Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Emma Cecilia Busam, February 3, 1998

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - Growing up in Owensboro, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: --Lee Dew. The date is February the 3rd, 1998.

Segment Synopsis: Busam talks about her life history, particularly her childhood and the steps she took to become a nun.

Keywords: Nuns; Religion; Schools; Vows

Subjects: Catholics--Kentucky; Depressions--1929; Depressions--1929--Kentucky; Louisville (Ky.); Owensboro (Ky.)

00:07:27 - Education and teaching

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Partial Transcript: Why did you become a nun?

Segment Synopsis: Busam talks about her education and her teaching career before she became an archivist.

Keywords: Classes; Enters; Nuns; Schools; Sisters

Subjects: Education--Kentucky--Owensboro; Louisville (Ky.); Teachers; Teaching

00:13:18 - History of religious orders in Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: This was a, a heyday for religious orders in Owensboro.

Segment Synopsis: Busam talks about the religious revival that took place in Owensboro during the nineteen sixties. Busam gives a brief history of the religious orders that worked in Owensboro.

Keywords: 1960s; Colleges; Congregations; English; Nuns; Sisters

Subjects: Louisville (Ky.); Religion; Religion and politics--Kentucky; Teachers; Teachers--Kentucky

00:25:27 - Teaching in private school

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Partial Transcript: Let's get back to your old career.

Segment Synopsis: Busam talks about the differences between Catholic schools, Christian schools, and public schools.

Keywords: Christians; Private schools; Public schools; Religion

Subjects: Schools; Segregation; Segregation in education; Segregation in education--Kentucky; Teachers; Teaching

00:31:44 - Women in ministry

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Partial Transcript: Your order, uh, listening to you describe it, uh, uh, the thing that, that struck me was that this was a liberating experience for young women to join the Ursulines.

Segment Synopsis: Busam discusses some of the joys, difficulties, and controversies that exist for women who choose to become nuns. The topics include the opportunity for women to serve in the community, whether nuns should become priests, and whether nuns should wear a habit.

Keywords: Active; Habits; Missionaries; Nuns; Ordains; Public; Saints; Vocation

Subjects: Catholic Church; Catholicism; Catholics--Kentucky; Religion; Women

00:42:53 - Protestant churches and Catholic churches

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Partial Transcript: Probably there has been no more volatile subject among people of all kinds of religious persuasions than the question of abortion.

Segment Synopsis: Busam talks about some of the issues that unite Protestant and Catholic churches and issues that separate Protestant and Catholic churches.

Keywords: Catholics; Protestants; Religious beliefs

Subjects: Abortion; Catholic Church; Religion

00:47:17 - Immigration

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Partial Transcript: One of the demographic changes that's taking place here in, in Owensboro and Daviess County and one that affects the Roman Catholic community is the growing number of Latin American folks who are coming in.

Segment Synopsis: Busam talks about the outreach that the Catholic church has done in Owensboro for immigrants and refugees.

Keywords: Aid; Help

Subjects: Catholics--Kentucky; Immigrants; Immigrants--Kentucky; Latin Americans--Kentucky; Latin Americans--United States; Migrant workers; Refugees

00:53:24 - Clergy who leave the church

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Partial Transcript: Uh, I used to have a number of friends who were clergy and, uh, members of, uh, religious orders here in Owensboro.

Segment Synopsis: Busam and Dew discuss the difficulty of accepting when a community religious leader turns their back on the religion they came from.

Keywords: Authority; Bishops; Rights

Subjects: Clergy; Clergy--Kentucky; Religion

00:58:36 - Changes in the Catholic Church

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Partial Transcript: The uh--what do you see as the biggest--you know, here you spent fifty-five years of your life, uh, in a religious order devoting your entire life, as it were, to the service of the church.

Segment Synopsis: Busam talks about the changes the Catholic Church has made in the way Catholics interact with the community. Dew asks about liberal Catholics and if the Church is trying to become more liberal.

Keywords: Catholics; Children; Churches; Kids; Protestants; Roman Catholic

Subjects: Catholic Church; Clergy; Drug addiction; Liberalism; Religion

01:05:38 - Owensboro community

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Partial Transcript: How do you feel about, oh say, the, the coverage of the newspaper?

Segment Synopsis: In this final segment, Busam talks about some of her childhood memories outside of the church and her opinions about things as they are in the community.

Keywords: Bias; Choirs; Heroes; Neighborhoods; Trolley

Subjects: Childhood; Ford, Wendell H., 1924-; Newspapers--Kentucky.; Newspapers.; Owensboro (Ky.)