Congregation of Our Lady of the Rosary (Sparkhill, N.Y.) [1070–11] A diocesan community founded on May 6, 1876, in New York City by Mother Catharine Antoninus Thorpe, a convert from the Anglican Church. The first work of the Congregation was the care of the sick in their homes as well as providing a refuge for indigent women. From this developed the necessity of caring for destitute children. Property was purchased in Sparkill, N.Y., and the motherhouse and novitiate were moved there in 1895. By 1900 the sisters' work included teaching in elementary and high school, and that same year their ministry was extended to Missouri. Eventually education became the congregation's principal ministry. In 1958 the sisters responded to an appeal to serve in Pakistan. Since 1980 Associate members have shared actively in the mission and charism of the Congregation. Today, the ministries of the sisters have expanded in response to the needs of contemporary society to bring about a more just and peaceful world. They are child-care workers, educators, parish ministers, social workers, nurses, chaplains, artists, spiritual directors, housing managers, campus ministers and counselors.
Congregation of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (Grand Rapids, Mich.) [1070–14]. This community is a daughter community of the community in Newburgh, N.Y., and began in 1877 when five sisters came from New York to Traverse City in northern Michigan for the purpose of establishing Catholic schools. By 1885 personnel and schools had increased so much that the Michigan foundations were organized into the province of St. Joseph, with its central house at Holy Angels Convent, Traverse City. In 1894 Henry Joseph Richter, first bishop (1883–1916) of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, which embraced the western and northern two-thirds of Michigan, suggested that the sisters sever connections with distant New York and form a separate community. The present congregation with its motherhouse at Marywood in Grand Rapids thus came into existence. The sisters who were outside the diocese continued their affiliation with the New York group, but later formed an independent community, the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Mich.
The congregation's Novitiate Normal School eventually evolved into Aquinas College in 1940, though the college is no longer owned by the congregation. Besides education, the sisters minister health care, pastoral services and the foreign missions.
[m. g. udell]
Congregation of St. Catherine de Ricci (Elkins Park, Penn.) [1070–17] A community with papal approbation (1938) founded in Glens Falls, N.Y., in 1880 by an American convert, Lucy Eaton Smith, to meet the spiritual needs of women. By 1883, Lucy Smith (Mother
Maria Catherine de'Ricci) and her small community established the first retreat house for women in the United States on the Albany-Troy Road. The first motherhouse was built in Albany in 1887. The ministry spread south and west, and included religious education and the residence apostolate as companion ministries. Three academies in Cuba (1899 to 1961) were confiscated by the Castro government; ministry to the Cuban refugees continued in Miami until 1971. A second outreach for various mission involvements operated in Cali, Columbia, from 1965 to 1980. The sisters continue their ministry in retreat centers, parish work, faith formation, campus ministry, and areas of women's needs.
Congregation of St. Catharine of Siena (St. Catharine, Ky.) [1070–01] Founded in 1822, this congregation of Dominican Sisters is the oldest Dominican congregation in the United States. The founder was a Dominican priest, Samuel Wilson, who had come to Kentucky with several confreres in 1806. Unable to obtain help from convents in Europe, he decided to meet the need for sisters by establishing a new community. A beginning was made in 1822 with nine candidates, young women from Kentucky and Maryland. One of these, Mother Angela Sansbury, was chosen the first superior. With teaching as its chief work, the congregation expanded into many areas of the U.S., and eventually to Puerto Rico. The sisters continue to minister in education at all levels and sponsor St. Catharine College in St. Catharine, Kentucky. They also minister as pastoral associates, social justice advocates, and health care workers.
Two other congregations in the U.S. have stemmed from St. Catharine, Kentucky—the Dominican Sisters of Columbus, Ohio, and Springfield, Illinois.
Bibliography: a. c. minogue, Pages from a Hundred Years of Dominican History (New York 1921). v. f. o'daniel, A Light of the Church in Kentucky … Samuel Thomas Wilson, O.P. (Washington 1932). p. noonan, Signadou: History of the Dominican Sisters.
