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20 February 2024 - 20 February 2024

1:00PM - 2:00PM

In person IAS Seminar Room or online via Zoom

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The Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies is delighted to host this year’s Durham Residential Library fellows as part of the 'Catholicism in the Long Nineteenth Century' lunchtime seminar series at the IAS Seminar Room, Cosins Hall, Palace Green. Join us for the second seminar with Professor Deidre Raftery on Tuesday 20 February at 1pm and download the full programme to see what's coming next.

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Image credit : The Crucifixion of Our Lord with the Virgin Mary, St John and Mary Magdalene (1854), Franz von Rohden (1817-1903)

‘Growing vocations’: kinship networks, recruitment strategies and female congregations in the long nineteenth-century

This seminar explores how congregations promoted religious life for young women in the long nineteenth century. Drawing on archival collections from Rome, North America, Australia, Ireland and England, it is possible to identify some of the main strategies which were deployed in order to ‘grow vocations’ and expand congregations.   Strong kinship networks within congregations was often a predictor of successful expansion. For example, some congregations in England and Ireland had well-known ‘dynasties’, and moved siblings and cousins around the globe to work together to expand their missions.  The seminar also looks at evidence for the success of recruitment within convent boarding schools, including ‘questing’ trips whereby small groups of nuns visited classrooms and sodalities to encourage girls to consider religious life. Finally, the presentation discusses a sample of juniorates and mission schools that were founded in order to prepare and ‘test’ young girls to see if they had the potential to become novices. Far from waiting for vocations to religious life, women religious were strategic in planning for the expansion of conventual life that took place in the nineteenth-century Anglophone world.  This seminar is based on research undertaken for a recently published book (Deirdre Raftery, Irish Nuns and Education in the Anglophone World: a Transnational History, Palgrave Macmillan).

For other events in this series download the full programme here

Catholicism in the Long Nineteenth Century Seminar Series