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By Anne M. Butler

Roman Catholic sisters first traveled to the yankee West as services of social companies, schooling, and scientific assistance. In Across God's Frontiers, Anne M. Butler lines the ways that sisters challenged and reconfigured modern rules approximately girls, paintings, faith, and the West; furthermore, she demonstrates how non secular existence turned a car for expanding women's corporation and power.
relocating to the West brought major adjustments for those ladies, together with public employment and punctiliously unconventional monastic lives. As nuns and sisters adjusted to new situations 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 lady spiritual pioneers outfitted associations, brokered relationships among Indigenous peoples and encroaching settlers, and undertook diversified occupations, frequently with out equipped investment or direct help from the church hierarchy. A entire 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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Extra resources for Across God’s Frontiers: Catholic Sisters in the American West, 1850-1920

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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.

65 Finding amusement and including themselves in the joke stayed with sisters young and old. When a railroad strike stranded Blessed Sacrament sisters traveling to Santa Fe, they took refuge in an empty Pullman car for the day and entertained themselves with memories, especially of one friend famous for her pranks. ” Sister Veronica’s jokes even earned names among the nuns—such as the “famous” “Wilcox” and “Tea decanter” episodes. One nun regaled the others with an account of Sister Veronica directing her to catch a small pig and another mishap when manure smeared the helpful novice’s white veil after she grabbed a cow’s tail.

42 Nothing about her stylish, self-­centered manner hinted she would replace fashionable society with convent austerity. In 1914 a similar personality described a young Irish woman inquiring about the Dominican sisters in Texas. Little about her indicated she would be a natural for monastic life. She appeared for her Dublin interview in a striking lavender suit and a black velvet hat decorated with sprightly red roses, causing the bishop to dismiss her as a serious prospect. 43 These unlikely nuns-­to-­be, outwardly no different from thousands of other single, marriage-­age Catholic women, dispelled the image of drab women jilted by suitors and disappointed in romantic relationships as the standard for convent material.

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