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Marie Augusta Neal Papers

Identifier: NEA

Scope and Content

This collection consists of the data, findings, and correspondence related to three studies which Neal conducted: the South African Catholic Education Study, the Jesuit Self-Study for the California and Oregon Provinces, and the Notre Dame International Survey. (A report on the Jesuit Study can be found in Volume III, Chapter 9, of the General Survey of the Society of Jesus, North American Assistancy, edited by Bruce F. Biever, SJ and Thomas M. Gannon, SJ, 1969, National Office of Pastoral Research.)


  • Creation: 1967-1973



The following box/folders are closed because they contain data for identifiable religious congregations. Permission from the congregation in question is necessary for researchers to view survey results from any specific congregation.

CNEA 5 last 6 folders - 1966 Congregational Survey responses

CNEA 6-11 - 1966 Congregational Survey responses

CNEA 14 "Individual Order Analysis-Program A" (2 folders)

CNEA 15 "Crosstabs on 14 Orders-Cons/Med/Lib"; "Experimentation Questionnaire - June 1969"; "Experimentation Questionnaire - May 1970"; "Part II Data Graphs"; "Experimenting/Non-Exp. Orders-Further Analysis"; "Experimenting Orders-Choice of Works".

CNEA 16 - 1967 Sisters Survey Graphs

CNEA 17 "Sisters Survey Retest" (2 folders)

CNEA 19 Reports to Congregations, Contemp. Survey (8 folders)

CNEA 34 "The 20 Data"

CNEA 34 "Operating File SS '80"

CNEA 34 "Enterprise '80"

CNEA 34 "Graphs by Cong. '80"

CNEA 35 "Graphs by Cong. '80 [cont.]"

CNEA 35 "Graphs by Graphs '80" (2 folders)

CNEA 35 "Graphs by Province" (3 folders)

CNEA 35-36 Reports to Orders

CNEA 37-39 - 1982 Congregrational Survey Responses

CNEA 39-40 - Sisters Survey 1989 Corresp and Reports to Orders

CNEA 40/16 - "Notre Dame International Survey"

CNEA 41/10 - "Lists"

CNEA 41/58 - "Religious Order Reports"

CNEA 49-113 - Computer Printouts


Papers of Sister Marie Augusta Neal, SND de Namur, a sociologist on faculty at Emmanuel College in Boston, Massachusetts. She received a B.A. from Emmanuel College in 1942, an M.A. from Boston College in 1953, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1963. In her research and publications Neal has dealt with the renewal in religious life and life in the Church, and she has sought to integrate the discipline of sociology with the prophetic tradition of biblical religion.

Born Helen C. Neal, June 21, 1921, in Brighton, MA, Sr Marie Augusta Neal received an A.B. from Emmanuel College, an M.A. from Boston College, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University, 1963. She taught secondary school from 1946-53 before beginning her teaching and research career at Emmanuel College in Boston. Beside her teaching, her work in her order of the Sisters' of Notre Dame de Namur and for the Conference of Major Superiors of Women's Institutes, Sr Neal served on the Boston Archdiocesan Commission on Human Rights, and as an area chairperson for the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women in Massachusetts. In 1965, Sr Neal became director of the newly organized Research Committee of the Conference of Major Superiors of Women's Institutes (CMSW). In this capacity she directed a "systematic examination of the resources of Sisters in the U.S. for the work of the Church in the post-Conciliar era" (Notes on Plan of Research, August, 1966). Originally planned as a two stage study, the research developed into a many stage, multi-year project. The foundational stages were a 1966 survey of the personnel and resources of American women's religious orders, and a 1967 attitude survey of 139,000 American sisters in apostolic orders. These were followed by a survey of religious in contemplative orders in 1968, the development of an instrument to assess the populations served by religious in the same year, a content analysis of decrees from post-Conciliar renewal chapters in 1973, a partial retest of the 1967 Sisters' Survey in 1968, updates of this survey in 1979-1980 and 1989-1990, and an update of the 1966 congregational survey in 1982.

In addition to her work with the CMSW Research Committee, Sr. Neal also conducted or assisted in several related projects: a self- study by the Jesuits in the provinces of California and Oregon, a multi-national self-study by her own order, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, and a survey of Catholic Schools in South Africa.

At the heart of Sr Neal's research is the question of the readiness of religious for renewal and social activism in the direction envisioned by Vatican II. She attempts to determine factors which are conducive for change. She uses the data gathered in the surveys for comparitive studies of religious orders having varying levels of experimentation and displaying different degrees of willingness to change. Central to her research is the use of "scales," multi-item measures of attitude, to measure belief and willingness to change. Sr. Neal had begun to experiment with these scales in her doctoral dissertation.

What follows is a description of Sr. Neal's work in three parts:

I. Doctoral Dissertation and Use of Scales

  1. A. 1961 Priests Study
  2. B. Use of Scales

II. CMSW Research Committee Studies

  1. A. 1966 Congregational Survey
  2. B. 1967 Sisters Survey
  3. C. 1968 Sisters Survey Retest
  4. D. 1968 Assessment of Life and Works
  5. E. 1968 Contemplative Survey
  6. F. 1973 Analysis of Chapter Decrees
  7. G. 1979-1980 Sisters Survey Update
  8. H. 1982 Congregational Survey Update
  9. I. 1989-1990 Sisters Survey Update

III. Related Studies

  1. A. 1967 Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur International Survey
  2. B. 1968 Jesuit Self-Study
  3. C. 1971 S. African Catholic Education Study

Following this description of Sr. Neal's research are a glossary of terms used in her work, a note on the computer tapes her research generated, and an annotated bibliography of her published writings.

I. Doctoral Dissertation and Use of Scales

A. 1961 Priests Study (no tape)

In this study Sr. Neal develops the study design used for her later surveys. She also develops what in later studies will be called the "Neal scale": a measure for assessing attitudes toward values and change. The methodology of the study is described in Sr. Marie Augusta Neal, "Methodology for the Examination of the Function of Values and Interests in the Process of Social Change," Sociological Analysis 25 (1964): 75-90.

Conducted in 1961 for Sr. Neal's doctoral dissertaion, published in 1965 as Values and Interest in Social Change (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall), this study attempts to test the significance of motivational orientation and attitudes toward change for predicting response to pressures for social change. Based on their responses to an attitude survey, priests from the Boston Archdiocese were categorized in four orientation categories according to whether they were motivated by philosophical values (value) or personal self-interest (interest), and according to their attitudes toward change (positive = change, negative = nonchange). The resulting categories were: value-change, value-nonchange, interest- change, interest-nonchange. The priests responses to stimuli for social change were then measured and correlated with the four categories.

The attitude survey was sent to a random sample of approximately 1/4 of the clergy in the Archdiocese of Boston, stratified according to age (+/- the mean of 46 years) and type of parish (urban/suburban). There was a 70% response (259 of 367). Background information on family, education, status and reading habits was also solicited. (The attitude survey may be found in Values and Interest in Social Change, pp. 168-72 (HM101.N342); the background survey is not available.)

