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Misson to the Mound

March 31, 2015


Two Students share their experiences over Spring Break on the Mission to the Mound retreat in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin.

Going to the Mound during my Spring Break was a great decision. As a future Dominican Volunteer, I thought it would be a great experience to learn more about the history of Dominican as well as getting to know the Sisters who have become a great part of that history. Every time I told a Sister that I got accepted to become a Dominican Volunteer their faces lit up with joy for me. I think I have about four Sisters praying for me on my behalf. I felt like a rock star there.IMG_0184

Being so far away from everything, I got to enjoy the beauty of the Mound. I was also able to get some really nice pictures. During my free time I went on a hike to explore the Mound with my friend and once we reached the top we saw an actual Bald Eagle! The word Sinsinawa means, “Home of the young eagle,” so this was a neat moment to experience. It was a great bonding moment for us to share and talk about.  I learned a lot about the history of Dominican during our three days but I also learned more about myself. I have a better outlook for the future.  I encourage others to go to the Mound before they leave Dominican because it truly is a wonderful place. There is also the bonus of Mound bread!

Brian Manjarrez is a senior majoring in Psychology. Next year, he will serve with Dominican Volunteers in either Racine, Wisconsin or New York.

At the beginning of Spring Break I had the opportunity to attend the Mission to the Mound retreat. It was a great way to unwind from a very stressful midterm’s week, and to just experience something new. We traveled to Sinsinawa, Wisconsin, where Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli founded the Dominican Sisters and where many Sisters still reside today. The area of the Mound is on top of huge hills with a beautiful view of the countryside of Wisconsin. It is amazing to see how much natural beauty can help you forget about your individual stress and provide relaxation.IMG_0153

The Mound had a beautiful chapel, a lower level mini history museum, an auditorium, a gift shop, and of course, housing for the Sisters. We visited the former home of Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli in Benton, Wisconsin and also the cemetery where he is buried. The more I learned about him, the more appreciation I had for my lovely Dominican school! This amazing University would not have existed if this brave man did not come from his native home in Italy, not knowing any English, and became missionary at a very young age! He was a man who respected women, and truly believed that all women should have an education. In his day, it was very rare for women to receive a world class education, but he, along with other Sisters, completely changed that reality. They started out with Saint Clara College there in Sinsinawa and eventually relocated Rosary College to right here in River Forest, and then renamed it Dominican University.

The Sisters we met in Sinsinawa are all absolutely incredible. They definitely redefined the role of “Sister” for me! Many were teachers, activists, pilots, in the military, or were feminists before feminism was an actual thing! I was lucky to engage in a conversation about diversity with them, and the most incredible thing about it is that they wanted to learn from us. I was so surprised at how much thinking we had in common. They are truly beautiful, kind, generous women who welcome you with open arms, and they want you to return anytime you get the chance. They made Sinsinawa another home for me!

Alejandra Reyes is a Junior and is passionate about science, equality, and helping others.



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