By Anne M. Butler
Roman Catholic sisters first traveled to the yankee West as companies of social providers, schooling, and scientific suggestions. In Across God's Frontiers, Anne M. Butler lines the ways that sisters challenged and reconfigured modern rules approximately ladies, paintings, faith, and the West; additionally, she demonstrates how spiritual existence turned a motor vehicle for expanding women's organization and power.
relocating to the West brought major alterations for those ladies, together with public employment and carefully unconventional monastic lives. As nuns and sisters adjusted to new conditions and immersed themselves in rugged environments, Butler argues, the West formed them; and during their labors and charities, the sisters in flip formed the West. those woman non secular pioneers equipped associations, brokered relationships among Indigenous peoples and encroaching settlers, and undertook different occupations, frequently with out prepared investment or direct aid from the church hierarchy. A finished historical past of Roman Catholic nuns and sisters within the American West, Across God's Frontiers unearths Catholic sisters as dynamic and inventive architects of civic and spiritual associations in western communities.
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Additional resources for Across God’s Frontiers: Catholic Sisters in the American West, 1850-1920
Of those from outside the United States, 153 listed Canada as their place of birth, so that approximately 41 percent of the foreign-born applicants for the Sisters of St. 19 In addition, from 1852 through 1910, of the 418 American-born candidates, 267, or almost 65 percent, hailed from Minnesota, indicating the growing attraction of joining an order close to kin. Primarily, though, these figures underscored the initial prevalence of foreign immigrants, in this case approaching 50 percent, entering American convents.
Yet everything that happened to nuns in the American West contradicted those assumptions, even as the sisters themselves believed they held to old traditions and passed them intact to new members. Although I would not attempt to incorporate the full complexity of Tilley’s philosophical argument into my historical narrative, his ideas shadowed me as I considered this work. Important as these scholars have been to me, as a western historian I see these issues about women religious somewhat differently and in a multifaceted regional setting.
Fifty or more young women living and working simply could not resist those zany moments that enlarged congregational lore and left sisters chuckling for decades. Music was a natural outlet for humor, and any occasion could be an excuse for the postulants and novices to hastily assemble a chorale. In 1894 the professed nuns gathered in the novitiate of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dubuque for “a program of playful nonsense . . ”50 Holidays gave another chance for festivities, and the novices devised clever ways to celebrate, laugh, and stay within convent behaviors.
Across God’s Frontiers: Catholic Sisters in the American West, 1850-1920 by Anne M. Butler