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Conference of Nuns of the Order of Preachers of the United States of America, Inc. Records

 Record Group
Identifier: DUMC-C-009

Content Description

The Conference of Nuns collection is divided up into a twenty-six series and numerous subseries. The collection spans the years 1962 to 2006, with the bulk of the material being correspondence from c. 1980 to 2005, and publications, from 1980 to 2006. The collection also includes published works, reports, video tapes, audio cassettes, pictures, and digital files.


  • 1962 to 2006.
  • Majority of material found within Correspondence dates 1980-2005.
  • Majority of material found within Publication dates 1980-2006.

Biographical / Historical

The Conference of Nuns of the Order of Preachers† was proposed on September 20, 1975, and formed on October 17, 1975. The Conference was approved and blessed by the Master General of the Order of Preachers, Most Reverend Vincent De Couesnongle, O.P., on October 20, 1975. The purpose of the Conference was, “to serve as a stable organization for inter-communication, sisterly sharing and unified action as related to our special needs as Dominican Nuns in the U.S.A.” The Conference would grow to include twenty-one or more monasteries and affiliates.

Projects of the Conference included a twice-yearly newsletter, an annual theological review, a theological formation program for young professed nuns, meetings for prioresses, and a general assembly. The general assembly was held every four years from 1984 until 2004 (see appendix H) to elect officers, conduct business and to resolve issues of common concern2. During this period, the Conference was called on to represent the perspective and understanding of the Nuns of the Order of Preachers. This included thinking and writing on many of the contemporary issues faced by the church in their time.

The Conference ended to become the Association of Nuns, officially, in 2006. This was due to the need to restructure the Conference more closely to the principles set out in Verbi Sponsa, as well as a desire for change by the congregations. Note: a conference is not a canonically recognized structure3. This period of discerning and implementing change started in 2000, with the arrival of a letter from Rome, informing the sisters of this change, and suggesting that they form a federation of association instead. This journey to form an association was contentious and there was much discussion about it, as there was in the 1970s. In the end many monasteries did join the new association. Some monasteries, though, didn’t join due to memories of the failure of the Federation of the Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary in 1955.

The Association of the Monasteries of Nuns of the Order of Preachers in the United States of America Inc. (The Association of Nuns) is the successor organization for the Conference of Nuns of the Order of Preachers, U.S.A. (Conference of Nuns). The Association of Nuns was canonically recognized by the Vatican on May 27, 2006. The Association of Nuns continues the work of sisterly sharing to this day.


18 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Conference of Nuns of the Order of Preachers of the United States of America, Inc. Records
Stephan Licitra
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement

Repository Details

Part of the Mary Nona McGreal, OP Center for Dominican Historical Studies Repository

Dominican University
7900 West Division Street
River Forest IL 60305 USA
(708) 524-6677
(708) 524-6546