December 16, 2010

A History of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena of Mosul


The Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena of Mosul

The story of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena speaks of enduring struggle over more than a century to the present moment; it speaks of love triumphing over hate, forgiveness over revenge, and hope and courage over despair, poverty, and ignorance. It is a story that begins with a small group of women of diverse Catholic and non-Catholic traditions (Chaldean, Latin, Syriac, Orthodox, Armenian, and East Syrian) forming a Dominican community together and persevering to create their own native Iraqi congregation. It is an unfolding story of faith-filled women drawn by love of God into selfless sacrifice and service as unwavering witnesses of love in the midst of poverty, violence, and chaos. 

Written by Sister Marie Therese Hanna, O.P., a former Prioress of the Congregation, Drawn by Love is the first published history of the Congregation since its founding in 1877. The 280-page book tells their story in English and Arabic, with 20 pages of photographs and a map (see above) illustrating the Sisters’ mission areas. As Sister Marie Therese relates, Dominican life in Mesopotamia traces its beginnings back to the earliest days of the Order—to 1235 when three Dominican friars journeyed to Baghdad, “a brilliant center of culture and study where Dominic had once dreamed of opening a mission.”