2004 Awards

Anita Caspary HeadshotAnita Caspary, Distinguished Book Award

Presented to Anita Caspary, I.H.M., at the Occasion of the Sixth Triennial Conference of the History of Women Religious, held at Atchison, Kansas, June 27-30, 2004.

Whereas Anita Caspary is the author of Witness to Integrity: The Crisis of the Immaculate Heart Community of California, published by the Liturgical Press in 2003; and

Whereas Anita Caspary of the Immaculate Heart Community has been a leader in Catholic education for many years, and particularly as president of Immaculate Heart College; and

Whereas Anita Caspary served with great dedication and courage as the religious leader of the Immaculate Heart Sisters at a time of great change in the Church and in religious orders, guiding and inspiring the Immaculate Heart Sisters in their efforts to renew their religious life in accord with the principles of the Second Vatican Council; and

Whereas Anita Caspary has charted a path for a new ecumenical religious life and as the initial president of the Immaculate Heart Community led in the formation of the members in defining and living this new expression of religious life; and

Whereas Anita Caspary has shown a true love of the Church and of religious life in her vision of the transformation of this charism for a new era in the Church and in contemporary culture; and

Whereas Anita Caspary has made a unique contribution to the history of women religious in Witness to Integrity wherein she has presented the story of this transformation with sensitivity, objectivity and honesty; therefore

Be it resolved that the Conference on the History of Women Religious here assembled confers on Anita Caspary the Distinguished Book Award. Given the twenty- ninth day of June in the year of our Lord two thousand and four, at the Conference, “Crossing Boundaries: Comparative Perspectives on the History of Women Religious,” gathered at the Atchison Heritage Conference Center, Atchison, Kansas.

 

Diane Batts Morrow HeadshotDiane Batts Morrow, Distinguished Book Award

Presented to Diane Batts Morrow at the Occasion of the Sixth Triennial Conference on the History of Women Religious held at the Atchison Heritage Conference Center, June 27-30, 2004.

Whereas Diane Batts Morrow is the author of “Persons of Color and Religious at the same time”: The Antebellum Experience of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, 1828-1860, published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2002; and

Whereas “Persons of Color and Religious at the Same Time” illuminates the founding and antebellum experiences of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first permanent community of Roman Catholic women religious of African descent in the United States; and

Whereas Diane Batts Morrow argues persuasively in “Persons of Color and Religious at the Same Time” that through their religious status and teaching ministry, the Oblate Sisters of

Providence defined themselves positively as black women religious amid the gender and racial bigotry of antebellum, American society; and

Whereas “Persons of Color and Religious at the Same Time” reveals how the Oblate Sisters of Providence, faced with seemingly overwhelming odds in slave-holding Baltimore, persevered through hard work, determination, and the development of survival strategies that encouraged self-reliance and female networking, to build four schools for black children and a solid social and spiritual support network for Black Catholics in Baltimore between 1828 and 1860; and

Whereas Diane Batts Morrow, working from limited archival sources, crafts a delicate and sophisticated analysis of the interlocking themes of race, gender, class, religion, and ethnicity to interpret the interlocking social, economic and spiritual motives of the Oblate Sisters of Providence and to explain the nuances of the interaction between the Sisters’ race and their French identity within the socially constructed parameters of color in Southern society; and

Whereas “Persons of Color and Religious at the Same Time” is a signal contribution to historical fields: American religious history, American women’s history, and African American history combining scholarship in all three fields to create a portrait of Black Catholic women religious, an almost-unknown and under-researched group; and

Whereas Professor Morrow’s work contributes to the ongoing development of research on the importance of religion to black churchwomen, highlighting the significance of black Catholic women in relation to recent works on black women in Protestant churches; therefore

Be it resolved that the Conference on the History of Women Religious here assembled confers on Diane Batts Morrow the Distinguished Book Award. Given this twenty-ninth day of June in the year of Our Lord two thousand four, at the Conference “Crossing Boundaries: Comparative Perspectives on the History of Women Religious,” gathered at the Atchison Heritage Conference Center.

