Though Dominican Sisters International (DSI) was formed in May, 1995, the movement towards closer collaboration began earlier. In the 1980s, there were informal international multi-lingual gatherings of Dominican Sisters with the Master of the Order in Santa Sabina in conjunction with the Union of International Superior Generals (UISG) in Rome. In 1989 Sister Ann Wigley of the King Williamstown Dominican Congregation invited a small international group of Englishspeaking Dominican Sisters to meet at the Oakford Dominican House of Studies in Rome to share their common vocation and mission. This group decided to meet again in Rome in 1991 to discuss "Dominicans in Mission Together" and asked Sisters Aloysia Zellman of King Williamstown and Astrid Hermes of the Zimbabwe Dominicans to prepare the next meeting.
The idea of a World Union was surfacing elsewhere, notably in Latin America. Sister Veronica Rafferty wrote about it in IDI in January, 1991. It was also discussed by sisters attending the Congress of the Mission of the Order in Mexico in 1991 and at the General Chapter of the Order in Mexico, 1992.
In May 1993 thirty-three English-speaking Dominican sisters met again in Rome to discuss "Dominican Women and Men: Partners in Evangelization". This group issued an invitation to other language groups to join them in a multi-lingual international meeting in Rome in May, 1995. fr Timothy Radcliffe, Master of the Order offered the facilities of Santa Sabina and the support of the Curia. Sisters Dolores Foralosso (Blessed Imelda), Veronica Rafferty (Cabra) and Aloysia Zellman (King Williamstown) were asked to join the original planning committee, consisting of Sisters Carmelita Murphy (Grand Rapids, USA), Margaret Ormond (Columbus, USA) and Marian O'Sullivan (Cabra).
In May, 1995 the first multi-lingual meeting took place at the Generalate of the Brothers of the Christian Schools at Via Aurelia from May 22-24. Some eighty Prioresses voted to form Dominican Sisters International and agreed upon the following goals:
? To support one another in living out the Dominican charism and to claim and promote our identity as women preachers;
? To facilitate communication and networking among Dominicans at both regional and international levels;
? To foster a more compassionate world order through the promotion of peace and justice, integrity of creation and human rights, especially those of women;
? To explore and foster collaborative initiatives among the Dominican Family.
During this meeting five persons were elected to serve as the Coordinating Council of DSI: Veronica Rafferty (Argentina), Margaret Ormond, (USA), Rosario de Meer (Spain), Marie Vincent (France) and Joan Carville (Australia). It was also decided that the next meeting of DSI would take place after the next International Union of Superior Generals(UISG).
This call for closer collaboration among Dominican Sisters has been growing in the minds and hearts of Dominican Sisters throughout the world and bearing fruit in many collaborative ventures among the sisters and with other members of the Dominican Family. DSI hopes to further this call and develop it for the sake of our common vocation and mission. May God continue to bless our efforts.