Monday, January 15, 2007

More from the Archives soon to be published!

I received some very good news yesterday from a parishoner, our lector for the Mass, who also happens to be the professor whose lecture room was the first one I walked into to begin my studies in Philosophy and History at the U of U, Dr. W. Lindsay Adams. In a case that a Jungian (which I, most decidedly, am not), in light of my post last week, In the Archives, would not hesitate to describe as synchronicity (a Police album I still adore- it came out when I was in high school), he informed me that the University of Utah Press is going to publish a newly updated edition of Salt of the Earth: The History of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City 1776-1987, a comprehensive history of the Catholic Church in Utah. The original book, authored by Bernice Maher Mooney, was self-published by the Diocese of Salt Lake City in 1987, as was the 2003 addendum, co-authored by Maher Mooney and Msgr. J. Terrence Fitzgerald, currently the Administrator of our Diocese, entitled Catholic Utah At The Turn of the Century, which updates the first volume through 2002.

If I understood Dr. Adams correctly, the new edition will include both previously published works as well as new material taking us up to at least the end of 2006. In charge of the publication? Dr. Gary Topping! I find this very exciting. Seizing the opportunity, I suggested to Dr. Adams that it would be wonderful if the U of U Press would publish a new edition of Bernice's lovely book The Story of the Cathedral of the Madeleine, with the 1993 restoration completely documented to include new photographs, along with the classic older ones from the first edition.

Here is the first paragraph of the first chapter of Mooney's 1987 book. It begins with a very charming understatement, which then goes in to show how dramatically our state's demographics have changed over the past twenty years. As of 2004, Utah has a population of slightly more than 2.3 million, with between 150,000 and 180,000 Catholics for a percentage of somewhere between 6.5% and 8%:

"The State of Utah is not generally considered Catholic country. Some four to five percent of the nearly 1.7 million people living in the state are Catholic. Yet Catholicism is indigeneous to Utah. Franciscan missionaries Francisco Atanasio Dominguez and Silvestre Velez de Escalante were the first non-Native Americans to penetrate the area within Utah's present borders. The cartographer who journeyed into Utah with them in 1776 drew the first maps ever made of what is now known as the Four Corners Region adjoining the states of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico"

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