Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Uncommon Women, Unmarked Trails: The Courageous Journey of Catholic Missionary Sisters in Frontier Montana

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Uncommon Women, Unmarked Trails: The Courageous Journey of Catholic Missionary Sisters in Frontier Montana

Article excerpt

Schreins, Suzanne H. Uncommon Women, Unmarked Trails: The Courageous Journey of Catholic Missionary Sisters in Frontier Montana. (Norman, Oklahoma: Horse Creek Publications. 2003. Pp. viii, 118. $15.95 paperback.)

In her introduction to Uncommon Women, Unmarked Trails, Suzanne Schrems rightly asserts that stories of Jesuit priests dominate the history of Northwestern missions and that the critical role of Catholic sisters has been minimized historically or overlooked altogether. Schrems seeks to remedy this lacuna in the literature by focusing on two orders of women religious, the Sisters of Providence and the Ursulines, and their significant contributions to education and healthcare in frontier Montana. Uncommon Women details the financial and cultural struggles that these sisters faced as they worked toward their common goals of teaching Native American children and caring for Montana's sick and needy. Schrems's account of the sisters and their work at the missions offers an intriguing insight into the daily lives of these pioneering women. She thoughtfully describes the arduous process by which the sisters established viable religious communities in an environment fraught with unexpected dangers and, often, resistance from the very Native American populations that the women sought to serve. …

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