“Through you, I am touched by the experience of God.” —Sister Dominique
Sister Dominique Long experienced every person as a beloved child of God. She went out of her way to meet people and made everyone feel special and important. With her death at age 93 on Sept. 26, 2019 in Ross Hall, Sister leaves a legacy as a gifted musician, talented composer, beloved teacher, spiritual mentor and woman of wisdom.
Eleanor was born on Dec. 11, 1925 in Livingston, Mont., the first of two children of Dominic E. and Lucy Napoli Long. The natural beauty of her surroundings, family celebrations and abundant music influenced her from an early age. Eleanor began piano and violin lessons in the third-grade. She graduated from St. Mary’s Grade School where the SCLs taught and from Park County High School. After earning a music education degree from Saint Mary College, Leavenworth, Eleanor returned to the Livingston high school as a music teacher for two years. She joined the SCL Community on Aug. 18, 1950 and professed vows on Aug. 15, 1952. She took her father’s name as Sister Dominic, but later transitioned to Sister Dominique.
Music was Sister’s intimate friend throughout her life. She taught at high schools in Billings, Mont.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Helena, Mont. She enjoyed being a member of the Remnants, the SCL stage band that performed across the country and taped a show for television with Lucille Ball. Sister Dominique earned her master’s in music education from DePaul University, Chicago. From 1967 to 1976, she taught in the music department of Saint Mary College and worked in student services and campus ministry.
In her next ministry, Sister Dominique was among the founding staff of the Jesuit Institute in Denver for the Focus on Leadership sabbatical and renewal program. She continued this ministry in Spokane, Wash., in association with Gonzaga University where she taught courses on prayer and spirituality of the arts for priests, men and women religious, and lay ministers from around the world. Sister Dominique had a gift for helping others get in touch with the mystery of God deep within them. An acquaintance observed, “Through her creativity, through music and movement, through light and color, through silence and contemplation, through communication and affirmation, Sister Dominique encourages, invites others to explore soulful and inner places.”
In 1998, Sister Dominique returned to her family home in Livingston and devoted time to her music ministry, composing and giving workshops. In early 2012, Sister began living at the Mother House in Leavenworth and assisted with musical accompaniment for Masses and celebrations. She transferred to Ross Hall in September 2015.
Her spirituality, happiness, music and personality endeared her to a wide circle of former students, colleagues, friends and family. Her nieces and nephews remain amazed at how many people she knew. For them, she will always be their beloved “Auntie.”
Preceding Sister Dominique in death were her parents and her brother John Long. Survivors include her sister-in-law Agnes Long; nieces and nephews; their families; and her SCL Community.