Love of Christ Impels Us
Publish a History of St. Dominic Health Services
IL--- Two Springfield Dominican Sisters have co-authored the
story of their congregation’s health care mission in Jackson,
Miss. The Love of Christ Impels Us: A Short History
of St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital and St. Dominic Health
Services, Inc. 1946-2000, narrates the story of the transformation
of a dilapidated infirmary into a multi-faceted health care ministry
that brings a healing touch to thousands of lives every year.
The authors are Sister Susan Karina Dickeyand Sister Josephine
Therese Uhll. Sister Josephine Therese served as administrator
of St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital from 1964 to 1985, and
then as President of St. Dominic Health Services for ten years.
After leaving the hospital in 1995 she wrote St. Dominic
Health Services, Inc.: A Chronicle with Commentary, 1946-2000. This
work became the foundation for Sister Susan Karina’s The
Love of Christ Impels Us. She was a museum curator and historian
before she joined the Dominicans in 1994, has a doctorate in
American history from Texas Tech University, and serves as the
director of archives and historian for the Diocese of Springfield
“It was a great privilege to serve at St. Dominic’s
for so many years,” Sister Josephine Therese said. “Now
it is my great pleasure to tell the story of the wonderful people
who made the mission of St. Dominic’s possible.”
The book tells the story of the growth of St. Dominic’s
within the context of the social currents and developments in
health care and religious life that have shaped Catholic mission
since the 1940s. The chapter that addresses the challenges faced
by the Dominicans during the Civil Rights Era is a case in point.
The authors narrate this story with a clear-eye, acknowledging
both the successes and the difficulties the sisters faced as
they attempted to integrate the hospital in the mid-1960s.
After years of working on the project, Sister Susan Karina says
she remains most impressed with the relationship that has developed
between the Jackson community, the employees of St. Dominic's,
and the Dominican Sisters. “They work together to maintain
a vibrant Christ-centered health care ministry,” she said. “The
sisters couldn't do it alone. It takes a partnership to negotiate
the government regulations and a very complicated health care
The book has been self-published by the Dominicans. The modest
press run will be distributed to members of the congregation,
the friends and benefactors of St. Dominic’s, and to libraries
and other institutions associated with the hospital and the Dominican
A book signing is scheduled for May 17 at St. Dominic’s
Hospital. Books will be sold at the hospital gift shop.
A limited number of texts are available for purchase for $20.00
from the Dominican Sisters in Springfield. Make checks payable
to Dominican Sisters of Springfield and mail to Sister Beth Murphy,
1237 W. Monroe St., Springfield, IL 62704. Or contact Sister
Beth at 217.787.0481 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Dominic Health Services, Inc., is a part of the preaching
mission of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield that began in
Illinois when the congregation was founded in Jacksonville in
1873. This year the congregation – and the Dominicans world-wide – commemorates
800 years since St. Dominic began the Order of Preachers by establishing
a monastery of women at Prouilhe, France.