[m. a. martin]
Congregation of St. Catherine of Siena (Racine, Wis.) [1070–09] In 1862 Mother Benedicta Bauer and Sister Thomasina Ginker went to Racine from the Dominican convent in Ratisbon, Germany. This was the same community that had begun its first U.S. mission in Brooklyn, New York, in 1853 (the Dominican Sisters of Amityville, N.Y.). The sisters staffed parochial schools, and in 1864 they opened an academy that was the fore-runner of St. Catherine's High School in Racine. The sisters continue their ministry in education and pastoral ministry, as well as health care, social justice ministry, and other outreaches to the poor and disenfranchised
Bibliography: m. h. kohler, The Life and Works of Mother Benedicta Bauer (Milwaukee 1937); Rooted in Hope (Milwaukee 1962).
[m. h. kohler]
Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena of Kenosha (Kenosha, Wis.) [1070–25]. These sisters, who formed an independent community in 1952, stem from the Irish Dominican Sisters by way of Portugal. The Portuguese branch began in 1865 under the leadership of a noblewoman named Thereza Salhdana. Four years later, six sisters who were trained in Ireland came to Portugal. The work of the congregation, mainly in education, flourished until 1910, when the anticlerical government suppressed religious communities. From the dispersal of the sisters there developed new ventures in the U.S. and Brazil. Six sisters, who had been deported to their native Ireland, were invited in 1911 by the bishop of Baker City, Ore., to open a convent in his diocese. They first established themselves in Ontario, Ore., and then, in 1915, in Hanford, Calif. In 1917 the novitiate (and later the motherhouse) was located in Kenosha, Wis. Until 1952 the U.S. foundation continued to be subject to the Portuguese congregation.
[m. d. grady]
Congregation of St Cecilia (Nashville, Tenn.) [1070–07] A community with papal approbation, begun in 1860 as a branch of the Dominican Sisters of Columbus, Ohio. Four sisters from Somerset, Ohio, came to Tennessee in 1860 to open an academy for girls at the invitation of the bishop of Nashville, James Whaleen (1859–63). Although threatened with financial and other difficulties during and after the Civil War, the sisters succeeded in opening a novitiate in 1867. Several years later (1873) the sisters rendered valuable service by nursing the victims of cholera and yellow fever. The congregation, engaged mainly in teaching, has houses in Tennessee, Alabama, Ohio, and Virginia. In 1929 the sisters opened their own normal school, the first of its kind to be affiliated with The Catholic University of America. The sisters continue their ministry in education and sponsor Aquinas Junior College in Nashville.
[m. r. schaefer]
Congregation of St. Dominic (Blauvelt, N.Y.) [1070–15]. A diocesan community with the title Congregation of Saint Dominic. Originated in New York City from the Ratisbon (Germany) Dominican Foundation in 1859. Mother Mary Ann Sammon and six other sisters established an orphanage for children in 1878 in Blauvelt (Rockland County), N.Y. An independent Dominican Congregation for women under the archbishop of New York was formally established in 1891.
The Congregation is actively involved in education at all levels, as well as ministries that serve the poor and disenfranchised. The Congregation is served by a president and three councilors.
[r. a. caimano/eds.]
Congregation of St. Mary (New Orleans, La.) [1070–08]. A congregation with papal approbation (1946), begun in 1860 by a group of the Irish Dominican Sisters. Mother Mary John Flanagan and five other sisters from Dublin, Ireland, arrived in New Orleans on Nov. 5, 1860, to staff a parochial school at the request of Rev. Jeremiah Moynihan, pastor of the church of St. John the Baptist. From 1910 to 1985 they sponsored St. Mary's Dominican College in New Orleans. The sisters minister in education, retreats and social work.
[m. de r. albrecht/eds.]
Congregation of the Queen of the Holy Rosary (Mission San Jose, Calif.) [1070–12]. A community with papal approbation (1922) that stemmed from the Dominican Sisters of Amityville, N.Y. In 1876 Mother Maria Pia Backes, accompanied by Mother Mary Amanda Bednartz and Mother Mary Salesia Fichtner, came at the request of Joseph Sadoc Alemany, O.P., first archbishop of San Francisco, Calif., who was seeking religious teachers for the Catholic children of the West. In 1888 the autonomy of the California foundation was effected. The new motherhouse was established in San Francisco, and Mother Maria Pia was elected the first superior general. The motherhouse was transferred in 1906 to Mission San Jose in the Diocese of Oakland, Calif. The sisters continue to minister in education and other areas of pastoral ministry with a special outreach to the poor.
