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1939   St. Albert the Great Province Established

Photo of the ceremony which launched the province of St. Albert the Great on December 22, 1939. Humbert Kane, OP is the friar in the the middle. Others are prostrate on the floor making the "venia" as the papers were being read. This is the ceremony which launched the province of St. Albert the Great.
On the eve of World War II the friars of St. Joseph Province had grown in membership and expanded geographically from the Atlantic coast to the Gulf of Mexico and the Rocky Mountains. The Master of the Order, Martin Gillet, OP, proposed the formation of a new province of friars which, with headquarters in Chicago, was established in 1939, taking the title of St. Albert the Great.

Friars of the three American provinces served as chaplains for the armed forces in World War II. During and after the war they served increasing numbers of Catholics who moved to the cities and required new or expanded parishes. American provinces of the friars took part in the post-war period in promoting the study of theology among the laity by means of Thomist Associations, regional study groups, and courses in theology in colleges for women and men throughout the country.

 U.S. History Timeline

 1939-45   World War II:

U.S. declares its neutrality in European conflict (Sept. 5, 1939). F. Roosevelt's third inauguration (Jan. 20, 1941). He is the first and only president elected to a third term. Japan attacks Hawaii, Guam, and the Philippines (Dec. 7, 1941). U.S. declares war on Japan (Dec. 8). Germany and Italy declare war on the United States; U.S. reciprocates by declaring war on both countries (Dec. 11).


1940's Four More Monasteries Formed

In the decade of the 1940's four monasteries of nuns were formed from existing foundations: Elmira, NY from Buffalo; Lufkin Texas from Farmington Hills, MI; and North Guilford, Connecticut from Summit, New Jersey. The fourth foundation, from Catonsville, Maryland, brought an interracial, inter-cultural monastery to Marbury, Alabama.

1940's Dominican Life at St. Rose Priory, Kentucky

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The Dominican community in the refectory of the old brick priory at St. Rose Priory. The prior's table is at the far left, and the subprior's table is at the far right.  The laybrothers, whom we now call cooperator brothers, are the ones wearing black scapulars and capuces. The student brothers and novices sat in order of religion, that is, according to when they received the habit or professed their vows.  The shield on the left represents the Order of Friars Preachers and its banner proclaims the motto: to praise, to bless, to preach.   The shield on the right includes the carpenter's square and lillies for the Province of Saint Joseph.

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This photograph shows the old part of the church when it was used as the friars chapel.  The brethren were reciting the Liturgy of the Hours.  The pews in the friars chapel today come from here. Where this high altar once stood, there is now a wood-carving of the Last Supper.

1940's   Dominican Schools Continue to Expand


75th Jubilee Celebration

The same decade of the 1940's was marked by the initial conferral of bachelor's degrees in five Dominican institutions of higher education; Aquinas Institute of Theology, sponsored by the Province of St. Albert the Great, in 1941; and in 1942 three institutions: Aquinas College, founded by the Grand Rapids Dominicans; Barry College, founded by the Adrian Sisters, and Edgewood College founded by the Sinsinawa Dominicans. The fifth institution granting first degrees that year was Caldwell College, sponsored by the Caldwell Sisters. In 1959 degrees were granted by the Dominican College of Blauvelt, founded by the Blauvelt Sisters. In 1961 the Nashville Dominicans granted associate degrees earned at Aquinas Junior College.

1950   Oxford Dominican Sisters

OXFORD, MI--During the 1950's two communities of Dominican Sisters became independent of their European motherhouses. One whose members came originally from Czechoslovakia to Pennsylvania in 1923 became the congregation of Oxford, Michigan, in 1950, under the leadership of Mary Joseph Gazda.

 U.S. History Timeline

 1950-53   Korean War


1951   St. Rose Priory in Dubuque Built

During the Provincialate of Fr. Edward Hughes the Central Province moved their novitiate to Winona, MN and a very large priory was built in Dubuque in 1951. One of the reasons the theology school  was moved there was to supply a faculty for the diocesan seminarians of Iowa, whose residents were at Mt. St. Bernard in Dubuque. The House of Studies in River Forest still had the Pontifical Faculty of Philosophy but the theological studies were now in Dubuque.

1952   Kenosha Dominican Sisters

KENOSHA, WI--The second group, from an Irish community in Lisbon, Portugal, became in 1952 the Dominican congregation of Kenosha, Wisconsin, with Mary Vincent Mullins as their major superior.

1954 Vocation Brochure Published by Central Province

RIVER FOREST, IL--Click here to view 22-page booklet and its photos.

1954, 1957   Two New Communities Established

In the same decade two new communities were established for ministries other than education or health care. The Marian Dominican Catechists of Boyce, Louisiana were founded in 1954 by Bishop Charles Greco to serve in the diocese of Alexandria, Louisiana.

Another Louisiana foundation, the Eucharistic Missionaries, had been established for catechetics and related ministries in 1927 by Catherine Bostick and Margaret Grouchy. Thirty years later they were affiliated to the Order of Preachers.


 U.S. History Timeline

 1958   U.S. bishops denounce racial prejudice as immoral


 1963   Civil Rights March on Washington D.C.

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech before a crowd of 200,000 during the civil rights march on Washington, DC

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

 1965-75   U.S. Troops in Vietnam


CREDITS: The timeline is based primarily on the contents of THE ORDER OF PREACHERS IN THE UNITED STATES, edited by Mary Nona McGreal O.P. and published by Editions du Signe of Strasbourg. Vol. I, Dominicans at Home in a Young Nation: 1786-1865, published in 2001, is available from PROJECT OPUS, 5082 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60644 Another source is the article by M.N.McGreal in the Encyclopedia of American Catholic History, requested by Michael Glazier and published by the Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN. The original content of the book and article has been edited and adapted into a time-line format using photos and other resources on the web.
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Don Kania, OP