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Catholic-Americans : the Mexicans, Italians, and Slovenians of Pueblo, Colorado form a new ethno-religious identity

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Title:
Catholic-Americans : the Mexicans, Italians, and Slovenians of Pueblo, Colorado form a new ethno-religious identity
Creator:
Botello, Michael John ( author )
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 electronic file (134 pages). : ;

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( Master of Arts)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
Department of History, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
History

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Catholics -- Religious identity ( lcsh )
Mexican American Catholics ( lcsh )
Italian American Catholics ( lcsh )
Slovenian American Catholics ( lcsh )
History -- Pueblo (Colo.) ( lcsh )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Review:
Roman Catholic immigrants to the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries faced multiple issues as they attempted to acculturate into their new nation. Distrusted by Protestant-Americans for both their religion and their ethnicity, they were further burdened by the biases of the own church leadership. The Catholic leadership in the United States, comprised of earlier-arrived ethnic groups like Irish and Germans, found the Catholicism of the new arrivals from Europe and Mexico to be inferior to the American style. American bishops dismissed the rural-based spirituality of the immigrants, with its reliance on community festivals and home-based religion, as "superstition" and initially looked to transform the faith of the immigrants to more closely align with the stoic, officious model of the U.S. church. Over time, however, the bishops, with guidance from the Vatican, began to sanction the formation of separate "ethnic" parishes where the immigrants could worship in their native languages, thereby both keeping them in the church and facilitating their adjustment to becoming "Americans." Additionally, immigrants to the western frontier helped transform the Catholicism of the region, since the U.S. church had only preceded their arrival by a few decades. Catholicism had been a major presence in the region for centuries due to Spanish exploration and settlement, but American oversight of the area had only been in place since 1848. Thus, the Catholic immigrants were able to establish roots alongside the American church and leave their imprint on frontier Catholicism. As the city of Pueblo, Colorado industrialized in the 1870s and 1880s large numbers of immigrant laborers were drawn to the city's steelworks and smelters. Pueblo's position on the borderlands established its reputation as a multicultural melting pot, and the Pueblo church ultimately incorporated many of the religious practices of the immigrants while at the same time facilitating their acculturation to American society through its schools, orphanages, and social-service organizations. The story of Pueblo's Catholic immigrants and their formation of a new ethnic identity is a microcosm of the American immigrant experience.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.A.)--University of Colorado Denver. History
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographic references.
System Details:
System requirements: Adobe Reader.
General Note:
Department of History
Statement of Responsibility:
by Michael John Botello.

Record Information

Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
|Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
891206937 ( OCLC )
ocn891206937

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Full Text
CATHOLIC-AMERICANS: THE MEXICANS, ITALIANS, AND SLOVENIANS OF
PUEBLO, COLORADO FORM A NEW ETHNO-RELIGIOUS IDENTITY
by
MICHAEL JOHN BOTELLO
B.S.Colorado State University-Pueblo, 1998
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
History
2013


This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by
Michael John Botello
has been approved for the
Department of History
by
Christopher Agee, Chair
William E. Wagner
Ryan Crewe
October 24, 2013


Botello, Michael John (M.A., History)
Catholic-Americans: The Mexicans, Italians, and Slovenians of Pueblo, Colorado form a
New Ethno-Religious Identity
Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Christopher Agee.
ABSTRACT
Roman Catholic immigrants to the United States in the late nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries faced multiple issues as they attempted to acculturate into their new
nation. Distrusted by Protestant-Americans for both their religion and their ethnicity
they were further burdened by the biases of their own church leadership. The Catholic
leadership in the United States, comprised of earlier-arrived ethnic groups like Irish and
Germans, found the Catholicism of the new arrivals from Europe and Mexico to be
inferior to the American style. American bishops dismissed the rural-based spirituality of
the immigrants, with its reliance on community festivals and home-based religion, as
superstition and initially looked to transform the faith of the immigrants to more
closely align with the stoic, officious model of the U.S. church. Over time, however, the
bishops, with guidance from the Vatican, began to sanction the formation of separate
ethnic parishes where the immigrants could worship in their native languagesthereby
both keeping them in the church and facilitating their adjustment to becoming
Americans.
Additionally, immigrants to the western frontier helped transform the Catholicism
of the region, since the U.S. church had only preceded their arrival by a few decades.
Catholicism had been a major presence in the region for centuries due to Spanish
exploration and settlement, but American oversight of the area had only been in place
since 1848. Thus, the Catholic immigrants were able to establish roots alongside the
iii


American church and leave their imprint on frontier Catholicism. As the city of Pueblo,
Colorado industrialized in the 1870s and 1880s large numbers of immigrant laborers were
drawn to the citys steelworks and smelters. Pueblos position on the borderlands
established its reputation as a multicultural melting pot, and the Pueblo church ultimately
incorporated many of the religious practices of the immigrants while at the same time
facilitating their acculturation to American society through its schools, orphanages, and
social-service organizations. The story of Pueblos Catholic immigrants and their
formation of a new ethnic identity is a microcosm of the American immigrant experience.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Christopher Agee
IV


DEDICATION
To my mother, Geri R. Madrid, for teaching me to keep the faith through her
living example, and to the memory of my grandmother, Mary G. Ortega (1913-2002) for
imparting strength to her family through prayer and guidance. Siempre quiero tu
bendicion.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I would like to thank the many professors, archivists, librarians, research staff,
local historians, and other staff and volunteers who helped me navigate the difficult road
leading up to writing a Graduate Thesis. In the History Department at the University of
Colorado Denver, Dr. Carl Pletsch fostered my academic interest by challenging me
into using cognitive skills that hadnt been utilized in over a decade since my
undergraduate years. He also served as my Minor Advisor (Intellectual History) and
showed me that I was indeed capable of graduate-level work. Much thanks to Dr. Chris
Agee for serving as both my Major Advisor (U.S. History) and as Chair of my Thesis
Committee. His guidance on research techniques and reading lists was invaluable.
Thank you to Dr. Greg Whitesides for serving on my Comprehensive Exam Committee
and for the enlightening graduate student discussions about book reviews and U.S.
foreign policy. Thanks also to Professors William Wagner and Ryan Crewe for serving
on the Thesis Committee for a graduate student they hardly knew, and to Dr. Pamela
Laird for her guidance through the grad-school process.
Many thanks to Tim Hawkins, Archivist, and his staff at the Colorado Fuel and
Iron Archives and the Bessemer Historical Societys Steelworks Museum of Industry and
Culture. Beverly Allen, University Archivist and Records Manager at Colorado State
University-Pueblo, was extremely helpful with facilitating my access to the Archuleta
and Bacino collections of the Southern Colorado Ethnic Heritage and Diversity Archives.
Paul Guamere, Chancellor, Paula Juinta, and Joyce Rivera-Maes were very gracious in
allowing me unsupervised access to the Diocesan Archives of the Diocese of Pueblo. On
the local historian level, the volunteers that keep the Gomick Slovenian Library &
vi


Museum at St. Marys Church open and accessible to the public through a love for their
ethnicity, their church, their neighborhood, and their city were a great resource: Bob
Blazich, the Genealogy Director; Bernice Krasovec, and Lou Skoff all possess more facts
and knowledge about Pueblo than I will ever learn. Their kindness and interest in my
project were a great confidence-booster. Running into John Kogovsek, Chairman of the
Board of the Western Slavonic Associationon my first visit to St. Marys was fortuitous
indeed, as he provided me with informative material on mutual-aid and fraternal
organizations. Likewise, chatting with George Williams and John Korber at the Pueblo
County Historical Society / Southeastern Colorado Heritage Center & Museum pointed
me back on track when my research had veered off on a tangent. Lastly, Charlene Garcia
Simms, Genealogy and Special Collections Librarian at the Rawlings Public Library, and
other Rawlings staffespecially Maria Tuckerwere instrumental in helping me navigate
the voluminous John Korber Collection, which had just recently been given to the library
by Mr. Korber and hadnt even been completely catalogued yet! Additionally, the many
librarians, paid staff, work-study students, and volunteers at the Rawlings Public Library,
Lamb Libraryand CSU-PueDlo Library in Pueblo; the Kraemer Family Library at
UCCS in Colorado Springs; and the Denver Public Library and Auraria Library in
Denver were all instrumental in helping me formulate a well-rounded secondary source
reading list. This thesis project would not have been completed without all of the
aforementioned individuals, who deserve my unending gratitude.
vii


TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION............................................................1
II. CATHOLIC IN AMERICA...................................................12
Colonial and Nineteenth-Century Anti-Catholicism......................13
The Church and Immigration / Immigrants and the Church................16
The Church and Americanization........................................20
The Ethnic National Parishes..........................................21
The Church and Education..............................................27
The Mainstreaming of the American Church..............................34
III. THE FRONTIER CHURCH: CATHOLICISM IN THE WEST.........................36
Spanish and Mexican Roots.............................................37
The Colorado Church...................................................40
The Frontier as an Idea (and an Ideal)................................43
Folk Religion.........................................................47
Immigrants in the Frontier Church.....................................52
The Pueblo Church Takes Shape.........................................56
IV. THE PITTSBURG OF THE WEST.............................................62
A pueblo on the Borderland............................................63
Turning Pueblo into the Pittsburg of the West.......................66
The Immigrants Build a New Pueblo.....................................69
The 1920s: Floods, Nativism, and the Klan.............................74
The CF&I Sociological Department and Corporate Paternalism............77
viii


The Immigrants Find Their Voice..................................82
V. THE CATHOLIC IMMIGRANTS OF PUEBLO.................................85
Inter-Ethnic Strife..............................................85
Mutual Aid.......................................................91
The Penitentes Strengthen the Bond of Catholicism with Culture...94
Relations with the U.S. Church...................................98
The Ethnic Catholic Immigrants Become Catholic Americans........103
VI. CONCLUSION......................................................109
NOTES...............................................................112
REFERENCES..........................................................122
ix


CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
The Prince family of Pueblo, Colorado, was the embodiment of the American
dream. Heirs to a proud Slovenian immigrant family, several generations had continued
in the familial entrepreneurial tradition by operating the Prince Pharmacy, becoming
successful through hard work and remaining loyal to the Catholic faith of their
forefathers. In September 2009 Joseph Godec, nephew of Dorothy Prince and executor
of her willtraveled to Italy to fulfill one of his late aunts wishes. Meeting with Pope
Benedict XVIMr. Godec delivered a check for one million dollars to the church
punctuating the sacredness of his mission with these words: Your Holinessplease
accept this expression of gratitude from an American Catholic family who thank our
Heavenly Father for the gift of taith and youour Holy Fatherfor nurturing that gift
His use of the descriptive phrase American Catholic to describe his family, rather than
Slovenian-American Catholic, Slovenian-American, or even Slovenian Catholic
illustrates to what extent Americanization and societal mainstreaming has occurred
among many descendents of Catholic ethnic immigrant groups in the United States at the
start of the twenty-first century. As Roman Catholic immigrants to the United States of
America, their ancestors often began life in their new adopted land as minorities twice
over: ethnically, their racial pedigree was examined by the Anglo-Saxon establishment
and found wanting, while religiously they belonged to a church mocked, reviled, and
feared by the suspicious Protestant power structure. Proving their loyalty to the new
country, an absolute requirement for the upward social mobility that could give their
children a better life, was a long and tenuous process, coinciding with changing societal


views on definitions of race and ethnicity and highlighted by their fight for acceptance by
an often-reluctant American Catholic church hierarchy.1
Starting in the American colonial period and continuing through the mid-
nineteenth century, earlier groups of Catholic immigrants like Germans, Irish, French-
Canadiansand even Anglo Catholics had been ostracized by mistrustful American
Protestants, who themselves had witnessed religious wars in the Old World. These first
American Catholics eventually established a fledgling U.S. dioceseheadquartered in
Baltimore in the Catholic colony of Marylandand comprised the Episcopal structure of a
church whichby the late nineteenth and early twentieth centurieswould struggle with
the problem of increased immigration from Catholic lands in southern and eastern
Europe as well as from Latin America. The American church hierarchy initially did not
know what to make of these new immigrant brothers in the faith. Many of the
newcomers practiced a folk Catholicism rooted in rural peasant society that the U.S.
church dismissed as superstition. Additionally, immigrants from lands with a strong
anticlerical strain, like Mexico and the recently-united Italy, practiced a home-based
Catholicism that did not place great importance on regular attendance at Mass or on
paying tithestwo benchmarks that the American church held as marks of a good
Catholic.
Despite these difficulties with their new church leadership, ethnic Catholic
immigrants nevertheless stayed loyal to the faith, since Catholicism was so ingrained
with their respective cultures that to abandon the church would have been akin to denying
their own families. In the 1880s and 1890swhile the U.S. church leadership struggled
with their immigrant problem to the extent that Pope Leo XIII weighed in on what was
2


known as the d/7.c/ crisis the immigrants themselves were forging a new ethno-
religious identityincorporating their old-world Catholicism into the American
diocesan infrastructure. They attended Mass in the basements of American parishes, then
later petitioned their bishops to allow for national or ethnic parishes of their own where
they could worship with their fellow countrymen; they formed mutual aid organizations
and fraternal societies for insurance protections; and they transplanted popular devotions
to the village saints and Mary the Mother of God from the old homeland to the new,
illustrating what historian Robert Orsi calls the sensuousgraphicand complicated piety
of the people These immigrantshe believeshad their own waysauthentic and
profoundor being Catholic.2
The western American frontier which had been the northern frontier under
Mexico presented formidable challenges to the church. Geographically vast and
sparsely populated, especially under Mexico and Spain before, the area comprising the
modern-day U.S. southwest necessitated an enormous expenditure of resources money,
materials, and manpower to evangelize the Indians and establish missions, which would
eventually evolve into parishes, dioceses, and archdioceses. Church leadership,
preoccupied pre-1848 with the spiritual care of the Mexican metropolitan core and post-
1848 with the American east and Midwest, tended to treat the people on the frontier as an
afterthought, sending priests whether idealistic young ones or indifferent and often
borderline-apostate ones in too few numbers to adequately cover the immense territory.
This inattention, lack of support, and chronic shortage of clergy among the mission
churches (whether under Spain, Mexico, or the United States) caused the almost-
exclusively Hispano residents of northern New Mexico to rely on lay religious groups


like the Fraternidad de Nuestro Padre Jesus de Nazareno (Fraternal Brotherhood of Our
Father Jesus of Nazareth), commonly known as the Penitentes or "Penitent Brotherhood.
In far-flung isolated areas of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado that might
only see an ordained priest every few years, the Penitentes conducted religious services,
provided mutual aid protections for members5 families, and strengthened the bonds
between the people and the faith by staying respectful of the official Church. Penitente
prayer leaders would not administer sacraments, leaving the prerogative to the occasional
visiting priest to baptize the villages5 babies, hear confessions, give communion, sanctify
marriages, and pray Requiem Masses for the village dead some of whom had been
buried months or years before, initially sent off with a Penitente funeral and prayer
service. The Penitentes and other confraternities (or cofradias as they are known among
Hispanic Catholics), by providing spiritual service work were part of a social foundation
later complemented by national benevolent societies that gave vital support to
Catholic efforts in a region where vast distances and insufficient clergy strained existing
financial resources 3
Under U.S. jurisdiction, the frontier represented a chance for redemption and a
fresh start to people in the east. The industrializing of the western economy functioned as
a tremendous pull-factor, drawing large numbers of immigrants from Europe, Asia, and
Mexico. Hispanos, though culturally distinct from the immigrants from Mexico, were
nevertheless grouped together with them by Anglo society as Mexican. The Hispanos
were, according to geographer Richard Nostrand, uan indigenous people who evolved
from the oldest and largest of the Spanish colonial subcultures.. .their ancestors came
earlier and, with exceptions, more directly from Spain to the Borderlands.Certain
4


archaic Iberian cultural forms that do not exist elsewhere in the borderlands, he
maintainsremain peculiar to them. Speaking a distinct seventeenth-century dialect of
Castilian Spanish and eating a particular diet of foods native to their region were two
cultural markers that differentiated them from immigrants from Mexico proper, but one
characteristic they shared was their Roman Catholicism. As the city of Pueblo, Colorado
rapidly industrialized in the 1870s and 1880s its steel mills, smelters, and factories drew
large numbers of Hispanos from northern New Mexico and southern Colorado as well as
immigrants from Mexico. The occasional intra-ethnic conflict between the two groups
mirrored the conflict among Pueblos Italian immigrant groupswhere intense
regionalism from the old country carried over to Colorados front-rangewith self-
identification as Ca/aM or &.c/7/o trumping identification as Italian. Among these
Italian groups, as with the Mexican groups, Roman Catholicism remained the most
reliable hope for cultural unity.4
As the twentieth century progressed Pueblo5s Catholic immigrant groups followed
the assimilation and acculturation patterns of immigrants nationwide. Children of
immigrants, raised in the United States and educated in American schools (whether
public or parochial) grew up learning English as a main language and worshipping in
American parishesas the ethnic parishes of their immigrant parents slowly morphed
into American churches where English was spoken. Additionally, the Johnson-Reed
Immigration Act of 1924 drastically curtailed immigration from southern and eastern
Europe, stopping the influx of new immigrants with cultural ties to lands in Italy and
Slovenia. The proximity of Mexico to Colorado, and continued Mexican immigration
and ///o migrationhoweverslowed the pace of Americanization for the Mexican


groups. The use of the Spanish language, for example, remained strong (especially
among immigrants directly from Mexico), while spoken Italian and Slovenian often died
out with the older generations. Colorado followed the national trend towards
urbanizationand by 1930 more of the states population was found in urban areas rather
than mral, and the American Hispanic population followed suit, albeit a few decades
behind. In 1940 Hispanics were only 15% urban and 85% mral, but these proportions
had reversed by the early 1950s. For the Hispanos, exclusively mral before
industrialization created job opportunities in polyglot cities like Pueblo and Denver, the
exposure to larger society did, over time, increase their level of acculturation until they
were closer to Italian and Slovene-Americans, intermarrying with other ethnic groups and
becoming primarily English-speaking, much like European ethnics.5
One major difference between the acculturation of MexicanMexican and
Hispano) peoples and those of Italian and Slovenian descent, however, centered around
the issue of whiteness. While late 1800s and early 1900s racialist pseudo-science had
maintained that southem-and eastem-European racial stock was inferior to the northern
AryanTeutonicand Anglo-Saxon racesItalians and Slovenes eventually acquired
whiteness over the course of the twentieth century, first by losing their languages in favor
of English, then by serving in the armed forces in two world wars often fighting
soldiers from their former homelands and as their church became mainstreamed into the
American religious landscape. For Mexican-Americans, initially classified by the U.S.
government as whitein the nineteenth centurythe continued immigration from
Mexico, the persistence and strength of the Spanish language, and the use of
undocumented Mexican laborers as an economic underclass were some of the things that
6


caused them to lose their whiteness. This in turn contributed to further friction
between Mexican immigrants and Hispanos by mid-century, as Hispanos strove for
middle-class American respectability by both distancing themselves from Mexicans
and claiming identification as white Spanish-Americans. They resented being
identified as Mexican and came to identify the term in the pejorative sense as
synonymous with dirtyor low-class. Spanish-American on the other hand
connoted a white, European-American immigrant experience similar to other European
ethnics who were now fully-fledged white Americans. In sumPueblos Italians and
Slovenes acquired their whiteness//os* fought to reclaim theirswhile Mexicans
lost theirs further.
Pueblos position as a borderlands city makes it an ideal setting for a study of
immigrant ethnic identity formation; its status as a frontier city allows for a look at life in
the American west; and its blue-collar, industrial heritage (nineteenth-century
businessmen touted it as the Pittsburg of the Westoffers up an opportunity for telling
a story of Catholicism viewed at the time as a foreign, laborer-class church and its
role in spiritually attending to the needs of disparate groups of people. The Arkansas
River, which bisects the city, functioned as an international boundary line from the 1819
Adams-Oms Treaty between Spain and the United States through the 1848 Treaty of
Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican-American War. Fort El Pueblo, founded in
1842 on the north (U.S.) side of the Arkansas, was a cultural melting-pot, with Anglo
trappers and trontiersmen interacting with Hispano ranchers, Mexican soldiers, and
American Indian traders. The town and later city of Pueblo continued in this
multicultural veinreflected in the present-day in the citys ofricial seal (worn on the
7


uniforms of the Pueblo police) that bears the inscription under five flagsrepresenting
the five territories and countries which have held dominion over the Pueblo area during
the past two centuries.The flags of France, Mexico, Texas, Spain, and the United States
of America are depicted on the seal.6
While many different ethnic groups of Catholic immigrants made Pueblo their
home, and often had experiences paralleling those of the groups looked at here (like
attending the ethnic national parishes and practicing second-generation bilingualism),
groups like the Irish or the Germans assimilated into mainstream white society faster
and to a greater extent than the Mexicans, Italians, and Slovenians, primarily due to their
earlier arrival in the United States. In addition, the three groups looked at here have
maintained strong ethnically-based fraternal societies, social clubs, genealogical groups,
historical organizations, and other cultural markers unto the present day. Additionally,
family-owned Mexican and Italian restaurants and markets dot the Pueblo landscape,
carrying on family recipes over generations, and the Slovenian delicacy potica is a yearly
Christmas tradition for Puebloans of all races. Mexicans and Italians both hailed from
countries with strong anticlerical streaks in their governments, and both were derided by
the American church for their rural, peasant lifestyles, their practice of a folk
Catholicism, and their reliance on spiritual healers and lay prayer leaders. Mexicans and
Slovenes both arrived from lands affected by conquest, as the Mexican-American War
made Hispanos American citizens while Mexicans south of the Rio Grande remained
citizens of a now-shrunken Mexico. Slovenians, meanwhile, lived first as subjects of the
Austro-Hungarian Empire, then later as part of the culturally heterogeneous country of
Yugoslavia until the end of the Cold War. The Italians and the Slovenes shared a


common transatlantic migration from Europeand as Latin and Slavic peoples
respectively they were viewed as racially inferior by northern Europeans. Above all,
however, these three groups were Roman Catholics, and Catholicism was so ingrained
into Mexican / Hispano, Italian, and Slovenian culture that an overview of their ethnic
identity formation cannot place religion on the margin and still be taken seriously.
For purposes of this study, the XQrm Mexican is used to describe primarily
Spanish-speaking immigrants and migrants who trace their lineage to either New Mexico
or the present country of Mexico, and the colonies of New Mexico and New Spain before
that. In other wordsI use Mexican in the aggregate to describe people who, whatever
their racial makeup, have surnames rooted in the Iberian peninsula and who today would
identify themselves in a variety of ways: McMc,fex/c/7.c
Nuevomexicano, Hispanic, Latino, and Chicano among others. When I reference the
distinct Hispano subculture of New Mexico and Colorado, I will use that word (Hispano)
to differentiate them from those who came directly from the country of Mexico, whom I
continue to cairMexican I use Italian to describe people who, though they might
have self-identified as iSVc/7/.a/7, or otherscame from lands
either on the Italian peninsula or the islands of Sicily or Sardinia and who spoke the
Italian language or a regional dialect thereof. I use Slovenian or Slovene to refer to
people from Camiola, Dalmatia, and other lands claimed by ethnic Slovenes, who spoke
the Slovenian language, and did not claim to be Slovakian, Austrian, Croatian, Serbian,
or any other nationality or ethnicity, although in the nineteenth century the U.S.
government often counted them as AustriansYugo-Slavs or Jugo-Slavs I use
ethnically or racially derogatory terms likepocho, surumato, dago, wop, bohunk, or
9


bojon (a term that Pueblo Slovenes incidentally view with affection) unedited when used
either as part of a primary source document or when quoting a secondary source in order
to retain historical scope and perspective.
This brief study of ethnic identity formation among three Catholic immigrant
groups in Pueblo, Colorado is a story that touches on a variety of historical topics: the
shifting and malleable definitions of terms like race and ethnicity, the entrenchment of
religion with culture, religious and ethnic xenophobia, Americanization and
acculturation, and the link between economics and assimilation into mainstream society.
It also blends different historical disciplines religious history, social history, Western
history, racial and ethnic history, industrial labor relations, and cultural history.
Compounding the difficulty of this task, the immigrants studied here usually spoke little
or no English and were often illiterate, making thorough historical research on them
scattershot at times. Historian Thomas Andrews, writing about immigrant mineworkers
in late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Colorado, touches on this, and his
description of the problem also fits for the groups looked at here. These Colorado
immigrants, he argues,
usually left little trace in the historical record. Few could write in any
language, and almost no writings by them survive. Government and
company officials proved anxious to control, categorize, and tally the
migrations. Yet the records and statistics that officials produced offer
only snapshots of much larger and ever-changing tableaux snapshots
compromised by their limited temporal and geographic scope.7
Despite these obstacles, an overview of the story of ethnicity and religion in a western
industrial city can offer lessons on what immigrants wanted from the United States, what
the United States expected from them, how their church helped them become
Americanized citizens, how they themselves reshaped American Catholicism, and how
10


the creation of a new ethno-religious identity helped to shape the country and church of
the present day.
The formation of this new Catholic-American identity among Mexicans
Italians, and Slovenians in Pueblo, Colorado in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth
centuries was influenced by a number of factors, including the aforementioned meanings
of terms like ethnicity and race, which changed over time. Additionally, the idea of what
it meant to be American varied, with the definition typically set by the dominant ethnic
groups and religions. Other factors included the suspicions of their religion by American
Protestants, skepticism of their commitment to the faith by the U.S. Catholic leadership,
their place in the western frontier industrial economy, and the influence of American
education and mass culture upon their children. Conversely, the immigrants themselves
transformed the city of Pueblo and the Catholic Church in Colorado by utilizing
institutions like the ethnic parishes as both links to their cultural homelands and as
avenues of assimilation. It is an important story, and my hope is to do it a small degree
of justice.
11


