1872 - St. Boniface Church, Convent & School and in 1878 - St. Dominic Academy
The Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell began in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1881 when a decision was made to form a new community separate from the New York City Dominican Sisters. But our roots go back much further; first to St. Dominic, who in 1206 established the first convent of cloistered Dominican Nuns in Prouille, France, and then to the medieval city of Regensburg, Germany where, during the time of St. Albert the Great, Holy Cross Monastery of Dominican Nuns was established in 1233. It is from this monastery, which continues to this day, that four women responded to the request of Benedictine Abbot Dom Wimmer to come to America to minister to the many German immigrants and arrived in New York in 1853. In 1872, they came to downtown Jersey City where they opened St. Boniface School and in 1878 founded St. Dominic Academy.
Reception of Four Young Women, Rose Kunz, Margaret Dolan, Mary Starzinger and Mary Johnson, to the Novitiate on August 4, 1882 in Jersey City, NJ
Following the separation from the New York foundation in 1881, the new community of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Jersey City were joined by a number of local women and were able to extend their presence to a growing number of parishes.
1884 - The Harrison Estate, Caldwell, NJ
When Jersey City was ravaged by an outbreak of tuberculosis and Sisters were dying, Mother Catharine and several Sisters traveled to Caldwell, the “Denver of the East”, where the Harrison Estate was purchased. This provided a healthier environment for the Sisters to recuperate. Soon children were brought to the Sisters to educate them.
Mount Saint Dominic Motherhouse, Mercedes Hall and surrounding farm land circa 1915
As the number of students continued to grow, a larger building on Bloomfield Avenue, the Beach House, was purchased in 1888 to serve as a temporary school, Convent, and infirmary. At the same time, Mother Catharine bought thirty-one and a half acres of land across Bloomfield Ave. and in 1891, she sought permission to erect a Convent, similar to the Motherhouse in Regensburg, on the land. Construction was completed and the cornerstone was laid in 1893. In 1912, the Motherhouse and Novitiate were officially moved from Jersey City to Caldwell.
Office hours : Monday -Friday
10am - 4pm
Closed on Weekends and Holidays
DIRECTOR OF ARCHIVES:
Sister Elaine Keenan, OP
Sister Judith Rudolph, OP
973 403 3331 x18