Sunday, February 19, 2012

In Our Keeping

2010 Dominican Archivists and Historians' Conference
The Dominican Archivists and Historians' Conference, In Our Keeping, is held at the McGreal Center for Dominican Historical Studies at Dominican University in River Forest, IL. Dominican historians from throughout the United States as well as other countries gather at this conference to find collaborate and find creative ways of keeping and telling the Dominican Story.  I attended the conference in 2010 (2nd row, 3rd from the right) to ask the participants if they would contribute materials pertaining to devotion to the Blessed Mother practiced in their congregation at the time of their founding to my study.  Archivists from congregations in Washington, California, Missouri, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania and New York, as well as Dominican friars, laity and associates from the eastern, western and central provinces contributed ideas and material to my study.  The research revealed that Mother Margaret Mary Hallahan and Mother Francis Raphael Drane had a significant influence on devotion to the Blessed Mother as it was set forth in the constitutions and practiced by Dominicans in the United States between 1850 and 1950.  Whether the foundresses were of English, Italian, German or French ancestry, the constitutions of the Stone Dominicans were considered the premier model to emulate.   This fact led me to research Mother Margaret Hallahan's  devotion and the traditions of the Order described in the Life of Saint Dominic and Sketch of the Dominican Order written by her successor Mother Francis Raphael Drane.  The Dominican Sisters of Stone gave me a tour of the archives and a copy of their recently published history, A Peculiar Kind of Mission.  They  also advised me to visit other important sites in Belgium where Mother Margaret's devotion was nurtured before she went to England to found the Congregation at Stone.  Posts and video from this tour follow in subsequent posts.