Response to pressure for social change was measured through a follow-up taped interview with the top ten respondents in each orientation category. Interview questions included stimulus statements from Catholic writers urging change in the Church in five areas of interpersonal relations: command-obedience (father-child), social responsibility, independence training of children, respect for intellectual life, and motiviational awareness. These were followed by probing questions. The tapes were transcribed and the responses coded for assent-dissent patterns, definition of situations, style of responses, and defense mechanisms. (Neither taped interviews nor transcripts are available. Sample questions are provided in Sr. Marie Augusta Neal, "Methodology for the Examination of the Function of Values and Interests in the Process of Social Change," Sociological Analysis 25 (1964): 83.)

B. Use of Scales

Central to all of Sr Neal's work is the use of scales to measure attitude, though she did not yet use that term in the 1961 priests study. Attitude scales are a way of measuring strength or intensity of attitudes, from low to high, toward particular persons, situations or things, (in this case, toward change and philosophical values). Responses are collected to a number of statements which take, in equal numbers, positive and negative positions toward the object in question. Each statement offers a range of responses to show degree of agreement or disagreement. The assumption is made that a particular attitude will lead to consistency of response. The responses are combined into a single numerical score known as an index which allows the respondent to be placed on a continuum for purposes of comparison.

The priests study uses two continua: high interest motivation to high value motivation, and high nonchange to high change. 60 cliche- type statements were culled from periodicals and other attitude-measuring instruments. The statements were chosen on the basis of their power to discriminate between value-oriented and interest-oriented persons, and between those open to change and those who resist change. The discriminatory power of the statements was determined in test studies of persons with known attitudes based on assessment by peers. Fifteen statements for each variable were chosen. Answers were scored on a range of -3 to +3 based on six possible responses: strongly disagree, disagree, slightly disagree, slightly agree, agree, stongly agree. No response was scored as 0. Scored answers were summed for each variable. Respondents were scored on the two continua based on the absolute difference between their value and interest scores, and between their change and nonchange scores. They were then grouped into the four orientation categories: value-change, value-nonchange, interest-change, interest-nonchange.

II. CMSW Research Committee Studies

A. 1966 Congregational Survey (1 tape, not converted)

CNEA 2-11, 53-55

This was Part I of the original research plan. It consisted of a survey of major superiors of provinces and orders who were members of CMSW conducted in the summer of 1966 consisting of 133 items. The survey gathered information on demographics, entering trends, formation programs, distribution of personnel, property, education of the sisters, administration, governance and polity, trends in work, those leaving communities, and directions in and expectations for change in liturgy, formation programs, and consitutions. Questions were asked covering the years 1956-1965 to show changes over time. The questionnaire can be found in Appendix II of Sr Marie Augusta Neal, Catholic Sisters in Transition (Wilmington: Michael Glazier, 1984; BX4210.N434 1984 and in CNEA 40/15), and in CNEA 40/12.

Each province and order was assigned a number for reporting purposes, and so that the information could be correlated with the later population survey. This was originally the same code given to congregations for the CMSW Sister Formation Survey. Soon, however, each province, order, or congregation was also given a three digit code based on the Kenedy Official Catholic Directory listing of religious institutes. These codes would remain consistent throughout the many stages of the study. Province / order codes can be found in CNEA 13/ "Participants".

415 responses were received. The completed questionnaires, organized by community numerical code, are found in CNEA 5-11.

The responses were processed in two parts. Part IA gives frequencies and percentages to numerically measured items. Part IB gives crosstabulations of the national data. Computer printouts of Part IA, given by order, are found in CNEA 53/01-02, 54/01, 55/01. Computer printouts of Part IB are found in CNEA 54-55.

Each participating community was given the results from its own survey of those items which could be tabulated numenrically, as well as national totals for comparison. The report of national totals can be found in CNEA 40/13. Results of this survey were reported in the 1967 Proceedings of the Annual Assembly of CMSW (in CLCW 10/12), and in Sr Marie Augusta Neal, Catholic Sisters in Transition (Wilmington: Michael Glazier, 1984), which compares the data with those gathered in a 1982 follow-up survey (BX4210.N434 1984 and in CLCW 40/15).

B. 1967 Sisters' Survey (12 tapes: full population - 7 tapes; random stratified sample of 5000 - 1 tape; random sample of 37,000 - 1 tape; black sisters - 1 tape; The 20 (see below, 1980) - 1 tape; Enterprise Group (see below, 1980) - 1 tape)

CNEA 1-2 (Correspondence), 12-16, 56-94

Part II of the original research plan, this was a population attitude survey of sisters in the orders surveyed in Part I. Of the original 415 orders, 39 did not participate in Part II. 22 new groups joined the survey. 157,917 surveys were mailed out in April 1967. 139,691 responses were eventually received. Most of the analysis, however, was conducted on the first 135,106 responses received by June 1967.

For purposes of preserving anonymity, each sister was assigned a nine-digit number, which can be broken down as follows: first three - order, second three - house, last three - sister in house. The numbers for the sisters in each house begin with 101.

The questionnaire (found in CNEA 40/12) consisted of 649 items. These were divided into twelve sections:

I. Statements about Beliefs - 60 items II. Vows and Apostolate - 40 items III. Structural Changes Introduced - 15 items IV. Attitudes - 65 items

V. Census Data and Community - 241 items VI. Current Conditions: Community & Communication - 36 items VII. General Opinions - 83 items VIII. Opinions for Future Plans - 38 items IX. Social Assessment - 16 items

X. Assessment of Structure - 16 items XI. Proposals on Structure - 31 items XII. Conclusions - 8 items

Sections I, II, and IV consist of statements designed to elicit reactions useful for developing scales to assess belief and attitude orientations of sisters. The method used for developing these scales is similar to that used by Sr. Neal in her earlier study of Boston priests (see above).

Section I items are intended to discriminate between two belief orientations: Pre-Vatican II and Post-Vatican II (developed by Sr. Elena Malits, CSC, for this study). Theological statements culled from theological writings and selected through pre- tests were coded as either Theology Pre or Theology Post. There were 30 statements in each category covering beliefs about God, the Church, Christ, sacraments, and eschatology. To each statement there were five possible responses: 1) Yes, 2) No, 3) Undecided or Uncertain, 4) The topic is irrelevant or meaningless in this form, and 4) The statement is so annoying to me that I cannot answer. The responses were weighted as follows: 1) +4, 2) -4, 3) +2, 4) -1, 5) - 1. The response scores in each category (Theology Pre and Theology Post) were summed.

Section II items are intended to discrimate between Pre- and Post-Vatican II orientations in four areas related to religious life: for the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience; and the apostolate. For each area there were five statements in each category (Pre- and Post-Vatican II). The same possible responses and weightings as in section I were used.