CHAPTER II
CATHOLIC IN AMERICA
One of the perennial problems which has confronted the Catholic Church
in the United States is its relationship to mainstream American culture, a
culture which has generally been hostile to Catholicism and suspicious of
foreigners. As an immigrant, working-class church, the Catholic Church
often found itself outside ofand in conflict with, that mainstream.
Catholics were under constant pressure to prove the compatibility
between their American citizenship and their Catholic faith.
-Jeffrey M. Burns8
Pueblo5 s Catholic immigrants, although they did not know it at the time, were part
of the late-nineteenth century Americanism crisis that confronted the U.S. Catholic
Church. Bishops favoring rapid assimilation desired that the immigrants be instructed in
English; be taught proper middle-class standards of decomm, dress, diet, and hygiene;
and adapt themselves to the officious, hierarchical, tithes-paying model of Catholicism
that marked the American church. Other U.S. bishops, however, favored a gradual pace
of acculturationone that allowed for separate ethnic parishes and at least tolerance of
folk immigrant practices like festivalsuse of sacramentals (scapularsmedalsrosaries
and holy water), home altars, and faith-based healers. This, they felt, would allow the
immigrants to grow into their American citizenship at their own speed, lessening
potential psychological trauma by allowing them to hold on to at least one familiar aspect
of life their religion. Doing thisthe bishops believedwould prevent leakage or
losses in church membership due to either defections to one of the Protestant faiths or to
people leaving organized religion altogether. These supporters of gradual assimilation
also reasoned that immigrant children, bom or raised in the United States, would grow up
with an ingrained primary loyalty to America and be stirred into the great American
12


melting pot. For the bishops who advocated fast Americanization and pushed for the
immigrants to prove their American-ness to a skeptical Protestant societythe lessons
from the recent history of Catholic immigration remained at the forefront of their minds.
The anti-Catholic sentiment prevalent in early American history had continued into the
nineteenth century, as Irish immigrants escaping famine flocked to the U.S., and a
generation later the church again faced another immigrant problem. For a church
struggling to establish itself as a respectable and accepted American institution
thousands of new immigrant members made that goal all the more difficult, especially
since American society had been openly antagonistic to it since before the countrys
founding.
Colonial and Nineteenth-Centurv_Anti-Catholicism
The Protestants who first established British colonies on the eastern coast of
North America viewed the vast, untamed wilderness before them as a new Garden of
Eden a place to establish Gods pure Kingdom on Earth and start anewfar away from
Europes benighted sinfulness. Though denominations may have differed from each
other in doctrinal matters, they shared many common beliefs, like the sufficiency of
scripture as a guide to salvation, the priesthood of all believers, and salvation through
Gods grace acquired through faith alone. Additionallyas Frank Lambert arguesthey
shared something else: an abiding hatred of the Catholic Church. They vilified Catholics
as 'Papists5 and 'Romanists5 and castigated the Catholic Church as the 'whore of
Babylon.Any Catholic immigrationno matter how small in numberwas viewed as a
harbinger of a potential invasion, and in the years before American independence the
media of the era almanacs, tracts, sermons, and periodicals slandered Catholicism.
13


Public school primers instructed children to abhor that arrant Whore of Rome and all her
Blasphemies while Pope Night festivals depicting the Devil conspiring with Catholics
and fireside games like Break the Popes Kneck (sic) were typical fare. As David
Bennett maintainsit was the specter of an alien religionpenetrating and poisoning the
New World garden that made anti-Catholicism a recurring theme in early American
history.9
These suspicions and fears of a Catholic takeover continued into the nineteenth
century. In 1835 Lyman Beecher published a tract called^ Plea for the West in which he
outlined the dangers to freedom and true Christianity if Roman Catholicism were to
increase its already substantial influence in the expanding American frontier. Protestants
supported the publication of such scandal-mongering books as Six Months in a Convent
(1835), Maria yionk" % Awful Disclosures of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery in Montreal (1836)
(a best-seller that sold more than 300,000 copies), and Beecher5s The Papal Conspiracy
Exposed. These and other popular salacious works "found a ready market among
Protestants who were certain that more went on behind convent walls than prayer and
meditation In PhiladelphiaSamuel B. Smitha former speaker for the New York
Protestant Association who claimed to be an ex-uPopish priest,offered up the Downfall
//or q/Tra//; owr /^and in New York a Reverend Brownlee
issued the influential American Protestant Vindicator and Defender of Civil and
Religious Liberty against the Inroads of Popery. Samuel F.B. Morsefamed inventor of
the telegraph, fanned nativist and anti-Catholic feeling through a series of articles
published under the name Brutus in which he spun a conspiracy theory of a Vatican
plot to take control of the United States by encouraging Catholic immigration and then
14


mobilizing Catholic voters Although anti-Catholic sentiment had arrived in North
America with the first Protestant settlers in the seventeenth century, the nominal number
of Catholics posed little direct threat to Protestant hegemony. The arrival of large
numbers of Catholics in the 1800s began to change that, and after more than a million
Catholic immigrants mainly from Ireland arrived in the U.S. by mid-century, they
constituted a large enough presence, though still only about 5 percent of the population,
to spark a nativist reaction by religionists and nonreligionists alike. The Catholic
population was concentrated in cities, and it was from the cities that the nativism flowed.
Fueled by resentment to Irish immigrationa fraternal-political associationthe Order of
the Star-Spangled Banner, formed in 1849 to resist the tide of Catholic immigration. It
would reorganize in 1852 as the American Party (or Know Nothings) and briefly
influence American politics. Protestant critics charged that Catholic attitudes and
behaviorsshaped by the Vaticanguaranteed that good catholics could not be good
republicans and the editor of the Cleveland opined that Roman Catholics
whose consciences are enslaved.. .regard the King of Rome the Pope as the
depository of all authority. With such inherent loyaltiesit was believedCatholics
would never be dutiful American citizens.10
Where in 1807 the United States had 70,000 Roman Catholics, by 1840 their
numbers had swelled to over 660,000, stoking the social anxiety that facilitated the rise of
groups like the Know-Nothings. In 1854 the Know-Nothing Party elected seventy-five
members to the United States House of Representatives and had over one million
members. It also elected eight governors, the mayors of Boston, Chicago, and
15


Philadelphia, and thousands of lesser officials throughout the country. Their fast rise
astounded many Americans and led Abraham Lincoln to observe that:
Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a
nation, we began by declaring that all men are created equal. We
now practically read it all men are created equal except Negroes.
When the Know Nothings get control, it will read all men are
created equal, except Negroes, and foreigners and Catholics.
As Mark Noll points outhoweverthe influence of the Know Nothings quickly declined
in the rapid political changes that led to the Civil War and they eventually disappeared
from the scene. In the second half of the century, the new wave of Catholic immigrants
were ridiculed (much like the earlier groups) for their culture and standard of living,
which were presented as affronts to the emerging Progressive middle-class ideal. Linda
Gordon argues that "both as creed and as institution, Catholicism was to the (Protestant)
elite a benighted system, a pernicious influence toward dependency, alcoholism, and
shiftlessness a logic that fit, of course, with the hegemonic elite understanding that
poverty grew from moral failings. LikewiseLary May posits that Catholic or Eastern
and Southern Europeans who wanted to rise had to shed many of their traditions, which
the dominant group portrayed as vice-ridden and decadent. These were the burdens of
history and biases that ethnic Catholics faced when they set foot upon American soil.11
The Church and Immigration / Immigrants and the Church
For their part, Catholic immigrants never saw themselves as disloyal to America.
Even though they fought to preserve their culture, they along with native proponents of
cultural pluralism felt that their contributions would enrich American society by
maintaining their cultural identities. The American church, wanting to keep these
Catholic newcomers in the fold, attempted to assist the immigrants with locating housing
16


and employment, but their efforts lacked cohesiveness at the macro level. Groups like
the American Federation of Catholic Societies, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and the
Catholic Church Extension Society attempted to direct Catholic immigrant carebut they
lacked the necessary machinery to coordinate efforts in an efficient way. It was at the
local level, with work carried out in individual dioceses, where the most effective efforts
at providing social aid were found. The church had good reason to pay attention, as it
had grown exponentially throughout the nineteenth century, and the new influx of ethnic
Catholics swelled their numbers even more. In 1808 there had been one Catholic diocese
for the entire United States, but by 1855 there were forty-one; in 1808 there were only
sixty-eight priests nationwide, but by 1855 there were 1,704; in 1808 there were 80
churches in the U.S.but by 1855 there were 1824. Anna Carroll, an advisor to the
Lincoln cabinet and former Know-Nothing, asserted that "Rome has put her paw upon
Americas great shoulder and is clawing at her vitality.12
While these xenophobic sentiments were not morally justifiable, they were
grounded in actual demographic change. In 1776 Roman Catholics had comprised 1.8%
of the population and were the 6th-largest American denomination, but by 1850 they had
grown to 13.9% and represented the 3rd-largest denomination. In 1789, when the Pope
confirmed the first bishop for the United States, there were 35,000 Catholics nationwide,
with roughly 60% of them in the Catholic haven of Maryland. By 1830 there were over
300.000 Catholicsand by 1860 there were 3100,000 in a U.S. population of 31500,000.
Shortly after the Civil War the Roman Catholic Church surpassed the Methodists to
become the largest Christian denomination, and by 1870 there were approximately
3.500.00 Catholics in a population nearing 40 million. Throughout the nineteenth
17


century more than twenty-eight different ethnic groups called themselves Catholic, and
by 1910 the U.S. Church was caring for over 15 million souls. Jay Dolan argues that
among these disparate groups uno easy generalizations can adequately describe the
community, because it was so diverse. Ethnic diversity was its most obvious feature,
with six major groups Irish, Germans, Italians, Polish, French Canadians, and Mexican
Americans accounting for at least 75 percent of the population by 1920.Overallthe
United States attracted 33.6 million immigrants (of all faiths) between 1820 and 1920,
and in roughly the same period the Catholic population increased from an estimated
318,000 to close to 18 million. The number of priests went from 232 to 21,019, and the
number of churches from 230 to 16,181. With such massive numbers, the church focused
on increasing its capacityand the brick-and-mortar phase of American Catholicism
picked up momentum after World War I, when "new churches, schools, hospitals, and
convents took their place in the cities skylines. This focus on basic infrastructure
tamped down any political activism or advocacy for social justiceas Jeffrey Burns
believes that uin the pre-Vatican II era, the prevailing model of the Church in the United
States insisted that the Churchs primary goal was the preservation of the immigrants
faith and the salvation of soulsnot the transformation of society.13
The church and its immigrants could not totally ignore social issues, however.
Progressive-era reformerswith their reliance on expertise and the state to impose
Protestant middle-class morals on the American public, found much fault with the values
of ethnic Catholics. The 1920s social movement of Prohibition targeted immigrant
Catholics as roadblocks to the restoration of a Protestant middle-class culture.
Prohibitionists, in their desire to maintain a society free of the evils of alcohol, divided
18


society into wets and drys andbecause of their cultural traditions the vast majority
of Catholic immigrants opposed Prohibition and were thus labeled wets which only
served to reinforce their outsider status. Catholic temperance groups did occasionally
spring up, however, and although their efforts were ultimately unsuccessful Roy
Rosenzweig argues that the Catholic temperance movement actually incorporated a
variety of motives: a search for middle-class respectability, an interest in a stable and
settled ethnic communityand a desire for social change. Social work could start at the
grassroots or be guided by the church. The Denver Catholic Register, reporting on the
consecration of Pueblos first Bishopthe Most Rev. Joseph Clement Willgingin its
February 26,1942 issueanalyzed the demographics of the recently-created Diocese of
Pueblo, stating that in the new diocese there are considerable racial or language groups
the largest being the Spanish-speaking. Colorado altogether has 40,000 to 50,000
Spanish-speaking people, who represent its greatest missionary problem.Part of the
new bishops plan for this problem involved nurturing cradle Catholics, those babies
born to Catholic parents. The Pueblo Chieftain reported in 1947 that "the Most Rev.
Joseph C. Willging, D.D., bishop of the diocese of Pueblo, is installing a pre-natal and
post-natal clinic for Spanish-speaking mothers, only, of Pueblo. The bishops actions
reflected the church5 s commitment to the poor, and priests often appealed directly to
immigrants. Rev. John C. Birch of San Antonio, speaking at a 1946 conference, told
Spanish-Americans point-blank: If any of you have for social or economic reasons
abandoned your own, remember there is no reason to deny your Spanish heritage. It is a
proud one. Your culture, brought to these shores by heroic men, is centuries older than
the Anglo culture. Ever since the consecration of its first bishop in eighteenth-century
19


Maryland, the Catholic Church in America had adapted to changing societal conditions
and demographic shifts. Different waves of immigration, combined with malleable
definitions of race and ethnicity and other variables (like place of residence) facilitated
rates of assimilation for each group. Mark Noll asserts that
During the nineteenth century, assimilation of European religious groups
operated at a variable pace depending upon whether the size of the
migrating group was large or small, whether immigrants moved into
cities or the more isolated Midwestern plains, whether or not a continuing
supply of immigrants kept alive the European language, and if the
surrounding population of Americans welcomed or rejected the
newcomers.. .Each of the major strands of Catholic immigration...
contained multiple patterns of ethnic identification and American
assimilation.
This would be exhibitedas it was in countless other localesin Pueblo among the citys
Mexicans, Italians, and Slovenes.14
The Church and Americanization
For the Catholic organizations that existed to help immigrants settle in to life in
their new homeland, part of that mission involved dealing with the question of
assimilation. The Knights of Columbus, although predominantly an Irish organization,
espoused a Catholic (rather than an Irish) identity and explicitly sought to assimilate
more recent Catholic immigrants into that Catholic-American identity. Liberal
American bishops, who pushed for a rapid pace of assimilation that included English-
immersion instruction and who favored the U.S. Churchs emphasis on democracy and
egalitarianism (Americanismwere stymied by the Vaticans pronouncements favoring
the position of conservative bishopswho advocated instructing immigrants in their
native languages. In 1895 Pope Leo XII addressed American Catholics in an encyclical,
Longinqua Oceani, that congratulated them for what had been accomplished in the New
20


World for the faith, but cautioned against making American church-state relations the
standard for all places. Four years later he expounded further in another encyclical,
Testem Benevolentiae, in which the Pope attacked the idea that church teaching could be
altered in order to accommodate to special local conditions. Testem Benevolentiae had
primarily condemned liberal French Catholics5 Americanisme in advocating a
rapprochement with political liberalism, but conservative American bishops hailed it as a
victory for their position that Catholic immigrants should be taught in their native
tongues to prevent leakage.With this papal blessingthe American church allowed the
granting of ethnic or national parish churcheswhich became the primary means used
by the Church to assimilate and protect immigrants.A separate parish for each
immigrant group allowed them to adapt to American culture at their own pace, thereby
enabling them to preserve the more positive aspects of their culture, especially the
Catholic faith. As European immigration tapered off by the interwar period national
parishes began to fall out of favor, but they nonetheless played an indispensable role in
acculturating the ethnic immigrants. Carol Jensen reports that Catholic immigrants were
"found in parishes scattered throughout the Intermountain West, but more prominently,
more permanently, and more formally in the Pueblo Diocese and the Denver
Archdiocese 15
The Ethnic National Parishes
Ethnic parishes had roots in the early nineteenth century, with the first large
waves of German and Irish immigration. In large eastern cities like New York, Boston,
and Philadelphia, German and Irish Catholics were not willing to worship in the same
church, even though they might have lived in the same area of the city. Each group
21


wanted to pray in their own language and according to their particular Old World
traditions. Later in the nineteenth century, the national parish emerged as the most
pragmatic response to this problem, and Jay Dolan argues that uit became the principal
institution the immigrants established in their attempt to preserve the religious life of the
old country. Silvano Tomasi asserts that ethnic parishes became the most relevant
institutional organization supporting the immigrants in their encounter with the
surrounding groups and the dominant society and he believes that the ethnic parish
church should be viewed both as an instrument of power for the immigrant group and as
a subsystem in the stratification of the larger society. Social solidarity was how the
parishes derived their power. Most American bishops initially encouraged the formation
of annex congregations where immigrant groups held services in an existing
American parish church but many native Catholics felt that the development of
separate, distinct foreign-language parishes might cause jurisdictional disputes and
perhaps even challenge the bishops5 authority. Some ethnic parishes, therefore, followed
a grassroots path to existence, with immigrant groups building a church, sometimes
without official church sanction. The parish would usually be quickly accepted by the
local Ordinary as a legitimate Catholic parishhowever. Mark Noll writes that these
parishes
were constructedwith or without the active support of the hierarchy
where religious and social nurture eased the traumas of migration. The
organization of parishes, and of ecclesiastical thinking, around ethnic
differences proved to be an unusually helpful way of maintaining the
centrality of the church for uprooted populations.
Dolan concurscalling national parishes social institutions that strengthened the social
fabric of the community by nurturing families as well as faith and by promoting
22


education as well as Sunday Mass.16
In the Colorado Diocese, of the three national foreign-language parishes
designated as such in 1900, two were German and one was Polish. The Polish parish at
Globeville in Denver faced a separatist movement by Slovenian and Croatian
parishioners who wanted their own church. By 1920 they had succeeded, when Holy
Rosary was built one block from another parishSt. Josephswhere it functioned for at
least a decade as a Slovenian parish before losing that designation. SimilarlySt. Marys
in Pueblo was designated as a Slovenian parish through 1943. Established in 1891 for a
combined congregation of SloveniansGermansand SlovaksSt. Marys was classified
as a German parish from 1895 until 1901, at which time St. Boniface was built
specifically for Germans. In 1900 Colorado Bishop Nicholas C. Matz had deemed it
necessary to build a separate church for Pueblos German families. Dedicated to St.
Boniface, the Apostle of Germany, the church was placed under the care of the
Benedictine Fathers. Built near Santa Fe Avenue and Sixth Street on a hill overlooking
the business section of the citythe parish existed until 1922, when there was no longer
sufficient need for a German national parishand the area was absorbed by the English-
speaking St. Leander5s parish. In Durango, Colorado, meanwhile, a second parish,
Sacred Heart, was opened by the Theatine Fathers in 1906 for Italians and Mexicans who
complained that they had been slighted at St. Columbaswhich had been founded in
1882. Additionally, three Colorado parishes that served Italian Catholics bore the name
of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and in both Denver and Pueblo the Mount Carmel
parishes were staffed by Jesuit priests.17
23


Pueblo, with its multitude of ethnic groups, perfectly fit the national parish model.
After the formation of the Pueblo Diocese in 1941, the new see city was described as
once a sort of miniature and informal United Nations An 1890 edition of X\\q Pueblo
Daily Chieftain gave a contemporary history of the previous ten years:
The gradual development of the city brought an increase of foreign
Catholics who, owing to their language and other circumstances, felt
as if they were debarred from the churches where the English speaking
Catholics gathered. They were mainly Mexicans and Italians. It was
thought necessary to attend to their particular wantsand the Rev.
Father GentileS.J.allowed for a chapel to be constructed for their
benefit, he, himself, furnishing the necessary funds. The chapel was
built in August, 1884, on ten lots purchased by the same father in 1882,
on Summit and Second Streets, and was dedicated to St. Joseph.
In March 1899 the Apostolic Delegate to the United States, Archbishop Sebastian
Martinelli, wrote to Bishop Matz about complaints he received from Italians in Pueblo
that they were being spiritually neglected. The church that was built as a result was Our
Lady of Mount Carmel, and the blessing ceremony on October 20,1901 was "attended by
all the Italian societies in full uniform and by representatives of other nationality groups
as well. Mt. Carmel soon acquired jurisdiction over Pueblos Mexicans and as
well: in 1884 the Jesuits of St. Patricks Church had built the aforementioned St.
Josephs Chapel to serve the Spanish Americans in the area but after Mt. Carmels
consecration the citys Spanish-speaking people began attending the new church mainly
due to Mt. Carmels more convenient location in proximity to the Mexican settlements
and St. Josephs Chapel quickly fell into disuse and was demolished. Into the 1940s Mt.
Carmel was still described as ua national parish for those of Italian descent and Spanish-
speaking people.In 1891, meanwhile, Bishop Matz had asked the Rev. Boniface
WimmerO.S.B.of St. Vincents Archabbey in LatrobePennsylvania to come to Pueblo
24


and establish a parish for all the middle-European elements of the city mostly the
Slovenes, Germans, and Slovaks who were living in the Grove neighborhood on the
Arkansas Rivers north bank. An abandoned broom factory was purchased, converted
into a churchand St. Marys parish was bom. Father Cyril Zupan (described as Pastor of
Austrians and Slavoniansnoted the multiethnic makeup of the original St. Marys on
the cover page of the 1894 Baptismal Record:
Three principal nationalities, Germans, Slovaks, Krainers, and also
Croatiansheld a meeting today concerning a new structure for church
and school purpose. The members present of different nationalities
expressed themselves to be perfectly satisfied to stay together, enjoy
equal rights, and take upon themselves equal obligations in erecting
and keeping this structure. This building will be common to said
nationalities although they may have afterwards churches of their own.
Just as the Germans eventually split off with the building of St. Boniface, Pueblo5 s
Slovaksafter functioning as an autonomous group within St. Marys built their own
church, St. Anthony5 s, across the street from St. Mary5s at 225 Clark Street in the Grove,
in 1911.St. Anthonys closed in the 1990s as the number of registered parishioners fell
off. The ethnic Catholics of Pueblo, while faithful to their culture and church,
nevertheless also strove to prove their patriotism and Americanness. Upon the
entrance of the United States into World War I in 1917, the Germans, Slovenes, and
Slovaks of Pueblo were openly insulted and abused due to their homelands fighting on
the belligerent side of the war. Father ZupanO.S.B.who was the ideal pastor for these
various national groups because of his mastery of the German and Slavic languages
stood on the steps of the Pueblo courthouse and pledged his support and the support of
his parishioners for the American war effort.18
25


