The Catholic Church in Southwest Iowa, a history of the creation and growth of the Diocese of Des Moines, earned a third-place honor at the recent Catholic Press Association conference in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The book, written by historian Father Stephen Avella, was one of 30 books published by Liturgical Press honored at the conference.
Commentary by the judges praised Father Avella’s “very readable story about the Catholic Church in a part of rural America that is known as ‘flyover territory.'” They noted the book highlighted the determination, faith, and personalities of the people who were instrumental in the diocese’s founding and growth.
The book “illustrates the power of grace at work, grace made all the more real when the names, the faces, and the places filled in the blanks,” judges wrote.
“Father Avella’s history of the Diocese of Des Moines has received acclaim from both secular and church quarters giving testimony to the high quality of his work in chronicling the significant influence of the church in Southwest Iowa” Bishop Richard Pates, Bishop of Des Moines observed.
The 458-page book also won the Shambaugh Award from the State Historical Society of Iowa. It can be obtained through Amazon.com or Liturgical Press, https://litpress.org/Products/