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Sacramento and the Catholic Church: Shaping a Capital City
     

Sacramento and the Catholic Church: Shaping a Capital City

by Steven M. Avella
 

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This work examines the interplay between the city of Sacramento and the Catholic Church since the 1850s. Avella uses Sacramento as a case study of the role of religious denominations in the development of the American West. In Sacramento, as in other western urban areas, churches brought civility and various cultural amenities, and they helped to create an

Overview


This work examines the interplay between the city of Sacramento and the Catholic Church since the 1850s. Avella uses Sacramento as a case study of the role of religious denominations in the development of the American West. In Sacramento, as in other western urban areas, churches brought civility and various cultural amenities, and they helped to create an atmosphere of stability so important to creating a viable urban community. At the same time, churches often had to shape themselves to the secularizing tendencies of western cities while trying to remain faithful to their core values and practices.

Besides the numerous institutions that the Church sponsored, it brought together a wide spectrum of the city’s diverse ethnic populations and offered them several routes to assimilation. Catholic Sacramentans have always played an active role in government and in the city’s economy, and Catholic institutions provided a matrix for the creation of new communities as the city spread into neighboring suburbs. At the same time, the Church was forced to adapt itself to the needs and demands of its various ethnic constituents, particularly the flood of Spanish-speaking newcomers in the late twentieth century.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“In this gracefully written, pioneering work in western urban/religious history, Steven M. Avella interweaves the parallel stories of the Roman Catholic Church and the city of Sacramento. Avella’s approach is genuinely pathbreaking, and I suspect that it would serve as a model for similar accounts of other western cities.”
--Ferenc M. Szasz, author of Religion in the West

“In this heroically researched, vividly written study Steven Avella makes an important contribution to the history of California, the Far West, and American Urbanism.”
--Kevin Starr, Professor of History at the University of Southern California, author of Americans and the California Dream series

American Catholic Studies

"...this is a substantive and valuable contribution to Catholic studies, urban history, and the historiography of the American West." -- American Catholic Studies
American Historical Review

"This crisply written, engaging book shows how Sacramento and the Catholic Church shaped each other and offers a model for writing about religion's influence in western cities." —American Historical Review
Catholic Library World

"This book is very readable and accessible to laypeople and scholars alike, and is highly recommended for academic libraries, as well as urban parish libraries, especially in the Western United States." —Catholic Library World
Catholic Southwest

"Sacramento and the Catholic Church is a pleasure to look at and to read. . . . Scholars of Sacramento, California, the west and the American Catholic history will want this book." —Catholic Southwest

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780874177602
Publisher:
University of Nevada Press
Publication date:
09/01/2008
Series:
The Urban West Series
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author


Steven M. Avella was born in Chicago in 1951 and moved to California in 1953. He grew up in Sacramento. He graduated from Dominican College in Racine, Wisconsin, in 1973 and received his Master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 1985. He is currently on the faculty of Marquette University, Milwaukee, where he teaches courses on Religion and American Life and the American West.

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