A study of the Sinsinawa Dominicans (hint: LCWR). Read and weep.

One of the stranger groups of women religious who belong to the LCWR crowd are the Sinsinawa Domincans, whose motherhouse is in southern Wisconsin, in the Diocese of Madison.

You might review my post NUNS GONE WILD for a glimpse of Sr. Donna Quinn, a Sinsinawa Domincan and pro-abortion advocate.

A blogger in the Madison, WI, area, Elizabeth Durack, who is also a commentatrix here, has put together an objective study of the Sinsinawa Domincans in order to find out who they are and what they are doing.

Here is the email I received:

“This email is the first announcement (except to the Sinsinawa Dominicans themselves) of an unprecedented and detailed report on doctrinal and disciplinary problems within one of the largest congregations of LCWR women religious. This is now available in full on a website, fathermazzuchellisociety.org , it is also available as a PDF, and I have made a print-on-demand book edition also, priced to avoid making any profit off it. The aim of this grassroots lay project is the good of souls, the good of the Church, the advancement of the New Evangelization. Under the name The Father Mazzuchelli Society, we are also promoting devotion to their holy Founder, whose own words about his intentions for the sisters are a stark contrast with what many of them have turned into. We want the Catholic mission of Venerable Father Samuel Mazzuchelli to be carried forward in our day, and in order that he may inspire the New Evangelization we are announcing also today that we have published a new and less expensive book edition of his excellent Memoirs.

A Report on the Sinsinawa Dominicans Today is by a 35 year old lay woman, Elizabeth Durack, acting on her own initiative after becoming sad and disturbed at witnessing the apparent state of things. The Report is based primarily on the Sinsinawa Dominicans’ publicly viewable email discussion list archive, and tells of the sisters’ discussions on “what is Eucharist to me,” their adversarial “relationship with the institutional Church,” and the most complete telling yet of the story of radical feminist and abortion-rights activist Sister Donna Quinn, as well as the story of a good and true sister who has been entirely obscure, the late Sister Francis Assisi Loughery. Read about the Dominican sisters’ feminist alternative to the Liturgy of the Hours, their angst filled discussions about removing male language for God from their vow formula, and their attachment to giving homilies at Mass. And throughout the project, learn of their belief in “women priests,” a key motivating concern behind this initiative, because this is something that breaks the Communion of the Church.

I have done my best to approach this project with charity and for the good of souls, and I ask media outlets including blogs to also have that at heart, while doing all that is possible to promote Catholic truth and warn people away from error.”

For the sake of full disclosure, I have a bone to pick with these sisters, but that is not why I am posting this.

Here is a sample from page 31 in the PDF version of the document:

Some Sisters felt affronted by what they felt were “unsubstantiated accusations” in the LCWR doctrinal assessment. In particular, not all the Sisters thought of themselves as “radical feminists.”

However, some very much  did see themselves in the CDF’s assessment. Sister Clare Wagner wrote on the Sinsinawa email discussion list SinsinOP:

The phrase “unsubstantiated accusations” gave me pause and cause me to wince. That is because for myself, many religious and LCWR members the “accusations” are not “unsubstantiated.”

  • We do support Network.
  • We talk about and look toward the choice of ordination for women.
  • We are at odds with some of the teachings on human sexuality.
  • We are radical feminists who oppose patriarchal domination.
  • We do at times challenge positions taken by bishops.
  • We do not agree to “submission of intellect and will.”
  • We differ with the magisterium on ecclesiology.
  • We accept the Systems Thinking Handbook.

Sister Clare Wagner tells the truth when she says: “The accusations ARE substantiated.”

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. GAK says:

    Ah, yes. The Sin-sin-wah-wahs.

    Their defining elements are that they commit egregious actions and whine about the Magisterium.

  2. coeyannie says:

    This order of nuns were my teachers at Incarnation Catholic grade school in Minneapolis. I would venture to say that all of them who were nuns in the 50’s are turning over in their graves. Throw this bunch out of the Church. I am really losing patience with these people and the bishops who shepherd them. In light of another scandal in the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis in today’s paper, I am losing heart too.

  3. Jacob says:

    Dear Father,

    The Sinsinawa Dominicans sponsor the cause of their founder the Venerable Father Samuel Mazzuchelli.

    The prayer they have on the prayer cards they print for Father Mazzuchelli is here in PDF form.

