Sisters in the public square: Persuasion, politics and prayer

As the Nuns on the Bus prepare to hit the road again, and as memories of the so-called Little Sisters of the Poor case before the Supreme Court remain fresh in American memories, it is tempting to regard the political activities of sisters as something modern and out of the ordinary. Nothing could be farther from the truth, however, as I discovered from my research in over five dozen archives of congregations throughout the U.S., as well as extensive reading of published sources.

American women religious have been involved in politics since the early days of the republic — a fact made even more remarkable by the fact that, for the first century or more of their presence they were, as women, not even able to vote.

The first sisters to serve in what is now the United States were the New Orleans Ursulines, who arrived in 1727 as contractual employees of the Company of the Indies that effectively governed the French colony.

Read the full story at Global Sisters Report.

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