As the twentieth century progressedethnic parishes were officially phased out
but their influence continued to be felt. Canon 216 of the New Code of Canon Law in
1918 forbade the formation of any new national parishes, and in the 1920s and 30s
American Catholic leaders began to push the idea that national parishes should gradually
be eliminated. The reality at the grassroots, however, was that ethnic parishes were still
active and vibrant. Jay Dolan reports that nationwide well into the 1920s "the immigrant
church was very much alive, and Catholicism continued to be a religion rooted in diverse
ethnic traditions. By 1930, for examplefirst- and second-generation immigrants made
up almost two-thirds of Chicagos populationand more than half of the citys population
still belonged to national parishes. In the West, it was during this period that the number
of ethnic parishes reached its zenith. In 1930 the Catholic Directory listed eleven
national foreign-language parishes for the Denver Diocese (which still included Pueblo).
In the 1940s, as industrialization and urbanization changed the demographics of the
region, many ethnic parishes did in fact begin to lose their enclosed neighborhood
character and, instead, became gathering places for members of a particular ethnic group
now spread throughout a growing urban area. By 1944, in fact, all of the national foreign
language parishes in the newly-created Pueblo diocese had lost that specific designation.
In the case of Pueblo5 s Mt. Carmel, however, the church continued as a de facto ethnic
parish. A 2011 Pueblo Chieftain retrospective on the parish reported:
Although Italians dominated, the congregation from the beginning
reflected the ethnic makeup of neighboring settlements Goat Hill,
Peppersauce Bottoms, Bessemer, and the Grove, the area that5s still
home to the church at 421 Clark St. There were plenty of Slavics and
Hispanics in the pew alongside their Italian brethren.. .there was a
friendly rivalry between the Italian-based Society of Our Lady of
Mount Carmel and the Congregacion de Nuestra Senora de
Guadalupe. Both groups organized huge festivals, community meals
26


and other events to raise money for the church.
The immigrants religious Americanization did hit occasional bumps in the road:
sometimes Pueblos English-speaking Catholics complained to the diocese that
immigrant men were often forgiven for sins without proper penance, stemming from a
linguistic misunderstanding when they confessed in rudimentary English and the priest
did not understand what they were saying. Others believed that members of ethnic
parishes werent part of the diocese because they were allowed to eat meat on Fridays.
In actuality, immigrants were oftentimes given the Friday dispensation because of the
hard physical labor they did, or because of the Bulla Cruciata, a quirky side note of Papal
history that will be looked at in a later chapter of this study. Still, the overall legacy of
Pueblo5 s ethnic parishes and ethnic parishes nationwide was a positive one. They
fostered a feeling of place and community that helped with the psychological toll of
immigration, while at the same time they facilitated a gradual assimilation into American
culture without totally forsaking the immigrants native cultural markers. In factthe
cultural contributions of ethnic Catholics enriched American culture, transforming it into
something new. As the children of immigrants reached school age, the church5 s support
of parochial education and its contentious relationship with public schools comprised
another large piece of the weaving of a national American fabric.19
The Church and Education
Since they played such a large role in the lives of immigrant children, schools
attracted the attentions of a number of interested parties. For the churchthe arac/z/a/
school system was an effective way to strengthen the immigrants faith and prevent
leakage; for the U.S. governmentschools were the best way to foster American
27


loyalty, teach English, and impart progressive, Protestant middle-class mores; while for
nativist anti-Catholic groups principally the resurrected Ku Klux Klan the parochial
educational system was part of the Popes master plan to turn the United States into a
Catholic puppet regime. Though their methods differed, both parochial and public
education was seen as the clearest path to assimilation into American society. The
church-supported school system was part of a broader Catholic social services network
that aimed to address the needs of the poor and reflect the churchs commitment to the
overlooked of society. The backbones of this system were the dedicated nuns who cared
for the sick in hospitals, sheltered orphans, provided for the elderly, established
settlement houses in citiesand operated many other institutions of social assistance
Above all, however, the nuns were teachers: by 1900, there were over 3,800 Catholic
parochial schools in the United States and another 663 academies for girlsalmost all of
which were staffed by nuns Not all immigrant groups were committed to constructing
and financially supporting parochial schools and utilizing them for their childrens
education, however. Italian immigrants, perhaps reflecting the anticlericalism of their
homelandcould not understand why they should construct their own schools or send
their children to parochial schools when a state-supported public school was readily
available. Additionallysince the Italian government had subsidized a public
educational system, immigrants from Italy had a predisposition towards state-supported
schoolsand they made little use of the parochial school upon coming to America. In
Pueblo Italian immigrants, often out of necessity, sent their children to parochial school
alongside other ethnic Catholic immigrant children.20
28


The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnatiwho had run St. Marys Hospital since 1882,
established Pueblos first parochial schools. A grade school was erected at St. Patricks
parish in 1885 at a cost of $10,000, with the high school following in 1887, and the
schools drew from the very beginning an attendance of 130 pupils. Built in 1882 at the
corner of San Pedro and Guadalajara (now Routt and Michigan) in South Pueblo, St.
PatricksPueblos second Catholic churchwas served by Jesuit priests until 1925, with
the Rev. G. MassaS.J.serving as the pastor for Italians and Mexicans. By 1899 five
Sisters of Charity were teaching 160 pupils at St. Patsand by 1921 there were 296 grade
schoolers and 67 high schoolers. Tuition was $5 a year for children of St. Patricks
parish families and $1 per month for non-parishioners. The Sisters of Charity were
among a number of religious who were active in Pueblo at the time. Sisters from St.
Mary5s Academy in Denver had founded the Loretto Academy in 1875, the Franciscan
order ran Sacred Heart Orphanageand the Benedictine Order ran St. Marys Church and
School. The city even briefly boasted a Catholic college to complement its parochial
grade and high schools. Bishop Matz, writing to the Cardinal Prefect of the Propaganda
in January, 1903, felt that a college should be provided for the Catholic boys of Pueblo.
In his letter the bishop wrote that this city of 50,000 inhabitants is an industrial center
where a day college for higher education is much needed. Dedicated on October 18
1903, the collegenamed St. Leanders Priory and Day School for Boys never grew its
enrollment to match anticipated numbers, and closed in 1926, replaced by Holy Cross
Abbey in nearby Canon City. Catholic institutions sought to instill American middle-
class values, but on their own (Catholic) terms. In the 1920s, the Holy Family Nursery
and Girls Protectory had a stated purpose of safeguarding children and girls exposed to
29


serious spiritual dangers. Without institutions of this typemany children would be
roaming the streets in want of everything and, most likely, would be learning lessons of
crime. Preventing leakage was also importantas children housed in non-Catholic
institutions would lose that faith which is the only treasure they have inherited from their
parents 21
In the 1920s a resurgent KKK believed that Rome was anxious to subvert the
public school system in order to turn it into a vehicle for Catholic propaganda. Since the
schools were essential to the creation of a loyal and intelligent citizenry they were
conspicuous targetsand Catholics were thought to seek a Romanizing of the students
by placing Papists on school boards and employing them as teachers. In the event of
their successthere would be a string of beads around every Protestant childs neck and
a Roman Catholic catechism in its hand. 'Hail Mary, Mother of God/ would be on every
childs lipsand the idolatrous worship of dead saints a part of the daily program. Even
after the Klan5s brand of nativism waned in influence, there was still the need for
Catholic students to prove their commitment to learning American values whether
they were enrolled in parochial or public schools and for Catholic schools to prove their
commitment to teaching those same American values. In August 1916, after the secular
Denver newspapers published comments criticizing Catholic schools as undemocratic
Father Hugh L. McMenaminRector of Denvers Immaculate Conception Cathedral
wrote a letter that was printed in both the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Catholic
Register. In it, he defended the parochial school as a model of democratic ideal:
Nations cannot survive without laws; there is no true liberty without restraint. He
wrotemen cannot be a law unto themselves.. .we must hold fast to religion. And so it
30


happens that the Catholic school system is the greatest safeguard that American liberty
has.^ In 1949, after the Pueblo Star Journal and Chieftain published an editorial
favoring the restriction of federal funds to students of public schools, Father John C.
O5 Sullivan, the Diocesan Superintendent of Schools, wrote a letter to newspaper
publisher Frank S. Hoag that touched on the democratic theme in defense of Catholic
schoolsmuch like Father McMenamins letter of 1916 had:
It is only in private schools that the tenets of religion and morality can
be taught, and the preservation of religion and morality is our
contribution to the stability of our democratic form of government
against the encroachments of totalitarianism ...Catholic youth face all
the responsibilities of citizenship. Their parents are taxpayers.. .the
leaders of our Church spring from the families of the working class
and know its problems 22
In Pueblo, Catholic high school education evolved from the parish level to a
larger centralized school as the city grew. Bishop Matz, speaking at a school dedication
in Grand Junction, Colorado, in 1916, spoke of the educational progress that had been
made, particularly in the southern half of the state. Pueblo, which was the state5 s second-
largest city, had seven Catholic schools with an enrollment of nearly fifteen hundred.
The bishop mentioned that, although there had been discussion of a central Catholic high
school in Pueblo, he felt that it would not materialize, since the southern Colorado city,
like Denver, was spread out over a large territory, making it almost impossible to select a
location that would be convenient to all parts of the city. Nevertheless, the idea did
eventually come to fruitionaided in part by the development of automobile culture and
refinement of the public transportation system, which reduced distance as a barrier to
educationand Catholic schools grew citywide. By the 1944-1945 school yearthe citys
seven Catholic elementary schools (Sacred Heart, St. Anthony5s, St. Francis Xavier, St.
31


LeanderSt. MarysSt. PatrickSacred Heart Orphanage) had a combined enrollment of
1085. As new parishes were founded in burgeoning areas of the city and county, a
parochial school was usually part of the plant design, like in 1948 when Father Charles
A. Murray, S .J., pastor of Mount Carmel parish, converted surplus buildings purchased
from the War Assets Administration into a new school plant at St. Josephs mission (later
St. Joseph parish) in Blende, east of the city proper. Between 1942 and 1952, parochial
school enrollment in the new Diocese of Pueblo increased eighty-nine percent, from
3,226 to 6130, of which 2,302 were in the city of Pueblo alone. 23
In the 1940s the diocese kicked off a pledge drive for a new building for Pueblo
Catholic High School. The Most Rev. Joseph C. Willging, first Bishop of Pueblo,
published a letter in the April 3,1944 edition of the Pueblo Catholic High School student
paper, The Tatler, that excoriated public education and Catholics who might favor state-
nan education. The bishop wrote:
Any Catholic who does not give active support to our High School proves
the lack of proper Catholic education in the mission and spirit of the
Church, and should not claim the title of Catholic... When will we have
our new Pueblo Catholic High building? Just as soon as the Catholic
population of Pueblo is converted to the realization of the imperative need
of an adequate and modern school property, and is made more conscious
of the supreme advantages of religious higher educations, and becomes
less satisfied with the glamor (sic) of godless and paganistic education.
The fundraising effort ultimately proved successful, and the new Pueblo Catholic High
was dedicated on May 3,1951 in a ceremony attended by the Most Reverend Amleto
Giovanni CicognaniD.D.Apostolic Delegate to the United States. Speaking at the
dedication, the Most Rev. Hubert M. Newell, Coadjutor Bishop of Cheyenne and former
superintendent of schools for the State of Colorado, yet again tied in Catholic education
to American democracy. In Catholic schoolshe arguedthe Catholic child is taught that
32


his love for his country is second only to his love for his God. Patriotism was a virtue
grounded in faith that commands us all to be uprightcooperative citizenswilling not
only to enjoy the privileges of government, but also to protect its interests from unjust
aggressors even with our lives. Just like Catholic immigrants needed to prove their
American loyalty, their church constantly strove to prove its own bona fides and show
that the tenets of the faith were compatible with American egalitarianism and
democracy.24
Even though the new Pueblo Catholic High building was touted as a good
barometer of the strength of Catholic education, demographic changes and other societal
forces were starting to signal the end of widespread Catholic education by the later
twentieth century, resulting in a drastic reduction in the number or Catholic schools
available to parents. At the time of the 1951 dedication ceremony90/ of the citys high
school -aged Catholic students attended one of the two public high schools, Central and
Centennial, and this trend continued into the next two decades, until the Most Rev.
Charles Buswell, second Bishop of Pueblo, closed all the Catholic schools in the city in
1971 due to declining enrollment and lack of financial sustainability. Thomas Noel has
identified four factors in the decline of the number of Catholic schools statewide in the
1960s and 70s. First, there was a drastic decline in the number of nuns (the lifeblood of
parochial education) as fewer women joined religious orders in the post-Vatican II
church. Secondly, the number of children per Catholic family declined, as Catholics
adapted more closely to a suburban, nuclear-family model. Fewer Catholic children
equated to fewer potential Catholic school students. Additionally, as ethnic Catholics
became better integrated into the mainstream culture they developed a greater acceptance
33


of public schools. Finally, the cost of education soared, making public school a
financially attractive choice for working families. Despite its decline in influence, the
Catholic educational system played a major role in acculturating Catholic immigrants and
their children into American society and furthering the pace of the mainstreams
acceptance of the Roman Catholic Church as a viable religious institution, rather than one
to be repelled. By teaching its students that one could be both a good Catholic and a
good American, the parochial school ultimately helped educate the American culture at
large.25
The Mainstreaming of the American Church
The experience of what it has meant to be Catholic in America has changed with
shifting social norms and cultural characteristics, but perhaps the largest factor in
Catholic acceptance by the mainstream was simply the large numbers of Catholics
moving to and living in the United States. By 1908 enough Catholics had called the U.S.
home that in June of that year Pope St. Pius X issued the Apostolic Constitution Sapienti
Co///, which removed the American church from missionary status and placed it on
equal footing with the European churches. By World War I there were over 16,000,000
Catholics in the United States, and Richard Linkh argues that Catholicism was already
becoming recognized as an ineluctable component of American life as it had indeed
reached maturity. By the 1960s the American church counted nearly 40,000,000
members, and the property holdings of major dioceses reached astronomical figures. The
gradual assimilation of Catholic immigrant groups had occurred almost unnoticed with
the church suffering no outstanding losses. Between 1940 and 1997 the number of
American Catholics grew 188%so that by 1998 the 62,000,000 adherents comprised a
34


larger group than the total population of either the United Kingdom or France. While
anti-Catholic views are still periodically expressed in certain evangelical churches, the
open, public exhibition of xenophobic anti-Catholicism prevalent in the past has
disappeared. The Pope-Day celebrations and Whore of Babylon talk are no more.26
For Pueblo5 s ethnic Catholics, their assimilation paralleled the growth of the
church itself in the area. That is to say, although Catholicism was well-established
regionally, due to its roots under Spanish and Mexican mle, the American Church in the
West preceded the influx of Catholic immigrants by a mere few decades. Unlike in the
eastern United Stateswhere cities were relatively long-established and the Catholic
Church had already formed parishes and clearly-defined Episcopal jurisdictions, in the
West the church grew in tandem with the fledgling towns. Despite Catholicism being the
ancient faith in the area, it (the American church) functioned as a tme frontier, missionary
church, and it underwent its growing pains alongside the ethic immigrants themselves,
taking on the multicultural characteristics of its worshippers in the process.
35


CHAPTER III
THE FRONTIER CHURCH: CATHOLICISM IN THE WEST
Frederick Jackson Turner argued that the frontier transformed
Americans. My investigation of one institution suggests the contrary: the
wilder and more remote the frontier, the more some people especially
women hungered for churches like those they had known back home.
the striking thing is not how the frontier affected the early Church, but
how quickly Westerners installed the old traditions.
-Thomas J. Noel27
Pueblos Catholic immigrants of the late 1800s and early 1900s belonged to a
church that had established a foothold in the region centuries before and had remained the
major cultural constant for the areas few residents under Spanish and Mexican rule. But
it was also a church that, under American jurisdiction, grew into maturity alongside the
fledgling American frontier towns. Consequently, the Catholic Church in the West was
able to more quickly adapt to changing demographic patterns and effectively incorporate
the new immigrants into the American church. To be sure, there was strife between a
native U.S. church hierarchy from the East mainly French or Irish-American and
the ethnic immigrant newcomers after the church leadership attempted to impose an
austere American model of Catholicism in Colorado and New Mexico. The immigrants
were ultimately able to assert their place in the church, however. Through organization
and collaboration, and aided by decisions from the Vatican, Catholic immigrants
succeeded in building ethnic parishes where they could practice their native raith within
tneir own culturewhile at the same time they participated in American society as
workers in the U.S. economy, interacting with different cultures on a daily basis in
factories, steel mills, smelters, warehouses, railroads, and mines. Immigrant children,
influenced by American mass culture, brought the English language and an American
36


outlook home to their parents, and slowly over the years the faith of Catholic immigrants
morphed into a more Americanized formas English overtook the immigrant tongues
in even the most isolated ethnic parishes, and public education overtook parochial
schools. This transformation of an old model of faith or the creation of a new model-
was not entirely one-sided, however. Rather, it was a give-and-take between the U.S.
church and the ethnic Catholic immigrants, as many Old World practices (devotions to
regional saints, festivals, processions, etc.) found their way into American Catholicism
and remain entrenched in Pueblo5 s parishes to the present day, illustrating the immigrant
contribution to the American religious and cultural landscape.
Spanish and Mexican Roots
Roman Catholicism was the first Christian faith to touch the shores of the New
World, making landfall with Columbus in the late fifteenth century. Spanish and
Portuguese explorers carried their Catholicism with them in their expeditions throughout
the two American continents, and in the sixteenth century Spain established the
administrative structures for the governance of her colonies. LikewiseRome established
vicariates and dioceses to administer to the needs to New World Catholics, and as
Spanish explorations pushed northward into the area of present-day New Mexico the
church struggled to expend its resources in order to cover vast new areas of settlement.
By the time the English pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, the Spanish had planted
eleven churches in New Mexico. Fray Domingo de Anza, a Franciscan friar, is believed
to have established the first mission in present-day Colorado as part of the 1706 Juan de
Ulibarri expedition. Ulibarri officially claimed what is now Colorado for King Phillip V,
and de Anza founded a mission at El Quartelejo, an Apache village thought to have been
37


near the junction of Horse Creek and the Arkansas River, fifty miles east of the present
site of the city of Pueblo. From the Ulibarri expedition until the 1803 Louisiana Purchase
all the land south of the Arkansas River and west of the Rocky Mountains was considered
part of the Spanish possessionsunder the name of New Mexico American explorers
made incursions into the region, and on November 15,1806, Army lieutenant Zebulon
Montgomery Pike, upon catching sight of the Rocky Mountains, wrote:
At two oclock in the afternoonI thought I could distinguish a mountain
to our right, which appeared like a small cloud; when our party arrived
on the hill they with some accord gave three cheers to the Mexican
mountains.
Throughout the Spanish colonial period and on through Mexican independence,
Episcopal oversight of the northern frontier presented a challenge for the church.
According to David Weber, the church failed to fully extend itself to the far north
because of weakened leadership No bishops lived on the frontier under either Spain or
Mexico, and they presided over Texas and New Mexico from distant cities. New
Mexico, in fact, fell under the Diocese of Durango, one thousand miles south of Santa Fe.
At the time of Mexico5 s independence from Spain in 1821 the church hierarchy of the
region consisted largely of Spaniards, and throughout the 1820s the leadership was
decimated after the archbishop of Mexico loyally returned to Spain and other bishops
followed his example. Compounding the problem, many elderly bishops died in office,
and by mid-1829 not a single bishop served in all of Mexico. For over a decade the
Vatican refused to appoint new bishops to fill these vacancies, in part because the Pope
sought to restore Mexico to Spain, and in fact he would not recognize Mexican
independence until 1836.28
38


