Words of Praise about the Book


coverVirginia Rodee, RSCJ
Member of the Society of the Sacred Heart

Thank you for your great book on the history of Barat College. It is fascinating. Your research is wonderful and is such a contribution to the Society’s history.


Ellen Skerrett
Chicago historian and author, among other works, of Born in Chicago: A History of Chicago's Jesuit University (Loyola Press, 2008)

The closing of Barat College in 2005 was a tragic ending to an educational enterprise that began in Chicago in 1858 when the Society of the Sacred Heart opened a “select school” downtown. In a lively narrative illustrated with rare photos, Martha Curry, RSCJ, traces the remarkable history of this small women’s college in Lake Forest, Illinois. It will come as a surprise to many alumnae and Chicagoans that in the 1960s the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame expressed interest in having Barat move to their campus in order to have closer cooperation between Barat and these universities. With undeniable affection for her alma mater, Dr. Curry nevertheless provides a clear look at the decisions facing the Religious of the Sacred Heart as they sought to maintain the legacy and spirit of the college’s namesake, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat


Deirdre Daly O’Neal
Barat alumna, Class of ’71

It is truly wonderful seeing the results of all of your hard work of several years come to fruition with “the book” now bound and available for purchase. It is a very thoroughly researched and very well-written piece of Chicago-area history. You should feel very proud at having completed this major accomplishment which will be appreciated by Chicago-area & Catholic historians for decades to come. And of course, all those who attended, taught or worked at Barat also thank you for preserving (and explaining) the “Barat experience”.


Bernice Gallagher
Barat alumna, Class of’66, Professor Emerita, Lake Forest College

I am so pleased that your book is gaining recognition--what a mighty task, one that I always knew you'd complete with style and grace and excellent scholarship. I also know Sophie Barat is smiling down on you.


Dorothy Mulroy King
Barat Alumna, Class of ‘56

I‘ve been thinking of you often as I read (and savor) your beautiful book Barat College. It brings back so many wonderful memories, and I love learning more about the history of the college and of the outstanding women who were in charge. It is beautifully written, Martha, as only you could do.


Rita Cassidy Wiggins
Barat alumna, Class of ’48

What a story. You have presented such a rich, dramatic history of a place that I feel I am just now discovering. Where was I all those years? Living another life of course, and it is not unusual, but I feel so blessed that you have laid out this very particular world that I can now enter. There must be a vast throng who feel just as I do. You have done a masterful job and I thank you, thank you.

My Barat was not the one it grew into but there was that core of personal interest in each of us that permeated my time as it did each era.


Paul Hettich
former Faculty Member and Chair of the Psychology Department at Barat

My week cannot end without thanking and congratulating you again on the wonderful history you wrote of Barat College. Clearly this undertaking would be a daunting task for anyone who attempted it, and you responded to the challenge superbly and energetically. It is a beautiful publication (cover, typeface, paper, photos) and at an incredibly low price. As I page through the chapters it is clear that your narratives are but the tip of an iceberg of hundreds of hours of research, innumerable contacts, writing, editing, checking and rechecking information (I recall our conversations/emails), proofing, etc, and most of all, creating meaning objectively from numerous events.


Sister Maxine Bartlett
in her Blog Post on Catholic Sisters and Nuns

I’m about halfway through the newly released book Barat College: a Legacy, a Spirit, and a Name (Loyola Press, 2012). I’m loving it! It’s part of the larger history of how women religious in the United States played a huge role in the education of women in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The book traces the history of Barat College, begun in 1858 by the Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ) in Chicago. The school got its name from the founder of the RSCJs, Madeline Sophie Barat. The book is a story-telling, describing the ups and downs of the college and its ties with leading religious, economic, and political figures in Chicago.

There are some great photos in the book, too. My fav is the one shown here: three Barat College students wearing “Kennedy” banners and literally kicking up their heels in delight at the 1960 election of John F. Kennedy. BTW, the woman on the left is the sister of one of Barat College’s most famous students, former Chicago mayor Jane Byrne.

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