This issue of American Catholic Studies includes three articles that we think our readers will enjoy.
“Counting Catholics in the United States of America,” by J. Patrick Hornbeck II (Fordham University) explains how statistics related to the Catholic population in the United States are generated, and offers some reasons why they may not be as accurate as we might think. Dr. Hornbeck explains that these figures are not only used for political and ideological purposes, but are often cited in discussion about Catholics disaffiliated from the church.
Kathleen Szpila, SSJ, (Chestnut Hill College) writes about a monument located in Washington, DC, that is dedicated to the women religious who served as nurses during the Civil War. “Lest We Forget: Ellen Ryan Jolly and the Nuns of the Battlefield Monument” is the story of the woman who not only conceived the idea of the memorial – which still stands in the nation’s capital – but saw the project through to completion.
In his essay entitled “’We Are Definitely the Pioneers of the Movement’: The Regis Lay Apostolate and the Origins of Postgraduate Volunteerism, 1949–1972,” Christopher Staysniak (Boston College) looks at this pioneer volunteer program that flourished from 1949 until 1972. The Regis Lay Apostolate was the forerunner of and inspiration for many of today’s programs that offer recent college graduates the chance to spend a year or two in service to those in need.
Our cover essay by Cameron Thompson (St. Paul Seminary and University of Mary) tells the story of the La Farge murals that were commissioned by Archbishop Austin Dowling for St. Paul Seminary in Minnesota’s capital city.
As always, readers will also find book reviews on a variety of subjects relating to the story of the Catholic Church in the United States.
Since you will receive this issue in early January 2013, please accept our wishes for a happy and peaceful New Year. [End Page 87]