A history of growth, decline and continued service
Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation, 1847 to present
January 20, 2023
On Aug. 4, 1847, pioneer priest Dominican Father Samuel Mazzuchelli founded the Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation with two women, Sisters Seraphina and Ermeline. 
Two more women joined in December that year, and by the time of Father Samuel’s death in 1864 the number had increased to 23.
Sister Emily Power, born in Waterford County, Ireland, became Mother General in 1867 at age 23. By the mid-1870s, there were 100 Sisters staffing schools in five dioceses. By the end of the 19th century, 389 professed Sisters served in 30 locations throughout the Midwest. Five academies were founded, and parish grade schools were assigned to the congregation in Chicago and Milwaukee. There were also new missions in small towns of northern Illinois and as far west as Denver.
Mother Emily laid a strong foundation for the congregation. To accommodate the growing community, she expanded the Mound facilities, including a new academy building in 1882 and the four-story convent and novitiate building in 1900. During her 42 years of leadership, the congregation grew to over 400 sisters.
After her, Mother Samuel Coughlin built it into one of the largest religious congregations in the United States. During her 40-year tenure, the congregation grew annually in number of members, in places served, and in gradual diversification of ministry — although teaching remained the primary ministry. More than 1,450 Sisters made profession to her. Membership increased from 617 in 1910 to 1,547 in 1949, and the number of new schools increased from 41 to 102. 
The 1950s and 1960s saw continued growth and expansion to accommodate the educational needs of the baby boom generation. Membership peaked at 1,983 in 1966.
Sinsinawa Mound is located about one mile north of the Diocese of Rockford border/Illinois state line —  three miles north of Nativity BVM Parish in Menominee, which is located north of Hwy. 20 between East Dubuque and Galena. The Sinsinawa Dominicans have served in the Diocese of Rockford before there was a Diocese of Rockford, coming to the area in 1871 to staff a school at St. Mary Parish in Freeport. They have continued to serve and be a presence since that time. A couple of sisters currently live in the East Dubuque area.
Shop Religious items at HOLYART.COM