New History Project Begins at Fanjeaux
FRANCE, November 5, 2007-- Dominican women around the world now have
a new home for research and historical study at the birthplace of the
Order. Sponsored by Dominican Sisters International (DSI) S.H.O.P.
(Sister Historians of the Order of Preachers) is in the process of
creating a facility devoted to the history of Dominican women throughout
The project has been established in a 100 square metres, light and
airy building in the rue des Fargues, in the medieval village of
Fanjeaux, cradle of the Dominican Order.But don't get the idea that
the project itself is medieval. According to their newsletter, historian
Barbara Beaumont, OP, will be using digital technology
to work on archives in places other than the location in which the
original archive is housed. "In this way, at SHOP, we are currently
working on manuscripts relating to the early history of Prouilhe,
housed at the Archives Départementales
de lAude at Carcassonne that we have
on CD.", she said .
The S.H.O.P. headquarters will house a library but much more besides:
it aims to be a place that Dominican women from all branches of
the Order and from around the world can call their own, where they
can reflect on their history and their identity, collective and
individual. There are three study bedrooms, providing the opportunity
for sabbaticals, research and repose. The library hopes to establish
a unique collection of the histories of Dominican monasteries,
congregations, secular institutes, lay fraternities, biographies
of Dominican women in all languages as well as iconographical material.
Situated only 2.5 km from Prouilhe, attendance at daily liturgies
at the monastery is possible. A balcony overlooking the small market
square establishes a link with the life of the village where St
Dominic lived and preached.
project began in 2002, when the Master of the Order called for
the creation of an international community at Prouilhe. His vision
included the hope that the entire Prouilhe-Fanjeaux site would
be viewed as a home for ongoing spiriituality and history of the
Order. SHOP is the first embryonic fruit of that larger vision.
SHOP's director is Sr. Barbara Beaumont, OP, a Domincan
nun from Belgium who has been granted permission to move the project
forward. A scholar of comparative 19th Century literature, Barbara
completed a doctorate with Guy Bedouelle, OP, at Fribourg, Switzerland.
Her thesis was on how French nuns survived the French Revolution
and restored their communities "long before
the friars picked themselves up off the ground," in Barbara's words. Her work was published by
the Angelicum, Rome in 2002. Barbara also serves as assistant editor
of Mémoire Dominicaine the French
Dominican history journal
A new website is getting underway and a newsletter is being published.
Anne Lythgoe, OP
Source: S.H.O.P. newsletter
Visit the SHOP website.
Download the first SHOP newsletter.
The Coming of the Preachers
by Barbara Beaumont OP
Presented at a meeting of the International Commissions of the
Dominican Order, Prouilhe, France, April, 2006 celebrating the
coming 800th anniversary of the foundations of the Order.
Jean Reimer, OP (Grand Rapids)
joined the SHOP project in
September. She is a most welcome
addition to the team: Jean knows the local scene well, having previously
3 years at Prouilhe, her Spanish
language skills are a great asset.