Throughout the late 1800s Catholic nuns established new orders in the United States and opened schools, hospitals, and orphanages.
One of the most zealous nuns was Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, who came to New York in 1889 at the pope’s request to help the many immigrants from Italy.
In 1946 she was honored as the first American saint.
Although Jewish women were not allowed to be rabbis, Ray Frank (later Litman) did temporarily stand in for a rabbi in the early 1890s on the West Coast.
In 1893 Jewish women held a national meeting at which they presented papers on their roles in Judaism and established the National Council of Jewish Women, to encourage social service and religious study.