Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Rhoads, John K.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Sociology


School Sisters of St. Francis (Milwaukee; Wis.); Monasticism and religious orders


Between 1966 and 1969 the School Sisters of Saint Francis underwent rapid and widespread social change. In that three-year period they moved from a position of conservatism, centralization, and conformity to authority to a congregation accused by Rome of having foresaken the traditional values of religious life for the whims of individualism, personalism, and a false cult of freedom. What happened to this religious order between those two points in time? And why did it happen? This thesis attempts to answer those questions. Part of the answer lies in the Order’s emphasis on education and obedience to the Church that made it vulnerable to outside sources of change. Part of the answer lies in the changing beliefs which undergird the entire social system. And finally, part of the answer lies in the impact the changing beliefs had on the definition of roles in the system and on the means by which the system met its functional imperatives.


Includes bibliographical references.


130 pages




Northern Illinois University

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