On Friday, September 1, 2023 five US Dominican Sister Congregations changed the Church. After six years of prayer, study, collaboration, and dedication, the Sisters activated Dominican Veritas Ministries (DVM), a pontifical public juridic person (PJP), and transferred the canonical sponsorship of the following nine schools from their Congregations to DVM:
- Bethlehem Academy, Faribault, Minn.
- Dominican High School, Whitefish Bay, Wis.
- Edgewood Campus School, Madison, Wis.
- Edgewood High School, Madison, Wis.
- Regina Dominican High School, Wilmette, Ill.
- Rosarian Academy, West Palm Beach, Fla.
- St. Agnes Academy, Houston, Tex.
- St. Pius X High School, Houston, Tex.
- Trinity High School, River Forest, Ill.
This accomplishment is extraordinary, bold, and ground-breaking, embracing a new innovative model of shared leadership within the Church. Five Dominican Sisters representing the Congregations of Adrian, Houston, Peace, Sinsinawa, and Springfield brought this effort to completion:
- Therese Leckert, OP (Peace)
- M. Paul McCaughey, OP (Springfield)
- Mary Margaret Pachucki, OP (Adrian)
- Donna Pollard, OP, Prioress (Houston)
- Colleen Settles, OP (Sinsinawa)
In December 2022, Dominican Veritas Ministries was approved by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. The past nine months have been dedicated to preparing DVM, the Congregations, and the schools for sponsorship transition. This effort included the establishment of DVM, Incorporated and commissioning eight talented individuals to serve as the Board of Trustees:
- Mark Butler, OPA, Director of Founded Ministries, Dominican Sisters of Peace
- Donna Carroll, President Emerita, Dominican University
- Sandra Docter, Associate Dean, School of Health Sciences, Madison Area Technical College (retired)
- Thomas Jaconetty, Attorney at law
- Thomas Merfeld, Chief Financial Officer, CUNA, Mutual Group (Retired)
- Michael O’Connor, Manager, Programs and Brand Image-Phillips 66, Houston, TX (Retired)
- Margaret O’Donnell, Corporate Operations Counsel CHRISTUS Health (Retired)
- Kathleen Anne Tait, OP Director of Mission Advancement, Springfield Dominican Sisters
This past June, school Presidents came together with DVM leaders in Adrian, Michigan for spiritual formation, reflection, and community building. The gathering provided a meaningful opportunity to connect, to learn about the unique character of each school, and to begin to shape the culture of DVM. Inaugural Executive Director of Dominican Veritas Ministries, Kristin Barstow Melley, PhD, is enthusiastic for the Sisters and the future of their schools. “DVM is the next chapter and continuation of the inspiring story and witness of these Congregations of Dominican Sisters and the schools they founded. We celebrate with gratefulness the establishment of this new community, created to nurture and sustain the vibrant Catholic, Dominican identity alive in these schools.”
The DVM community is grateful for all the hands, hearts, and minds that contributed to this achievement. Over the next two months, each school will recognize this historic moment with a special ceremony, honoring the incredible legacy of their founding Congregations and celebrating their transition into Dominican Veritas Ministries.