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Project OPUS Begins Transition

New Interim Director Named for
McGreal Center in Joint Announcement

Janet Welsh, OP

RIVER FOREST, IL , July 12, 2006--- The continuing legacy of the Order of Preachers in the United States is in good hands as the Dominican Leadership Conference (DLC) and Dominican University, jointly announce the appointment of Janet Welsh, OP, Ph.D, as the new Interim Director of the McGreal Center for Dominican Historical Studies. The Center is named in honor of Sister Mary Nona McGreal, OP, former President of Edgewood College and Director of Project OPUS since 1989. The McGreal Center will become the new home of the work of Project OPUS.

In reflecting on the appointment, Janet recalled her University of Notre Dame mentor, Jay Dolan, who said, “If you forget your past you loose your future.” Janet continued, “This is very significant at this time in the US for Dominicans, a critical turning point, we need the story to be told for the sake of our future, meaning the whole Family, friars, nuns, sisters and laity.”

The three year appointment is effective September 1st . During this time, Janet will work with Sr. Nona McGreal, OP, and research assistant Judy Miller, OP to prepare materials and documents that will be housed at Dominican University.

Under the sponsorship of the Dominican Leadership Conference, Project OPUS has taken the lead in documenting and gathering together a comprehensive history of the Dominicans in the US since its earliest days. In 2001 OPUS published the first of three volumes about our Dominican family --- Dominicans at Home in a Young Nation: 1786-1865.

According to Donna Carroll, President of Dominican University, it will take the next year or so to catalogue and relocate the OPUS collection.

"The university will provide space, affiliation and collaborative opportunities that advance Dominican scholarship while enriching our campus community. We anticipate that the McGreal Center will be funded substantially by contributions from the extended Dominican family.," said Carroll.

Janet formerly served at Dominican University as the Co-promoter of mission integration and holds a doctorate in American History. “I see the Center continuing the work of OPUS but extend opportunities for other kinds of research about communities in the US -- how they added to intellectual life in the US. I see the McGreal Center as a place where students of women’s history and social history could come and do new research. I can see internationally comparative study as well,” Janet added.

The Center for Dominican Historical Studies will:

• Preserve and promote the history of Dominican men and women in the United States.
• Ensure the continuation of the innovative research project sponsored by Project OPUS
• Enhance the understanding of the Dominican charism for the 21st century for the University community and members of the Order of Preachers
• Provide the archival resources for faculty, students and other researchers to study the theological, historical, sociological and educational role of Dominicans in the Catholic Church and the United States
• Facilitate research opportunities for publication by students, faculty, and other scholars.
• Offer experiences in a working archive for graduate students in the School of Library and Information Science, particularly those who pursue advanced work in archival studies.

Help support the new center

The transition in creating this new Center for Dominican Historical Studies will be a multi-year process. Budget and short/long term funding strategies are being developed.

Dominican University is providing space and the DLC and DU are building a partnership, the greatest area of need is ongoing financial support.

Building a healthy endowment is a long term goal. Our hope is to have this endowment in place by 2012. We need to have a firm financial base as this new and exciting partnership begins and develops. To help us begin, please seriously consider making an initial gift.

send donations to:
McGreal Center
c/o Dominican Leadership Conference
7200 West Division Street
River Forest, IL 60503

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Since the time of St Dominic, more than 800 years ago, Dominicans have been living and sharing
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