History of Diocese of Salt Lake City

Gypsy Sisters

"Gypsy Sisters?" That sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it? One of the fundamental obligations of both men and women religious is stability: they stay put. So how could religious sisters be gypsies? It's easy.

Gypsy Sisters Cedar CityWhen Bishop William K. Weigand was ordained for the Diocese of Salt Lake City in 1980, he came from the Diocese of Boise, which is a largely rural diocese similar to this one, in which priests minister to small flocks in farflung areas remote from large urban centers. When he first arrived in Salt Lake City, his local advisors informed him (though he scarcely needed to be reminded) that Catholics in the remote corners of the diocese often felt isolated, and were in especial need of pastoral care. So, as a symbol of his awareness and concern for them, even before he visited the populous and well-established parishes of Salt Lake Valley, he journeyed to places like Vernal and Richfield and Kanab, assuring people there that they were part of the Utah Catholic community and that he would see that, insofar as resources allowed, they would be ministered to.

But how to do that? Priests were already stretched thin in those areas, traveling sometimes hundreds of miles each week to bring the Gospel and the sacraments of the Church to Catholics in widely scattered missions and stations. Some deacons were available, though not many, because the diocese had only begun ordaining them in 1976 following the revival of the permanent diaconate after the Second Vatican Council.

The southern part of the diocese, from Delta to St. George, and from Richfield to Kanab, was particularly needy. So the bishop did two things to try to help Catholics there to feel like they were still under the umbrella of the Church: one was to institute the Southwest Conference. Periodically, pastors were told to suspend Mass in their parishes and missions and travel instead to Cedar City, where Bishop Weigand himself would celebrate Mass, followed by a potluck lunch and a question and answer session, in which he could become aware of local feelings and needs. The conferences also had the effect of bringing widely scattered Catholics together to get acquainted and to realize that they were not as isolated as they may have thought.

The other thing he did was to recruit two Holy Cross Sisters, Patricia Riley and Eileen Dewsnup, to move to southern Utah and establish a roving presence among the parishes and missions as they traveled around from a base in Cedar City. At first, the two sisters were baffled by the assignment.

With Father Colin Bircumshaw, the ‘Gypsy Sisters’ Sr. Eileen Dewsnup, left, and Sr. Patricia Riley, right, visit Blanche and Geneva Lamb in Tocquerville.

"What do you see us doing in Southern Utah?" they asked the bishop.

His response did little to clarify things: "You know, I really don't know. Why don't you go to each of those towns and spend a few days and get the parishioners together and see what they need?"

It was the perfect assignment for a pair of Holy Cross Sisters, for the charism of their Order is simply, as Sister Patricia put it, that "we meet needs."

Gypsy Sisters crop 2 webThat was 1981. For the next two years, they did just exactly that: they provided music for special Masses in churches that had no organist; they taught religious education classes and taught others how to teach religious ed; they ran RCIA classes; they took the Eucharist to people who rarely if ever saw a priest; and they ran a traveling bookstore carrying religious literature on consignment from Maxine Kaiser's diocesan bookstore in the Pastoral Center in Salt Lake City. Although their base was a mobile home behind the church in Cedar City, they learned that their best ministry was to accept hospitality from Catholics in isolated communities, living in private homes for perhaps a week at a time to establish a sustained ministerial presence that could do more good than hit-and-run visits on Sundays.

Their roving ministry caught the imagination of southern Utahns, Catholic and Mormon alike. The Spectrum, the local weekly newspaper in St. George, called them first of all "the Flying Nuns," and then "the Gypsy Sisters."

In time, Sisters Patricia and Eileen were gradually assigned to other ministries in the diocese, but they were replaced by other sisters who carried on their work. It became the most imaginative rural ministry since Bishop Scanlan had sent Holy Cross Sisters to the mining town of Silver Reef in Washington County in the mid-1870s to run a school and hospital.

The first Catholic church in Cedar City was a converted private residence where the priest lived upstairs and the chapel was located downstairs. The ‘Gypsy Sisters’ lived behind the church in a mobile home which had not yet been installed at the time of this photograph.

Over time, of course, things have changed in southern Utah. Beginning with the burgeoning retirement community in St. George and the population expansion in Cedar City following, among other things, establishment of a major state university there, the region has become much less rural and isolated than it was in the days of the Gypsy Sisters. Although Monsignor Michael Winterer still runs up the numbers on his odometer to reach the missions and stations under his jurisdiction, he is assisted now by only one Holy Cross Sister, Yvonne Hatt, who is located in Cedar City. A beautiful new parish church in Cedar City has replaced the private home that once served as both rectory and chapel, and a Catholic presence has been established in such once unlikely communities as Beaver, Hurricane, and Beryl Junction. The Catholic Church in southern Utah is coming of age, and much of its maturity can be traced directly to the ministry of the "Gypsy Sisters" in the 1980s.

Another Look at Bishop Scanlan

Scanlan 4 smallerAlmost as vividly as the majestic Cathedral of the Madeleine which he himself erected, Bishop Lawrence Scanlan (1843-1915) is an iconic symbol of the formative period of Utah Catholicism. His figure is familiar: the resolute jaw, the furrowed brow that almost seems to be scowling, and the oak-solid tall frame of his body. "What a stern looking face," a man who later became his friend exclaimed upon seeing his photograph,"I wonder if that man ever smiles. God help his [priests] anyway." A renowned athlete in his youth, "he excelled, it seems, in all the sports," his biographer tells us, "jumping higher, throwing farther, kicking more accurately than any of his companions in the cassock." His obituary informs us that some of his feats on the playing fields of All Hallows College, Dublin were still remembered half a century later. As a young priest he was the epitome of the pioneer western clergyman. In the tough mining town of Pioche, Nevada, he held his own against his two-fisted Irish parishioners when he would not back down in his insistence that they stay out of the gambling halls and brothels. Later, in Utah, he regularly rode hundreds of miles on horseback or in a buggy in all kinds of weather to take the Gospel to Catholics strewn out from Ogden to Silver Reef, from Park City to Eureka. In the pulpit, his biographer records, Scanlan "was apt to preach with violence and at a length which would today be considered intolerable." As he grew older, he stoically endured constant pain from rheumatism and headaches from a concussion sustained when he was thrown from a horse.

All of this is well known. Almost mythical in its dimensions, the myth is nevertheless true, as far as it goes, in every detail. And yet, there is another Bishop Scanlan. . . .

Much of the popular image we have of Bishop Scanlan comes from an excellent biographical article in Utah Historical Quarterly by Father Robert J. Dwyer (later Bishop of Reno and Archbishop of Portland, Oregon), who, while he was too young to have known the bishop other than as a child, had ready access to the memories of members of Scanlan's generation. Recent research, however, is able to modify some of those memories. For one thing, Dwyer represents Scanlan's seminary training, which was directed to the needs of missionary priests ministering to the Irish Diaspora driven by the Potato Famine to the farflung corners of the earth, as being heavier on practical matters than theoretical: "Lawrence Scanlan was typical of the All Hallows priest. He never thought of himself as a theologian, but his grasp of the fundamentals of the science was sure and confident." Fr. Denis Kiely, Scanlan's Vicar General who shared lodging with him during most of their years in Utah and who knew the bishop maybe better than anyone, offered a much more flattering assessment of his intellect. "Bishop Scanlan," he reported, "was a man of scholarly attainments, well versed on all topics, and a great philosopher, yet so unassuming that on slight or short acquaintance one was liable to underrate his ability. In discussing any subject, no matter what it was, he was always equal to the occasion. He had a keen logical mind, and loved to hear those who partook of his hospitality arguing on the most difficult of subjects, or ordinary topics of the day. On any subject, no matter how remote from his professional duties, he was well informed, or if not he could direct the inquirer to the source from which information could be obtained."

A 1907 visitor to the new rectory on South Temple was received into the bishop's office, "a reception room almost bare," with a few pictures and framed certificates on the walls and two tables covered with books in the center. On one of the tables was a surgical instruments catalog, from which the bishop was choosing equipment for Holy Cross Hospital--a strange task, one would think, for the bishop of the diocese, but it indicates the degree to which he was a "hands on" pastor and administrator.

The visitor's eye strayed to one of the tables, where he noticed a book in Arabic and a French weekly paper. At that moment the bishop entered the room, and the first question the visitor asked concerned his linguistic abilities: "He did not pretend any great fluency in the Arabic and limited his acquirements to French, Italian, Latin, Greek, Gaelic, with a little Spanish." From another source we learn that Scanlan had studied Chinese for six months in San Francisco when he had first arrived in America, but he gave it up when he learned that there are multiple dialects in Chinese and that learning one would not necessarily enable him to converse with any Chinese person he might encounter.

The bishop went on to narrate a humorous story about his linguistic ability. En route to California from Dublin, Scanlan had crossed the isthmus of Panama on a railroad (the canal was not built until 1914) and sailed up the coast of Mexico. At a stop in Acapulco, a doctor aboard ship advised him to put some wine into any water he might drink in order to kill the germs. Wandering through town, he found a wine shop and asked the proprietor, in halting Spanish, for some red wine. Looking Scanlan in the eye, the man informed him, to his utter astonishment, that he could speak Gaelic if he wished! "How do you suppose he knew I was Irish?" Scanlan wondered.

Bishop Scanlan "was not without wit," his biographer records, "though it is recalled as sardonic rather than sparkling." In fact, there are examples of a wit that sparkles. The bishop told the editor of the Intermountain Catholic a story on himself dating back to his days in Nevada. It seems that he had befriended a certain Indian. "This Indian was in the habit of visiting Father Scanlan, and the latter, to try the Indian's skill at shooting, used to place a nickel upon a stick some fifty yards away, and if the Indian knocked it off with his arrow, it was his property. 'This Indian's shooting was so good,' Father Scanlan would say with a smile, 'that he used to break me!'"

On another occasion, in Belmont, Nevada, another mining town, Father Scanlan remembered having been approached by an apparently drunken tramp who asked for a dime. Scanlan gave him twenty-five cents, but added, "Now promise me you won't get drunk on this." The tramp thanked him, then retorted, "Drunk on twenty-five cents! I promise you I won't. Why, Reverend Sir, it would take ninety-nine cents of a dollar to make me drunk."

Although Scanlan's biographer admits that the bishop "was capable of deep affection," he was "inclined to be severe" with his priests, and overall "he held himself aloof, a figure revered and respected, a little to be feared." Once again, the record supports a much softer image of the man. "One of the most pleasing traits in Bishop Scanlan's character," continues the Intermountain Catholic editor, "is his affection," particularly to old friends whose acquaintance extended back for many years. "'They would come around when I was living at the back of the old church [St. Mary Magdalen, on Second East] and sit with me on the porch,' he would say, 'and talk with me there of the old times, their adventures and vicissitudes of fortune. I was never so happy as then. . . . These old people shared with us their crust, shared with us their joys and sorrows, and many of them are gone to the land where there are no shadows. Ah, happy is the bishop or priest whose lot is cast among such.'"

