Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Comment from Anselm Nye

I was most interested in comments on the influence of the Stone constitutions on US Dominican congregations - I was aware of all of these with the exception of their use by the Elkins Park Sisters - and it's something I mention in summing up the legacy of the current English Congregation in the final chapter of my book.  The 1855 edition was only half the work, there was no section on government and it was more like a compendium of Dominican lore than law.

The Sisters commissioned me to prepare their history for publication in 2009 and "A Peculiar Kind of Mission: the English Dominican Sisters, 1845-2010" was published in October. 

One thing that interested me in reading M. Thomas Lillis' history of your congregation was Mother Pia's attitude to amalgamation.  The amalgamation of the five small English groups in 1929 was something of a disaster and was handled very badly by Father Louis Nolan. Certainly the Australian Dominicans had heard about the negative effects.  It's clear that there was an underlying suspicion on the part of some US Prioresses General that Nolan's establishment of the Conference would bring in "amalgamation by the back door".  I wonder whether part of their unease was caused by rumors of the unhappy consequences of the English amalgamation.  If there are any references in your archives to the English amalgamation I would be most interested to hear.

Wishing you all the blessings of Easter,
Anselm Nye