Sinsinawa Restructuring Brings Changes for Visitors
November 30, 2023
SINSINAWA, Wis.—Major changes that will impact visitors are taking shape at Sinsinawa Mound. 
Negotiations continue with Tricon Construction Group on the possible renovations of the 1964 buildings as an active senior living community and event center owned and run by Tricon. 
 
Queen of the Rosary Chapel, Sinsinawa Art Gallery, and exhibit areas are no longer available to the public as the congregation continues negotiations with Tricon. 
 
Additionally, Sinsinawa Mound Center is temporarily discontinuing its retreat and event offerings to the public beginning this month until 2025. The congregation is renovating St. Clara Chapel in the Academy building for use as a worship and gathering space for future groups.
 
In the meantime, Sinsinawa Book and Gift Gallery will remain open for business at its current location, and products from Sinsinawa Bakery are available both online and in the store weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
 
In exciting bakery news for the future, the sisters are negotiating an agreement with Roux and Lucia — a new deli and bakery set to open in Dubuque, Iowa, in spring of 2024 — that would allow them to continue offering Sinsinawa Bakery items at Roux and Lucia in the new year after bakery operations cease at Sinsinawa Mound. 
 
Roux and Lucia is owned by the Conlon family, and two aunts of the owners are Sinsinawa Dominicans.
 
“It feels like (the bakery) is staying in the family really,” says Sister Christina Heltsley, prioress. She notes the breads recipes will go to Roux and Lucia, and “they will be the only ones licensed to make our breads.” She happily adds that “They plan to take on all or most of our bakery employees.” 
 
The new business will have its own recipes also, so the volume of Sinsinawa breads will likely “be scaled back,” Sister Christina says, but the Dominicans truly are excited to see Mound breads continue to be available after so many decades of bread making at Sinsinawa.
 
The present book, gift and bakery storefront will serve as the entrance to Sinsinawa Mound Center for a time while renovations in some of what Sister Christina calls the “legacy buildings” are underway. 
 
Those three buildings – the convent and St. Clara Chapel, the Academy Apartments, and the Stone building (which was built in 1844 by the congregation’s founder, Father Samuel Mazzuchelli) – will include residences for the Dominican sisters, the leadership team office, historical displays, archives of the congregation’s 175 year history and events space.
 
The sisters are in the process of updating and reallocating space in the Stone and Convent buildings, which will include installation of geothermal heating and cooling systems to align with the congregation’s commitment to ecological and economic responsibility.
 
“We are excited about the future possibilities to partner with others to share in our legacy of responding to the needs of the area,” said Sister Christina Heltsley, OP, Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa. “Change can be challenging but also provides an opportunity for improvement and growth.”
 
A grand reopening event is anticipated for late in 2024.
 
Donations toward the renovation project can be made to the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa at www.sinsinawa.org/donate. Learn more about the work of the Sinsinawa Dominicans by visiting www.sinsinawa.org.
 
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