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the main thrust of his reports, the Oblate mission in the United States was a resounding success, packing the churches in the parishes it visited to the point of having to divide the congregations. One week was assigned to married women, the next to unmarried women, and the same again for men, instead of the usual four weeks for all-comers. These people, Shinnors observed, were ‘as full of faith and fervour as if they still lived in their own homes’.7 Moreover, two of his American clerical critics, Smith and John Ryan, were the American-born sons of an Irish

in Population, providence and empire
Emigration and sectarian rivalry

be impacted by the substantial loss of population which emigration represented. Between 1849 and 1852, as the immediacy of the Famine crisis dissipated and priests returned to being primarily religious pastors 149 Roddy_Population_Printer.indd 149 15/09/2014 11:47 Population, providence and empire rather than relief organisers, many of them began evaluating how the dust of five years of death and emigration had settled on their parishes. Even before the official census revealed a deficit of two million people – some 20% of the total pre-Famine population

in Population, providence and empire
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French clerical reformers and episcopal status

seventeenthcentury figure may be termed the founder of the theology of priesthood, it is Cardinal Pierre de Bérulle (1575–1629), on whom all later writers on priesthood and reforming activists drew heavily. His reflections culminated in the formation in 1611, of the Congregation of the Oratory, a company of dedicated secular priests who would correspond to their founder’s notion of the clerical vocation. When Bérulle died in 1629, the Oratory numbered approximately four hundred members, housed in over sixty locations and overseeing many students training for the priesthood in

in Fathers, pastors and kings
The pastoral responses of the Irish churches to emigration

commitment to the religious needs of the colonies, and of Irish congregations’ financial contributions to clergy in the colonies. ‘I have often been deeply humbled,’ he said, ‘nay, obliged to blush, over the reports that have reached us of the miserable givings of some of your congregations for the maintenance of those engaged in the noblest and best of work’.129 Yet the apparently misguided supposition that ‘a missionary to the colonies receives at once adequate support from the people to whom he ministers’ – true only in Victoria, according to McClure – meant, inevitably

in Population, providence and empire
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historians have hypothesised that a concern for the religious welfare of the departed may have coloured clerical condemnation of the exodus, there has been little substantiating analysis of the pastoral response of the Irish Catholic Church to the mass out-movement of their congregations.33 Examination of what the Freeman’s Journal termed ‘priests for the emigrants’ has instead been the almost exclusive preserve of ecclesiastical historians, often moonlighting clergy, who have arguably treated the subject of the pastoral response of the Catholic Church with excessive

in Population, providence and empire

Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (Holy Rosary Sisters) and the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM), Mother of Christ Sisters. The first two began as Irish congregations, or orders, whereas the latter is a religious congregation of Nigerian women. The focus on missionaries’ viewpoints provides insight into a neglected aspect of the post-colonial era in sub-Saharan Africa, the decolonisation and independence periods and what happened to healthcare during violence and massive displacement of people. Through their religious congregations, Catholic sisters worked

in Colonial caring
Emigration and the spread of Irish religious influence

congregation in 1850, ‘There is not such a religious people on the face of the earth – so attached to their faith – so attached to their clergy’.19 The strength and resilience of Irish faith was matched by its ancient ‘purity’. Michael Phelan, an Irish-Australian Jesuit, noted that ‘Ireland had never belonged to the Empire of the Caesars’ and thereby cut off, had been ‘saved from its corruption and final ruin’. In an 1862 pastoral letter, Paul Cullen observed the spreading by emigrants of ‘the faith which they inherited from St Patrick, and which had been handed down to them

in Population, providence and empire

grip on all its ministers and congregations. It is therefore simple Protestant propaganda which makes people think of Scotland as a Presbyterian country. There were Catholic enclaves in plenty; the Episcopalian Church (essentially an Anglican version or imitation), flourished in various parts of the Lowlands; and a variety of -isms which rose to bestrew the religious landscape, like mushrooms in the night.41 In 1690, to be sure, the Westminster Parliament had attempted to impose Presbyterian government on Scotland by statute, but the results were not what that body

in Beyond the witch trials
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The clergy and emigration in practice

periodical fiction. It was usually a reference to those Famine emigrants who did not survive the harsh Atlantic passage, or a creative expression of the knowledge that most emigrants who did make it would never return to be buried in Irish soil beside their loved ones.10 A related, subtly different religious claim was also occasionally made, however. In its mildest form, this was the sense that it was better for would-be emigrants ‘to lay their bones quietly at rest in the graves of their forefathers in the “Island of Saints” than risk the moral perils which await them in

in Population, providence and empire
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Clergy, orality and print in the Scottish Gaelic world

; but it is legitimate to wonder whether it may have been at least a first draft of an ambitious project to capture some of the finest verse products of the medieval Gaelic world, from western Scotland to western Ireland. Some of the oldest poems in the book can be dated to the thirteenth 86 The pulpit and the pen and early fourteenth centuries, while the latest were composed close to the time of compilation of the book itself. The range of verse – formal bardic verse to patrons of the poets, ballads about the heroes of the Fianna, religious poetry of very high

in The spoken word