2018 Honorees and Biographies

  

Laudare ✠ To Praise

"Let your light shine before others in such a way that they may see your
good works and praise your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16

 

Kuo York Chynn, MD, FACR

2018 Veritas Award Recipient

 

Chynnphoto CopyKuo York Chynn was one of nine children in a large family in Shanghai, China. He attended Deutsche Medizinishe Akademie Shanghai, a German combined university/medical school, and in 1949 he was to begin a series of internships in the United States when Shanghai was overtaken by the People’s Republic of China. Miraculously, Dr. Chynn was able to secure passage on a Dutch cargo ship with one suitcase, $60, and a small ivory statue of Buddha that his mother handed him as he boarded the ship.

Dr. Chynn attended St. Louis University for his radiology residency and then became the sole Asian physician in a private practice in Great Falls, Montana.  In l956, York was facing deportation proceedings, but his colleagues petitioned Senator Mansfield to sponsor a bill for him to remain, which was signed by President Eisenhower. Dr. Chynn served as Assistant Professor of Radiology at New York Cornell Hospital & was awarded an NIH Fellowship to study neuroradiology in London and Stockholm.  Dr. Chynn returned to establish the Neuroradiology Division at New York Hospital and at St. Luke’s Hospital in 1967, where he retired as Clinical Professor of Radiology in 1994.

Dr. Chynn attended St. Louis University for his radiology residency and then became the sole Asian physician in a private practice in Great Falls, Montana. In l956, he was facing deportation proceedings when his colleagues petitioned Senator Mike Mansfield to sponsor a bill for him to remain, which was signed by President Eisenhower. Dr. Chynn served as Assistant Professor of Radiology at New York Cornell Hospital and was awarded an NIH Fellowship to study neuroradiology in London and Stockholm. Dr. Chynn returned to establish the Neuroradiology Division at New York Hospital in 1960 and at St. Luke’s Hospital in 1967, where he retired as Clinical Professor of Radiology in 1994.

Dr. Chynn converted to Christianity in 1960 to marry Noelle, whose family was Catholic. He and Noelle raised their three children, Emil, Monica, and Audrey, in the Church and have been faithful supporters of many Catholic charities for more than 50 years. Their gifts include the funding of essay contests on ethics at several institutions and an endowed scholarship at Fordham University’s School of Social Work, where Noelle earned her master’s degree.

In 2018, Dr. and Mrs. Chynn created the Dr. J. T. Vincent Lou Fund for the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill. Established in memory of Noelle’s father, the Dr. Lou Fund will ensure, in perpetuity, the teaching of the principles of Catholic Social Teaching through lectures, seminars, and conferences. The Dominican Sisters of Sparkill are honored to share with Dr. Chynn and his family the firm belief that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God, and that the dignity of human life and of all creation is preserved and flourishes when men and women live according to these principles. For this reason, the Sisters are proud to present the Veritas Award to Dr. Kou York Chynn.

 


Benedicere ✠ To Bless

“I will bless the Lord at all times.” – Psalm 34

Mary Beth Quaranta Morrissey, PhD, MPH, JD

2018 Veritas Award Recipient

 

Mary Beth Morrissey2

Mary Beth Quaranta Morrissey, daughter of Drs. John V. and Mary Ann Quaranta, hails from the hamlet of Blauvelt in Rockland County, New York, where she grew up in the Quaranta family home with her mother Mary Ann, her brother Kevin, and her Irish-born grandmother Bridie O’Connor. She was educated by the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt at St. Catharine of Alexandria Parish School. Mary Beth ‘s relationship with the Sparkill Dominican Sisters developed early on through Sister Una McCormack who had met Mary Ann through the Fordham Graduate School of Social Service where Mary Ann served on the faculty and later became Dean. After Mary Ann lost her husband John at age 35 when Mary Beth and Kevin were still in their infancy, Sister Una became a faithful friend and support system to Mary Ann and both Mary Beth and Kevin. Sister Una visited the family frequently on the weekends and was always a source of guidance to Mary Beth and Kevin. It was because of Sister Una’s persistent urging that Mary Beth decided to pursue doctoral studies in 2005 at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. Through Sister Una, Mary Beth also learned about the work of the Sparkill Dominicans, including the projects of Sister Ursula Joyce.