And it was not just friends from years gone by on whom Bishop Scanlan lavished his affection, for he took a particular interest in children as well, especially the ones in St. Ann's Orphanage and the Junior Choir at the Cathedral. The Junior Choir, which the Intermountain Catholic says was "very dear to Bishop Scanlan's heart and is under his special patronage," would often receive gifts of candy and holy cards from the bishop to encourage their participation. Each year they would put on a special performance for the entertainment of the orphanage children, and Bishop Scanlan was always part of the audience. Once, in fact, he terminated his vacation early so he could be in attendance. Each year he would set aside a special day for the orphans at the Saltair resort, where they could take all the rides and eat all the goodies they wanted at his expense. "Gee, mamma, it must be great to be an orphan," exclaimed another youngster who observed the orphans frolicking at Saltair before sitting down at rows of long tables for the annual banquet.

The one of Bishop Scanlan's friends who actually may have known him even better than Vicar General Kiely is a person who, strangely, has hitherto escaped any mention in the historical record. The scant sources of his life are contradictory. He was "General" Stephen Lavin, an Irishman who fought in the American Civil War, then apparently went west to California, where he became acquainted with Father Scanlan (another source says he came to Utah with Col. Patrick Edward Connor's California Volunteers). He became Scanlan's "body servant and constant companion" for the next thirty-eight years, sharing with the priest the hardships and deprivations of life on the Nevada and Utah frontiers until his death on June 3, 1909. Remembered for his saintly disposition, he was a "gentle, simple old man, whose life was blameless." Future historians will need to keep "General" Lavin in mind when they are tempted to paint sentimental word pictures of the solitary pioneer bishop braving the lonely rigors of ministering in rural Utah.

We have even learned new things about the bishop's appearance and the sound of his voice. The aforementioned visitor to the rectory who queried Scanlan about his linguistic ability described the bishop in his sixty-fourth year: "He is more than 60 years old, but does not look it. His hair is slightly gray, but his eyes are as bright as when he first saw the world from the Tipperary viewpoint. He has the typical Irish mouth and just a trace of the soft burr of old Erin, not enough to call it a brogue, just enough to make his voice caressing, whimsical and sincere at the same time."

Oh, and his favorite hymn (for whatever it's worth): "Nearer, My God, to Thee."

The last known photograph of Bishop Scanlan, laying the cornerstone at Our Lady of Lourdes church, Salt Lake City, June 29, 1913. He had less than two years to live.

This, then, is the "new" bishop Scanlan. While we can still celebrate his stoical endurance of the rigors of ministry on the frontier, and not forget his thunderous exhortations from the pulpit, we should also remember his acute intelligence, his impressive linguistic accomplishments, the warmth of his friendship with old comrades and children, and his whimsical sense of humor. So the next time you see a photograph of Bishop Scanlan, do not recoil in fear. Take another look: those Irish eyes are smiling!

The Orphanage

Orphanage 2 smallerAlthough he was the son of poor Irish immigrants and possessed only a grammar school education, Thomas Kearns became one of Utah's wealthiest and most influential public figures. Like many of Utah's earliest millionaires, Kearns made his fortune from the territory's rich silver deposits. In 1883, with his partners John Judge and David Keith, he developed the Silver King mine in Park City, which became one of the biggest producers in Utah history. Eventually he served as U.S. Senator and publisher of both the Salt Lake Tribune and the Salt Lake Telegram newspapers before his death in 1918.

Mining is a dangerous occupation, and accidents in Kearns's mine and many others left families without a breadwinner and children without parents. Moved by compassion for those orphans, the Holy Cross Sisters opened an orphanage in 1891 in a two-story adobe building on First South and Third East. The building was only a block south of the planned site of the Cathedral of the Madeleine, and in fact had been utilized as a rectory by Fr. Lawrence Scanlan and other priests who served the growing Catholic population in St. Mary's church one block in another direction, west of the future Cathedral, on Second East. When the present rectory was erected and Salt Lake City became a diocese in 1891, Bishop Scanlan gave the building to the orphans.

But the orphan population kept growing, necessitating additions to the building on two separate occasions. In 1898, Bishop Scanlan accepted an option on a fifteen acre parcel extending to the south of Twenty-first South, with the idea of building an expanded orphanage which would have the capability of producing much of its own food on its rich farmland. The following year, Mrs. Kearns gave Bishop Scanlan $50,000 for construction of the orphanage, which was designed by Carl M. Neuhausen, architect of the Cathedral and Holy Cross Hospital, and opened in 1900. At about that time, the orphanage had a population in excess of one hundred children. When wealthy miner and merchant Patrick Phelan died in 1901, he left a substantial endowment to the orphanage.

The original orphanage at First South and Third East had been Bishop Scanlan's rectory.

St. Ann Orphanage was not only a living facility, but a school as well, educating children from the ages of five to fifteen. Other neighborhood children enrolled too, to take advantage of the excellent nearby school. In 1926 there were thirty-six resident boys and thirty resident girls enrolled, as well as fifty non-resident children.

Nowadays the term "orphanage" evokes mental images of Dickensian hellholes of squalor, starvation, and abuse. St. Ann was nothing of the kind. Surviving photographs show clean, well-clothed children apparently happy and thriving on what was then a rural acreage. Deacon Silvio Mayo, who worked at the orphanage while a student at Judge Memorial Catholic High School, speaks with high praise of the quality and quantity of the food.

The new St. Ann Orphanage shortly after its construction on Twenty-first South. Note how tiny the trees in front were in those days!

But social welfare practices in the United States began taking a different turn in the mid-twentieth century, particularly after the creation of government agencies who could do what privately endowed programs could not. Like the great settlement houses in the cities, orphanages like St. Ann yielded to more modern ways. Between 1953 and 1955 St. Ann made a transition from orphanage to school, which it remains today under the auspices of St. Ann parish.

P Phelanorphans

[The centennial anniversary of the dedication of the Cathedral of the Madeleine is August 15, 2009. The story posted here inaugurates a monthly series of historical pieces by diocesan archivist Gary Topping celebrating the Cathedral. The series will run throughout the centennial year.]

One of the more interesting stained glass windows in the Cathedral of the Madeleine is the Visitation window on the west side. Archbishop Robert J. Dwyer, who grew up and was ordained in the Cathedral, recalled wondering, as a boy, what the dedication, "In MemY of P. Phelanorphans" meant. Even when one learns that "Phelan" and "Orphans" are two separate words jammed together in the limited space for the dedication, the mystery persists. What's the story?

Patrick Phelan was an Irish boy who came to the United States in 1849 and followed the Gold Rushers to California in 1850. In 1866 he migrated to the Montana mines where he met his lifelong business associate, Stephen Hays. In 1872 he moved to Salt Lake City and mined part time at Alta. It is not known how well he did in mining, but he must have made at least some money, because in June, 1873 he opened a store for the miners in Bingham Canyon. Hays sold a business in Salt Lake City and joined Phelan in the partnership Phelan & Hays.

Father Denis Kiely, Vicar General of the Diocese of Salt Lake, remembered Phelan in an Intermountain Catholic obituary as an extraordinarily generous man: "I have known numberless instances where he would send aid to persons in need, and always with the injunction that nothing be said about it. . . . He studied to make others happy, and his joy was to learn that he succeeded." Phelan never married, and in his will he continued his generosity by donating his estate to the diocese to be used in support of St. Ann Orphanage. He died on October 7, 1901, and on July 20, 1904 Bishop Lawrence Scanlan formed a corporation called the Phelan Fund to administer the $78,593.07 Phelan had left behind.

The Phelan fortune was a diversified portfolio mostly consisting of cash, real estate, and stocks and bonds. Much of the ongoing endowment for the orphanage came from rents from the various properties, so the Phelan Fund was largely a real estate management firm. Although it lost some money at one point when a property on which it held a bond defaulted, the fund more than recouped its losses in 1916 when it sold one of its properties, the "White House Corner" at the intersection of 2nd South and Main Streets to Thomas Kearns for $350,00.

During the construction of the Cathedral, the "Phelan Orphans" (more likely the Holy Cross Sisters who ran the orphanage) decided to return some of the Phelan money to fund one of the stained glass windows in perpetual memory of their great benefactor. The window, like all the windows in the nave of the church, cost $1,000.

When the orphanage closed in the early 1950s and became St. Ann School, the Phelan money was given to Catholic Charities, which became our present Catholic Community Services. So the generosity of Patrick Phelan lives on. Please remember that great and humble Catholic layman and say a prayer of thanksgiving for him whenever you see the "Phelanorphans" window.

The Cathedral of the Madeleine

cathedral extA procession of 100 choir boys preceded the cathedral's dedication, 200 young women in white, forty priests, eight bishops, five archbishops and James Cardinal Gibbons--highest prelate in the US. The 9:30 A.M. dedication service was followed by a co-celebrated Pontifical Mass at 11 o'clock--the principal celebrant the Right. Reverend Bishop Lawrence Scanlan and the homily given by his eminence Archbishop John Joseph Glennon of St. Louis.

To some it is surprising that there were enough Catholics here in 1909 to have a diocese, but Catholicism has a long history in what is now Utah. Undoubtedly, they celebrated the first mass during the Dominguez- Escalante expedition of 1776. Also, many mountain men and explorers were Catholic. There is a reference by an anti-papist officer of a Catholic clergyman Franciscan Father Bonaventure Keller, present at Camp Floyd in June of 1859. This priest reportedly performed 26 baptisms and three marriages during his six-month stay. Also, he celebrated Utah's first recorded requiem mass for Private John McKay in July 1859. After Keller's short stay a permanent stream of Catholic clergy came to the territory. Generally, they were assigned to military posts that Irish immigrant soldiers heavily populated. Yet, there were few secular parishes.

Over the years, especially due to Camp Douglas in the 1860's, the Catholic population grew here in the city and the parish of St. Mary Magdalene was established in 1866. A folk legend states that Brigham Young donated the land where the cathedral stands but the facts are this: when the northwest corner of 1st S and 2nd E was purchased in good faith by Fr. Edward Kelly in November 1866 to build a church, the title was not legally clear. As Father Kelly did want to go through litigation, he asked the contestant to summit to the mediation of BrighamYoung. President Young found that the good faith purchase was valid. But back to the cathedral.

On August 14, 1873, Father Lawrence Scanlan became pastor of St. Mary Magdalene, and the next 13 years showed a rapid growth in the Catholic population in the city and the territory. Fr. Scanlan became Bishop of Salt Lake City in 1886 and purchased the site of the cathedral at South Temple and B St. for $35,000 in 1890. Ground breaking was July 4, 1899 and the cornerstone was laid a year later. Designed by German born, Salt Lake architect Carl Neuhausen, the cathedral progressed slowly so the financial burden would be minimal.

