Date

12-2009

Degree Name

BA in History

Department

History Department

Advisor(s)

Andrew Morris

Abstract

Proceeding the second world war changes in the expectations placed on nuns in America and the influence that the Catholic Church itself has over a broad range of issues in public and private life have taken place. For example, the influx of lay intellectuals during the post-war years preceding Vatican II and continuing on for years afterwards. The main focus of this paper will be to explore the reasons why the nun population in the United States seems to be decreasing and how this trend fits into the broader context of the Catholic Church’s loss of hierarchal structure and traditional positions. Furthermore, in the process of investigating these larger questions regarding the Church, the history of St. Patrick’s Elementary School, a local parochial school established in 1963 by the Sisters of Mercy, will be discussed as well in hopes of consolidating the previously mentioned questions into a local example.

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