- About This Issue
Among its many fine offerings, this issue includes two articles that explore nineteenth-century Catholicism and its ongoing negotiation with American society from two vastly different perspectives. In our lead piece, Thomas Stefaniuk (Florida Gulf Coast University) examines debates over Americanization within the German-American community through the career of Fr. Joseph Jessing, an influential newspaper publisher and founder of the Pontifical College Josephinum. Later in the issue, Jamie Starling (University of Texas-Pan American) explores the role of Catholic clergy in maintaining the “structures of peace” in the US-Mexico borderlands at a time when national boundaries were redrawn as a result of the Mexican-American war.
Their work is joined by an engaging article by Lance Richey (University of Saint Francis) that calls attention to the significance of one of Dorothy Day’s lesser known works, House of Hospitality, to understanding her ongoing spiritual formation. Though lacking the theological sophistication of her later writings, he argues that it provides a “backdrop against which the distinctive spirituality of her mature works is revealed even more fully.”
In our cover essay, Lou Baldwin, author and veteran reporter for Philadelphia’s The Catholic Standard and Times, recounts the story of life at St. Vincent’s Home (1920-1952), an orphanage located in the Philadelphia suburb of Drexel Hill. The memories of its former residents capture both the heartbreak and joy experienced by those who found themselves in such institutional care. Many of our local readers will recognize the building that graces our cover by its later incarnation, as home to Archbishop Prendergast High School.
Finally, with this issue, we are honored to welcome five new members to our Committee on Publication: Angelyn Dries, OSF (Saint Louis University); Mary L. Gautier (Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate); Paul Lakeland (Fairfield University); Kristy Nabhan-Warren (University of Iowa); and Angela Alaimo O’Donnell (Fordham University). All of them have been long-standing supporters of American Catholic Studies and together bring a range of disciplinary perspectives to the committee. We’re grateful for their willingness to serve in this capacity and look forward to benefitting from their counsel. [End Page i]