The Roman Catholic Community of
Most Holy Trinity – St. Mary

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

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 Dominican Sisters at Trinity


The Sisters of Saint Dominic of Amityville, New York began serving the parish in 1853

Click here to visit the web site of the Amityville Dominican Sisters


St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Sienna

Windows depicting St. Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Dominican Order, and St. Catherine of Sienna, the great Dominican saint and Doctor of the Church, adorn the main arcade level of our church building closest to the sanctuary. These windows are a tribute to the Dominican Sisters and the service they have given to our parish since their arrival in 1853.

  The Convent of the Holy Cross

The building that now houses the Trinity SRO was formerly known as the Convent of the Holy Cross.  It is actually three buildings; at one time the main section of the building (in the middle--at 157 Graham Avenue) housed the motherhouse of the Dominican Congregation of the Holy Cross (now popularly known as "the Amityville Dominican Sisters"); the section to the left of the motherhouse housed an orphanage, while the section on the right, closest to the church building, housed the novitiate or formation house for the sisters' community.


Want to Learn More about these Sisters?

The Amityville Dominican Sisters are a community of women religious.   As they preach and teach the Gospel, they seek creative ways to minister in today's world.  The community is present in eight States, Puerto Rico, Colombia and the Dominican Republic.



You may reach the sisters' vocation director at the following address, phone number and email:

Vocation Director
555 Albany Avenue
Amityville, New York  11701
Tel: 631-842-6000, ext.324

 Dominican Sisters at Trinity

        The four original Dominican Sisters, Josepha, Augustine, Francesca and Jacobina, came to Trinity in 1853 from Heilig Kreuz (Holy Cross) Monastery in Ratisbon (now Regensburg), Bavaria (now part of Germany). They had intended to settle eventually in Pennsylvania where they had previously been invited by a Benedictine priest to teach German-speaking children. For some reason, when the sisters arrived in New York, neither the Benedictine priest nor anyone from Pennsylvania came to meet them; they were then stranded without a sure destination. A local Redemptorist priest heard of their situation and took them to his church where they were later introduced to Father John Stephen Raffeiner, the first pastor of Most Holy Trinity.

        Father Raffeiner convinced the sisters to come to Williamsburg in order to work with the German-speaking children of his parish. Within a week of their arrival on the docks of New York City, the sisters settled into humble quarters located in the basement of the original rectory at Trinity and they took charge of the parish school.

        Eventually additional sisters came to Trinity from Ratisbon and they joined the efforts of the four who had come first. The early sisters at Trinity formed the foundation of what is now the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Amityville, New York. From the Amityville Dominicans, twelve sister congregations have formed in other parts of the country and the world.



The last of the Dominican Sisters departed Most Holy Trinity in the summer of 2009.  For the first time in one-hundred and fifty-six years, the sisters no longer served full-time in the parish.  A special bond between the Dominican Congregation of the Holy Cross ("the Amityville Dominican Sisters") and the parish will last forever!

Hundreds, if not thousands of Dominican Sisters served the parish after the community first arrived in 1853 and until the last departed in 2009.  For the hundreds of sisters who served the parish, we are forever grateful!

Thank you sisters!



Vision Statement of the Sisters' Community

As members of the Dominican Congregation of the Holy Cross, we are active contemplatives, vowed and bonded members sharing a variety of gifts and cultures.

As prophetic witnesses in collaboration with others, we will call ourselves, the Church and society to credibility. We will be responsible members of the universe. We will promote the dignity of marginalized persons. We will reject violence in ourselves and in society in order that all Generations will grow and cherish life.

With the world as our frontier, we are open to the Spirit.



The Dominican Shield

There are eight triangles on the Dominican Shield--four white and four black. The triangles symbolize the unity of a community made up of many different people who nonetheless work side-by-side in order to promote the well-being of all. The cross, superimposed over and unifying the triangles, represents victory, duty and self-sacrifice; it features fleur-de-lis at each end, a traditional symbol of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The black triangles symbolize wisdom, silence, fortitude and penance. The white triangles symbolize peace, purity, charity and sincerity.  Sometimes the shield is also surrounded by six or eight stars; they are the symbol of St. Dominic de Guzman (1170-1221), the founder of the Dominican Order.



Click here to visit the Web site of the Amityville Dominican Sisters




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Last Updated: Monday October 25, 2010 12:30 PM

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