Les Confrères et les Pères in American Catholic History
The introduction explains why it is important to understand the practice of the Roman Catholic priesthood and the history of French missionaries in the United States. By detailing the historiography of American Catholicism, the introduction also suggests ways to examine the middle position of priests between formal ecclesiastical standards of the church and the informal experiences of missionaries in service of the church. Recognition of the dual identity of French missionaries—as confrères to each other and as pères to others—is also recognition of the process by which these Frenchmen learned what it meant to be an ideal priest and what it was like to be a priest-in-practice.
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