Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

An Italian American Community of Faith: Holy Rosary in Washington, D.C., 1913-2003

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

An Italian American Community of Faith: Holy Rosary in Washington, D.C., 1913-2003

Article excerpt

An Italian American Community of Faith: Holy Rosary in Washington, D.C., 1913-2003. By Mary Elizabeth Brown. (New York: Center for Migration Studies. 2004. Pp. xi, 370. Paperback.)

Mary Elizabeth Brown, professor of American history in Pace University and Marymount Manhattan College, has added one more title to her already impressive list of works on Italian American Catholics. In this instance her work concerns the rather unique Italian parish of the nation's capital. Until at least the 1940's, Washington remained a very Southern town and with its lack of industry it was not a very promising destination for immigrants. As a consequence, until the 1970's, there were only two ethnic or "language" parishes in the city, St. Mary, Mother of God, established in the 1850's for German-speaking Catholics, and Holy Rosary, which was founded in 1913. After providing a brief account of the Italian presence in Washington during the nineteenth century, Brown lays out the history of Holy Rosary in thirteen concise chapters. She points out that given the comparatively small size of the Italian community in Washington, Italians here were united across traditional provincial lines. Also, since Washington was not a point of entry to the United States, the Italian immigrants who arrived here had to have the additional wherewithal to do so, and they usually had connections in the city. …

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