Dominican Sisters Restructure Space at Sinsinawa

Mound Center Events Paused, Bakery Negotiations Taking Shape

Major changes are taking shape at Sinsinawa Mound. The Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa are in the process of updating and reallocating space in the Stone and Convent buildings for future use by the congregation as negotiations continue with Tricon Construction Group on their possible renovations of the 1964 buildings as a senior living community and event center. The Stone and Convent building renovation will include installation of geothermal heating and cooling systems to align with the congregation’s commitment to the ecological and economic responsibility of Pope Francis’ call to care for Earth through his Laudato Si’ encyclical.  

Sinsinawa Book and Gift Gallery will remain open for business at its current location and offers products from Sinsinawa Bakery both online and in the store Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The storefront will serve as the entrance to Sinsinawa Mound Center for a time while renovations in the Stone and Convent buildings are underway. The Sinsinawa Dominicans are negotiating an agreement with Roux and Lucia—a new deli and bakery in Dubuque, Iowa, set to open in the spring of 2024—that would allow the congregation to continue offering Sinsinawa Bakery items at Roux and Lucia in the new year after bakery operations cease at Sinsinawa. Sinsinawa Mound Center is temporarily discontinuing its retreat and event offerings to the public beginning this November until 2025. Queen of the Rosary Chapel, Sinsinawa Art Gallery, and exhibit areas are no longer available to the public as the congregation continues negotiations with Tricon. The congregation is renovating St. Clara Chapel in the Academy building for use as a worship and gathering space for future groups. The renovation also includes relocation and expansion to the original Stone building of the Father Samuel Mazzuchelli and sisters’ heritage exhibits. The Stone building was constructed by Father Mazzuchelli in 1844.    

“We are excited about the future possibilities to partner with others to share in our legacy of responding to the needs of the area,” said Sister Christina Heltsley, OP, Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa. “Change can be challenging but also provides an opportunity for improvement and growth. We will be taking better care of our Earth by installing geothermal in our renovated buildings and continuing to provide our beloved bakery products to our friends and neighbors through a more sustainable business model.”   

Donations toward the renovation project can be made to the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa at The sisters are part of a worldwide Dominican family, the Order of Preachers. For more than 800 years, Dominicans have continued to preach the Gospel in word and deed. Today, thousands of sisters, nuns, priests, brothers, associates, and laity minister in more than 100 countries around the world.