The History of Women Religious in the United States
Date: September 2009
Duration: 7 hours 24 minutes
The year 2009 marks the bicentennial of the founding of the first apostolic sisters in the United States: St. Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton's Sisters of Charity.
To a great extent, when we think about what the Catholic church in America is all about, we think about the contributions of sisters––the parochial school system, hundreds of hospitals, untold numbers of charitable organizations founded and staffed by sisters. These ministries have transformed the lives of millions of Catholics and the social and humanitarian character of the nation itself.
Now, you can explore the remarkable personal stories of these sisters, and the great ministries and institutions they made possible. This vital history has until now been largely inaccessible. Through reading hundreds of books, visiting over 6-dozen congregational archives, and interviewing countless sisters, Professor Thompson is able to share with you a wealth of knowledge and insight.
Through 18 lively rich lectures, you'll explore the origins of women's religious life, the often treacherous foundlings of the first North American communities, the lives of pioneer nuns, ethnic and assimilation issues, tensions with clergy, Vatican II and its impacts, current circumstances, and much more. You will find this course surprising, fascinating, well researched, and enjoyable.