About This Issue
Dianne Creagh (Penn State York) in "Faith in Fostering: Catholic Adoption and Boarding-Out in Depression Era New York" has carefully reviewed case records from the late 1920s through the early 1940s, and reveals for us how the pressures of faith-based child-saving under difficult economic circumstances allowed for improvisation between substitute mothers and the staff who assessed their worthiness, challenging narrow notions of proper motherhood and adoptability in children.
Richard Gribble, CSC (Stonehill College) in "The Challenge of Religious Life in the United States Today" vigorously proposes for vowed religious a need to relearn and recapture the tradition of religious life for the future prosperity of the American church.
Maria C. Morrow (University of Dayton) contributes "The Change in the Conception of Sin among Catholics in the United States, 1955-1975," finding that as sin became a more abstract and elusive concept, the use of the sacrament of penance declined. She identifies four contributing factors to this decline: the dissolution of the Catholic subculture, the rise of counseling, alterations to sexual values, and the official changes made to penitential practices.
Edward Brett (LaRoche College) contributes our cover essay and visual treat in "A Monument to Catholic Social Justice: The Maxo Vanka Murals of St. Nicholas Croatian Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania."
We also share our semi-annual selections of Dissertation Abstracts and reviews of eight books. We are grateful to our authors, reviewers, and most importantly you, our readers.
Spring has sprung and American Catholic Studies is in bloom.
Rodger Van Allen, Co-editor