Revista Católica. A Jesuit weekly publication in New Mexico (1875-1918)
The research project explores the origins of the Revista Católica journal founded in January 1875 by an Italian Jesuit in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The catholic strategy for evangelization in the 19th Century discovered the relevance of the so-called “Apostolate of the Press”, and this encouraged the institution of many Journals around the world. The Society of Jesus played an important role in this process, especially thanks to journals like La Civiltà Cattolica in Italy, Études in France, Stimmen aus Maria Laach in Germany, and The Woodstock Letters in the US.
Revista Católica developed in a multicultural territory, where English and Spanish speakers lived together with one of the largest Indian minorities (the Navajo) of the United States of America. The first four decades of the weekly publication reflected a very conflictual political and religious climate, marked by vehement controversies, especially between the exponents of different Christian confessions, but also within Catholic circles. Written by Neapolitan Jesuits and published in Spanish in one of the States of the Union, Revista Católica spoke to the Catholic minority group of the region and reflected the conflictual atmosphere, taking examples from European and especially German political contexts to highlight the supposed errors of Protestantism. At the same time, numerous articles contributed to the process of standardizing devotional life, promoting an Italian style of piety (devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Marian May, Cult of Saints).
The research aims to study the Revista’s contribution to building a “Transnational Religion” (McKevitt, Brokers of Culture 2012) in Catholic New Mexico during the last quarter of the 19th Century.