Dominican Order in the United States

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The Dominican Order (Order of Preachers) was first established in the United States by Edward Fenwick in the early 19th century. The first Dominican institution in the United States was the Province of Saint Joseph, which was established in 1805.[1] Additionally, there have been numerous institutes of Dominican Sisters and Nuns.


Map of the four provinces of Dominican Friars in the United States

The Dominican Order (Order of Preachers) has four provinces of Friars established in the United States. Each province is divided according to the states in its geographical region.[2]

Province of St. Joseph (Eastern)[edit]

The Eastern Province, or Province of Saint Joseph, now covers the northeastern United States (i.e. Kentucky, the original home of the Dominican Order in the United States, and the states to the north and east of eastern Kentucky).[3]

Communities and Apostolates of the Province[edit]

Province of St. Albert the Great (Central)[edit]

The Central Province, or Province of Saint Albert the Great was established in 1939,[4] and currently covers the states of Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, and serves six parishes and four campus ministries within this area. The headquarters is in Chicago.[5] In 2012 the Province completed construction on the new Saint Dominic Priory in St. Louis, Missouri; the new Priory, which can house up to 50 friars, is the House of Studies for the Central and Southern Provinces.[6] As of June 2015, the Prior Provincial is the Very Rev. James Marchionda, O.P.[7]

Communities and Apostolates of the Province[edit]

Province of St. Martin de Porres (Southern)[edit]

On December 8, 1979, as a response to the rapidly growing Catholic population in the Southern United States, the Order of Preachers approved the foundation of a new Dominican province – the Province of Saint Martin de Porres. The geographic boundaries of the province cover eleven states: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The friars (priests and brothers) minister in a variety of settings throughout the South, including universities and other educational institutions, campus ministries, Dominican parishes, and itinerant ministries [8] The Dominican Province of St. Martin de Porres currently serves at five campus ministries and eight parishes.

Communities and Apostolates of the Province[edit]

Prior Provincials[edit]

  • 1979-1984 Fr. Bertrand Ebben, O.P.
  • 1984-1988 Fr. Thomas M. Cumiskey, O.P.
  • 1988-1993 Fr. Paul J. Philibert, O.P.
  • 1993-2002 Fr. Alberto Rodriguez, O.P.
  • 2002-2010 Fr. Martin J. Gleeson, O.P.
  • 2010-2014 Fr. Christopher T. Eggleton, O.P.
  • 2014-Present Fr. Thomas M. Condon, O.P.

Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Western)[edit]

Coat of arms of the Western Province

The Western Province, or Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus was first established in 1850 by the co-founders Fr. Sadoc Vilarrasa and Bishop Joseph Alemany. Alemany, who in 1840 completed his studies in sacred theology in Rome at the Dominican College of St. Thomas, the future Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum, had been appointed Bishop of Monterey and invited Fr. Vilarrasa to accompany him to California. On his way to his new post in California Alemany stopped in Paris and asked Dominican sisters to join him to teach the children of the Forty-niners. Mary Goemaere (1809-1891) volunteered to accompany the new bishop and to begin a school in his new diocese. Within three years, nine women (three American, one Mexican, and five Spanish) joined Sister Mary to form the Congregation of the Most Holy Name. The province was soon reduced to a self-governing Congregation. Finally in 1912, the congregation was formally re-erected as a province,[9] and currently covers the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, and Washington,[10] and serves eight parishes and ten campus ministries within this area. It is headquartered in Oakland, California.[11] As of January 2011, the Prior Provincial is the Very Rev. Mark Padrez, OP.

Sisters and Nuns[edit]

Dominican Women have been established in the United States since the establishment of the Congregation of St. Catherine of Siena in 1822. Since that time, numerous congregations of Sisters and Nuns have existed.[12]

Congregations of Nuns[edit]

1880: Newark, NJ
1889: Hunts Point, Bronx, NY
1891: Union City, West Hoboken, NJ
1897: Milwaukee, WI
1899: Baltimore, MD
1900: Camden, NJ
1905: Buffalo, NY
1906: Detroit, MI
1909: LaCrosse, WI
1915: Albany, NY
1915: Cincinnati, OH
1919: Summit, NJ
1921: Menlo Park, CA
1921: Los Angeles, CA
1922: West Springfield, MA
1925: Lancaster, PA
1925: Syracuse, NY
1945: Elmira, NY
1945: Marbury, AL
1945: Lufkin, TX
1947: North Guilford, CT

Congregations of Sisters[edit]

