Date of Award

8-8-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

First Advisor

Alex Sayf Cummings

Second Advisor

Ian Christopher Fletcher

Abstract

This thesis examines a group of Adrian Dominican sisters – how they maintained equilibrium through life transforming change wrought by Vatican II by engaging in a process of deep, long-term discernment. They are once again facing massive change. Their average age is 80, with as many as four sisters dying every month. Few new sisters are coming in, almost all of whom are women of color and born outside of the US. The sisters see a bright future in this demographic change. Through their history, their experiences of transformation track those of our society. Yet, they have managed change much differently. Through intense work, engaging in years of reflection on values, needs and desires, relying on each other for support, they have successfully transformed their lives and congregation. What can they teach us about coping with change? What can we learn from their process and from their outcomes, productive or dislocating?

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