• Toiling in the vineyards : A study of two nineteenth century religious communities in the Midwest

      Fife, Camille (2009-08-26)
      This study looks at two nineteenth century southern Indian sites founded by European women's religious communities to serve immigrant families in the New World: Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, founded in 1840 by the French Sisters of Providence and the monastery of the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, Indiana, established in 1867 by nuns of German origin. An introduction develops the historicial context for nineteenth century immigration to North America and relevant trends in nineteeth century Catholicism as well as the history of Catholic settlement in the Midwest. The study concentrates on each site's physical evolution, divided into periods of significance. Developments dictated by natural conditions, pioneer practices and possible European influence are discussed. Factors such as existing conditions, specifics of religious orientation, personalities and ethnic differences are compared. The study concludes that development was not random and the both sites demonstrated high degree of retention and/or replication of their mother culture.