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Carmen M. Mangion

, Ursulines and the religious of the Sacred Heart were more likely to recruit from the daughters of the wealthy aristocracy than from the working classes in the nineteenth century.11 Women who entered active, simple-vowed congregations in France came from the social classes that they served.12 Religious life in England followed a different trajectory owing to the penal laws and the suppression of Catholicism. Unlike in France, there was no explosion of congregations similar to the filles séculières. The Institute of Mary, founded by Mary Ward, was the sole English

in Contested identities
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Carmen Mangion

that was intended to suppress others identities of social class, ethnicity, family, gender and sexuality. A shared identity remained essential to religious life, 49 but uniformity became out of place within the processes of renewal and adaptation to a modern world. Interlinking worlds: post-war Britain, Catholics, Vatican II Much of the material in the upcoming chapters, because of the international and transnational nature of religious life, will resonate with historians of women religious from other national contexts. However, this research is grounded in a

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age
Carmen Mangion

religious. Women who entered religious life in the 1940s had some awareness that being a ‘nun’, as discussed in Chapter 1 , included ‘dying to the world’ and the sacrifice of familial and friendship relationships. The formation period, the postulancy and the novitiate, trained women to interact in convent spaces. Like other forms of professional training at the time, it was rigorous, structured and rooted in social-class-based ideals of deference that were an everyday part of private and public life. 28 Tutored and guided by a novice mistress, the formation process

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age
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Cara Delay

interrogates the intersections of gender, class, and religion and, whenever possible, integrates the examples of women from various social classes. This book notes key distinctions among women within the wide spectrum of regional, economic, age, and marital variances, yet it also highlights how Catholicism could unify lay women across these divides. Irish Women and the Creation of Modern Catholicism demonstrates that the key moments of change in Catholic women’s devotional lives occurred in two stages, first from 1870 to 1890, as the effects of the ‘devotional revolution

in Irish women and the creation of modern Catholicism, 1850–1950
Carmen Mangion

Bavaria Leaders of Catholic women’s religious institutes managed the activities and internal affairs of their congregations and orders. Their governance structures had some parallels with the Holy See’s hierarchical structures, with its centralised authority. Religious institutes were political cultures with much of the major decision-making in the hands of a small group, an often elected (sometimes for life) female leader and her four or five assistants. As political cultures, they were shaped by social class hierarchies and the practice of religious obedience. 26

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age
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Cara Delay

to incorporate religious popular culture into the domestic sphere; indeed, these attempts traversed social class, region, and economic realities.14 Beginning in the middle of the nineteenth century, the most humble of rural homes exhibited devotional items. Even the most destitute homes in the nineteenth-century Irish countryside, writes Claudia Kinmonth, featured at minimum a rosary hanging on the wall or from a shelf.15 In George Washington Brownlow’s idealised portrayal of a fisherman’s cottage (1861), a rosary hangs clearly on the wall to the left of the family

in Irish women and the creation of modern Catholicism, 1850–1950
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Post-war modernity and religious vocations
Carmen Mangion

life in the 1940s and 1950s were in the midst of a post-war British world feeling the push and pull of modernisation. They experienced life differently from their mothers and grandmothers; the post-war modern world held the potential for new encounters and worldviews. Women of all social classes during the war had experienced diverse forms of war work, more financial independence and greater occasion for relationships with men and women inside and outside their social class. 7 Women’s rights campaigner Vera Douie observed: In one way, perhaps, the war may have

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age
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Carmen Mangion

social movements. The post-war Modern Girl who entered religious life had life experiences that widened her horizons: she participated in diverse forms of war work, likely had increased financial independence and greater occasion for relationships with men and women within and outside her own social class. Pope Pius XII’s awareness of women’s changing role in a modernising world and a decline in vocations led to the apostolic constitution Sponsa Christi (1950) and subsequent international congresses encouraging the ‘adaptation’ and ‘modernisation’ of religious life

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age
Carmen Mangion

local government. 12 Some were sporty, and thus emblematic of youth and freedom. 13 English Modern Girls were more multidimensional than the historiography on consumption would have us believe; they were participants in the modern world. Visual representations of this Modern Girl were ubiquitous in cinemas, magazines and advertisements linking her to popular culture through the lenses of social class, ethnicity, sexuality, femininity and age. Magazine covers emphasised ‘youth, liberation, mobility, fun’ attending to the female body as the site of modernity

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age
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David Geiringer

’: This failure [of ‘traditional’ social scientists] is caused by a focus on ‘structures’ (such as churches and social classes) to the neglect of ‘the personal’ in piety. The ‘personal’ is intrinsically wrapped up with language, discourses on personal moral worth, the narrative structures within which these are located, and the timing of change to these. 15

in The Pope and the pill