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negotiated significant modifications to the Tridentine decrees on enclosure in order to take on the teaching of girls from modest (even poor) social backgrounds in their innovative day schools. Thus, their evangelisation reached out beyond the walls of the cloister and implied daily and direct interaction with the world.5 Other congregations, such as the congregation of NotreDame, negotiated new forms of approved, semi-enclosed female religious life.6 More striking still was the figure of Mary Ward who, with a group of followers who became known as ‘English Ladies

in English Benedictine nuns in exile in the seventeenth century
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Being Irish in nineteenth-century Scotland and Canada

preoccupations informed the local experience. During the nineteenth century, French women entered the religious life in greater numbers than any other group, but the Irish were not far behind. Approximately 8,000 women entered Irish convents between 1800 and 1900 and by 1901 sisters and nuns represented 70 per cent of the nation’s religious workforce.2 This flood of women to the religious life extended throughout the diaspora and was a phenomenon that marked the Irish as committed Catholics who stood at the forefront of the Church’s developing social welfare agenda. The extent

in Women and Irish diaspora identities

the city and its culture’. 7 Documentary evidence of his role and activities in the earlier middle ages is scarce. We know even less about the local traditions, practices and customs of religious life – Christian, proto-Christian or otherwise – which inevitably shaped his interaction with his flock. More often than not, the local priest may have been barely adequate for his duties, though this impression may reflect the rhetoric of later church reformers. Perhaps having only a rudimentary knowledge of Latin, little formal theological training, often married with a

in Reform and papacy in the eleventh century
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it also enabled them to defend what they perceived to be wider communal interests, such as access to lammas land and rights of way. The constant attempts to invoke, appropriate and define the membership and interests of the parish community in this period reflect how powerfully social change had affected the locality at both ends of the social scale, but they also suggest the continuing attraction of notions of parish community in the face of such developments. Finally, the religious life of Westminster’s parishes was also expressive of this changing, transitional

in The social world of early modern Westminster

, and of these approximately 25 per cent (eighteen) entered the religious life. The majority would have served as teachers in Scotland, but a handful joined contemplative orders or congregations that did not specialise in teaching.93 The fact that so many of Scotland’s Catholic teachers were trained in England from a relatively young age was bound to have consequences for Catholic identity in Scotland, a point that has been raised above. The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur were tremendously influential in the development of Catholic identity in Scotland because they

in Creating a Scottish Church
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instrumental in training Catholic women religious. One annalist of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus noted that ‘many of our most valuable Religious had come from among the Students, and the methods of teaching in our Schools had been systematised and much improved’.37 Perhaps even more telling than this anecdotal information were the results of the analysis of the records of Our Lady’s. They indicate that over thirty per cent of those who attended Our Lady’s from 1856 to 1867 entered religious life.38 For most of the nineteenth century, the focus of women’s congregations

in Contested identities
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patronesses of the religious life. Other nobles, both male and female, dedicated themselves to prayer and spiritual improvement in a monastic community, while others walked a middle course between the lay and religious spheres as influential prelates who oversaw both their Christian flocks and their churches’ extensive political and territorial interests. Regardless of which roles individual noblemen and

in Noble Society

humours fancies judgments & opinions how can there be but great disorder & confusion when they strive to maintaine them & will not by the virtue of obedience & submission of will subject them either to god or man superior for god’.14 Emotions were therefore to be considered with great defiance, since they contradicted the very principles of religious life, both for the individual and for her convent as a whole. At Paris, Prioress Justina Gascoigne relayed this advice when she encouraged her Sisters to combat their natural emotions. She exhorted them: ‘forsake & renounce

in English Benedictine nuns in exile in the seventeenth century
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life is described as a ‘powerful movement by women to re-Christianise French culture and society’,56 but the international, missionary dimension of this life also made it imperialistic. The personal outlook of these women was crucial and, as Carmen Mangion explains, the decision to enter the religious life was not a passive one and entrants opted for the life path that best suited their needs.57 In fact, many women entered the religious life for the chance to live and undertake meaningful work abroad or to avoid marriage and childbirth. Not only were they designing a

in Creating a Scottish Church
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Monasticism in late medieval England, c. 1300–1535

creation of new monastic orders between 1200 and 1540. After the ferment of the eleventh and twelfth centuries when the Cistercian and Carthusian monks and the Augustinian, Premonstratensian and Gilbertine canons were all founded, the establishment of new orders stalled. The thirteenth century saw the appearance of the friars, a new form of religious life based on preaching and charity, supported by

in Monasticism in late medieval England, c. 1300–1535