Category Archives: Women’s History

#282 – Wangari Maathai – “the Tree Woman”

Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, saw in the teachings of her Catholic faith first a message to change her heart and then to change her country – and it all began with the planting of a single tree.

Links:
Website for The Green Belt Movement begun by Maathai
PBS profile on Maathai
Audio interview with Maathai
Information about Maathai and her connection to Mount St. Scholastica
Maathai’s Nobel lecture
Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai – a documentary film

Sources:
Maathai, Wangari, and Green Belt Movement. The Green Belt Movement: Sharing the Approach and the Experience. New York: Lantern Books, 2004.
Maathai, Wangari. Replenishing the Earth: Spiritual Values for Healing Ourselves and the World. New York: Doubleday, 2010.
Maathai, Wangari. Unbowed: A Memoir. New York: Anchor Books, 2007.

Image from Agência Brasil

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podcasticon#282 – Wangari Maathai – “The Tree Woman”

#268 – Las Brigadas Femeninas

Las Brigadas Femeninas de Santa Juana de Arco were instrumental in the successes of the Cristeros in their war against the government of Mexico. These women faced arrest, imprisonment, and even the opposition from some within the Catholic Church as they struggled for religious freedom.

Links:
Article on the Cristeros
Wikipedia has a brief article on Las Brigadas in English

Sources:
Miller, Sr. Barbara. “The Role of Women in the Mexican Cristero Rebellion: Las Señoras y Las Religiosas”. The Americas. 40, no. 3. 303-323.
Miller, Sr. Barbara. “Women and Revolution: The Brigadas Femeninas and the Mexican Cristero Rebellion, 1926-1929.” In Women and Politics in Twentieth Century Latin America. Williamsburg: College of William and Mary, 1981. 57-66.
Salas, Elizabeth. Soldaderas in the Mexican Military: Myth and History. University of Texas, 1990.

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podcasticon#268 – Las Brigadas Femeninas

#263 – Lift As You Climb

As we begin National Black Catholic History Month in the United States, we look at the life and work of Lena Frances Edwards. A recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Edwards spent her life in defense of those most in need.

Links:
Articles on Black Catholic History Month can be found here, here, here and here
Important dates in Black Catholic History
Important Black Catholics in history

Ebony article about Lena Edwards on the mission in Texas
A brief biography of Lena Frances Edwards can be found here

Sources:
Davis, OSB, Cyprian. The History of Black Catholics in the United States. New York: Crossroad, 1995.
Interview with Lena Edwards, M.D. Cambridge, MA: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College, 1980.
Scally, Mary Anthony. Medicine, motherhood, and mercy: the story of a Black woman doctor. Washington, D.C.: Associated Publishers, 1979.

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podcasticon#263 – Lift As You Climb

#262 – The Evil of Loudun

In early 17th century France, a convent of Ursuline sisters will begin to exhibit the signs of demonic possession. The resulting investigation will reveal the evil that lies in human hearts.

Links:
On the possessions at Loudun

Image – The death of Father Urbain Grandier

Sources:

Michel de Certeau, The Possession At Loudun, Chicago: The University of Chicago, 2000.
Richard Henry Popkin, The history of scepticism: from Savonarola to Bayle, New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
Robert Rapley, A case of witchcraft: the trial of Urbain Grandier, Manchester: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1998.

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podcasticon#262 – The Evil of Loudun

#246 – The Bride of Christ

Saint Kassia, rejected by Emperor Theophilos, but proclaimed by the Eastern Church was one of the most important hymnographers in medieval Christianity. Her writings and work attracted the attention of the people of God of her time and continue to inspire Christians today.

Links:
The Hymn of Kassia/Kassiani sung by the choir of Saint Mary Orthodox Church
Other examples of the writings and hymns of Saint Kassia
VocaMe has produced a CD with the hymns of Saint Kassa in the original Greek and samples of her hymns can be found here

Later image of Theophilos choosing his bride.

Be sure to check out the CUTH blog for more on the history of the Catholic Church

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podcasticon#246 – The Bride of Christ

#242 – The Tarasque

A long time ago, the Tarasque was a terrible monster terrorizing the people of Nerluc. Today, the Tarasque is a popular figure for the people of Southern France and Northern Spain along with being friend to all children.

Links:
Video of the Tarasque festival [in French]

Photo of La Tarasca by Chosovi

The Tarasque and the Tarascaires

Post card with a child dressed as St. Martha leading the Tarasque

Be sure to check out the CUTH blog for more on the history of the Catholic Church

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podcasticon#242 – The Tarasque

#238 – Dancing Mania

Throughout the Middle Ages, Catholics saw friends and neighbors afflicted with what they believed was the irresistible desire to dance. The cure for this strange ailment, they believed, was to be found in the intercession of the saints…and more dancing.

Links:

An article on the Dancing Plague from the Discovery Channel

“Rethinking the Dancing Mania” by Robert E. Bartholomew in Skeptical Inquirer Volume 24.4, July / August 2000 – the author explains the dancing mania as an expression of prohibited heretical/pagan beliefs

“A forgotten plague: making sense of dancing mania” by John Waller in The Lancet, Volume 373, Issue 9664, Pages 624 – 625, 21 February 2009 – the author finds an explanation for dancing mania in mass psychosis – for a fuller treatment see his The Dancing Plague. The Strange, True story of an Extraordinary Illness.

“The Dancing Plague: a public health conundrum” by LJ Donaldson, J Cavanagh, and J Rankin in Public Health 1997 Issue 4, p201-204 – the authors suggest a variety of causes for the dancing mania

The painting is The Pilgrimage of the Epileptics to the Church at Molenbeeck: Three groups of Epileptics going to the left by Pieter Breughel the Elder

SQPN’s Catholic New Media Celebration

Be sure to check out the CUTH blog for more on the history of the Catholic Church

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podcasticon#238 – Dancing Mania

#226 – Where Peace Reigns

Maria Gaetana Agnesi was one of the brightest mathematicians of the 18th century who just as she had been given a position at the Bologna Academy of Sciences gave it all up to serve the poor. Also in this episode a few words on Kyriopascha and Palmbuschen.

Links:
Massimo Mazzotti has written a recent book on Maria Agnesi called “The World of Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Mathematician of God”
Here’s a good website with information about Maria Agnesi
Here’s a good website explaining “The Witch of Agnesi”

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podcasticon#226 – Where Peace Reigns

#209 – The Orphan Train

babytrainitunes

For decades thousands of Catholic children from New York traveled across the country on the Orphan, Mercy, and Baby Trains. Their stories show us the hope of the American experience, but also the darkness of the past.

Links:
Books
The Orphan Trains: Placing Out In America by Marilyn Irvin Holt
The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction by Linda Gordon

Websites
The Mercy Train in Nebraska
The Story of Sarah Hunt

The Orphan Train performed by Uncle Earl at the Live Music Archive

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To listen, just click on the link below:

podcasticon#209 – The Orphan Train

#208 – Good Samaritan

dengelitunes

Bishop Dougherty of Philadelphia called Mother Anna Dengel a Canon Law buster. But Mother Theresa of Calcutta would say that Mother Dengel’s influence went far beyond Canon Law.

Links:
Medical Mission Sisters

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To listen, just click on the link below:

podcasticon#208 – Good Samaritan

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