In 1206 the Spaniard, Saint Dominic de Guzman, founded the first community of Dominican women in Prouille, France. In 1224 the Dominican friars came to Ireland. The Cabra Sisters trace their origin to the foundation of the Dominican Nuns in Galway in 1644. Srs. Mary Lynch and Julian Nolan, on their return from exile in Spain during the persecution of the Cromwellian period, re-founded the community in Galway. The Congregation is just one section of the world wide Dominican Family – a family of priests, brothers, contemplative and active sisters, and laity. The Congregation’s mission is education in its widest sense, schools being one aspect of this.
Founded on democratic principles, Dominic’s vision was to bring the Word and Works of God into a dynamic engagement with the prevailing culture of the day. The network of Dominican schools and Colleges in Ireland has therefore inherited a rich tradition in education, with each succeeding generation finding new ways of passing on Christian values. This involves the constant effort to synthesise faith and culture so that intellectual development and growth as a Christian go hand in hand. This democratic principle ensures Dominican Education is developed in a spirit of trust and freedom, linked with responsibility, eliciting the co-operation of all, mindful of justice issues, offering a multifaceted curriculum, and opposed to unhealthy competition or academic cramming.
The motto Veritas (Truth) epitomises the aim of Dominican schools and colleges – the pursuit of Truth in all its forms. It acknowledges the unique giftedness of each individual and their journey in discovering the truth about themselves, others, the universe they share, and the Creator of all. Dominican schools and colleges, therefore, strive to be communities centred on Christ, and on Gospel values, where all work together, learn to make informed judgements, pray together, forgive each other.
(Fuller information is available in the document ‘In Search of Truth – The Dominican Way in Education’. ‘ Ag Lorg na Fírinne-Oideachas ar an nós Doiminiceach’)