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Sisters: Catholic Nuns and the Making of America
     

Sisters: Catholic Nuns and the Making of America

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by John J. Fialka
 

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In the 1800s, nuns moved west with the frontier, building hospitals and schools in immigrant communities. They provided aid during the Chicago fire, cared for orphans and prostitutes during the California Gold Rush, and brought professional nursing skills to field hospitals on both sides of the Civil War.

In the 1900s, nuns built the nation's largest private

Overview

In the 1800s, nuns moved west with the frontier, building hospitals and schools in immigrant communities. They provided aid during the Chicago fire, cared for orphans and prostitutes during the California Gold Rush, and brought professional nursing skills to field hospitals on both sides of the Civil War.

In the 1900s, nuns built the nation's largest private school and hospital systems, and brought the Catholic Church into the Civil Rights movement. As their numbers began to decline in the 1970s, many sisters were forced to take professional jobs as lawyers, probation workers, and hospital executives because their salaries were needed to support older nuns, many of whom lacked a pension system. Currently there are about 65,000 sisters in America, down from 204,000 in 1968. Their median age is sixty-nine.

Nuns became the nation's first cadre of independent, professional women. Some nursed, some taught, and many created and managed new charitable organizations, including large hospitals and colleges. Sweeping in its scope and insight, Sisters reveals the spiritual wealth that these women invested in America.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Fialka recovers . . . those thrilling days of yesteryear when flocks of sisters, many of them, like the men who laid the intercontinental railroad tracks, Irish immigrants, pushed beyond the settled boundaries of the 19th-century America to aid in the civilizing of a continent . . . These earlier nuns were mobile, risk-taking, entrepreneurial women who eventually established the largest private hospital network in the nation and the most extensive private school system in the world.” —Kenneth L. Woodward, The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312325961
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
12/17/2003
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
948,117
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.86(d)

Meet the Author

John J. Fialka is a reporter with the Wall Street Journal's Washington bureau. He lives in McLean Virginia.

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Sisters: Catholic Nuns and the Making of America 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago