Migration for Mission: International Catholic Sisters in the United States

ISBN : 9780190933098

Mary Johnson, S.N.D. de N.; Mary Gautier; Patricia Wittberg; Thu T. Do, L.H.C
240 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Apr 2019
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Patterns of migration for the purpose of religious mission are an unexamined dimension of the immigration narrative. Catholic sisters from many countries around the world come to the United States to minister and to study. Sociologists from Trinity Washington University and CARA at Georgetown University combined forces to document and understand this contemporary and historical phenomenon. Together, they located more than 4,000 "international sisters" who are currently in the United States for formation, studies, or ministry, from 83 countries spread over six continents. Through surveys, focus groups, and interviews, they heard the stories of these sisters and learned of their joys and satisfactions as well as their struggles and challenges. This book examines the experience of these sisters in depth and offers valuable suggestions for religious institutes, Catholic dioceses and parishes, and others who benefit from their contributions. More broadly, this book also raises awareness of immigration issues at a time of great contention in the public policy debate in the United States. Illustrated with instructive graphics and tables, it is an accessible and inviting resource for academics and the media, as well as bishops, and leaders of Catholic health care, social service, education, pastoral, and philanthropic institutions.


Chapter 1: Since the Beginning: A Historical View of International Sisters in the United States
Chapter 2: Within and Beyond Borders: Multiple Pathways of International Sisters to the United States
Chapter 3: A Diverse Presence: The Demographics of International Sisters Today
Chapter 4: Bonds of Belonging: Issues of Satisfaction among International Sisters
Chapter 5: Intercultural Challenges: The Concerns of International Sisters
Chapter 6: Vows and Visas: Catholic Organizational Support for International Sisters
Chapter 7: International Sister Students Today: Institute and University Responses
Chapter 8: Bridges, Not Walls: The Mission of International Sisters in the United States
Chapter 9: Conclusion: Implications and Recommendations

About the author: 

Mary Johnson, S.N.D. de N. is Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at Trinity Washington University in Washington D.C. Previously she was on the faculty of Emmanuel College in Boston.; Mary L. Gautier is Senior Research Associate at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.; Patricia Wittberg, S.C. is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and Research Associate at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.; Thu T. Do, L.H.C. is a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

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