Notre Dame and London: University of Notre Dame Press, 1978. Octavo, original red cloth, original dust jacket. Book about-fine, faint wrinkling to pack panel, very gentle toning to spine of dust jacket. An excellent copy. Item #361
"CATHOLICS WERE INDEED ROMAN IN THEIR TRADITION, RITUALISTIC IN THEIR DEVOTION, AND ETERNALLY BOUND TO THE CHURCH. BUT REVIVALISM HAS DEMONSTRATED THAT CATHOLICS WERE NURTURED IN A PIETY THAT WAS ALSO STRIKINGLY AMERICAN, FIERCELY EVANGELICAL, AND DEEPLY INDIVIDUALISTIC" First edition of this interesting study of religious fervor among Catholics in Victorian America. Jay Dolan's follow-up to The Immigrant Church (1975) focuses on the Catholic revival meetings known as parish missions: "It was a time when a religious order preacher was invited to the parish to revive the religious vitality of the people. For a week or more the preacher would hammer home the saving truths of Christianity, urging people to repent and do penance for their sins. Then, his work done, the preacher would leave, not to return again for another two or three years."
Early in the century, the missions were focused on the rural hinterlands where Catholics were a distinct minority. The traveling preacher was usually a member of one of the religious orders, such as the Jesuits and the Redemptorists, continuing the missionary activities they conducted in Europe. After the Civil War, however, the missions were adapted by American priests for the growing Catholic populations taking shape in the industrial cities, exemplified by the work of Isaac Hecker and the Paulist Fathers at St. Paul's Church on Manhattan's west side. The book closes with a sketch of the charismatic movement that "swept through Catholic America during the 1970s with the speed and enthusiasm of a classic religious revival." Contents: Introduction, 1. The Origins of Catholic Revivalism, 2. The Revival Crusade, 3. The Catholic Revival Meeting, 4. Evangelical Catholicism, 5. Revival Catholics, 6. Conversion and Reform, 7. Revivalism and the Community, 8. Revivalism--American and Catholic. Notes, an Appendix: Missions at St. Paul's Church 1859-1898, Index.
Winner of Notre Dame's Frank O'Malley Publication Series Award, named for the longtime Notre Dame humanities professor, "who had arrived as a freshman at Notre Dame in 1928, and never left. Lacking a doctorate and a research profile, living as a bachelor in a small book-crowded suite in one of Notre Dame's superb residence halls--books on shelves, books stacked high on the floor, even piled on the bed--O'Malley inspired generations of Notre Dame undergraduates with his teaching in the humanities, which emphasized the Catholic classics." (Kevin Starr, The Lost World: American Catholic Non-Fiction at Midcentury). A fascinating look at American Catholic history.