What Challenges Did Secretaries of the East St. Louis
National Catholic Community House Face
in their Social Work with Immigrants, 1918-1922?


        Like all early twentieth-century women social workers, the women who ran the National Catholic Community Houses contended with poverty, poor sanitation, and shoestring budgets. Further, as Catholics in a Protestant-dominated country and women in a patriarchal Church, they had to negotiate a complex political and social landscape while doing their work. In the process, they opened up new dimensions of urban social welfare as they sought to prove that they should be taken seriously as American reformers and good Catholic women.


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