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October 31, 2005



Interesting timing - you getting to this right as Manney posts about reading Black Robe over at People of the Book...
Good to see you back on the book beat.


OK, so this book is officially on my Christmas list now.

scotch meg

One for your pile, Amy, if it's not already there -- Elizabeth Marquardt's book on the inner lives of children of divorce. Not an accusing book, and a huge study sample (1500). Very good.

Richard W. Comerford


Thank you for your review of Ghost Empire. It struck quiet a cord in my heart.

Here in Massachusetts and Rhode Island we also have the reamins of the old French Catholic Empire.

In the 19th Century the Yankee industrialists imported thousands of French Canadians to work the water powered mills. They settled in places like Woonsocket R.I. and Lowll MA. Twenty years ago the Boston Globe described them in an article as the second largest ethnice group in New England. However the Globe went on in Massachusetts only one French Canadian had ever been elected to State wide office. The Globe seemed puzzled by this lack of political activity.

I think that the reason for this was that the French Canadians in New England were very poor but very devote and poured their energies into family and parish. French parishes had womb to tomb Catholicism...clinics, schools, credit unions with names line "Holy Rosary" cemetaries adn very strong soladalities like the St. Francis DeSales Association to care for the poor.

When I was a boy most adults spoke French regularly, many could not speak English. On holidays we took buses to visit Quebec. We did not assimulate. On Holy days we regularly marched in procession in the city streets.

I do not think that either the Yankee Mill owners or Irish Bishops knew what to do with us.

All that is gone now...but it is amazing how the faith was kept alive in a hostile land by the sacrafices and bravery of very humble priests and people.

God bless them.

I am sorry for teh long post.

Richard W. Comerford



My mother, a Bergeron, was born in Manchester NH and grew up in Maine. Her experience was yours. Years ago, we visited relations in Sayabec, Quebec, women who had lived in Lewiston Maine for something like 12 years and never once had to speak English..

Richard W. Comerford

Sorry for the typos - darn technology.

Richard W. Comerford


As you know the so-called "Quiet Revolution" hit Quebec during the 1960's and within a generation the faith had collapased in the French speaking Catholic communities in Cannada and New England.

One of my Godson's a fine young man, did not even bother to become confirmed in the faith.

However blogs like yours seem to be a great helpin rallying the faithful.

Thank you for your efforts.

God bless

Richard W. Comerford


Being introduced to Philip Marchand is the intellectual gift of a lifetime for this Franco-American.

Thanks, Amy!

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