The Catholic Philanthropic Tradition in America

Mary J. Oates, Author Indiana University Press $29.95 (248p) ISBN 978-0-253-34159-4
This historical view of Catholic philanthropy in the U.S. since 1790 describes a reputation for benevolence that appears to be eroding, according to the author. Oates (Higher Education for Catholic Women) observes that, since the 1960s, Catholic contributions to the church have fallen relative to family income. As she indicates, Roman Catholics, from their earliest days in America, have organized charitable activities--schools, hospitals, orphanages--in support of the Gospel mandate. Yet the study points out that, since the 1920s, a diminution of personal service, ``not so much a weakening will to give,'' has marked Catholic philanthropy, which the author attributes to ``a secular narrowing of opportunities to give more than money.'' She studies the patterns of Catholic giving that have evolved since the early days of the republic and examines how a population that remained largely working class until recent times developed and financed benevolent institutions and agencies. This is a highly specialized history. Photos. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
Open Ebook - 978-0-253-11359-7
Open Ebook - 244 pages - 978-0-585-22566-1
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