Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

Table of Contents | Cover Page  |  Editors  |  Contributors  |  Introduction  |  Web Version


(1917-) A member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, Gruesser received a Ph.D. in sociology from the Catholic University of America (1950) and thereafter spent her academic career at Cardinal Stritch College, Milwaukee. When she was elected President of the American Catholic Sociological Society in 1955, Sister Jeanine was the first Catholic nun to head a professional organization of sociologists.

Sister Jeanine's early research studies concerned differences between school-age Jewish and Catholic children in the Bronx and Manhattan. Her later studies included research on the permanent diaconate program in Milwaukee. Strongly social action oriented, Sister Jeanine responded to the denial of civil rights to African Americans by joining Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his 1964 march on Selma, Alabama. Her ACSS presidential address broke new ground by calling on the society to make Catholicism itself an object of study. She focused in that address on how Catholics "define a given social situation with reference to Catholic beliefs and externalize that definition in their actions in a given situation" (American Catholic Sociological Review , Vol. 17, p. 2).

Loretta M. Morris

return to Encyclopedia Table of Contents

Hartford Institute for Religion Research   hirr@hartsem.edu
Hartford Seminary, 77 Sherman Street, Hartford, CT 06105  860-509-9500