Sisters

Catholic Nuns and the Making of America

John J. Fialka

St. Martin's Griffin

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In the 1800s, nuns moved west with the frontier, building hospitals and schools in immigrant communities. They provided aid during the Chicago fire, cared for orphans and prostitutes during the California Gold Rush, and brought professional nursing skills to field hospitals on both sides of the Civil War.

In the 1900s, nuns built the nation's largest private school and hospital systems, and brought the Catholic Church into the Civil Rights movement. As their numbers began to decline in the 1970s, many sisters were forced to take professional jobs as lawyers, probation workers, and hospital executives because their salaries were needed to support older nuns, many of whom lacked a pension system. Currently there are about 65,000 sisters in America, down from 204,000 in 1968. Their median age is sixty-nine.

Nuns became the nation's first cadre of independent, professional women. Some nursed, some taught, and many created and managed new charitable organizations, including large hospitals and colleges. Sweeping in its scope and insight, Sisters reveals the spiritual wealth that these women invested in America.

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About the Author

John J. Fialka

John J. Fialka is a reporter with the Wall Street Journal's Washington bureau. He lives in McLean Virginia.

John Fialka

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Sisters
Catholic Nuns and the Making of America
John J. Fialka

Award

Christopher Awards - Nominee, Christopher Awards - Winner

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
January 2004
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312325961
ISBN10: 0312325967
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 384 pages, Includes 25 black-and-white photographs throughout
$20.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
July 2013
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466849099
ISBN10: 1466849096
384 pages
$7.99
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