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Carmen M. Mangion

4 Evangelising The Sisters shall on the first day of every year make a renewal of their vows to excite in their hearts an increase of fervour in the service of their Heavenly Spouse by so solemn a recollection of the obligations they have contracted.1 This passage from the constitutions of the Religious Sisters of Mercy reminded the Mercy sisters of the significance of the work they performed in the ‘service of their Heavenly Spouse’. This was their solemn obligation, and the renewal of their vows each year was meant to revitalise their efforts towards their

in Contested identities
Catholic women religious in nineteenth-century England and Wales

Roman Catholic women's congregations are an enigma of nineteenth century social history. Over 10,000 women, establishing and managing significant Catholic educational, health care and social welfare institutions in England and Wales, have virtually disappeared from history. In nineteenth-century England, representations of women religious were ambiguous and contested from both within and without the convent. This book places women religious in the centre of nineteenth-century social history and reveals how religious activism shaped the identity of Catholic women religious. It is devoted to evolution of religious life and the early monastic life of the women. Catholic women were not pushed into becoming women religious. On the basis of their available options, they chose a path that best suited their personal, spiritual, economic and vocational needs. The postulancy and novitiate period formed a rite of passage that tested the vocation of each aspirant. The book explores the religious activism of women religious through their missionary identity and professional identity. The labour of these women was linked to their role as evangelisers. The book deals with the development of a congregation's corporate identity which brought together a disparate group of women under the banner of religious life. It looks specifically at class and ethnicity and the women who entered religious life, and identifies the source of authority for the congregation and the individual sister.

The conversion of Irish Catholics, c.1721–34
Andrew Sneddon

towards the same conclusion. This acceptance of the Catholic religion had much to do with the fact that the Protestant fear of Catholics in the 1730s had dropped to an almost negligible level. This should not obscure the fact that most Irish Protestants still viewed Catholics as a potential threat and that there were still some in the Irish House of Commons committed to ecclesiastical prohibition of Catholicism.8 The second approach to conversion adopted by Irish Protestants was the use of the Irish language to evangelise the native population. The underlying assumption

in Witchcraft and Whigs
Carmen M. Mangion

educational, health care or social welfare institutions. Religious institutions were stamped with the congregation’s special spirit of evangelisation and were essential for the growth of Catholic missions in England. These developments in Catholic women’s religious life 4 5 6 Joan Perkin, Women and Marriage in Nineteenth-Century England (London: Routledge, 1988), p. 226. Mrs William Grey, Old Maids; A Lecture (London: William Ridgway, 1875), p. 5. Mrs William (Maria Shirreff) Grey (1816–1906) was an early promoter of women’s education. Anglican women entered Anglican

in Contested identities
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Carmen M. Mangion

were more empowered than has been acknowledged by historians. They were active agents in manipulating their world and shaping their individual future as well as the future of their congregations. The evangelical nature of their ‘call’ led them beyond the boundaries of their convent grounds; they were fervent evangelisers, spreading the Catholic faith to those they educated, nursed and cared for. The growth of the numbers of congregations and convents in the nineteenth century attests to their utility, their drive and their success as evangelists. Part I of this book

in Contested identities
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Changing ministries
Carmen Mangion

communities and linked to the parish, often in areas of high unemployment or impoverishment and were typically invited by its priest, who requested their support. There is a long, disregarded history of women religious as parish sisters. Some religious institutes such as the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul were well known for their parish visiting from their arrival in Salford in 1847 into the 1970s; they built ‘strong networks, being known across family generations and by all parts of the community’. O’Brien notes that their ‘Evangelisation and sacramental

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age
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Carmen M. Mangion

objectives were clearly articulated in congregation constitutions which decreed that women religious laboured ‘for the salvation of souls’. As women religious, they were called to evangelise. Connecting these activities to their missionary identity is straightforward, but adding to their cache of identities a ‘professional identity’ can be, problematic and discomfiting. This difficulty is not associated solely with Catholic women religious. As Kathryn Gleadle observed in her work on nineteenth-century British women radicals and Unitarians, ‘Evangelical notions of women

in Contested identities
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Andrew R. Holmes

established in Scotland to support the Irish missions in the 1840s, and financial contributions from there constituted a significant proportion of the funds available to missions in Ireland.42 At a special meeting of the Synod to discuss missionary activity in September 1833, speeches on missionary work amongst Catholics in Ireland were delivered by two Church of Scotland ministers, Duncan Macfarlane of Renfrew (1793–1853) and Norman McLeod of Campsie (1812–72), the noted Gaelic scholar.43 The concern of Presbyterians in Ireland and Scotland to promote the evangelisation of

in Making and remaking saints in nineteenth-century Britain
A time of hope!
Vincent Twomey

festivals (the old pattern days), pilgrimages on foot to local shrines and celebrations both liturgical and social in the heart of the local community, the diocese and the nation. Joy needs to be experienced communally, and this can only be when we have a reason to celebrate, to affirm the goodness of life and to give thanks to God for his great works in the lives of his people. Above all, we need to engage in the huge task of re-​evangelising the nation, starting with the cities. The Irish Church has been primarily rural-​based; the cities as cities received little

in Tracing the cultural legacy of Irish Catholicism
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Martha Vandrei

this, early modern scholars turned to patrology, coupled with the careful compilation of Roman and British source material.11 There was more than one answer to be gleaned from such a vast corpus, and thus a number of ways to conceive of the British Church’s independence from Rome. One legend, traced to William of Malmesbury, told of Joseph of Arimathea’s journey to Britain in the first century, when he and his associates settled in Glastonbury and began converting the locals.12 Another told of evangelising missions by the Apostle Simon Zealotes, while similar stories

in Making and remaking saints in nineteenth-century Britain