I just got around to picking up and began reading the January 4, 2018, “Catholic Miscellany.” For some reason, I read it out of order. Anyway, I was sad to see the name of Dominican Sister Mary Ann Dardy [in the In Memoriam section]. I had the privilege of knowing Mary Ann Dardy as a mentor, Friend, and even an interviewee for an article I did as a journalism student for the Benedict Tiger College Newspaper, at the time she was director of “Centerplace.” I wanted to impart a few things that many of your readers may want to know about Sister Dardy, and her contributions to the Columbia, South Carolina, community. Whether you choose to print any of this is up to you, I just felt the need to relate the following facts.
In addition to volunteering her assistance to Father Bruce Shult, OP, at Saint Martin de Porres Catholic Church, when the church was still under the Dominicans, she was also a member of the Saint Martin de Porres Gospel Choir. However, I first met “Mary Ann” as she was known to all of her friends, in 1987, when she became volunteer director, advisor, and facilitator of the Epilepsy Foundation of South Carolina’s self-help and information advocacy group. The founding executive director of the Epilepsy Foundation of South Carolina, Mrs. Margaret Massee had [Sister Mary Ann] serve as a spiritual advisor and patient self-help representative ex-officio member of the organization’s board of directors. Sister Dardy was offered the right to vote but felt she could best serve those with epilepsy and their representative organization as a non-voting member of the board.
In addition to this, she worked with the homeless community, both as a volunteer with the Columbia Cooperative Ministries and as creator and volunteer director of “Centerplace,” a homeless resource and intake center for homeless teens. I not only had the privilege of interviewing her for an article that I did on her work, her passion so inspired me that I volunteered my time to the organization. Sister Dardy also acted as a patient representative at Palmetto Health Richland, here in Columbia. Sister Mary Ann Dardy’s compassion, passion, and contribution to the lives of everyone she knew will never be forgotten. Especially those of who knew her through the Epilepsy Foundation of South Carolina.
Yours in Christ,
Keith H. Seymour,
Friend of Sister Mary Ann Dardy,
Member of the Epilepsy Foundation of South Carolina
Writer, community advocate, and public school educator