Click here to hear Carol explain her introduction to working with the very poor.
Secondary Education: Eden Hall
College Education: Manhattanville
Entrance: Sept. 8, 1942
Prise d'habit: March 8, 1943 Kenwood
First Vows: March 10, 1943 Kenwood
Profession: July 30, 1950 Rome
BA-Philosophy/Art: 1942 Manhattanville
MFA-Ceramics/Painting: 1956 CUA
MA-Philosophy: 1957 CUA
Ph.D.-Philosophy: 1960 CUA
1945 Maplehurst: French; Math Teacher
1945-1948 Greenwich: 2nd Academic Teacher
1948-1949 Eden Hall: 3rd Academic Teacher
1949-1950 Eden Hall: 1st Academic Teacher
1950-1952 Newton Academy: 3rd Academic Teacher
1952-1954 Stone Ridge: 3rd Academic Teacher
1954-1955 Stone Ridge: 1st Academic Teacher
1955-1959 Catholic University: Degree candidate in Art and Philosophy.
Prepared for MFA: Mosaic: "Christ the
High Priest", MA and PhD.
1959-1967 Newton College: Asst. Professor, then Full Professor, then Chair of the Art Dept.
Taught courses in ceramics, drawing, philosophy of art, history of art.
1968-1971 Boston Archdiocese: Member of Archdiocesan Task Force - Work to upgrade inner city parochial schools.
Roxbury: teacher training for African Americans
1971-1978: Casa del Sol: South End, Boston :
Center Director: Casa del Sol - Administered Adult Education and training program for lower income
1978-1980: Director: Agricultural and Labor Program, Florida
1980-1986: Coordinator Developed Program:
Hope Rural School, Indiantown, Florida
1986-1987: Sabbatical: Europe, Naxos and Greece
1987-1990: Program Developer: Organizacion de la Communidad de Alviso, San Jose, California
1988-1990: Area Director for the above
1990: Parish Team Member, Mecca, California
Carol, a Scholar
1942 Manhattanville B.A. Philosophy
1956 Catholic University of America MFA:
Painting and Ceramics
Mosaic: Christ the High Priest
1957 Catholic University of America MA Philosophy
1960 Catholic University of America Ph.D. Philosophy
Dissertation: Beauty in the Pseudo-Denis
1962 "Ulrich of Strasbourg and the Aristotelian Causes"
"The Philosopher Monk According to Denis
1967 Paper: Christian Illumination
1968 "The Image as Sacramental"
1971 - 1978 Coordinator - Casa del Sol
1979 - 1980 F.F.C. Head Start Program
1983 - Catholic University of America Alumni Award
1984 - Our Lady of the Elms - Via Veritas Award
1985 - Doctor of Humane Letters - Emmanuel College
1992 - Doctor of Fine Arts - Boston College
2021 - Mass to celebrate the 100 anniversary of
Carol Putnam's birth: April 26, 1921
Carol, a Friend
For Carol Putnam
Dear Friend of fifty years,
a thinker and an artist,
a year ago, she crossed America
to celebrate with the Class of '42
our half-century of friendship.
Her gifts of mind and heart and hands
built dwellings for the homeless,
made beauty glow
in unexpected places.
After long days and months
of illness while we watched beside her,
there came a night
when daybreak marked the end of pain
And God called Carol home.
April 29, 1993 Helen Condon RSCJ
Lover of Life
Teacher of Courage
How Can I honor your gift?
What Can I say that would matter?
Your journey will never end.
You share more than you know.
Since we met,
your blood flows through my veins.
On the endless path,
How do you know the way?
What you build
Will always be
Mostly beyond your sight.
How can I honor
The courage you teach,
In the acts of my daily life?
Nov. 1987 David Nielson
Co-Worker in Alviso, CA
But her commitment to the arts
was far from a matter of elitist
privilege. It was an aspect of
humanization, of fulness of
God's loving power.
This did not always follow the rules
of decorum. She respected the necessity
for a degree of chaos and anarchy
within the creative process.
She, herself, was able to achieve an
amazing balance between a lady-like
propriety and a willingness to pursue
with an almost animal-like tenacity
what she knew was God's desire.
With this balance she was able to achieve
much in her work with the poor and
the disenfranchised, both in the inner
city and in rural communities.
For she saw art as a part of a much broader necessity. In her way, which at once was gentle and strong, dove-like and serpent-like, she strove to help people, to nurture them, not only by providing the physical necessities they needed, but by giving them the training, the skills, the education, the stability, the self-respect and the love that they needed even more. She especially worked with the women and the children, again planting seeds of growth, self- understanding and empowerment.
Among her favorite stories is the one about the little Mexican boy in the Hope Rural School which she helped found.
He said to his friend: "Let's stay in from recess so we can get smart quicker."
She was a motivator.
She gave people vision.
John Steczynski, Lecturer In Art
A tribute to Carol Putnam
She changed my life.
Looking into her face
was like looking into
the face of God!
worked with Carol in Indiantown
Esperanza Jasso RSCJ.
has vivid memories of her
friend, Carol Putnam's
last days -
Sister Jasso could hear her
friend crying out in her sleep,
"The Clinic, the Clinic."
grieving and torn, Sister Jasso
reluctantly told Sister Putnam
she would "give it a try".
"Go in peace,"
she told her friend.
"I am going to Mecca."
"Nunc dimittis servum unum,
verbum tuum in pace."
"Lord, you now allow your
servant to depart in peace,
according to your word."
She died April 16, 1993
On the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of
Hope Rural School, Carol shared her memories...
From the Encyclopedia of American Catholic History 1997, page 1187