About this Issue
It is not the policy of American Catholic Studies to publish thematic issues; we are much more interested in providing our readers with a “garden variety” of articles relating to American Catholicism. This issue, however, is a welcome exception to our rule. In April of this year, I attended a session at the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians on African-American Catholics in the twentieth century. Three excellent papers were presented at this session, and we have decided to publish the session’s proceedings, including responses and introductory remarks, in its entirety. We think you will agree that the three articles on African-American Catholicism by Cecilia Moore, Timothy Neary, and Nancy Davis are a welcome addition to the body of literature documenting the history of African Americans in the American church. We are grateful to Diane Batts Morrow for allowing us to publish her introductory remarks, and also to Wallace Best and Father Cyprian Davis, OSB for permitting publication of their responses to the three papers. On a personal note, I thank Suellen Hoy, Michael Engh, SJ and Mary Oates, CSJ for encouraging us to “think outside of the box” and make the work presented at this session of the OAH available to our readers. We think you will also enjoy the cover essay devoted to Francis Cardinal Spellman. Msgr. Thomas Shelley graciously agreed to write the piece and to provide the pictures that you see on the front and back covers, and we are grateful for his help and support.
We are happy to announce that American Catholic Studies received three awards from the Catholic Press Association, including third place for general excellence. Michael McNally’s “Catholic Parish Life in the Antebellum South” was awarded third place in the category of best scholarly essay, and “American Catholics and World Religions” by Angelyn Dries, OSF received honorable mention in the same category. Congratulations to our authors and thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement.
Margaret M. McGuinness, Co-editor