An overview in primary documents of almost four hundred years of the American Catholic experience Among the first European explorers of the Americas, Catholics have a long and rich history in the United States. In this collection of significant letters, diaries, theological reflections, and other primary documents, the voices of Catholics in this country reveal what they have thought, believed, feared, and dreamed. American Catholic History spans the earliest missionary voyages in the sixteenth century, to the present day, illuminating the complex history, beliefs, and practices of what has become North American Roman Catholicism. In an engaging and accessible style, the brief introductions to each text provide historical and biographical context and illuminate broad themes in the development of the American Catholic tradition. From Catholicism's encounters with new frontiers to its long-time position outside mainstream culture, and from its intellectual life and political engagement to patterns of worship and spirituality, this book offers a lively first-hand review of Catholicism's multifaceted history in the United States. This expanded edition includes 34 new documents, and offers more robust coverage of the diverse communities of Catholics in this country.