Section IV contains statements for 5 sociological scales:

-the F (authoritarian personality) scale developed by T. Adorno (also referred to in Sr Neal's papers as the Indirect Measure of Prejudice, or the Indirect Measure of Rejection of Others): 12 items,

-a Direct Measure of Prejudice (Rejection of Others): 8 items,

-an Anomie scale: 9 items taken from Herbert McClosky and John H. Schaar, "Psychological Dimension of Anomy," American Sociological Review 30 (1965): 23,

-a Political Pessimism Scale: 4 items reported by Gertrude Selznick at the American Sociological Association convention in 1966,

-the Neal Scale developed by Sr. Neal for the study of Boston Priests: 5 items for each of four variables: value, interest, change, nonchange.

There are 12 items not otherwise described, but which appear to attempt a measure of religious prejudice--e.g., 141: "Jewish businessmen are about as honest as other businessmen."; or 147: "Most Protestants are inclined to discriminate against Catholics." These items are: 141, 144, 147, 150, 153, 156, 159, 162, 165, 168, 171, 174. There are five possible responses to the statements in this section: 1) Disagree very much, 2) Disagree somewhat, 3) Neither agree nor disagree, 4) Agree somewhat, 5) Agree very much. These are weighted from +1 to +5 for scoring.

Sr Neal developed other scales in later analyses. Information on all the scales can be found in CNEA 14-15, 36-37, and in a file marked "Summer 79 SS" in CNEA 34. "Summer 79 SS" also contains a table showing how each of the 1967 survey questions was used in subsequent analyses.

The remaining sections of the questionnaire solicited background and census data on the sisters and the sisters evaluation of the structure, organization, community life and activities of their congregations, as well as their assessment of changes in their orders. A breakdown of survey items by target category (e.g., "Structural Changes Introduced," "Community," "Personal Fulfillment," "Government," "Rule") for sections III and V-XII can be found in CNEA 15 in a folder marked "Part II - Items in Categories."

The frequencies and percentages for each order were reported to that order, along with the national totals for comparison. These frequency books, arranged by clusters of provinces and orders, identified by numerical code, are found in CNEA 56-74. The clusters are of two types: orders with multiple provinces, and orders grouped by rule (e.g. Franciscan, Dominican, etc.) or national origin and type of work. The national totals of frequencies and percentages can be found in CNEA 40/13.

National frequencies and percentages were reported for the whole population. Cross tabulations were only done on random samples taken from the population data. The samples were stratified by order. The largest sample was 37,000, using approximately one hundred respondents from each order. The Archives has data tapes for samples of 37,000 and 5,000. Information on how the samples were drawn can be found in CNEA 15 in folders marked "Population - Sample" and "Sample of 5000 + 3000."

Computer programs developed for cross tabulations were also made available to the participating orders to be used on their data. Lists of the variables for Programs A, B, and C, giving the codes for the variables and the numbers of the related questions in the Survey can be found in a file marked "On-going Reports to Major Superiors on the Sisters' Survey 1967" in CNEA 14.

Early analyses done on the data were reported at the Annual Assembly of CMSW in 1967, published in Proceedings of the Annual Assembly, pp. 1-33 (in CLCW 10/12). Graphs and charts to accompany the report can be found in CNEA 14.

Further analyses on the data include a comparison of religious congregations with varying levels of experimentation. The results of this comparison were reported by Sr Neal in the H. Paul Douglass Lectures at the national meeting of the Religious Research Association in 1970, published in Review of Religious Research 12 (1970-71): 2-16, 153-64 (in CNEA 40/14). Material supporting this analysis is found in CNEA 15-16, 75-89.

Sr Neal also did comparative study of the socially active Loose Association of religious congregations and a more conservative counter group known as the Consortium (see Glossary for more on these groups). Sr Neal saw membership in these organizations as behavioral outcomes which could be predicted by the belief scales in the Sisters' Survey. She reported the results of her study at the 1975 International Conference on Sociology of Religion in Lloret de Mar, Spain, published in CISR, Religion and Social Change: Acts of the 13th Conference (Lille, France: Edition du Secretariat CISR, 1975): 59-86. Computer printouts supporting this study are found in CNEA 90-93. Material on Sr Neal's own activity in the founding of the Loose Association is found in CNEA 52.

C. 1968 Sisters' Survey Retest (no tape)

CNEA 17 (2 folders)

A survey instrument of 304 items was adapted from the Sisters' Survey and made available to orders desiring to measure the effect of change in their orders. Items which repeated items from the Sisters' Survey give the original number in parentheses. The retest survey contained items for the development of three scales: Belief (items 1-6), Anomie (items 7-15), and the Strang scale (measuring Conservative, Liberal, Radical positions on current issues; items 297-301). A computer program, Program AA, was prepared for cross-tabulations. The list of variables for this program and other material related to the retest are found in CNEA 17 in a file marked "S.S. Retest 1969." The questionnaire can also be found in CNEA 40/12. The report of the results of the survey of one province can be found in CNEA 40/13.

D. 1968 Assessment of Life and Works (no tape)

CNEA 17-19

This survey instrument was developed at a summer institute for advanced research methods conducted at Emmanuel College. It is intended for a survey of the general public to determine attitudes toward religious orders and their work. The instrument consists of 376 items. It incorporates many of the scale items from the Sisters' Survey. The questionnaire was made available to the orders for their use. A program for the analysis of results was also offered. A copy of the fifth and final draft of the questionnaire can be found in CNEA 40/12. An instruction booklet for using the instrument, which also describes its composition, can be found in CNEA 17, which also contains material related to the institute and the development of the instrument, as well as 352 completed questionnaires from a pre-test using the second draft of the survey. There is no summary report for this survey. E. 1968 Survey for Contemplatives (1 tape, not converted)

CNEA 19, 94-99

The Sisters' Survey was adapted for contemplative orders, which had not been included in the original survey. Some items were reworded (marked with a dot), others omitted or completely changed (marked with *), but the original numbering was retained. 15 groups totaling 1356 persons participated. The questionnaire can be found in CNEA 40/12. A report of total population frequencies and percentages can be found in CNEA 40/13. Frequency and percentage reports by order can be found in CLCW 19. A final interpretive report by Sr Neal from June 20, 1970, which includes a description of both the Sisters' Survey and the Contemplative Survey, can be found in CNEA 40/13 and CNEA 19.

F. 1973 Analysis of Chapter Decrees of Religious Orders

This study was conducted as part of the Sisters' Survey Project. The goal was to see how religious orders were adapting to the renewal of Vatican II. 278 new chapter decrees, mandated by the 1966 Motu Proprio "Ecclesiae Sanctae," which directed the implementation of Vatican II's Decree on the Renewal of Religious Life, were collected and analyzed. These materials can be found in CNEA 20-32. A team of three sisters coded the documents according to 49 pre-established categories of style (e.g., "Manner of communication:" "Formal and dull," "Formal and legalistic," etc.) and content (e.g., "Statement of Purpose:" "sound like post-Vatican era," "timid response" to Vatican II, etc.) The final report consisted of percentages of documents with each style and content characteristic. The report can be found in CNEA 40/13. Reports for individual orders are often located with the orders' decrees in CNEA 20-32.

