Religious Communities for Women
Chapter 9:


Dominican Sisters of Wanganui
Dominican Sisters of Wanganui
Dominican Sisters with Fr. Schmidberger


The Dominican Sisters of Wanganui can trace their ancestry back to St Dominic's 1206 foundation at Prouille. A convent at Galway in Ireland was founded in 1640 from Prouille. This convent founded other convents including Cabra in Dublin. From Cabra a convent was founded at Sion Hill, also in Dublin, and from Sion Hill ten Sisters came to Dunedin in 1871 to found Dominican Convents in New Zealand. In 1997 a New Zealand Dominican Sister came to Wanganui to teach in the schools run by the Society of St Pius X. In January 2002 two young ladies from Australia joined Sister in the hope that a religious congregation would be founded. On 8 December 2002 Bishop Fellay gave permission for the foundation of a Congregation with the status equivalent to a Congregation of Diocesan Right. Since then other young women have joined the Dominican Sisters of Wanganui. At present there are five professed Sisters and one Novice.

Association with Society of St Pius X:

The Dominican Sisters of Wanganui are situated in the North Island of New Zealand in the town of Wanganui where the Society of St Pius X has a Priory and Schools. The Sisters are fortunate in having the protection and help of the Priests of the Society.

Artist's sketch of new Dominican convent  
Bishop Fellay blesses plaque

Plans for the first phases of the new convent and school buildings. Stage One is now completed and the Sisters have already moved into the building as of the beginning of February 2007. They look forward to the completion of Stage Two which will give two more classrooms and the completion of the convent. Stage Three, including a larger chapel, is being left until numbers have increased further.

Building Phase 2
Dominican Sisters standing by new construction

Action and Contemplation:

The life of the Sisters reflects the contemplative origins of the Congregation. The Sisters are bound to the full Divine Office in choir, two periods of meditation a day, the Rosary, and Spiritual Reading. They also teach school in St Anthony's Primary School and St Dominic's College. This combination of contemplation and action is typically Dominican and gives the Sisters a full and balanced life.

Present chapel
Sisters in Church


Like all Dominicans the Sisters study all their lives. They do religious study, some with Mother Prioress and some with the Priests of the Society of St Pius X. They also study in order to gain the background to teach secular subjects in the school and to gain teaching qualifications.

School children taught by Dominicans
Sisters at project wall
Dominican Sister teaching

All, except the novices, take part in the teaching apostolate.

Dominican Sisters supervising children on playground
Students at sport
students with model

Daily Timetable:

5.20 Rise
5.50 Lauds, Prime, Pretiosa
6.30 Meditation
7.15 Mass
8.00 Breakfast
8.30 School
9.00 School or Novitiate lectures.
12.00 Spiritual Reading
12.15 Sext
1.30 School. Novitiate Duties
4.10 None
5.00 Vespers and Rosary
6.45 Matins
7.45 Recreation
8.30 Compline

Bishop Fellay giving conference to sisters
Taking of the habit

Dominican Links:

The Dominican Sisters of Wanganui have an excellent relationship with the Dominicans in France, especially the Dominican Sisters of Fanjeaux from whom they receive help and encouragement. These Dominican links to other traditional groups are important to the Sisters' sense of family and also to securing books and music for the Dominican Liturgy.


Six to twelve months' postulancy.
One year novitiate
Five years' temporary profession


The Dominican Sisters of Wanganui welcome enquiries from women interested in a Dominican Vocation. Write, email, or telephone to the address below.

Mother Prioress,
St Dominic's Convent,
12B York Street,
New Zealand.

Phone: 00-64-6-344-2265
Fax: 00-64-6-348-0116


Dominican Sisters of Wanganui
Dominican Sister with  Dominican priest

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