Archbishop John Ireland's Faribault Plan and Stillwater Experiment and their implications for church/state relations

Richard Clayton Peters, Marquette University

Abstract

This study investigated the historical development of the Faribault Plan and the Stillwater Experiment in the Archdiocese of St. Paul, Minnesota, in the 1890s and explored the relationship between the educational ideals of Archbishop John Ireland and the contemporary discussion of church/state relations. The study chronicled the historical attempt to join parochial and public schooling in Stillwater and Faribault in the 1890s and highlighted parochial/public school interactions there since that time in an attempt to provide some insight into the ongoing debate involving U.S. church/state relations. This study's method was one of qualitative, historical research. This descriptive method seeks a comprehensive understanding of the historical materials that are studied inductively to analyze the data. Archival documents, the original primary source historical data, were examined critically in order to increase the probability of making accurate generalizations and applications. Secondary sources were also examined critically. The results of this study of the Faribault Plan and Stillwater Experiment reveal a brief time in the 1890s when the local public school systems took over the business, curriculum and facilities management of the local Catholic schools (Immaculate Conception in Faribault and St. Michael's in Stillwater). In the current discussion regarding the level of accommodation that is legal and appropriate for a public school district to allow in its interaction with parochial schools, precedents like the Faribault Plan and the Stillwater Experiment should be discussed and debated. The study concludes that the current debate on school choice would benefit from the investigation of these and other such historical accommodations between parochial schools and their local public school districts.

Recommended Citation

Peters, Richard Clayton, "Archbishop John Ireland's Faribault Plan and Stillwater Experiment and their implications for church/state relations" (2000). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9977739.
https://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations/AAI9977739

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