“As all women and girls (In India) live ‘purdah’ (behind the curtain) it is most difficult to obtain an ‘entrée,’ A few—only a few—teachers are admitted, but women physicians are welcomed cordially, since a Hindu or Mohammedan woman would rather die than accept the ministrations of a male doctor. Because of this “tabu” against male physicians, it is estimated, that hundreds of thousands of women and babies die every year in India for want of medical attention.”

– Doctor Caroline O’Connor speaking at the Inauguration of the first Catholic Medical Mission Branch in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This story of selfless service and sacrifice, which appeared in the April 21, 1928 issue of the Philadelphia Catholic Standard & Times, is just one of the many preserved in the nation’s historic Catholic newspapers.

Now the story can be discovered again thanks to an enduring and fruitful partnership between the American Catholic Historical Society (ACHS), Catholic Research Resources Alliance (CRRA), and the Catholic Historical Research Center of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CHRC).

Fourteen more years of Catholic Standard & Times, spanning from 1916 to 1930, have just been added to the Catholic News Archives, a free online resource that provides access to 20 historic Catholic newspapers and news agencies from across the country from as early as the 1830s.  All material is fully searchable by date and keyword.

  • Access to these newly digitized issues allows individuals to learn about many important issues,  including:
  • Catholic involvement in World War I and responses to the 1919 influenza epidemic
  • Catholic institutional development during a period of immense brick-and-mortar growth
  • Catholic reactions to women’s suffrage, prohibition, and other political issues of the period
  • Catholic responses to renewed Nativism and anti-immigrant sentiment
  • Catholic community life and social engagement among diverse communities

This most recent grant from the American Catholic Historical Society builds on an earlier donation that supported the digitization of the Catholic Standard & Times from 1944 to 1963.

The Catholic Standard & Times, the official newspaper of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was published between 1895 and 2012.

Individuals can view material from The Catholic Standard & Times and nineteen other Catholic newspapers and news sources by visiting The Catholic News Archive.