At the more intimate local level, priests for the frontier communities were
similarly hard to come by. Spanish and Mexican priests tended to avoid the isolation,
hardship, danger, and low salaries of the northern periphery in favor of the more
comfortable urban parishes of the Mexican core. In the early 1800s, for example, over
1,000 priests served the single Mexican city of Puebla while fewer than eighty priests
worked the northernmost provinces of Texas, New Mexico, and California, causing one
Mexican historian to editorialize: and then they ask why we lost these territories.
Some of the priests who served on the frontier took full advantage of the absence of
bishops and the lack of Episcopal supervision: foreigners traveling through New Spain
and Mexico frequently described frontier priests as debauchedhypocritical mengiven
to drink, gambling, and women, who fathered illegitimate children and indulged
themselves in other worldly ways. After the ceding of the area to the United States after
the Mexican-American War, New Mexico5 s first bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy arrived in
1851 and lifted the veil on bad clerical behavior, defrocking several priests who refused
to change conduct that the bishop regarded as scandalous. Still, many of the early
missionaries to the area acted out of genuine devotion to God, enduring hardships in an
unforgiving desert landscape. Author Willa Cather, whose novel Death Comes for the
Archbishop offers up a fictionalized account of Bishop Lamy5s experiences, wrote of the
early frontier clergy:
A European could scarcely imagine such hardships.. .Those early
missionaries threw themselves naked upon the hard heart of a country
that was calculated to try the endurance of giants. They thirsted in its
deserts, starved among its rocks, climbed up and down its terrible
canyons on stone-bruised feetbroke long fasts by unclean and
repugnant food. Surely these endured Hunger, Thirst, Cold, Nakedness,
of a kind beyond any conception St. Paul and his brethren could have
had. Whatever the early Christians suffered, it all happened in that safe
39


little Mediterranean world, amid the old manners, the old landmarks. If
they endured martyrdom, they died among their brethren, their relics
were piously preserved, their names lived in the mouths of holy men.29
After the American government took possession of the southwest, the Vatican
reorganized the territory for U.S. jurisdiction. In need of clergy for the vast new region,
American bishops turned to Europe France in particular for priests, and in New
Mexico both French and Italian clergy ministered to the nuevomexicanos. The 1850
appointment of Frenchman Jean B. Lamy as Vicar Apostolic was indicative of an eastern-
based hierarchys desire to impose a French Gothic Catholicism among the Mexican
people. In 1853 the New Mexico Vicariate (covering New Mexico and Arizona) was
made a diocese, and Father Lamy consecrated as its first bishop. French missionary
priests arriving in Santa Fe in 1851 had been "appalled at the state of decline in which
they found Church affairs reflecting their ignorance of the spiritual neglect the region
had suffered under Spanish and Mexican governance. These newly arrived priests often
shared a disregard for culturally integrated religious traditions and while the U.S.
government established civil control over the southwest, the American church tried to
^Americanizewhat had been Mexican parishes in a realigned administrative structure.30
The Colorado Church
The town of San Luis became the first permanent settlement in what is now
Colorado in 1851.The Treaty ot Lruadalupe Hidalgo, the 1848 peace agreement that
ended the Mexican-American War, had ensured that the new U.S. citizens of the area
could keep their own land, their culture, and their Catholicism, but after the 1858
discovery of gold near the confluence of Cherry Creek and the South Platte River (the
site of present-day Denver) approximately 50,000 Americans "threatened to overwhelm
40


the culture of these earlier Coloradans. To minister to the Catholics among these
newcomers, Archbishop Lamy selected the frail-looking Frenchman Joseph Projectus
Machebeuf, who was assigned to a new parish in 1860 that comprised all of present-day
Colorado and Utah. After having served first at Albuquerque (18^3-1858) and then Santa
Fe (1858-1860) Father Machebeuf eventually logged over 100,000 miles on his
missionary travels throughout what is now New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah,
traveling in a wagon outfitted with a square canvas top so he could sleep inside. His
carriage had a half-curtain in front that could be let down in case of storms and a tailgate
that could be lowered and used as an altar. On an October 1860 journey from Santa Fe to
the new town of Denver, Father Machebeuf, accompanied by Father Jean Baptiste
Raverdy, stopped at Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe in Conejos, built in 1857, which
became the first permanent Catholic Church in Colorado.31
Machebeuf s 1860 trip was long and tedious. He and Raverdy crossed the high
mountains over Taos, then over the Sangre de Cristo range, coming down to the Green
Horn, St. Charles, and Pueblo. In what is today East Pueblo they found several Mexican
families and stayed in Pueblo two days, offering Mass, hearing confessions and
baptizing a few children. A 1906 Denver Catholic Register retrospective on this historic
1860 sojourn reinforces the Catholic establishments nineteenth-century view of
Mexicans:
Father Machebeuf and Father Raverdy came to Pueblo on their way to
minister to the Catholics of the Pikes Peak regions. Coming down the
Greenhorn mountains, they reached the Arkansas River where Pueblo
now stands. They found here a few dilapidated adobe houses,
inhabited by Mexicans, who were between civilization and barbarism.
41


Upon arriving in Denverwhile Father Machebeuf built a church (St. Marys) Father
Raverdy headed back south on horseback, carrying with him vestments and sacred
utensilsfor he had heard on his journey to Denver from the Mexicans in Pueblo that
there were many CatholicsIndian and Mexicanin that portion of the country By 1867
Archbishop Lamy realized that Colorado was growing too large for his jurisdiction, and
on his recommendation Colorado and Utah were turned into one Vicariate Apostolic in
1868, with Father Machebeuf appointed as Vicar. Utah would be separated from
Colorado in February 1871 and given over to the jurisdiction of the archbishop of San
Francisco, California. Colorados population boomed in the last four decades of the
nineteenth century, growing from 34,277 in 1860 to 39,864 in 1870, to 194,327 in 1880,
to 412,198 by 1890. Recognizing this growth, on August 16,1887 Pope Leo XIII
elevated the Vicariate of Colorado to the Diocese of Denver, with Bishop Machebeuf as
its head.32
The town of Pueblo similarly boomed in the 1870s and 80s. Emerging at first as
a trading fort and center for SpanishFrenchand American mountain men the 1870s
arrival of the railroad and the establishment of a steelworks enabled Pueblo to quickly
urbanizeand the towns Catholics requested parish status from Bishop Machebeuf. In
1872, he assigned Father Charles M. Pinto, S.J. to be Pueblos first resident priestand a
year later the towns first parish churchSt. Ignatiuswas completed. The contributions
of nuns to the Colorado church, although mentioned in an earlier chapter, cannot be
overlooked. Sisters opened hospitals, schools, and orphanages, and lent an air of
feminine discipline to raw frontier towns filled with hardened minersranchers
sodbustersand railroad workersand over thirty different orders of nuns worked in
42


Colorado after the 1860s. The church played a vital role in tempering Colorados
unrefined frontier culture somewhat. Thomas Noel credits it with introducing and
sustaining the fine artsfostering musicartand architectureand bringing classical
liberal artscultureand morals to remote frontier outposts At the time of Bishop
Machebeuf s death in 1889, the Denver diocese included eight parish churches in Denver
including an ethnic German parishSt. Elizabethsat Curtis and 11th Streets two
parishes in the Pueblo area (St. Ignatius in Pueblo and St. Patricks in South Pueblo)and
one Pueblo chapelSt. Josephsthat was listed as for Mexicansattended by Jesuit
fathers 33
The Frontier as an Idea (and an Ideal)
Three centuries ago Denver Archbishop J. Francis Stafford wrote in the late
1980s, "Hispanic Catholic priests were singing their praises to God in the untamed,
uncharted Colorado wilderness. By the late nineteenth centurythat same wilderness
now in American possession, was transformed in the eastern Protestant-American mind
into a land of incredible opportunity for economic success, social mobility, and a fresh
start. In his 1934 American Memoir, Saturday Review editor Henry Seidel Canby wrote
that
In contrast to the Catholic laborer who "never went West and came back
with fine clothes the Protestant saw the economy as a place to exercise
"pioneer training in self-dependence, his sense of room at the top, and his
certainty that work can get him there.. .Belief in the potential for
mobility in the class order and in a frontier of expanding opportunities in
the cities or in the West held the Protestant culture together.
The ideal of the western frontier was always a mix of fact and fiction. There was, of
course, money to be made out west, but it necessitated the right mix of demographic,
culturaland economic markers usually one of the accepted white ethnicitiesa
43


Protestant faith, male gender, and access to venture capital. For the Roman Catholic,
Jew, immigrant, African-American, Asian-American, Native American, Hispanic, or
member of a non-white European ethnic group the West offered work opportunities but
usually on a blue-collar, manual-labor level. Alan Trachtenberg calls the images and
emotions conjured by the word an invention of cultural myth. Its land and
minerals served economic and ideological purposes, merging, he maintains, into a single
complex image of the west that of a temporal site of the route from past to futureand
the spatial site for revitalizing national energies Part myth and part economic entitythe
West proved indispensable to the formation of a cultural mission to fill the frontier
emptiness with civilization, by means of political and economic incorporation. Myth and
exploitation went hand in hand.34
The very immensity of the regionhowevercreated awesome obstacles to the
civilizing tendencies of humankind. Frontier Catholics sought visible faith communities
where they could fulfill their religious duties and celebrate important events in their lives,
and the harsh climate of Colorado and New Mexico often affected their religious outlook.
Writing to Commonweal, Willa Cather reflected on the diverse geography of New
Mexico5 s nagged terrain and its relation to the Hispanos' Catholicism, asserting that uin
lonely, sombre villages in the mountains the church decorations were sombre, the
martyrdoms bloodier, the grief of the Virgin more agonized, the figure of Death more
terrifying. In warmgentle valleys everything about the churches was milder Along
with the physical environment, economics played a part in shaping religious life. The
boom and bust cycle of mining delayed stabilization of the population and, as Carol
Jensen assertscontributed to a sort of economic colonialism from which the region is
44


only recently emerging. ConsequentlyCatholic parish life in the west has generally
retained a rural missionary characterwhich was only reinforced by ethnic immigrants
who brought along a mral ethos from the old country, despite the fact that many national
religious customs eventually succumbed to Americanization. Before World War I,
Jensen reports, Catholics of recent European extraction were widely dispersed in the
regionbut the only major urban concentrations were in Denver and Pueblo, Colorado
where, after some initial conflicts among themselves, they were gradually assimilated
into the great American melting pot 35
As it grew in numbers, the Colorado church established schools, hospitals,
orphanages, and newspapers to keep the faithful engaged beyond the doors of their parish
church. The first Catholic newspaper in the state, the Colorado Catholic, started in
November 1884, and on August 11,1905 Bishop Nicholas C. Matz, second bishop of
Colorado, sanctioned the first issue of the Denver Catholic Register, the official diocesan
newspaper. Bishop Machebeuf had brought the Benedictines, the Franciscans, and the
Jesuits into the diocese, while Bishop Matz added the Dominicans in 1889, the
Redemptorists in 1894, the Servites in 1898, the Theatines in 1906, and the Vincentians
in 1907. All of the various religious orders contributed to the success of the Catholic
Church in Colorado through their hard work and dedication to their vows, and by Bishop
Matzs death in 1917 there were 113,000 Catholics in the stateserved by 179 priests.
Fifty years later, at Archbishop Urban Vehr5s retirement the state was home to 376,832
Catholics. Despite its growthat midcentury the Colorado church still struggled with
including its largest ethnic group, the Mexicans, among its clergy. Pueblo Monsignor
Patrick Stauter, in his memoir of Bishop Joseph Willging5s years as the head of the
45


Pueblo diocese, writes of the 1962 death of 102 year-old Father Joseph Samuel Garcia.
Father GarciaStauter reportshad the doubtful (and shameful for the Church)
distinction of being the only native diocesan priest of Spanish-speaking background to
work in Colorado between his own ordination in 1887 and the 19)7 ordination of the
Rev. Joseph Montoya.36
Pueblos position in a borderlands region provided the setting for an interesting
tangential topic that involved the intersection of Catholic practice, church administration,
ethnic relations, nineteenth-century diplomacy, and medieval European history (!) the
topic of the Bulla Cruciata. The 1818 Adams-Onis treaty between Spain and the United
States had established the Arkansas River as the boundary line between Spanish territory
and American claims. The land south of the river belonged to Spain and after 1821 to
Mexico andbesides any political ramificationsthe treaty had one important effect
upon the subsequent legislation of the church in Colorado Spains possessions
worldwide fell under the special privilege of eating meat on Fridays with a Papal
blessing. Pope Innocent III, in office from 1198 to 1216, granted the Bulla Cruciata
(Bull of the Crusadesto one of the Spanish rulers long before Aragon and Castile
were united into what became the country we now call Spain. In gratitude for Spanish
forces aiding the Pope in the Cmsades, Innocent bestowed the privilege of eating meat on
abstinence daysand the boon was extended not only to the Spaniards as they then
existed but also was to extend inperpetuum to any future territories they would occupy.
As a 1940 Pueblo Star Journal & Sunday Chieftain article explained it:
It happens that Pueblo straddles the old borderline. Pueblos South Side
being within the old Spanish territory its Catholic inhabitants are to this
day affected by the Bull of the Cmsades.. .Altho (sic) the territory south
of the Arkansas no longer is a Spanish possession, the church edict has
46


not been changedand some 13,000 Catholics on Pueblos South Side
may eat meat during every day of the year.. .while the remainder of the
21,000 local Catholics living on the North Side must abide by fasting
and abstinence rules.
According to Msgr. Stauter, "Both Hispanos and Lrringoes used the privilege willy-nilly
since time immemorial and many an ordained or consecrated Gringo over the years had
purposely put himself on the south side of the Arkansas River in order to eat steak or
roast beef or chicken on Friday Priests who also served as parochial school basketball
or football coaches often purposely scheduled Friday night games in southern Colorado
towns like Walsenburg, Trinidad, Alamosa, and La Junta so that they and their teams
could have cheeseburgers afterwards, saving northern road games against the Denver
schools for other days. Stauter remembers that, after the creation of the Diocese of
Pueblo, Bishop Willging sought to have the privilege revoked. The bishop made
ethnicity an issue in his rationaletelling the Monsignor that I have written to Rome to
have the Bulla Cruciata repealed... Fm going to get it thrown out. I don5t see why the
Hispanos cannot get in line with the rest of the church, with us Germans, Italians, and
Irish. The bishop was ultimately successful with his requestand Pope Pius XII allowed
the repeal, closing an odd but interesting chapter in intra-church and inter-ethnic
relations.37
Folk Religion
Pueblo5 s ethnic Catholic immigrants, especially the Mexicans and the Italians,
struggledas did immigrants nationwideagainst an American Catholic hierarchy that
often misunderstood their cultural religiosity and looked down on their rural faith
practices as superstition. Mexicans and Italians kept holy certain feast days, some
determined by the universal church and others by national traditions. They held filial and
47


other social relationships sacred, like the Mexican compadrazgo, a system of uco-
parents extended familyand vecmos* (neighbors) predicated on serving as godparents to
one anothers children. Actions that harmed these relationships or impeded fulfilling
their commitments to their heavenly intercessors the saints were considered sinful.
While the priests admired this code, they disliked the Mexicans5 neglect to regularly
confess their sins and receive communion, and across the southwest a strong Hispanic
tradition of home altars (altarcitos) and home chapels (oratorios) continued into the
twentieth century. Usually built by the mothers in the family, altarcitos and oratorios
were part of the omnipresence of religious symbols in the home, or what Gilberto
Hinojosa argues was part of the transferral of culture and religious values from one
generation to anotherfor which generally mothers were primarily responsible. The
style of Catholicism that developed in the Mexican-American home stressed sacramentals
-holy water, candles, rosaries, scapulars, medals, relics, and devotions like novenas and
triduums. George Sanchez argues that this home-based Catholicism was spurred in part
by the inability of the church to provide enough priests or a Spanish liturgy. Mark Noll
describes Hispanic Catholicism as existing on two levels, and quotes theologian Justo L.
Gonzalez, who asserted that "from its very beginning Spanish American Roman
Catholicism has been torn between a hierarchical church which has generally represented
and stood by the powerful, and a more popular church, formed by the masses and led by
pastors who have ministered at the very edge of disobedience.38
In Willa Cathers jrc/;/s/zo/?a conversation between
Father Vaillant (a character based on Colorados first bishopJoseph Machebeuf) and
Bishop Latour (a character based on New Mexico bishop Jean Lamy) highlights the
48


bipolar division of Catholicism. In seeking the bishop5 s permission to travel to far-flung
areas of the diocese to minister to Mexicans and IndiansFather Vaillant tells the bishop
of the native inhabitants of the region:
They are full of devotion and faith, and it has nothing to feed upon but
the most mistaken superstitions. They remember their prayers all wrong.
They cannot readand since there is no one to instruct themhow can
they get it right? They are like seeds, full of germination but with no
moisture. A mere contact is enough to make them a living part of the
Church. The more I work with the Mexicans, the more I believe it was
people like them our Saviour bore in mind when He said, Unless ye
become as little children... The Faith, in that wild frontier, is like a
buried treasure; they guard it, but they do not know how to use it to their
souls salvation. A worda prayera serviceis all that is needed to set
free those souls in bondage.
The church did not understand the Hispanic spirituality that focused on the home and on
community festivals more than on official ecclesiastical activities. A common expression
among Hispanics has been usoy catolico a mi manerd" (I am a Catholic in my own way),
or as one Mexican immigrant explained, UI am a Catholic and pray in my house, but I
hardly ever go to church. Religion for Mexicans had a public sphere elaborate outdoor
neighborhood religious feasts with music, processions, and rich symbolism and a home-
based private sphere where "the mother of the family was the high priest of this domestic
religion. Regular attendance at Sunday Massthe American priests ideal of good
Catholic behavior, was not part of this tradition.39
The church also initially spoke out against the cultural reliance on spiritual healers
-the curanderos or, more commonly, curanderas, since the majority of folk medicine
practitioners were women. Although priests preached against the curanderas, the
Mexican people nonetheless continued to avail themselves of healers and folk medicine.
With the urbanization of the Hispano population in the twentieth century, the curandera
49


tradition moved to the cities. Hinojosa argues that the church could not set out to
eradicate them altogether without destroying the popular religiosity that inspired them, a
spirituality the Church itself promoted in order to animate the faith. For their partthe
curanderas never overtly attempted to turn the people away from Catholicism. If
anythingthey strengthened the peoples bond to the faithincorporating Catholic prayers
to Christ, the saints, or Mary into their folk remedies, which utilized herbs and plants
adapted from Native American traditions. Still, the antagonisms between priest and
curandera remained. Rudolfo Anaya5 s novel Bless Me, Ultima, set in 1940s New
Mexico, centers around young Antonio5 s quest to reconcile his Catholic faith with the
powers of Ultima, a curandera who lives with his family. Traveling with Ultima to cure
a man who has been embrujado (bewitched by an evil curse), Antonio learns firsthand of
the tension between Catholicism and folk medicine:
Will he live? I asked her while she covered him with fresh sheets.
They let him go too long she saidit will be a difficult battle
But why didnt they call you sooner? I asked. The church would not
allow your grandfather to let me use my powers. The church was afraid
thatShe did not finishbut I knew what she would have said. The
priest at El Puerto did not want the people to place much faith in the
powers of la curandera. He wanted the mercy and faith of the church to
be the villagers5 only guiding light. Would the magic of Ultima be
stronger than all the powers of the saints and the Holy Mother Church?
I wondered.
Antonio, much like the Mexican / Hispano people at large, eventually merges the two
systems, learning that the belief in folk medicine can be reconciled and coexist with the
Catholic faith. Similarly, in the Italian immigrant community people likewise gave
respect to older women who possessed knowledge of folk remedies. Robert Orsi, writing
on New Yorks Italian Harlemstates that many older women in the neighborhood had
skill in healing with traditional cures and knowledge of southern Italian magical rituals
50


in particular rituals of protection against the evil eye. As late as the 1940s men and
women sought out local healers to cure them of a variety of ailments and for protection
, 40
against curses.
The Italian religious sensibility, much like that of Mexicans and Hispanos, had
two tracks, with one based in the home. The world of the sacred was not only
encountered inside a church building, it was also encountered and celebrated through
family lifehospitalityfriendshipand in the daily trials of the people The religion of
the Italians was not the same as the official religion of the church, as Jay Dolan reports
that Italian popular religion was a complex system of magical practices inherited from a
pre-Christian past and sustained throughout centuries of coexistence with Christianity.
This duality of religion one popular and one official-explained the religious behavior
of Italian immigrants. Like the Mexicansthe Italians were described as a people for
whom religion was all-pervasive, but at the same time their lukewarm attitude toward
attendance at Mass and their anticlericalism shocked their coreligionists Reliance on
popular religious activities and symbolism functioned as markers of cultural cohesion and
solidarity. Sicilian immigrants to Pueblo, for example, introduced a tradition that carries
on to the present day the Saint Joseph Day Table. Several centuries ago, a severe
famine in Sicily had ravaged the land, and the peasant farmers appealed to St. Joseph by
filling an altar with a precious resource food. On March 19 (St. Josephs Day) Italian-
American families fill home altars with a variety of foods oftentimes foods with no
meat since March 19th usually falls during Lent and petition Saint Joseph for help for
such things as illness, economic hardship, and the safe return of loved ones from war.
Families also give altars to show their gratitude for the health and prosperity that may
51


have blessed their homes. Families also open their homes to their less fortunate
neighbors, who are welcome to partake of the food. In the 1940s, The Southern Colorado
Register (the official diocesan newspaper of the Pueblo diocese) would list the addresses
of families who had made St. Joseph tables 41
Immigrants in the Frontier Church
As Bishop Machebeuf struggled to build Colorados pioneer parishesinterethnic
rivalries made his task all the more difficult. He authorized the states first national
parishSt. Elizabeths (German) parishin Denver in 1878, while other Denver parishes
usually accommodated a jumble of ethnic groups. Priests steered different ethnic
groups towards their own Masses at a certain hour, or reserved the church basement for a
particular nationality, and church sacraments were often administered by ethnic or
language group. An 1883 Pueblo Daily Chieftain story on the bishop5s pastoral visit to
Pueblo noted that At 3 p.m. he administered Confirmation in St. Ignatius church to 35
Spanish-speaking people. The bishop was then called to baptize a Mexican child, and he
responded without a murmur. Cultural biases that stereotyped Mexicans as unwilling to
learn English and as lacking discipline and training kept the church from recruiting
Hispanic priests, and Msgr. Patrick Stauter asserts that a lot of the time in the Catholic
church in Colorado the Spanish-speaking were given the same brand of treatment that
was handed out to the Negro in the southern states. Consequentlyhe believed that if the
church lost Spanish-speaking membersit was because regretfully we have earned such
a reward. Italian priests failed to migrate to America in large numbersalthough Bishop
Giovanni Batista Scalabrini founded an apostolic college in Piacenza, Italy, to train
Italian priests to work with Italians abroad. In Pueblo, by the early 1900s the Grove
52


neighborhood had its famous arrangement of three Catholic churches within three
blocks St. Marys (Slovenian / Croatian)St. Anthonys (Slovakian)and Mt. Carmel
(Italian / Mexican). In the citys American parishesmeanwhileimmigrants were
reminded of their place: Stauter reports on a St. Patricks priestFather Higgins
chastising Italian worshippers for taking up pew space that he felt belonged to legitimate
St. Pats parishioners. In these pews today I see a number of people who should not be
here Stauter remembers Rev. Higgins saying, This parish is for Irish parishioners.
You Dagos belong down in Mt. Carmel. That is your parish.In fact, Mt. Carmel was
described as the Italian church of this county and every Catholic Italian of the county is
a member of this parish National parishes like Mt. Carmel often functioned as centers
of culture, with the priest acting as culterization agent, representing his flock in legal
and civil matters.42
In a 1945 Denver Catholic Register report on the 50th anniversary of Pueblo5 s St.
Marys, the paper reported that the fact that three churches within three blocks are
possible in a city of seven churches has seemed strange enough to rate mention in
Ripley5 s "Believe It or Nof1 feature.The Register also reported on the eventual
assimilation of the citys multiple ethnic groups:
It has been estimated that the pedestrian walking the streets of the little
Pittsburgh can distinguish at least 16 separate languages spoken by the
inhabitants. This number does not include any of the dialects or
ramifications of the mother tongues. With the passing of the years the
caldron has simmered down so that linguistic difficulties are less
prominent and nationalistic lines less marked. The present war has
proved that the people are Americans, regardless of their mother
tongues.
Salt Creek, a Mexican settlement east of the city, had been the site of the Sagrada
Familia chapel built in the 1890s, but by 1923 the congregation had outgrown the tiny
53


chapel and a new mission church dedicated to the Sacred Heart was built. Priests from
Mt. Carmel served the mission, but by the 1940s it had itself become too small. The
Sacred Heart mission was then replaced by a larger building which eventually became St.
Josephs Parish. A commemorative history put out by the St. Joseph parishioners in the
year 2000 noted that the first students of the parishs school were mostly Hispanic
Italianand Slovenian In the mid-1940s Mt. Carmel priest Charles J. Murray, S.J., had
conducted a meeting of the Spanish-speaking Catholics of Pueblo to discuss the
question of a Mexican church. Father Murray explained that many Mexicans would
regard a church built in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe almost as a native shrine
wherein the religious customs, the national traditions, and the general spirit and religious
feeling of the Spanish-speaking people might find a happier expression.The good
father also realized, though, that many would view it as definite step towards further
. ,,43
segregation.
Many Mexicans belonged to Mt. Carmel, which began life in 1899 when
Archbishop Sebastian Martinelli wrote to Bishop Matz to inform him of a complaint by
the Italian people in Pueblo that they were being spiritually neglected. At the October
1901 blessing of the new church, all the Italian societies were present in full uniform as
well as the Austrian Societies headed by their banners, and the first confirmation class in
Mt. Carmel was held on June 5,1904, with Bishop Matz administering the sacrament.
The fundraising efforts to get the church built in the first place had played up the
respectability in American eyes that Pueblos Italians would receive. An editorial in the
Italian-language newspaper L ^mone explained:
The erection of a church in our midst will have a dual purpose, ie. to
awaken in your hearts the principles of that faith which sucked the milk
54


of our mothers (che succhiammo col latte delle nostre madri) and at the
same time suppress all those differences of parties, which weaken the
moral forces and make us less than the American people.. .(The erection
of the church) will give you a new and higher social prestige among the
American people, who admire your faith and loyalty to your principles...
(remember the way) with which you were treated on the day of
Confirmation in the church of the Germans, a fact well known, {colla
quale foste trattati il giorno della cresima nella chiesa dei Tedeschi, fatto
a tutti ben noto).. .The first step has already been given, your generosity
and perseverance will crown the enterprise, {ilprimopasso e stato gia
dato, la vostra generosita e constanza coroneranno l 'impresa)
Pioneer Pueblo priest Charles M. Pinto, S.J., writing from El Paso, Texas, to
Representatives of the Italian Catholic Church in Pueblo, Colo wrote that he was
deeply moved to see signs of fine spiritual progress in your group there in Pueblo your
little Italian chapel {la capella Italiana)^ He also pointed out that "Catholics of other
nationalities are found theretoo. Mexican parishionerswho remembered the Italian
priests speaking slowly in Spanish at the 10:00 a.m. masses for the Mexican community,
utilized Mt. Carmel for both religious and patriotic festivals. They celebrated September
16th (Mexicos Independence Day) with solemn high mass in the church and the singing
of the Mexican national anthem by the church5 s Spanish choir, and often celebrated the
December 12th feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe by listening to the priest deliver a sermon
touting the Virgin as ua sign of protection, of hope, and of victory for the Mexican
people.44
While Catholic immigrant groups made great strides in building their ethnic
parishes and keeping their culture intact, the 1910s and 20s witnessed a ratcheting-up of
nativist sentiment. In the San Luis Valley town of Alamosa Mexican children continued
to be segregated from white children in public schooland in several towns throughout
Colorado it was impossible for a Catholic girl to obtain a teaching position By the
55


