Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia

Dominican Sisters Of St. Cecilia

Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia

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The Congregation of St. Cecilia, commonly known as the Nashville Dominicans, is a religious order within the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a member of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, one of the two organizations which represent women religious in the United States (the other is the Leadership Conference of Women Religious). The Sisters combine a monastic communal lifestyle of contemplation with an active apostolate in Catholic education.



Foundation and 19th century

In 1860, James Whelan, the second bishop of the Diocese of Nashville, a Dominican, requested that sisters establish a school in his diocese. The Dominican Sisters of St. Mary in Somerset, Ohio, responded by sending four members to Nashville, where they opened an academy in 1862 specializing in music and the fine arts. Two years later, the new community witnessed the US Civil War at the Battle of Nashville in December 1864. After the battle, the new community took on the responsibility of caring for numerous children at a nearby orphanage.

After the Civil War, the enrollment dropped. In 1867, the year in which the community welcomed its first postulant, debts were so serious that the property was put up for public auction. Patrick Feehan, then Bishop of Nashville, joined with some friends to purchase the property, immediately returning it to the Sisters. However, the small community continued to...
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