Congregation of St. Rose of Lima (Oxford, Mich.) [1070–26]. The community began in 1923 with the founding of the convent of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Windber, Pennsylvania., by Sister M. de Sales Zavodnik, a member of the Dominican Sisters of Olomouc, Czechoslovakia. A notiviate was established on June 9, 1923, with the investiture of three American postulants by the bishop of Altoona, Pennsyvlania, John J. McCort (1920–36). In 1927, with the approval of the bishop of Detroit, Mich., Michael J. Gallagher (1918–37), the motherhouse and novitiate were canonically founded at Warren, Mich. Twelve years later, the Menscola Manor in Pontiac, Mich., was given to the sisters to house their increasing membership. In 1948 the motherhouse was transferred to Oxford, and in 1950 the U.S. community separated from the European motherhouse.
The sisters minister in health care, retreats, and education.
[m. g. woytko]
Congregation of St. Rose of Lima (The Servants of Relief for Incurable Cancer in the U.S., Hawthorne, N.Y.) [1070–23]. A diocesan community of Dominican Sisters founded in 1896 by Rose Hawthorne Lathrop (Mother Alphonsa lathrop), the younger daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne. A convert of five years and a widow, she undertook in September of 1896 the work of caring for the cancerous poor on New York City's lower East Side. From the earliest days she was aided by a young associate, Alice Huber, from Louisville, Ky. On Dec. 8, 1900, they took religious vows as Third Order Dominicans. When Mother Alphonsa died in 1926, she was succeeded by Miss Huber (Mother Rose) who was superior until her death in 1942. The sisters continue to minister individuals who suffer from incurable cancer.
Bibliography: k. burton, Sorrow Built a Bridge: A Daughter of Hawthorne (New York 1937). t. maynard, A Fire Was Lighted: The Life of Rose Hawthorne Lathrop (Milwaukee 1948). See also g. gieraths, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, (Freiburg 1957–65) 3:491–493. m. heimbucher, Die Orden und Kongregationen der katholischen Kirche (Paderborn 1932–34) 1:524–536.
[j. t. clune]
Congregation of St. Thomas Aquinas (Tacoma, Wash.) [1070–20]. A community with papal approbation which stemmed from the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell, N.J. The community was begun at Pomeroy, in the Diocese of Nesqually (now Seattle), Washington Territory, on Oct. 24, 1888, when three sisters arrived from Jersey City, N.J. In 1893 property was acquired in Tacoma and the motherhouse and novitiate were moved there from Pomeroy. In response to Vatican II the sisters initiated many changes in structure, ministry and lifestyles.
[m. r. hurley]
Congregation of the Holy Cross (Amityville, N.Y.) [1070–05]. The community originated in 1853 when four sisters came to Williamsburg in Brooklyn, N.Y., from the Dominican convent in Ratisbon, Germany. Led by Sister M. Josepha Witzlhofer, these sisters, who traced their history in Germany back to the early 13th century, became the forerunners of numerous Dominican congregations in the U.S. Three of these stem directly from the Brooklyn community—the Dominican Sisters of Newburgh, N.Y.; Mission San Jose, Calif.; and Great Bend, Kans.
The sisters in Brooklyn became an independent congregation probably in 1857. Nearly a century later, in 1947, the motherhouse was transferred to the same location as the novitiate in Amityville, now in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y. The sisters minister in education and pastoral work, as well as social work and spiritual direction.
Bibliography: e. j. crawford, The Daughters of Dominic on Long Island, 2 v. (New York 1938–53).
[r. m. connolly]
Congregation of the Most Holy Name (San Rafael, Calif.) [1070–04]. The Congregation was founded in 1850 by Joseph Sadoc Alemany, O.P., who, while in Rome, was named bishop of Monterey, Calif. On his return to the United States he stopped in Paris seeking help for his diocese. Sister Mary of the Cross Goemaere of the Monastery of the Cross volunteered to accompany him. She obtained two novices as companions and set out for California with Bishop Alemany. The novices were left at the Dominican convent in Somerset, Ohio, and in their place two professed Somerset sisters came to California. Bishop Alemany and Sister Mary Goemaere arrived in San Francisco on Dec. 6, 1850. On July 18, 1851, the first foundation, a convent and school, was canonically erected in Monterey. In 1854 the motherhouse was moved to Benicia, Calif., and in 1889, to San Rafael, Calif. The Congregation received papal approval of its constitutions in 1931.
Since the beginning, the sisters have ministered in United States in the fields of education and health care. The Congregation is credited with having established the first convent in California.
Congregation of the Most Holy Rosary (Adrian, Mich.) [070–13]. A community that traces its roots to the Dominican Sisters of Newburgh, N.Y. In 1879 four sisters came from New York to Adrian, Mich., to teach at St. Mary School. In 1880, four more sisters came to St. Joseph parish to teach, and in 1884 six sisters from Rosary Convent in New York established St. Joseph Hospital and Home for the Aged in a farmhouse on the outskirts of Adrian.
In 1892 the Adrian community became a province of the New York Dominicans and Mother Mary Camilla Madden was appointed the first provincial. In 1923 the community became a separate congregation and Mother Mary Camilla became the first superior general. Following her death on Jan. 8, 1924, she was succeeded by Mother Mary Augustine Walsh, who served until she died on Jan. 8, 1933. During her term of office the sisters, who ministered mainly in teaching, undertook social work in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Mother Gerald barry, elected third superior general in 1933 and reelected in 1939, remained in office, with the permission of the Holy See, until her death on Nov. 20, 1961. Under Mother Gerald vocations increased notably and many new foundations, including hospitals, were made. In 1960 a five-province plan of government was inaugurated, the generalate headquarters and novitiate remaining at Adrian. Mother Mary Genevieve Weber was elected fourth superior general in June of 1962. Her first official acts included the establishment of a poor parish in Lima, Peru, and the drawing up of plans for Maria Hall, a sisters' infirmary and retirement center at the Adrian motherhouse.
In the wake of Vatican II, the sisters entered into a variety of new ministries besides education and hospital ministry. They adopted a participatory form of government and have adapted community life to new forms. The sisters sponsor Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla., and Siena Heights University in Adrian, Mich.
[m. p. mckeough]
Congregation of the Sisters of St. Dominic of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Akron, Ohio) [1070–28]. A diocesan community founded in 1929 that stems from the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell, N.J. Early in 1887 the sisters came from New Jersey to found a mission in Ravenna, Ohio, and then in Akron six years later. In 1923 Joseph schrembs, Bishop of Cleveland, urged the purchase of the present motherhouse at Our Lady of the Elms in Akron. Mother M. Beda Schmid became the first superior general in 1929. The sisters minister in education, pastoral ministry and a variety of other apostolates.
[m. r. paulus]
Dominican Rural Missionaries . A congregation of women religious with papal approbation. The community was founded in France in 1932 by Mother Marie de St. Jean Beauté to assist priests in rural parishes. The motherhouse is at Flavigny, Côte d'Or, France. The sisters came to the U.S. in 1951 and founded a convent in Abbeville, La., to work among the French-speaking people in the southwest portion of the state.
[m. de p. rehkopf]
Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Dighton, Mass.) . Founded in 1696 in Sainville, France, by Bl. Marie Poussepin, who gathered women for prayer and works of mercy. Keeping with the spirit inherited from their foundress, the sisters observe the Third Order Rule of St Dominic, pray the Dominican Office of the Hours, and set aside quality time for meditation and other daily prayers.
The Congregation had twenty houses in France at the time of the foundress' death in 1744 and subsequently spread out to 36 countries in North, South, and Central America, and France, England, Italy, and Spain, West, East, and North Africa, Iraq, Lebanon, Jerusalem, India, and Korea. It received pontifical status in 1887 and official Dominican recognition in 1897.
In North America the activities of the sisters extend from the pastoral ministry in the local parish to education at all levels, and various forms of social work in order to respond to the calls of the time and to the urgency of evangelization.
Bibliography: g. thÉry, Recueil des actes de la Vénérable M. Marie Poussepin: 1653–1744, 2 v. (Tours 1938). t. mainage, Mère Marie Poussepin (Paris 1914).
[m. w. lapointe]
Dominican Sisters Congregation of Holy Cross (Edmonds, Wash.) [1070–21]. This group stems from the Dominican Sisters of Newburgh, N.Y. (now the Dominican Sisters of Hope), who established a western province at Aberdeen, Wash., in 1890. The sisters in the Far West were governed from the eastern motherhouse until 1923, when they formed an independent congregation. The sisters minister in education at all levels as well as health care, community service, peace and justice ministry and advocacy for women and children.
[m. a. logan]
Dominican Sisters of Great Bend (Great Bend, Kans.) [1070–24]. A community with papal approbation (1954) which began in 1902 as an offshoot of the Dominican Sisters of Amityville, N.Y., founded by Mother Antonina Fischer. The sisters' ministries include preaching; education; healthcare; housing for the elderly, handicapped, and poor; domestic work; parish ministry; Hispanic ministry; work in peace and justice; and foreign missionary work. The congregation has an international Rosary Shrine prayer ministry. A daughter foundation, the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena of Nigeria, has also been established.
