Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-viii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-14

Turn-of-the-century Smith College seems an unlikely place for the genesis of an American Catholic women’s foreign mission movement. Its student body was drawn largely from wealthy families of the Northeast, who counted few Catholics among them. Moreover, the Catholic clergy exerted considerable pressure on...

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Part I: Women and Christian Fellowship in the Early Twentieth Century

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pp. 15-18

The YWCA’s experience of dramatic growth at the turn of the century underscores the importance of the activist energies of religious organizations in the “woman movement.”1 While struggles for the ballot have come to be the most visible manifestation of this upsurgence, the reform and community-building...

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1. “Life More Abundant”: The YWCA and the Social Gospel

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pp. 19-43

The first convention of the YWCA of the USA, held in New York City in December 1906, captures something of the alchemy responsible for the YWCA’s rapid growth in its first two decades: an emotionally charged mixture of evangelicalism, the Social Gospel, and ambitions for female-centered social change. The...

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2. “By Love, Serve One Another”: Foreign Mission and the Changing Meanings of Evangelization

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pp. 44-65

When the World’s YWCA was organized in 1894, it took as its motto an Old Testament verse prophesying the reign of God: “not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord.”1 The verse evoked the millennial impetus driving foreign mission, the coming of the kingdom of God on earth, and the optimistic...

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3. “Hidden and Effective Service”: The Maryknoll Sisters Enter the Mission Field

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pp. 66-88

When asked why she chose a religious vocation, Sister Virginia Flagg, who joined the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic in 1930, described the emotional pull of faith and community life: “I really fell in love with God. . . . I wanted to spend my life doing whatever God wanted. I knew that Maryknoll was the place for me...

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Part II: From the Popular Front and American Century to the New Frontier

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pp. 89-92

On the brink of World War II, the Maryknoll Sisters proclaimed themselves handmaids to the Catholic Church’s increasingly ambitious foreign mission project. Owing to the sisters’ labor, a growing number of educational and medical facilities reached into communities that had not, in the estimation of the...

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4. “Dare We Be as Radical as Our Religion Demands?”: Christian Activism and the Long Red Scare

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pp. 93-123

A pivotal turning point in the religious orientation of the YWCA of the USA occurred at the 1920 national convention, when Helen Gould Shepard made headlines with her sudden, indignant resignation from the National Board. Aghast at the YWCA’s support of organized labor and its relaxation of religious...

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5. A “Fifth Column for God”: The Maryknoll Sisters at Midcentury

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pp. 124-152

The Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic experienced exceptional growth over the first twenty-five years of their existence. The congregation started in 1920 with 35 vowed women. By 1930, it had attracted 420 sisters, and it added another 200 over the next decade. But between 1945 and 1960, when vocations...

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Part III: “The Ferment of Freedom”

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pp. 153-158

In the early 1960s, Maryknoll stood on the cusp of profound internal and external changes. The Second Vatican Council did not mandate radical reform in Catholic institutions. However, its directive to engage in self-scrutiny made radical reforms possible. As a participant in international and intercultural projects...

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6. “We Choose to Identify with the Church of the Poor”: Preferential Option in Action

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pp. 159-190

At Maryknoll’s St. Anthony’s school in Maui, Hawaii, the sisters played Camelot in celebration of John F. Kennedy’s inauguration. They held a costume dinner, “complete with the Kennedys (the President, Sister Imelda Marie, and Jackie, Sister Louis Mary), their families, and the new White House entourage.” Sisters...

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7. “The Nuns Were Not Just Nuns”: Foreign Mission and Foreign Policy

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pp. 191-214

In the popular memory of recent years, Ronald Reagan has been credited with engineering a peaceful conclusion to the Cold War after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Rarely discussed is the fervor with which his presidential administration heated up the decades-long conflict by unleashing an astounding...

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Epilogue

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pp. 215-220

In the first decade of the twenty-first century, a gulf widened between the ecclesiastical hierarchy of the Catholic Church and congregations of women religious working in liberal traditions. When research for this book began, Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI. His papacy continued the purge of liberation...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 221-222

The spirits that animate Smith College’s Sophia Smith Collection inspired this project. The research began with my first encounter with the YWCA as a Sophia Smith Collection archives assistant, helping pack boxes for the transfer of the organization’s records from its New York headquarters to the women’s history...

Notes

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pp. 223-256

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 257-266

Index

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pp. 267-276

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About the Author

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pp. 277-278

Amanda L. Izzo is an assistant professor of women’s and gender studies at Saint Louis University.