Liesbeth Corens deposited Sermons, Sodalities, and Saints: the Role of Religious Houses for the English Expatriate Community in the group Recusantsbaby on Humanities Commons 6 years, 6 months ago
This paper studies the interaction between clerical and lay English Catholics on the Continent in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. In contrast with Protestant exiles, who established separate exile churches, Catholic expatriates did not create churches specifically for the exiled laity. Catholics abroad did nonetheless get support from the religious convents, colleges, and monasteries, where they received some pastoral care, and liturgical nourishment. How this interaction gained particular features in the context of expatriate Catholics is discussed in three cases which are attributed great importance in Counter-Reformation Catholicism: sodalities, preaching, and saint veneration. By presenting a Catholic case of confessional mobility, this essay contributes to scholarship on early modern exiles, which is dominated by work on Protestant migration. It also speaks to the study of the Catholic Reformation, by examining how this was shaped in a situation of mobility. In both cases, and more generally, it nuances the study of institutional and localised confessional lives. The evidence discussed in this article suggests that much of the exiles devotional and liturgical lives, and their sense of belonging, is to be found in informal networks and communal understanding, rather than in focused clear-cut institutions. This has bearing upon the records that have been created and passed on to this day, and their visibility in historical research.