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By Anne M. Butler

Roman Catholic sisters first traveled to the yank West as services of social companies, schooling, and scientific suggestions. In Across God's Frontiers, Anne M. Butler strains the ways that sisters challenged and reconfigured modern rules approximately ladies, paintings, faith, and the West; additionally, she demonstrates how non secular lifestyles grew to become a automobile for expanding women's employer and power.
relocating to the West brought major adjustments for those ladies, together with public employment and punctiliously unconventional monastic lives. As nuns and sisters adjusted to new situations and immersed themselves in rugged environments, Butler argues, the West formed them; and during their labors and charities, the sisters in flip formed the West. those woman non secular pioneers equipped associations, brokered relationships among Indigenous peoples and encroaching settlers, and undertook diverse occupations, usually with no geared up investment or direct help from the church hierarchy. A accomplished heritage of Roman Catholic nuns and sisters within the American West, Across God's Frontiers unearths Catholic sisters as dynamic and inventive architects of civic and spiritual associations in western communities.

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Additional resources for Across God’s Frontiers: Catholic Sisters in the American West, 1850-1920

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Other helpers dashed from attic to cellar, tossing all possessions “pell mell” from the windows. In the days following, the sisters groaned over the private items found by the citizenry, as “hidden things were brought to light. . ‘Confidentials’ galore! Unmentionables! . ”65 Finding amusement and including themselves in the joke stayed with sisters young and old. When a railroad strike stranded Blessed Sacrament sisters traveling to Santa Fe, they took refuge in an empty Pullman car for the day and entertained themselves with memories, especially of one friend famous for her pranks.

Important as these scholars have been to me, as a western historian I see these issues about women religious somewhat differently and in a multifaceted regional setting. For me, there are elements that set Tucson, Arizona, apart from Baltimore, Maryland, or Helena, Montana, apart from Richmond, Virginia. For that matter, Tucson is not Helena, the singularities and oddities of each reinforcing the attraction for using the word “West” in the plural, encompassing as it does one distinct region after another.

10 In the United States, the number of foreign immigrants rose to nearly 100,000 by 1840 and then roared past 20 million by 1920. In their choices, Sister Colubkille McEnery, Mother Odilia Berger, Sister Mary Anselma Felber, Sister Mary Gertrude Guiwan, Sister Marie Agnes Bagot, and Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini—women of Irish, German, Swiss, English, French, and Italian heritage—and other women religious participated in this massive story of people on the move. These nuns and sisters came from many countries, and like their secular fellow travelers, they explored strange locales, pursued promising employment, and then settled into various pockets of the United States.

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