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Introducing... Chicago Catholic Immigrants: The Italians

Chicago Catholic Immigrants

When immigrants came to Chicago a century ago, they were literally strangers in a strange land. Most had never been to the United States, few had a formal education, and even fewer spoke English.

But they had one thing that brought them together and helped them assimilate into their new country: the Catholic Church.

On November 8–9, Loyola will host the first in a series of conferences that focuses on the role that Roman Catholicism played in the lives of immigrants who came to Chicago in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Professors from several departments at the University—plus artists, writers, and scholars from around the world—will explore how the Church helped these waves of immigrants become part of a new nation, but at the same time allowed them to keep their ethnic identities. Everyday people also will discuss their own experiences in Chicago.

The first conference is called “Chicago Catholic Immigrants: The Italians,” and it is free and open to the public. It will be held at the Information Commons at Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. Attendees are asked to register before Nov. 1.

Future conferences will study the Polish, Mexican, Lithuanian, Vietnamese, and African immigrant communities.