In June 2001,
a joint committee was created to facilitate the process of merging the
Dominican Sisters of Edmonds, Washington, with the Adrian Dominican Sisters.
On December 7, 2002, the Dominican Sisters of Edmonds, at their 17th General
Chapter, voted to merge with the Adrian Dominican Congregation. Approval
was received from the Vatican in March 2003, making June 14, 2003, the
effective date of the merger. On that date, Sisters of both Congregations
renewed their vows as Adrian Dominican Sisters, Congregation of the Most
Holy Rosary. A second celebration followed in Adrian on August 7, 2003.
Click here to
view a timeline for the historical progression of both Congregations
Sisters of Edmonds
early origins of both the Adrian and Edmonds Congregations are identical,
with their common point in North America being the Dominican Convent of
Holy Rosary in New York. In 1889, Father Henry Deichmann, pastor of Sts.
Aegidius and Mary Church in the new town of Aberdeen in the Washington
Territory contacted the Dominicans at Holy Rosary. While he desired that
the local Catholic children have a Catholic education, the most pressing
need in his parish came not from the German settlers, but from the loggers
whose frequent and serious injuries underscored the need for a local hospital.
Seven sisters from New York, again responding to the invitation to work
for the coming of the reign of God, arrived in Aberdeen on September 1,
1890. They moved into three simple frame houses built on pilings over
the tide flats. These three buildings became St. Rose Convent, St. Rose
Academy, and St. Joseph Hospital. From these humble beginnings came
the Province of St. Rose of the New York Congregation.
sisters adapted to new and often demanding conditions. They often undertook
arduous begging tours to lumber camps deep in the forested hills to raise
money for their ministries. From the beginning, the sisters identified
with the poor, spending long hours teaching and nursing as well as feeding
the homeless, the out of work, and the downtrodden who knocked on their
convent door. The work was hard, the hours long, the food meager, and
tuberculosis claimed the lives of several of their number.
serving the needs of the children and the ill, the sisters sought to enrich
lives by cultivating a love of beauty. They made music, art, and drama
part of the Catholic experience and enriched the liturgies with choral
and instrumental accompaniment.
1923, the Province of St. Rose was separated from the Newburgh, New York,
Congregation and became the independent Congregation of Holy Cross. St.
Dominic Convent in Everett, Washington, was established as the Motherhouse
of the new congregation. Sister Guilelma Stafford, OP, who years
before had been the first postulant from the Northwest, was named the
first Prioress General. Financial difficulties were such that some
thought the new community would not last a year. They were proven
1956, the Motherhouse was moved to its present location at Rosary Heights
in Edmonds, Washington. Thus, what were known in popular language
as the "Everett Dominicans" became the "Edmonds Dominicans."
subsequent years, the Congregation of Holy Cross continued to upgrade
and expand its hospitals and schools, including the staffing of schools
not only in Washington but also in California, Oregon and Montana. The
community energetically developed its ministries, while individuals within
the community were also recognized for their extraordinary talent.