Sr Neal continued to collect the chapter decrees, rules and constitutions of religious orders. She undertook a further study of chapter decrees in 1977 and a comparison of 20 constitutions with these decrees in 1983. These studies are mentioned in Neal, "Who They Are and What They Do: Current Forms of Religious Life in the U.S. Church," in Robert J. Daly, et al., eds., Religious Life in the U.S. Church, NY: Paulist Press, 1984: 152-71, but there are no separate reports or materials for these studies in the Neal papers. The collected documents are found in CNEA 33- 34. Similar material, also collected by Sr Neal, can be found in PLCW.

G. 1979-1980 Sisters' Survey Update (2 tapes: duplicates)

CLCW 86/1 - Correspondence

CNEA 34-37

This was the first update of the 1967 study. Of the 426 items in the survey instrument, 175 replicated items from 1967. Most of the repeated items were census data. 18 of the Post- Pre (Vatican II Theology) Scale from 1967 were repeated to form an NBelief scale. The first 55 items were drawn from proposals made at the 1976 Detroit Call to Action meeting. These were used for a number of attitude scales. Items for other new scales--e.g., Religious Calling, Prayer, Women in the Church, etc.--were also incorporated into the survey. The list of scales and the items that comprise them can be found in the file marked "Scales 1967, 80, 90" in CNEA 37. The survey instrument can be found in CNEA 40/12.

The survey was administered to 30 orders. (NB: Whole orders, not provinces, were used: When a selected order was comprised of many provinces, its 1967 cluster was used for comparison. These clusters were assigned numerical codes between 701 and 713.) Twenty of these orders were chosen for the distribution of their scores on "Post Vatican Belief" from the 1967 survey (Post-Vatican II score minus Pre-Vatican II score); these Sr Neal labeled "the 20." They were surveyed in the fall/winter of 1979-1980. The remaining orders volunteered for the study; these were labeled "the Enterprise" group. Nine responded to appeals in the LCWR Update (Mar. 10 and Apr. 16, 1980; CLCW 16/21) and were surveyed in the spring of 1980. The remaining one was used for a 1978 pre-test of the instrument. The list of participating orders is found in CLCW 86/1 and in folders marked "Address Lists" and "Population '79" in CNEA 34.

For orders with populations of less than 300, the whole population was surveyed; for orders with more than 300, a random sample was used. "The 20" had a combined 62% response rate with 3740 responses. These responses served as the basis for the national percentages reported in "First Report of the Sisters' Survey of '80" (found in CNEA 35) and the interpretive "Sisters' Survey 1980 National Profile" (published in The Probe, found in CNEA 40/13). Each of the participating orders received a copy of the first report, which included their own percentages alongside the national percentages, and an interpretative profile of their order. Copies of these reports can be found in CNEA 35-36. Some questions provided opportunity for extended written answers. The written answers received are found in CNEA 34 in a folder marked "Operating File SS 80."

H. 1982 Congregational Survey Update (1 tape)

CLCW 86/1 - Correspondence

CNEA 37-39

This is the update of Part I of the Sisters' Survey, the survey of major superiors of provinces and orders. The questionnaire follows closely the 1966 questionnaire. It can be found in Appendix II of Sr. Marie Augusta Neal, Catholic Sisters in Transition (Wilmington: Michael Glazier, 1984; BX4210.N434 1984; CNEA 40/15), which also contains Sr Neal's published report. The 342 returned, completed questionnaires are found in CLCW 37-39.

I. 1989-1990 Second Update of Sisters' Survey (diskette)

CNEA 39-43

This is the final update of Part II of the Sisters' Survey of 1967. The questionnaire consisted of 363 items. 174 of these repeated items from the 1967 survey, and 321 repeated items from the 1979-80 survey. The first twenty-nine items were drawn from the 1988 encyclical Solicitudo Rei Socialis (On Social Concern) and were used for a Social Concern (SOCCON) scale. Other new scales included a MISSION scale, based on items taken from the mission statements of various orders, and a WOMEN scale, based on items related to women's issues. The PREPOST scale repeats the Pre- and Post-Vatican II Belief scales of the previous surveys. The survey instrument can be found in CNEA 40/12, and in CLCW 42/6.

Unlike the previous surveys, this was not a survey of orders, but of a national random sample of 3000 drawn from a list of all women religious. 2123 responses were received for a response rate of 74 per cent.

Six orders, however, administered the survey to all of their members. CNEA 40-42 contains correspondence with each of these orders and computer printouts with frequencies and cross tabulations of their data.

A construction of the scales in this survey is described in the self-published report by Sr. Neal, "A Report of the National Profile of the Third Sisters' Survey" (Boston, July 1991; revised February 20, 1992), pp. 23-24 n. 16, which is located in CNEA 40/13, and CLCW 40/1. The list of items the scales are derived from can be found in Appendix II of this report. Appendix I gives the response percentages to each item, and the percentages from 1967 and 1980 for the repeated items.

Sr Neal summarized and interpreted the whole Sisters Survey project in an article titled "American Sisters: Organizational and Value Changes," Religion and the Social Order 2 (1991): 105- 121 (found in CNEA 40/14).

III. Related Studies

A. 1967 Notre Dame International Survey (1 tape, not converted)

CNEA 44/1, 105-109

This survey adapted the questionnaire of the Sisters' Survey for use by all 17 provinces of the order of Notre Dame de Namur. It omitted or substituted for certain items (marked with *) and reworded others (underlined), but retained the same numbering for comparison with the Sisters' Survey results. The survey was conducted in English, French, Flemish, Italian and Japanese. A copy of the questionnaire can be found in CNEA 40/12. Computer books reporting the data by province can be found in CNEA 105- 109/1. A report generated using Program A of the Sisters' Survey can be found in a report in CNEA 40/13 and CNEA 44/1. No book with raw frequencies and percentages has been located.

B. 1968 Jesuit Self-Study, California/Oregon Provinces (no tape)

CNEA 44/2-4, 109-110

The Sisters' Survey instrument was adapted for use by the Jesuits of California and Oregon. CNEA 109-110 contains the survey instrument (with changed items marked by hand), computer runs with Program A and a special program for the Jesuits, and two reports: A Profile of the Community, and Religious Attitudes and Practice. Two other reports generated using the survey are not here: Attitudes toward Change, and Authoritarianism and Prejudice. A report on this study can be found in Volume III, Chapter 9 of the General Survey of the Society of Jesus, North American Assistancy, edited by Bruce F. Biever, SJ and Thomas M. Gannon, SJ (National Office of Pastoral Research, 1969).

C. 1970-1971 South African Catholic Education Study (2 tapes: School (and School Finance?) Reports, 1 tape; Attitude Survey, 1 tape)

CNEA 45-50, 111-113

This study was conducted by Sr. Neal at the request of the South African Catholic Education Council. It combines the goals of the Sisters' Survey and the Assessment of Life and Works, surveying both institutions and the publics they serve.

The study was conducted in two stages following the model of the Sisters' Survey.

The first stage consisted of six data surveys sent to heads of institutions: a School Report, a School Finances Report, a Diosesan Report, a Diocesan Finances Report, a Religious Order Report, and a Parish Report. Copies of all the report forms and completed reports can be found in CNEA 45 and 47. Computer printouts of the data from the School Reports and School Finance Reports are found in CNEA 113.

The second stage consisted of an attitude survey of random samples of target populations: European (i.e., white) Parents of children in Catholic Schools, Non-European (i.e., non-white) Parents, European Pupils in Catholic Schools, Non-European Pupils, European Alumnae of Catholic Schools, Non-European Alumnae, Teachers in European Catholic Schools, Teachers in Non-European Catholic Schools, School Inspectors, and Friends of European Parents (with no children in Catholic Schools). The survey instrument consisted of 400 items and included items for the following scales (see 1961 Priests Study and 1967 Sisters' Survey): Belief (Pre- and Post-Vatican II, 5 items each), Brink (6 items), Anomie (6 items), F (6 items), and Neal (Values, Interest, Change, NonChange, 5 items each).

The rate of return was 66% for teachers, 18% for all other populations combined. Completed questionnaires can be found in CNEA 48/14-22. Computer printouts of frequencies and cross-tabulations of the data from the attitude survey are found in CNEA 111-112.

A xeroxed copy of the final report can be found in CNEA Neal/Processing Info folder 2. An original copy can be found in CNEA 46/15, which also contains a manuscript of a more detailed analysis of the Part I reports. A manuscript analysis of the Part II attitude survey can be found in CNEA 45/54.


14 linear feet.

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Neal, Marie Augusta, SND de Namur

Annotated Bibliography

1960 "Theoretical Convergence in the Analysis of Social Change," American Catholic Sociological Review 21: 290-310.
Sr. Neal announces her interest in the empirical study of social change to bridge the theoretical gap between Marxian and Parsonian--i.e., social integration vs. social conflict, or structure vs. change--approaches to social theory. Society, she says, is now "bursting with stimuli to social change...constituting ready data for empirical investigation, the only legitimate source of sociological theory building." She identifies her own preferred field as the study of comparative organizations and small groups.
1964 "Methodology for the Analysis of the Function of Values and Interest in Social Change," Sociological Analysis 25/2: 75-90
In her attempt to bridge the gap between structural-functional and conflict theories of social change, Sr. Neal has chosen to look at the role values and interest play in the making of social choices. Values, philosophical conceptions of "the good society," are given primacy in structural-functional theory; interest, the desire for special advantage for one's self or one's group, in conflict theory. In both theoretical approaches, the role of values or interest is assumed. Sr. Neal proposes to test empirically how values and interest function as determinants of social choice. In this article Sr. Neal discusses the methodology guiding her research. She has developed two instruments: one for measuring orientation in terms of value and interest, the other for measuring responses to stimuli for social change. The focus of her study are actors in key social roles. She reports on her application of this methodology to the study of Boston area priests.
"Change in the Church: The Boston Case," Perspectives (New York), January-February, 4-10.
1965 "Sociology and Community Change," in The Changing Sister, Sr. Charles Borromeo (Maryellen) Muckenhirn, CSC, ed. Notre Dame, IN: Fides Publishers, 9-44.
Sr. Neal argues that needed changes in society and the Church call for changes in religious communities. The model can no longer be the family, parent-child structure, but the reciprocal, peer community. Social control must be internal rather than external. "Religious orders at this moment are strikingly ranged along a continuum of resistance and response to the current needs of the Church." They are in danger of becoming "anomic systems." Sr. Neal poses several questions which "can be used to test the relevancy of of current responses to change in the Church. (1) Who enters? (2) Who leaves? (3) Who is satisfied? (4) Who is dissatisfied? (5) What do the satisfied do with the dissatisfied? (6) What do the dissatisfied do about their dissatisfaction?"
Values and Interest in Social Change. Engelwood Cliff, NJ: Prentiss-Hall.
This Sr. Neal's published dissertation presenting her theoretical framework and methodology for the study of social change and reporting the findings of her study of Boston area priests. See also "Theoretical Convergence in the Analysis of Social Change" (1960) and "Methodology for the Analysis of the Function of Values and Interest in Social Change" (1964).
1966 "A Sociologist Looks at Sisters Today," in Proceedings of the CMSW Annual Assembly 1965. Washington, DC: CMSW Secretariat, 25-44.
The changing foci in the world and church require changes in the structure of religious communities, especially in the way decisions are made. Sr. Neal refers to her Boston priests study (Values and Interest, 1965) to show the range of differences in the perception of social situations.
"Towards Fostering Free and Responsible Christian Living: A Sociologist's Evaluation of the Present Situation and What It Demands of Religious Education," The Living Light 2/Winter: 58-74.
Sr. Neal discusses the areas where changes are needed in religious education "to foster truly free and responsible Christian living in our society." What is required is changes in institutional norms which are no longer adequate to the social situation. Sr. Neal uses for illustration the institutional norms she discussed in her Values and Interst (1965). The family no longer serves as an adequate model for education. It can lead to authoritarian personalities. Children have to be trained to be responsible decision makers.
1967 "Factors Currently Influencing the Spirit and Structure of Religious Communities," Pro Mundi Vita 16: 18-22.
"Progress Report of the CMSW Research Committee," in Proceedings of the CMSW Annual Assembly 1966. Washington, DC: CMSW Secretariat, 84-86.
Sr. Neal reports on returns of the 1966 Congregational Survey and work on the 1967 Sisters' Survey.
1968 "Freedom of Expression in the Church," in The New Nuns, Sr. Charles Borromeo (Maryellen) Muckenhirn, CSC, ed. New York: New American Library, 83-96.
Sr. Neal uses the results of her Boston priests study (Values and Interest, 1965), to argue that a complex organization like the Catholic Church requires freedom of expression to make good decisions because of the wide variation in individual perceptions of any given situation.
"Implications of the Sisters' Survey in Regard to Community Life," in Renewal through Community and Experimentation. Washington, DC: Canon Law Society of America (n.p.), 150-64.
Sr. Neal assesses the "survival pontential," the ability to adapt to the world situation, of women's religious orders based on the 1967 Sisters' Survey data. Determining factors are the level of post-Vatican II theological thought and the quality of communication within orders as reported in the survey. The level of post-Vatican II theology is correlated with sisters' reading and viewing habits. Sr. Neal also reports on the findings of the 1968 Sisters' Survey Retest for one experimenting order.
"Implications of the Sisters' Survey for Structural Renewal," in Proceedings of the CMSW Annual Assembly 1967. Washington, DC: CMSW Secretariat, 1-33.
This is the first major report of Sisters' Survey results to the CMSW national assembly. Sr. Neal presents the background, rationale, significant national statistics and initial analysis for both the 1966 Congregational Survey and the 1967 Sisters' Survey. She explains the scales built into the attitude survey and correlates them with explanatory factors. She presents a comparison of experimenting and non-experimenting orders. She also presents some initial findings from an assessment of authority relations, interpersonal communication and attitudes toward work using Program A cross tabulations. She finds "a real promise for response to the challenge to change," but also a great deal of denial among some groups. Sr. Neal mentions the Sisters' Survey only in passing as called for by the "awareness of the possibilities of planned change."
"Priests Attitudes Toward Women," with Miriam St. John Clasby, in Woman in Modern Life, W. C. Bier, ed. New York: Fordham University Press, 55-78.
In a further analysis of the Boston priests study (Values and Insterest, 1965), Srs. Neal and Clasby report the responses of Boston priests to the questions "What women active in the world today do you most admire?" and "What men active in the world today do you most admire?" They find that while the priests named specific men, they tended to categorize women according to stereotyped roles. They add an analysis of priests' published counsels to women to bolster their argument. Response by Joseph P. Fitzpatrick, SJ, in ibid., 73-77.
"Religious Communities in a Changing World," in The New Nuns, Sr. Charles Borromeo (Maryellen) Muckenhirn, CSC, ed. New York: New American Library, 142-52.
Sr. Neal examines "six conditions in modern society which require changes in the structure of religious orders": 1) the transition from tribal and feudal to modern industrial, bureaucratic social structure; 2) the gradual move from spontaneous to planned change; 3) the switch to an international focus; 4) the new possibility of meeting the economic needs of all people in the world; 5) the legitimacy and centrality of governemtal activity in education, health care and welfare; 6) the greater need for communities without walls.
"The Value of Religious Community," in Vows But No Walls, Eugene Grollman, ed. St. Louis: Herder, 128-70.
The world needs new forms of community to counter the negative effects of bureaucratization. Religious orders have the ability to experiment with new forms of community. The family comnand-obedience structures can no longer serve as a model for community. Adult reciprocity and dialog is needed. Religious belief should not be used as a means of separation from or exclusion of others. The work of a religious congregation should be measured in terms of social justice and charity.
1969 "The Signs of the Times and the Implementation of Chapter Decrees," in Proceedings of the CMSW Annual Assembly 1968. Washington, DC: CMSW Secretariat, 61-81.
Data from the 1967 Sisters' Survey can be used to aid in the self-examination needed for the preparation of new chapter decrees. Sr. Neal points to the data on sisters' choice of works, from the traditional to the radically new, and correlates these with sisters' attitudes and orientations to change. She makes mention of the 1968 Assessment of Life and Works for assessing the effectiveness of apostolic work, but does not give further details.
"Stirrings in Religious Life," Sister Formation Bulletin 16/1: 7-13.
Sr. Neal draws on the 1967 Sisters' Survey data to examine the implications they have for the selection and formation of the candidates for religious orders who are needed to meet the requirements of post-Vatican II renewal. She compares data for experimenting and non-experimenting orders.
"The Future of the Missionary Sister," in The Church as Mission. London, Geoffrey Chapman.
1970 Final Report on the Survey for Contemplatives. New Melleray Abbey, Dubuque, IA: The Scriptory.
Sr. Neal's interpretive report includes descriptions of the Sisters' Survey and the Contemplative Survey.
1971 "A Theoretical Analysis of Renewal in Religious Orders in the U.S.A.," Social Compass 18/1: 7-27.
Sr. Neal chronicles the developing awareness of the need for structural reform in the Church and in religious orders. An increased awareness and acceptance of humanistic critique of the Church was made possible in part through the Sister Formation program. Friction between younger sisters formed in this program and older sisters showed the structural limitations of religious orders. Sr. Neal points to the Sisters' Survey as the basis for her analysis.
"The Relation Between Relgious belief and Structural Change in Religious Orders: Developing an Effective Measuring Instrument," The H. Paul Douglas Lectures for 1970, part I. Review of Religious Research 12/1: 2-16.
In the first of her Douglas lectures Sr. Neal provides the background and rationale of the Sisters' Survey. Then she discusses the development of the instrument and the construction and reliabilty of the scales. Tables provide the results of the Kuder-Richardson formula-20 test of inter-item reliability and scale to scale correlations based on a random sample of 2792 taken from the Sisters' Survey population.
"The Relation Between Relgious belief and Structural Change in Religious Orders: Some Evidence," The H. Paul Douglas Lectures for 1970, part II. Review of Religious Research 12/3: 154-64.
In the second lecture Sr. Neal tests her hypothesis about the relationship of belief and readiness for change by comparing data from orders with varying levels of experimentation. Her analysis is accompanied by tables and graphs presenting data gathered through the Sisters' Survey.
The South African Catholic Education Study. Durban: South Africa: Catholic Education Council.
This is the published interpretive report of Sr. Neal's findings delivered to the South African Education Council.
"Women in Ordained Ministry: A Sociologist Raises a Question," in Women in Ministry, Chicago: National Association of Women Religious, 119-22.
In her study of change in women's religious orders, Sr. Neal has noticed a pattern of response to renewal, "first to focus on dress, then on life styles, then on choice of ministries, with the recurring refrain: 'But what about prayer?' She raises the question of ordination for women through an anecdote about an experience at a conference of campus ministers. The present worship of the church, she concludes, reinforces a will to repress the poor. There is a need for transformation in role relations.
1972 "How Prophecy Lives," Sociological Analysis 33/3: 125-41.
Appears as chapter 6, "Prophecy and the Call to Action," in A Socio-Theological Theory of Letting Go (1977), and as chapter II, "The Prophetic Tradition," in The Just Demands of the Poor (1987).
1974 "Sociological Implications for a Renewal in Religious Life," in Widening the Dialogue, Reflections on Evangelica Testificatio. Ottawa: Canadian Religious Conference, 61-98.
Sr. Neal sets out to assess "the social implications of the document [Evangelica Testificatio] for the groups that will be affected by its contents," and "in the light of known research, to determine whether or not the directives proposed can effect the ends intended." Her finding is positive for the directives on chastity and poverty, but negative for the vow of obedience, which is too dependent on the family, parent-child model. "Such a structure is related to the abuses of treating persons as things, exploiting the poor, selfishly providing for a life of oneself, and providing structures which result in the co-opting even of religion, education, and art to the interests of the advantaged classes." She claims to base her analysis on "the extensive study of the renewal of religious orders in the United States that I have been involved in during the past seven years." She also draws on the South African Catholic Education Study.
