April Selection

Book cover
Prayers of the Faithfulby James M. McCartinHarvard University Press. 240 p $25.95

This book traces the dramatic shifts in American Catholics’ prayer life from the style of the immigrant church (1865-1900) through and after the Second Vatican Council. James M. McCartin, a professor of history at Seton Hall University, notes in the prologue: “Positioned at opposite ends of the twentieth century, these two scenes suggest a remarkable alteration in the patterns of prayer and in the popular experience of the spiritual life.” And these shifts, as the book shows, came alongside larger changes within the American society and its political culture and reflect how prayer shaped people’s attitudes toward the hierarchy and the institutional church. What we see in the present, inspired by the post-Vatican II charismatic renewal movement, is a personal approach to prayer.

In a forthcoming review of the book in America, Catholic historian Jay P. Dolan applauds McCartin for uncovering “an important aspect of American Catholic history that most historians have overlooked.”

Purchase Prayers of the Faithful: The Shifting Spiritual Life of American Catholics from amazon.com.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

In this 1955 file photo, Mamie Bradley, mother of Emmett Till, pauses at her son's casket at a Chicago funeral home.
One cannot begin to understand the current deterioration of American race relations without confronting the enduring realities of white supremacy present in the case of Emmett Till.
Shannen Dee WilliamsApril 26, 2017
Don Quixote statue in Belgium. Photo by Dennis Jarvis
D. Scott Hendrickson reviews "The Man Who Invented Fiction: How Cervantes Ushered in the Modern World" by William Egginton
In the spirit of the planting season, I offer tips for growing strong readers.
The Good Samaritan by Theodule Ribot. Source: Musee des beaux-arts de Pau
Dennis Vellucci reviews "Signals" by Tim Gautreaux.
Dennis VellucciApril 25, 2017