The German Catholics of St. Peter's Colony: 1903-1930
The Canadian government, at the turn of the last century, encouraged immigration to Canada. Thousands of German-Catholic immigrants from the United States and Europe responded to the promotion campaign and settled in central Saskatchewan. They formed a religious unit, St. Peter’s Colony, in conjunction with Benedictine monks, many of whom were of German-Catholic origin. The monks and colonists built churches and schools. Some of the schools were privately run church (parochial) schools. Catholic nuns taught in some of the public schools. The majority Anglo-Saxon Protestants looked on with suspicion at Peter’s Colony. There was a fear that the German Catholics were resisting assimilation into the larger Anglo-Canadian culture. The German Catholics were accused of being disloyal when investigations concluded they were using schools to promote their religious faith and German language. The question of loyalty and how it was understood by the German Catholics of St. Peter’s Colony has never been examined. The histories of communities and pioneers of the former colony focus on their particular topics of interest and do not take a comprehensive look at the common values and aspirations shared by the pioneers. This thesis examines the sense of loyalty and citizenship of the colonists by looking at three important aspects of the former colony. The thesis begins by examining the correspondence and decisions of Benedictines. Then the thesis analyzes community histories to determine how communities perceived themselves as belonging to a German-Catholic colony and country of Canada. Next, it reviews histories of the pioneer families to uncover their common values and aspirations. Finally, the thesis concludes that the colonists of St. Peter’s Abbey were loyal citizens who expressed their values through their German-Catholic culture.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
SupervisorWaiser, William (Bill) A.
CommitteeKlaassen, Walter; Deutcsher, Tom; Garcea, Joseph (Joe); Zellar, Gary
Copyright DateAugust 2011
German Catholic: Saskatchewan