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When the Sisters Said Farewell tells an important story of the contributions of Catholic elementary schools to the United States by chronicling the experiences and insights of religious women (nuns) who were the last members of their communities to serve in parish elementary schools, and of those lay men and women who were the first to serve in those roles traditionally filled by the sisters. The dramatic numerical transition from the preponderance of religious women to lay leadership from the 1960s to the 1980s has been documented; this book describes the how and why sisters left Catholic schools. This narrative also provides instructive insights about leadership, transitions, and current trends in religious life and Catholic education. As all educators in Catholic, private, and public schools grapple with questions of delivering an excellent education, this book offers a glimpse into the workings of one of the most amazing educational enterprises in the history of the United States.
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)|
About the Author
Table of ContentsIntroductionEver-Present teaching sisters: A cherished period
Chapter 1What led to the massive Catholic school system?
Chapter 2Finding the sisters
Chapter 3Preparing the sisters for teaching, making sacrifices
Chapter 4From the motherhouse to the classroom
Chapter 5Working with pastors
Chapter 6Changes in religious life lead to departures
Chapter 7The sisters reflect upon their experience
Chapter 8When a school closed
Chapter 9Lay leadership emerges
Chapter 10Transition and signs of renewal
Chapter 11The Future of Catholic schools and the legacy of the sisters
About the author
What People are Saying About This
Sister-teachers both in heaven and on earth are saying: "Thank you, Father Michael, for telling our story!" Father Caruso has provided us with the first scholarly assessment of the vital role of women religious in the evolution of American Catholic education. This is an important book that documents both triumph and tragedy. It should be read by anyone concerned about the future of parish schools.
When the Sisters Said Farewell…reads like a conversation around the convent's kitchen table, with the narrative sprinkled with experience as much as data. Father Caruso captures the authentic pain of the American Sisters' transition out the sacred space of their classrooms - and he does so with fairness, sowing a few seeds of hope along the way.
Fr. Michael Caruso tells a compelling story of the legacy of religious sister educators, revealing their profound contributions to the distinctive culture of Catholic schooling. Through their voices, he brings us to a deeper awareness of our historical roots and the magnitude of the call for leadership to the future of Catholic education.
As a laywoman teaching in a Catholic school who walked through the experiences described in When the Sisters Said Farewell: The Triumph, Trail, and Legacy of Nuns in US Catholic Schools, I found Father Caruso’s text insightful and reflective of the many ways transitions played out in school and parishes when sisters left. The interviews, which enrich the story, help the reader cherish the past and remain hopeful about the future. The history of this era in Catholic education must not be forgotten. This text will help us remember.
Father Michael Caruso, SJ's book, When the Sisters Said Farewell…, addresses a crucialmultidimensional issue in the history of Catholic education in the United States.In so doing, he delves into the depths of the personnel who made the voluntary school "system" possible andunmatched in the annals of human history - the teaching orders of sisters, commonly called "nuns." Hegoes far beyond the recapitulation of numbers and financial exigencies and captures the basicelements of human interest.It is a book most worthy of athoughtful read. I highly recommend it.