[m. t. tockert]
Dominican Sisters of Hope . A Papal Congregation formed from three former congregations of Dominican Sisters: the Congregation of St. Catherine of Siena, Fall River, Mass.; the Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary, Newburgh, N.Y., and the Dominican Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Sick Poor, Ossining, N.Y. The Congregation was begun on July 20, 1995. Rooted in the charism of St. Dominic, the sisters, through work and prayer, seek to be givers of hope in their ministries in education, spiritual direction, retreats, and parish ministry, especially in low-income areas.
Dominican Sisters of Houston, Texas (Congregation of the Sacred Heart) [1070–19]. The congregation began when 20 sisters from Somerset, Ohio, arrived in Galveston, Tex., on Sept. 29, 1882, in response to an appeal from Bp. Nicholas A. Gallagher (1882–1918). Mother M. Agnes Magevny governed the group until her death in 1891. Her successor, Mother Pauline Gannon (1891–1921), recognizing the need for teacher certification, began sending the sisters to study at the University of Texas. In order to accommodate them and other young women she built a residence, Newman Hall, near the campus in 1918. The next superior general, Mother Catherine Kenny (1922–34), moved the motherhouse of the community to Houston in 1926.
The congregation has provided leadership for Project Head Start, the Montessori method of education, and the accreditation of schools in the Diocese of Galveston-Houston. St. Agnes Academy and St. Pius X High School, both in Houston, are operated by the Dominican Sisters of Houston. Sacred Heart Dominican College, later Dominican College, operated on the motherhouse grounds from 1945 to 1974, providing an opportunity for the sisters to earn degrees and teacher certification. Following Vatican Council II, the congregation began to serve in campus ministry, parish religious education, social work, and a Guatemala mission.
Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of the Rosary and of St. Catherine of Siena, Cabra . A congregation with papal approbation founded in Cabra, Dublin, Ireland, in 1644 founded in Galway, and confirmed by Giovanni Battista Rinuccini (1592–1653), Archbishop of Fermo and papal nuncio to Ireland. Temporarily dispersed by religious persecution early in the 18th century, the sisters established a central house in Dublin in 1717. From this community several new congregations were founded in the 19th century in the United States (the Dominican Sisters of New Orleans, La., founded in 1860), South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
The sisters are engaged in education, social work, parish and retreat ministry.
From the original Galway community there is also a group of cloistered nuns at the convent of St. Catherine of Siena, founded in Drogheda in the 18th century.
[m. g. murphy]
Dominican Sisters, St. Mary of the Springs (Columbus, Ohio) [1070–02]. A Dominican congregation established in 1830 in Somerset, Ohio, by Sister Benvin Sansbury and three other Sisters from the St. Catharine's Kentucky Dominican community. The sisters minister in education at all levels as well as pastoral ministry, peace and justice ministry, and spiritual renewal.
Dominican Sisters of Springfield in Illinois [1070–10]. Founded in Jacksonville, Ill., in 1873 by Sister Mary Josephine Meagher and five sisters, who traveled from the motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catharine, Ky., at the request of Peter J. Baltes, Bishop (1870–86) of the Diocese of Alton, now Springfield, Ill. The community of 45 sisters moved to Springfield in 1893.The congregation is committed to preaching the gospel through education, pastoral, and healthcare ministries. In 1964, the sisters opened a mission in Peru.
Bibliography: t. a. winterbauer Lest We Forget: The First Hundred Years of the Dominican Sisters, Springfield, Ill. (Chicago).
[m. k. walsh]
Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic (OP, Official Catholic Directory #1140), until 1956 known as Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Eucharist, a modern American congregation of religious women of diocesan jurisdiction founded in Amite, La., in 1927. The founders, Catharine Bostick (Mother Catharine, first mother general) and Zoe Grouchy (Mother Margaret), received the approval of Abp. John W. Shaw of New Orleans, La.; his successor Joseph Francis Rummel promoted aggregation to the Order of Preachers in 1956 (see dominicans). The sisters are engaged in a diverse range of minisries, including catechesis, parish and diocesan services, healthcare, outreach to the homeless and immigrants, counseling, chaplaincies and parish administration. The generalate is in New Orleans, LA.
