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By James T. Fisher

Catholicism has grown from a suppressed and persecuted outsiders' faith within the American colonies to turn into the nation's unmarried biggest denomination. James Fisher surveys greater than 4 centuries of Catholics' involvement in American background, beginning his narrative with one of many first Spanish expeditions to Florida, in 1528. He follows the transformation of Catholicism into one in all America's so much culturally and ethnically various religions, together with the English Catholics' early payment in Maryland, the Spanish missions to the local americans, the Irish and German negative who got here looking for paintings and farmland, the proliferation of Polish and Italian groups, and the becoming inflow of Catholics from Latin the US. The publication discusses Catholic involvement in politics and clash, from New York's Tammany corridor to the Vietnam struggle and abortion. Fisher highlights the serious position of girls in American Catholicism--from St. Elizabeth Seton and Dorothy Day to mom Cabrini, the 1st American citizen to be canonized a saint--and describes the effect of famous American Catholics similar to Cardinal John J. O'Connor, Nineteen Thirties radio character Father Charles Coughlin, President John F. Kennedy, pacifists Daniel and Philip Berrigan, activist Cesar Chavez, and writer Flannery O'Connor. For this re-creation, Fisher has introduced the tale modern, together with the newest struggles in the American church management.

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Extra resources for Communion of Immigrants: A History of Catholics in America

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The Maryland governor who condemned the "gawdy shows" of the Mass in 1704 was invoking a Protestant desire to simplify Christian worship by minimizing or eliminating the "mysterious" aspects of the Catholic Mass such as the use of incense, sacred images, and ornate vestments. Where the Catholic Mass of that era featured a priest intoning the sacred liturgy (the official prayers of the church used in worship) in Latin—facing not the congregation but the altar, on which he consecrated the bread and wine—Protestant services focused much more on Scripture readings and original sermons delivered by the minister.

In 1856 Mother Seton's nephew James Roosevelt Bayley—the first bishop of Newark—established Seton Hall College (later University), the first Catholic college in America operated under diocesan auspices (as opposed to a religious order). In 1975 Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was canonized as the first American-born saint of the church. In the early years of the nation, the great majority of American Catholics, like most of their fellow citizens, were more concerned with pursuing opportunities for themselves and their families than with issues of church governance.

Many French settlers then simply moved across the Mississippi River, to such communities as Ste. Genevieve or the new settlement of St. Louis. Gibault worked among the remaining French settlers and Native American tribes in a territory that stretched all the way to Vincennes, Indiana, on the eastern border with Illinois, whose Catholic residents had endured seven years without the services of a priest when he arrived in 1770. When Colonel George Rogers Clark and his Virginia militiamen captured the unprotected town of Kaskaskia on July 4, 1778, Gibault led a delegation of citizens that met with Clark 22 CATHOLICS IN THE NEW WORLD and pledged their support of the American government after receiving a promise of protection and freedom of religion.

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