Committed to Truth, Compelled to Justice
Commitment to truth in the light of the Gospel compels us to consecrate whatever power we have, personally and as community, to sustain the fundamental right of every person to pursue the fullness of life and to share in the common good.
– Constitution - Article 8 (partial)
A Brief Overview of the Racine Dominicans
"Committed to Truth, Compelled to Justice" is the guiding principle for the rule of conduct and direction in all ministries, individual and sponsored, and for the Racine Dominican community.
The Racine Dominicans are a community of vowed women religious (sisters) and lay associates, located in Racine, Wisconsin where they settled in 1862. Their current home (since 1962) is just north of Racine – a city on the shore of Lake Michigan about 30 miles south of Milwaukee, but sisters and associates still serve in many vocations and locations in the United States and Canada.
In addition to traditional roles in education and healthcare, the Racine Dominicans currently serve as health care professionals, social workers, prison ministers, community organizers, environmentalists, counselors, administrators, cooks, pastoral ministers, artists, spiritual directors, musicians, peace activists, researchers, college professors, writers and more.
Prayer, study, and preaching are integral to the lives of all Racine Dominican sisters and associates who strive to follow the example of St. Dominic and are inspired by the great achievements and writings of St. Catherine of Siena. Learn more about being and becoming a sister in the A Day in the Life of a Sister section of the website.
Other vital aspects of the Racine Dominicans relating to social justice issues are their sponsored ministries and the Justice and Rights Commission.
Justice and Rights Commission
The Justice and Right Commission (JRC), begun in 1989, was formed out of a need to consolidate efforts, to give a unified voice, to educate, and further the mission: Committed to Truth, Compelled to Justice. Here's more of the mission found in Sisters of St. Dominic of St. Catherine of Siena (Racine Dominicans) Constitution:
Committed to truth in the light of the gospel compels us to consecrate whatever power we have personally and as community, to sustain the fundamental right of every person to pursue the fullness of life and to share in the common good. Today such a stance demands an explicit solidarity – in prayer, struggle, suffering, and hope–with those who are oppressed and alienated by systems designed to serve the interests of the wealthy and advantaged. This perspective governs our every ministry, whether that ministry is among the economically advantaged or among the economically poor…We acknowledge that the basic needs of others can justly lay claim on what we have received. We therefore design our congregational structures, policies, and processes in such a way that our human resources as well as our land, buildings, money, and other material possessions will serve to promote the common good and to help redress injustice.
In honor of 25 years as an organization, the Justice & Rights Commission – Prehistory, Formation and 25 Years of Service booklet, was produced. It celebrates events and accomplishments of JRC placing them in the context of history with a corresponding timeline. The booklet can be downloaded through the above link.
Racine Dominican Sponsored Ministries
Through the years, the sisters have founded and sponsored dozens of ministries, filling a variety of needs in Wisconsin and beyond. Many of the ministries were designed to become self-sufficient and passed on to be ministered by the lay community. Others ended as needs changed or objectives were achieved.
Today, the Racine Dominicans (with a corporate title of Sisters of St. Dominic) is a 501(c)(3) organization with five sponsored ministries that are 501(c)(3) corporations. The sponsored ministries are blessed with the assistance of thousands of professionals, volunteers, and donors (individual and corporate), religious and lay people whose missions align with the Racine Dominicans. Currently, the sponsored ministries are:
The Racine Dominicans live at Siena Center and share their home or campus with Siena Retreat Center, Siena on the Lake, and Lakeshore at Siena, an Ascension Living assisted care community. Siena Center is located just north of Racine, Wisconsin on the shore of Lake Michigan.
The Racine Dominican Executive Team
The executive team is elected every four years. This team began in 2018 and will continue through June 2022.
Ss. Kathy Slesar, OP (first vice-president), Maryann McMahon, OP (president),
Lisa Kane, OP (second vice-president)