    I’m sure you can see everything that is wrong with that prayer in that it asks for God’s blessing for the cause of Father Mazzuchelli rather than asking for Father’s intercession for one’s intentions. (Whenever I read it, I immediately think of your posts about happy water and holy water. :D) Father Z, would you be willing to write a more efficacious prayer? I susspect it would be a great boon to his cause. Thank you.

  4. TimG says:

    Pray for the Sinsinawa sisters and the sisters of Presentation of the Blessed Virign Mary (PBVM) in Dubuque….

  5. mamajen says:

    One of the stranger groups of women religious who belong to the LCWR crowd are the Sinsinawa Domincans, whose motherhouse mother ship is in southern Wisconsin, in the Diocese of Madison.

    Fixed it for you :)

  6. Traductora says:

    The Systems Thinking Handbook?

    Why in the world is this order even being permitted to remain in existence? There is not a single thing in that list that reflects anything Catholic or even vaguely Christian in general.

  7. Joseph-Mary says:

    Some years ago at the urging of a seminarian, I wrote to these sisters to ask if they would not mind sending me holy relics. They did!

    Modernists do not care much for such things. So I am guardian of these holy items (only 2 but first class) for the time being.

  8. Kathleen10 says:

    tweet tweet tweet tweet……(I am whistling)….trying to look relaxed….
    but WHO is in charge of this band of heretics?
    There is no reason not to branch out into heresy, if there are no consequences for doing so, and one does not fear God. I blame the heretics, but I don’t blame the heretics as much as I blame the higher up who should have squashed this long ago. All the souls lost due to this confusion are their responsibility.
    “All that is necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.”

  9. Fr_Sotelo says:

    So, what the Know Nothings wrote about Maria Monk is true, after all, in some cases? They must have run into the Sinsinawas.

  10. lana says:

    I hope Sister Clare continues on this path of honesty and the others see it as well.

  11. JaneC says:

    I am guessing that this nuttiness is at least partially the reason why my 4th grade teacher, who belongs to this order, has remained at her post in California for 25 years and has no plans to retire back to the mother house, even though she is 70 years old. She isn’t exactly a conservative type, but I can’t imagine her being anything but horrified by such views of the Eucharist.

  12. Elizabeth D says:

    Someone said: “Throw this bunch out of the Church.” I want to say I do NOT agree with this type of comment and I even addressed that in my Report (I am the author). Pope Francis recently spoke up against this way of thinking also. If some are spiritually outside of the Church because of rejecting essential beliefs, they need to _return_. Every one of us are sinners. Ultimately there’s no place else to turn to for salvation except Jesus and His one bride and body the Catholic Church. I strongly desire the salvation of the Sisters, their happiness in this life and the next and their unity in the Church and I hope you will find it in your heart too and pray for them and all of us.

  13. Elizabeth D says:

    I noticed I messed up the URL for the book edition, that should be HERE

    [I corrected the top entry.]

  14. everett says:

    Exactly. The goal isn’t to throw them out, the goal is to bring them back into full communion. Pray for the order. Growing up I knew two wonderful women who were sisters in the order. I later learned that they were probably on the fringes with regards to beliefs on some of these issues, but that doesn’t change the fact that they were still very dear to me.

  15. Michael_Thoma says:

    There are different rules and punishments for laymen, religious, and clerics. A layman would be allowed to repent for this heresy. A religious should also, but should not be allowed to remain in that vocation, especially since they represent the Church in a terrible light with our donations. Let them return to the Church, but not on our dime.

  16. TNCath says:

    I’m afraid their are countless other religious communities in the U.S. that are just like the Sinsinawa Dominicans. The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky, who taught me in grade school, are of the same ilk. I’m afraid no matter how many Apostolic Visitations they have, how many doctrinal assessments of the LCWR they have, these women are NEVER going to change.

  17. al007italia says:

    As someone who has been in the middle of exposing the Sinsinawa Dominicans & born more than 1 attack by them & their supporters as a result, I am happy to see this getting out about them. Brava Elizabeth Durack!

  18. Reginald Pole says:

    They are not called Sin-Sin-awas for nothing.

  19. Thank you for this post Fr. Z.

    I’ve purchased the book and it is an excellent and detailed examination of one particular order in the maelstrom of dissent among the religious.

    Great work Elizabeth!

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