Building Sisterhood: A Feminist History of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

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Syracuse University Press, 1997 - Religion - 392 pages
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"This story is feminist in the noblest sense. It is about the power of individual women and the strength of their collective energies. It is about building and sustaining community". -- from the ForewordThe often forgotten role of Catholic sisters is told in stories deeply rooted in self-realization and feminist methodology in this much-needed history of this fascinating order. In a series of thirteen essays the contributors offer a look into the mysterious world of very strong and creative women, their values and mission.In this unprecedented work, readers gain insight into a world that has rarely been seen by outsiders. An often neglected part of feminist research, the collaboration of the sisters further illustrates the seminal paradigms in women's work and writing. They deal with many of the same issues of power, economic autonomy, friendship and spirituality, socialization, and professional commitment. In addition to the rigorous training involved in becoming a nun, the authors elaborate upon the complex relationship between this order, other IHM communities, and of the intricate hierarchy of the Church itself. Feminist historian Margaret Susan Thompson places the essays within a historical context and provides detailed background for those unfamiliar with the life, duty, and experience of Catholic sisters.This book will make a unique contribution to feminist scholarship, religious studies, and women's history.

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Contents

Appendix
1
Introduction
2
The Context
25
Dangerous Memory
31
She Who Remained
69
Not Two Exactly Alike
95
The Context
113
The Roughest Kind of Prose
119
The Context
227
An Enterprise of Sisterhood
233
Of LessThanHappy Memory
255
The Context
275
Sister Mary Emil Penet teaching novices
280
Preparing IHMs for the Educational Mission
281
The Sacrament of a Life
299
Immaculatas First Senior Class October 1941
320

The Official IHM Stance on Friendship 18451960
153
Persistent Friendships
173
Emotional and Mental Illness in the
193
The Glass House windowed extension to the infirmary
210
In Health and Sickness
211
In Their Own Image
321
Afterword
355
Bibliography
367
Index
377
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