The Dominicans in the USA

ApostolateAThe Dominican Order, also known as the Order of Preachers (O.P.), is a prominent religious order within the Catholic Church. Originating in the 13th century, the Dominican Order has spread its influence across the globe, including the United States. The Dominican Order is comprised of different branches.

    • You have the Dominican friars (which includes priests and cooperator brothers), these were traditionally known as the first order.
    • The cloistered Dominican nuns, who spend their lives at the monasteries in prayer, and also the active sisters who teach, work in hospitals, parishes, and other ministries. They were traditionally known as the second order.
    • There are also lay Dominicans, who may or may not be married and have families. They make promise to live by the Lay Dominican Rule, and to pray, preach and minister in many ways that are appropriate to their lay vocation. They were traditionally known as Dominican Tertiaries (third order)
    • There are also those diocesan priests who, while called to their diocesan vocation, also deeply feel the Dominican Charism. These men join the Priestly Fraternity of St. Dominic.

In the USA, as in most places around the world, the friars and the laity are organized into geographical Provinces that report directly to the Master General of the Order. There are four Provinces as described in the map and paragraphs below. Meanwhile, the Dominican Nuns and Sisters in the United States are organized into more than 30 independent congregation, each one reporting directly to the Master General. They represent a vibrant and colorful mosaic of the Church. Their mission to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ is carried out in countless ways. The Gospel is brought to life through their teaching, care for the poor, advocacy for justice, their art, music, care of creation, spiritual enrichment ministries, housing advocacy, monastic prayer and much more. Collaboration and building relationships are the hallmarks of their work.

Province of Saint Joseph

Eastern Province

The Province of St. Joseph is the largest and oldest Dominican province in the United States. Founded in 1805, it encompasses the eastern regions of the country, including New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the southeastern states. The province’s headquarters are located at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. The friars of St. Joseph’s Province are deeply engaged in education, preaching, and pastoral work. They have established several renowned educational institutions, including Providence College in Rhode Island and the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Additionally, they contribute significantly to social justice initiatives and interfaith dialogue, fostering a spirit of intellectual inquiry and compassionate service.

Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

Western Province

The Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus is situated on the West Coast of the United States, serving the states of California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. This province traces its roots back to the establishment of the first Dominican community in California in 1850. Today, the friars of the Most Holy Name of Jesus Province are actively involved in preaching, campus ministry, and social outreach. They run prominent institutions such as the University of San Diego and St. Albert’s Priory. With a strong emphasis on contemplation and action, they strive to promote a holistic approach to spiritual development and social justice.

Province of Saint Martin de Porres

Southern Province

The Province of St. Martin de Porres, founded in 1979, serves the southern region of the United States, including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. This province takes its name from St. Martin de Porres, a Dominican lay brother known for his deep faith and commitment to serving the poor. The friars of St. Martin de Porres Province are actively engaged in social services, advocating for the marginalized, and promoting racial justice. They also provide spiritual guidance through retreat centers and parish ministries. Their presence and active involvement in diverse communities reflect their commitment to the Dominican values of preaching, study, community, and prayer.

Dominican Nuns & Sisters located within the Southern Province 

Province of St. Albert the Great

Central Province

The Province of St. Albert the Great is centered in the Midwest, serving states such as Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio. This province takes inspiration from its namesake, St. Albert the Great, a renowned Dominican theologian and scholar. The friars of St. Albert’s Province are dedicated to theological education, intellectual inquiry, and pastoral care. They run institutions like Aquinas Institute of Theology and Dominican University, where they nurture future leaders in theology and promote the pursuit of truth. Through their commitment to scholarship, preaching, and contemplation, they strive to deepen the understanding and application of Dominican spirituality in the modern world.

The four Dominican Order provinces in the USA, namely St. Joseph, the Most Holy Name of Jesus, St. Martin de Porres, and St. Albert the Great, exemplify the rich legacy and enduring mission of the Dominican Order. Through their educational institutions, social services, pastoral care, and commitment to justice, these provinces contribute significantly to the spiritual, intellectual, and social fabric of the communities they serve. With their deep-rooted values of preaching, study, community, and prayer, the Dominican friars continue to inspire and uplift people across the United States.