The Ramonat Seminar: Final Reflection (Fall 2015)

 

Introduction

What Has Made

Chicago Catholicism Distinctive?

21st Century Perspective

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The Ramonat Seminar: St. Ignatius Catalog

“For the greater glory of God (A.M.D.G)”

I got a chance to check out this course catalog from 1879-1880, about 10 years after St. Ignatius College’s (the predecessor to Loyola University) conception. Check out Dan’s coverage of the other catalog we used, and the other members of the seminar’s sources here. A general break down is as follows…

  • Pgs. 3-5 list the members of the board of trustees, and so on. The President and Faculty members are all Jesuits, as one would expect!
  • Pgs. 6-8 have Acknowledgments for recent donors to the school’s museum (which includes several pieces of meteorite by Miss Mary Walshe, and a pistol of the year 1805 by Mr. Patrick Mangan), as well as a general history, mission statement, and payment needed to attend
  • Pgs. 9-14 showcase the 3 courses of study, namely the Classics (broken into the Grammar and Collegiate departments), the Scientific, and the Commercial, as well as the Preparatory track for students who are literate and over the age of ten who want to prepare to enter the official courses offered
  • Pg. 15-20 spans the student directory
  • Pg. 20 shows that there were a total of 192 students registered at that time, 76 in the Classical Course (liberal arts if you will), 2 in the Scientific Course, 77 in the Commercial Course, and 37 in the Preparatory Department
  • Pgs. 21-22 cover three organization on campus The Chrysostomian Society (A literature society), The German Academy (language club), and The St. Cecilia Society (literary and religious festivals), with Faculty seemingly heavily involved with selection of the Presidents
  • Pgs. 23-34 covers various marks of distinction, akin to a deans list, with a Premium position (sometimes 1st and 2nd), and distinguished spot where multiple students could be placed as of June 30th, 1880, in each field of study under the Classical department major/degree track, than the Commercial department major/degree track
  • Pg. 35-38 is an Appendix section detailing the hopes for the Museum, and what is already in the collection (noting a more detailed list is to come even though this one seems pretty detailed already!)
  • Pg. 39 is a list of distinguished students for the Annual Examination, dated Monday, September 6, 1880, with scores ranging from an 100 to a .75* at the lowest end
  • Finally, Pg.40 covers what I assume is a two-part programme for the Annual Commencement Exercises, with selected poetry reading (some being Henry Longfellow “The Famine“), music, distribution of awards, and everything one would remember from their own middle school/high school graduation with an old timey style

*.75 is the lowest I could see

(Will add bold and italics to make the list easier to read later on!)

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The Ramonat Seminar: Discovering the Neighborhood 

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I was in charge of mapping pg. 683 of this 1870 census, taken around the Holy Family neighborhood! Susie and Claire covered the other portions of our section.

Here are some stats to start off with:

  • I have a total of 40 residents
  • Of those residents, there are 9 “families” (Strong, Haganin, Teas, Vanever, Washburn, Camfield, Genard, Templease, and Brown), and three “singles” (John, Burchman, and Fay)
  • The Strong family only lists children between the ages of 9-16, with no parents attached to them
  • While most “families” consist of a mother and father plus a few kids, the Teas are a husband and wife (I assume) with a large age gap (53 Husband to Wife’s 37), and the Camfields are both in their 40’s with no children
  • 14 residents were born aboard (In Prussia (present day Germany), the Kingdom of Hanover (present day Germany), England, and Canada)
  • The rest are born in either Illinois or a Midwestern state
  • Those born aboard have marked both parents being born aboard, while Lizzie (3) and Mary (1) Genard are the only native-born American’s with that mark, indicated that their family immigrated shortly before Lizzie’s birth
  • It seems after the age of 16 or so, most children haven’t attended school within the year, do to the fact that high school and beyond hadn’t really caught on in that era
  • All men 21 and older could vote, all residences were literate, and no one suffered from mental or physical disabilities 
  • The age range is even as well as the mix of males to females
  • Finally, out of all the data the class collected, my page was the only one who had a family who was not of total white descent. The Browns had a black father, with the Mother and two children of mixed white and black descent or mulatto, to use the antiquated term

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The Ramonat Seminar: Early Catholic Education in Chicago

“To the Catholic sisterhoods more than any other human agency is due the upbuilding of Chicago’s system of Catholic parochial schools to its present splendid development” (Garraghan, pg. 202).

Above is a digital map and a quote pertaining to the assignment we were given by our Professor over fall break. My group and I were tasked with mapping eleven (11) schools in Chicago, drawing on Gilbert J. Garraghan’s book The Catholic Church In Chicago 1673-1871Susie and Claire covered what I didn’t in my map above. I had a lot of trouble with this assignment I will say!

For example, in the reading Garraghan offered no end dates for the four schools I covered called St. Aloysius School, St. Stanislaus School, Christian Brothers Academy, and St. Ignatius College, the last of which is the precursor to Loyola University Chicago! Another big issue was getting correct directions. West Twelfth Street (where Garraghan says St Ignatius was founded) no longer exists, and has become Roosevelt Road from a quick google search on my part. Others, however, were harder to discern as he states St. Stanislaus was built were Sacred Heart was founded, so I had to back track in the text.

Past my confusion, I did learn a lot about who ran these schools, and how these school came about. These institutions were mostly founded by woman religious (with the help of male church leaders), which is often lost in the narrative itself as it focuses on Catholic priests as the pillars of the faith. Also, it revealed many ways I can imagine the past, past physical text, as these visual representations and anecdotes about what happened back then help me to better understand the subject we’re studying in a more fluid sense. Rather than fixed images, these schools changed with the times, got absorbed, or disappeared altogether. However, they did leave a mark on the thousands of children, teachers, and Catholics it serviced and or was run by.

The Ramonat Seminar #1: Urban Religion and Identity

dto1-wabash-avenue-ymca

When I signed up for the inaugural year of the Ramonat Seminar, here at LUC, I didn’t imagine it would shape up in the ways it has so far. Granted, I’ve only been in class for a week now having attended two sessions. Nevertheless, my mind had created a false image of what this course will (hopefully) offer, and I can’t say I’m not happy about that!

The full title of the course (Ramonat Seminar: Immigrant Catholics and the Making of Nineteenth-Century Chicago) is all at once a mouthful and straightforward. I believed we’d be solely tracking the rise of Catholic immigration (from the Polish, Italians, and so on) in Chicago point blank. However, I’ve been challenged to throw into this equation my definition of what religion means in an urban setting, and how my various identities have impacted my reading of this phenomenon.

Being a young, Protestant, African-American female from the East coast, having grown up in the depths of suburbia, my perceptions on what it means to be an immigrant Catholic in the city is largely jaded and filled with conclusions fed to me from my youth. Despite Loyola being a Jesuit Catholic University by nature, I have little to no connection with that heritage and rather came for the scenery and pockets of diversity I found in a predominantly white institution. I’m very involved on campus, but at heart, I’m an introvert that prefers to cozy up with a good book then a night out.

With all that said, my knowledge of Catholicism is limited to my theology classes, mass media, close friends, and Saint James Saint John elementary school in the distant past. The city of Chicago has been mediated to me through tourist visits, weekends at mass attractions, and the constant stream of violence on the news. How then, with my own biases, am I to understand the people, places and events we will be covering in this class? For that, again, I have to turn to the authors presented to me and draw upon what I’ve been taught and have experienced “Urban Religion” to be in a general Christian sense.

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