Winter 2004 Issue Vol. 115, No. 4

Winter 2004 Issue Vol. 115, No. 4

About This Issue

As newlyweds in 1963, my wife and I rented an attractive garage apartment located on the property of one of Philadelphia’s most successful contractors, John P. Donovan, a devoutly Catholic Irish-American of wide-ranging intellectual interests and mature years.  It was from him, rather than any academic source or context, that I first learned of the excesses of American anti-German feelings during World War I.  The highly respected German Hospital in Philadelphia changed its name to Lankenau, and the rigorously academic Jesuit high school in the city, which my landlord was attending during the Great War, ceased its teaching of the German language.  In addiction to conversations with Mr. Donovan, at about the same time, I also studied under Professor Henry J. Cadbury, a famous Quaker and scripture scholar who I learned had been sacked from the faculty of Haverford College (yipes!) for having suggested during the war that the radical rejection and demonizing of all things German was inappropriate.  It was, however, only with the arrival of Professor Ralph Frasca’s manuscript that I leaned that the federal government had taken steps under the Espionage Act to suppress a small English language Catholic newspaper with about 10,000 German American readers.  You can read the article to see if you find all the excess on the government side, but it is an interesting tale, well told, and questions of free expression are enduring even in a matured democracy.

This issue also offers Kathleen Sprows Cummings on the founding of Trinity College, and the combined work of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and Trinity’s Ladies’ Auxiliary Board of Regents, an interesting case study of the possibilities and limitations of “sisterhood” among Catholic women at the beginning of the twentieth century.  Cornelia Sexauer’s article tells us of the remarkable experiences of Sister Mary Antona Ebo, an African-American sister of St. Mary who was part of a northern contingent of priests, rabbis, ministers, nuns and laypeople, who traveled to Selma, Alabama in March 1965.  Philip Gleason offers warm and candid recollections of historian Thomas T. McAvoy, C.S.C, a complementary essay to that presented by Richard Gribble, C.S.C in our Spring 2004 issue.  Four important reviews follow.

Our cover art and the cover essay by Joseph F. Chorpenning, O.S.F.S., on “Catholic Social Teaching in the Stained Glass” deserve your meditative review.  We are proud to bring it to you and to call your attention again to the acclaimed Stained Glass in Catholic Philadelphia from Saint Joseph’s University Press.

We are also pleased to share in this issue a complete index of all the material published since the Records became American Catholic Studies.  It has been a pleasure to look back through the names of all those contributors to volumes 110-115, 1999-2004.  We thank each of them and each of you, our readers.  Editorial Assistant Margaret King deserves special thanks for preparing the index. 

Rodger Van Allen, Co-editor