Mary Beth went on to distinguish herself in her studies, and has become a well-known scholar locally and nationally, while also being a devoted wife to Edward for thirty-seven years and mother of their five children, Mary Breda, Kerianne, Kathleen, John, and Teddy. At Fordham College, Mary Beth was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior, graduating summa cum laude in 1979. Thereafter Mary Beth earned her JD at Fordham Law School (1982) and her PhD at the Fordham Graduate School of Social Service in gerontological social work (2011). After serving in several legal counsel roles, Mary Beth turned her focus to interdisciplinary scholarship at the intersection of health law and policy, social work, public health and bioethics.  

Drawing on her own lived experience, Mary’s Beth scholarship and research, as it has evolved over the decades, are concentrated in three principal domains: the development of the maternal as a theoretical framework for understanding the nature of suffering and the ethical obligation to the other in a global ecology of all sentient beings; engagement in policy advocacy, especially in the area of palliative care and end-of-life decision making; and, finally, advocacy on behalf of vulnerable and marginalized persons and groups, including older persons and immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Mary Beth is not only a leading health care attorney in New York State, but most recently assumed the office of president of the American Psychological Association Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology. 

Following in the footsteps of her beloved parents Mary Ann and John, grandmother Bridie, brother Kevin, and her revered counselor Sister Una, Mary Beth’s work has fully embodied the values of the Sparkill Dominicans. A stalwart supporter of the Sisters’ goals and ministries, Mary Beth serves on the congregation’s Advancement Committee and the Board of Directors of Thorpe Village/Dowling Gardens.

In both her personal and professional life, Mary Beth truly embodies the values of the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill in her unwavering commitment to ethical practice and service to others. For these reasons, the Dominican Sisters are honored to present the Veritas Award to Dr. Mary Beth Quaranta Morrissey.

 

Praedicare ✠ To Preach

“Go into all the world and teach all nations.” – Mark 16:15

The Sisters' Mission in Pakistan

Sixty Years of Grace

2018 Veritas Award Recipients


camelIn 1958, eight Sparkill Dominican Sisters departed on a ship for Karachi, Pakistan. Inspired by the words of the gospel, "Go into all the world and teach all nations," the Sisters went to Pakistan, not to proselytize, but to live a simple, prayerful, compassionate life of service, bearing witness to their being followers of Christ. They faced formidable challenges, but the compassion they felt for the Pakistani people, the support they received from the Sisters and friends of the Congregation at home, and God's abiding grace helped them to transform thousands of lives. The Sisters established clinics to meet basic health needs of the people, including midwifery. ln response to needs expressed by the people, the Sisters began adult education—catechetical, sewing, typing, and English classes—with an emphasis on developing lay leadership. In Bahawalpur, the Sisters established Dominican Convent School which began with about 70 students, and they opened the Dominican Study Center, an Urdu Christian school to serve children whose parents could not afford to pay fees.

 A novitiate was opened in 1966 for women seeking to become Sisters. Today there are 16 professed Sisters, 3 novices, and 1 postulant. Sister Maureen O’Toole who has been in Pakistan since 1969 is the only American Sister who remains.

 

At present, the Sisters’ work is in education and religious formation. Dominican Convent School is nationally recognized as one of the finest schools in the country, with 1,320 girls and boys enrolled—mostly Muslim with some Christians. Five other schools have been established to provide a Christian education for minority children, most of whom cannot afford to pay tuition. The Sisters also opened hostels to make it possible for girls who lived in outlying districts to attend school. The Sisters continue to travel hundreds of miles to reach small villages to convince families of the importance of education for their children.

 

The Sisters came to Pakistan knowing that someday the American Sisters would no longer be there. They worked to prepare Pakistani Christians to be leaders within their local communities—a vision that has become a reality. Sister Anna Bakhshi leads the community of Sparkill Dominicans who now serve with native Pakistani catechists, teachers, priests, doctors, and bishops. The seeds planted in Pakistan sixty years ago will continue to bear fruit into the future, bringing peace and dignity to the people of Pakistan through the continuing support of the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill and their friends.