May 2, 2018, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – Sister Margarita Ruiz, OP, presented a book on the history of 22 congregations of women religious in the Dominican Republic during a public assembly April 12 in the auditorium of the Dominican Institute of Theology in Santo Domingo.
She was chosen to present the book – Memoria Histórica de la Vida Religiosa Femenina en República Dominicana: 1959-1999 (Historic Memory of the Life of Women Religious in the Dominican Republic: 1959-1999) – because of her leadership in coordinating the histories of the congregations and helping to compile and edit the unique history.
Memoria Histórica was the result of a proposal by the Latin American Religious Conference (CLAR) that women religious congregations in Latin America write and share their histories. CLAR sought to commemorate the 40 years of the organization’s existence; make visible the presence of women religious in the nations represented by CLAR; and guide consecrated women in their efforts to re-found their congregations to meet the needs of the world.
Sister Margarita said she experienced “great joy” in writing the history of the Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates who have ministered in the Dominican Republic. “It really was a group project,” she said, explaining that all of the Sisters who had ministered in the Dominican Republic were involved in gathering the information, evaluating their accomplishments, and judging their response to the challenges they had lived.
Recently, the 22 congregations that had written their history in the Dominican Republic saw the benefit of compiling their histories into one book so they could learn from the events, changes, and reflections of one another, Sister Margarita said. “Everyone is eager to read the book and to be able to recognize the presence of God in the midst of the different spiritualities of the religious who worked in the Dominican Republic during the years when the history was written.”