DYMUSA had the opportunity to speak intimately with Sr. Barbara McEneany about her vocation and time at Dominican University New York. We’d like to share her story with those who know and love her, and equally with those who might not know her.
Sr. Barbara McEneany had a deep connection to God from an early age. Her relationship with God and her desire to serve God and the poor led to her entering into the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt. The idea of religious life had kept popping up for her, and, although she had a lot of fun at high school dances and dating, she knew that she had to follow through on God’s invitation. For Sr. Barbara, her call to ministry began as a call to enter into a relationship with others, and her experience in ministry to migrant workers, young people, and young adults has all provided her with opportunities to relate to others.
Her desire to relate to others in her ministry led her to Dominican University New York, where she has been a campus minister for 35 years. During that time, one of her greatest assets as a campus minister has been being present on campus and being in relationship with the students. Often, she stands in the hallways and starts up conversations, learning about the students and their daily lives, whether it is an upcoming test or one of the sports events. Because of this, Sr. Barbara has built up trust with the students at Dominican University. Sr. Barbara shared, “ My greatest privilege is to journey with them when they’re struggling.” She draws her inspiration from the parable of Jesus seeking the lost lamb, and an image of this event hangs in her office to remind her of her mission. Remembering her students and what they are going through has become a source of great joy.
Sr. Barbara also spoke about how much she appreciates the relationships she has with her colleagues at Dominican University New York, describing the atmosphere as being part of a family. She said, “We know each other so well, and it’s a beautiful networking, and we’re able to really assist each other.” This collaboration became the foundation for how she can do ministry effectively, knowing that she is supported by members of the university community who all share her desire to help students grow to their full potential.
During her time at Dominican University, Sr. Barbara has been an active participant in the College Preaching in Action Conference, an experience that has shaped her understanding of being part of the Dominican Family. Describing the experience, she said, “Something is born there, and it often starts like the mustard seed. You just get swept off your feet in different ways.” She spoke about how humbled she was seeing the relationships that formed between the participants at the conference, from the camaraderie that arose among the mentors who recognize that they share “a bond from embracing the charism, and our desire to walk with the students,” to the students who formed connections with one another that often last far beyond the week of the conference.
Looking ahead at the future, Sr. Barbara shared,
My one hope for the future is the continuation of the richness of our Dominican charism in all its forms, coming together as a group of people who are together in their values and mission to praise, bless, preach, and serve God’s people. To be together in prayer and study and preaching, always serving God’s people in whatever fashion we find ourselves. To be able to say, “I’m a Dominican, and part of the Dominican Young Adults.” This is an extra special charism to preach the Word and live it and serve. That’s the fruit of the contemplation that we do. The fruit is to be the Holy Preaching to those we meet. I’ve noticed a little microcosm of that at the Preaching Conferences. Loving one another and having fun with one another!
We are so grateful for the gift of Sr. Barbara McEneany, and we look forward to honoring her at the 2nd Annual Gala: Building a Bridge for Tomorrow’s Leaders on March 10th, 2023. We invite you to share in the joy of celebration by visiting www.dymusa.org/gala23 for more information.
We know you’re a friend of Sr. Barbara’s….will you also be a
“Friend of Dominic?”
Become a "Friend of Dominic" by donating $100 to help us to continue to offer programs, conferences and workshops that serve our young people. We focus on establishing impactful relations, building faith, and strengthening our young people’s commitment to God and the Dominican Order, and it’s only possible through the support of donors like you.
"Friends of Dominic" receive:
Name in virtual program booklet
Recognition on DYMUSA website
Recognition in May Newsletter
1 Ticket to the Gala
You can either mail a check to Dominican Youth Movement USA or fill out our online form here with your credit card information.
Please make checks out to:
555 Albany Avenue
Amityville, NY 11701
Att: Sister Gina Fleming, OP
Memo: Friend of Dominic