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1982–the Present

The program of research in American Dominican history, Project OPUS, was launched in 1985 at the Dominican Study Center in Chicago. In 2007, Project OPUS relocated to Dominican University. A brief chronicle tells of its development.


The Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa voted at the 17th General Chapter to establish a Study Center and formed a commission to solicit ideas concerning its purpose and location.

1984 April

Report of study commission concerning sisters’ responses; Sister Mary Nona McGreal, OP assigned as coordinator.

1984 ff.

Study Conferences for U.S. Dominicans, archivists, historians and congregation secretaries sponsored by Project OPUS and the Parable Conference for Dominican Life and Mission. Dominican friars, nuns, sisters, laity and the DLC supported conferences known as In Our Keeping.

1985 August

Dominicans of the United States invited to participate in historical research at the new center, located at St. Martin de Porres Parish, 5082 W. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago. Early responses came from Sisters of Akron, Newburgh, Grand Rapids, Adrian; Friars, St. Albert and St. Joseph Provinces, Laity, Dominican Nuns.

1985 ff.

Documentary gathering; research for Project OPUS: History of the Order of Preachers in the United States.

1989 ff.

OPUS officially sponsored the Dominican Leadership Conference.


Publication of Friar in the Wilderness: Edward Dominic Fenwick, OP, by Sr. Loretta Petit, OP.


Publication of Dominicans at Home in a Young Nation: 1786–1865 Vol. I of The Order of Preachers in the United States: A Family History.


Research continues for Vol. II, 1865–1910.


Project OPUS relocates to the Mary Nona McGreal, OP Center for Dominican Historical Studies at Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois


In Our Keeping Conference resumes – 2008, 2010, 2012


The McGreal Center becomes a part of Dominican University; McGreal Center acquires the archives of The Parable Conference for Dominican Life and Mission.    

2010 to the Present

McGreal Center is the repository for 27 Dominican family collections.


The McGreal Center hosts the Dominican Archives for the 21st Century: A Family Conversation conference.


“Think Tank”: formulation of design and topics for Volume II: Dominican on Mission.


Research and writing for Volume II continues.


Volume II, Preaching with Their Lives: Dominicans on Mission after 1850 is published on November 3, 2020, by Fordham University Press.  Visit Fordham University Press to purchase.


Forthcoming issue of U.S. Catholic Historian will be published in the Summer of 2022 to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Dominican Women Religious in the United States. 

List of Mary Nona McGreal, OP publications (pdf)