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Building Sisterhood

"This story is feminist in the noblest sense. It is about the power of individual women and the strength of their collective energies. It is about building and sustaining community". -- from the Foreword

The often forgotten role of Catholic sisters is told in stories deeply rooted in self-realization and feminist methodology in this much-needed history of this fascinating order. In a series of thirteen essays the contributors offer a look into the mysterious world of very strong and creative women, their values and mission.

In this unprecedented work, readers gain insight into a world that has rarely been seen by outsiders. An often neglected part of feminist research, the collaboration of the sisters further illustrates the seminal paradigms in women's work and writing. They deal with many of the same issues of power, economic autonomy, friendship and spirituality, socialization, and professional commitment. In addition to the rigorous training involved in becoming a nun, the authors elaborate upon the complex relationship between this order, other IHM communities, and of the intricate hierarchy of the Church itself. Feminist historian Margaret Susan Thompson places the essays within a historical context and provides detailed background for those unfamiliar with the life, duty, and experience of Catholic sisters.

This book will make a unique contribution to feminist scholarship, religious studies, and women's history.

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