Bibliography: m. f. everett, "Nuns of the Bayou," Ave Maria 86 (Aug. 17, 1957) 15–18.
[m. m. grouchy/eds.]
Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation of the Most Holy Rosary (Sinsinawa, Wis.) [1070–03]. The community was founded by famed Italian missionary, Samuel Mazzuchelli, in 1847, when he received the religious profession of four sisters at Sinsinawa. For this and other efforts to spread the Catholic faith in the Upper Mississippi Valley, 1835–65, Fr. Samuel, "pioneer priest," was declared "venerable" by Pope John Paul II in 1993. With their central mission "to proclaim the Gospel through the ministry of preaching and teaching," the sisters taught in rural and small-town schools and in St. Clara Academy. Transfer of the motherhouse and academy from Benton, Wis., to Sinsinawa in 1867 made this the site of the sisters' permanent home. As the congregation grew, it attained the status of a pontifical institute: final approval of the Holy See was given in 1889. From that year until 2000, the superiors general/prioresses general were: Emily Power, Samuel Coughlin, Evelyn Murphy, Benedicta Larkin, Marie Amanda Allard, Cecilia Carey, Kaye Ashe, Jean McSweeney, and Antoinette Harris. In 1901 St. Clara Academy became a college and the forerunner of Rosary College, River Forest, Ill. In 1997 the name was changed to Dominican University. Edgewood College of the Sacred Heart, Madison, Wis., was founded in 1927. Study of music and art in European centers began during the first decade of the 20th century. To further advance the education of the community, the sisters acquired an institute of higher studies in Fribourg, Switzerland, in 1917, and also opened Villa Schifanoia, a graduate school of fine arts, in Florence, Italy, in 1946. Foreign missions were established in Bolivia in 1960, Trinidad in 1979, and Guatemala in 1994. In 1995 the congregation merged with the Spokane Washington Dominicans (Poor School Sisters of Penance), a diocesan Dominican congregation founded in 1852 in Speyer, Germany. Since Vatican II, the Sinsinawa Dominicans have branched out from teaching into other ministries including peace and justice issues.
Bibliography: m. e. mccarty, The Sinsinawa Dominicans: Outlines of Twentieth Century Development, 1901–49 (Sinsinawa, Wis. 1952).
Sisters of St. Dominic of the American Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Dominican Sisters of Caldwell, NJ) [1070–18]. A diocesan community with the title Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, stemming from the foundations made in the area of New York City by Dominican sisters who came from Germany in 1853. The central house of the Caldwell group was first established in 1881 at the convent of St. Dominic in Jersey City, N.J. In 1912 the motherhouse was transferred to Caldwell (Archdiocese of Newark, N.J.). From this congregation two other congregations later developed— the Dominican Sisters Congregation of St. Thomas Aquinas, of Tacoma, Wash. [1070–20], and the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Dominic of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, of Akron, Ohio [1070–28]. The Caldwell Dominicans work in diverse ministries, including education at all levels. They also conduct Caldwell College, Caldwell, N.J.
[m. r. mcentee]
The Vietnamese Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena (Mary Immaculate Province, Houston, Tex.). The Vietnamese Dominican Sisters trace their foundation to the endeavors of the Dominican Friars of the Most Holy Rosary Province (Philippines) in the 18th century. According to Fr. Angelo Walz, the first Dominican House in Trung Linh, Bui Chu (located in northern Vietnam) was founded by a Fr. Bustamante in 1715. This center was called "Nha Phuoc" (Blessing House), indicating that women who lived in this house practiced virtues and performed good works. From 1757 onward, the Dominican Friars established many "Nha Phuoc" in their parishes. These communities of women were independent organizations; the women made private vows and observed the Rule of the Third Order of Abstinence (Penance) of St. Dominic (Dong Ba Ham Minh Thanh Daminh).
The Vietnamese Dominican Sisters in Vietnam. In the 20th century, the Holy See directed that all the "Nha Phuoc" had to be reorganized according to the norms of 1917 Code of Canon Law. Bishop Pham Ngoc Chi of Bui Chu reorganized the Vietnamese Dominican Sisters from seven "Nha Phuoc" into religious congregations. On March 21, 1951, by a decree of the Congregation of the propagation of the faith, the first congregation of the Vietnamese Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena was officially established in Bui Chu. In the years that followed, congregations of Vietnamese Dominican Sisters were established in various dioceses: Hai Phong, Bac Ninh, Lang Son, and Thai, all located in northern Vietnam.
