Project Description

Margaret Susan Thompson (USA) is an historian at Syracuse University (USA). Her AB is from Smith College, and her PhD is from the University of Wisconsin. Most of her recent work has been on the history of American Catholic sisters, on which she has published extensively, including an 18-lecture series available from NowYouKnowMedia. She is an Associate member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Monroe, Michigan (USA).

Extract from Margaret Susan Thompson, “I Came for the Sisters – and Stayed for the Sisterhood” in Visions and Vocations:

It was through my research focus that I came to know the women who would change my actual and not just my academic life:  including the sisters who helped guide my way to and through the worlds of both religious life and the Catholic Church. Some were archivists, many of them the first in their communities to attempt to organize their records for scholars like me. Some were the women, living and dead, who populated the congregations that I came to know through the records they left of their lives and that I came to know as well as the people around me. Not surprisingly, as a historian, the “communion of saints” was one of the easiest Catholic concepts for me to grasp and to embrace. Others were members of organizations of post-Vatican II sisters who sent me boxes of information about religious life in the modern world, and who helped me negotiate lingo and lifestyles that were at once foreign and oddly fascinating to me.