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A History of the Catholic Church in the American South,
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James M. Woods

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813035321

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813035321.001.0001

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Migrations, Movements, and Ministry

Migrations, Movements, and Ministry

Catholicism in the South, 1845–1900

(p.334) Ten Migrations, Movements, and Ministry
A History of the Catholic Church in the American South, 1513–1900

James M. Woods

University Press of Florida

It is widely overlooked that the earliest women's religious orders worked in the American South and that many of these communities were founded in the region. The first women's religious orders to serve in what is now the United States were the Ursulines who came to French New Orleans in 1727. These sisters were certainly the exception, as the South during the colonial era was deemed too dangerous and rugged for them. In England's colonial South, prejudice against Catholicism and the lack of Catholics precluded any women's religious orders until after independence. By 1850, three southern sees—Baltimore, New Orleans, and Louisville—contained seventy-two percent of the southern Catholic priests. As with the earlier statistics about churches, southern Catholics were concentrated in Maryland, Louisiana, and Kentucky. These states contained the major urban centers of the South—Baltimore, New Orleans, and Louisville—and it was there that a Catholicism was being noticed by the 1850s.

Keywords:   orders, South, United States, Ursulines, England, Catholicism, independence, Baltimore, New Orleans, Louisville

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