Date of Award

Fall 1964

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Ross, Donald K.

Second Advisor

Helbert, Clifford

Third Advisor

McDonald, Donald J.

Abstract

The answer to the question of how much influence is exerted by the printed word on a vocation to the religious life falls into the category of probability, basically since the religious vocation is a unique experience between God and a human being, and as such, cannot be measured by tangible means. On the other hand, as known from the lives of the Saints, particularly Francis of Assisi and Augustine, there is no arguing that the printed word has tremendous powers in influencing one's life. This paper makes an attempt to study the house publications of two religious communities of women as part of the public relations programs employed, with a view of the effect on vocations to the Sisterhood made by the magazine published in each. The School Sisters of Notre Dame of the Mequon, Wisconsin, province and the Society of the Medical Mission Sisters and their respective publications, The School Sister and The Medical Missionary, became the subject of study in this work. The choice, especially in the preliminary stages of the thesis writing, seemed a challenging one because the two Communities differ so much in regard to origin and foundation, specific apostolic work, membership, and publication. As research of materials progressed and the thesis began to assume form, it became apparent to the writer that the selection of , the two communities as case studies was a most fortunate beginning for this work. Personal interviews with the directors were considered impossible because of the geographical distances and the writer ' s own responsibilities as a high school teacher; consequently, there arose communication by mail and telephone . To the initial questionnaire sent by the writer both Communities responded generously and sincerely; both forwarded all the literature available to aid the 'writer's purpose; both encouraged further inquiries.

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