Category Archives: Religion

Franco Bakers Brought the Tastes of Home to Little Canada

There’s nothing quite like the taste of grandma’s cooking. This holiday season, tens of thousands of Mainers will be enjoying mémère’s tourtière, cretons, or perhaps even pets de soeurs. For immigrants of all backgrounds, food is an important link to home and family, as well as a way of maintaining traditions or future generations. That’s why so […]

This Country is Big Enough and Rich Enough for Everyone:” A Plea for Tolerance from Lewiston-Auburn’s Jews

On April 29 1892, Solomon Robitscheck wrote to Lewiston’s Le Messager objecting to the newspaper’s characterization of the city’s small population of Jewish peddlers. Two weeks earlier, Le Messager had published an editorial reprimanding Franco Americans who purchased items from the peddlers. Le Msssager’s argument was primarily economic – Franco Americans should patronize Franco owned […]

A Rough First Week of School for Lewiston’s Dominican Sisters

In 1903, Father Alexandre-Lousi Mothon, the curé of the Dominican monastery in Lewiston, wrote to the community of Dominican Sisters of Nancy, in France, asking them to send a some of their members to Maine to teach the Franco-American children of Lewiston. Initially, the children of the city’s French Canadian immigrants were educated by lay […]

Enjoying the Long Weekend? Thank Franco-Americans for New Year’s Day

  New Year’s Day (le jour de l’an) is traditionally a special holiday for Franco-Americans, with a history stretching back through Canada and France. Some American observers thought it resembled Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled into one day that held religious, familial, and social significance. A reporter for the Lewiston (Maine) Evening Journal visited a Franco-American family in […]

For French Scientist-Priests, Eclipses Were Teachable Moments

In 1616, one of the most famous conflicts between science and faith occurred in Rome. The Italian scientist Galileo, who had built on the work of Dutch astronomer Nicholas Copernicus, was being challenged by the Inquisition of the Catholic Church. An inquisitorial commission found unanimously that the theory of heliocentrism was not only “foolish and […]