Catholics in America (Religion in American Life) by James T. Fisher

By James T. Fisher

Catholicism has grown from a suppressed and persecuted outsiders' faith within the American colonies to turn into the nation's unmarried biggest denomination. James Fisher surveys greater than 4 centuries of Catholics' involvement in American background, beginning his narrative with one of many first Spanish expeditions to Florida, in 1528. He follows the transformation of Catholicism into one among America's so much culturally and ethnically diversified religions, together with the English Catholics' early cost in Maryland, the Spanish missions to the local american citizens, the Irish and German negative who got here looking for paintings and farmland, the proliferation of Polish and Italian groups, and the transforming into inflow of Catholics from Latin the United States. The publication discusses Catholic involvement in politics and clash, from New York's Tammany corridor to the Vietnam battle and abortion. Fisher highlights the severe position of ladies in American Catholicism--from St. Elizabeth Seton and Dorothy Day to mom Cabrini, the 1st American citizen to be canonized a saint--and describes the impression of trendy American Catholics comparable to Cardinal John J. O'Connor, Thirties radio character Father Charles Coughlin, President John F. Kennedy, pacifists Daniel and Philip Berrigan, activist Cesar Chavez, and writer Flannery O'Connor. For this new version, Fisher has introduced the tale modern, together with the newest struggles in the American church leadership.

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Throughout the 19th century, Irish Americans played a leading role in building the nation’s transportation systems. 51 • Catholics in America nearly 1 million Irish emigrants, Protestants and Catholics alike, made their way to the United States, seeking economic opportunity in the industrializing cities of the eastern seaboard. After 1845, however, the overwhelming majority of Irish immigrants were Catholic peasants fleeing poverty and famine. Irish peasant families were wholly dependent on the potato crop for their nourishment; they exported other crops to pay the increasing rents demanded by their absentee British and Irish landlords.

Monk’s fabricated tale of illicit relations between priests and nuns at a Montreal convent appealed not only to rabid anti-Catholics but to many Americans who believed that such secretive organizations as the Masons and the Mormon church did not properly belong in an open and democratic society. Catholicism was viewed by many as both foreign and mysterious, themes that provoked highly mixed feelings in mid19th-century America. The mobs who attacked convents and read antiCatholic literature were motivated at least in part by curiosity, because the life of Catholic women’s religious communities was so alien to their experience.

He also told the Irish Catholics in the throng that they could “laugh to scorn” those who ridiculed their customs and religion. ” John Hughes and many other bishops in the mid 19th century recognized that impoverished Irish immigrants were comfortable only with priests from their homeland. In 1870 an Irish missionary priest traveling in western Pennsylvania described his reception by an immigrant community: “In a short time the word was spread that an Irish priest had arrived—all the villages forthwith came to see me & hear about the old country.

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