March 07, 2006

Culture of Catholicity in the area made discussion of incidents taboo

Telegraph Herald

Mar 5, 2006


The first Roman Catholic priests came to Dubuque in the early 1830s, sent into the untamed lands along the west side of the Mississippi River by Bishop Joseph Rosati of St. Louis.

The Diocese of Dubuque was created in 1837, including what are now the states of Iowa and Minnesota and parts of North and South Dakota. The diocese was subdivided over the years, and the current archdiocesan boundaries were established in 1902.

During the 1800s, Catholics from across Europe - especially from Germany, Ireland and Luxembourg - flocked to the fertile fields and forests of northeast Iowa. They soon erected churches and filled them every Sunday.

Parishes, schools, motherhouses and seminaries flourished in the archdiocese, and local Catholics considered their priests and bishops revered and honored spiritual leaders.

A culture of Catholicity pervaded the city of Dubuque, sometimes nicknamed "Little Rome" for the number of religious edifices built on its blufftops. Bathtub grottos dotted neighborhoods. St. Joseph statues helped sell houses. Friday fish fries were social highlights.

Posted by kshaw at March 7, 2006 07:54 PM