Dominican Center moves onto campus

Open day at the new Dominican Center. Photo by Yashowanto Ghosh.

Story by Yashowanto Ghosh, Reporter

Photographs courtesy of Yashowanto Ghosh

The Dominican Center ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids celebrated its move to a new location with an open house on Saturday, Jan 22. At the beginning of the month, it moved into the former Bukowski Chapel on the Aquinas College campus.

Before the move, the Dominican Center was located down Fulton Street at the Marywood Campus.  Sister Diane Zerfas, O.P., who coordinates the Dominican Center’s Spirituality Program, said the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids gave the Marywood Campus to a property developer who will build housing for seniors at the property, while leaving the grounds (such as the Pear Garden) substantially as they are. 

The Sisters used to live in the Motherhouse, but they have moved to the newer Marywood Health Center at the southeast corner of the campus; the Dominican Center moved to Aquinas—which is itself another ministry of the Sisters—at the beginning of January 2022. 

Open day at the new Dominican Center. Photo by Yashowanto Ghosh.

The Bukowski Chapel has served various purposes on the campus in its rich history, most recently as the campus chapel—which makes it a natural choice to house the Dominican Center—before the inauguration of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel.

Members of the college community, as well as several of our neighbors from off campus, braved the chilly temperatures to come to the open house.  Sister Diane said that the Center, which used to be laid out in 11 rooms, was substantially re-organized to fit and fill the new quarters.  The Center also developed virtual programming over the course of the pandemic, and will offer both virtual and in-person experiences from the new location in the future. 

Two of their regular online programs are Centering Prayer from noon to 12:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Lectio Divina from noon to 12:30 p.m. every Thursday, but in-person programs are already in the works too, such as a four-day retreat in Conway, Michigan toward the end of March.  For a full listing of their programs, check out