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History General

Disciples of Antigonish

Catholics in Nova Scotia, 1880-1960

by (author) Peter Ludlow

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2022
General, History, Catholic
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2022
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2022

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For generations eastern Nova Scotia was one of the most celebrated Roman Catholic constituencies in Canada. Occupying a corner of a small province in a politically marginalized region of the country, the Diocese of Antigonish nevertheless had tremendous influence over the development of Canadian Catholicism. It produced the first Roman Catholic prime minister of Canada, supplied the nation with clergy and women- religious, and organized one of North America’s most successful social movements.

Disciples of Antigonish recounts the history of this unique multi-ethnic community as it shifted from the firm ultramontanism of the nineteenth century to a more socially conscious Catholicism after the First World War. Peter Ludlow chronicles the faithful as they built a strong Catholic sub-state, dealing with economic uncertainty, generational outmigration, and labour unrest. As the home of the Antigonish Movement – a network of adult study clubs, cooperatives, and credit unions – the diocese became famous throughout the Catholic world.

The influence of “mighty big and strong Antigonish,” as one national figure described the community, reached its zenith in the 1950s. Disciples of Antigonish traces the monumental changes that occurred within the region and the wider church over nearly a century and demonstrates that the Catholic faith in Canada went well beyond Sunday Mass.

About the author

Peter Ludlow is an adjunct professor of Catholic Studies at St Francis Xavier University, and the President-General of the Canadian Catholic Historical Association.

Peter Ludlow's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Ludlow’s encyclopaedic grasp of the history of Roman Catholicism in eastern Nova Scotia and his sensitivity to its various themes is remarkable. This work, a compelling, readable, and thoughtful narrative, combined with his other contributions, marks him as an important authority in the history of Maritime Catholicism.” Peter Meehan, St Jerome’s University, University of Waterloo

Other titles by Peter Ludlow