Brownson, Josephine van Dyke

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Teacher, author; b. Detroit, Mich., Jan. 26, 1880; d. Grosse Pointe, Mich., Nov. 10, 1942. She was the youngest child of Henry Francis and Josephine (Van Dyke) Brownson, and the granddaughter of Orestes A. Brownson. After being educated by the religious of the Sacred Heart, she completed her training at Detroit Normal School and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She began teaching in Detroit at the Barstow School in 1914, transferring ten years later to Cass Technical High School. In 1930 she resigned to concentrate on the Catholic Instruction League, which she had organized in 1916 for the benefit of children attending public schools. She outlined her method of teaching religion in Stopping the Leak (1926); her Catholic Bible Stories (1919), Living Forever (1928), and Learn of Me (1936) became standard books for catechists. In 1939 the Catholic Instruction League was incorporated into the Detroit Archdiocesan Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. That same year she was awarded the Laetare Medal by the University of Notre Dame, Ind., and was named a member of the American Social Service Mission to Venezuela. She had been earlier (1933) honored by the papal decoration Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice and the LL.D. degree from the University of Detroit.

Bibliography: w. romig, Josephine Van Dyke Brownson (Detroit 1955).

[m. a. frawley]

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Brownson, Josephine van Dyke

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