before from the Holy Name Cemetery in Cincinnati when the Dominican sisters left that monastery in 1989. 

The Dominicans arrived in Buffalo on May 22, 1905, after Mother Mary of Jesus, OP, presented a request to Bishop Charles Colton for the sisters to come to Western New York. The community made rapid progress in fervor and in numbers, and in due time began building their monastery. The chapel was open to all to come in and pray. The remaining 14 sisters moved to Heath, Ohio last year, and the monastery was sold.  

The dedication gave the sisters an opportunity to gather with local friends who they had left. Last year’s Covid restrictions prevented them from meeting and saying a proper goodbye.

“It was a very sad day when we left (Buffalo), but we knew we were called to go where we were going,” said Sister Veronica Mary.

Father Bernard Confer, OP, served as celebrant for the dedication, which included a litany of the deceased was recited with the names of 71 nuns who have passed away and been buried since 1917.