1920s a resurgent Ku Klux Klan had added Roman Catholics, immigrants, and Jews to
African-Americans on their enemies list. In publications like The Fiery Cross, The
Kourier, The American Standard, Dawn, and The Imperial Night-Hawk the Klan
assaulted these groupsmaintaining that Jesus was a Protestant since He had split with
the priests of the time. Colorados Black and Jewish residents were mostly concentrated
in Denver, but the state5 s 125,000 Roman Catholics resided in all areas. The Klan told
willing listeners that Catholics followed a paganistic creed with its worship of the Virgin
Marydead saintsimagesbonesand other relics. If the Catholics gained control of
Protestant America, the Klan believed, they would end the separation of church and state,
ban the Bible, and destroy the freedoms of press, speech, and religion. The Klans
message in Pueblo found a willing audience in part because of the multiethnic roots of
the citys Catholics.45
The Pueblo Church Takes Shape
The Pueblo parish, established in June 1872, comprised the counties of Pueblo,
FremontBentand parts of Las Animas. The citys first priestFather Charles M. Pinto
S .J., arrived by train to find himself nulla domus, nullum sacellum, nulla pecunia
(without housewithout chapelwithout funds). Pueblos first Catholic church
building, dedicated to St. Ignatius of Loyola, was erected on the corner of West and
Thirteenth Streets, but initially average attendance at Sunday Mass was not more than
thirty people. Reflecting the citys multiethnic populationthe first recorded baptism
performed by the Italian Father Pinto was for a Mexican child, Anastacia Aragon,
daughter of Pabritio and Incarnata Aragon. In 1875, Father Pinto was succeeded by
another Italian JesuitRev. Francis N. Gubitoribut the Italian priests rubbed some of the
56


native American Catholics the wrong way. By 1887 St. Ignatius was transferred from
the care of the Jesuits to Bishop Machebeuf in part because there were complaints from
the parish over the lack of English speaking skills of several of the Jesuits. The
fledgling Pueblo church established a hospital and orphanage in reflection of its
commitment to social work. The Sisters of Charity ot uincinnati opened St. Marys
Hospital in a boarding house in the Grove in 1881, which was moved to a brick building
on the corner of Grant and Quincy fifteen months later. Sacred Heart Orphanage, opened
by the Wheaton (Illinois) Franciscan Sisters in 1903 (with the help of donations and
publicity from Captain John J. Lambert, editor of the Pueblo Chieftain), cared for
Catholic children and had an average yearly occupancy of between 150 and 160, even
though capacity was only 135. Pueblos Protestant orphans were cared for by the
McClelland Home, while African-American children found refuge at the Lincoln Home.
Just as religion and ethnicity segregated the citys orphan childrenRoselawn Cemetery
organized their blocks so that even death did not cause an intermingling of disparate
groups. Protestant graves were to the left of the main entrance, while Catholic graves
were on the rightas were the graves of Pueblos Jewish community. In the late 1940s
after Bishop Willging had a conflict with Roselawn5s governing board, the new Valhalla
Cemetery west of town (the present-day Imperial Memorial Gardens) was touted as a
new Catholic cemetery. On November 5,1948 the bishop celebrated an outdoor Mass in
the Resurrection section of Valhalla, blessing a marble statue of the glorified Christ46
By 1941 Colorado had grown to the extent that Pope Pius XII split the Denver
diocese, which encompassed the entire state, into two dioceses. Pueblo was chosen as the
Episcopal seat of the newly-created Diocese of Pueblo, covering thirty southern Colorado
57


counties, while Denver was elevated to an archdiocese, covering thirty-three northern
Colorado counties. Reporting on the new southern diocese, The Denver Catholic
Register wrote:
The new Diocese of Pueblo contains territory rich in the romantic
background of the Southwest... Southern Colorado first was visited
by the Spanish conquistadores, who had priests in their parties. Thus,
the new diocese can lay claim to priority in the celebration of Mass
and other Catholic practices.. .When Father Machebeuf first visited
Pueblo, it was an organized town. The only Catholics he found were
Mexicans, for whom he offered mass.
Of the 78,000 Catholics in the new dioceseapproximately 35,000 (44%) were of
Mexican or Spanish blood. Catholics comprised one-fifth of the total population of
360.000 in the area covered by the diocese. Eighty-four priests (40 diocesan and 44
religious) administered the new dioceses 39 churches14 parochial schoolsand 79
missions and chapels. The Denver archdioceses 77,000 Catholics were guided by 219
priests (122 diocesan and 97 religious), or more than 2 !/2 times more priests than the
Pueblo diocese, despite having 1,000 less Catholics. By 1950, the Pueblo diocese5 s
78.000 original Catholics had grown to just under 90,000. For a few years after the
Pueblo diocese5 s establishment the Denver Catholic Register contained one full page
dedicated to news and events of southern Colorado, but in 1945 Pueblo Bishop Willging
eventually authorized the creation of the Southern Colorado Register, the Pueblo
dioceses official newspaper.47
The Pueblo church confronted ethnic and religious discrimination against its
members in areas like the citys housing market. In the early 1940s Father Charles J.
Murray, S.J., Pastor of Mt. Carmel Parish, sought to help his parishioners purchase their
homes. Since the earliest years of Pueblos industrializationItalian and Mexican
58


laborers had settled into ethnic neighborhoods like Goat Hill (or Smelter Hill),
Peppersauce Bottoms, and Salt Creek, building homes on land to which they legally had a
tenuous claim at best. As quasi-legal squatters, the immigrant homeowners often fell
behind on their property tax payments. As Msgr. Patrick Stauter explained, "Cunning
gringos and maybe others who were not gringos acquired titles to these lands by
watching the lists of delinquent tax payers published in the newspapers The new
owners would then send the squatters a monthly bill for rent due on the land. Without
clear titles, the squatters had no recourse except to pay the demanded amount or face
eviction. Since "that root of all evil, moneda, was badly needed,Father Murray
conceived the idea of the Mount Carmel Credit Union, which started in December 1942.
The credit union had assets of 333 members with $53,000, of which $43,000 was loaned
out the first year. The squatters were given dignity of ownership and peace of mind by
agreeing to repay the credit union for their clear titles. A 1950 story on the credit union
reported on its success:
Sponsored by the Catholic Church, the movement already has made it
possible for more than 300 Mexican families to buy their own homes
and thus emerge from a near-feudal system under which they have
existed for more than half a century.
When a black Cuban psychiatrist wanted to borrow some money in order to purchase a
home in Pueblo, he found himself frozen out by the banking and real estate powers of
the city. He turned instead to Father Murrays credit union, was given a loan, and
acquired the dwelling, bankers et.al notwithstanding. Mt. Carmel Credit Unions assets
had grown to $94,245 by 1950 $90,712 of which was out on loans and it had helped
400 families own their homes. By 1952 it had 1,296 members and $252,734, which grew
in five years to 4,249 members and $1,866,229 in 1957.48
59


After the Pueblo church became a diocese, it continued its outreach to the
Hispanic community. The Santo Nino Well Baby clinic was established in 1948 in
Blende / Salt Creek in a building that later became part of St. Joseph parish. Hispanic
mothers could bring their infants in for medical care provided by nurses from the county
health department. In 1946 the diocese had purchased the Tabor Lutheran Church
building on the corner of Jefferson and Routt for use as a social center for work among
the Hispanos^ A second center was established in Salt Creek, with Father Murray
involved in both projects. A May 1950 issue of the Southern Colorado Register reported
that the Catholic Youth Center in Pueblo held a two-day meeting to discuss problems
peculiar to the Spanish-speaking. Meanwhileparochial education in the new diocese
continued to be strong. There were 4,707 students in diocesan schools in 1945, and by
1956 the student count had grown to just shy of 6,000 (5,931).Pueblos Catholic schools
could also boast of a Congressional Medal of Honor winner among their alumni, as
Marine Lt. Raymond G. Jerry Murphy a 1947 Pueblo Catholic High graduate was
awarded the Medal in 1953. Murphy was one of four Puebloans who ultimately earned
the Medal of Honorleading to the citys adoption of the moniker Home of Heroes as
the official Pueblo motto.49
The Catholic Church in the American West functioned as a tme frontier church,
growing in tandem with the new towns that spaing up seemingly overnight. Because of
its Spanish and Mexican roots in the area, Roman Catholicism was the first Christian
faith to penetrate this vast geographic region. After the territory was acquired by the
United States, however, the established church hierarchy in the east began the process of
recruiting clergy to travel westward and Americanize frontier Catholicismcreating
60


tension between old Catholic practices and new Catholic protocols and between
eastern and western outlooks. Disdainful of but eventually acquiescent to the folk
religious practices of the Hispano and Mexican inhabitants of the West, the American
hierarchy effectively kept the Mexicans and other ethnic Catholic immigrant groups in
the fold. By sanctioning the formation of national parishes and allowing culturally
specific celebrations and religious devotions, the church facilitated assimilation, and the
immigrants themselves ultimately asserted control over their own ethnic identity
formation, incorporating their Catholic faith into their new American citizenship. The
church in the West succeeded in keeping its members by incorporating an older Mexican
and Spanish Catholicism into a new American infrastructureand against the backdrop of
an industrial, multiethnic frontier city like Pueblo, the process was all the more striking.
Spurred by the economics of industrial growth and development in the western land of
opportunity, Pueblo5 s labor force was comprised of a multitude of languages, races, and
creeds, and the Pittsburg of the West proved to be the ideal environment for the forging
of a new American identity.
61


CHAPTER IV
THE PITTSBURG OF THE WEST
Situated at the foot of the great passes, through the continental range of
the Rocky Mountains, at the western terminus of the Missouri Pacific
Railway, lies the City of Pueblo, Colorado, now familiarly styled the
Pittsburg of the West. The geographical location of Pueblo makes it
the natural gateway from the East to the Pacific Coast, for nowhere
between Wyoming on the north and New Mexico on the south, for a
distance of nearly six hundred miles, is there such a natural passageway
through the Rocky Mountains... It has been said that if a wall were built
around the Arkansas Valley of Colorado her people could live without any
assistance from the outside world, and would in a few years be the richest
on earth, that they could absolutely revel in luxury on the products of their
land and factories.
-from Pueblo, Colorado, the Natural Gateway to
Colorado a 1903 abstract of a 24-page booklet
entitled Pueblo, Colorado, The Pittsburg of the
West released by the Missouri Pacific Railway50
Pueblo continues into the present day as a multicultural, multiethnic, almost
minority-majority citywith Hispanics comprising 49.8% of the citys population. Its
founding in the mid-nineteenth century in a borderlands region, on a river that had
functioned as an international boundary line just a few years before, set the tone for the
citys tradition as a meeting place for disparate groups. This traditionstrengthened by
the rapid industrialization of the 1870s, contributed to the formation of new ethnic
identities among the citys multicultural populace. Catholic ethnic groups in the United
Statesalready saddled with non-white racial characteristicsoften encountered
religious discrimination from the Protestant power elite. But unlike towns where an
established, culturally homogeneous population suddenly absorbed large numbers of
foreign groupsPueblos location on the frontier ensured that all of the different
cultures, languages, and religions comprising its population put down roots at roughly the
same time. In the nineteenth century, eastern business interests, by touting Pueblo as the
62


Pittsburg of the West attracted capital and labor to Colorados front range in large
numbers. The citys industrial centersteeming with workersprovided an ideal
environment for an intermingling of ideas and attitudes, and exposure to different
cultures. Corporations like the Colorado Fuel & Iron (CF&I), under the guise of
corporate paternalism, established internal sociological departments that strove to make
American citizens out of its immigrant work force. Pueblos borderlands heritage and
industrial tradition ensured that place was as equally important as time in playing a part
in ethnic identity formation.
A vueblo on the Borderland
The area where present-day Pueblo sits, along with southern Colorado in general,
shares a common culture with northern New Mexico, as both were explored by the
Spanish before they were part of the United States. After crossing the Rio Grande de San
Francisco (the Arkansas River) about fifteen miles from the site of present-day Pueblo on
his 1706 expedition, Juan de Ulibarn described the newly-encountered land thusly:
The plain on our side is a strand of a long league or level land and
extremely fertile as is shown by the many plums, cherries, and wild grapes
which there are on it... It bathes the best and broadest valley discovered in
New Spain.
After the establishment of a Spanish colony in New Mexico, Anglo traders and trappers,
while building trade routes with New Spainencountered a different cultureliterally in
a different world. There was a different race that spoke a different languagewith
strange and fascinating customs. Even the climate was new highdrycool and
healthful. The Pueblo area, due to historical events like the Louisiana Purchase, the
Adams-Oms Treaty, Mexico5 s independence from Spain, and the Treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo, has been claimed by a number of national and territorial governments, landing
63


under the flags of Spain, France, Mexico, New Mexico, Louisiana, Kansas, and even
Texas at one time or another. Before that, nine different Indian tribes the Aztecs,
Toltecs, Kiowas, Comanches, Navajos, Utes, Apaches, Arapahoes, and Cheyennes had
claimed it at various times. Fort Pueblo, built on the American side of the Arkansas
River in 1842, took advantage of both the American and Mexican markets, and was no
stranger to functioning as a multicultural, multiethnic meeting place.51
Fort Pueblos foundingin facthad been spurred by mulatto trader James P.
Beckwourth, who had at one time been a war chief of the Crow Indians. Writing in his
autobiography of the October 1842 construction of the fortBeckwourth reportedWe
all united our laborsand constructed an adobe fort 60 yards square. By the following
spring we had grown into quite a little settlementand we gave it the name of Pueblo In
July, 1843, Lieutenant John C. Fremont, on his second expedition, came down Fountain
Creek to the Arkansas and described the settlement as "pueblo' (as the Mexicans call
their civilized Indian villages) where a number of mountaineers who have married
Spanish women in the Valley of Taos had collected together. They were principally
Americans, Fremont reported, "and treated us with all the mde hospitality their situation
admitted StillAmerican visitors were often unimpressed with both the Spartan
conditions and the ethnically inferior Mexican inhabitants. Francis Parkmanan 1846
visitor to El Pueblo, wrote:
It was a wretched species of fortof most primitive constructionbeing
nothing more than a large square enclosure, surrounded by a wall of adobe,
miserably cracked and dilapidated.. .Two or three squalid Mexicans, with
their broad hats, and their vile faces overgrown with hair, were lounging
about the bank of the river in front of it. They disappeared as they saw us
approach.
64


Fort Pueblo would survive a Christmas 1854 attack by Ute Indians, and by the time of
Father Machebeuf s visit in 1860 buildings were being erected and streets mapped out.
Pueblo became the seat of the newly-created Pueblo County when the 1861-1862
Territorial Legislature formed Colorados original seventeen counties. Pueblo County
included everything from Fremont County eastward to the Kansas line and from El Paso
County south to New Mexico. Pueblo5 s first newspaper, The Colorado Chieftain, began
publication on June 1,1868, becoming a daily four years later and changing its name to
The Pueblo Chieftain, ultimately surviving to the present day as Colorado5 s oldest
newspaper after s Rocky Mountain News folded in 2009. The town of Pueblo
was officially incorporated on March 22,1870.52
After the Civil Waras Americas industrial vanguard turned its energies
westward, General William Jackson Palmer, who built the Denver & Rio Grande
Railroad, established a new town south of the Arkansas River and placed the railroad
station there so his company could sell building lots. The town, South Pueblo, was
incorporated on October 27,1873 and included streets named after Mexican cities and
other Spanish names. Between Pueblo and South Pueblo a third town Central Pueblo -
was incorporated on June 21,1882, and three months later a fourth town, Bessemer, was
organized to the south of South Pueblo and incorporated. An act of the State General
Assembly combined Pueblo, South Pueblo, and Central Pueblo into the City of Pueblo on
April10,1886, and Bessemer merged into the city in 1894. Palmer believed that his plan
for industrialization would energize the West and restore virtue to an American nation
sullied by political corruptioncapitalist excessand immigration. In a letter that
Thomas Andrews argues was suffused by the mid-nineteenth century reformers
65


characteristic blend of republicanismwhite supremacyand Protestant perfectionism
Palmer bragged that the new western industrial elites would "filter the foreign swarms
and prepare them by a gradual process for coming to the inner temple of Americanism
out in Colorado, where Republican institutions will be maintained in pristine purity. A
newly-industrialized Pueblo seemed to fit perfectly into this visionsince many of the
displaced and the optimistic looked westward for refuge or redemption.,,53
Turning Pueblo into the Pittsburg of the West
Pueblo5 s geographic position at the base of the Rocky Mountains, the nearby lime
deposits, ready access to water (the Arkansas River and Fountain Creek) in an arid land,
and its relative proximity to the capital city of Denver made it an ideal stop for railroad
lines and a natural fit for industrial growth. The citys economy boomed in the 1870s
first as a result of the smelting of metals like gold, silver, copper, and lead mined near the
headwaters of the Arkansas and sustained by an integrated iron and steel industry that
exploited nearby coal, iron ore, and limestone. The city transformed from an agricultural
trading center to an example of frontier industrialization. In 1878 the firm of Mather and
Geist selected Pueblo for a new location for a smelter, since coal, limestone, iron ore,
lead, and silver and gold ores were in abundance in the surrounding mountains and it was
a downhill pull from all directions to Pueblo. General Palmer and Dr. William Bell
decided to build a steelworks at South Pueblo to provide a steady supply of rails for the
Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, and on January 23,1880, three subsidiary companies
merged into the Colorado Coal and Iron Company. The first blast furnace, christened
Betsy in honor of the Superintendents young daughterwas blown in on September
5,1881and the steelworks were put into operation by April12,1882, as the first steel
66


