The Printed Word:

Faith Aspirations of a Young Nation

An Exhibit

This presentation hopes to explore the aspirations and longings of those professing religious beliefs as they came to this continent and its new nation, The United States of America, from the time shortly before the American Revolution to the beginning of the 20th Century.

The exhibit is an exploration of ideas as they have come to us through the artifact of the printed word, through books. It will reveal the hopes and dreams of those who wrote them, published and printed them and those who read them.

This exhibit will begin with the reader who cherished the printed word, especially the Word of God and brought it with them from the Old World. These were the people who recorded lovingly the names of their family within the pages of what was most precious to them. The exhibit will allow you to learn about these people and their courageous personal journeys to America.

As you make your way through the exhibit you will discover the unique stories of some well-known and some not-so-well-known religious figures. You may think you know something about Johnny Appleseed, but you will certainly have a new opinion of him after you take a walk with him through the wilds of this new nation planting more than apple seeds.

You will discover some religious communities you may never heard of who still exist and celebrate their faith, the faith they brought with them as they fled persecution, war and pestilence. You will be invited to spend time with them and with those who supported them in the practice of their faith, those who assisted them in the printing of their religious tracts and prayerfully printed their expressions of worship and praise.

You will learn about their struggles to make a home in this New World, their desire and dream that it would become the New Jerusalem. Strengthened by this new nation’s vision of freedom of religion, freedom of the press and freedom of speech, they believed that this nation would allow them an opportunity to know their God and to share that faith with others without fear or prejudice. At times they found this to be true, but there were other times when they found it was more an aspiration than a reality.

But in the end their stories and their courage will allow us to better understand and cherish the freedoms we have come to take for granted, freedoms we should work to preserve and freedoms we should never allow to simply be memories from the past.

The Aquinas Institute is the Catholic mission to Princeton University. Directed by the Diocese of Trenton, It is a place and a community. It is the Catholic intellectual tradition alive on the campus of Princeton University.

The exhibit is open to the public and is available for viewing at the following times:

10am-4pm; 7pm-9pm:

Nov. 19th

Nov. 20th  


Nov. 27th

Dec. 3rd

Dec. 4th

1pm-4pm; 7pm-9pm:

Nov. 22nd

Nov. 23rd

Nov.24th - Closed

Nov. 25th

Nov. 28th 7pm-9pm only

Nov. 29th

Nov. 30th 7pm-9pm only


Dec. 2nd


In order to view the exhibit, please call (609) 924-1820 to make an appointment.