A committee oversaw the project, headed by Senator Thomas Kearns. Unfortunately, the project outlived the designer, so, with Neuhausen's death in 1907, architect Bernard Mecklenberg took over to finish the towers and roof. This was the year the parish of St. Mary Magdalene began to use the auditorium in the basement of the new cathedral and closed the old church building. Bishop Scanlan admitted to not being an artist and had the interior walls of the cathedral painted green with white pillars just like St. Mary Magdalene Church. When the right Carrara marble for the altar could not be found in Italy, they decided to use a brown mottled marble from here in state and many members of the Catholic community donated the stained glass windows.

In the 1920's, they enhanced the decorative interior with changes made by Bishop Glass with architect John Theodore Comes overseeing the work including frescoes on the ceiling and around the altar. With these changes, Bishop Glass renamed the church Cathedral of the Madeleine. There would be a renovation and restoration in the 1990's, but that first dedication ceremony and Pontifical Mass will always be the true hallmark in this great building's history.

The construction of this great building had many effects on the community including festivities surrounding this first mass. And while there is no known direct connection, it is interesting that the day after the dedication, the Utah Ice and Cold Storage Co. announced they had used the last of their 3,000-ton reserve of natural and artificial ice. The 200+ tons needed each day by the people of the city was not available, with roughly 100 tons a day shortfall in natural and artificial ice. There was not enough ice to see the city through September. Although it was noted there had been an unusually warm June and July, it was clear, Salt Lake had outgrown its ice supply and there was an ice famine.

Detailed tours of the Cathedral are available Sunday afternoons.

Bishop Scanlan's Crypt

Oral history--interviewing historical participants to collect information that never got written down--can be an effective way to supplement the written record. But it requires a skillful interviewer to know the right questions, and more than once in my career as a historian, after I had concluded the interview, packed up the tape recorder, and was on my way out the door, the interviewee told me a better story than anything I had gotten on the tape. Here's one that did NOT get away.

Last month I interviewed Gregory Glenn, founder of the Madeleine Choir School and a central figure in the renovation of The Cathedral in the late 1980s and early 1990s, to get his recollections to be used in a new history of The Cathedral I've been writing. We had finished the interview and I had shut the recorder off, when it occurred to me to ask one more question. I'm glad I did, because it elicited an amazing story. Here it is, directly from the transcript:

Gary Topping: With all of that whole apparatus of the chancel and the altar and that, were there reinforcements that had to be installed below that, down to the foundation?

Gregory Glenn: Yeah. In fact, the old crypt where Bishop Scanlan used to be buried downstairs had to be destroyed because some kind of reinforcing beam or pillar had to be installed. There are new pillars found in the Social Hall downstairs that are directly beneath the chancel area. They're covered with plaster, so they look like they've always been there.

Gary Topping: So that was the reason for moving Bishop Scanlan's crypt upstairs?

Gregory Glenn: It was, although I also have to say that it was not a very noble place to bury him. The doorway exists today; it was a safe, the kind of door you would have on a safe. The room itself was very awkward; one couldn't go in there very easily.

He was exhumed. That was one of my strange jobs in the restoration process, to oversee his removal from the crypt. No one up here, in the rectory house, would do that. [Laughter] So I was given the job. When he was taken out of the marble sarcophagus, his casket had completely decayed. Not completely, but it has pretty much been destroyed. So his body was removed and placed on a noble stretcher, and I was instructed to go down and look at it. I remember he was inviolate. His body was all present. His skin was there. He looked very much like a dried flower, that kind of appearance. He was all intact. He had his crozier and his mitre, the old pontifical sunburst gloves, his hands were folded. He was a very tall man, very tall. That was a very striking moment.

There is a ring that he was given when he became the Bishop of Salt Lake City by the Bishop of Cashel, [in] the Arch[diocese] of Thurles, one of the older archdioceses in Ireland. This ring has a long history. I think it has medieval roots, if I remember correctly. Bishop Federal, when I came back upstairs after doing this--and by the way, the funeral directors were all in space suits [Laughter], and here I was [in street clothes], exposed to whatever . . . if I might contract some very strange disease in the future, you'll know why [Laughter]. But anyway, I came upstairs and Bishop Federal was at dinner. I was a bit shellshocked by the whole thing, and the first thing he asked me was, "Did you get the ring?" I said to him, "Well, no, I didn't get the ring." I wasn't about to take the ring, you know. [Laughter] It was one of those Young Frankenstein moments. But no, the ring is still there. It's only with subsequent reading of the early history of Utah that I even more and more recognize what an incredible man this was, what he accomplished in his years of work here in this diocese. So our great founder is now with us in the upper church, and that's good."

So Greg Glenn and the two morticians who exhumed the body are three living people who have actually seen Bishop Scanlan.

Two additional comments on Greg's narrative:

The reason the bishop was entombed in that not very satisfactory room is that when he built the Cathedral, Bishop Scanlan had had no idea of providing a burial space within the structure. At the time of the dedication of The Cathedral in 1909, though, Cardinal James Gibbons of Baltimore planted the idea that he should be buried there, and that in fact was his last request, so he had to be interred wherever space could be found.

The ring Greg refers to had been worn by the Bishops of Cashel for three hundred years, according to Scanlan's biographer. It had been given to him by one Archbishop Croke, not at the time of his episcopal ordination, but rather on the occasion of the young priest's departure for America, "with the prediction that he would wear it as a Bishop in the New World," a prophecy that obviously came true.

Two Organists

In a church that depends on historical continuity, one of the most remarkable continuities is the occupant of the organ bench at the Cathedral. I'll bet you didn't know that from about 1893 to about 1973 there were only two principal organists at the Cathedral!

The first one was the remarkable Nora Gleason, a daughter of Irish immigrants whom Bishop Lawrence Scanlan plucked from the mining towns of southern Utah and saw to her education in Salt Lake City and Chicago. She became organist in the old St. Mary's Cathedral which preceded the Cathedral of the Madeleine, played and directed the choirs at the dedication of the present Cathedral, and continued to occupy the organ bench until Bishop Scanlan died in 1915 and Bishop Glass had been ordained. She died in 1918.

When Gleason retired, she was replaced by a young protégé, Ethel Hogan, who continued in the position through the tenure of no fewer than five bishops, almost until her death in 1975. Hogan was born in Aspen, Colorado in 1903, but her family moved to Salt Lake City when she was a young girl. She studied music at St. Mary's Academy and the University of Utah, later doing graduate work at Notre Dame University. She became the Cathedral organist in 1917 at the amazing age of fourteen!

As an adult she was a woman of great physical beauty, which she enhanced by adopting a flambouyant personal style almost like that of a movie star. With red hair and rings on every finger, she cut a striking figure driving about in her Cadillac. Her marital history resembled that of many movie stars as well, for she was married altogether three times, acquiring the unwieldy designation of Ethel Hogan Heinz Hanson Merrill! A dissimilarity with movie stars, though, is that she never divorced; she simply had the misfortune of having two husbands die before her (she was survived by her third husband, whom she married barely a year before her death).

To have continued that long as Cathedral organist, whe must have been a superb musician. (She was long before my time at the Cathedral, and although she recorded an album of organ music in the 1950s, I have not yet located a copy.) Church organists have to be skilled at improvisation to occupy gaps in the liturgy, but apparently she was capable of improvising some very complex pieces. During the 1960s she published two collections of marches that she had improvised at the organ bench and someone had transcribed into notation. One was the "Monsignor March," composed to celebrate the naming of Fr. William McDougall as Monsignor. Don't expect our current organist, Doug O'Neill, to play it at any Masses soon, but he played it for me recently and I think we were both impressed at its sophistication.

Ethel Hogan Merrill died in California on February 24, 1975 at the age of 71. After a funeral Mass at the Cathedral, she was interred at Mount Calvary Cemetery.

The Cathedral Gets a Facelift

First-time visitors to the Cathedral are almost always dazzled by the brilliant colors of the interior, particularly since the paint was cleaned during the renovation of the early 1990s. As built by Bishop Lawrence Scanlan and dedicated in 1909, the interior was much more modest, decorated only in white with green accents. The present decorations date to 1917, when the second bishop of the diocese, Bishop Joseph S. Glass, hired mural artist Felix Lieftuchter to paint the scenes we see today. Only the most dedicated Cathedral historians, though, are aware of the fact that Bishop Glass's work was not confined to the interior, for he also accomplished two major alterations in the South Temple façade of the church.

One was a realignment of the steps leading from the street to the church doors. If one compares the photograph accompanying this article with the steps as they presently exist, it is obvious that another pitch of steps leading east and west have been added. At the same time, a plaque honoring Bishop Scanlan was added, as well as one with Bishop Glass's motto, "Fortitudo et Pax," (fortitude and peace), and an "E Pluribus Unam" (out of many, one) plaque.

Another is that the tympanum, the large bas-relief scupture panel directly above the main entrance, was replaced. The original tympanum was a rather crudely executed crucifixion scene set within a cloverleaf framework. The present tympanum is a much more elaborate work created by Francis Aretz in Pittsburgh over a seven year period and shipped to Salt Lake City in several pieces. It depicts Christ as High Priest, surrounded by angels, the twelve apostles, and four Doctors of the Church. For the panels over the side door arches he carved depictions of the seven sacraments (west) and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (east).

It is no accident that the official Sunday morning Cathedral tours begin beneath the tympanum, with the guide explaining the symbolism and the artistic excellence of the sculpture. It serves to lift the visitors' spirits and to prepare them for the blast of color they will experience in a few moments when they walk inside.


Our Lady of Zion

As designed by Carl M. Neuhausen, the architect of the Cathedral of the Madeleine, the baptistry was a separate room to the east of the main entrance to the Cathedral in which people both literally and symbolically "outside" the Church were baptized and then brought inside. Later, a baptismal font was installed inside the Cathedral proper, in the east transept in front of the St. Joseph chapel, and during the renovation of the early 1990s under Bishop Weigand, the present font was installed in the rear of the Cathedral. That meant that the old baptistry was available for a new function. As part of the renovation this was redesignated the Magdalen Room with installation of a statue of St. Mary Magdalen created in the 1940s by Canadian artist Gordon Newby, and two racks of votive candles. To the original eight stained glass windows were added two "Vatican II" windows commemorating the ecumenical movement and the Church's commitment to dialogue with the modern world as set forth in the Council document "Lumen Gentium."

Several years after completion of the renovation, a Madonna and Child statue of Portugese rose marble carved in Italy in 1958 by Mormon sculptor Avard Fairbanks was donated by his son, Dr. Grant R. Fairbanks. Avard Fairbanks was one of Utah's greatest artists, and a sculptor with an international reputation. One of his favorite subjects was the madonna and child, probably because his own mother died when he was an infant. The Portugese rose marble was chosen because it has a natural hue similar to human skin. An interesting feature of this Madonna is that she was rendered as a Mormon pioneer woman, with gnarly hands.