rails produced west of the Mississippi were rolled. The 1892 merger of Colorado Coal
and Iron with John C. Osgoods Colorado Fuel Company created the largest industrial
corporation in the western United States, Colorado Fuel & Iron (CF&I). The new
company established PueDlos reputation as the Pittsburg of the west and continues to
operate into the present day, albeit after undergoing multiple ownership and name
changes in its first thirteen decades. CF&Fs sheer size upon its creation can convey
some sense of its imprint on Colorado history: it possessed over $13 million in
authorized capital, had 7,050 employees, owned in excess of 77,000 acres of farming,
town-building, grazing, iron-mining, and oil-bearing land, owned an additional 71,837
acres of coal land containing an estimated four hundred million tons of fuel, operated
fourteen coal mines, and had a share in fuel and steel markets that sprawled from Kansas
to the Pacific and from Canada to Mexico.54
Pueblos industrialization was a boon to the citys infrastructure. An electric
street railway system was in operation by 1889, a few years ahead of such cities as San
Francisco, Chicago, and New Orleans. By 1894, the Philadelphia Smelting and Refining
Company (controlled by Meyer Guggenheim and sons) had its works in Pueblo, with
general offices in Denver. The Ellers Smelter was built in 1887, and the United States
Zinc Co. smelter was located in Blende, east of the city proper. Many smelting jobs were
held by Italian immigrants, Pueblo5 s first large European ethnic immigrant group, and the
numerous smelters and steelworks attracted large numbers of immigrant labor, both from
Europe and Mexico, joined by Hispano migration from New Mexico. Pueblo5s industries
functioned as an economic pull factor for immigration over the next fifty years
dramatically altering the demograpmcs of northern New Mexico villages. Geographer
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Richard Nostrand reports that, for example, by 1956, of the twenty-six permanent
families that had been present in the village of El Cerrito, NM, in 1940, four-fifths of
them had moved to Pueblo. This fit into a general pattern regarding Mexican Americans.
Whereas earlier land had been the basis of the economy, after the 1848 American
conquest the Mexican people began to lose control over their land... Dispossessed of
their land and displaced from their traditional pastoral economy, most Mexican
Americans were forced into the unskilled labor market of the new, expanding American
economy.The common manifestation of this phenomenon, especially for Hispanos,
was to move to cities like Pueblo (and Denver) for work.55
Most of the early immigrants were men, who worked to save enough money to
either send for their families or worked until they had enough money to quit and go back
home. Between 1908 and 1923 close to sixty percent of all Italians who came to the
United States eventually returned home. In 1908 alone, returnees outnumbered
immigrants by almost two to one. For those who stayed or those who finally set down
roots on their second or third trip, their positions in the industrial market economy
created an opportunity to partake of American institutions like banks. Word-of-mouth or
the good word of a fellow countryman could often overcome ethnic resistance to
entrusting their meager earnings to an American bank. The Thatcher brothers First
National Bank of Pueblo, for example, benefitted from the recommendations of a
leading businessman from a Southern European country who deposited his
compatriots savings into the Bank during the Panic of 1893, and later delivered a rather
scorching denunciation to his immigrant brethren for their lack of faith in the bank. As
the citys immigrants became more familiarized with American institutionsthe
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beginnings of their ethnic identity formation were in place. The Christmas 1919 edition
of The Denver Catholic Register claimed, "All the scenic wonders of the Colorado
Rockies are easily within reach of Pueblo and considered the city the industrial and
commercial center of that region between the Missouri River and the Pacific Coast The
city and its industry functioned as a facilitator for the Americanizing of its
immigrants.56
The Immigrants Build a New Pueblo
The 1870 Census listed Pueblos foreign-born residents as hailing from Ireland
Canada, Prussia, England, Bavaria, Mexico, Switzerland, Poland, Hesse, Baden, France,
Wurtenburg, Hanover, Russia, Darnstadt, Austria, Bohemia, Denmark, Sweden, Nova
Scotia, and Saxony. The route that many immigrants followed from Europe to Pueblo
took them primarily through the ports of entry at New Orleans and Galveston. The citys
rapid industrialization in the 1870s drew large numbers of laborers from the newly-
unified Italy and ethnic Slovenes from the Austrian Empire. According to Joanne Dodds,
an estimated ninety percent of the young men from the Italian village of Lucca Sicula, for
example, ended up in Pueblo, represented today by prominent family names like Bacino,
Cardinale, Genova, Musso, Pagano, and Parlapiano. Slovenes from Carniola, Slovenia,
Styria, Dalmatia, and Croatia immigrated to the eastern United States, where many
continued on westward, lured by agents from the Pueblo Board of Trade advertising jobs.
Ignac (Jim) Pugelj (Pugel) was a typical case: entering the country through Ellis Island at
19 years of age, he was living in Cleveland when his priest informed him about available
jobs at Pueblos smelters and steelworks. Pugelj left Cleveland in 1906, arriving in
Pueblo after a four-day train journey. As Pueblos Slovenian colony grew in the 1880s
69


and 90s, Slovenian-language newspapers likeM/r (Peace), Koloradske-Novice (Colorado
News), Slovenski Narod (Slovenian Nation), and Glas Svobode (Voice of Freedom) kept
Slovene immigrants connected to both their new homeland and the old countries, and by
1891 approximately three hundred Slovenians were living in Pueblo.57
Slovenians, along with some other Slavic groups, were called Bojons. There are
two possible explanations for the terms origin. Many Slovene men were named John
and upon arrival in Pueblo many dressed in their finest clothes to apply for work at the
smelters or the steelworks. The name John and the bow tie were combined to describe
the men as Bojons. A more plausible theory holds that traveling to Paris by train on the
first leg of the long journey to the United States, Slovenians overheard Parisians
remarking, ""Quels beaux gens" or "what handsome people.When questioned about
their nationality upon arriving at Ellis Island, instead of declaring themselves to be
subjects of the hated emperor Franz Joseph they instead called themselves ""beaux gens,"
transliterated by immigration officials to Bojons. Unlike most ethnic or racially-specific
slang monikers, Bojon is not usually considered offensive by the people the term
describes. Pueblo5 s Slovenes, in fact, use the term with affection, and the Slovenian
neighborhood around the Eilers Smelter / St. Marys parish grounds was unofficially
christened Bojon town. By 1910 Pueblo5 s Slovene population stood at 1,414 immigrants,
making up 5.3% of Pueblos population of 45,444. In the Slovenian neighborhoodsyou
could hear the sounds of different accordions playing Slovenian songs illustrating what
Robert Orsi calls the immigrant love of placea sensuous loveand intense sensitivity to
the sounds, smells, and tastes of the neighborhood.,,58
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By 1920 immigrants accounted for seventeen percent of the citys population
with an additional seventeen percent in the second-generation. Many settled in heavily
eastem-European Bessemer, just west of the CF&I steelworks, the Grove district near the
Arkansas Riverand Smelter hill or Goat Hill east of downtown. The houses on Goat
Hillprimitive by American standardswere described as having no plaster. All wooden
walls. And outside toilets. Pueblos two largest ethnic groupsthe Mexicans and the
Italianslived in Salt Creek east of town or on Goat Hill and occupied the societys
lowest rungs. The Italian and Mexican settlement on the twelve acres extending south
from Ash Street to the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway, west to Summit Street
and east to the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad tracks was dubbed Mexico. During
Prohibitionthe immigrants isolation and interdependence were viewed by native-born
Puebloans to be self-imposed barriers to assimilation, and a Pueblo grand jury reported
that ninety percent of the bootleggers and gamblers are foreign bom. Commissioner of
Public Safety George J. Stumpf stated that our greatest handicap ...(in fighting crime) is
our great foreign populationas most of the lawbreakers are aliensprincipally Italians.
Wine-making and alcohol consumption, an ingrained part of the immigrants5 culture, did
not fit in with the Protestant, Progressive ethos of the temperance movement. Rites-of-
life-passage ceremonies like baptisms, marriages, and funerals also continued in Pueblo
much as they had in the old country. A typical Catholic funeral, for example, started with
the procession from the home, where the deceased had been lying in state, to the church
for Mass. After the funeral Mass the deceased was taken to the cemetery for the final
blessing and burial in a hand-dug grave (the digging having been done by family, friends,
and neighbors).59
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Between 1900 and 1920 over three million Italians emigrated to the United States,
with about one-third coming from agricultural jobs (such as farming and shepherding),
another third were unskilled laborers employed in the construction industryand the
remaining group consisted of skilled workers like masons, carpenters, and tailors. While
some of Pueblos Italians purchased land on the fertile St. Charles Mesa in eastern Pueblo
County for farmingand Italian-American families like the MussosMaurosDiSantis
and DiTomasos still farm the land todaythe majority of the citys Italian immigrants
found work in the smelters, steelworks, and factories. In the 1870 Census no Italians
were listed in Pueblo Countyand the 1880 Census only recorded five. By 1885
howeverthe citys Italian population had grown to 140, and by 1900 there were 761.
The unpublished memoirs of Antonio DiSipio (1909-1967), transcribed by his daughter
Pauline, illustrate the immigrant experience. Migrating from the village or uivitella
Messer Raimondo, province of Chieti, region of Abmzzi, DiSipio wrote that:
When my Papa left Philadelphia, after he became an American citizen,
he came here to Pueblo to work at the steel mill...He chose Pueblo
because he had a lot of family and friends /7/). There
were Catholic Godparents, Godchildren, and Baptism and Confirmation
Sponsors.
Much like the history of bojon, the mythologies surrounding the origin of the derisive
Italian-American descriptors wop and dago are largely speculative. Wop is believed to
stand for without papers a reference to the times when immigrants were not required to
have passports but could simply enter the United States. Dago was "reflective of the
types of menial jobs the Italian immigrants held. Italian coal miners believed that
referred to the before-sunrise-to-after-sunset schedules they worked. The day had gone,
thus day-gos. The longarduous journey over land and ocean was sometimes cost-
72


prohibitive, preventing the first American-born Italian generation from making the trip to
visit far-flung family back home, further loosening the link to Italy and facilitating their
Americanization. A second-generation Pueblo Italian, listening to her Italian-born father
speak of his twenty-five day ocean sojourntold himLets go back to Italy! Her father
replied to the request: When I can drive my car to get therewell go!60
Pueblos Italian communityin addition to building Mt. Carmel Churchwere the
driving force in creating a monument to a source of ethnic pride that brought together
Siciliano, Calabrese, Abruzzeze, and others under an umbrella of Italian nationalist
sentiment Christopher Columbus. Pueblo Italian-American Hector Chiariglione had
been elected president of the Columbian Federation in 1896, and the groups 1911
national convention was held in Pueblo. The Pueblo Columbus monument, the first of its
kind west of the Mississippi River, was unveiled on Abriendo Avenue on Thursday,
October 12,1905. The parade that accompanied the unveiling was an example of
multiethnic cooperation, with Italian organizations like the Fedelta Italiana Society of
Pueblo joined by Mexican fratemals like La Unione Mexicana and the Benevolent
Mexican Society of Pueblo, who were celebrating the Italian Columbuss sailing under a
Spanish flag. State Senator Casimero Barela, a Hispano from Trinidad whose family
traced their presence in the area back to the days of New Spain, spoke to the assembled
crowd about Spains role in the Columbus voyagesand his words were received with
tremendous cheers from the Spaniards and Mexicans who were present. Governor
Adams, who asked the crowd if they wanted him to speak in English, Spanish, or Italian,
concluded the ceremony with the observation that we stand todaynot representing
Spainnot representing Italybut as Americans. The efforts of the Columbus movement
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came to fruition in 1907, when Colorado became the first state in the nation to make
Columbus Day a state holiday.61
The 1920s: Floods, Nativism, and the Klan
What Ralph Taylor called Pueblos greatest disaster struck on June 3,1921
when the Arkansas River overran its banks after heavy rainfall and flooded the lowlands
of downtown and the Grove. The water reached a depth of 20 feet, 4 inches in some
places, causing over 100 deaths (though other estimates range upwards of 1,000) and
over $20 million in property damage. Aside from the damage in the Grove, the
floodwaters also covered other immigrant neighborhoods like Peppersauce Bottoms and
Little Italy. Many bridges were washed out, railroad tracks were torn and twisted, over
700 homes were destroyed, and dead animals rotted in the mud-filled streets. Matjaz
Klemencic writes that the stench of deathboth animal and humanwas intermingled
with the smell of burning tar, wood, and other flammable materials caused by natural gas
fires Pueblo soon became the town of a thousand smells and Colorado Governor
Oliver H. Shoup proclaimed martial law in the city on June 5th. Searchers found over 400
animals that had drowned along the St. Charles Mesa in eastern Pueblo County. Many
Slovenian homes in the Grove were destroyed, and enough Slovene families decided to
relocate to the mesas above the river, in Bessemer just north of the CF&I steelworks, to
give birth to LLBojon town." The frame building that served as St. Mary5s school was
carried away in the floodwaters. Stillthe spirits of Pueblos Slovenian Catholics were
unbowed. In a September 1,1921 letter to the editor of The Denver Catholic Register, a
Charles M. Bozich wrote: Let it be known to the other Catholics that though the Pueblo
Catholics5 churches have suffered so much damage, the hearts of the members are not
74


broken. The new lots on the Eilers smelter land in Bessemer that were purchased for the
new St. Marys were one of the most beautiful spots in the Slovenian colony Bozich
maintained
The rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan and the surge in anti-immigrant sentiment
nationwide in the 1910s and 20s made its way to southern Colorado, and Pueblos
Catholic immigrants were targeted twice over, both for their racial pedigree and for their
religion. According to Robert Goldberg, the Klan had secretly arrived in 1922 and
found Pueblos Protestants ready for organizing. Pueblos population in 1920 was
43,050, and the citys 1395 African-Americans comprised just 3.2 percent of the
population, with the 100 Jews in the city making up an even smaller portion. Pueblo5 s
ethnic Catholics, therefore, were the group that bore the burnt of the Pueblo Klan5s
attackslike when Klansmen attacked Fathers Cyril Zupan of St. Marys Church in
Pueblo and Alojz Milnar of St. Josephs Church in Leadville. The Klan spread a rumor
that the pope had ordered the construction of the Holy Cross Abbey in Canon City to be
his summer residence and a base from which to infiltrate Protestant America. One-third
of the city was Roman Catholichoweverand members of respectable white ethnicities
(like the Irish, French Canadians, Germans, and English) were part of that Catholic third.
The Klans strategythereforein rousing up and recruiting new members was the
coupling of certain elements in the foreign-born community to the breakdown of law and
order. Between 1922 and 1926, ten men were killed in the Italian neighborhoods
casualties of a war between two blackhand factionsand in 1923 the blackhand battles
spread to Bessemer when two Italian homes were bombed. Members of the citys corrupt
prohibition squad also received death threats signed with the blackhand symbol.
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Rampant and overt bootleggingunsolved murdersand crime-ridden roadhouses out in
the county eroded the respectable communitys confidence in the policeand the Klan
presented itself as an instrument of justiceable to succeed where law enforcement had
failed.63
During 1923 the Pueblo Klan gathered strength and proudly displayed it. In May
more than 1,000 uniformed Klansmen burned a forty-foot cross, illuminating Pueblo5 s
north side. In June the Pueblo Klavern hosted a meeting of Denver, Aguilar, La Junta,
and other Colorado Klansmenand an estimated 3,200 KKK members assembled in a
field north of the city. During the winter Klansmen were compelled to meet in the
International Order of Odd Fellows Building at Seventh Street and Grand Avenue, and
the Pueblo Klan burned six crosses around the city on Christmas Day. Pueblos KKK
operated with the open sanction of the citys Protestant clergyamong them the Reverend
T.C. Collister of the Northern Avenue Methodist Church and the Reverend George Lowe
of the Eastside Baptist Church, who served as the local Klavern ys "Exalted Cyclops.
The Klan5s nativism was sometimes more anti-Catholic than anti-immigrant per se,like
when Trinidad Klansmen raised $100 for that city5 s Italian Presbyterian church. In the
1925 Pueblo Municipal election, the Klan won control of the city government by electing
two Klansmen to the city commission, and the group presented a positive public-relations
face to the people, distributing Christmas food baskets to hundreds of needy Pueblo
families. By the late 1920s, however, the Pueblo Klan suffered a rapid decline, as its
main reason for existing the citys crime problems had been brought under control,
ironically enough due in part to Klansmen who had been elected to office on law-and-
order platforms. In October 1926 Chief of Police J. Arthur Grady proclaimed the end of
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the citys reign of lawlessnessand Klansmen left their organizationeither fulfilled by its
successes or bored by its inactivity. Goldberg writes that the Pueblo Klanunable to
make the transition from crime fighter to ordinary fraternal lodge, disappeared from the
city. The 1930 City Directoryhoweverstill listed a small KKK organizationthe Ku
KluxKlanNo. 564
The CF&I Sociological Department and Coroorate Paternalism
As the largest employer in Pueblos industrial erathe Colorado Fuel & Iron
steelworks attracted thousands of immigrant laborers, where the workers were exposed
daily to a number of different cultures, languages, and religions. Thus, the CF&I played
a major role in the Americanization of Pueblos immigrant groups and provided an
environment for the forging of new ethnic identities. Early on, however, there is scant
evidence that the CF&I or any other of southern Colorados major industrial firms spent
money in the 1870s or 80s on things like schoolschurchesworkmens clubsor other
focal points of corporate paternalism that would characterize Progressive-era corporate
welfare and social work by the early 1900s. American businesses, as manifestations of
the Protestant work ethicself-sacrificeingenuityand Yankee know-how were
overtly antagonistic to the newly-arrived hordes of (mostly Catholic) immigrants who
entered the United States between the 1880s and 1920s. White-collar occupations were
seen as a path to upward mobility, but prerequisites like a solid foundation in the English
language and literacy meant that for most immigrants, even the ones that had been white-
collar or skilled in the old country, the only option was blue-collar manual labor. The
desire for upward mobility caused many immigrants to strive to educate themselves in
English, and Olivier Zunz asserts that securing skilled labor work "meant even further
77


assimilationfor the rules were set entirely by and for native white workers. To
Progressive reformersimmigrant life on the streets was not conducive to successful
American citizenship, and heterogeneous ethnic neighborhoods exacerbated the problem
by facilitating the lifestyle of lower citizenship. The solution was paternalistic
corporate practices like building schools where immigrant children would be taught
proper American virtues. For CF&Ibuilding company towns around its many mining
camps fit in perfectly with this conceptallowing for children to be reared in spaces of
domestic order and restraint and growing into dutiful Americans.65
In 1901 CF&I established an internal Sociological Department, under the
direction of Dr. Richard Corwin, to coordinate its paternalist goals. Dr. Corwin and other
welfare capitalists believed that projects like company towns could, as Thomas Andrews
writesserve as a beacon of enlightened modernity and turn disgruntled immigrants
into better citizens more content with their work. CF&Fs sociological staff, like their
counterparts back east, investigated every aspect of the immigrant lifestyle and found it
inferior to the middle-class American way of life. Henry Fords sociology investigators
for example, did not hide their feelings of condescension toward the blue-collar
workforce. One of the investigators, George Brown, reminisced that the assembly-line
workers lived like hillbillies
A lot of them used to use their bath tubs for coal bins. A lot of them didnt
know what a bathtub was, a lot of the foreign element from Europe. Those
investigators taught those foreigners an awful lot. Theywhat youd call
Americanized them.
CF&Fs sociologists professionally analyzed the disparate culture groups and reported
their findings in Camp and Plant, the company5 s newspaper. A 1903 article on the
Mexico settlement reported that the clannishness of these people [Mexicans]however
78


-their unwillingness either to be interfered with or to interfere with, or to inquire into the
doings of others not of their own race made Mexico an ideal place for rogues. When
Italians moved into Mexico in the early 1890s they built in betweenaboveand below
the adobes of the Mexicans sinceaccording to the CF&I expertsthey were
accustomed to the crowded Italian cities and towns. The Italians were described as
mostly peaceablehard-working smelter laborersbut with enough criminals among
them to give the district a bad name around police headquarters. Another large Mexican
area, Salt Creek, was described as hodge-podge settlement of about 2,500 Spanish-
speaking people^ living in terrain that was "mostly cactus, sage, bmsh, shale and gravel.
There is no street lightingno police protectionno playgrounds Stillthe company
often made concessions to its workforces multiple languages in order to facilitate better
communication: John D. Rockefeller Jr.s open letter to CF&I employees about his
upcoming October 1915 Colorado visit was printed in English, Spanish, Italian, and
Slovenian in The CF&I Industrial Bulletin, the successor to Camp and Plant, as was
President Wilson5s 1917 address to the nation upon entering World War I. By World
War II, Hispanics had become the employee majority, and the CF&I Blast, the successor
to the Industrial Bulletin, contained articles written in Spanish.66
The company sociologists, with their Progressive reliance on their role as
expert attempted to explain the perceived lack or initiative among the Mexicans. A
1903 article traces the roots of the problem back to the Moorish conquest of southern
Spain, where the fatalism of the people was as noticeable as the fatalism found "among
the Arabs and all Orientals This was one reasonthe author (who went by the byline
ccEl Cinico" (The Cynic)) maintained, why "the Mexican is calm under fortune or
79


