SHELBY, N.C. — The day after a newspaper in the small town of Shelby, N.C., reported that the Te Deum Foundation had acquired nearby land for a new Catholic seminary and monastery, a group of nuns in habits stopped at a local service station.
Fifty years ago — 10 years ago and, to some extent, even today — many Southerners regarded Catholics as unsaved and Catholicism as a non-Christian mystery religion.
But that day, everyone at the station greeted and welcomed the sisters. One woman even asked the nuns to pray for her injured nephew.
This acceptance marks a sea change in the Southern Baptist and evangelical Protestant-dominated South, where Catholics make up less than 10% of the...READ MORE