1975 "Women in Religion: A Sociological Perspective," Sociological Inquiry 45/4: 33-39.
Sr. Neal explores the question of why sociological scholarship of religion has not paid sufficient attention to the role and contributions of women, especially the recent changes in the roles of women in religion.
"Cultural Patterns and Behavioral Outcomes in Religious Systems: A Study of Religious Orders of Women in the U.S.A.," in CISR (Conférence International de Sociologie de Religion/International Conference for the Sociology of Religion): Acts of the 13th Conference. Lille, France: Édition du Secrétariat CISR, 59-86.
Using data from the 1967 Sisters' Survey and the 1973 Analysis of Chapter Decrees, Sr. Neal does a comparative study of two groups of religous women which emerged in response to the Vatican II renewal initiatives: the Loose Federation and the Consortium Perfectae Caritatis, the first more concerned with achieving significant structural change in religious orders than the second, which originated in opposition to the first. The analysis is supported by data tables.
1976 "Civil Religion and the Development of Peoples," Journal of Religious Education
Appears as chapter 3 in A Socio-Theology of Letting Go (1977).
"Civil Religion, Theology and Politics in America," in America in Theological Perspective, Thomas McFadden, ed. New York: Seabury Press, 99-1220.
Excerpted in chapter 2 of A Socio-Theology of Letting Go (1977).
"A Sociological Perspective on the Moral Issues of Sexuality Today," in Sexuality in Contemporary Catholicism (Concilium: Religion in the Seventies), Franz Böckle and Jacques-Marie Pohier, eds. New York: Seabury Press, 61-70.
"What religion celebrates for its relevance to ultimate survival. When a given role appears on reflection to be irrelevat to survival, religious commitment to it dies; when a given relationship appears finally irrelevant, the religious symbols embodying it become meaningless."
1977 A Socio-Theology of Letting Go: The Role of a First World Church Facing Third World Peoples. New York: Paulist Press.
Sr. Neal argues that the current social structure "den[ies] the poor access to the resources that belong to them," and therefore must be changed. She critiques the "civil religion" which serves to perpetuate and legitimize the current unjust system. She sees the papal social encyclicals of the last century as a prophetic call. The church must stand with the poor and dispossessed as they demand and take what is rightfully theirs. At the same time there should be developed for the non-poor a theology of relinquishing power and property. Sr. Neal makes the suggestion of a sabbatical year which each person in the world society dedicates to service. The book includes excerpts from previously published articles: "Civil Religion, Theology and Politics in America" (1976), "Civil Religion and the Development of Peoples" (1976), and "How Prophecy Lives" (1972).
1979 "The Comparative Implications of Functional and Conflict Theory as Theoretical Frameworks for Religious Research and Decision-Making," Review of Religious Research 21/1: 24-50.
Sr. Neal compares Marxian and Parsonian theories of social change and evaluates their usefulness for religious decision makers.
"Sociology and Sexuality: A Feminist Perspective," Christianity and Crisis 39/8: 118-22.
The patriarchal family and father right are obsolete forms for church structure and Catholic doctrine. Liturgy, church law and theology need to "celebrate in language and intent" the human development affirmed by council and decree. Only then will questions surrounding sexuality--birth control, abortion, divorce, sexual relations outside a context of love--be resolved. An editorial by Robert G. Hoyt, "The Importance of Being Sr. Marie Augusta: A Footnote by Another Hand," accompanies, pp. 122-25.
"Women in Religious Symbolism and Organization," Sociological Inquiry 49/2-3: 218-50.
1980 "The Challenge of Sociobiology," Christianity and Crisis 39/21: 342-49.
Sr. Neal critiques Edmund O. Wilson's sociobiological interpretation of altruism and questions whether it might have an underlying political motivation.
"Religious Congregational Affiliation and the Political Order," unpublished paper delivered at the Association for the Sociology of Religion.
"The Social Environment: Unmasking Our Ministries," LCWR Newsletter 9/1 (December): 7-8.
The 1980 Sisters' Survey Update shows that sisters are committed to a social justice agenda, but they must welcome the people from the developing world into their ranks.
1981 "The Sisters' Survey," Probe, National Assembly of Women Religious, 10/5 (May/June): 1-7.
Sr. Neal reports on the findings of the 1979-1980 Sisters' Survey Update.
1982 "Commitment to Altruism in Sociological Analysis," Sociological Analysis 43/1: 1-22.
Appears as chapter III, "Commitment to Altruism," in The Just Demands of the Poor (1987).
"The Future of First Amendment Provisions Regarding Church-State Relations," in The Future of our Liberties, Stephen C. Halpern, ed. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 131-43.
The First Amendment separation of church and state is often used to protect privatized religion, but is also often used to meet "a perceived need to restrain certain effective moral bodies (often the Catholic Church) from disrupting the public conscience." There needs to be protection for a genuine widely shared civil religion which can call the laws of the land to account. Parts of this essay are excerpted in chapter II of The Just Demands of the Poor (1987).
1984 "Altruism and Social Justice," International Schools Journal (Autumn): 13-22.
Appears as chapter VII, "Education for Justice," in The Just Demands of the Poor (1987).
Catholic Sisters in Transition from the 1960s to the 1980s. Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier.
Sr. Neal presents and compares the findings of the 1966 Congregational Survey and the 1982 Congregational Survey Update. The survey instruments and statistical data are found in appendices.
"The Magnificat and the Economy," Sisters Today 56/3: 130-34.
Sr. Neal finds in Luke 1.52-53 a plan for the restructuring of society: "If the mighty are brought down and those of low degree raised up, then no one is at the bottom of the power system and no one at the top....When the hungry are filled with good things and the rich sent away empty, all will be fed, because the newly empty rich will be poor and then, as poor, will share with the previously hungry the right to be fed." This article appears as chapter VIII in The Just Demands of the Poor (1987).
"Social Consciousness and Spiritual Formation, Prophetic Ministry, Risk of Life," Journal of Ongoing Formation 5/3: 355-60.
"Social Justice and the Right to Use Power," Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 23/4: 329-40.
Sr. Neal adds a new means of legitimizing the exercise of authority to Weber's list of charisma, tradition and law: the religious imperative of social justice. She makes use of her Boston priests study (Values and Interest, 1965) and gives some background information on the 1968 Contemplative Survey. This article appears as chapter VI in The Just Demands of the Poor (1987).
"Who They Are and What They Do: Current Forms of Religious Life in the United States Church," in Religious Life in the U. S. Church: The New Dialogue, Robert J. Daly, et al., eds. New York: Paulist Press, 152-71.
Sr. Neal presents the background and history of her Sisters' Survey studies to date, then provides a profile of American religious, especially women. She includes data from the 1980 Sisters' Survey Update and the 1982 Congregational Survey Update, as well as from the 1973 and subsequent Analyses of Chapter Decrees. Included also is a description of the change undergone by religious congregations during the course of her research.
1985 "American Sisters Now," in Where We Are: American Catholics in the 1980s: A Celebration for Philip Scharper, Michael Glazier, ed. Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier, 141-80.
Sr. Neal differentiates between nuns and sisters and chronicles the renewal among American sisters since Vatican II. Statistics from the Sisters' Survey are supplied in footnotes.
1986 "Linking the Poor and the Non-Poor Through Education," Momentum 17/3: 35-38.
"Social Justice and the Sacred," in The Sacred in a Secular Age: Toward Revision in the Scientific Study of Religion, Phillip E. Hammond, ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press,
"The Values of American Culture as Reflected by Women Religious," LCWR Newsletter 13/1: 5-7.
The Sisters' Surveys show that American sisters differ in their values from America in general chiefly in their commitment to altruism. But while they agree on their mission, they do not always agree on how the mission should be carried out.
1987 The Just Demands of the Poor: Essays in Socio-Theology. New York: Paulist Press.
Sr. Neal provides a sequel to her A Socio-Theology of Letting Go (1977). She now finds a positive role for civil religion in calling nations to account for their unjust laws. She explores the value of altruism, critiquing the sociobiological theories of Edmund O. Wilson. She also rejects a "lifeboat ethic," arguing that the world is capable of sustaining its current and projected population. The problem of world poverty is not biological or technological, but social and moral. Some of the chapters in this book were previously published as "Letting Go: A Sociotheology of Relinquishment" (in Presbyterian Women, n.p.), "How Prophecy Lives" (1972), "Commitment to Altruism" (1982), "Social Justice and the Right To Use Power" (1984), "Altruism and Social Justice" (1984), "The Magnificat and the Economy" (1984).
1990 The Church, Women and Society: The Third Annual Lecture in Catholic Studies. Colchester, VT: St. Michael's College.
The patriarchal structure of the chuch, based on a feudal social structure, has been rendered obsolete by changes in society and is not adequate to meet the social justice agenda called for by church pronouncements. For this a structure based on peer relations is required.
From Nuns to Sisters: An Expanding Vocation. Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications.
Sr. Neal gives the background for and chronicles the renewal of religious life for women. The current renewal involves especially a new understanding of the vow of obedience. The focus of the renewal is a preferential option for the poor and draws its inspiration from papal pronouncements. The Boston priests study (Values and Interest, 1965) and the Sisters' Survey are "the instruments used to generate the data for and to establish the validity of the conclusions reached in this study."
1991 "American Sisters: Organizational and Value Change," Religion and the Social Order 2: Vatican II and U.S. Catholicism. Helen Rose Ebaugh, ed. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 105-121.
Sr. Neal reviews the Sisters' Survey research and incorporates the 1989-1990 Update into an assessment of changes among American religious women's groups.
"A Report on the National Profile of the Third Sisters' Survey" (n.p.)
This self-published report contains a history of the whole Sisters' Survey project, including an explanation of the development and use of scales.
1992 "Democratic Process in the Experience of American Catholic Women Relgious," in A Democratic Catholic Church, Rosemary Radford Ruether, ed. New York: Crossroad/Continuum. 172-88.
1994 "Meeting the Challegne of the New Century: Through the Eye of the Needle," in Religious Life: The Challenge for Tomorrow, Cassian J. Yuhaus, ed. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 127-42.
Affirming that "today the link of the renewal of religious life with the social justice agenda of the church is an accepted fact," Sr. Neal looks at the findings of the 1989-1990 Sisters' Survey Update in relationship with the findings of Anne Munley's LCWR study Threads for the Loom (1992) and David Nygren and Miriam Ukeritis' study on The Future of Religious Orders in the United States (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1993) to "examine the present situation in apostolic institutes of women and speculate on their future."
"Feminism: A Critique from a Sociohistorical Perspective," Defecting in Place, Adair Loomis, Allison Stokes and Miriam Therese Winter, eds. New York: Crossroad, 234-40.
Sr. Neal comments as a consultant to this study of feminist spirituality groups. She feels the study confirms and reinforces the results of the Sisters' Surveys.
1996 "Ministry of American Catholic Sisters: The Vowed Life in Church Renewal," in Religious Institutions and Women's Leadership: New Roles Inside the Mainstream, Catherine Wessinger, ed. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 231-43.
Sr. Neal reviews the history of the movement from nuns to sisters and discusses the situation of women religious today. She presents the history of the Sisters' Survey and cites data from the 1989-1990 Update.


