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A New History Project Begins at Fanjeaux
For Dominican Women

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 ages.

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 l’Aude 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.

Barbara Beaumont, OP
Beaumont, OP

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.

This 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

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 spent
3 years at Prouilhe, her Spanish
language skills are a great asset.

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Since the time of St Dominic, more than 800 years ago, Dominicans have been living and sharing
the message of the Gospel. Today thousands of sisters, nuns, priests, brothers, associates,
and laity serve in more than 100 countries around the globe
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