Adding significantly to our understanding of Southern and American Catholicism, this book provides a detailed history of the Mississippi Church's development in modern times. It focuses on the three bishops of the periodJohn Gunn, Richard Gerow, and Joseph Bruninibut also considers how the clergy and religious, especially the Irish clergy, facilitated the Church's growth, and how the laity worked to foster the Church in Mississippi's Protestant environment. Examining all facets of Catholic life, particularly the evangelizing roles of Catholic education, Catholic charities, and Catholic hospitals, the author places the Mississippi Church in the context of both its Protestant environment and Southern Catholicism generally. He concludes that the Mississippi Church is in the mainstream of Southern Catholicism, which is distinct from Northern, Midwestern, or Western Catholicism.Emphasizing the Church's evangelizing activities, he shows that the Mississippi Church has been and remains missionary, that it has a continuing impact on its surroundings, particularly at the local level, and that it is symptomatic of Southern Catholicism. The work is the first scholarly study of the Church in Mississippi in the 20th century. It makes extensive use of primary sources and adds significantly to the growing body of knowledge on Southern and American Catholicism.
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