As the nineteenth century continued, Catholics formed a vibrant subculture that prized separatism but protected language and faith. Immigrants from Ireland, Germany, and Italy swelled cities, organized towns, and built churches, bringing with them an Old World faith forged through the New World challenges of poverty and discrimination.
The region’s Catholic presence came of age in the twentieth century, creating an unparalleled educational and charitable network. Schools, hospitals, children’s homes, and welfare centers strengthened communities as the Church embraced outreach to non-Catholics and minority groups.
This book, through a series of vignettes, explores the people and places of the Archdiocese: the zeal of Father Stephen T. Badin, who brought the sacraments to Native Americans on the land that is today the University of Notre Dame; the witness of Archbishop John B. Purcell, who courageously spoke against slavery; the vision of pioneer social worker Margaret McCabe, who established boys’ and girls’ homes in Cincinnati; and the Italian-born Sister of Charity Blandina Segale, who served immigrants and whose cause for sainthood is advancing.
This is the story of Catholic life and leadership in one of the nation’s oldest and most illustrious dioceses, the legacy of two hundred years of the Catholic faith in Southwest Ohio and beyond.
"The bicentennial anniversary of our diocese’s founding is a celebration of the unchanging, unbounded, and unconditional love of God for His people. In these pages, Father Endres has eloquently chronicled the story of how God has been loving and leading, pardoning and protecting, enlightening and enlivening the Catholics of these lands for over two hundred years. From humble beginnings in pioneer settlements to parish communities in cities and country towns, our Catholic predecessors have imbued the fabric of society with Gospel values and the presence of Christ. This is their story, and it is ours to continue!"
-Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr
Archbishop of Cincinnati