In 1975 Fairbanks gave the statue to his son, who displayed it in the main hall of his home. Monsignor William H. McDougall, who was rector of the Cathedral at the time, viewed the statue in Dr. Fairbanks's home and expressed an interest in acquiring it. After the Cathedral renovation made a place available where the statue could be displayed, Dr. Fairbanks, in a fine ecumenical gesture, donated it. Though a Mormon, Avard Fairbanks seems to have had an accurate understanding of the role that art plays in Catholic churches. "The hope of the world lies in our faith and in our spiritual ideals," he wrote. "Such ideals we express in material form." With the installation of the Fairbanks statue, the room was renamed the Our Lady of Zion chapel.

Utah's First Catholic School

In 1875 Saint Mary's Academy was established by the Holy Cross Sisters as a boarding and day school for young ladies in Salt Lake City. The original adobe cottage was situated on First West and between First and Second South, roughly on the site of the present day Salt Palace.

Although Salt Lake City had only eight to ten Catholic families in total, by the end of the first school year in 1876, there were 100 day pupils and 25 boarders. Students, both Catholic and non-Catholic were arriving from all over the Frontier. Apart from Utah, they often came from Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Nevada.

The Holy Cross Sisters had a "Programme of Studies for Academies and Select Schools" which became a pattern of education for all community academies, including the one in Salt Lake City. The program in general consisted of 3 primary classes, 3 preparatory classes and 4 academic classes. The academy represented a no-frills curriculum emphasizing the arts, languages and humanities, very similar to Catholic schools curricula even today. The sisters taught piano, zither, organ, guitar, banjo, harp, mandolin, flute, cello and violin as part of their musical education. Saint Mary's Academy had its own orchestra as well. The academy offered the following subjects in the art department: drawing; oil painting and water colors; plain sewing and ornamental needlework; china and mirror painting; portrait drawing in crayon; sketching scenes in pastel; and the making of an elegant English lace known as Honiton.At the end of every school year exhibition days or commencement programs were held for parents and visitors, during which the students demonstrated their newly developed skills and knowledge. Programs included musical numbers from operas and other musical works. The students also demonstrated their level of literacy in literature and philosophy by reading literary works such as poems, drama excerpts or even their own essays. At times these presentations were given in foreign languages. During this occasion gold medals were awarded to the best students in Christian doctrine, penmanship, studies, drawing, painting, vocal and instrumental music, plain sewing and ornamental needlework. Apart from the series of presentations, student works of art such as needle work, paintings, maps and class work of papers in mathematics, history, grammar, languages and bookkeeping were exhibited.

In 1898 Mother Lucretia introduced the annual May procession, which was held on the last day of May. The Children of Mary carried banners and sang hymns, as they passed in procession through the academy grounds to an outdoor shrine, where the Sodality president crowned the "Lady Queen of the May".

Seeing the example of commitment shown by the Sisters, some of the students later joined the Holy Cross Congregation. Louise Heffernan was among the first graduates. She was the daughter of Brigadier General Heffernan- commander at Fort Douglas. Louise became the first postulant to enter the novitiate from the West. She received her holy habit in 1878 and made her profession in 1881. Louise Heffernan, later known as Sister M. Rita completed her graduate studies at Harvard University and became the head of the English department at Saint Mary's Academy in Notre Dame, Indiana.

Saint Mary's Academy was the first female Academy in the Western region run by the Holy Cross Sisters. The Academy was most attractive to those students that aspired to a liberal education of the highest quality, an education that would "best qualify them for active participation in the affairs of every-day life, to embellish their characters with the refinement of art, and above all make them noble, God-fearing women."Because of the growing numbers of students a decision was made to purchase a new home for the academy. In 1923 the Holy Cross Sisters purchased a building from the Country Club on the Thirteenth South and Thirtieth East Street in Salt Lake City.

The new St. Mary of the Wasatch, under the direction of Sister Madeleva Wolff CSC was opened in 1926. This school had, beside the high school program, a full liberal arts college program and a pre-nursing program taught in cooperation with the Holy Cross Hospital. Student enrollment began to decline in the late 1940s and it was decided to close St. Mary of the Wasatch in 1970. Neither the Sisters nor the diocese had the resource to provide the major renovations the facilities required. In 1972 the building was sold. The memory of the school still carries on in the hearts of its students.

History Detectives

Do you ever watch the TV show "History Detectives"? It's a lot of fun, and a wonderful depiction of the joys of historical research. In the show, someone will present an old diary or an artifact they might have found in their basement, and a team of researchers will attempt to verify its authenticity or to learn as much as they can to interpret it. Last week I had a chance to be a history detective. Here's the story:

Deacon Silvio Mayo called me into his office and handed me a box containing a carrying case which turned out to be a portable Mass kit that had just come to us as part of the estate settlement of one Monsignor Edward John J. Mitty. Msgr. Mitty is identified in an accompanying document as a namesake nephew of our Bishop John J. Mitty (1926-32) who became Archbishop of San Francisco until his death in 1961.

The chalice in the Mass kit presents an intriguing mystery because attached to its base is what appears to be the set of a diamond wedding ring! Engraved inscriptions underneath the base offer more concrete information: "Rev. John J. Mitty from Will In Memory of our Dead Ut nobis et illis proficiat ad salutem in vitam aeternam. Amen Dec. 22, 1906" and "Rev. Edward J. J. Mitty, April 26, 1950. Mihi vivere Christus est." My not-so-good Latin would yield the following translations: "In order that it may lead us and them to safety in eternal life," and "To me to live is Christ." (Philippians 1:21) That scriptural quotation was the motto of the Dunwoodie seminary in Yonkers, New York, where both Mittys trained for the priesthood, and it became Bishop Mitty's episcopal motto as well. But who was "Will," and what is the significance of the dates?

Father Mitty's Chalice
For that, I Googled Edward John J. Mitty and found his New York Times obituary from last November. It was a rich source. "Will" turns out to be his father William F. Mitty, Bishop Mitty's older brother. The obit indicates that Edward was ordained by his uncle on April 26, 1950, so the chalice was apparently an ordination gift of the bishop's chalice that had been given him by his brother, Edward's father, in 1906, on the occasion of his own ordination.

Why was the chalice willed to us, a diocese where Bishop Mitty served only six years, and not to San Francisco, where he served twenty-nine years? Edward Mitty was a lifelong New Yorker who may never even have visited his uncle in Salt Lake City. That mystery remains unsolved; even history detectives don't have all the answers!

And the ring? Linking that with the "our Dead," the illis of the inscriptions, we can reasonably speculate that it must be the stone from the wedding ring of the mother of the Mitty brothers. And I'm sorry to have to report that it's not a diamond: I had a jeweler test it, and it turns out to be zirconium, a less expensive diamond lookalike which in fact was in my own mother's wedding ring. History doesn't always produce the romantic endings we want!

Trading Cards

Fr. Rob Moriarty has gotten me started on a new hobby. Last week he brought to the Archives some color postcards of the Cathedral which he had found on E-bay (cheaply, I hope-he declined my offer of remuneration). I accepted the donation gratefully, for I knew we already had a small collection of cards, and I hoped they would not be duplicates. Most turned out not to be, so his generosity has expanded our collection quite a bit.

Some of the cards we already had are of quite recent vintage, though none depict the interior following the renovation under Bishop Weigand. Some of them indicate they were done in Kodachrome, and that film, sadly now no longer being produced, does justice to the rich hues of the interior.

Others, like the ones reproduced here, were apparently colorized versions of black and white originals. From the automobiles depicted in the exterior view, I would guess they were made around 1940, and they were both made at the same time, given their consecutive serial numbers. I know nothing about the colorizing process, which has sometimes also been used on black and white movies, and I confess to ambiguous feelings about it. On the one hand, the interior view almost looks like it was colored from memory rather than from life, the colors are so inaccurately rendered. The exterior view appeals to me much more, although the colors are still not precisely accurate. But the pastel hues turn the building almost into a fairy-tale cathedral, and I find that fantasy world attractive.

So, as archivist of the diocese, I'm becoming a postcard collector. I don't do E-bay myself, but if any of my faithful readers do, and you can find cards we don't have, I'll be glad to trade any of our duplicates. Both the cards depicted here are duplicates. If you find cards of any of our other Catholic buildings, the same offer holds-I know there are cards of Holy Cross Hospital and St. Ann's Orphanage at least.

This could be even more fun than trading Mickey Mantle for Yogi Berra!

Bishop Federal's Joke Book

In the Bishop Federal Papers there is a small notebook that is blank except for the first nine pages, which contain thirty-one numbered jokes (actually only thirty-one is repeated). Since all of them deal with religious themes, one assumes that he had collected them for occasional use at Mass to spice up his homilies. Everyone's sense of humor is different, and to my taste none of them are real thigh-slappers, but here are a few that strike my funny bone the most; maybe you'll get a chuckle out of them, too. At the very least, for those of us who never knew the bishop, they give a little flavor of what his preaching and conversation must have been like. Even a joke can be a historical source!

16. An Irishman goes to a restaurant on Friday [this was before Vatican II]. He asks for a menu and sees steak. Just as he does, a mouth-watering steak order is carried to a nearby table. He looks at the fish menu, sees nothing appealing. When the waiter arrives, he inquires about the price of the steak. BOOM!-a big clap of thunder. He looks up and asks, "Gee, can't I even ask about the price?"

17. A bishop is giving a retreat at a convent. In the midst of his presentation, one of the nuns gets up and walks out. Afterwards the bishop complains to the Superior. She says, "Don't pay any attention to Sister; she always walks in her sleep."

19. A new pastor in a country church is in the sacristy with the old caretaker getting ready for Sunday evening service--rosary, sermon, Benediction-when a sick call comes in from a dying parishioner. The caretaker gives the priest directions and tells him he'll take care of everything until he gets back. The priest gets lost, finally makes the sick call, but his car breaks down on the way back and he is very late getting into the church. The people are still there, though half asleep in the pews. As he walks in, he hears the caretaker's voice: "The ninety-first Glorious Mystery: Mary Magdalen punches Pontius Pilate."

20. A man calls up his pastor to request a Mass for his recently deceased mother-in-law. The priest says he can do it in two weeks. "Glory be, Father," the man says, "she'll be burnt to a crisp in that time!"

Pioneering in Vernal

Saint James the Greater in Vernal is today a thriving parish with perhaps three hundred families. It was not always so. There are some fascinating documents in the Diocesan Archives that illustrate some of the daunting obstacles faced by the diocese in trying to establish a parish there in the early 1920s. It is not perhaps stretching the evidence to imagine that similar obstacles had to be overcome in bringing permanent pastoral care to Catholics in other remote regions.

