Encyclopedia of U. S. Catholic History

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Catholics have always played a critical role in the forward progress of the United States in every area of our society - science, industry, philosophy, business, medicine, entertainment, and even politics.


Here's just a taste of the impact of the Catholic Church in the U.S.:

  • In 1791, the Catholic architect Pierre Charles L'Enfant designed the "Federal City" that became Washington, D.C.
  • In 1797, John Barry became the first Catholic Commodore in American history and is honored as the Father of the American Navy.
  • In 1802, the Catholic Judge Joseph Brent, was named the first Mayor of Washington.
  • In 1836, Roger B. Taney became the first Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court and the first Chief Justice.
  • Over 500 Catholic nuns ministered to the sick and wounded in the American Civil War.
  • In 1880 William Russell Grace became the first Catholic mayor of New York City.
  • In 1828, Alfred E. Smith was the first Catholic ever to be chosen to head a major party national ticket.
  • The Catholic Worker Movement was established in 1933 by Dorothy Day, a devout Catholic convert.
  • In WWII, Catholics comprised over 25% of the Armed Forces.
  • In 1960, John F. Kennedy became the first Catholic to be elected president.
  • In 2012, Catholic comprise more than one-fifth of the entire U.S. population.


These represent a tiny fraction of the fascinating facts you'll find in Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of the American Catholic Church. This encyclopedia is a valuable and unique reference guide. And is the first ever handy, accessible, affordable, and unbiased reference to American Catholicism.

With over 2,000 entries from A to Z, you'll be amazed by the depth and breadth of information that will illustrate the Church's contribution to each state in the Union. Plus you'll be able to research your own special interests, such as the history of your own diocese. This is the most thorough treatment of American Catholic history you'll find!

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