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Click here to hear Carol explain her introduction to working with the very poor.

Recording (4)
00:00 / 03:31

Carol Putnam

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

                                                            Farmworkers Council

1980-1986: Coordinator                     Developed Program:

                                                            Hope Rural School, Indiantown, Florida

Click to see website: Hope Rural School

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 Putnam

       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

           The Pseudo-Areopagite

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

(see below)

2021 - Mass to celebrate the 100 anniversary of 

           Carol Putnam's birth: April 26, 1921

Memorial Mass for Sr Carol Putnam Co-Founder of Hope Rural School, Indiantown, Florida - YouTube



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?

Gentle Warrior
Common Miracle
What Can I say that would matter?

Steady Builder
Searching Pilgrim
Your journey will never end.

Trusting Soul
Savvy Dealer
You share more than you know.

Precious Carol
Since we met,
your blood flows through my veins.

Quiet Guide
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,

Domine, secundum 

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

Click to read Joan Gannon's RSCJ recollections of Carol

Carol, the Artist




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