The great missionary to Vernal was Father Duane G. Hunt. The fact that Father Hunt later (1937) became our Bishop Hunt is perhaps a result in some part of the energetic way he plunged into that boot camp in the Uintah Basin. He was a young priest at the time, having been ordained in 1920 at the Cathedral of the Madeleine (the first ordination to take place there). After an apprenticeship as Assistant at the Cathedral (1920-22), Bishop Joseph S. Glass sent him to Vernal to meet with Catholics there and to survey the prospects for creating a parish. He spent eight months there in 1922 and 1923, living in a private home and saying Mass in a public hall. During the week, he traveled throughout Uintah and Duchesne Counties, which were to be the parish boundaries, interviewing Catholics and compiling notes for a report to the bishop. Father Hunt was a sober person not known for a great sense of humor, but some of his notes are inadvertently hilarious, particularly in their frank, outspoken assessment of things. In the following excerpts, I have of course omitted personal names.

Father Duane G. Hunt at about the time of his ordination.One of the problems mentioned several times is that much of the economy of the Uintah Basin was livestock grazing which took people far from town:

"In mountains most of [the] time; has some faith."

"On ranch in Colorado most of [the]time. Never comes to Mass even when in Vernal."

Other problems had to do with people who had simply lost their faith:

"All [family] baptized, but wholly without faith or interest in the Church."

"Bad marriage; will do nothing; will not have her baby baptized."

"Is interested but lazy; not dependable; will not follow anything consistently."

"Has lost faith entirely; no good."

And some had problems with Hunt himself:

"Acts sullen; avoids me; does not come to Mass."

"Bad marriage; will do nothing; wife reasonable; had baby, ... baptized; came to Mass once; became sullen and obstinate."

Proud to be the Parish of the Worker

From its earliest beginnings in 1964, St. Joseph the Worker Parish has proudly identified itself as "the parish of the worker". It was founded by miners and farmers who built the original church with their own hands. Founding priest, Monsignor John Sullivan, was well known for his strong support of workers rights.

To honor the working men and women who built the church, the parish was placed under the patronage of St. Joseph the Worker. The feast of St. Joseph the Worker was started in 1955 by Pope Pius the XII. Pius intentionally set this feast day on May 1, in response to the "May Day" celebrations for workers sponsored by Communists. He expressed the hope that this feast would accentuate the dignity of labor and would bring a spiritual dimension to labor unions.

Over the years, the parish has remained primarily a working class community. Picks and shovels may have been replaced by cash registers, computer screens and telephones, but most parishioners still rely on their labors to support their families. Many parish families require that both parents work in order to meet the demands of ever rising prices, high unemployment, and great losses to life-long savings & investments.

Nevertheless, when it came time to build a new church, the parishioners dug down deep. They may not have held a hammer in their hands, but they pulled together their hard-earned resources. They proudly dedicated their new church on May 1, 2011, the Feast Day of St. Joseph the Worker.

Stunningly contemporary and strikingly beautiful, the new church is far more than a "pretty" face along Redwood Road. Sparano + Mooney Architects made sure that the new structure honored the proud past and respected the strong sense of identity of this hard working parish. The architects did this in a number of creative and innovative ways:

Design. The design of the new church incorporates familiar materials which are manipulated to become something extraordinary. These materials are transformed by the "worker" or craftsperson into something which emphasizes the craft, not the raw material.

Board-formed Concrete. It is rough hewn , looks like aged wood and is a reminder of St. Joseph, a carpenter. It is extensively used throughout the new building.

Rich hand-crafted wood. Used throughout the project, the wood is reminiscent of the wood siding in the old church and is yet another reminder of carpenters, builders and crafts persons.

Copper Cladding. Both the Day Chapel and the large skylight atop the sanctuary are covered in copper to honor the church's historic connections with the copper mine and the miners who founded the parish.

Donor Wall. The new donor wall lists of the names of original founders as well the names of those who have donated to the new church.

Use of Items from the Old Church. The old sculptured walls which stood outside of the old church have been carefully preserved and now stand outside the entrance to the new church. The old Stations of the Cross, and the beloved old Crucifix look beautiful in their new home in the new sanctuary. The old cornerstone (1964) stands opposite the new one (2011) at the entryway to the new courtyard.

Time Capsule. There is a space in the new courtyard reserved for a time capsule. In time, the parish will bury relics of the past and present so that future parishioners will gain an understanding of their particular charism as the parish of the worker.

Still to come:

On the one year anniversary of its dedication, the parish will be hosting a special inter-faith Prayer Service and Reception, very fittingly dedicated to the Dignity of Labor. Two new items will be officially unveiled and dedicated at the event:

Workers Wall. A larger than life mural dedicated to the Dignity of Labor. This mural celebrates the community's origins amid miners and farmers.

Dorothy Day Memorial. A mural dedicated to Dorothy Day, founder of the American Catholic Workers movement. Day's life was dedicated to the needs of working class people. Her cause for canonization is underway.

Special guest, Martha Hennessy, granddaughter to Dorothy Day will be in attendance.

This will be a unique event that will educate the public about the current plight of workers, the importance of labor unions and the need to protect the rights of workers. It will stress the principles of Catholic Social teaching, especially as it pertains to the dignity of labor. It will be a joyous evening with music, song and prayer celebrating workers and their contributions which enrich us all.

Everyone is invited. For more information, please contact the parish office 801-255-8902.

Article written by Anne Kurek, Saint Joseph the Worker.

Silver Reef

I once asked Sr. Patricia Riley, CSC, what the charism, or the major purpose, was of her order, the Holy Cross Sisters. Her answer was, "We meet needs." My reaction was, "Well, that takes in quite a bit!" And indeed it does. I know very little of the multitudinous good works they have done since their founding in France in 1841 and their first arrival in the United States in 1843, but I would wager that even a knowledgeable historian of the order would be hard pressed to find an instance where their resilience and creativity in "meeting needs" was tested more than in Silver Reef, Utah.

Holy Cross Sisters and their students in Silver Reef, Utah, about 1879.During the mid-1870s a mining boom began some twenty miles northeast of St. George in response to discovery of a rich vein of silver in a sandstone formation. It is the only place silver has ever been found in such a context, and geologists are unable to explain it. But its economic and social significance became almost immediately apparent, as a boom town of largely Irish Catholic miners sprang up in the midst of the Mormon settlements known as the Cotton Mission. For about a decade, the Mormon farmers and the Catholic miners enjoyed a symbiotic relationship: the miners needed food and building materials, while the Mormons needed markets and cash.

Many of the miners came over from Pioche, Nevada, where Fr. Lawrence Scanlan had served his first pastorate on the Western frontier, and were well known to him. But how to bring them pastoral care, when Silver Reef was some three hundred miles from Salt Lake City? Imagine Fr. Scanlan creaking along that far in a horse and buggy to bring the Gospel to the Silver Reef Catholics! Eventually he built a church and recruited a succession of three resident priests to minister there. He also built a school and a hospital, and to administer those he persuaded altogether nine Holy Cross Sisters to "meet needs" in one of the most remote Catholic parishes in the country.

Throughout their tenure in this diocese beginning in 1875, the Holy Cross Sisters have been school teachers and administrators, so creating a high quality school in Silver Reef came naturally to them. One of them even offered piano lessons, and it was through those that the talent of Nora Gleason, later the first organist at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, was discovered.

Nursing was a more recently developed ministry. Holy Cross Sisters had begun nursing in response to the horrors of the Civil War, but they had learned to "meet that need" well enough that they established Holy Cross Hospital in Salt Lake City (their first in America) in 1875. Mining is an infamously dangerous occupation, so the hospital they established across the street from the church in Silver Reef did a brisk business. Although patients had to pay doctors' fees and purchase medicine, hospital care was free, owing to a plan worked out by Fr. Scanlan and Silver Reef residents: each resident paid an insurance premium of a dollar a month. Fr. Scanlan and the Holy Cross Sisters had created the first group hospitalization insurance plan in Utah history!

Although mining in Silver Reef limped along until after the turn of the century, most operations closed by 1885 as the silver petered out, and in that year Fr. Scanlan closed the Catholic church, school, and hospital. The Holy Cross Sisters were free to "meet needs" in other parts of the diocese.

The Shady Career of Andres Muñiz

How we could wish that our Catholic history were a story of unbroken progress, of one triumph after another in which saintly men and women vanquished one evil after another in the gradual spread of the Kingdom of Heaven! Instead, the story often is one of human shortcomings and imperfections, in which people fail to live up to God's expectations and the spread of the Kingdom of Heaven progresses only in fits and starts.

The story of the Dominguez-Escalante expedition of 1776 is often presented in glorious terms, as a tale of two intrepid and dedicated Franciscan friars braving great privations in their efforts to explore an unknown part of the continent and to bring the Gospel to previously unchristianized peoples. And as far as it goes, that image is true, for the two friars, at least, seem to have been exemplary Christians who were willing to sacrifice anything to serve God. But their frank and detailed diary reveals another story as well, a story of greed, insubordination, and dissent among some members of the party.

Let me introduce you to Andres Muñiz.

Andres and his brother Lucrecio had been accepted as members of the party because Andres, at least, claimed to have been a member of the Rivera expeditions of 1765 (see "The Phantom Pathfinder" on this webpage), so he could serve as guide on the first leg of the journey, and he spoke the Ute language, so he could act as interpreter as well. He was lying about the first part. Although we have no roster of the Rivera party, Andres's version of his role in the venture is rendered impossible by reference to Rivera's diary. As things turned out, Andres proved almost worthless as a guide and wasted weeks of the expedition's time wandering around lost in the mountains of southwestern Colorado. His command of the Ute language was not a lie, but where would he have acquired such fluency? Subsequent events reveal him to have been a trader, and reasonable suspicion suggests that he had been engaged in trading expeditions among the Utes, all of which were illegal under New Mexico law. The guy was an outlaw.

The first trouble broke out on September 1 in the vicinity of Grand Mesa, Colorado. After negotiating with a band of Ute Indians for a guide who could take them to Utah Lake, the friars were surprised to find the Indians vigorously discouraging the party from proceeding. Why? Investigation disclosed that the Muñiz brothers were behind it all because they had secretly brought trade goods which they wanted to finish trading to the Utes for weapons they might need further along the route. Such trading had been specifically prohibited in the instructions the friars had given the party members before beginning the trip because they wanted any Indians they encountered to understand that the venture had a higher purpose than material gain, and also that the Spaniards were trusting solely in God for protection and had no need of weapons. The Muniz brothers had just betrayed both of those goals. The friars' diary seethes with sarcasm: the Muñiz brothers "proved themselves to be such obedient and faithful Christians that they peddled what they secretly brought and most greedily sought weapons from the [Indians]."

