'Peace and Good' in America: A History of Holy Name Province, Order of Friars Minor, 1850s to the Present

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'Peace and Good' in America: A History of Holy Name Province, Order of Friars Minor, 1850s to the Present. By Joseph M. White. (New York: Holy Name Province. 2004. Published in Association with the Academy of American Franciscan History. Pp. xviii, 522. $45.00.)

Joseph M. White, known for his work on the American diocesan seminaries and on the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, has written a history of the Holy Name Province of the Order of Friars Minor. Commissioned for this project by leaders of the province, he made extensive use of archives in Rome and in the United States. The book maps the origins of the province in nineteenth-century America: Sardinians, who came to western New York in 1855 at the invitation of Bishop John Timon of Buffalo and founded, among other works, St. Bonaventure CoEege [now University]; and Thuringians displaced by the Kulturkampf-who came to America in 1875 and assumed pastoral work in the Newark Diocese. In 1901, the leadership of the order organized a new province in America, combining the Germans with a smaller number of English-speaking members who were predominantly Irish in background, under the patronage of the Holy Name of Jesus. In the division of properties and missions, the new province received St. Bonaventure College, together with parishes and friaries in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

White characterizes his endeavor as an attempt to write a history of Franciscans "in the context of dramatic changes in both society and the Church.... It is a story of constant responses to ever-changing situations" (p. viii). Because of his familiarity with broader historical themes, White is able to characterize the friars' impact on the life of the Church. Although this book was published internally by the Franciscans, bypassing the usual process of scholarly critique, the author acknowledges the assistance of Christopher Kauffman and others in preparing the text.

The book is divided into four parts, plus an epilogue. Part I covers the diverse origins of the men who were to form the new province and concludes with its establishment. …