Dominican Sisters in U.S. and Canada Celebrate 150th Anniversary

At the tender age of 22, Mother Kolumba Białecka founded the first active Dominican women’s religious community in Poland — the Dominican Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.
Sept. 12, 2012 - PRLog -- At the age of eight, the Polish girl who was to found a Dominican community of sisters in the 1800s loved praying the Rosary, and the Jesuit priests who were friends of her family said that she indeed had a vocation to become a religious.

Thus began the life of the steadfast and pius Róża Białecka, who at the tender age of 22, founded in 1861 the first active Dominican women’s religious community in Poland — the Dominican Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. By the time Mother Maria Rose Kolumba Bialecka died 26 years later, her young congregation had grown to five convents. Today the spiritual daughters of Mother Kolumba carry on the mission of their foundress and spread their ministry of education, care of the sick and elderly, and assistance to the poor in eight countries throughout the world.

Community Featured in Catholic Publication

It’s not every day that one’s religious community is featured in a significant publication. In its July-August issue, the Dominican Sisters were featured in the “Affiliate in Focus” section of Religious Life, the publication of the Institute on Religious Life (IRL).

The article centered on the Sisters’ 150th anniversary year, which ended Aug. 8, which is the feast of St. Dominic, the Order’s founder. The magazine carried an article on the Congregation, and another on the life of Mother Kolumba.

The first article relates how the congregation, coming from a thousand-year-old legacy of Polish Catholicism, follows in the footsteps of many holy saints. The “active-contemplative” order of the Dominican Sisters is one where time is devoted to an apostolate as well as to a life of prayer in community.

The Dominican Community is an Affiliate of the IRL, and to be endorsed by them is a strong statement about one’s character and fidelity to Church teaching. Congregations must meet a certain criteria of orthodoxy and practice to be accepted as IRL Affiliates. As an affiliate, the Dominican Sisters are among 130 religious communities of women, and 37 communities of men.

The life of Mother Kolumba is featured in an ongoing blog on the Sisters’ website at

Do you have a vocation to be a Dominican Sister? Take our 7-Quick Question Survey at and find out! You will receive a personalized response from our vocation director.
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