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By Casey Chalk, The Catholic Thing, Aug. 30, 2022

Casey Chalk is a contributor for Crisis Magazine, The American Conservative, and New Oxford Review. He has degrees in history and teaching from the University of Virginia and a master’s in theology from Christendom College.


American Catholics made a trade. You may not be aware of it or have personally participated in it. But it’s likely, if you’re a Catholic living in the United States in 2022 reading this, you feel its effects (and benefits). And though it may sound bleak, the trade more-or-less destroyed the American Catholic identity familiar to those living just a couple of generations ago.

That’s perhaps the most salient lesson I derived from Christendom history professor Christopher Shannon’s new book, American Pilgrimage: A Historical Journey Through Catholic Life in a New World. Though Shannon’s history covers much ground beyond just the United States, with long early chapters on Spain and France, the sections on England and the United States teach the most important lesson. …