Vice-Province of USA

Arrival of the Congregation to the USA

The Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin arrived in Fall River in September 1905 to open St. Anne’s Hospital, as a place for the French-Canadian immigrants living in Fall River in very precarious conditions.

From the outset, Father Alexis Groleau, O.P. who had requested a Catholic Hospital in Fall River and asked our Congregation to build and to administer it, also had in mind other works of charity in Fall River such as a day nursery and a hostel for working girls. Mother Josefa was in favor of this; however, the early years of the hospital were too difficult to allow diversification. Time passed and the Sisters were so busy at the hospital that it was a long time before diversification would occur.

From 1905 to 1960 

From 1905, when 4 sisters arrived, the community dedicated themselves to offer quality care to the poor with the help of the laity, whom they prepared to render different services in the hospital. In 1927 a Nursing School was established, adjacent to the Hospital. Many young women were trained there and several of them joined the Congregation. Until 1920 there was a novitiate at the Hospital. After that young women wanting to enter the Congregation had their formation in France. During this first 55 years the Sisters focused their service in healthcare to the needy, education and formation of nurses as well as availability to serve wherever the Congregation called them: France, Irak, Africa.

From 1960 to the present

Mother Pierre Marie, Superior at the time bought a piece of land and a house on Elm St. in Dighton, Massachusetts for the beginning of a novitiate in the USA. The house which was named Dourdan was founded on October 2, 1960. Mother Pauline du Sauveur from France was the Mistress of novices and there were four American postulants. As time went by postulants from Colombia came to the novitiate to reinforce the number. From the beginning, the Novitiate community and those in formation were very involved in St. Peter’s Parish in Dighton, especially in liturgical animation and catechetical formation.

Soon the house became too small for the young women in formation and a new and much bigger building was constructed on the property to house them all. A group of friends called “the friends of the Novitiate” worked ceaselessly to help and provide for many necessary things. On September 22, 1963 the novitiate was moved to the new building located on the same property.

In 1969 an L shape building was added to this building and was equipped to be an infirmary. It was called Le Rosaire and was founded in 1969. In 1975 the seat of the Province was moved to the second floor of the Novitiate building. The novitiate was moved back Dourdan, the smaller house on the same property, in 1976. Two Diocesan Nursing homes were staffed by our sisters, Marian Manor in 1963 and Madonna Manor in 1973. Several young sisters formed in the Novitiate in Dighton ministered there.

In 1965 the Communities of Rosary House in Washington and Bayamón in Puerto Rico became part of the USA Vice Province. Several sisters formed in Dighton, studied in Washington and then went to teach and do parish work in Puerto Rico. Later on, another community was established in Vistamar and in 1975 both communities became part of the Province of Medellin.

Through the years, other communities were established to respond to a variety of needs and ministries in other areas and dioceses of the United States: Fall River, Massachusetts; Brownsville, Texas; Providence, Rhode Island; Gallup, New Mexico.


In the mid 1960’s Sr. Marie Ascension, Vice Provincial, started communicating with Father Claude Ollukaran, a Capuchin priest in India regarding vocations to our Congregation. She saw the possibility of starting a mission in India. In time it was decided to send some Indian girls to the USA. Several groups of two or three Indian girls came to the Dighton Novitiate for their formation. In 1971, the USA Province started the first community in India.


The first two sisters sent to Korea, arrived in 1995 and started learning the language. Soon two others arrived and by 1998 they were able to find a place to build a house for the community and a Day Care center. A great collaboration with the sisters in India developed and by 2007 Korea became part of the Vice Province of India. 


In 2001, we were asked by the Bishop of Fall River to be part of mission team in Guaimaca, Honduras, to respond to the needs of the country after hurricane Mitch. Although at the moment only one sister went as part of the team, in 2004 a community was established. In 2014 an extension community was opened in Tegucigalpa to be the house of formation. On January 2018 it became the second local community in Honduras.

Characteristics of the structure

  • Prophetic vision: Evidence in the timely response to the needs of the marginalized, be they the French-Canadian immigrants, the migrant workers in Texas, the new immigrants in Washington, DC; Central Falls and Providence, Rhode Island, Fall River, Massachusetts; native Americans in Gallup, New Mexico; different ethnic groups in Sacramento, California.
  • Creativity in ministry and mission: Trying to make a reality “what charity inspires them”. Thus, through the years and according to the possibilities of the time, there have been a variety of ministries: healthcare, education, parish and diocesan ministry, ministry to immigrants and to migrant workers.
  • Open mindedness and detachment: Letting go and leaving a place, or transition to have a different orientation or administration.
  • Internationality:

- Autochthonous vocations from different cultural backgrounds and nationalities.

- Sisters coming from varied structures and cultures to continue their formation and education, to be proficient in English, to have different experiences or to be members of the structure.

- The USA structure has contributed to other countries and structures. Sisters have been sent to Irak, Africa, France, Colombia, and to contribute to the establishment of the Congregation in the Philippines.

  • Missionary spirit: Announce the Gospel of the Lord in other countries and areas of the world: Korea, India, and Honduras.
  • Collaboration: Working with the laity has been a thrust from the initial years in the USA and has continued to be so in the different areas of the country and of the world where we are and have been.
  • Growth, adaptability and resilience: Evidenced by the changes of status: from Region to Vice Province in the 1960’s, to Province in 1975, to Delegation in 2008 and to Vice Province in 2013.

In 2019

  1. We are 29 sisters in five communities in the USA and two communities in Honduras, ministering in two dioceses: Fall River, Massachusetts and Brownsville, Texas and two Archdioceses: Tegucigalpa, Honduras and Washington, DC.
  2. We are from ten countries of origin: USA, Honduras, Colombia, India, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Philippines, Spain, Perú and Mexico.


  1. Age and overall health and wellness of Sisters.
  2. Loss of family values in the world in which we live.
  3. Secularization.
  4. Crisis in the Church and in religious life.


  1. Strengthen community experience, discernment and support.
  2. Reach out to other Religious Congregations and laity.
  3. Be present to young adults and explore meaningful and appropriate ways to minister to them and with them.
  4. Continue the search and collaboration with the Province of Guadalupe.
  5. Respond to the needs of new waves of immigrants.

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