Pilgrimage to the
Lands of Dominic - 1985
By: Barbara Cooper
Walking the road in Prouille I'm
surrounded by beautiful farmland and rolling hills with cities
set on the hill- tops. The fields are green with new life.
Dominic walked these roads centuries before, and his presence
lingers for me.
Met a bus load of Canadians here this
morning - from Montreal and Three Rivers.
Notes following from Nona McGreals' talk about the
history at Prouille and growth of monasteries for women.
1. Women of the Cathari.
- women held leadership positions in the Cathari, bringing them into
contact with Dominica and Diego.
- they were knowledgeable as to doctrine, were teachers who possessed a
sense of self-worth and dedication to the cause
- they were converted by Dominic, who attracted them by his manner of
life and his preaching
- Dominic and Diego desired to provide women converts with similar life
opportunity of generosity, austerity, preaching and teaching.
2. A hospice was established to be a place of
prayer and rest, for the Word of God and the Preachers
- Diego put Dominic in charge of the project
- began to gather in 1206
- men were to help spiritually and with temporal affairs; be brothers
- Dominic saw relationship between brothers and sisters as essential to
- Decempter 1207 - Diego died.
Sisters at Prouille:
- entered as mature women by free choice - no "childs" vocation.
- most converts, but not all.
- orientation of life at first was Cistercian - until about 1216; in
process of development
- 1216 -Chapter at Toulouse adopted Rule of Augustine and developed
- way of life centered in liturgical prayer, asceticism and manual
labour (Cistercian model)
- March 1218, Pope attached nuns officially to Order of Preachers
- 1218 - Dominic founded Madrid monastery
- 1221 - before his death in August, Dominc formed San Sisto manastery,
calling on 8 women from Prouille to help.
3. French Revolution
- all Religious exiled, including Prouille, 1789
- Sisters returned to France in 1880
- In May of 1880, foundation in Newark NJ, USA, from Prouille (As a
child I lived in the neighbourhood of this monastery and attended daily
- 1891 - foundations from France to Union City NJ and Summit NJ
- Until 19th century all Dominican Sisters (conventual) were cloistered.
- In 1285, Munio de Zamora, Master General, wrote a Rule for Laity, the
"Sisters and Brothers of Penance.
- they were defended by Humbert of Romans against opposition
- development of Laity considered integral to Dominican Family