 

Elizabeth Rapley, Distinguished Historian Award

Presented to Brenda Elizabeth Rapley at the Occasion of the Sixth Triennial Conference on the History of Women Religious, held at Atchison, Kansas, June 27-30, 2004.

Whereas Elizabeth Rapley  has devoted her scholarly endeavors to the study of French society, particularly the role of women religious in that society, effectively integrating her studies of women religious in France and New France with the social and cultural history of their times; and

Whereas Elizabeth Rapley began her contributions to the history of women religious with her dissertation in 1987 entitled “The Changing Vocation of Religious Women in France and New France: Case Studies, 1600-1700;”and

Whereas Elizabeth Rapley has authored two seminal works on women religious, namely, The Dévotes: Women and Church in Seventeenth-Century France in 1993, a book that established her reputation as a major historian of this little understood era in religious history; and A Social History of the Cloister: Daily Life in the Teaching Monasteries of the Old Regime in 2001, in which she provides solid documentation for a fresh and persuasive interpretation of cloistered religious life in the turbulent years under the ancien régime; and

Whereas Elizabeth Rapley‘s works have been extensively and favorably reviewed by her scholarly colleagues, citing her as a significant historian of this field whose work on the social history of the cloister will be an essential reference for historians of women, education, and religious experience in early modern France; therefore

Be it resolved that the Conference on the History of Women Religious here assembled confers on Brenda Elizabeth Rapley the Distinguished Historian Award. Given the twenty-ninth day of June in the year of our Lord two thousand and four, at the Conference, “Crossing Boundaries: Comparative Perspectives on the History of Women Religious,” gathered at the Atchison Heritage Conference Center, Atchison, Kansas.

 

MaryMary Muldrey 2004 Hermenia Muldrey, Lifetime Achievement Award

Presented to Mary Hermenia Muldrey, R.S.M., at the Occasion of the Sixth Triennial Conference of the History of Women Religious, held at Atchison, Kansas, June 27-30, 2004.

Whereas Sister Hermenia has been a dedicated member of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas for over 70 years engaged in the apostolates of teaching historical research, writing and speaking; and

Whereas Sister Hermenia from her earliest years in the Sisters of Mercy collected from her Sisters first-hand recollections of the founding Sisters and pioneer missions in the South and began what was to be a lifelong journey through archival collections in the United States and Europe in pursuit of her research interests in biography and community history; and

Whereas Sister Hermenia broadened awareness of the work of women religious in the South through numerous papers and articles and through publication of This is the Day: Historical Sketch of the Sisters of Mercy in Louisiana, 1869-1969 in 1969; and

Whereas Sister Hermenia’s largely self-taught skills of historical analysis and composition, experience as a Sister of Mercy, and thorough familiarity with archival and published sources pertaining to the life of one of this country’s most significant religious leaders enabled her to publish the monumental biography Abounding in Mercy: Mother Austin Carroll in 1988; and

Whereas Sister Hermenia’s  activities since publication of the Carroll biography include 16 talks and 15 publications expanding on various facets of her lifetime interests such as “Carroll and Mercy Schools for the Blacks Across the Gulf South;” “Irish Mercies Nurse Confederate Soldiers;” “Widow Margaret Gaffney Haughery, Mother of Orphans and Friend of Nuns;” and “Catherine McAuley and the Piadosa Madre of the Americas;” therefore

Be it resolved that the Conference on the History of Women Religious here assembled present to Mary Hermenia Muldrey, R.S.M, the Lifetime Achievement Award. Given the twenty-ninth day of June in the year of our Lord two thousand and four, at the conference, “Crossing Boundaries: Comparative Perspectives on the History of Women Religious,” gathered at Atchison Heritage Conference Center, Atchison, Kansas.