In Missouri’s Wilds: St. Mary’s of the Barrens and the American Catholic Church, 1818 to 2016

Richard J. Janet

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In 1818, a small group of Catholic clerics established a religious community in southeastern Missouri and opened a school, grounded in its European Vincentian roots but influenced by the isolation of its rural location. St. Mary’s of the Barrens became the first American institution of higher learning west of the Mississippi River and only the fourth Catholic seminary in the United States. Over the years, St. Mary’s emerged as a significant institution whose early leaders played an important role in the development of the Catholic Church on the American frontier. The school’s subsequent history reflected the changing status of the growing American Catholic community. In this history of “the Barrens,” Rick Janet demonstrates how its story reflects the broader sweep of the American Catholic experience.

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Ebook, Paperback

ISBN: 9781612481982 Categories: , , , , ,

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Description

In 1818, a small group of Catholic clerics established a religious community in southeastern Missouri and opened a school, grounded in its European Vincentian roots but influenced by the isolation of its rural location. St. Mary’s of the Barrens became the first American institution of higher learning west of the Mississippi River and only the fourth Catholic seminary in the United States. Over the years, St. Mary’s emerged as a significant institution whose early leaders played an important role in the development of the Catholic Church on the American frontier. The school’s subsequent history reflected the changing status of the growing American Catholic community. In this history of “the Barrens,” Rick Janet demonstrates how its story reflects the broader sweep of the American Catholic experience.

Contents

List of Illustrations

Preface and Acknowledgments

Part I: Beginnings to 1818

Chapter 1: Vincentians, the Barrens, and the American Catholic Church

Chapter 2: Founding of St. Mary’s of the Barrens

Part II: An Era of Boundlessness at the Barrens, 1818–1847

Chapter 3: Frontier Leadership

Chapter 4: Policies and Problems

Part III: An Era of Fragmentation and Consolidation, 1847–1888

Chapter 5: Second-Generation Leadership

Chapter 6: Civil War and Aftermath

Part IV: The Barrens Triumphant, 1888–1962

Chapter 7: Revival and Growth

Chapter 8: Conforming to New Demands

Part V: Decline and Fall of St. Mary’s of the Barrens, 1965–2016

Chapter 9: Closure and Controversy

Chapter 10: Conclusion

Works Cited

Index

About the Author

Authors

Richard J. Janet currently serves as professor of history at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, where he has taught since 1985.  He received the PhD in modern European history from the University of Notre Dame.  Janet is the author of numerous articles, essays, and reviews (both scholarly and popular).  His work on the history of the Congregation of the Mission in the United States is supported by the Vincentian Studies Institute of DePaul University.    

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