misfortune, and says uEs la voluntad de Dios" (It is the will of God), if anything occurs
to disturb his routine of living. The writer intermixes compliments among the
analysis, reporting that "Americans might learn a lesson from these simple people in the
method of treating their parents because of the Mexican respect for their elders. Still, he
argues that "they live in the present, and they believe that God will take care of the
future. For this reason we call them shiftless. The pseudo-scientific racialism of the
period is on full display in the authors explanation of the difference between northern
and southern peoples:
An American does not like the tortillas of the Mexican, nor does the
Mexican like the ammonia and alum bread of the American. In French,
Spanish, Italian, and the other Latin tongues the equivalent of the word
steak is not knownnor is the word pie translatable...Living among
the Mexicans is what we may call primitive, the adobe oven serving for
our modern stoves and ranges... It must also be remembered that a
Northern people is more energetic than a Southern race, and that the
master minds who have established the great enterprises on the former
American desert were not fatalists and have not worn the shackles of the
patriarchal systembut have feltas a heritage from their Teutonic
ancestors, that they were individual thinking beings.
Half-hearted compliments were extended to other racial groups as well.A 1902 article
on company-town lifewhich called the half-breed Mexican more peaceable than
many of his white neighbors praised the Japanese laborers for their hygiene standards.
Reporting on how many Japanese notified their superintendents that they would leave
unless they were furnished with bathsthe author proclaimedIt would be a great
blessing if some of our so-called Christians in cities could come as near being next to
Godliness as the so-called heathen from across the Pacific, in the camps.,,67
The CF&I sociologists made it very clear that their mission was to Americanize
the immigrants. A 1902 Camp and Plant article explained that the steelworks employed
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between sixteen and seventeen thousand employeesrepresentingall toldprobably an
aggregate of seventy or eighty thousand souls. Not every employee was a foreignerof
course, but the workforce included "Italians, Austrians, Mexicans, Indians, Japanese,
Bohemians, Poles, Russians, Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, Dutch, German and French,
and many more. It has been estimated that twenty-seven different languages, to say
nothing of dialects... are spoken by our employees Compounding the problem of trying
to transform this tower of Babel into a cohesive team was the fact that Mexicans will
associate with Mexicans, Italians with Italians, English-speaking with English-speaking,
but usually any attempt at admixture of races comes to grief.. .racial differences are even
manifested at times by people of different dialects. Northern and Southern Italians were
held up as an example of inter-ethnic strugglesas convalescing Italian patients at the
company hospital often hurled uat each other canes and crutches and other instruments of
war On the wholehoweverthe sociologists maintained that our people are
remarkably peaceable and law-abiding with their major flaw undoubtedly being
drunkenness. CF&I collaborated with organizations like the YMCA to conduct English
classes and other Americanization programs that drew the immigrants out of their
segregated seclusion. The sociologists also put energy into the company-sponsored
kindergartens as an effective acculturation force. The company experts wrote:
Taking the child at from three to six years, before it has had time to develop
ugly habits and a cramped character, and while it is still susceptible to every
touch of influencethe kindergarten endeavors to start the childs life aright
to give its development towards a strong, refined, shapely character a
momentum which will carry it safely over obstacles that may be placed in
its way by environment and the life of its people... There is an interesting
exchange of languages. English-speaking children usually learn the
language of the most numerous foreign type, usually Italian or Mexican,
while the foreigners acquire English.
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The sociological department also took notice of a Catholic kindergarten in the Grove,
conducted by Father Gabriel Massaattended by Italian and Mexican children almost
exclusively. CF&I was the major economic force in Pueblo for decadesand the
companys sociological department kept meticulous records of the ethnic groups in the
workforce. Their studies, in turn, gave the English-speaking employees a glimpse
(however biased) of the new cultures setting down roots in Pueblo.68
The Immigrants Find Their Voice
Pueblos ethnic Catholics established native-language media like newspapers and
radio programs that kept their compatriots informed about news and events back home,
but also served as a bridge to Americanization by providing U.S. and local news. On
Sunday, August 28,1949 the first radio broadcast of the Slovenian Hour took place on
Pueblo5 s AM station KGHF 1350, and in the early 1950s an Italian program on KDZA
called from Italy aired on Sundays, with Ciro DiMeglio playing Italian records and
speaking in Italian. A November 1950 Pueblo Chieftain article reported on three new
candidates for a vacancy on City Council: John Butkovich (a Slovene), Joseph Occhiato
(an Italian), and Manuel Diaz (a Mexican) a sign that the immigrants groups were
attempting to assert their place in the political system. The Anglo Protestant citizens
were still uncomfortable, however, with large numbers of ethnics living in their midst,
even if only temporarily. An April 1945 Pueblo Star-Journal article on the War
Manpower Commissions plans to quarter several hundred Mexican nationals imported
because of wartime labor shortages at the Colorado State Fairgrounds reported on the
bitter opposition to the plan by neighborhood residents. Five petitions were being
circulated against the commissions planand the article stated that the signature rate
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among Protestants was almost 100 percent StillPueblos Catholic immigrants left
tneir mark on the town and played a large part in creating the culture of the present-day
city. A 1906 Denver r article on Pueblo maintained:
Pueblo is a Catholic city, because to support these churches (the ethnic
parishes) there must be people, and out of a population, say of 70,000
people, we may assume that half of them are Catholics... she has many
other institutions that cities much larger do not possess. There are her
parochial schools, her orphan asylum, and academies and college, and
who will say that Pueblo is not becoming a great city? Great cities, as
well as great things, are not built in a minute. It takes time, and those
who have raith in the progress of Pueblo are working with mighty
endeavors to make this beautiful southern city worthy of a prominent
place on the map.
The ethnic Catholics who made Pueblo their home were certainly part of the efforts to
make the city worthy of that prominent place on the map.69
Monsignor Patrick Stauter, upon hearing of his pastoral assignment to Pueblo,
reflected that the railroaders he had worked with before entering the seminary did not
hold the city in great esteem. Additionally, priests who were transferred from Denver to
Pueblo always received the news with the same sadness of a prisoner hearing his
sentence before the bar. Nevertheless, when he left Pueblo 17 years later Stauter was
"thankful that the Steel City had been so good to me and its Catholic people at least were
as fine as anyone could expect to work with anywhere. The citys Catholicscomprised
of a large number of immigrants, reflected the working-class ethos of their church, their
ethnic groups, and their neighborhoods. Lire in the immigrant sectors of the city centered
around family, neighbors, friends, co-workers, and mutual aid. Pueblo5 s Catholic
immigrants lived through many of the same tensions experienced by immigrants in the
East, but the frontier Catholicism they found in the West, built on a more ancient faith,
gave the region a distinct character. Against the backdrop of the citys industrialization
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and the paternalism of the CF&IPueblos ethnic Catholics made a life for themselves in
the new country. Reflecting the various tensions of the time (Catholic Protestantold
Catholic new CatholicEast Westand even inter-ethnic and intra-ethnic strife)the
immigrants in the city joined longer-established citizens in pursing the American
dream.70
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CHAPTER V
THE CATHOLIC IMMIGRANTS OF PUEBLO
Self-styled in the late nineteenth century as the Pittsburg of the West for its
industry and christened little Chicago in the 1920s for its ethnic immigrant (mostly
Italian) organized crime, Pueblo grew into its role as a multiethnic melting pot. Its
Catholic immigrants had battled against crude stereotypes and both racial and religious
discrimination from an established American culture. Their experiences were certainly
not unique, since these issues and culture-clashes occurred in regions all over the country,
but the Pueblo experience was exacerbated by the citys position in the Westwhere
housing and other resources were scarce. As immigrant groups struggled to establish
living quarters, they settled near their compatriots, creating ethnic enclaves within larger
neighborhoods, and some entrepreneurs among their numbers opened small grocery
stores, providing native foods that reminded the immigrants of back home. Stores,
newspapers, music, radio, schools, churches, fraternal clubs, mutual-aid societies, and
other social organizations were ways that immigrant groups asserted a semblance of
control over their lives and established a place for themselves in the evolving American
society.
Inter-Ethnic Strife
For immigrant and migrant groups striving to Americanize and gain acceptance
into the larger American society, the quickest perceived way to achieve this began with
claiming a white ethnic identity and differentiating themselves from non-white
groups. Vox Hispanos this meant convincing the dominant culture of their identity as
Spanish-Americans thereby bypassing (or ignoring altogether) the entire
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process in Mexico that created a new ethnicity that melded Spanish and indigenous
characteristics. Nuevomexicanos, many of whom ultimately migrated to Pueblo for work,
had been American citizens since 1848 and thus had an advantage over workers from
Mexico, since they were not immigrants. Euro-American society viewed Mexicans as a
mongrelized half-breed raceand ///anas* resented being lumped in with people from
Mexico, so they instead stressed a direct lineage from Spain straight through to New
Mexico, somehow unencumbered by any Mexican or Indian blood. Hispano parents
hoped for light-skinned children that could pass as whiteand lighter skin was held up
as a beauty ideal while darker skin became synonymous with ugliness or impurity. There
was also a socioeconomic aspect to these racial and class lines. Gilberto Hinojosa
asserts:
Frontier society was fragmented by rankclassand race.. .Relative status
could be identified by racial designations, by titles (such as don or dona),
by ofricial position, and by place of residence.. .the ricos (rich) sometimes
baptized members of the lower classes, be they pobres (poor) or racially
distinct, formingpadrino-madrina (godparent) and compadrazgo (co-
parent) relationships with mends and neighbors and their children.
Intermarriage across class and racial /ethnic lines extended important
familial ties that blunted prejudice and assisted social mobility. Indeed,
these processes served as vehicles for racial passing so that mulattoes
and mestizos could become Spaniards.
Through mixed marriages an Indian could be transformed into a Spaniard in as little as
two generations. ///anas* shifted their identity to Spanish-Americans in order to fare
better in an Anglo-American world. As Colorado became more industrialized, Hispanos
from New Mexico and southern Colorado migrated to work in the mining areas around
Walsenburg, the Pueblo steelworks and smelters, and the sugar-beet and agricultural
industries in the Denver-Greeley area. Second-and-third %QnQmX\on Hispanos (second-
and-third generation after the migration to Colorados front rangefollowed the
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experience of the European ethnics by losing their language and their cultural ties to the
homelandNew Mexico)rapidly assimilating and becoming primarily English-
speaking. Writing in the 1970sArthur L. Campa believed that the young generation of
Hispanos.. .have become so accultured to Anglo-American life that they know virtually
nothing of Hispanic lore. The Spanish language, if used at all, has become the language
of the hearth Professor Rodolfo Garciaobserving the Mexican-American students in
the Spanish classes at CU-Boulder in the 1970snoted that only 15 or 20 percent are
completely fluent in the regional (Spanish) dialect. Those who are completely fluent are
either from Pueblo, which is in Southern Colorado near New Mexico, or from rural
areas. It was the continued immigration from Mexico that would ensure that Spanish
would continue to be spoken in the region and would not effectively disappear, like
Italian and Slovenian did.71
The large numbers of Mexican immigrants to Pueblo in the twentieth century
increased the MexicanSpanish-speaking presence significantly and thus intensified the
Mexican nature^ of the region. Hispano Mexican strife had roots in the nineteenth
century when, according to Richard Nostrand, Anglo men were generally kind in their
feelings toward /// o womenwhom they calledSpanish but almost universally
viewed the men with contempt and referred to them as Mexicans During the Mexican-
American war, for example, U.S. soldiers described the residents of New Mexico (who
were still Mexican citizens) as indolentdegenerateundependabledishonest
impoverishedand addicted to gambling and other vices The Chicano Power
movement of the 1960s, with its embracing of the indigenous heritage of the mestizo
Mexican culture and its love for everything represented by darker skin (Brown Pride)
87


caused a renewed dialogue about whiteness, skin tone, ethnic identity, and assimilation
with middle-class American mores. To the Chicano activists, Hispanos who strove for
acceptance as white Spanish-Americanswere the worst kind of traitors to their race,
and ethnic identification as Spanish connoted a pretense of superiority that offended the
more radical Mexican-American element. Chicanos (as many Mexican Americans now
preferred to be known) declared that the Hispano ys claim to Spanishness was ua
contrived fantasy heritage and a myth. Chicanos sought to politically unite all Spanish-
speaking people in the borderlands as members oVLaRazd" one people and one
culture. Unity, political or otherwise, was often difficult (if not impossible) to achieve,
however, especially since Americanized Hispanics sneered at Mexican immigrants as
mo(wetbacks). Nostrand writes:
In Colorado, for example, "old Mexico Mexicans^ referred to Hispanos
aswhich meant Mexicans who were Americanizedmore
literally, Mexicans who were bleached or faded because of their proximity
to whites). To protect their heritageold Mexico Mexicans in places
like Pueblo founded Honorific Commissions to promote the speaking of
Spanish, the celebration of Mexican holidays like the Sixteenth of
September, and the fostering of patriotic feeling for the LLmadre patria""
Hispanos, on the other hand, called the Mexicans surumatos, which meant
people from the south and was understood to carry a degree of
opprobrium. Hispanos claimed superiority over Mexicans on the grounds
of better language, education, cleanliness, culture, and citizenship.
By 1980 Puebloans identifying ets Hispano numbered 17,947 (or 15.5% of Pueblo5s
population of 116,095) while those identifying as Mexican numbered 19,656 (or 16.9%).
The almost-equal number showed the importance of the distinctions between two options
of selr-identirying ones ethnicitybut most non-Hispanics never bothered to subdivide
the group or differentiate between Hispano and Mexican. To Pueblos Hispanics
however, the difference was of utmost importance. Both sides seemed to agree that they
88


were culturally different from one another, mainly acknowledging language differences
as the prime example. Cuarto de dormir (Hispano Spanish) rather than recdmara
(Mexican Spanish) for bedroom for exampleor instead ofpe/o for hair
. rather than ca/c/^ for socksand rather than/?for
trousers.72
Stark cultural differences were found among other ethnic groups as well. Among
the Italians, for example, Jay Dolan writes that Sicilians, Calabrians, and Romans were
three types of people as diverse as GermansFrenchand Irish. Like the Hispano -
Mexican dividethe Italians were divided along race skin-toneand geographic lines.
Around 1880 northern Italian immigrants to the U.S. were increasingly outnumbered by
their southern connazionali (compatriots), who by most accounts of the time "were
poorerless educatedless skilledand darker in complexion. Such beliefs were
bolstered by the emergence of racialist pseudo-science in the late nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries, as anthropologists like Cesare Lombroso explained that the people of
the mezzogiorno (southern Italy) were racially distinct from and hopelessly inferior to
their northern connazionali. Whereas northern Italians descended from superior Aryan
stocksoutherners were primarily of inferior African blood Robert Orsiwriting about
New \ ork5s Italian Harlem, maintains that a spirit of regionalism, or campanilismo,
prevailed, with hostilities, especially between Neapolitans and Sicilians, "particularly
fierce Thomas Andrews argues that immigrants carried their prejudices of race,
nationality, ethnicity, and region with them as they moved west. The Welsh and Scots
despised the Irish, the French bore a gmdge against the mermans, and the Germans
claimed superiority over the Poles, who could not forgive the Austrians, who despised
89


African Americans, who distmsted Yankees, who Hispanos as dirty, lazy, and
primitive. Immigrant workers fragmented themselves into insular communitiesandat
least in the first generationwere incapable of unifying across racialethnicand
territorial boundaries. Antonio DiSipio, Pueblo Italian immigrantwrote in his memoirs
of the regional divisions that were still of utmost importance to his parents. While dating
his future wifeDelia Passanantein the 1930sDiSipio recalled that:
The Passanante family is Sicilian. I am not sure that my Abmzzese family
approves of our courtship. In fact, there are some young Pueblo women
whose people are from Abmzzi in Italy. Papa Angelo and Mama Concetta
feel that an Abmzzese woman is more suited to me.
Inter-marriage and Americanization would lessen and ultimately eradicate such regional
rivalriescreating a unified ethnic identity of Italian.73
Cooperation and coexistence among ethnic Catholic groups was usually centered
around the parish church. In the 1870s Father Salvatore Persone, S.J., made the rounds of
the plazas (villages) in the San Luis Valley from Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in
Conejos, the oldest Catholic Church in Colorado. Known as el Salvador de Conejos, he
preserved traditions like First Communions, Corpus Christi processions, veneration of the
Blessed Sacrament, Christmas festivals with luminarias (torches or small bonfires that
lined the walkway to the church), and the elaborate ceremonial displays of the feast of
Our Lady ot Lruadalupe. Known for treating rich and poor alike, Father Persone was
loved by the Hispanos of the Valley for being "Italian in his birth and Mexican in his
heart. In Pueblo Catholic immigrants often built homes and settled in areas close to
work, which usually meant the smelters or the CF&I steelworks, and the newly-formed
neighborhoods quickly took on the character of its residents. Elm Street, one of the
90


larger streets in Bessemer, was heavily Italian, and Pauline DiSipio describes a typical
Sunday in the neighborhood during the 1920s in her self-published oral histories:
Everyone went to church on Sunday morning ('going to Mount Carmel
Church was a MUST! from seven in the morning until twelve Noon.
Everyone ate their Sunday dinner at 12:00 Noon, and it was always
spaghetti! ...after dinner, the neighborhood guys would get a broken-
down kitchen chair or bench and go to the middle of the block and play
BOCCE... (They would) argue, half in English and half in Italian. Jack
Biondolillo would come out with his saxophone, and Charlie Luppino
would be playing his accordion, and everyone would sing and drink
wine! The middle of the 800 block of Elm Street was where it was all
happening.
A local resident remembered that there was a variety of ethnic groups in the Old
Neighborhood. We all got along! As the second generation grew up alongside other
ethnic groups intermarriages began to occurcreating many cousins (who) are half
Slovenian and half Italian.Neighborhoods like Bessemer and the Grove were mini-
melting pots, and even though ethnic groups were still often segregated into different
Masses within the parish, the immigrants helped each other out when times were tough.
After the 1921 flood caused St. Marys Parish to move away from the Grove, Slovenian
children whose families remained in the Grove and couldnt make the trip up Santa Fe
Hill to the new school in Bojon Town were able to attend St. Anthonys Slovak
school.74
Mutual Aid
Pueblos immigrants, like most newcomers to the United States, formed and
relied on mutual aid societies, fraternal organizations, and social clubs to fill in the gaps
of their new societal structure. These entities functioned as pseudo-networking groups,
bankers, insurance agents, unemployment officers, funeral planners, labor unions, legal
advisors, childcare providers, arbitrators, small-claims courts, civil-rights advocates, and
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Full Text

PAGE 1

CATHOLIC AMERICANS: THE MEXICANS, ITALIANS, AND SLOVENIANS OF PUEBLO, COLORADO FORM A NEW ETHNO RELIGIOUS IDENTITY by MICHAEL JOHN BOTELLO B.S., Colorado State University Pueblo, 1998 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School o f the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts History 2013

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ii This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Michael John Botello has been approved for the Department of History by Chr istopher Agee, Chair William E. Wagner Ryan Crewe October 24, 2013

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iii Botello, Michael John (M.A., History) Catholic Americans: The Mexicans, Italia ns, and Slovenians of Pueblo, Colorado form a New Ethno Religious Identity Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Christopher Agee. ABSTRACT Roman Catholic immigrants to the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries faced multipl e issues as they attempted to accu lturate into their new na tion. Distrusted by Protestant American s for both their religion and their ethnicity, they were further burdened by the biases of their own church le adership The Catholic leadership in the Unite d States compr ised of earlier arrived ethnic groups like Irish and Germans, fo und the Catholicism of the new ar rivals from Europe and Mexico to be inferior to the American style. American bishops dismissed the rural based spirituality of the immigrants with its reliance on com munity festivals and home based religion, as closely align with the stoic, officious model of the U.S. church. Over time, however the bishops wi th guidance from the Vatican, began to sanction the formation of separate both keeping them in the church and facilitating their adjustment to becoming Ad dition ally, immigrants to the western frontier helped transform the Catho licism of the region, since the U.S. church had only p receded their arrival by a few decades. Catholicism had been a major presence in the region for centuries due to Spanish exp lora tion and settlement, but American oversight of the area had only been in place since 1848. Thus, the Catholic immigrants were able to establish roots alongside the

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iv American church and leave their imprint on frontier Catholicism. As the city of Pueblo, Co lorado industrialized in the 1870s a nd 1880s large numbers of immigrant laborers were position on the borderlands established its reputation as a multicultura l melting pot, and the Pueblo church ultima tely incorporated many of the religious practices of the immigr ant s while at the same time facilitating the ir acculturation to American society through its schools, orphanages, and social s Catholic immigrants an d their formation of a new ethnic identity is a microcosm of the American immigrant experience. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Christopher Agee

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v DEDICATION To my mother, Geri R. Madr id, for teaching me to keep the faith through her living example, and to the memory of my grandmother, Mary G. Ortega (1913 2002) for imparting strength to her family through prayer and guidance. Siempre quiero tu bendicin

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vi ACKNOWLEDGEM ENTS I would like to thank the many professors, archivists, librarians, research staff, local historians, and other staff and volunteers who helped me navigate the difficult road leading up to writing a Graduate Thesis. In the History Department at the U niversity of Colorado Denver, Dr. Carl Pletsch fostered my academic interest by challenging me undergraduate years. He also served as my Minor Advisor (Intellectual History) and showed me that I was indeed capable of graduate level work. Much thanks to Dr. Chris Agee for serving as both my Major Advisor (U.S. History) and as Chair of my Thesis Committee. His guidance on research techniques and reading lists was invaluable. Thank you to Dr. Greg Whitesides for serving on my Comprehensive Exam Committee and for the enlightening graduate student discussions about book reviews and U.S. foreign policy. Thanks also to Professors William Wagner and Ryan Crewe for serving on the T hesis Committee for a graduate student they hardly knew, and to Dr. Pamela Laird for her guidance through the grad school process. Many thanks to Tim Hawkins, Archivist, and his staff at the Colorado Fuel and Iron Archives and the Bessemer Historical So Culture. Beverly Allen, University Archivist and Records Manager at Colorado State University Pueblo, was extremely helpful with facilitating my access to the Archuleta and Bacino collections of the Southern Color ado Ethnic Heritage and Diversity Archives. Paul Guarnere, Chancellor, Paula Juinta, and Joyce Rivera Maes were very gracious in allowing me unsupervised access to the Diocesan Archives of the Diocese of Pueblo. On the local historian level, the voluntee rs that keep the Gornick Slovenian Library &

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vii ethnicity, their church, their neighborhood, and their city were a great resource: Bob Blazich, the Genealogy Director; Ber nice Krasovec, and Lou Skoff all possess more facts and knowledge about Pueblo than I will ever learn. Their kindness and interest in my project were a great confidence booster. Running into John Kogovsek, Chairman of the Board of the Western Slavonic As indeed, as he provided me with informative material on mutual aid and fraternal organizations. Likewise, chatting with George Williams and John Korber at the Pueblo County Historical Society / Sout heastern Colorado Heritage Center & Museum pointed me back on track when my research had veered off on a tangent. Lastly, Charlene Garcia Simms, Genealogy and Special Collections Librarian at the Rawlings Public Library, and other Rawlings staff, especial ly Maria Tucker, were instrumental in helping me navigate the voluminous John Korber Collection, which had just recently been given to the library librarians, paid staff, work study students, and volunteers at the Rawlings Public Library, Lamb Library, and CSU Pueblo Library in Pueblo; the Kraemer Family Library at UCCS in Colorado Springs; and the Denver Public Library and Auraria Library in Denver were all instrumental in helping me formulate a well rounded secondary source reading list. This thesis project would not have been completed without all of the aforementioned individuals, who deserve my unending gratitude.

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viii TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER .12 Colonial and Nineteenth Centur y Anti Catholicism The Church and Immigration / Immi The Church and Ameri The Ethnic National The Church and The Mainstreaming of the American Church III. THE FRONTIER CHURCH: CATHOLICISM IN THE WES Spanish and Mexic The Colorado Church The Frontier as an Idea (a Folk Relig Immig rants in the Frontier Church The Pueblo Church Takes Shape... ... A pueblo on the B o rderl and... Turning Pueblo into t he Pittsburg The Immigrants Build a N ew Pueblo The CF&I Sociological Department an

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ix The Immigrants Find Their Voice.. V. THE CATHOLIC IMMIGRANTS OF PUEBLO Inter Mutual The Penitentes Strengthen the Bond of Catholicism with C 94 Relations with the U.S. The Ethnic Catholic I mmigrants B ecome Catholic Ameri cans... VI. CONCL USI NOTES 112 REFERENCE

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1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The Prince family of Pueblo, Colorado, was the embodiment of the American dream. Heirs to a proud Slovenian immigrant family, several generations had continued in the familial entrepreneurial tradition by operating the Prince Pharmacy, becoming successful through hard work and remaining loyal to the Catholic faith of their forefathers. In September 2009 Joseph Godec, nephew of Dorothy Prince and executor of her will, t Benedict XVI, Mr. Godec delivered a check for one million dollars to the church, accept this e xpression of gratitude from an American Catholic family who thank our His use of the descriptive phrase American Catholic to describe his family, rather than Sloveni an American Catholic Slovenian American or even Slovenian Catholic among many descendents of Catholic ethnic immigrant groups in the United States at the start of the tw enty first century. As Roman Catholic immigrants to the United States of America, their ancestors often began life in their new adopted land as minorities twice over: ethnically, their racial pedigree was examined by the Anglo Saxon establishment and fou nd wanting, while religiously they belonged to a church mocked, reviled, and feared by the suspicious Protestant power structure. Proving their loyalty to the new country, an absolute requirement for the upward social mobility that could give their childr en a better life, was a long and tenuous process, coinciding with changing societal

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2 views on definitions of race and ethnicity and highlighted by their fight for acceptance by an often reluctant American Catholic church hierarchy. 1 Starting in the America n colonial period and continuing through the mid nineteenth century, earlier groups of Catholic immigrants lik e Germans, Irish, French Canadia ns, and even Anglo Catholics had been ostracized by mistrustful American Protestants, who themselves had witnessed religious wars in the Old World. These first American Catholics eventually established a fledgling U.S. diocese, headquartered in Baltimore in the Catholic colony of Maryland, and comprised the Episcopal structure of a church which, by the late nineteent h and early twentieth centuries, would struggle with Europe as well as from Latin America. The American church hierarchy initially did not know what to make of these new im migrant brothers in the faith. Many of the church dismissed as superstition. Additionally, immigrants from lands with a strong anticlerical strain, like Mexico and the recently united Italy, practiced a home based Catholicism that did not place great importance on regular attendance at Mass or on Catholic. Despite these difficulties with their new church leadership, ethnic Catholic immigrants nevertheless stayed loyal to the faith, since Catholicism was so ingrained with their respective cultures that to abandon the church would have been akin to denying their own families. In the 1880s and 1890s, while the U.S. church leadership struggled with their immigrant problem to the extent that Pope Leo XIII weighed in on what was

