By Steven Avella
This booklet examines the interaction among town of Sacramento, California, and the Catholic Church from the city’s beginnings to the twenty-first century, to demonstrate the occasionally hidden methods spiritual groups support shape and maintain city community.
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Additional resources for Sacramento and the Catholic Church: Shaping a Capital City (The Urban West Series)
Even ministers of the gospel succumbed. 7 Eventually, churches were able to move from their primitive riverfront locations, and the first generation of church construction took place between i and l streets and between Fifth and Eighth. Some smaller congregations would dip south to n and east of Tenth, but the churches of the first phase of Sacramento’s growth were in close proximity to one another. a c o o p e r a t i v e c o m m u n i t y 15 An 1858 article in the Sacramento Daily Union indicated that the number and size of church buildings exceeded the number of people who attended them.
The Sacramento Republican Party held its first convention there. Benton himself, one of the best orators in the city, occasionally lectured on secular topics. Even though the need for the church space diminished as other public halls were constructed, Benton’s adept use of the church as an urban middle ground (no doubt adapted from the New England meetinghouse tradition) inserted his congregation into the mainstream of urban life. Benton’s broad-minded ministerial techniques and his far-ranging civic interests made him a sort of unofficial city chaplain during his nearly fourteen-year ministry.
However, instead of focusing on the righteousness of the Irish cause, the Catholic press honed in on the young man’s skills as a speaker. “The manner in which this young gentleman acquitted himself was excellent. ” John Delury notes that the last St. ”59 The hybrid Irish Americanism (apart from that of the foreign-born clergy) that emerged in Sacramento was the best representation of local sentiment. There were some prominent Sacramento Irish Americans who were even anxious to shed their identification with the Auld Sod and resisted the romanticism of Irish nationalism and active membership in the Cath36 s a c r a m e n t o a n d t h e c a t h o l i c c h u r c h olic Church.
Sacramento and the Catholic Church: Shaping a Capital City (The Urban West Series) by Steven Avella