Dominican sisters of Sparkill - Order of Preachers - Women making a difference

Gift of John Thorpe Paintings

     Sr. Mary and Sr. Anne

The Dominican Sisters of Sparkill knew that Sister Anne Lythgoe, OP (Dominican Sisters of Peace) was to be the keynote speaker for their Assembly on June 22. Sister Anne’s encouraging and challenging words on “Grace and the Task of Mission” found a home in the hearts of those gathered and formed a framework for decisions to be made and direction set. What they didn’t know was that she was also bringing a gift, a surprise. At the conclusion of Anne’s talk, she presented to Sister Mary Murray, president of the Sparkill congregation, three oil paintings by John Thorpe, the father of Alice MaryThorpe, founder of the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill


Lucy Eaton Smith had joined Alice Mary and Lucy Thorpe early on when the Sparkill congregation was being formed in 1876. When Lucy Smith realized that her dream and mission to nurture the spiritual life and faith formation of women was not going to be possible with the Sparkill community, she left to start her own congregation, the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine de Ricci, in Glens Falls, NY in 1880. After her sister Alice Mary died, Lucy Thorpe (now Sr. Agnes) joined Lucy Smith in the de Ricci congregation and brought with her some family heirlooms, including some paintings by her father who was quite an accomplished oil painter in England.


Sister Anne explained that after her congregation’s merger with the Dominican Sisters of Peace in December 2012, when they were closing their offices, they realized that they were in possession of a treasure that had originated with the Sparkill community. The three John Thorpe paintings had hung in the de Ricci congregational offices for many years. Sister Anne presented the paintings with these touching words:


As a gesture of friendship and love for you, our Dominican Sisters, it is my privilege to return to you these three Thorpe paintings. These were part of our treasure, our legacy and it is fitting now that they come home to you.

They are marked with titles: this is “Early Spring,” this is “Meadow Rest,” and this one, “Tranquility.” So may you take time for a meadow rest as you go about the task of mission, may you have the grace of an early spring when winter seems too long, and may the grace of tranquility accompany you on the journey ahead.





Early Spring
 Meadow Rest


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