Supporters Like You

Read about supporters who help the friars work for the salvation of souls and the glory of God in parishes, hospitals, college campuses, and elsewhere.

James Donovan

James Donovan encountered the Dominican Friars at age ten, when he attended a Dominican-run boys’ camp in Staatsburg on the Hudson, New York. He lasted a week, before a bee sting and homesickness sent him back to Astoria, Queens, but he would reconnect with the friars as a young man.

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While studying at a Fordham University, James worked at Bloomingdales and made a daily visit to the nearby Dominican Church of St. Vincent Ferrer. “It reminded me of St. Patrick’s Cathedral on a smaller scale. It was always warm and welcoming, and I liked the fact that they maintained the choir on the sides,” James says. He was drawn to the personalities of the friars, whom he remembers as “always working, always doing something, never idle.”

James, a lecturer and middle school principal, met his wife, Patricia, on the S.S. United States the first day out of port en route to Bermuda: “Something inside me clicked and a voice said, ‘She’s the one.’ I went over to her and said, ‘Pardon me, madam, would you like a glass of strawberry champagne?’ She said, ‘Yes, I would.’ The rest is history.” The president of the United States Lines sent a scale model of the S. S. United States to James and Patricia as a wedding gift. It remains on James’ bookshelf to this day.

James and Patricia were married at St. Vincent Ferrer and made it their safe harbor during a life of travels to five continents. They were ‘adopted’ into an Indonesian family (with whom James maintains contact) and invited to Scotland by the Archbishop of Glasgow, Cardinal Thomas Winning, whom they befriended on a transatlantic cruise. Their marriage was blessed by Pope Saint John Paul II.

Patricia passed away in 2017, and remains in the prayers of the Dominican Order.

We are grateful to James and Patricia for their generous support. According to James, a daily reader of St. Catherine of Sienna, whose Dialogue he keeps beside his armchair, “I like the fact the fact the Dominicans are on the front line when it comes to the youth. God knows we need preachers!”

John Guldan

In his own words: The comfort of knowing the Dominican Friars are praying for him and his loved ones makes John Guldan feel even more connected to our mission. 

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I was looking for a religious order to support, in a modest way, with small donations. I’m a retired Catholic high school teacher, so I’m not that well-to-do, but I wanted to be part of a Catholic effort that was really going places. That’s when I came across the Dominican Friars through an article in the National Catholic Register about how vocations were coming straight in through the front door in the Province of St. Joseph.

I did some research and was impressed that the Dominicans have always been one order without any divisions (I guess that’s the historian in me), by their solid Marian piety, and by their balance of action and contemplation. I began donating and included the Dominican Friars Foundation in my will, becoming a St. Dominic Legacy Society member.

I’m grateful that God has given me such a strong connection to the friars. I can’t tell you what a privilege it is. When things in my life go haywire, I always remind myself, “John, the Friars are praying for you, for Mom, and for your situation right now at the Dominican House of Studies and throughout the Province!”

“You can’t go wrong in supporting the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph: They keep you informed, they are specific about where your donation is going, and you will always receive a thank you. Most importantly, you will be supporting young men who are giving their lives to Christ and His Church.”

—John Guldan

Diana Banister

In her own words: PR professional and former Foundation Board member Diana Banister supports the Dominican Friars because of their ability to preach Catholic values in a grounded way. This is especially important within our mission to defend life. 

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I’ve always felt an attraction to the Dominican charism of teaching and preaching the Gospel because that’s my business, too: communication. To me, the Dominicans really embody John Paul II’s call for a new evangelization. Their presence is growing here in DC, and they’re reaching a lot of young people who want to learn more about their faith and more about the Church. 

The Knights of Columbus recently did a poll on what people believe about life issues, and 80 percent think there should be more restrictions on abortion. So we’re winning young people. People are beginning to think of abortion as a human rights issue—that every human being should be given a chance for life and happiness. This is something all young people who are attuned to caring for others can understand.

If you’re Pro-Life, then you’re Pro-Woman, and if you’re Pro-Woman, then you’re Pro-Life. Cosmopolitan had a great article…that notes how we’re actually turning hearts and minds on this issue and doing it in a joyful and positive way.

Albert Juergens

In his own words: Artist and inventor Albert Juergens recently donated his Catskills estate to the Dominican Friars. After turning an outbuilding into small chapel, the Friars held their first retreat at St. Albert’s Retreat Center, named for the 13th-century Dominican Doctor of the Church and teacher of St. Thomas Aquinas. 

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God works in many ways. In 1937 my parents bought a small farm with a house dating from 1855, a barn, and 34 acres of land as a place for their children to spend summer vacations. The house had no indoor plumbing, and the only water was supplied to a cast iron sink in the kitchen from a spring some quarter mile up the mountainside above the house.

As the years went by, changes and additions were made. In 1987 my wife, Lore, and I moved to a house in the farm orchard, which we had built piecemeal over the years to accommodate our four children, their spouses, and our 19 grandchildren. Starting about three years ago, Lore had some unfortunate falls, which led to a change in our plans to live out our lives in Huntersfield. Since our children and grandchildren were scattered to the four winds, there was no logical family member to inherit the farm.

We had always referred to the farm being in God’s country. Mountains seem closer to God. It became my intention to return the farm effectively to God. Last year, we learned about the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph. They struck us as smiling, energetic, and devoted young men who dedicate their lives to doing God’s work. Since many of the friars are carrying out their mission in New York, a city of high intensity, it seemed logical to gift the farm to the friars as a place for contemplation and renewal. Logos and the Spirit provided the solution.

“Last year, we learned about the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph. They struck us as smiling, energetic, and devoted young men who dedicate their lives to doing God’s work.”

—Albert Juergens

Join the St. Dominic Legacy Society

Together we can do so much. Join a community of people who share your passion for preaching the Gospel and reuniting faith and reason by joining our Legacy Society.