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New Women of the Old FaithGender and American Catholicism in the Progressive Era$
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Kathleen Sprows Cummings

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832493

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807889848_cummings

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The Wageless Work of Paradise

The Wageless Work of Paradise

Catholic Sisters, Professionalization, and the School Question

(p.101) Chapter Three The Wageless Work of Paradise
New Women of the Old Faith

Kathleen Sprows Cummings

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses the essay contest on Christian doctrine sponsored by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia—a subject that had recently become the cornerstone of the curriculum in the city's Catholic schools. Mary Donohue, a student at Cathedral Girls' High School Centre, received a prize for her composition, “The Home Art.” Her teachers, the Sisters of St. Joseph, must have been particularly pleased. The congregation took a proprietary interest in Christian doctrine: one of their own, Sister Assisium McEvoy, was the author of the official archdiocesan textbook on the subject. No doubt the nuns were also flattered by the essay's content. Donohue described the home as woman's true vocation, “unless she is called to one that is higher and holier … that of a lifework in God's own household—a vocation to religion.”

Keywords:   essay contest, Christian doctrine, Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Catholic schools, Mary Donohue

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