And there would be more trouble.

Because of delays in finding their way through Colorado (much of it caused by Andres's bad guiding) and stopovers to preach to the Indians, by the time the party reached central Utah and were approaching the latitude of Monterey, California where they would need to head west to locate a way through the mountains, it was getting late enough in the season that a crossing of the mountains might be dangerous or fatal. As they approached modern Cedar City, the friars suggested abandoning the goal of reaching Monterey and instead find a way back to Santa Fe.

Rebellion ensued, among the Muñiz brothers and two other members of the party motivated by material concerns who wanted to establish a trade route to the Monterey mission. Historians have suggested that the friars had their own motives as well, that they had been fired with enthusiasm for returning to establish a mission at Utah Lake as they had promised the Indians there, and had come to regard pressing on to Monterey as a distraction. At that point, the rebels "came along very peevishly; everything was extremely onerous, and all unbearably irksome." Things had surely come to a head: the traders' frustration with the friars' heavenly idealism, and the friars' becoming "disheartened by seeing how in the business of heaven the one of earth was being sought first and foremost." The friars decided to resolve the issue by casting lots (a gambling procedure variously explained): if Santa Fe came up, all would return there; if Monterey came up, the party would split, with the friars returning and the others proceeding to California. Santa Fe won, the entire party returned, and the trade route to California had to wait until establishment of the Old Spanish Trail in the following century.

Ironically, the Utah Lake mission never was created, the great project for which the friars had endured so much (and for which, one historian suggests, they may even have stacked the deck when the lots were cast!). Why not? With the expulsion of the Jesuits from the New World in the late 1760s, the other religious orders, primarily the Franciscans, were already spread too thin covering the previously established missions, so the Order was not interested in creating another one on the far northern frontier. Also, the Spanish government had long since been losing interest in their New World empire, which was producing less and less wealth and becoming more and more expensive and troublesome to govern. Expansion was not in the cards.

With the casting of the lots and the return to New Mexico, the Muñiz brothers pass out of the historical record. In retrospect, it would be easy to condemn them for their attempts to sabotage the spiritual mission of the friars in behalf of their materialistic one. But that is a spiritual judgment we don't get to make, and I prefer to regard them as just a couple more struggling Catholics like myself, succeeding at times and failing at others.

The Phantom Pathfinder

Most people possessing even a nodding familiarity with Utah history know about the celebrated Dominguez-Escalante expedition of 1776 in which two Franciscan friars led a party of explorers across much of modern Colorado, Utah and Arizona covering some 1700 miles in 159 days. It was one of the most remarkable journeys in history and those Spanish Catholics were the first people of European descent to enter the territory that is now Utah.

Except that they weren't. They weren't even the second party to have done so. The first two parties entered Utah in the spring and fall of 1765 and were led by a Spanish soldier named Juan Maria Antonio de Rivera, a person about whom so little is known that one historian calls him "the phantom pathfinder."

The Spanish settlers in colonial New Mexico always had troubled relations with their Indian neighbors. Even the relatively docile Pueblo tribes had risen up in 1680 and driven the Spaniards completely out of the territory. The more warlike tribes around the periphera of the Spanish settlements, the Navajos, Apaches, Commanches and Utes, were even more numerous and dangerous and always held the military advantage over the sparsely populated settlements. The settlers, when they had to deal with them at all, did so very delicately.

Captain Rivera's fragmentary diary, which was found in the Spanish archives in 1975, suggests that his forays into Utah and Colorado had three purposes: to locate reputed silver deposits in the mountains of southwestern Colorado, to verify the existence of the Colorado River and to attempt to reach it, and to spy on the indigenous Indians to ascertain their numbers and their intentions. In order to conceal the fact that the ventures were essentially military reconnaissances, the members of the party disguised themselves as traders.

The first expedition, which proceeded in a northwesterly direction from Abiquiu, New Mexico in June and July, 1765, wandered throughout southwestern Colorado and eventually reached a destination near Aneth, Utah, in what turned out to be a futile attempt to locate an Indian guide to whom they had been referred. Eventually, the Spaniards were advised to put off their quest until the cooler weather of the fall.

Rivera and his men returned in October and located their guide, who, however, turned out to be uncooperative when he learned that the Spaniards wanted to contact other Indians to the north of the Colorado River whom he seems to have feared would monopolize trade with the Spaniards. Eventually, though, after a very arduous journey through Utah's canyonlands, they reached and crossed the Colorado River near the site of modern Moab.

Although the Rivera expedition did locate a deposit of silver, they lacked tools to excavate a sample, so the rich mines in Colorado's San Juan Mountains had to await another day for exploitation-long after Colorado had passed from Spanish to Mexican hands and then to the United States. Much more important results of the ventures was a significant increase in trade with the Utes, and an expansion of geographical knowledge that led to the Dominguez-Escalante expedition and eventually development of the Spanish Trail from Santa Fe to Los Angeles in the early nineteenth century.

And so the Catholic history of Utah goes back more than a decade beyond the point where we used to think it began. Does it go back even further? We await more documentary discoveries.

Lost Windows: Found!

As Bishop Lawrence Scanlan planned the design of the Cathedral of the Madeleine, the building was to be surrounded on three sides by five windows each, representing the Mysteries of the Rosary. In the west nave were the Joyful Mysteries, in the apse (north) were the Sorrowful Mysteries, and in the east nave were the Glorious Mysteries. The Joyful and Glorious Mysteries are depicted in proper order from left to right just as one says the rosary. The Sorrowful Mysteries, though, had to be slightly rearranged so that the Crucifixion, the culmination of the Passion drama, would be situated in the center over the main altar, rather than on the far right where it appears on the rosary. Thus, the order from left to right was: The Agony in the Garden, The Scourging at the Pillar, The Crucifixion, The Crowning With Thorns, and The Carrying of the Cross.

As we see the Cathedral today, the windows on both sides of the nave are still there, but the apse windows were removed during World War I by Bishop Joseph S. Glass and replaced by two more abstract windows and a huge mural by artist Felix Lieftuchter depicting the Crucifixion flanked on each side by figures from the Old and New Testaments (other decorations were added as well). Those alterations have given rise to two knotty problems that have vexed Cathedral historians ever since: what happened to the removed windows, and what did the windows depict? On the latter problem, we know, as indicated above, what the subjects of the windows were, but there are no surviving photographs that show how the artists rendered them.

The first problem remains unresolved. Some have speculated that the three central windows are still there, having only been encased in plaster. But not only do we have a document in Bishop Glass's hand recording their removal, but also during the Cathedral renovation in the 1970s, the plaster was drilled to see if anything was inside, and the spaces were empty. Archbishop Robert J. Dwyer of Portland, Oregon, who grew up in the Cathedral parish and in fact served as its rector, wrote to Msgr. William H. McDougall in the 1960s that the windows had been taken to Boise, whose cathedral was built during the First World War. Subsequent investigation, though, has disclosed that the Boise windows were made from scratch at the time and that our windows did not go there. So where did they go? One can hardly imagine destruction of such magnificent works of art, nor can one imagine reinstallation in any other structure than a church. But which church? We simply do not know.

The other problem-what the windows looked like-we can happily announce has been in recent weeks at least partly solved. Last fall, Msgr. Joseph M. Mayo, Cathedral rector, received a surprise gift in the form of a book from the firm Franz Mayer of Munich (which after 1862 included the F. X. Zettler firm which built our windows) giving the history of the company and advertising some of their creations-including the rose window in our Cathedral. Neither Msgr. Mayo nor I were aware that the firm even still existed, so we were astonished to learn that it not only exists but thrives, employing over 600 people in their shop! Prompted by that knowledge, I wrote to Dr. Gabriel Mayer, the current president, to ask if their archive might include illustrations of our missing windows. In his reply, he indicated that although most of their archive had been destroyed during World War II, he found illustrations of two of the missing windows: The Crowning With Thorns and The Scourging at the Pillar. I include them with this article.

Is this the end of the search? Not necessarily. Although Dr. Mayer indicates that their damaged archive probably contains no illustrations of the other windows, we cannot close the door on that possibility. Also, there is always the tantalizing possibility that the windows themselves may yet turn up. What a find that would be!

A Catholic Literary Celebrity

Most people who accept religious vocations pursue them in deliberate obscurity, quietly teaching, praying, nursing, or whatever the charism of their order might be, humbly avoiding the quest for personal or corporate renown. Only rarely does one become a prominent public figure like a Thomas Merton or a Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Utah Catholicism can claim one such person of renown in sister Mary Madeleva, C.S.C., a medieval scholar, teacher, school administrator, and widely published poet who taught for several years at Ogden's Sacred Heart Academy and became the first president of St. Mary of the Wasatch.

In her popular autobiography, My First Seventy Years, she describes her 1887 birth and Wisconsin girlhood as Mary Evaline Wolff, the middle of three children and the only daughter of a Lutheran saddle and harness maker and his Catholic wife (the children, in obedience to canon law, were raised Catholics). She "just missed great beauty," her biographer says, and her photographs during her college years do indicate a very attractive young woman. Although she displayed extraordinary academic aptitude from the beginning, she also reports a love of fine clothes, such high society as rural Wisconsin could provide, and a rebellious tendency that lasted through her first year of college at the University of Wisconsin and well after she had transferred to the Holy Cross Sisters' St. Mary's College in Indiana. At that point, to the utter astonishment of her family and friends, she announced that she was accepting a vocation to the Holy Cross order.

Her years at St. Mary's were busy ones, as she accustomed herself to a rigorous life of study, prayer, community life, and teaching. Beginning in 1908 she passed through her postulancy and novitiate and made her final solemn vows in 1914. In addition to teaching English, scripture, and literature at St. Mary's, she completed a master's degree at the University of Notre Dame in 1918. Then, in 1919, she was given a new assignment: to Sacred Heart Academy, a girls' school run by the Holy Cross sisters in Ogden, Utah. Many, no doubt, would have regarded that as banishment to the other side of the world, but Sr. Madeleva was ecstatic: "Mountains at last! Deserts, sagebrush, the West! Oh, pioneers!"

Sacred Heart could not have been anything like what she would have expected, but it turned out to be something even more wonderful. Of the 120 boarding students, fewer than one-fourth were Catholics; the rest were Mormons sent there by parents who recognized that the Utah public schools were not as academically challenging as the Catholic ones. The Mormon students brought their culture's commitment to the arts, and the academy featured strong programs in music, drama, and dance: Sr. Madeleva recalled seeing no fewer than seven harps on stage at one of their concerts at the Salt Lake Theater. "I found more than mountains and sagebrush in Ogden," she recalled.

