The Diocese of Des Moines is celebrating the release of its comprehensive history book, called “The Catholic Church in Southwest Iowa: A History of the Diocese of Des Moines.”
The book can be ordered through Divine Treasures, Liturgical Press or Amazon for $24.95.
This book tells the stories of the people and places that shaped our diocese into the faith community it is today.
Readers will learn about the giants who came before us who fought for the creation of schools, churches and hospitals, as well as outspoken leaders who helped the vulnerable people in our community.
Bishop Richard Pates commissioned author Father Steven Avella, history professor at Marquette University, to write the book shortly after the Diocese of Des Moines’ 100th anniversary.
After hours upon hours of combing through archives and conducting interviews, Father Avella wove together photos, memories, references and old letters into a tome that will be referenced for years to come.
Readers will learn about the creation of our diocese in 1911, the religion of the native people, the emergence of Christian missionaries and the diocese in the 20th century.
They’ll also read fascinating yet lesser known facts, including how a bishop was kidnapped and held for ransom.
Father Avella hopes people will take advantage of this opportunity to gain insight into the fascinating stories that marked the journey of our diocese. This book should help people feel more connected with their Catholic diocese and the history of Southwest Iowa, he added.
“We didn’t create the church that is here – we inherited it,” Father Avella said. “My hope as a historian is that people realize they stand on the shoulders of giants.
“The Catholics have left quite an important impact on the quality of life in both urban and rural areas,” Father Avella continued. “It’s an Iowa story.”
Divine Treasures Catholic book and gift store will be hosting a book signing with Father Avella on July 10 at 5:30p.m. Divine Treasures is located at 5701 Hickman Road in Des Moines.