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Sister Thorn and Catholic Mysticism in Modern America$
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Paula M. Kane

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781469607603

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9781469607610_Kane

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(p.260) Conclusion
Sister Thorn and Catholic Mysticism in Modern America

Paula M. Kane

University of North Carolina Press

This book concludes by showing how Sister Thorn represents the dilemmas that faced the in-between generation in the history of Catholic spirituality in interwar America. This group has been closely identified with the women who brought into being the cult of Saint Jude during the 1930s; they were not immigrants themselves, but as daughters of immigrants, they experienced the unique stresses of being torn between Old and New World gender and religious norms. Sister Thorn, too, is a transitional figure who lived the devotional Catholicism characteristic of immigrant life in America since the mid-1800s, which drew its strength and habits from European precedents. But some of Sister Thorn's followers were already engaging in the liturgical reforms that would soon produce a more active understanding of a public faith that characterized the European church in the 1930s and international Catholicism during the Cold War.

Keywords:   Sister Thorn, immigrant life, Catholic spirituality, interwar America, Saint Jude

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