Dominican Sister Mary Regis Nuva retires

Roxanne King

Dominican Sister Mary Regis Nuva died Sept. 22. An obituary will be posted later today. The story below is about Sister Regis’ retirement last week from nursing.          

After more than 60 years of providing nursing care to the poor, sick elderly of the Denver metropolitan area, Dominican Sister Mary Regis Nuva, 86, a registered nurse, is retiring from nursing. Those who were fortunate to work alongside her or to be a patient under her loving care witnessed the true meaning of Jesus’ new commandment outlined in John 13:34—“to love one another as I have loved you.”

“To be a nurse is a gift,” said Sister Regis who “wouldn’t change a thing” about having the opportunity to serve the community’s most marginalized. The 92-year-old charity agency, now called Dominican Home Health Agency, has always provided free, quality nursing care and health-related services to the poor, sick elderly in their homes. Dominican Sister Mary Regis Nuva in 1968.

“We were guests in their homes and treated each patient with respect, honor and dignity. That was the essence of it. It’s really so simple, actually,” said Sister Regis, a past recipient of the Hiawatha Davis Jr. Humanitarian Award.

In 1923, four Dominican Sisters of the Sick Poor, all nurses, arrived in Denver. These dedicated missionaries would leave their Gaylord Street convent each morning equipped with their nursing bag full of supplies, and walk or take public “street cars” into the poorest quarters of Denver to provide in-depth nursing care as well as empathy and encouragement. In 1989, the sisters turned management and governance over to a local board of directors. This important work continues today with a paid, professional, lay nursing staff.

“Our Denver community is so fortunate to have benefited from the fruits of the sisters’ good works for so many years,” said Mary Morroni, board chair, “and Dominican Home Health Agency is the continuation of their legacy, providing Catholic health care to ‘the least of these.’”

The Dominican Home Health Agency has established the “Sister Regis Nursing Care Fund” for patient care. Donations can be made online at www.dominicansisters.org or checks payable to “Dominican Home Health Agency” can be sent directly to the agency at 2501 Gaylord St., Denver, CO 80205. For more information, call 303-322-1413 or visit the website above.

COMING UP: From rare books to online resources, archdiocesan library has long history of service to students

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National Library Week, observed this year from April 4 to April 10, is the perfect occasion to highlight the essential role of libraries and library staff in strengthening our communities – and our very own Cardinal Stafford Library at the Archdiocese of Denver is no exception.  

Since 1932, the library has served as a religious, intellectual, and cultural resource for seminarians and students at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver.

As the library of the seminary, we are always responsible for the four dimensions of the priestly formation of our seminarians. The library is charged with being responsible to all the divisions of the Seminary: the Lay Division (Catholic Biblical School and Catholic Catechetical School), the Permanent Deacon Formation Division, and the Priestly Formation Division, said Stephen Sweeney, Library Director. 

In addition to being one of the main resources to the seminary, the Cardinal Stafford Library serves the needs of other educational programs in the Archdiocese of Denver, including the St. Francis School for Deacons, the Biblical School, the Catechetical School and the Augustine Institute. While the library is currently closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was previously open to anyone, giving people access to more than 150,000 books, audios, and videos. 

The Cardinal Stafford Library was named after Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, Apostolic Penitentiary at the Vatican and former Archbishop of Denver from 1986 to 1996. He was a dedicated advocate of the library and of Catholic education.

In 1932, the library was established by two seminarians, Maurice Helmann and Barry Wogan. While they were not the first seminarians to conceive the idea of establishing a library, they are considered the founders for undertaking its organization.  

Since its founding, the library has grown and compiled a fine collection of resources on Catholic theology, Church history, biblical studies, liturgy, canon law, religious art, philosophy, and literature. Special collections include over 500 rare books dating back to the early 16th century and many periodicals dating back to the 1800s. The oldest publication in the library is a book on excommunication published in 1510. The Cardinal Stafford Library is also home to various relics and holds bills personally written by some of those saints.  

Over the past few years, the library has undergone a process of beautification through various renovations that include improvements in lighting, flooring, and even furniture restoration. During these difficult times, libraries are doing their best to adapt to our changing world by expanding their digital resources to reach those who don’t have access to them from home. 

The Cardinal Stafford Library provides a community space; we subscribe to about 200 print journals and have access to literally thousands more through online resources available on campus computers, Sweeney added. “I have been the Library Director for almost 11 years. I absolutely love my work, especially participating in the intellectual formation of the faithful from all of the dioceses we serve”.  

For more information on the Cardinal Stafford Library, visit: sjvdenver.edu/library 

Featured photo by Andrew Wright