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Religious LessonsCatholic Sisters and the Captured Schools Crisis in New Mexico$
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Kathleen Holscher

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199781737

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199781737.001.0001

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Educating in the Vernacular

Educating in the Vernacular

The Foundations of Sister-Taught Public Schools

(p.23) 1 Educating in the Vernacular
Religious Lessons

Kathleen Holscher

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains how sister-taught public schools became part of New Mexican culture and why they received support from the local population. It employs a comparative framework—as Catholic leaders elsewhere in the United States in the nineteenth century struggled with the prohibitively Protestant character of “nonsectarian” common schools, the Catholic Church in New Mexico maintained a working relationship with the territory’s developing education system. By the time a formal school code and funding structure appeared near the turn of the century, however, that system had begun to resemble its American counterparts in troubling ways. Its Anglo-Protestant character alienated both the Church hierarchy and many residents. In New Mexico’s rural communities, clergy and laity began cooperating during the early twentieth century. Despite a history of disagreement between them, a Hispano population disadvantaged by state educational policies found common ground with a Church preoccupied by the loss of parochial students to the public system.

Keywords:   Hispano, Hispanic, New Mexico, education, public schools, Catholic Church, Catholicism, nonsectarian, non-sectarian, nineteenth century, Protestant

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