With the Geneva Conference of July 20, 1954, which partitioned the country into the communist north and non-communist south, many communities of Vietnamese Dominican Sisters joined the massive refugee trek southward. On April 10, 1956, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith granted permission for the Vietnamese Dominican Sisters to establish new communities in the south using the Constitution of the Congregation of Bui Chu, and to operate a common novitiate at Ho Nai, Bien Hoa. The Ordinaries chose Thanh Tam, Ho Nai, as the Center of Formation for the Dominican Sisters. In April of 1956 about 83 postulants members from various "Nha Phuoc" received their first Dominican habit as novices. On Jan. 21, 1858, the second Congregation of the Vietnamese Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena was erected through the support of Bishop Simon Hoa Nguyen Van Hien of Saigon. Its Mother House was constructed at Thanh Tam, Ho Nai, Bien Hoa under the bishop's jurisdiction.
Several months later, the Vicar of Bui Chu and the Vicar of Lang Son withdrew their novices and postulants from the Mother House in Ho Nai. A third congregation was formed at Lang Son that was independent of the earlier two congregations. Efforts to unite the three congregations of Lang Son, Bui Chu, and Ho Nai were unsuccessful. On Jan. 1, 1973, three groups of sisters from Hai Phong, Thai Binh, and Bac Ninh decided to form their own congregations with the intention of observing and preserving their own traditions and origins, and carrying out their missionary endeavors without hindrance. These three groups of sisters became known as the Dominican Sisters of St. Rose of Lima at Thu Duc.
The fall of Saigon in 1975 resulted in the seizure of the schools, centers for social services and formation houses of the Vietnamese Dominican Sisters by the communist authorities. The Sisters survived by working in farms. Their religious lifestyle had to be adjusted to the harsh living conditions. Many sisters lost their lives under such conditions, while others returned to their families. Improved conditions in the 1990s allowed the Sisters to rebuild their communities and gain new members. By the year 2000, there were twelve convents in Dong Nai Province, Ba Ria Province, and Ho Chi Minh City with 142 sisters with perpetual vows, 41 sisters with temporal vows, 23 novices, and 80 postulants. The postulancy and the novitiate were reopened at the Mother House in Ho Nai. The sisters have established mission centers in Dong Lach (Dong Nai), Bao Ham (Dong Nai), Hon Dat (An Giang), and Ca Mau (Can Tho). Barred from running schools, the Sisters have turned to the parishes, where they are engaged in catechetical, missionary, educational, social, healthcare, and other pastoral activities.
The Vietnamese Dominican Sisters in the U.S. The Vietnamese Dominican Sisters trace their U.S. foundation to a group of seven Vietnamese Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, who fled Vietnam in two fishing boats in the aftermath of the 1975 fall of Saigon. Rescued by the U.S. Navy, they were split into two groups and resettled in Arkansas and Florida. Two sisters who were sent to study nursing in the United States in 1970 heard about these sisters, and they brought them to Waterbury, Conn., after obtaining permission from their local ordinary.
Adapting to the cold weather of Connecticut was a struggle for the sisters, especially for the older sisters. A decision was made to move the community to Houston, where there was already a community of the Vietnamese Dominican Fathers. On Sept. 8, 1978, Bishop John Morkowsky officially erected the Religious House of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena in Houston, in accordance with CIC canons 496 and 497. In 1978 several young women sought admission, and a fledging community was established in Milwaukee.
After surviving many years of uncertainty, a turning point was reached in 1986, when land was acquired and a new convent constructed with through the generosity of the Scanlan Foundation, the Kennedy Foundation of Corpus Christi, and donations from well-wishers. St. Catherine Convent was officially opened on Aug. 15, 1987. This turning point has led to a period of growth in number of new sisters and new ministries. By the end of 2000, the initial community of nine sisters in 1975 had grown to 54 sisters with final vows, 34 with temporal vows, eight novices, and 15 postulants in seven convents. Four convents are located in the Diocese of Galveston-Houston, Tex., one in Beaumont-Tex., one in Victoria, Tex., and one in Milwaukee, Wis. In addition to teaching at day schools, the sisters are engaged in catechetical and missionary endeavors, nursing, child care, youth ministry, and social work.
Bibliography: pham thi huy, A Proposed Continuing Formation Program for the Vietnamese Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, Thanh Tam, Xuan Loc (Manila 1999).
[c. t. nguyen]