By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer
SPRINGFIELD — To honor the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Dominican Order, the Mid-Kentucky Chorus will hold a concert at the motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of Peace here in Springfield.
The concert will take place Oct. 16 at 3 p.m. at St. Catharine Hall at the St. Catharine Motherhouse.
Dominican Sister of Peace Claire McGowan said it “was very exciting to be alive at the time of the 800th anniversary” and said the order has focused on a “broad base of ministries” during its eight centuries.
The ministries, Sister McGowan said, have included sponsoring colleges and schools of all levels, health care, chaplaincy, pastoral work and care for creation.
Until this summer, the sisters sponsored St. Catharine College, which was located on the motherhouse campus in Springfield. The college closed in July, citing decline in overall enrollment and high debt.
The closure of St. Catharine College was “devastating to the community,” said Teresa Tedder, director of the Mid-Kentucky Chorus. For many years, the chorus rehearsed and performed on the college campus.
The anniversary concert, Tedder said, was organized as a “way to show appreciation and awe of the organization.”
The concert will showcase music from the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as several pieces from the 20th-century. The program will start with some early Dominican chants and include pieces “symbolic of the energy and motion through the last 800 years,” Tedder said.
Tedder has also written a special piece for the occasion called “Contemplare.”
Sister McGowan, who is the executive director of the New Pioneers for a Sustainable Future, said that even though the order’s ministry “has waxed and waned,” there is still “a great deal of vibrancy” among the congregation.
“I think what has remained is the same pursuit of truth. There is a constant striving for balance of the contemplative and active.
“The ministries have certainly changed … so the expression of the Dominican charism constantly changes to meet the needs of the times,” said Sister McGowan. “But the core of the charism remains the same.”
The Dominican Order was founded in 1216 by Dominic de Guzman in southern France. The order’s first foundation in the United States was in Kentucky.
Dominican friars came to central Kentucky in the late 18th century. The year 1805 is recognized as the formal establishment of the Dominican Order in the United States.
The Dominican Sisters of St. Catharine, Ky., who later became the Dominican Sisters of Peace, were established in 1822. The Dominican Sisters of Peace formed in 2009 when seven Dominican communities, including the St. Catharine community, joined together.
Following the concert, the Dominican Sisters will host an ice cream social in their dining hall. All are welcome to attend.
Tickets for the concert are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and free for students. To purchase tickets, call 859-336-9232 or visit the chorus’ Facebook page.