Salt of the Earth

The History of the Catholic Church in Utah, 1776-2007

Utah is not generally considered Catholic country. Yet with a diocesan history that predates statehood by five years and two hundred years of missionary activity dating to the period of the American Revolution, Catholicism is an essential part of Utah’s spiritual landscape.

Salt of the Earth chronicles the history of Catholicism in Utah from its introduction by Franciscan missionaries Domínguez and Escalante in 1776 to the arrival of Bishop John C. Wester in 2007. The authors take the reader through the events that led up to the formation of the Vicariate Apostolic of Utah in 1886, and the establishment of the Diocese of Salt Lake City less than five years later in 1891.

In addition to the histories of the individual bishops and the growth of the diocese to the present, Salt of the Earth illuminates the lives of Catholic pioneers and leaders who helped forge a particular spiritual quality unique to Utah. It also reveals the associations in which lay people from all walks of life found daily expression for their faith and shaped a united community.

Bernice Maher Mooney is archivist emerita of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City.

Msgr. J. Terrence Fitzgerald is vicar general of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City.

Praise and Reviews:

"The third edition of Salt of the Earth by Bernice Maher Mooney and Msgr. J. Terrence Fitzgerald is an updated, solid, and well-researched history of the Roman Catholic Church in Utah. The authors have utilized archival records and access to parish and private holdings to produce a unique study of individual Catholic churches throughout the state. This well-documented work continues to fill a void in providing a more comprehensive understanding of the diversity of religious experiences in Utah."—Philip L. Notarianni, Director, Utah State History

"Skillfully written. An invaluable building block in Utah's evolving religious story."—Utah Historical Quarterly

"A thoughtful and heavily researched look at the contributions that Catholicism and Catholics have made to Utah. An informative, highly accessible account."—The Midwest Book Review