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precedence and she was more likely to pray litanies and rosaries in the vernacular rather than the Divine Office.9 This lay-choir dichotomy was endemic in this period. This pattern was not uniquely English; it was consistent with the customs of many continental religious orders. Aristocratic French nuns in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were unlikely to interact with the poor in the manner of the simple-vowed sisters such as the Filles de la Charité or Filles de Sainte-Geneviève; it was the less socially connected women who entered the filles séculières

in Contested identities
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contemporary beliefs about women’s ‘place’ in nineteenth-century society, yet transcended these beliefs by using religious ideology to expand their authority into the public sphere. Their representation of a ‘good nun’ was as a woman of prayer and action and revolved around their conviction of her ability to change the world through her evangelicalism; this representation informed their actions and united their efforts. As such, women religious were commanding role models in nineteenth-century England and Wales. Prescriptive literature offered one model of womanhood, that of

in Contested identities

the nun’s vocation today’. The resulting edited volumes on religious life were published in French then translated into English by the London-based Blackfriars Press, whose editor argued that ‘practical experiences’ found in the volumes would be of interest to those in the Anglo-American world. These publications were part of the transnational literature on religious life that crossed national borders because of perceived commonalities. They were reviewed in the Catholic press and though pointing to a French context, often acknowledged the ‘historical and

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age
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as a curiosity as well as a threat. The Tablet commented in 1850 that ‘Religious ladies’ were welcomed in late eighteenth-century England, but their acceptance was tinged with inquisitiveness: When the French Revolution drove hither some Religious ladies, they were absolutely mobbed in some parts and towns, and every one were regarded by persons with more surprise and wonder, and superstitious fear, than with pity or respect. They were creature of a new species, very proper objects of curiosity, but without any claim to sympathy or administration; and even after

in Contested identities
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: Lancashire’s First Female Religious House ’, Recusant History , 25 ( 2001 ), 461 – 86 ; Tonya J. Moutray , Refugee Nuns, the French Revolution, and British Literature and Culture ( London : Routledge , 2016 ). 102 A Benedictine from Stanbrook, ‘Freedom behind the Grille’, The Tablet (11 June 1966), p. 7. 103 Their story could be found in the Laity’s Directory (‘The Narrative of the Sufferings of the English Communities under the dominion of the French Republicans’ (1796), pp. 6–31) and also in In a Great Tradition . 104 A Benedictine, ‘Freedom

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age

Mère Felt. La Retraite did finally get permission to found a house in England in 1880 but it was based on the Sisters’ need for refuge (due to persecution in France) and was not considered a foundation. This caused some difficulties for them later when they attempted to found additional convents in England. Building corporate identity 175 Corporate identity Another result of convent expansion was that the family metaphor, so often used in convent literature, became less representative of the lived experience. As congregations grew, in both number and size of

in Contested identities

Catholics and thus helping to the irish catholic mother 99 create the modern Irish nation, we still know little about mothers’ daily lives or their relationship to their faith. Most works on motherhood to date centre on cultural representations and the trope of motherhood in modern Irish literature.3 What remains neglected is an analysis of actual mothers’ words and experiences. This chapter explores Irish Catholic mothers from 1850 to 1950. It traces the evolution of the construction of motherhood, shedding further light on the dynamic between changes and

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

concerns that they were conspiring to challenge the authority of husbands, particularly after the publication of historian Jules Michelet’s anti-clerical Priests, Women, and Families (1845). Focusing on the French case, Michelet denounced the camaraderie between women and Catholic priests, 212 irish women arguing that when women confided in their clergy while in the confessional, they undermined the power of their husbands. In Michelet’s view, the connections between women and priests threatened patriarchy and thus the natural order of the family. He feared that

in Irish women and the creation of modern Catholicism, 1850–1950
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active 1669 education centralised from 1953 Rome Society of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ) 1800 France mixed 1842 education centralised France Sisters of Charity of Our Lady, Mother of Mercy (SCMM) 1832 Netherlands active 1861 nursing; social welfare centralised Netherlands Notes a The Poor Clares operate as autonomous communities. Nuns from five communities were interviewed (Much Birch, York, Arundel, Lynton, Hollington). b The Sisters of Mercy in Britain were originally

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age
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this is where the vast majority of the interview respondents lived during their marriages. There are a few notable exceptions – included in the sample is one interviewee from Scotland, one from Northern Ireland, one who spent most of her married life in Wales and another who grew up in France. There is then some potential for extending the analysis to include a consideration

in The Pope and the pill