In Priceless Spirit Sister M. Georgia Costin, C.S.C., recounts the history of the Sisters of the Holy Cross from the time of their founding in 1841 to the death of the "architect of their autonomy, " Father Edward Sorin, in 1893. Here is a lively, detailed study of a women's religious community in nineteenth-century America, wherein the complexities of frontier life, tensions with their community leaders in Europe, and collaboration with a male clergy and hierarchy are fully detailed in stories that run the gamut from humor to poignancy. Costin, having tapped previously unused historical and archival sources, provides a stimulating, often surprising, reappraisal of people and events in Holy Cross history. The liberal use of quotes from actual letters and annals gives readers a very real picture of the complex characters in Holy Cross history, casting them in a truer light than ever before. Of particular interest is how the persona of Father Sorin, founder of the University of Notre Dame, emerges in this study. Previous biographies and chronicles have depicted him as a self-serving autocrat, but here he is revealed to be a compassionate, loving person, always supportive of the Sisters in their various missions and in their efforts to establish Saint Mary's College. Priceless Spirit may lead readers to formulate new conclusions about the history of Sisters of the Holy Cross in particular and the evolution of the Congregations of Holy Cross in general. Historians and students of American Catholicism and American religion and culture, as well as persons associated with the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College, will find much of interest in this chronicle that stands out not only as a history of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, but also as a testimony to their indomitable spirit - past, present, and future.
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The story of the Sisters of the Holy Cross is told by its congregational historian, who quotes from numerous primary sources, many used for the first time. Costin reappraises the persons and events that shaped this Catholic religious community from its origins in France to the death in 1893 of its mission founder in the United States, Fr. Edward Sorin, who established the University of Notre Dame. (The sisters sponsored nearby St. Mary's College, Indiana.) Organized in Michigan and Indiana, with provinces (ecclesiastical territorial divisions) in Louisiana and Canada, the group separated from its French authority in the late 1860s. Costin unfolds early struggles in poverty, and internal misunderstandings are unfolded to reveal the humanity and spirit of faith of its members. Diligently researched, the accounts are selected and arranged with detail and objectivity. Recommended for Catholic interest collections.
- Anna Donnelly, St. John's Univ. Lib., Jamaica, N.Y.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description University of Notre Dame Press, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P11026803804X
Book Description University of Notre Dame Press, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # SONG026803804X