Pioneer Spirit

Catherine Spalding, Sister of Charity of Nazareth

Non-Fiction - Biography
320 Pages
Reviewed on 05/21/2011
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lynette Fowlston for Readers' Favorite

Pioneer Spirit-Catherine Spalding, Sisters of Charity of Nazareth by Mary Ellen Doyle, SCN is the biography of Catherine Spalding who at the age of 19 became Mother Superior to a group of women. Born in Maryland in the year of 1793, her parents moved the family south in Kentucky when Catherine was around 4 years old. Upon the death of her mother and subsequent disappearance of her father she was raised by different relatives or families until she was old enough to join the newly founded Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. As Sister Catherine grew wise with the knowledge of teaching and the building up of the schools, it seems she faced death and opposition all around. Just when she would get the school going good, being able to support itself, the Priest would move her to another outlaying area to start over. Seems every time she took two steps forward, she would get sent back three.

This is quite an interesting story once it gets going. I was amazed at what the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth went through trying to build the schools, provide for the children and themselves, even in the dead of winter. With death occurring from consumption and also yellow fever Catherine survived it all and was the head Mother of the sisters for quite some time, along with guiding a multitude of women as they established schools, hospitals and other services needed especially for the children.

I feel one will find this book quite interesting as they learn about the workings of the Catholic Church during the 1800’s and its early leaders. The reader will also be amazed at the hardships and triumphs of Catherin Spalding, and will carry her spirit with them long after they finish this informative book.