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5981 - 'Nuns and Native Americans'

In the course of the late 19th century many German Catholic congregations came to the U.S.A. to continue their “labor in the field of God” (Fr. Antram 2000): Due to the “Kulturkampf,” initiated by Otto von Bismarck, many congregations were forced to emigrate in order to survive as a Catholic organization. In the U.S.A. those Sisters, Fathers, and Brothers were supported by local Bishops and encouraged to found orphanages, hospitals, and schools. One of their fields of work became the Indian Mission schools. This paper focuses on the work of Franciscan Sisters as protagonists in the process of Christianization among the Zuni and Jemez (New Mexico) up to the 1970s. Although their major attempt was to evangelize Native children and to prevent them from participating in traditional “doings,” surprisingly they also helped to maintain indigenous cultural identity.

Keywords: Nuns, Missions, Schools, New Mexico

Author: Jauernig, Susanne (none, Germany / Deutschland)

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