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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.

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Catholics for experienced women religious to develop and manage educational, health care and social welfare institutions. These institutions were marked with the congregation’s special brand of evangelisation and were essential for the growth of Catholic missions in England. The missionary identity of women religious was a facet of their religious identity: they were active in both domestic and international missionary work.22 This chapter, however, will examine their missionary identity as missionaries in England, the home mission field. The labour of women religious in

in Contested identities
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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
American colonial and missionary nurses in Puerto Rico, 1900–30

Printing Office, 1900), p.  486, http:// books.google.com/books?id=bqcdAQAAIAAJ (accessed 18 February 2015).  8 S. S.  Gotay, Protestantismo y política en Puerto Rico, 1898–1930:  hacia una historia del protestantismo evangélico en Puerto Rico (San Juan, PR: Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1997).  9 A. B. Wills, ‘Mapping Presbyterian missionary identity in The Church at Home and Abroad, 1890–1898’, in D.  H. Bays and G.  Wacker (eds), The Foreign Missionary Enterprise at Home:  Explorations in North American Cultural History (Tuscaloosa: University of

in Colonial caring
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options, they chose a path that best suited their personal, spiritual, economic and vocational needs. Chapter 3 considers how the training for religious life shaped the identity of women religious. The postulancy and novitiate period formed a rite of passage that tested the vocation of each aspirant. The second part, ‘Working identities’, explores the religious activism of women religious first, in Chapter 4, through their missionary identity. The labour of women religious in the fields of education and health care and in the provision of social services was intricately

in Contested identities
Congo, peacekeeping and foreign policy

pride and an extension of Ireland’s missionary identity in another form, though the majority remained ignorant of conditions on the ground. Yet their reaction told only part of the story. In its four years in operation, ONUC had a profound, and lasting, impact on all the actors involved. For the ‘fire brigade’ states, the complexity of the crisis and its detrimental effect on the UN brought home the difficulties of living up to their strong rhetorical commitment to the maintenance of international order. It opened their eyes to the difficult tasks associated with

in Ireland, Africa and the end of empire

Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1991), p. 6. 75 For more on the missionary identity of women religious, see Chapter 4. 76 DHM: C3 ‘London Diary: Clapham’, 29 June 1880 and 12 February 1866. 77 RSM Bermondsey: ‘Bermondsey Annals’, 1880, p. 256. 78 SMG: I/D ‘Memories of the Early Days’, p. 15. 79 RSM Bermondsey: ‘Bermondsey Annals’, 1871, p. 191. Building corporate identity 173 Congregations shared their knowledge and experience with each other. When the Sisters of St Joseph of Peace arrived

in Contested identities

Ipswich, Queensland in 1863 is possibly the first recorded instance of an Anglican cleric taking part in a St George’s Day gathering in Australia. 130 The Church of England’s limited interest in Englishness at the Cape is understandable given that its high command were vocal in their attempts to cultivate a missionary identity for their institution. The invisibility of the Anglican clergy in English

in An Anglican British World

stress their loyalty to the British constitution, monarchy and established order; by contrast, in the era of missionary enthusiasm in the 1830s and 1840s candidates were much more likely to cite religious motivations in their applications. 106 Statements in missionary applications do need to be treated with caution, but such changes suggest that Tractarian ideas about the Church’s missionary identity were

in An Anglican British World