Who are we? The English Dominican Congregation of St Catherine of Siena is a religious community of apostolic life, following the rule of St. Augustine as Dominican Sisters. As Dominicans we strive to follow in the mission of St Dominic in the four-fold dimensions of prayer, study, community life and mission.
Prayer is essential to our way of life, as, according to one of our mottoes, we ‘contemplate and pass on to others the fruits of contemplation.’ Deepening our relationship with God lies at the heart of our life, as we pray both privately and as a community.
Study is not done for its own sake, but has the two-fold purpose of deepening our relationship with and knowledge of God and His creation, and furthering His Mission. Each sister is encouraged to study deeply to the best of her abilities, and this study will also include gaining professional qualifications where appropriate.
As religious we live in community. We live, eat and pray together and support each other in our various missions, but the ‘living together’ as sisters is itself a sign, a ‘Holy preaching’ We have houses in Stone (Our mother house)Stroud, Leicester and Cambridge. The sisters in these houses support their local communities in a variety of missions including chaplaincy and hospital work.
‘Preaching’ is the general title of our mission. We understand this very broadly, and sisters work in a broad field of differing apostolates. The golden thread which links all of these is the recognition of the goodness of God’s creation, and the essential dignity of humanity made in His image.
From the mid C19th several congregations of Dominican sisters were founded in England, at Stone, Stroud, Leicester, Harrow and Portobello Rd. The Founder sisters of the various Congregations spread the Gospel by answering crying social needs, ministering to the poor, the sick and the uneducated. They contributed to the 'Second Spring', a movement among English Christians which brought many new converts into the Catholic Church, most famously Blessed John Henry Newman. The contribution of the sisters was to bring to the people the splendour of the liturgy and public devotion to the Mother of God. They also helped revitalise the faith by publishing books of spirituality and on the lives of the saints.
In the 1930s, under the guidance and encouragement of Fr Bede Jarrett these five groups united to form our present Congregation. All of the sisters were unite in a common inspiration drawn from the breadth of St Dominic's vision and his joyous spirit.
Needs have changed with the passing of time and preaching calls for new approaches to make the Gospel understood in today's world. The real needs of people today must be tackled realistically with the same undaunted spirit with which St Dominic met the challenges of the C13th.
Our message is still Christ Incarnate, Who died for our sins and rose in Glory, Whom we strive to recognise and serve in those we minister to.
The Foundresses: [This section still to be written]