The Congregation
Dominican Sisters
St. Catharine of Siena
of  King William’s Town

Stained Glass Window at Emmaus Convent in East London

  • Our Congregation was founded in 1877 by Mother Mauritia Tiefenboeck and her six companions from Augsburg, Germany.
  • We are called to be a prophetic community of women from many cultures and nationalities.
  • At the core of our identity as Dominicans is our ongoing search for Truth, inspired by the Spirit of Jesus the Christ in whose life and teaching God’s Truth has been revealed. We discover Truth by entering into relationship with God, others and creation.
  • Our insight is deepened through study, contemplation, dialogue, discernment, compassion and the struggle for justice.
  • Our ministries developed from our initial call to education and health care to present ministries of pastoral care, retreat work, administration, and facilitation work with groups, development work, and care for the elderly.

Our Mission and Ministry

  • Our Corporate Identity as KWT Dominicans
    We are a multi-cultural, prophetic community of
    Dominican women, aware of the interconnectedness and
    sacramental dimension of all life
    in a dynamically evolving universe.With God as our source,
    we respond creatively and compassionately
    to the cry of the world, witnessing to the unconditional
    loving-kindness of God.
    (The Congregation Chapter, 2010
    unanimously re-adopted the Corporate Identity as formulated in 1998.)
  • Community
    • St. Dominic envisioned the communities of Order of Preachers as ‘holy preaching’: places where Dominicans, rooted in God’s passionate love for humanity and committed to communal life, live sister/brotherhood as communities of equals.
    • We form relationships of interdependence, genuine communication, openness and intimacy with one another, in love and mutual accountability and responsibility.
    • Our communities are prophetic and counter-cultural as they:
      live the wider vision of community,
      have a contemplative and reflective lifestyle, search for truth,
      promote reconciliation and justice, foster ecological awareness
      and create inclusive structures of partnership and equality.
    • Our ministries developed from our initial call to education and health care to the present ministries of pastoral care, retreat work, administration and facilitation work with groups, development work and care for the elderly.
  • Ministry
    As communities in mission, we give expression to our mission in a diversity of ministries, all of which are forms of Dominican preaching.
  • Preaching
      • We preach the liberating truth of God
      • Preaching is a core element of our identity.

    We do this primarily by being living words of truth, hope, love and mercy, which we ourselves have received from God in Jesus the Christ.

    Jesus proclaimed liberating truth in word and deed. We are called to continue His mission and participate in the mission of the Church, as we place ourselves at the service of God and witness to God’s unconditional loving-kindness.


Spirituality is a dynamic relationship with God, self and all that is. It evolves throughout our lives and can be profoundly affected by our experience of the cry of the world and our response to it. Living our Dominican motto “Contemplari et contemplate aliis tradere”, we pay particular attention to:

    • understanding and integrating creation spirituality, especially eco-feminism
    • studying, reflecting on and sharing the new understanding of consecrated vowed life
    • responding to people’s search for spirituality

(Congregational Chapter Acts 2004)

In living our spirituality and sharing it, we each express our inner truth as we search together in ongoing discernment for wider truth.

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