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Sr. Loretta Petit, OP, Friar in the Wilderness: Edward Dominic Fenwick Collection

Identifier: DUMC-MS-003

Content Description

The Friar in the Wilderness Collection contains research materials compiled by Sr. Loretta Petit while writing the book. Most of the materials are her handwritten notes and research on Fr. Edward Fenwick and the time period in which he lived and worked. There are also pictures and prints of locations and buildings relevant to the story of Fr. Fenwick. With the exception of two folders, all materials are in letter-sized archival boxes. The oversized materials from Series II and VI were relocated to a legal-sized box for storage and preservation purposes.

The materials in this collection are organized into eight series. The collection came to the McGreal Center in file folders and the items were kept in the original files; however, the files were reordered and relabeled to assist the researcher with his or her work. Where appropriate, items were organized chronologically within the folders. If no chronological or alphabetical order was appropriate, the original order of the items was retained.


  • 1768 - 1998

Biographical / Historical

Friar in the Wilderness was written by Loretta Petit, O.P. and published in 1994. The book was the first publication to result from Project OPUS (Order of Preachers in the United States) established by Sr. Mary Nona McGreal, O.P. in 1982. The friar referenced in the title is Edward Fenwick, O.P., the first Bishop of the Diocese of Cincinnati and founder of the first Dominican Province in the United States.

Sr. Loretta Petit (1918-2010) was an avid historian. She earned her B.A., M.A., and PhD from Siena Heights College, Catholic University of America, and Western Reserve University, respectively. Among her many professions, she was a teacher at St. Vincent’s High School, an experience that inspired her to write Friar in the Wilderness. Sr. Loretta would later co-author and edit Dominicans at Home in a Young Nation: 1786-1865, The Order of Preachers in the United States; A Family History (2001), another book from Project OPUS.


2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

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

Dominican University
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