1200 – 1500 words (4 Full Pages)
1 inch margins – top, bottom, left, right
12 point type
Ariel or Times Roman font
Staple upper left
The paper must include a title page with the paper’s title, student’s name, the course and date centered on the page (not included in the page count).
If you use footnotes, either Turabian or Modern Language Association (MLA) format is acceptable.
There is no criterion for the number of sources you must have, but whatever you use should be cited.
If you use a bibliography, include it as a separate page (not included in the page count).
Use of the first person is acceptable.
This paper is a combination research/reflection paper on “Being History of Catholicism in the U.S”.Research the material, present both sides of the argument, if applicable, and then include your own opinions. It doesn’t matter if I agree or disagree; you’re presenting and defending your own ideas.
Your paper should be organized approximately as follows:
Introduction: One or two paragraphs. What is your general thesis and approach? Note: The thesis – what the paper is all about – is a very important part of this paper.
Body: Approximately 3 – 4 pages. Define your terms; present your approach and evidence. Critical reflection that demonstrates your understanding of the material, in the context of the thesis, is the important aspect of this section. In other words, think and analyze , don’t just play back what you’ve read.
Summary: One or two paragraphs. What is your final conclusion?
General description of grading criteria:
1. The clarity of the final paper, which requires a clear thesis, and effectiveness in writing on the assigned topic
2. Critical analysis and reflection that demonstrates understanding of the material.
3. Correct use of grammar, style, and format
4. Completion of the assignment by class time
General description of Grades:
A to A-: Paper must excel in all of the areas mentioned above. Points may be deduced for minor flaws in writing style and grammar.
B+ to B-: Paper must have some attempt at articulating a thesis with evidence of critical and creative thinking. Grammar must be basically sound. Points will be deduced for a weak thesis, errors in content, weakness in organization, or lack of clarity in style.
C+ to C-: Paper may have no clear thesis statement but does demonstrate some central point with some critical minimal creative reflection. There are major errors in content, poor organization, lack of clarity, and frequent grammatical errors.
D+ to D-: No clear thesis, numerous grammatical errors, minimum compliance with requirements of critical and creative reflection.
F: The paper meets none of the criteria above
The paper is due to me by end of class, Friday 17 April 2015. Every class day late will lower the grade to the next lowest letter grade.
Being History of Catholicism in the U.S
The institution, Roman Catholic Church is the largest organization in the world with more than a billion members. The religion has a myriad of social, political, languages, racial and cultural ideologies that influence its operations. The Catholic Church Catechism professes it as true church established by Jesus Christ (Gillis 127). The Church continuously faces challenges in the modern world due to its stances and religious doctrines on moral, political and social issues. The paper scrutinizes the historiography of Catholicism in America. Immigration, constitution and cultural beliefs contributed to the spread of Catholicism in the United States.
The Catholic Church emerged in America during the colonial era and under the influence of the French and Spanish. The church would later grow through the assistance of missionaries like Eusebio Kino, Jesuits Isaac and Jacques Jogues (Gillis 48). Immigrants from Germany and Ireland were the drive behind the spread of Catholicism in America. The Roman Catholicism history in America mainly focused on the thirteen English-speaking countries in the Atlantic world. By 1776, the Catholic Church population rose to twenty-five thousand people in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The growth and development of Catholicism was also fueled by the post-revolutionary era (Gillis 50). The first amendment and bill of rights at the time upheld and promoted religious freedom. In 1789, John Carol became the first Bishop of Baltimore. America currently has more than 195 Catholic eparchies and dioceses with approximately four hundred and fifty retired and active archbishops.
The spread of Catholicism in America was intensified by immigration. The population of Roman Catholics was a small number of English Catholics minorities. The face of Catholicism in America changed rapidly and permanently during the 1840s after Catholics from Ireland relocated to America. The number of Catholics in America transformed fifty years later. The previous population of Catholics consisting of aristocrats and landowners turned into a diverse group of rural and urban immigrants from different countries with varying languages but with one heritage, Catholicism (Gillis 69). Other faiths like Hindus, Muslims, Protestants and Jews also arrived in America but Catholics had the highest numbers. In 1850, five percent of the population in America were Catholics. Notably, there was a significant increase of American Catholics to seventy percent. Thus, making Catholicism the largest denomination in that country.
