OPUS II Announcement: Preaching with Their Lives

Dear Dominican Family, Scholars, and Friends,

We are very happy to announce the release of the second iteration of the History of the Order of Preachers in the United States (OPUS) project: Preaching with Their Lives: Dominicans on Mission in the United States after 1850, on sale on November 3, 2020, from Fordham University Press. 

We are very thankful for the leadership of the editors, Margaret McGuinness and Jeffrey Burns, and the leadership of the first director of the McGreal Center, Sr. Janet Welsh, OP to make this book a reality.  As a part of Fordham’s Catholic Practice in North America series, the book is an essential addition to the scholarship of American religious history, the history of Catholicism in America, and, specifically, the unique legacy of the Order of Preachers in the United States.  The book will be essential for libraries, members of the Dominican family and other religious women and men, universities, and scholars who focus on these areas; the book will surely inspire future scholarship on Dominican history in the United States.

Attached is a formal acknowledgements letter from retired director Sr. Janet Welsh, OP, thanking all of those who helped make the book a reality.

You can order the book here.  We have secured a discount code for ordering the book; please enter the promo code PREACH20 at checkout to receive a 20% discount on the price of the book.  Order now, as the code expires on December 31, 2020.   Please find a copy of Fordham’s catalogue description of the book attached.

This year the McGreal Center will host several, likely virtual, events to highlight the contributions of the book, inviting authors to join conversations on the import of the book to our own times.  History matters.  These talks will demonstrate the relevance of the witness and mission of Dominicans in the past to our current times.  Mark your calendars for Thursday, April 8, 2021 when the McGreal Center, along with our friends at Dominican University’s Siena Center, will host a conversation with Dr. Heath Carter, Associate Professor of American Christianity at Princeton Theological Seminary, focusing on his chapter on economic justice and Dominican women. 

The mission of Project OPUS continues.  Look for a Call for Papers in February 2021, for a future Summer 2022 issue of U.S. Catholic Historian celebrating 200 years of Dominican women religious in the United States.  If you are interested in contributing to this issue, please reach out to me. 

We have several exciting new initiatives this year at the McGreal Center around collecting Dominican oral histories (to archive at the Library of Congress), digital capture of Dominican architectural spaces (in collaboration with the Yale Center for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion), a digital repository of Dominican art and material culture, and a new exhibit on “Dominicans and Disease,” inspired by our current challenging times but also the wonderful chapter in the new book by Margaret McGuinness on Dominicans and yellow fever in Tennessee.  If you would like to participate in any of these initiatives, please reach out to the McGreal Center at mcgrealcenter@dom.edu.  We will share a digital version of this exhibit on display at Dominican University to the Dominican world.  We are also about to receive a book collection that will position us with one of the best collections in the world to study the life of St. Catherine of Siena from the estate of Sr. Suzanne Noffke, OP. 

You can support the mission of the McGreal Center for Dominican Historical Studies by purchasing the new book, attending our virtual events this year, and sponsoring some of our new initiatives.   If you feel led to give financially to support our new projects, you can give to the McGreal Center, or Project OPUS specifically here, noting in the “designation” that you want to give to McGreal.  We would also love to hear from you, especially if you would like to be more involved as we work to fulfill the Dominican charism of study.  But as Sr. Nona McGreal and Sr. Janet Welsh would say—and I say to you now—we, most of all, ask for your prayers in support of our mission of studying the history of Dominicans preaching with their lives in America.

I have attached a formal announcement, as well as a poster, if you would like to advertise the book in your community.  We hope you will join us in celebrating this achievement.


Christopher Allison, Ph.D.

Director of the McGreal Center of Dominican Historical Studies

Affiliate Faculty in the History Department

Dominican University | 7900 W. Division Street | River Forest, IL 60305

708-524-6677 (office)