“Windows on a Women’s World” – Dominican Sisters in New Zealand

A new book on the history of the Dominican Sisters in New Zealand, Windows on a Women’s World, has recently been launched.

It chronicles the transformation of the Sisters from a closed order to a congregation of religious women who became integrated in the wider community.

The author, Susannah Grant, was commissioned by the Dominicans Sisters to write Windows on a Women’s World.

Grant relates that five years ago she was approached, out of the blue, by a Dominican Sister to write the book.

“She was such an interesting, passionate woman. The more she talked, the more I felt the urge to write the story,” says Grant.

Grant, who has a PhD in History from the University of Otago, has completed a large number of oral histories with the sisters.

She  has a background in the study of New Zealand history, the history of ideas, religion and science.

Grant was given full access to the congregation’s archives in order to write this book, from the point of view of an ‘outsider’.

The sisters wanted the book to be written to have their history chronicled  but also to show the work they do in the community now as independent people who come from a strong women’s culture.

“This moving and beautifully written book she chronicles the astonishing transformation of the New Zealand Dominican sisters from a strictly enclosed body of religious teachers to a congregation of religious women who are integrated in the wider community and engaged in a range of active ministries while still remaining deeply committed to shared Dominican ideals.” one reviewer has written

Grant says the Sisters, are instilled with social conscience, and are now integrated with the communities they live in.

“They are true sisters. It’s a very courageous thing. They face the future head-on.”

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News category: New Zealand.

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