The Catholic Philanthropic Tradition in America

The Catholic Philanthropic Tradition in America

Mary J. Oates
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 05/22/1995
ISBN: 978-0-253-11359-7
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Description

Honorable Mention in the 1996 Staley/Robeson/Ryan/St. Lawrence Research Prize competition

From their earliest days in America, Catholics organized to initiate and support charitable activities. A rapidly growing church community, although marked by widening church and ethnic differences, developed the extensive network of orphanages, hospitals, schools, and social agencies that came to represent the Catholic way of giving. But changing economic, political, and social conditions have often provoked sharp debate within the church about the obligation to give, priorities in giving, appropriate organization of religious charity, and the locus of authority over philanthropic resources. This first history of Catholic philanthropy in the United States chronicles the rich tradition of the church's charitable activities and the increasing tension between centralized control of giving and democratic participation.

Author Bio

MARY J. OATES is Professor of Economics at Regis College and author of Higher Education for Catholic Women: An Historical Anthology and The Role of the Cotton Textile Industry in the Economic Development of the American Southeast, 1900–1940.

Reviews

““[A] definitive study. . . . In eight rich and fact-filled chapters, Oates explores the various ways that Catholics have acted on and organized their charitable impulses. . . Oates never fails to inform and educate.” —Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly “Oates' work is a gold mine of statistical information based on research in almost three dozen archives and a wide range of secondary sources.” —Church History “ . . . a splendid piece of scholarship, painstakingly researched, illuminating for the first time the history of Catholic philanthropy from the laity’s perspective. It is must reading for everyone concerned about Catholic charitable work. . . . Dr. Oates ends by calling for nothing less than a revolution in Catholic philanthropy, a broadly-based drive that would reach into the ranks of all Catholics and would help shape the nation’s social conscience.” —Francis J. Butler, Catholic News Service “All historians of American Catholicism have reason to be grateful for this wide-ranging and beautifully written survey.” —Catholic Historical Review “This book is must reading for every thinking Catholic in America.” —National Catholic Reporter “Oates tells the complicated—sometimes heroic, sometimes grubby—story of American Catholic charity.” —Choice “American social-religious history at its finest.” —Conrad Cherry “Oates has written a fascinating history of Catholic philanthropy. . . . A timely book, it provides an excellent historical perspective to the current concern about the financial future of the American Catholic church.” —Jay Dolan, Notre Dame University “Whether Catholic or not, those in the independent sector can benefit from her analysis.” —National Society of Fund Raising Executives “. . . impressive . . .” —Heythorp Journal This first history of Catholic philanthropy in the United States chronicles the rich tradition of the church’s charitable activities and the increasing tension between centralized control of giving and democratic participation.”

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction

1. American Society and Benevolent Enterprise
2. Resource Mobilization in a Working-Class Church
3. Social Needs and Mainstream Challenges
4. The Charity Consolidation Movement
5. New Strategies in Fundraising
6. Social Class and Ways of Giving
7. Parochial Schools and the Social Conscience
8. Recent Trends in Catholic Giving

Notes
Bibliography
Index