Sr Marie Augusta Neal's scholarly activity coincided partly, but not entirely, with the work of the CMSW (LCWR) Research Committee, of which she was director. Besides the Sisters' Surveys study of women religious she conducted for CMSW (LCWR), she conducted or assisted in studies by her own order, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, the Jesuits of California and Oregon, and the South African Catholic Education Council. All her work builds, directly or indirectly, upon the CMSW Sisters' Survey of 1966-1967. The Notre Dame Archives received material related to the CMSW (LCWR) Sisters Surveys from Sr Neal in December 1991, May 1992, and March 1993. This material was originally described with the LCWR Papers. With the May 1992 and March 1993 shipments, and in August and September 1995, the Archives received from Sr Neal material for her own collection, which was described separately. Finally, in January 1996, the Archives received from Sr Neal computer data tapes for both the CMSW (LCWR) Sisters Surveys and Sr Neal's related surveys.

Because all these activities are so interrelated, it was deemed best for accessibility and scholarly use that they all be described together along with Sr Neal's papers. On the one hand, Sr Neal's papers included much material related to the development of the Sisters Surveys. On the other hand, the LCWR papers contained material related to Sr Neal's use of the Sisters Survey data base for her own research. Therefore, a letter of agreement covering the use of all material related to Sr Neal's activity, whether under CMSW (LCWR) or other auspices, was drawn up and signed by all concerned parties in October 1995. In the summer of 1996 material generated by Sr Neal's activity was then removed from the LCWR Papers and described with Sr Neal's papers.

A list of material removed from the LCWR papers is located in both the LCWR and the Neal donor files.

Note on Computer Tapes Generated by Sr. Neal's Research

The Notre Dame Archives received computer data tapes from Sr. Neal for several of her studies. When possible, these were converted to usable format by Leonard Phillips of Trade Quotes, Inc., Cambridge MA, and transferred to the archives in January 1996.

The studies for which the Notre Dame Archives has tapes are:

1966 Congregational Survey (Part I) 1 tape, not converted

1967 Sisters Survey (Part II) 12 tapes, converted; Full Population, by order 7 tapes; Random sample of 5000 1 tape; Random sample of 37000 1 tape; Black sisters: 1 tape; "The 20" orders 1 tape; "Enterprise" orders 1 tape

1968 Contemplative Survey 1 tape, not converted

1979-80 Sisters Survey Update 3 tapes, converted; Totals 2 Tapes (probably dupes); "The 20" and "Enterprise" 1 Tape

1982 Congregational Survey Update 1 tape, converted;

1967 ND International Survey 1 tape, not converted

1971 S. African Education Study 2 tapes, converted; School Reports 1 tape; Attitude Survey 1 tape

The converted tapes were put onto two new tapes in the following order:

Tape 1: 1967 Full Population - old tape number 1 of 7, etc., in order; 1967 "The 20" data - old tape 1; 1967 "Enterprise" data - old tape 2; 1980 "The 20" and "Enterprise" - old tape 3 1980 "Total?" - old tape 4 1967 "National Sample of 5000" - old tape 5 1982 Congregational Survey - old tape 6 1971 S. African School Report - old tape 7 1971 S. African Attitude Survey - old tape 8 1967 Black Sisters data - old tape 9 1980 "Copy of total?" - old tape 4-2

Tape 2: 1967 Random Sample of 37000 - old tape 10

Marie Augusta Neal Papers
University of Notre Dame Archives
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