She found the community of Ogden culturally compatible as well. She began a lifelong friendship with the budding historian and columnist Bernard DeVoto, who was working in a bookstore during a summer break from Harvard, and together they discussed details of some of his later books. And she made friends with poet Phyllis McGinley who, though a student at the University of Utah, spent vacations at Sacred Heart where Sr. Madeleva worked with her on her poems. She would later win the Pulitzer prize.

After three years in Ogden, Sr. Madeleva was sent to the University of California, Berkeley to work on a Ph.D. There, the little sister in the strange habit established an academic record that was the envy of the university. Enrolling by mistake in a seminar in a field in which she had no background, she wrote a paper that the professor told her was better than anything he could have produced. When she got around to her oral examinations for the doctorate, her reputation was such that the examination room was standing room only and spectators spilled out into the hall as she put her immense learning on display. (My own doctoral exams at the University of Utah drew only myself and several reluctant examiners!) Her dissertation on the medieval poem, "The Pearl" was published and remains in print to this day.

In September, 1926, with her fresh doctoral diploma in hand, the new Ph.D. found herself back in Utah, riding atop a truckload of furniture uphill to the east bench of Salt Lake Valley where she was to be the first president of a new women's college, the College of St. Mary of the Wasatch. The school had been created only the year before as one of the last acts of Bishop Joseph S. Glass, second bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake, a man of great culture and vision whose vision, in fact, often ran ahead of his financial resources. The college was to replace and augment St. Mary's Academy, a girls' school founded by the Holy Cross sisters in downtown Salt Lake City in 1875, the original facilities for which were no longer large enough or safe.

With an excellent faculty, a superb library, and highly intelligent and motivated students led by an ambitious president, St. Mary of the Wasatch was probably the best institution of higher education in the state during the seven years Sr. Madeleva presided over it, for the University of Utah did not begin its slow climb to academic excellence until after World War II. She was able to boast that five of her English majors read Beowulf with her in its entirely in Old English, and that in a national science competition, St. Mary's three contestants won, out of eighteen awards, a first place, a second place, and an honorable mention.

Indications are that she enjoyed her Utah years greatly. In addition to the cultural life at Sacred Heart and the opportunity to create a first-rate college from scratch at St. Mary of the Wasatch, her tomboyish love of Nature found ample outlet in the Utah wilds. It evokes an almost comical mental image to contemplate her and her sisters in their complicated Holy Cross habits-not the most effective mountaineering attire-clambering up the steep trails in the foothills and canyons of the Wasatch and cooking Denver sandwiches for lunch over an open fire.

And what of her poetry? Much of it is mediocre--conventional Victorian piety larded with "these" and "thous" in a diction that modern readers would regard as old-fashioned. But other poems are reminiscent of Emily Dickinson in their brevity and their heartfelt celebration of birds, flowers, and starlit nights:

If all the sky should quiver into pinions,
And all the air should tinkle into silver singing,
The earth would still have need, I think, for bluebirds.


Do you suppose
The cherry tree's white furbelows,
The pretty frills the jonquil shows,
The maple's curious, knotted bows,
The first, pale ruffles of the rose
Are baby things that April sews
For the sweet world to wear?
Who knows?

Still others contain echoes of another great Catholic poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins, in their great concentration of language, dense alliteration, internal rhymes, and striking metaphors:

A Pied Piper

Brave Piper October, what tune do you blow
That the leaves are bewitched and wherever you go
They flutter and follow, agleam and aglow?
From oak tree and bramble, from high tree and low,
They flock to the sound of the piping they know,
And down from the tall trees of heaven, O ho!
Come dancing and glancing the white leaves of snow.

In 1933 Sr. Madeleva left Utah forever, first to spend a year studying at Oxford and touring Europe, then upon her return to take over as President of the Order's St. Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana. By then she had an international reputation, having studied with C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, become fast friends with Edith Wharton, William Butler Yeats, and many others. If her autobiography sometimes reads like an exercise in name-dropping, she had the record to back it up.

Celebrity often breeds controversy, and Sr. Madeleva knew her share of it. Celebrities often find their lives scrutinized through a microscope and their faults through a magnifying glass. Sr. Madeleva often found herself at odds with members of her own community, who thought her, on the one hand, rebellious. It is true that her youthful independence often led her to write her own ticket which did not always reflect the rules of the Order: for example, she loved to take long, unaccompanied walks in the city or in the starlit countryside in direct violation of the rules. On the other hand, some members of her Order regarded her as a bit irrelevant: what good does a poem do, for instance, when one needs to teach a class or nurse a hospital patient?

When Sr. Madeleva died in 1964, she left behind a truly amazing record as a scholar, poet, teacher, and educational administrator. We can be proud that Utah played an important role in that career.

Pat Meehan of the Sagebrush

From the creation of the Diocese of Salt Lake in 1891 until 1931, when the eastern Nevada parishes were taken away to form the Diocese of Reno, our diocese was geographically the largest in the country. Although there were plenty of wide-open spaces where no Catholics were living, the far-flung mining communities of Nevada and Utah did have Catholics who needed to be ministered to, and that fact placed an immense burden on our pioneer priests. And that burden was made even more burdensome by the primitive roads and means of transportation. Bishop Niederauer was well aware of that when he quipped on one occasion that whereas he and Bishop Scanlan had to cover the same territory, "I have a Ford Taurus and he had a horse and buggy."

Sometime between 1918 and 1923, Msgr. Alfredo Giovannoni, the colorful pastor of Notre Dame de Lourdes parish in Price, wrote down the story of a sick call he had made somewhere near LaSal, which is nine miles east of modern Highway 191 between Moab and Monticello, and a total of some 139 miles from Price. Roads in that area, to the degree that they existed at all, were wagon tracks through the dirt and infamously treacherous to automobiles.

He got the call just before ten o'clock in the morning as he returned to the rectory from another sick call to one of the Carbon County mining camps. By five o'clock in the afternoon, on a journey we can make today in a little over two hours, he was still seven miles from his destination. At that point his engine began to knock, and he discovered that an oil line had broken and he was stranded. Even today, those southern Utah roads can be pretty lonely places, but before long an old man in a wagon came along. He attempted unsuccessfully to pull the priest and his vehicle, then advised that the two abandon the car and proceed to LaSal in the wagon. Three hours later the wagon pulled up in front of the home of the woman who had made the call. Informed that the sick man was a little better and would survive at least until the following morning, Msgr. Giovannoni accepted her hospitality and found a hot meal and a comfortable bed prepared for him.

The following morning, while the woman's sons effected some temporary repairs on his car, Giovannoni found the sick man, who turned out to be a prospector only twenty-five years of age named Pat Meehan. After receiving the sacraments, Meehan reached under his pillow and handed the priest a dollar bill. After thanking him, Giovannoni reached into his pocket and handed the prospector every bit of money he had, included the dollar bill. It totalled $4.93! "I never in my life saw anyone crying for happiness as he did that morning," Giovannoni remembered, "and I cried with him."

After limping into Moab later in the day, Giovannoni found a garage which, after four hours, fixed the engine (since by now he had no money, the mechanic agreed to bill him). He spent the night there and set out for Price at 4:00 a.m. Somewhere between Green River and Sunnyside, a huge thunderstorm turned the road into a swamp, the car became stuck again, and Giovannoni spent the night in it. Finally, the next morning, someone came along who could pull him out, and the exhausted priest reached home at last, where he ate a meal, then went to bed and slept for the next eleven hours, dreaming "of the happiness that the sacraments of our holy religion had given to Pat Meehan of the sagebrush."

"If someone in the big and comfortable cities would try one of these wonderful trips," Giovannoni suggested, "how much more would he appreciate the things he has and love to help the poor missionary of the wild West." Wild indeed, we could add; Bishop Niederauer's Ford Taurus is sounding better by the minute.

Bishop Glass the Golfer

Doing the work of a Catholic bishop can entail a good deal of stress, so bishops need recreational outlets, perhaps even more than most of us. Thus Bishop Wester enjoys hiking, fishing, and playing his piano. Bishops Weigand and Federal were also fishermen, Bishop Hunt was a baseball fan, and so forth.

Bishop Joseph S. Glass (1915-26) was a golfer. Golf was just beginning to get established in America during his day, as great players like Bobby Jones captured peoples' imaginations and great courses were constructed. Like many businessmen then and since, Bishop Glass used the game not only for recreation, but also to conduct business in a relaxed and private atmosphere. It was said, for example, that he met the famous church architect John T. Comes on a golf course and hired him to renovate his church in Los Angeles and later the Cathedral of the Madeleine.

Recently I discovered a stash of Bishop Glass's papers which I had misshelved and overlooked. Bishop Glass was an inveterate scrapbooker, and the box contained material from a dilapidated scrapbook that my predecessor, Bernice Mooney, had wisely decided to disassemble and store in a box instead. Among that material was over a dozen of the bishop's golf score cards, including a couple of rounds with architect Comes.

How good a golfer was he? Like most amateurs, he was inconsistent, but he would probably rate as a typical recreational golfer, playing on the average a bit above par. Once in a while he would post a good score, but he was also capable of the occasional disaster like all of us below the pro level and even some of them above it.

I've included a score card for a round he played with Comes on August 8, 1920 at the Pittsburgh Field Club in Aspinwall, Pennsylvania. Comes's scores are in the left column, Glass's in the right. Neither one of them made par on any hole, but Glass generally outplayed the architect, beating him on the front nine by nineteen strokes. Comes's eleven on the par 4 ninth hole was particularly dreadful, but Glass had catastrophe awaiting him as well on the par 5 eleventh hole, where he shot a thirteen. For some reason they did not play the last three holes.

For non-golfers, these numbers are nothing more than a meaningless tally for a game ninety years in the grave. Golfers, though, can read a lot of humanity in them. Who has not known the frustration of playing a few holes acceptably well, then blasting an errant tee shot into a sand bunker or a grove of trees, then running up a double digit score trying to get back out and onto the green? But such catastrophes are compensated for by the occasional fortunate birdie (one stroke under par). Bishop Glass probably even saw in this little lesson on the uncertainties of life a bit of theology: "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."

Two Interesting Gravestones

Call me morbid if you wish, but I've always enjoyed visiting cemeteries. On a number of occasions when I've been researching some historic personage, I've been able to augment what I've learned about them by means of information on their gravestone. Here are photographs of a couple of gravestones that you also might find interesting and informative.

The first is the grave of Bishop Joseph S. Glass, who was our second bishop (1915-26). Cathedral rector Msgr. Joseph M. Mayo found the grave recently during a visit to Los Angeles and provided me with this and two other photographs. The inscription contains no new information, but the grave is interesting to me because Msgr. Mayo is one of the very few Utahns who have ever visited it, and to my knowledge these are the only photographs of it available in this state.

Since bishops are usually buried within the last diocese they served, the question might occur why Bishop Glass is interred in Los Angeles. The answer is that he was a member of the Vincentian order, the Congregation of the Mission (C.M.), so he is buried in their cemetery rather than ours. Bishop Glass was, to date, our only bishop to have been a member of a religious order.

