Called to Serve: A History of Nuns in America.
Margaret M. McGuinness (New York University Press, 2013, 266 pp)
Called to Serve is about women religious engaged in service to the community, beginning with the not-so-distant past in which all nuns were cloistered. Only in the mid-16th century did the Ursulines begin challenging the mandate that all nuns should keep to their convents. Once different orders of sisters began arriving in the Americas, they responded in distinct ways to the needs of their new locales, some concentrating on indigenous communities while others focused on recently arrived immigrants. Among many other attributes, these women provided a supply of cheap labor that helped build Catholic institutions, particularly schools in the years before Vatican II. The author doesn't stop there, however, and goes on to examine the different paths nuns have taken in response to the social issues of today, from ministering in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to Sr. Margaret McBride's sanctioning of a life-saving abortion, subsequent excommunication and reconciliation with the church.
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|Date:||Mar 21, 2014|
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