Most immigrants who came to the Americas from Europe set up the kinds of schools they had known in their homelands. Saint Elizabeth Bayley Seton (1774-1821), founder of the American Sisters of Charity, was the architect of the parochial school system in the United States. She received her inspiration from the training established in France by Louise de Marillac (1591-1660), the cofounder of the Sisters of Charity. Under such inspiration Catholics established and supported their own schools. Most of these were elementary schools where reading, writing, and religion were taught. Later secondary schools and even small colleges were founded by churches, primarily to train young men for the ministry. By the 20th century many of these colleges had developed into large and respected universities.
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