About This Issue
American Catholic Studies is not exactly "beach reading," but we do hope you find some time this summer to read Volume 116, Number 2. Shortly before the death of John Paul II, Father Richard Gribble, C.S.C, submitted a manuscript entitled "The Church: Present Reality and Future Possibilities." We think the essay is very relevant to the events taking place within the Catholic Church at the present time, but in order to publish it in a timely manner, we asked the author to revise his article to reflect the election of Benedict XVI as the 264th pope. Father Gribble was most accommodating, and put aside papers and exams to ensure that we had a revised essay in time for this issue. We thank him for his willingness to work with us, and we hope the article is both informative and thought provoking for our readers.
"Elizabeth Bayley Seton: Extending the Role of Caregiver Beyond the Family Circle," by Sister Judith Metz, S.C., offers a different perspective on a woman who is more than simply a foundress of a community of women religious. Metz reminds us that Seton was also a caregiver: she cared for family members and friends during illnesses and opened her home to orphans and those in need. This work would serve her well when she began a "new" life as a foundress of the American Sisters of Charity.
Tim Lacy offers us a look at how Chicago's Mundelein College, a traditional Catholic women's college, began to change its curriculum to examine and reflect upon the "woman question" as early as 1957. Although Mundelein was absorbed by Loyola University, Lacy reminds us that Catholic women's colleges played an important role in the transformation of American Catholic women during the latter half of the twentieth century.
Under the general editorship of Christopher J. Kauffman, Orbis Books' nine-volume collection of primary sources, American Catholic Identities: A Documentary History, will be of value to students of American Catholicism for many years. We are very happy to offer a review essay by Martin Marty entitled "The Whole Nine Yarns: The Catholic Identity Series." Professor Marty's remarks were originally offered at a conference sponsored by the University of Notre Dame's Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism on "The Future of American Catholic History: A Conference in Honor of Christopher Kauffman," and we are grateful to Timothy Matovina and Kathleen Sprows Cummings for allowing us to publish this essay. We also would like to thank Christopher Kauffman for his many contributions – as a scholar, teacher, writer, and editor – to the study of American Catholicism over the years.
Even it you don't take us to the beach with you, do enjoy this issue of American Catholic Studies, and feel free to e-mail us with comments and suggestions.
Margaret McGuinness, Co-editor