National Catholic War Council
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During World War I, 68 dioceses along with some national Catholic organizations formed the National Catholic War Council. The organization had two primary purposes. First, it was an opportunity for the Catholic hierarchy to show their patriotism by supporting the American troops and boosting national morale. And second, it functioned as an attempt for Catholics to be united on a national level and insert themselves into national social concerns. American Catholic hierarchy had struggled in the late 19th century to achieve unity on a national level, so the National Catholic War Council was a major step toward establishing a national organization. John Burke, priest and editor of the Catholic World, headed the council.

The organization's success led to the National Catholic Welfare Council in 1919, which promoted Catholic interests and solutions with regard to broader social concerns.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Catholic Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Catholic Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Catholicism (Western Liturgical Family): Other ARDA Links


American hierarchy meeting which organized the National Catholic War Council- Hathi Trust- from They Shall Live Again by Marguerite T. Boylan

John J Burke portrait- Library of Congress, LC-DIG-hec-33757

Handbook of the National War Council, title page- Internet Archive

National Catholic War Council WWI poster- Library of Congress, LC-USZC4-7868

National Catholic War Council, overseas war workers unit- Hathi Trust- from They Shall Live Again by Marguerite T. Boylan
Book/Journal Source(s)
Dolan, Jay P., 1985. The American Catholic Experience: A History from Colonial Times to the Present. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
Gaustad, Edwin S. and Leigh Schmidt, 2004. The Religious History of America: The Heart of the American Story from Colonial Times to Today. San Francisco: Harper San Francisco.
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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