It began at a small crossroads in southern France in response to the needs of that day. In the 13th century, Dominic de Guzman, a holy man, recognized the necessity for sanctuary for women who rejected heresy and so were in danger. Dominic found a safe home for them in Prouile, at that small crossroads near Fanjeaux. Eventually, more women joined the group. Today, we Dominican Sisters continue to respond to the needs of the times and places where we live: teaching, healing, listening, serving – bolstered by constant prayer, deep study, and supportive community. And we strive to do so in the spirit of our founder, St. Dominic, who was known for his humble and joyful heart.
It was in response to a need to teach children of immigrant families that four Dominican Sisters from a convent in Regensburg, (a.k.a. Ratisbon) Germany came to New York City in 1853.
Twenty-four years later, October 1877, five of those Dominican Sisters from the New York Convent arrived in Traverse City. Again, it was an answer to a call to extend their teaching mission westward to this northwest corner of Michigan – a place with few modern amenities and many children in need of education and guidance in their faith life. From this humble beginning, the mission work expanded.
The map highlights the many cities and rural villages where we taught in parish schools, cared for orphans, served in nursing care and social work. Wherever we live we strive to build a sense of community, to strengthen faith and witness God’s love and mercy joyfully.
We hope you enjoy some highlights from the history of our Congregation below. If you want to delve deeper or find a favorite teacher or relative among our Sisters, we invite you to explore Our Archives.