Dominican Leadership Conference (1972-2010)
Certainly, all members of the Dominican family (sisters, laity, nuns, and friars) consider their founder to be Saint Dominic, who started the Dominican Order over 800 years ago. A formal conference of Dominican Sisters came into being in 1935 when Martine Gillet, OP, the Master General of the Dominican Order, requested the formation of the Conference of the Dominican Mothers General of America. The sisters took this call seriously, and held their first meeting in San Rafael in 1935. By 1939 all 28 congregations in the U.S. participated in the gatherings, with the goal of bringing together congregational leadership for discussion of common aims and problems. Over the years, the conference took on structures so that the sisters had the opportunity to deepen their Dominican spirituality, strengthen the mission, and develop relationships. In 1972 the sisters reached out to include the Dominican Friars in the conference, and thus it became the Dominican Leadership Conference (DLC).
Dominican Sisters Conference (2010-present)
The DLC continued to develop and grow. After many years of creating good relationships and programs with the friars, the changing needs of the two groups (friars and sisters) as well as the different kinds of issues facing them were apparent. Moreover, the friars, the nuns, and the laity had their own particular conferences, which the sisters did not have. So, following a two year process of study and consultation, a vote of the members of the DLC in 2009, and a vote of the Federation in 2010, the DLC held its last meeting in Maryknoll, NY, in October 2010, and a new organization was born: The Dominican Sisters Conference (DSC). Mary Sue Kennedy, OP, was the DSC’s first Executive Director. In 2014 Patricia Farrell, OP became Executive Director. In April 2020, Mary Ellen O’Grady, OP, became the Interim Executive Director.