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Across God's FrontiersCatholic Sisters in the American West, 1850-1920$
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Anne M. Butler

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807835654

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807837542_butler

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The Labor

The Labor

(p.79) Chapter 3 The Labor
Across God's Frontiers

Anne M. Butler

University of North Carolina Press

For nuns, work and leisure overlapped, as the congregation urged useful productivity at all times. With the West upon them, sisters combined domesticity of the household economy with professionalism in the formal economy. This chapter discusses the broad range of work that nuns do to generate income for the mission house, support the temporal and spiritual goals of the religious congregation, and extend the influence of the American Catholic Church. Focusing on the Presentation Sisters of North Dakota, the chapter demonstrates that nuns used the shortage of employable females to their advantage and dispersed service-minded employees among the public, thus creating a legacy of religious women as western workers.

Keywords:   nuns, West, household economy, formal economy, American Catholic Church, Presentation Sisters of North Dakota

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