1822: Congregation of St. Catharine of Siena, St. Catharine, KY (now Dominican Sisters of Peace)
1830: Congregation of St. Mary of the Springs, Columbus, OH (now Dominican Sisters of Peace)
1849: Congregation of the Most Holy Rosary, Sinsinawa, WI
1850: Congregation of the Most Holy Name, San Rafael, CA
1853: Congregation of the Holy Cross, Amityville, NY
1860: Dominican Sisters of St. Mary, New Orleans, LA (now Dominican Sisters of Peace)
1860: Congregation of St. Cecilia, Nashville, TN
1862: Congregation of St. Catherine of Siena, Racine, WI
1869: Dominican Sisters of Hope, Newburgh, NY
1873: Congregation of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Springfield, IL
1876: Dominican Sisters of Hope, Ossining, NY
1876: Congregation of Our Lady of the Rosary, Sparkill, NY
1880: Congregation of St. Catherine de Ricci, Elkins Park, PA (now Dominican Sisters of Peace)
1881: Congregation of the Sacred Heart, Caldwell, NJ
1882: Congregation of the Sacred Heart, Houston, TX
1888: Congregation of the Queen of the Rosary, Mission San Jose, CA
1888: Congregation of St. Thomas Aquinas, Tacoma, WA
1890: Congregation of St. Dominic, Blauvelt, NY
1891: Fall River, MA
1894: Congregation of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart
1898: Congregation of St. Rose of Lima, Hawthorne, NY

1902: Congregation of the Immaculate Conception, Great Bend, KS (now Dominican Sisters of Peace)
1906: Sisters of Charity of the Presentation of the BVM, Fall River, MA
1911: Congregation of St. Catherine of Siena, Kenosha, WI
1920: Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, Maryknoll, NY
1923: Congregation of the Most Holy Rosary, Adrian, MI
1923: Edmonds, WA
1923: Congregation of St. Rose of Lima, Oxford, MI (now Dominican Sisters of Peace)
1927: Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic, New Orleans, LA (now Dominican Sisters of Peace)
1929: Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Akron, OH (now Dominican Sisters of Peace)
1946: Hartford, Ct
1950: Puerto Rico
1951: Abbeville, LA
1955: Dominican Mission Sisters, Chicago, IL
1997: Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, Ann Arbor, MI
2009: Dominican Sisters of Peace

Dominican Laity[edit]

From the earliest days of the Order, lay men and women have been an intrinsic part of the Dominican Family, gathered to share the Dominican mission and way of life. In whatever lifestyle they find themselves, married or single, Lay Dominicans enrich the Dominican Family with their passion for the Truth, their love of Dominican prayer and apostolic zeal.

Lay Dominicans have a direct role in the preaching mission. Many pursue degrees in theology or liturgy, are engaged in justice ministries and fully participate in St. Dominic's call to contemplate and share with others the fruits of contemplation.. Lay Dominicans preach primarily in the marketplace or wherever our station in life finds us. We preach by our lives and example, and when opportunity arises, with our voices as well. Dominican Lay men and women pursue study, particularly in theology, Scripture, and catechesis in order to preach well when called upon to do so.

The Lay Dominicans make promises to follow The Rule of the Lay Chapters of St. Dominic and the Particular Directory of the Province in which they live. They meet in community regularly and participate with the friars, nuns, and sisters, as well as the Church in general, in praying the Liturgy of the Hours. They engage in active apostolates such as letter-writing on issues of peace and justice, ministry to the poor, liturgical ministries, teaching, authorship, and spiritual counseling. They endeavor to live lives of simplicity and generosity.[13]

Dominican Young Adults, USA[edit]

In the summer of 2008, members who attended the Preaching in Action College conference, held a reunion at Edgewood College in Madison, WI. While there, work was done to form the Dominican Young Adults, USA (DYA, USA). Local chapters are present in Dominican colleges, universities, parishes, and other local areas with Dominican influence. Local chapters of 18- to 30-year-olds center meetings around the four pillars of Dominican life: Community, Prayer, Study, and Preaching/Mission. They have a mentor who is a member of the Dominican Family. Each chapter also has a young adult leader. Every two years, national gatherings are held. Current national board members include Sean Mundy as National Coordinator, Katy Somerfield as Communications Chair, Andrew Vivian as Social Justice Chair, and Lyamar Rodriguez as Membership and Formation Chair.[14] DYA, USA was officially recognized at the 2009 International Gathering of International Dominican Youth Movement (IDYM) in Fatima, Portugal.

Notable Dominicans in America[edit]


External links[edit]