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Strangers and Friends at the Welcome TableContemporary Christianities in the American South$
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James Hudnut-Beumler

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469640372

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469640372.001.0001

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The Changing Face of the Catholic South

The Changing Face of the Catholic South

Chapter:
(p.177) 8 The Changing Face of the Catholic South
Source:
Strangers and Friends at the Welcome Table
Author(s):

James Hudnut-Beumler

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469640372.003.0009

Of all European faiths transplanted to what became the U.S. southern states, Roman Catholicism came first. Southern Catholicism was mostly confined to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys, leading a Glenmary priest to dub the interior “No Priest Land.” This chapter depicts the Catholic filling of the southern interior in four waves: first, select immigrant towns were established like Cullman, Alabama in the 19th century, home to a Benedictine monastery; a second wave came in the early and mid-20th century with the Glenmary Home Missioners and a colorful nun named Mother Angelica, determined in different ways to evangelize and serve the South; the third wave came from rustbelt transplant Catholics moving south for jobs, especially with the auto industry in the 1980s forward; finally, the fourth and largest wave is composed of Hispanic Catholics helping making the South’s states the fastest growing in Hispanic population 2000-2010. This chapter features visits to two fast growing Hispanic congregations, one largely Mexican in ethnicity, the other pan-Central American. The principal emerging religious feature for Catholicism in the South that it has quickly become the most immigrant-embracing form of Christianity in the region.

Keywords:   Roman Catholicism, Catholic South, St. Bernard Monastery, Hispanic Catholicism, Mother Angelica, Glenmary Home Missioners, Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Catholic migration to South

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