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It’s a time of transition in the long and storied history of the Sinsinawa Mound. 

Earlier this year, the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa announced the start of negotiations with an Iowa-based company to purchase several buildings at the Mound and renovate them for new uses. 

Under the plan, Tricon Construction Group of Dubuque will assume responsibility for the 1964 buildings at the Mound, including Queen of the Rosary Chapel. Negotiations, which should be finalized by the end of the year, call for the spaces to be renovated for active senior living residences and other events. 

The purchase must still be approved by the congregation’s Leadership Council.

“We’re very positive about the possibility of Tricon developing a vibrant community using the facilities and having access to the land that we’ve loved,” said Sr. Judy Schaefer, OP, sponsor council liaison for the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa. “We’re glad a new group of people can appreciate, live at, and enjoy what we’ve found life-giving for a long time.” 

The Sisters will continue to own the original Stone Building and St. Clara Chapel (the former St. Clara Academy). Under the proposal, these buildings will be renovated and will serve as congregation office space, public meeting and prayer spaces, living spaces for the Sisters and heritage exhibit rooms. Additionally, the Sisters will maintain ownership of the Convent building, the Academy Apartments, two houses on the property, and surrounding land, including the cemetery.

Like many others, the Sisters are downsizing to create settings more appropriate to their numbers. Fewer Sisters in the order, coupled with the high cost of maintaining the buildings, influenced the decision to pursue partnership opportunities. This Fall, Sisters were relocated from the Mound to Muskego, Wisconsin, leaving a smaller number of Sisters who will continue to live and work at the Mound. 

Even with the changes, Sinsinawa Mound will continue to serve as the motherhouse of the congregation. 

“We’re not leaving Sinsinawa,” Schaefer said. “We intend to continue our presence and ministry here as long as we are able.”