 The other is a photo of the grave of Nora Gleason in Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery. Faithful readers of these stories (and I hope there are a few!) will recognize her as the organist and choir director at the Cathedral of the Madeleine during Bishop Scanlan's time (see "Two Organists"). The large gravestone pictured here is over the remains of her mother, Honora, while the two stones set into the ground on either side are the graves of Nora (L) and her younger sister Elizabeth (R). The stone is so weathered the inscription is all but illegible in this photograph, but it says, "Elizabeth A., daughter of P. L. and Hanora [sic] Gleason. Born at Silver City, Nev. Aug. 5, 1877. Died Jan. 9, 1884." On the other side it reads, "Honora, wife of P. L. Gleason. Died March 12, 1910." This gravestone contains the only real information we have about Nora's unfortunate little sister who died at age six, for she is listed in the 1880 census only as "E. Gleason."

Patrick L. Gleason was an Irish immigrant who worked in the Nevada mines and continued to do so after he sent his family to Salt Lake City to seek greater opportunities under the patronage of Bishop Scanlan. He is presumably buried somewhere in Nevada. Why his remains were not brought here is unknown.

Nora died in 1918, so she was presumably the one who designed the grave markers. One wonders if she noticed that the stonecutter misspelled her mother's name on the side facing the camera!

The Mysterious Miss Ellen Hayes

Visitors to the Cathedral of the Madeleine are often puzzled by the two stained glass windows opposite each other that were donated by "Miss Ellen Hayes," one in her own name and one in memory of her brother, William. What single woman would have had that much money to donate? The mystery deepens when we learn that she also donated the original organ, at a cost variously reported as $15,000 or $25,000. Who was Miss Ellen Hayes?

Outside of the occasional schoolteacher and multitudes of prostitutes, single women were a rarity on the western frontier. Ellen Hayes was a practitioner of neither of those professions; she was an Ely, Nevada businesswoman who, with her older brother William, amassed a considerable fortune first of all in the laundry business, then later in the general merchandise and hotel businesses, from which they branched out into ranching, real estate, and mining. The Hayeses, in other words, were among those wise business people like Levi Strauss in San Francisco, who saw better prospects mining the miners than the mines

There were four siblings in the Hayes family, two of whom were Catholic priests: one lived in England and the other, Edward, pastored a church in Imogen, Iowa. William Hayes emigrated from their native Ireland to California at age twenty in 1869, and his sister Ellen followed him in 1884 at age twenty-eight. Eventually they sought to make their fortune in the Nevada mining camps and wound up in Ely. Neither William nor Ellen ever married, and when William died in 1904 he left his estate to his sister, making her a very wealthy person.

Ellen Hayes took her Catholic faith very seriously and was one of the founders of Sacred Heart parish in Ely and of the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City (until 1931 the parishes in eastern Nevada were part of the Diocese of Salt Lake City). Although there was only a meager number of Catholics in Ely when she first arrived, she maintained a room in her house where she could gather them together for Mass whenever a priest happened to be in town. After the turn of the twentieth century, when the railroad arrived, making mining much more profitable and bringing a large influx of people including Catholics, Miss Hayes began campaigning to her friend Bishop Scanlan for an Ely parish. She donated land for a church and contributed generously to its construction. The church was completed in 1906 and in 1907 it received its first resident pastor.

Sadly, Miss Hayes died in August, 1909, less than two weeks before the dedication of the Cathedral of the Madeleine to which she had contributed so much. She did, however, attend a special inaugural organ concert the previous April in which Cathedral organist Nora Gleason demonstrated the capabilities of the instrument.

Ellen Hayes left her estate to the diocese, stipulating, however, that the gift was conditional upon using some of the money to build a Catholic hospital for miners in Ely. For unknown reasons the diocese was unable to fulfill that condition, leaving much of the money legally tied up until 1931 when the Diocese of Reno was created and the money was divided among the Ely parish, Holy Cross Hospital in Salt Lake City, and the Diocese of Reno.

The Good Life of Sister Marie Bernadette

During the first half of the twentieth century, Bingham Canyon was a roaring mining town. Although individual miners had made a living from the gold and silver desposits as early as the 1860s, it was consolidation of individual claims by large corporations like Boston Consolidated and Utah Copper after the turn of the twentieth century that made large-scale exploitation of the canyon's copper a source of some serious wealth. Plentiful jobs in those mines attracted a bewildering variety of immigrant laborers which made the town one of the most diverse communities in the country. Many of those were Catholics, and Holy Rosary parish was created to minister to them, as well as to Catholics in the nearby communities of Copperton and Lark.

The longest-serving pastor of those Catholics (1955-66) was Father (later Monsignor) John J. Sullivan, and he was assisted by a dedicated community of roughly a half dozen Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement (S.A.). One of those sisters during the years 1956-62 was Sr. Marie Bernadette, and her life is an inspiring tale of dedication in the face of some pretty discouraging experiences.

She was a Southerner, who grew up in Emmitsburg, Maryland and Washington, D.C. As a girl she was torn between two contradictory forces: she felt a vocation by age fifteen to the religious life, but she was rejected from the orders to which she applied. The reason: she was an African-American, and no American religious orders at the time were integrated. Eventually, during a visit to a retreat house in Washington, D. C. run by the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement, she met the saintly Superior, Sister Aloysius, who thought the racial restriction was atrocious and arranged for her to enter the order on New Year's Day, 1953. "I couldn't believe it!" Sister Marie exclaimed in her joy.

She remembers her years in Bingham as a time of almost unalloyed happiness, working under the direction of a great priest and serving a warm, enthusiastic group of parishioners. There was no Catholic school in the town, but the sisters ran a very active religious education program for the children, whom they would gather throughout the canyon for classes in an old school bus driven by Fr. Sullivan. The classes were held in their convent. Eventually in Copperton they applied for and were granted released time and school credit for religion classes for the Catholic children even as the Mormon Church ran its seminary program.

Perhaps surprisingly, in view of the great diversity of the Bingham population, the Ku Klux Klan was active there during her time. One of the founders of the KKK in Utah, in fact, was Dr. Russell G. Frazier, the Bingham doctor. Although Bingham had a "sundown law" to the effect that African Americans were not to be found on the streets after dark, she "never had a problem or was mistreated because of my race." This was no doubt mostly because she is a very light-skinned person, and actually had to inform the Bingham parishioners, after she had been there three years, that she was of African-American heritage.

On the occasion of Msgr. Sullivan's fiftieth ordination anniversary, she wrote to him to tell him that she thought of him every time a flock of Canadian geese fly over: he was the leader and the sisters and parishioners followed along in formation. "I hope one day," she concluded, "to fly through the gates of heaven flapping my wings and honking. Then St. Peter will know that another one from Msgr. Sullivan's flock has made in 'Home' safe."

Unfortunately, after leaving Bingham, storm clouds began to gather over Sr. Marie Bernadette's vocation. Although she enjoyed successful ministries at a mission in Brazil and in a community in New York, she also experienced difficulties that caused her to wonder if she could be more effective outside the order. After a protracted period of prayer and counseling, she received a dispensation from her vows and was allowed to leave.

But that did not mean that her ministry was over. Returning home, she worked for a time in the Library of Congress, then left to become a teacher at a school for the deaf.

And eventually she married. Although, as she said, "The 'modern' dating scenario was not for me," her parents introduced her to Richard Weedon, a widower with two children, and they were married in 1976. Weedon was not only a "very good man," as she characterizes him, but a very serious Catholic and a civil rights pioneer who became the first African American member of the Knights of Columbus in the state of Maryland.

Although retired now, Barbara Weedon continues to volunteer in various capacities while caring for her husband in a period of declining health. Expressing her continued devotion to St. Francis and his love for the natural world, the yard of their Emmitsburg home is replete with bird feeders and flowers that birds love. "I've been very blessed," she says. "I've had a good life, a beautiful home and a wonderful husband!"

Mother's Day

In December, 1939, as the world was spiraling into World War II, Bill McDougall quit his job as a reporter for the Salt Lake Telegram, an evening newspaper published by the Salt Lake Tribune to compete with the Deseret News, and boarded a ship for Japan. Reporters want to be where things are happening, and the Far East was certainly one of those places. After a stint on the Japan Times, an English language newspaper published in Tokyo, he moved up to a position as United Press correspondent in Shanghai. He was there, in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, on December 7, 1941 when the Japanese attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and the United States was plunged into the war.

He effected a daring escape to Nationalist China, then to Calcutta, but he was not out of the action yet: as the Japanese juggernaut proceeded through southeast Asia, he rushed to the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia) where the Allies hoped to stop it. They could not. As the island of Java fell, McDougall fled aboard a Dutch ship, but it was too late: the next morning, Japanese airplanes caught up with the ship and sank it. Although McDougall and a few other survivors reached the island of Sumatra in a lifeboat, they were almost immediately captured, and they spent the next three years in various Japanese prison camps.

During that long internment, McDougall was able to get out only one postcard, so his parents and his two sisters were almost totally unaware of his fate. That did not mean that he and they were not always in each others' thoughts and prayers, as the following touching letter to his mother indicates:

Palembang Internment Camp

November 19, 1942

Dear Mother,

Today is your birthday. A little while ago I heard a Mass which was said especially for you. I hope that, across the thousands of miles of distance which separates us today, you feel the love in my heart for you and know, somehow, that my prayers are being offered for you. . . .

Many and poignant are the thoughts which well into my mind this morning-all thoughts of you and Papa and the family. One of my memories goes back a long way-to a summer night you and I sat on the porch and talked until late. It was during my high school days. I told you how I wanted to travel and see the world. You agreed that traveling was a good thing, but that sometimes it was hard on mothers whose sons were on the other side of the world. I said I didn't see what difference the distance made-whether they were only a few hundred miles apart or several thousand, that in either case the fact of separation was the same. But you told me some day I would understand. And now the day has come when I do.

My one wish today is that you are happy and well. And my one hope today is that when all this war is over we will sit on the front porch of a summer evening and talk. What stores of subjects will we have to discuss!

I love you, Mother, with all my heart. May God specially bless you on this, your birthday, and keep you safe and well until we meet again.


The letter was never mailed, and McDougall was able to hand-deliver it over three years later after his liberation. In his gratefulness to God for his rescue from the Indian Ocean and survival of the horrors of the prison camps, he resolved to become a priest. He was ordained at the Cathedral of the Madeleine on May 11, 1952 and later became, as Monsignor McDougall, rector of the Cathedral.

On this Mothers' Day it is well that we read and reflect on this touching birthday tribute to one great mother by an appreciative son. And those of us who lost our mothers before we were able to write such a letter look forward to the day when we can express similar sentiments in person on the Other Side.