About This Issue
As we prepare to send this issue of American Catholic Studies to the printer, there are not many signs of spring in Philadelphia. With any luck, winter will be finally gone (for all of us) by the time you sit down to read Volume 116, Number 1, Spring 2005.
We think there are some very interesting articles in this issue, and we hope you agree. Kenneth Zanca's essay on the Catholic press and the trial of Mary Surratt should appeal to the civil war buffs among us as well as those who "do" American Catholic studies. James Connelly, CSC, offers a case study of the University of Portland in light of Ex corde ecclesiae. This article will be helpful to all of us grappling with the question: how is a university "Catholic?" The Dominican Sisters' hospital work in Jackson, Mississippi is the subject of Susan Karina Dickey's article. We think you will find her discussion of the ways in which the sisters supported civil rights and integration very interesting.
In the fall of 2004, Robert Ellsberg presented a lecture at Villanova University on Flannery O'Connor. We are grateful to Dr. Barbara Wall and the Office of Mission Effectiveness for allowing us to publish Mr. Ellsberg's remarks, and we also thank Mr. Ellsberg for revising his lecture for publication.
We are happy to publish a review symposium on Leslie Tentler's Catholics and Contraception: An American History. I thank our reviewers – Ellen Skerret, Kristine LaLonde, John McGreevy, and Janet Smith – for their insightful comments as well as meeting our deadline! I also thank Professor Tentler for graciously agreeing to respond to the comments and questions posted by the reviewers.
The cover essay, by Barbara Mann Wall, offers a glimpse into the role of Catholic sisters in the medical field. The pictures, of course, speak for themselves; but Professor Wall's comments will shed additional light on the history of American women religious.
Margaret McGuinness, Co-editor