The Catholic Church’s presence in America has always been felt since the coming of Spanish and French missionaries during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Spanish developed missions in the contemporary western part of America (Gillis 74). New Orleans was the salient French colony with few Catholics. They however engaged in communal worship when there were no priests to help them with mass celebration. The Civil War resulted in the decline of Catholics getting into America. However, the end of hostilities later encouraged immigrants to flee to the United States. The influx of Catholic immigrants led to feelings of resentment, as some churches were hesitant to welcome them.
Prior to immigration, the Catholic Church had already embarked on projects such as building parishes, learning institutions and hospitals. Thus, immigrants could have a place to call home and access basic needs for decent and affordable lives. The infrastructures pleased most immigrants prompting them to join Catholicism. The Catholic Church was not only actively involved in making immigrants lives better but also cared for the surrounding communities. More people were attracted and converted to the Catholic faith. Notably, anyone would be pleased by an organization that cares for his or her basic needs; hence, immigrants could never have hesitated to embrace Catholicism. Worshippers believed that Catholicism was one of the best approach to world peace and solving other problems like poverty. The twenty-first century witnessed the Catholic Church experiences fierce criticism and controversies surrounding church leaders. Bishops, Archbishops and priests have been accused of sexual impurity emanating from sexual abuse and prostitution.
According to Gillis, an ugly conflict between Protestants and Catholics existed during the ancient times (38). Most Protestants thought that it was impossible for an individual to be an American and a Catholic at the same time. Catholics suffered many forms of discrimination in the banking, housing and economic sectors. The situation would however change leading to an amazing transformation of Protestants and Catholics relations. The Widespread acknowledgement of Catholicism in the United States was supported by two major events. Firstly, the successful election of John. F. Kennedy as the United States president in 1960 was a big blow to Catholicism hysteria. In 1928, Al Smith, also a Catholic lost his presidential race because of his religion. John Kennedy had a Catholic immigrant grandfather who worked hard to climb up the social class ladder. Kennedy was therefore respected since he possessed desired leadership qualities.
Protestants saw that nothing good could come out of Catholicism, which was constantly at the center of controversies. Kennedy became an aspiration and source of hope to the whole world such that his assassination made Protestants and Catholics to condemn such a crime. The second Vatican Council was the other event that promoted Catholicism into the mainstream in America (Gillis 68). It was the bishops’ international council led by Pope John XXIII. The Pop ensured a global understanding of the Catholic rituals, doctrines and traditions (Gillis 69). The Catholic Church is currently the most popular religion in the United States of America. Boston has the highest number of Catholics because the many Irish who settled in the city during the early seventeenth century. Half of the Southern Louisiana population are also Catholics due to the Spanish and French roots. Southern Texas and Central California have high concentration of Catholics. Catholics in the United Sates currently enjoy cordial relationships with their neighbors. Popes have as well been welcome in America and accorded the respect and reverence they deserve.
The spread of Catholicism in America is indeed historical. Many factors led to the growth and development of Catholic religion in the United States. It is through this study that one realizes the role of religion in society. The French and Spain brought Catholicism in America during the colonization regime. The European powers were struggling to outshine one another and assimilate their spheres of interests. It is indeed true that the history of Catholicism in America came with different controversies, which resulted in a public uproar.
According to the Protestants, it was impossible for one to claim that he or she is a Catholic and American. They were against the Catholic doctrines and traditions. The election of John. F. Kennedy and the Vatican Council changed the perspective of people towards Catholics. The bill of rights in America supported the freedom of all religions, granting people the opportunity to embrace their beliefs. The Catholic Church has made achievements and positive impacts in the world. It has established mission hospitals, universities, schools and orphanages for the benefit of societies. The Catholic Church has also improved people’s lives by community outreaches. However, the church leadership needs to exercise control to prevent tarnishing the reputation that it struggled to build and maintain.
Gillis, Chester. Roman Catholicism in America. Columbia University Press, 1999.