Recreated Life as We know it! This also sounds like a question in a book....are you in school? Well, in short IntroductionAlthough Roman Catholics were not the first Europeans to set foot in what would be the American colonies, it was not long before they made their presence felt on the other side of the Atlantic. Since their first arrival in 1513 in what became Florida, Roman Catholicism has become the largest Christian tradition in the United States with 25.6 million members. During its history in America, the pendulum of influence in the Church’s governance has swung from active lay participation to strict control by the clergy, and back again. Although hindered in its growth by its connection with the more traditional European church and the pope, the American church continues its allegiance to, and guidance from the see in Rome.Arrival in AmericaThe first Roman Catholics to enter the American colonies settled in Maryland in 1634. They were led by its first American bishop, John Carroll, who hailed from a prominent Maryland family. Realizing the negative effects of a state-controlled church, Carroll endorsed the separation of church and state. He believed in a more private and personal piety than public, clerically led, devotional services. The church also exemplified an uncommon level of religious toleration in the face of the Puritans' extremely restrictive beliefs, but Catholics comprised less than one percent of the population during the American Revolution. When the laity manifested a reluctance or refusal to participate in the operations of the church and their own private worship, Carroll later stressed leadership from the clergy, American bishops and the bishops in Rome. French missionary efforts that penetrated northern tier regions clear to Oregon, and the Spanish discovery and colonization of the Americas, especially regions that would become southwestern states, left a deep Catholic imprint on the future country. For instance, near the Pacific Coast, Franciscan monk Junipero Serra established a system of missions beginning with San Diego, California, in 1769. He induced Native Americans to abandon their traditional lifeways and convert to Roman Catholicism. His agenda also included expanding Spanish landholdings. Lay and clergy membersThe Catholic Church, the most hierarchical of all Christian traditions, maintains a complex system of clergy and laity. Deacons, priests, and bishops comprise the ordained clergy, who are members of the diaconate, the presbyterate, and the episcopate. Among the hierarchy of bishops, there are metropolitans, archbishops, patriarchs, and the pope, who is the bishop of Rome. Cardinals are nearly always bishops, but that was not always the case. Some cardinals in the past were nonordained prelates. Unless they originally received Holy Orders to the diaconate, they were not part of the clergy and could not administer the sacraments of the church. Among those typically nonordained and considered to be part of the laity are nuns, friars, and religious brothers and sisters. As part of the reforms handed down by the Second Vatican Council (1963 to 1965), the laity have since taken a more active role in church activities and worship services (Mass). Before being ordained a priest, canon law currently requires an education of two years of scholastic philosophy and four years of theology. Dogmatic and moral theology, the Holy Scriptures, and canon law must be studied at a seminary. As more stringent adherence to Catholic doctrine began to be required, the once-sanctioned, peculiar practices within monasteries and convents became limited. In contrast to others in the liturgical family, Catholic clergy are not allowed to marry.¹Practices and ritualsAs a part of the liturgical family of churches that adheres to a set form of ritualistic worship practices, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates seven sacraments throughout their members’ lives, whereas more recent Christian denominations usually celebrate only two. From the beginning of an adherent’s life with Baptism, through the end with the Last Rites, the church recognizes other such significant landmarks of an adherent’s life with Confirmation, marriage rites, and ordination through Holy Orders for those who are so called. By weekly and even daily distribution of the Eucharist (Communion), Catholics maintain a strong moral universe. In addition, the church includes an opportunity for its adherents to be absolved of their sins, through the Sacrament of Confession.Following the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Catholic Church became a stabilizing influence during the Medieval Period. As such, it incorporated a variety of members from all over Europe who held beliefs unlike those within the Church. Monasteries and convents were established to serve their specific needs or practices. In an effort to include all Europeans in the Roman Catholic Church, it also made allowances for, rather than excommunicate, those who transgressed canon law. However, at the Vatican Council of 1869 through 1870, the pope was given primary authority over every Catholic diocese. Also, the church became less tolerant of adherents with specialized needs and practices. Many left the church or were excommunicated, owing to those differences and transgressions.Clergy tighten the reins in the 1800sUnlike the European Roman Catholic tradition, American laypeople were encouraged to participate in the services in the American church. However, as the church evolved through the 1800s, power and authority were directed back to its hierarchy. Accustomed to the leadership role the clergy played in the European Church, immigrants did not involve themselves in its operation. They handed over to the local priest many of their opportunities to help guide the church. Also, according to U.S. Laws, a bishop could consider himself a “corporation sole;” therefore, church property was often listed in the bishop's own name. Church of the immigrantsWith increased immigration during the middle of the 19th century, the church in America became the “Church of the Immigrants,” whose members clung to the traditions of their ancestry even though they were strongly encouraged to change. Rather than rushing to be Americanized, Catholics instead established their own schools — especially after states passed laws requiring all children to attend. Values and customs they deemed necessary for rearing their children were taught and reinforced in those schools. As part of their value on cultural and social collectivism, they also established such church organizations as the Rosary Society, Confraternity of the Sacred Heart, Knights of Columbus, that publicly expressed an earnest devotion to one’s faith. By the end of the 19th century, many adherents spent their entire lives centered around the church because it provided for their “spiritual, recreational, educational and charitable interests.”Having little contact with Roman Catholicism, except in Maryland and Louisiana, most African-American churches were overwhelmingly Protestant. Some blacks, however, did become Catholic, but because of discrimination, they maintained such segregationist practices as the two separate communities of black nuns: The Oblate Sisters of Providence in 1829 and the Holy Family Sisters in 1842. The first black American priest, James Augustine Healy, was ordained in 1854.As parish priests assumed a more dominant role in the church, they were expected to be the “cult leader, confessor, teacher, counselor, social director, administrator, recreation director, social worker,” and other roles. By the mid-19th century, lay participation was frowned upon and even condemned for resisting the hierarchical structure of the church. Because of their preoccupation with Catholic culture and their willingness to accept and defer to priestly authority, adherents did not participate in local politics. Out of a fear of inciting anti-Catholic sentiment² from some of their Protestant neighbors, parishes took on the role of protector. The only difficulties in yielding to ecclesial authority occurred at ethnic parishes where the priest was not of the same ethnic group as his parishioners. Toward the end of the 19th century, when many Protestants enthusiastically embraced such social reforms as the Temperance movement and improvements in the labor conditions of those in industrial jobs, Catholics chose to remain uncommitted. It was the rare priest or bishop who encouraged union organization or supported labor reforms. The church did, however, provide for the working poor among their communicants.Modernization during the 1900sBy the middle of the 20th century, the typical Catholic no longer saw him- or herself as an immigrant in a hostile country. Even as immigration from Latin America and the Caribbean increased, most American Catholics had no memory of the Mother Country or the immigrant outlook. The fear of anti-Catholic backlash no longer kept them from becoming involved in politics or social activism. Having elevated their status in society through good education, occupational success and the accumulation of wealth, Catholics began to wield power in politics and society. Traditionally conservative socially, they set their own reform agenda.With the election of Catholic John F. Kennedy to the White House, Catholics felt more confident politically. Churches no longer felt the need to shelter their adherents from a society that would discriminate against them. Support of their social and political platform was given to them by Pope John XXIII and the reforms brought about by the Second Vatican Council. The pendulum of laity participation in the operation of their parishes swung in the other direction. Forming church councils, the laity participated in molding policy for the American church.----this should be enough to answer your test question.