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By James J. Hennesey

Written by way of one of many top-rated historians of yank Catholicism, this booklet provides a complete background of the Roman Catholic Church in the USA from colonial instances to the current. Hennesey examines, particularly, minority Catholics and advancements within the western a part of the us, a quarter frequently neglected in spiritual histories.

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The brandy trade, arbitrary and often brutal treatment of Indians by civil officials and 31 32 AMERICAN CATHOLICS soldiers, the use of Indian women for prostitution, laws which forbade Indian widows to inherit their husbands' property, all diluted the impact of the gospel preached by the priests. The example of white Christians was one of the greatest obstacles for the missionaries to overcome. Indians were also sometimes enslaved, although most slaves, including those who after 1727 worked plantations owned by the Jesuits, were blacks brought in from the Caribbean.

5 Spanish reconnaissance missions from Mexico had explored that vast expanse as early as 1629, and in 1675 Franciscan Juan Larios opened a mission on the Nueces SPANISH AMERICA 15 River in southeast Texas. East Texas, land of the Asinai Indians, was eight hundred miles northeast of the Rio Grande, however, and no serious Spanish effort was made in that direction until word reached Mexico of the presence at Matagorda Bay of French adventurer Rene Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle, whose company included three priests of the Sulpician community and some Franciscans.

He died in 1806. The United States had taken over a territory with a church-state tradition substantially different from that which developed under the Articles of Confederation and was continuing to develop under the new Federal Constitution. The superior of the Ursuline convent at New Orleans, Sister Therese Farjon, inquired of both President Thomas Jefferson and Bishop John Carroll of Baltimore what impact the American system would have on the sisters and the property they had received from the previous government.

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