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Tuesday, 05 June 2018 14:30

Our history

The Union “St. Catherine of Siena” was founded in 1924 by Luigia Tincani (1889-1976) with Fr. Ludovico Fanfani (1876-1955), a Dominican, as its co-founder.

At the onset of the twentieth century Tincani gathered around her a group of Dominican Tertiaries who were college students or teachers, intending an incisive and cohesive presence of consecrated personalities in state schools and in society.

Maturing together in a Dominican spirituality solidly nourished by prayer and study, Tincani and her companions made their first consecration on April 30, 1917 in the cell of St. Dominic in St. Sabina, Rome.

Pope Benedict XV (1918) encouraged them and Pius XI (1923) appreciating the project of the Union “St. Catherine of Siena”, added to it the specification “of School Missionaries”, to express clearly their individual apostolate in the midst of society.

Some of the first Missionaries in those days had settled themselves in the Dominican Convent “St. Dominic” in Gubbio and opened a high school there to begin community life and to experience together the teaching mission.

Fr. Ludwig Theissling, Master of the Order of Preachers, approved the first Rule (1919) and aggregated the Union to the Order (July 22, 1924).

Union obtained the diocesan recognition of the Bishop of Gubbio on August 4, 1924 and first professions were made on August 28 of the same year. Obtained first Pontifical approval in 1935 and on January 25, 1943, the definitive approval.

In addition to institutional insertion in state schools and in individual apostolic activities through liberal professions and different fields of education in Italy and in other countries, the Union has taken initiatives in the line of formation of university students: a school of Theology for lay people (1913), today Mater Ecclesiae at Pontifical University “St. Thomas”, Rome; University Residences in different countries (Italy, Pakistan, India, Poland); in Rome, foundation of the Istituto Universitario di Magistero “Maria SS Assunta” (1939), today L.U.M.S.A., for forming formators and professionals, and “Sedes Sapientiae” (1945-1972) for professional formation of religious teachers. Since 1963 Union took charge of the National (now International) Centre of Catherinian Studies in Rome. In 1966 a Youth Library was established in Bologna; later in 1981 it became the Institute “Carlo Tincani”, where now is the seat of “University for adults and elderly”.

International venture witnessed its growth with the foundation of communities in Pakistan (1948), India (1967), Holland (1981) and Poland (1990). In the social transformations of an increasingly interconnected world, the Dominican charisma of the Union offers to the Missionaries its most diverse possibilities of implementation in solidarity with their contemporaries.

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About Us

Union “St. Catherine of Siena” of School Missionaries is a Dominican Religious Congregation.
We are called to accompany our contemporaries along their path with study and prayer and to seek along with them Gospel’s answers to the questions of our complex, multicultural society.
We want to live therefore coherently a Christianity of frontiers and be yeast and salt of the least visibility yet cause to leaven and give flavor.  
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