The decline in the usage of Irish and the triumph of English as the first language for most Irish throughout the nineteenth century, though undoubtedly a great loss for nationalistic and cultural reasons, proved to be a boon to Irish immigrants to the United States. Almost without exception our men and women were numbered in at least two of these divisions. Many Irish Catholics are now far more inclined to question doctrines and take issue with teachings on such subjects as abortion, contraception, divorce, priestly celibacy, and female priests. His assistance in the conduct Page 28 of affairs in this department was greatly facilitated by the impressions he had received during the formative periods of childhood and youth. As many as 1. Still, there exists in some circles the belief that the Irish are less cultured, less advanced intellectually, and more politically reactionary and even bigoted than some other ethnic groups. She was the slave of John Randolph, and was freed by the terms of his will when he died in Gregg , inventor of the Gregg system of shorthand; and William Heard Kilpatrick , philosopher and leader in the Progressive Education movement, are among prominent Irish American educators. Nevertheless, there exist many elements in the Irish American culture that are truly unique and lend this group a distinct cultural character. In the church was the Parent Mite Missionary Society, in which she held offices for years, first as president and then as treasurer.