3 The recruitment of women religious Women religious were at the centre of the ultramontane campaign to transform Catholicism and bring the national churches under the authority of Rome, and yet many were not ultramontanes. The professional skills they offered, the institutions they founded and the religious authority they possessed enabled them to build a more unified Catholic culture. The sisters who founded the pioneer communities in Scotland were intrepid missionaries dedicated to rebuilding and extending the Catholic Church in a nation dominated by

in Creating a Scottish Church

8 English women religious, the exile male colleges and national identities in  ­Counter-Reformation Europe James E. Kelly In 1598, the first English convent was established in Brussels and was to be followed by a further twenty-one establishments across Flanders and France with around four thousand women entering them over the following two hundred years. Most were enclosed convents, in theory cut off from the outside world. However, in practice the nuns were not isolated and their contacts and networks spread widely. These contacts included other Catholic exile

in College communities abroad
Catholicism, gender and ethnicity in nineteenth-century Scotland

This book examines the changing nature of Catholicism in modern Scotland by placing a significant emphasis on women religious. It highlights the defining role they played in the transformation and modernisation of the Catholic Church as it struggled to cope with unprecedented levels of Irish migration. The institutions and care-networks that these women established represented a new age in social welfare that served to connect the church with Scotland's emerging civil society. The book examines how the church reacted to liberalism, legislative reform, the rise of evangelicalism and the continued growth of Irish migration between the late 1820s and the late 1850s. A mutual aversion to the Irish and a loyalty to nation and state inspired a recusant and ultramontane laity to invest heavily in a programme of church transformation and development. The recruitment of the Ursulines of Jesus, the first community of nuns to return to Scotland since the Reformation, is highlighted as a significant step towards legitimising Catholic respectability. The book focuses on the recruitment and influence of women religious. It also focuses on the issue of identity by considering how gender and ethnicity influenced the development of these religious communities and how this was connected with the broader campaign to transform Catholic culture in Scotland. The book also examines the development of Catholic education in Scotland between the late 1840s and 1900 and prioritises the role played by women religious in this process.

A Focus on Community Engagement

), or village-watch communities, was established through a UNICEF initiative in Guinea in 2014. Officially, their members were supposed to be selected by community members. In the prefectures of Gueckedou, Forecariah and Coyah, CVVs were made up of local elites, official representatives of youths and women, religious leaders, traditional healers and Ebola survivors. The convening of the CVVs was intended to support the Ebola response by creating a

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Britain, 1945–90

Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age examines the changes in religious life for women religious in Britain from 1945 to 1990 identifying how community and individual lives were altered. This work is grounded in three core premises: women religious were influenced by and participated in the wider social movements of the long 1960s; women’s religious institutes were transnational entities and part of a larger global happening; and the struggles of renewal were linked to competing and contradictory ideas of collective, institutional identities. The work pivots on the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), but considers pre and post Vatican II social, cultural and religious events and social movements of the 1960s as influencers in these changes. It interrogates ‘lived experience’ by examining the day-to-day lives of women religious. Though rooted in the experiences of women religious in Britain, the book probes the relationships and interconnectivities between women religious within and across national divides as they move from institutions embedded in uniformity to the acceptance of cultural plurality. It also engages with the histories of the social movements of the long 1960s. For too long, religion has been relegated to its own silo, unlinked to the ‘radical sixties’ and depicted as ultimately obstructionist to its social movements. To contest this, female religious life is examined as a microcosm of change in the Catholic Church pointing to the ‘new thinking and freer lifestyles’ that allowed for the questioning of institutional cultures.

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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in spiritual life which at one and the same time empowered and confined them’.1 This book argues that religious belief provided nineteenth-century Catholic women religious with the tools to transcend the normative boundaries of femininity and to redefine the parameters of womanhood. This is not to say that these redefined parameters were all empowering; women religious willingly accepted many of the strictures of the Roman Catholic Church that subjected them to its patriarchal structure and sometimes limited their actions. Yet women religious had more authority and

in Contested identities
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Introduction Roman Catholic women’s congregations are an enigma of nineteenthcentury social history. Over 10,000 women,1 establishing and managing significant Catholic educational, health care and social welfare institutions in England and Wales, have virtually disappeared from history. Despite their exclusion from historical texts, these women featured prominently in the public and the private sphere. By examining the lives of women religious within a historical context and assessing their contribution to the growth of Catholicism, the influence of their

in Contested identities

such conflicts but similar tensions. This chapter analyses some of the issues surrounding the identity of women religious and their authority and governance. How did women religious understand the authority they exercised? How did they negotiate their authority in conjunction with their professional and religious identity? How effective were female leaders in achieving their congregation’s objectives if these objectives ran contrary to episcopal objectives? This chapter argues that women religious used their religious identity to support their authority. They were

in Contested identities
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5 Professionalising1 It is not praising a nun to say that she is a good teacher or a good cook (though these qualities are valuable acquisitions to their Community), but the praise of a nun is to say ‘She is a good religious’.2 The labour of women religious in the fields of education and health care and in the provision of social services was intricately linked to their missionary and professional identity. As discussed in the previous chapter, salvation – their own and that of others – was at the core of their way of life as simplevowed women religious. Their

in Contested identities