Seeds of Struggle/Harvest of Faith: The Papers of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe Catholic Cuarto Centennial Conference on the History of the Catholic Church in New Mexico

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Seeds of Struggle/Harvest of Faith: The Papers of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe Catholic Cuarto Centennial Conference on the History of the Catholic Church in New Mexico. Edited by Thomas J. Steele, SJ., Paul Rhetts, and Barbe Await. (Albuquerque: LPD Press. 1998. Pp. xx, 436. $49.95 clothbound; $27.95 paperback.)

A decade before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, eight Franciscan missionaries and other Spanish subjects in Juan de Onate's expedition established the permanent foundation of New Mexican Catholicism. This book's twenty-- three essays span the four centuries of Catholic life that began with Onate's 1598 entrada into New Mexico. The professional and local historians who collaborated on the volume presented their papers at the Cuarto Centennial Conference on the History of the Catholic Church in New Mexico held in September, 1997, at Santa Fe. Roughly one-third of the papers treat subject matter from the colonial period; another third examine developments in the hundred years following the mid-nineteenth-century takeover of New Mexico by the United States. Of the remaining essays, three explore the evolution of Catholicism in a locale from colonial times to the present, while two others deal specifically with the period of the Mexican Republic (1821-1848). The range of topics encompasses aspects of the missionary enterprise, the New Mexican apostolic work of the Franciscans and subsequently the Jesuits, the establishment and development of the diocesan church, the pioneering role of Catholic women in the region, the Penitentes, and the evolution of devotions like those to St. Michael, Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, and "La Conquistadora." Thomas Steele, S.J., merits acclaim as the primary editor who helped turn the various papers into a polished collection of essays.

Several essays offer new evidence and particularly insightful analysis on various elements of New Mexican Catholic history. …