Dominican Life at Barry

Dominican ShieldBarry University is a Catholic, coeducational institution with a history of distinction. Founded in 1940, the university is sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan. This dynamic religious order emphasizes study, contemplation, preaching, and community; these pillars of their religious life have led them to a vibrant spirituality, vigorous academic pursuits, and a strong commitment to make the world a more just place. Open to the faith perspectives of all, our Catholic, Dominican foundation calls us to create an educational environment that is caring, that recognizes each person's gifts, and that incorporates the religious dimension and community service into daily life. This perspective will add insight and depth to your undergraduate or graduate education.

A Barry education is an educational experience grounded in purpose-a wonderful thing to find in what is often a scattered world. Our goal is to help you fulfill your potential and dreams. We see every career as a vocation, enabling you to become the person you were meant to be, improving your life and that of others.

The Roots of the Dominican Way of Life

The Dominicans, or the Order of Preachers, owe their origin and name to St. Dominic of Guzman, a priest born in Caleruega, in the Province of Burgos (Spain). Established on December 22, 1216, by Pope Honorius III, this new Order was an answer to the needs of the Church in the 13th century. It represented a new approach, a new form of apostolic life called "The Holy Preaching." It was tailored for proclaiming the Word of God to a world in need of sound spiritual guidance and direction. The Dominican Sisters and Friars who have served and continue to serve at Barry University belong to a worldwide family of over 35,000 sisters of apostolic life, 3,500 nuns, 6,000 friars, and over 90,000 lay women and men who together comprise the Dominican family.

Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan

Adrian Dominican MotherhouseThe Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan are an international congregation of more than 800 vowed women religious and associates whose roots go back to St. Dominic in the 13th century. They trace their beginnings to Holy Cross Convent, a house of enclosed contemplative nuns in Regensburg (Ratisbon), Germany founded twelve years after St. Dominic's death in 1221.

In the mid-nineteenth century, four sisters from Holy Cross Convent were sent to the United States where they founded the Convent of the Most Holy Rosary in New York City. In 1879 the need for teachers brought the first nuns to Michigan where their numbers continued to grow. In 1923, the Congregation formally separated from New York and began to flourish. Its new Motherhouse was established in Adrian, Michigan

The sisters are engaged in a variety of ministries that include education, healthcare and social services in their traditional forms as well as others that have developed from them. Among these are law, community organization, works of peace and justice, administration, counseling, pastoral care, retreats and spiritual formation, campus ministry, liturgy, preaching, and ministries in the arts.

In addition to their continued sponsorship and involvement in Barry University, the Adrian Dominicans also sponsor Siena Heights University, St. Joseph Academy and Weber Retreat and Conference Center in Adrian, Michigan; Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, California; St. Rose Dominican Hospital in Henderson, Nevada; Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette, Illinois; Rosarian Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida and a network of Literacy Centers across the nation.

For more information on the life and mission of the Dominican Sisters and Associates of Adrian, Michigan please go to If you are interested in discerning a vocation to religious life as an Adrian Dominican Sister, please contact our Vocation Director, Sister Durstyne Farnan, OP at

Southern Dominican Province Friars

Southern ProvinceThe Southern Dominican Province was founded in 1979, just twenty five years after the close of the Second Vatican Council. While still young as a province, the friars along with the entire Dominican Family have been gifted with the charism of proclaiming the prophetic truth of God's Word in every generation. The Southern Dominican Friars are committed to do so among the poor, marginalized and voiceless people of the province as well as in the academic and parish communities of the South.

St. Martin de Porres was chosen as the patron of the province because of his legacy of serving the poor and bridging the divisions of races, cultures and classes in Spanish Colonial Peru of the 16th century. A similar diversity reflects the demographics of the Province today.

With its headquarters in Metairie, Louisiana, the Southern Dominican Province includes 115 members serving in an area encompassing eleven southern states. Inspired by its patron's service to all of God's people, the friars are involved in pastoral and sacramental ministries, in secondary and university teaching and administration, in parish and campus ministries, in hospital and prison chaplaincies, as spiritual directors and pastoral counselors, as well as in film, media, and the internet. For more information regarding the Southern Dominican Province, please go to If you are interested in discerning a vocation to Dominican religious life as a priest or lay brother, please contact our vocation director at

Dominicans at Barry

Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, Ph.D.
President of Barry University

Sister Jeanne O'Laughlin, OP, Ph.D.

Campus Ministry

Father Marcelo Solórzano, OP, S.Th.D.

Department of Mathematics

Sister Paul James Villemure, OP, Ph.D.


Sister Grace Flowers, OP, Ed.D.
Associate Director, Treasure Coast Site

Department of Theology and Philosophy

Father Mark Wedig, OP, Ph.D.

Sister Sara Fairbanks, OP, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Father Jorge Presmanes, OP, DMin.
Assistant Professor

School of Education

Sister Ellen Rice, OP, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Institutional Advancement

Academic Affairs

Sister John Karen Frei, OP, Ph.D.
Special Assistant to the Provost

School of Podiatry

Sister Myra Jackson, OP
Coordinator of Clerkships / Post Graduate Placement