Crossing Parish Boundaries: Race, Sports, And Catholic Youth In Chicago, 1914-1954 by Timothy B. NearyCrossing Parish Boundaries: Race, Sports, And Catholic Youth In Chicago, 1914-1954 by Timothy B. Neary

Crossing Parish Boundaries: Race, Sports, And Catholic Youth In Chicago, 1914-1954

byTimothy B. Neary

Hardcover | October 14, 2016

Pricing and Purchase Info

$53.67 online 
$58.50 list price save 8%
Earn 268 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Controversy erupted in spring 2001 when Chicago’s mostly white Southside Catholic Conference youth sports league rejected the application of the predominantly black St. Sabina grade school. Fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, interracialism seemed stubbornly unattainable, and the national spotlight once again turned to the history of racial conflict in Catholic parishes. It’s widely understood that midcentury, working class, white ethnic Catholics were among the most virulent racists, but, as Crossing Parish Boundaries shows, that’s not the whole story.
            In this book, Timothy B. Neary reveals the history of Bishop Bernard Sheil’s Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), which brought together thousands of young people of all races and religions from Chicago’s racially segregated neighborhoods to take part in sports and educational programming. Tens of thousands of boys and girls participated in basketball, track and field, and the most popular sport of all, boxing, which regularly filled Chicago Stadium with roaring crowds. The history of Bishop Sheil and the CYO shows a cosmopolitan version of American Catholicism, one that is usually overshadowed by accounts of white ethnic Catholics aggressively resisting the racial integration of their working-class neighborhoods. By telling the story of Catholic-sponsored interracial cooperation within Chicago, Crossing Parish Boundaries complicates our understanding of northern urban race relations in the mid-twentieth century.
Timothy B. Neary is associate professor of history at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, and executive director of the Urban History Association.
Title:Crossing Parish Boundaries: Race, Sports, And Catholic Youth In Chicago, 1914-1954Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.3 inPublished:October 14, 2016Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022638876X

ISBN - 13:9780226388762

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

Introduction. “Building Men, Not Just Fighters”
1. Minority within a Minority: African Americans Encounter Catholicism in the Urban North
2. “We Had Standing”: Black and Catholic in Bronzeville
3. For God and Country: Bishop Sheil and the CYO
4. African American Participation in the CYO
5. The Fight Outside the Ring: Antiracism in the CYO
6. “Ahead of His Time”: The Legacy of Bishop Sheil and the Unfulfilled Promise of Catholic Interracialism

Editorial Reviews

Crossing Parish Boundaries comes at a time when violence and racial tension again plague the city of Chicago. Neary’s work is part biography of the extraordinary Bishop Bernard Sheil, part urban study, part religious survey, and part racial history, all combined into a fluid and fascinating text that is as readable as it is informative.”