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3 known as the Americanism crisis the immigrants themselves were forging a new ethno religious identity, incorporat merican diocesan infrastructure. They attended Mass in the basemen ts of American parishes then later petitioned they could worship wit h their fe llow countrymen; they formed mutual aid organizations and fraternal societies for insurance protections; and they transplanted popular devotions to the village saints and Mary the Mother of God from the old homeland to the new, illustrating wha 2 The western American frontier which had been the northern front ier under Mexico presented formidable challenges to the church. Geographically vast and sparsely populated, especially under Mexico and Spain before, the area comprising the modern day U.S. southwest necessitated an enormous expenditure of resources m oney, materials, and manpower to evangelize the Indians and establish missions, which would eventually evolve into parishes, dioceses, and archdioceses. Church leadership, preoccupied pre 1848 with the spiritual care of the Mexican metropolitan core and post 1848 with the American east and Midwest, tended to treat the people on the frontier as an afterthought, sending priests whether idealistic young ones or indifferent and often borderline apostate ones in too few numbers to adequately cover the imm ense territory. This inattention, lack of support, and chronic shortage of clergy among the mission churches (whether under Spain, Mexico, or the United States) caused the almost exclusively Hispano residents of northern New Mexico to rely on lay religiou s groups

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4 like the Fraternidad de Nuestro Padre Jesus de Nazareno (Fraternal Brotherhood of Our Father Jesus of Nazareth), commonly known as the Penitentes In far flung isolated areas of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado that might only see an ordained priest every few years, the Penitentes conducted religious services, between the people and the faith by staying respectful of the official Ch urch. Penitente prayer leaders would not administer sacraments, leaving the prerogative to the occasional marriages, and pray Requiem Masses for the village dead some of whom had been buried months or years before, initially sent off with a Penitente funeral and prayer service. The Penitentes and other confraternities (or cofradias as they are known among Hispanic Catholics), by providing spiritual service work w ere part of a social foundation later complemented by national benevolent societies Catholic efforts in a region where vast distances and insufficient clergy strained existing 3 Under U.S. jurisdiction, fresh start to people in the east. The industrializing of the western economy functioned as a tremendous pull factor, drawing large numbers of immigrants from Europe, Asia, and Mexico. Hispanos t hough culturally distinct from the immigrants from Mexico, were Hispanos from the oldest and large earlier and, with exceptions, more directly from

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5 archaic Iberian cultural forms that do not exist elsewhere in the b orderlands, he century dialect of Castilian Spanish and eating a particular diet of foods native to their region were two cultural markers that differentiated them from immigrants from Mexico proper, but one characteristic they s hared was their Roman Catholicism. As the city of Pueblo, Colorado rapidly industrialized in the 1870s and 1880s its steel mills, smelters, and factories drew large numbers of Hispanos from northern New Mexico and southern Colorado as well as immigrants f rom Mexico. The occasional intra ethnic conflict between the two groups regionalism from the old country carried over to Colorado range, with self identification as Calab rese or Siciliano Italian groups, as with the Mexican groups, Roman Catholicism remained the most reliab le hope for cultural unity 4 followed the assimilation and acculturation patterns of immigrants nationwide. Children of immigrants, raised in the United States and educated in American schools (whether public or parochial) grew up learning English as a main language and worshipping i n into American churches where English was spoken. Additionally, the Johnson Reed Immigration Act of 1924 drastically curtailed immigration from southern and eastern Eur ope, stopping the influx of new immigrants with cultural ties to lands in Italy and Slovenia. The proximity of Mexico to Colorado, and continued Mexican immigration and Hispano

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6 group s. The use of the Spanish language, for example, remained strong (especially among immigrants directly from Mexico), while spoken Italian and Slovenian often died out with the older generations. Colorado followed the national trend towards urbanization, than rural, and the American Hispanic population followed suit, albeit a few decades behind. In 1940 Hispanics were only 15% urban and 85% rural, but these proportions had reversed by the early 1950s. For the Hispanos exclusively rural before industrialization created job opportunities in polyglot cities like Pueblo and Denver, the exposure to larger society did, over time, increase their level of acculturation until they were clo ser to Italian and Slovene Americans, intermarrying with other ethnic groups and becoming primarily English speaking, much like European ethnics. 5 Hispano ) peoples and those of Itali an and Slovenian descent, however, centered around the issue of early 1900s racialist pseudo scien ce had maintained that southern and eastern European racial stock was inferior to the northern Aryan, Teutonic, and Anglo S whiteness over the course o f the twentieth century, first by losing their languages in favor of English, then by serving in the armed forces in two world wars often fighting soldiers from their fo rmer homelands and as their church became mainstreamed into the American religious landscape. For Mexican Americans, initially classified by the U.S. Mexico, the persistence and strength of the Spanish language, and the use of undocumented Mexican laborers as an economic underclass were some of the things that

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7 between Mexican immigrants and H ispanos by mid century, as Hispanos strove for middle he term in the pejorative sense as connoted a white, European American immigrant experience similar to other European ethnics who were now fully fledged white Americans. In su Hipanos fought to reclaim theirs, while Mexicans lost theirs further. of immigrant ethnic identity formation; its status as a frontier city allows for a look at life in the American west; and its blue collar, industrial heritage (nineteenth century a story of Catholicism view ed at the time as a foreign, laborer class church and its role in spiritually attending to the needs of disparate groups of people The Arkansas River, which bisects the city, functioned as an international boundary line from the 1819 Adams Ons Treaty between Spain and the United States through the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican American War. Fort El Pueblo founded in 1842 on the north (U.S.) side of the Arkansas, was a cultural melting pot, with Anglo trappers and frontiersme n interacting with Hispano ranchers, Mexican soldiers, and American Indian traders. The town and later city of Pueblo contin ued in this multicultural vein reflected in the present

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8 uniforms of the Pueblo police ) that of America are depicted on the seal. 6 While many different ethnic groups of Catholic immigrants made Pueblo their home, and often had experiences paralleling those of the groups looked at here (like attending the ethnic national parishes and practicing second generatio n bilingualism), and to a greater extent than the Mexicans, Italians, and Slovenians, primarily due to their earlier arrival in the United States. In addition, the thr ee groups looked at here have maintained strong ethnically based fraternal societies, social clubs, genealogical groups, historical organizations, and other cultural markers unto the present day. Additionally, family owned Mexican and Italian restaurants and markets dot the Pueblo landscape, carrying on family recipes over generations, and the Slovenian delicacy potica is a yearly Christmas tradition for Puebloans of all races. Mexicans and Italians both hailed from countries with strong anticlerical stre aks in their governments, and both were derided by Catholicism, and their reliance on spiritual healers and lay prayer leaders. Mexicans and Slovenes both arrived from l ands affected by conquest, as the Mexican American War made Hispanos American citizens while Mexicans south of the Rio Grande remained citizens of a now shrunken Mexico Slovenians meanwhile, lived first as subjects of the Austro Hungarian Empire, then l ater as part of the culturally heterogeneous country of Yugoslavia until the end of the Cold War. The Italians and the Slovenes shared a

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9 respectively they were viewed as racia lly inferior by northern Europeans. Above all, however, these three groups were Roman Catholics, and Catholicism was so ingrained into Mexican / Hispano Italian, and Slovenian culture that an overview of their ethnic identity formation cannot place relig ion on the margin and still be taken seriously. For purposes of this study, the term Mexican is used to describe primarily Spanish speaking immigrants and migrants who trace their lineage to either New Mexico or the present country of Mexico, and the colo nies of New Mexico and New Spain before that. In other w ords, in the aggregate to describe people who, whatever their racial makeup, have surnames rooted in the Iberian peninsula and who today would identify themselves in a variety of ways : Mexican Mexicano Mexican American Nuevomexicano Hispanic Latino and Chicano among others. When I reference the distinct Hispano subculture of New Mexico and Colorado, I will use that word ( Hispano ) to differentiate them from those who came direct ly from the country of Mexico, whom I have self identified as Calabrese Abbruzzese Siciliano or others, came from lands either on the Italian peninsula or the islands of Sicily or Sardinia and who spoke the people from Carniola, Dalmatia, and other lands claimed by ethnic Slovenes, who spoke the Slovenian language and did not c laim to be Slovakian, Austrian, Croatian, Serbian, or any other nationality or ethnicity, although in the nineteenth century the U.S. ethnically or racially derogatory term s like pocho surumato dago wop bohunk or

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10 bojon (a term that Pueblo Slovenes incidentally view with affection) unedited when used either as part of a primary source document or when quoting a secondary source in order to retain historical scope and per spective. This brief study of ethnic identity formation among three Catholic immigrant groups in Pueblo, Colorado is a story that touches on a variety of historical topics: the shifting and malleable definitions of terms like race and ethnicity the entr enchment of religion with culture, religious and ethnic xenophobia, Americanization and acculturation, and the link between economics and assimilation into mainstream society. It also blends different historical disciplines religious history, social his tory, Western history, racial and ethnic history, industrial labor relations, and cultural history. Compounding the difficulty of this task, the immigrants studied here usually spoke little or no English and were often illiterate, making thorough historic al research on them scattershot at times. Historian Thomas Andrews, writing about immigrant mineworkers in late nineteenth century and early twentieth century Colorado, touches on this, and his description of the problem also fits for the groups looked at here. These Colorado immigrants, he argues, usually left little trace in the historical record. Few could write in any language, and almost no writings by them survive. Government and company officials proved anxious to control, categorize, and ta lly the migrations. Yet the records and statistics that officials produced offer only snapshots of much larger and ever changing tableaux snapshots compromised by their limited temporal and geographic scope. 7 Despite these obstacles, an overview of the story of ethnicity and religion in a western i ndustrial city can offer lessons on what immigrants wanted from the United States, what the United States expected from them, how their church helped them become Americanized citizens, how they themselves reshaped American Catholicism, and how

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11 the creation of a new ethno rel igious identity helped to shape the country and church of the present day. identity among Mexicans, Italians, and Slovenians in Pueblo, C olorado in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was influenced by a number of factors, including the aforementioned meanings of terms like ethnicity and race which changed over time. Additionally, the idea of what it meant to be American var ied, with the definition typically set by the dominant ethnic groups and religions. Other factors included the suspicions of their religion by American Protestants, skepticism of their commitment to the faith by the U.S. Catholic leadership, their place i n the western frontier industrial economy, and the influence of American education and mass culture upon their children. Conversely, the immigrants themselves transformed the city of Pueblo and the Catholic Church in Colorado by utilizing institutions lik e the ethnic parishes as both links to their cultural homelands and as avenues of assimilation. It is an important story, and my hope is to do it a small degree of justice.

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12 CHAPTER I I CATHOLIC IN AMERICA One of the perennial problems which ha s confronted the Catholic Church in the United States is its relationship to mainstream American culture, a culture which has generally been hostile to Catholicism and suspicious of foreigners. As an immigrant, working class church, the Catholic Church often found itself outside of, and in conflict with, that mainstream. Catholics were under constant pressure to prove the compatibility between their American citizenship and their Catholic faith. Jeffrey M. Burn s 8 of the late nineteenth century Americanism crisis that confronted the U.S. Catholic Church. Bishops favoring rapid assimilation desired that the immigrants be instruct ed in E nglish; be taught proper middle class standards of decorum, dress, diet, and hygiene; and adapt themselves to the officious, hierarchical, tithes paying model of Catholicism that marked the American church. Other U.S. bishops, however, favored a gr adual pace east tolerance of and holy water), home altars, and faith based healers. This they felt, would allow the immigrants to grow into their American citizenship a t their own speed, lessening potential psychological t rauma by allowing them to hold on to at least one familiar aspect of life their religion. Doing this, the bishops beli losses in church membership due to either defections to one of the Protestant faiths or to people leaving organized religion altogether. These supporters of gradual assimilation also reasoned that immigrant children, born or raised in the United States, would grow up with an ingrained primary loyalty to America and be stirred into the great American

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13 melting pot. For the bishops who advocated fast Americanization and pushed for the to a skeptical Protestant society, the lessons from the recent history of Catholic immigration remained at the forefront of their minds. The anti Catholic sentiment prevalent in early American history had continued into the nineteenth century, as Irish i mmigrants escaping famine flocked to the U.S., and a struggling to establish itself as a respectable and accepted American institution, thousands of new immigrant members ma de that goal all the more difficult, especially since American society had bee n openly antagonistic to it founding. Colonial and Nineteenth Century Anti Catholicism The Protestants who first established British colonies on the e astern coast of North America viewed the vast, untamed wilderness before them as a new Garden of Eden om each other in doctrinal matters, they shared many common beliefs, like the sufficiency of scripture as a guide to salvation, the priesthood of all believers, and salvation through shared something else: an abiding hatred of the Catholic Churc h. They vilified Catholics whore of Babylon was viewed as a harbinger of a potential invasion, and in the years before American independence the media of the era almanacs, tracts, sermons, and periodicals slandered Catholicism.

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14 re of Rome and all her penetrating and poisoning the 9 These suspicions and fears of a Catholic takeover continued into the nineteenth century. In 1835 Lyman Beecher published a tract c alled A Plea for the West in which he increase its already substantial influence in the expanding American frontier. Protestants supported the publication of such scandal mongering books as Six Months in a Convent Awful Disclosures of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery in Montreal (1836) (a best The Papal Conspiracy Exposed These and other popular salacio Protestants who were certain that more went on behind convent walls than prayer and Protestant Association who claimed to be an ex Downfall of Babylon, or the Triumph of Truth over Popery and in New York a Reverend Brownlee issued the influential American Protestant Vindicator and Defender of Civil and Religious Liberty against the Inroads of Popery Samuel F.B. Morse, famed inventor of the telegraph, fanned nativist and anti Catholic feeling through a series of articles plot to take control of the United States by encouragi ng Catholic immigration and then

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15 Catholic sentiment had arrived in North America with the first Protestant settlers in the seventeenth century, the nominal number numbers of Catholics in the 1800s began to change that, and after more than a million Catholic immigrants mainly from Ireland arrived in the U.S. by mid century, they constituted a large enough presence, though st ill only about 5 percent of the population, The Catholic population was concentrated in cities, and it was from the cities that the nativism flowed. Fueled by resentment to Irish i mmigration, a fraternal political association, the Order of the Star Spangled Banner, formed in 1849 to resist the tide of Catholic immigration. It influence American politics Protestant critics charged that Catholic attitudes and behaviors shaped by the Vatican, Express opined regard the King of Rome the Pope as the depository of al loyalties, it was believed, Catholics would never be dutiful American citizens. 10 Where in 1807 the United States had 70,000 Roman Catholics, by 1840 their number s had swelled to over 660,000, stoking the social anxiety that facilitated the rise of groups like the Know Nothings. In 1854 the Know Nothing Party elected seventy five members to the United States House of Representatives and had over one million member s. It also elected eight governors, the mayors of Boston, Chicago, and

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16 Philadelphia, and thousands of lesser officials throughout the country. Their fast rise astounded many Americans and led Abraham Lincoln to observe that: Our progress in degeneracy a ppears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that all men are created equal. We now practically read it all men are created equal except Negroes. When the Know Nothings get control, it will read all men are created equal, ex cept Negroes, and foreigners and Catholics. A s Mark Noll points out, however, the influe declined from the scene. In the second hal f of the century, the new wave of Catholic immigrants were ridiculed (much like the earlier groups) for their culture and standard of living, which were presented as affronts to the emerging Progressive middle class ideal. Linda s creed and as institution, Catholicism was to the (Protestant) elite a benighted system, a pernicious influence toward dependency, alcoholism, and shiftlessness a logic that fit, of course, with the hegemonic elite understanding that poverty grew from m and Southern Europeans who wanted to rise had to shed many of their traditions, which the dominant group portrayed as vice history and bia ses that ethnic Catholics faced when they set foot upon American soil. 11 The Church and Immigration / Immigrants and the Church For their part, Catholic immigrants never saw themselves as disloyal to America. Even though they fought to preserve their cult ure, they along with native proponents of felt that their contributions would enrich American society by maintaining their cultural identities. The American church, wanting to keep these Catholic newcomers in the fold, attempted t o assist the immigrants with locating housing

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17 and employment, but their efforts lacked cohesiveness at the macro level. Groups like the American Federation of Catholic Societies, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and the Catholic Church Extension Society a local level, with work carried out in individual dioceses, where the most effective efforts at providing social aid were found. The church had good reason to pay attention, as it had grown exponentially throughout the nineteenth century, and the new influx of ethnic Catholics swelled their numbers even more. In 1808 there had been one Catholic diocese for the enti re United States, but by 1855 there were forty one; in 1808 there were only sixty eight priests nationwide, but by 1855 there were 1,704; in 1808 there were 80 churches in the U.S., but by 1855 there were 1,824. Anna Carroll, an advisor to the Lincoln cab inet and former Know 12 While these xenophobic sentiments were not morally just ifiable, they were grounded in actual demographic change. In 1776 Rom an Catholics had comprised 1.8% of the population and were the 6 th largest American denomination, but by 1850 they had grown to 13.9% and represented the 3 rd largest denomination. In 1789, when the Pope confirmed the first bishop for the United States, th ere were 35,000 Catholics nationwide, with roughly 60% of them in the Catholic haven of Maryland. By 1830 there were over 300,000 Catholics, and by 1860 there were 3,100,000 in a U.S. population of 31,500,000. Shortly after the Civil War the Roman Cathol ic Church surpassed the Methodists to become the largest Christian denomination, and by 1870 there were approximate ly 3,500,00 Catholics in a population nearing 40 million. Throughout the nineteenth

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18 century more than twenty eight different ethnic groups c alled themselves Catholic, and by 1910 the U.S. Church was caring for over 15 millio n souls. Jay Dolan argues that among the se disparate groups community, because it was so diverse. Ethnic diversity wa s its most obvious feature, with six major groups Irish, Germans, Italians, Polish, French Canadians, and Mexican Americans United States attracted 33.6 million immigrants (of all faiths) between 1820 and 1920, and in roughly the same period the Catholic population increased from an estimated 318,0 00 to close to 18 million The number of priests went from 232 to 21,019, and the number of churches from 230 to 16,181. With such massive numbers, the church focused and This focus on basic infrastructure tamped down any political activism or advocacy for social justice, as Jeffrey Burns Vatican II era, the prevailing model of the Church in the United 13 The church and its immigrants could not totally ignore social issues, however. Progressive and the state to impose Protestant middle class morals on the American public, found much fault with the values Catholics as roadblocks to the restoration of a Protestant mi ddle Prohibitionists, in their desire to maintain a society free of the evils of alcohol, divided

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19 of Catholic immigrants opposed Prohibition and we served to reinforce their outsider status. Catholic temperance groups did occasionally spring up, however, and although their efforts were ultimately unsuccessful Roy Rosenzweig argues that the Catholic temperance moveme variety of motives: a search for middle class respectability, an interest in a stable and grassroots or be guided by the church. The De nver Catholic Register reporting on the February 26, 1942 issue, analyzed the demographics of the recently created Diocese of re are considerable racial or language groups, the largest being the Spanish speaking. Colorado altogether has 40,000 to 50,000 Spanish Part of the born to Catholic parents. The Pueblo Chieftain Joseph C. Willging, D.D., bishop of the diocese of Pueblo, is installing a pre natal and post natal clinic for Spanish speaki immigrants. Rev. John C. Birch of San Antonio, speaking at a 1946 conference, told blank: abandoned your own, remember there is no reason to deny your Spanish heritage. It is a proud one. Your culture, brought to these shores by heroic men, is centuries older than nce the consecration of its first bishop in eighteenth century

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20 Maryland, the Catholic Church in America had adapted to changing societal conditions and demographic shifts. Different waves of immigration, combined with malleable definitions of race and eth nicity and other variables (like place of residence) facilitated rates of assimilation for each group. Mark Noll asserts that During the nineteenth century, assimilation of European religious groups operated at a variable pace depending upon whether the size of the migrating group was large or small, whether immigrants moved into cities or the more isolated Midwestern plains, whether or not a continuing supply of immigrants kept alive the European language, and if the surrounding population of Ame ricans welcomed or rejected the contained multiple patterns of ethnic identification and American assimilation. This would be exhibited, as it was in countless other locales, in Pueblo amon Mexicans, Italians, and Slovenes. 14 The Church and Americanization For the Catholic organizations that existed to help immigrants settle in to life in their new homeland, part of that mission involved dealing with the question of assimilation The Knights of Columbus although predominantly an Irish organization, more recent Catholic immigrants into that Catholic American bish ops, who pushed for a rapid pace of assimilation that include d English immersion instruction and democracy and egal the position of co nservative bishops, who advocated instructing immigrants in their native languages. In 1895 Pope Leo XII addressed American Catholics in an encyclical, Longinqua Oceani that congratulated them for what had been accomplished in the New

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21 World for the faith but cautioned against making American church state relations the standard for all places. Four years later he expounded further in another encyclical, Testem Benevolentiae in which the Pope attacked the idea that church teaching could be altered in ord er to accommodate to special local conditions. Testem Benevolentiae had Americanisme in advocating a rapprochement with political liberalism, but conservative American bishops hailed it as a victory for their heir nat ive by the Chur ch to as separate parish for each enabling them to preserve the more positive aspects of their culture, e specially the Catholic faith. s European immigration tapered off by the interwar period national parishes began to fall out of favor, but they nonetheless played an indispensable role in accu lturating the ethnic immigrants. Carol Jensen reports that Catholic immigrants were in parishes scattered throughout the Intermountain West, but more prominently, more permanently, and more formally in the Pueblo Diocese and the Denver 15 The Ethnic National Parishes Ethnic parishes had roots in the early nineteenth century, with the first large waves of German and Irish immigration. In large eastern cities like New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, German and Irish Catholics were not willing to worship in the same

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22 wanted to pray in their own language and according to their particular Old World traditions. Later in the nineteenth century the national parish emerged as the most became the principal institution the immigrants established in their attempt to preserve the religious life of the institutional organization supporting the immigrants in their encounter with the Social solidarity was how the parishes derived their power. Most American bishops initially encouraged the formation where immigrant groups held services in an existing American parish church but many native Catholics felt th at the developmen t of separate, distinct foreign language parishes might cause jurisdictional disputes and a grassroots path to existence, with immigrant groups build ing a church, sometimes w ithout official church sanction. T he parish would usually be quickly accepted by the local Ordinary as a legitimate Catholic parish, however. Mark Noll writes that these parishes were constructed, with or without the active supp ort of the hierarchy, where religious and social nurture eased the traumas of migration. The organization of parishes, and of ecclesiastical thinking, around ethnic differences proved to be an unusually helpful way of maintaining the centrality of the church for uprooted populations. fabric of the community by nurturing families as well as faith and by promoting

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23 16 In th e Colorado Diocese of the three national foreign language parishes designated as such in 1900, two were German and one was Polish. The Polish parish at Globeville in Denver faced a separatist movement by Slovenian and Croatian parishion ers who wanted the ir own church. B y 1920 they had succeeded, when Holy where it functioned for at in Pueblo was designa ted as a Slovenian parish through 1943. Established in 1891 for a as a German parish from 1895 until 1901, at which time St. Boniface was built spe cifically for Germans. In 1900 Colorado Bishop Nicholas C. Matz had deemed it Boniface, the Apostle of Germany, the church was placed under the care of the Benedictine Fathers. Built near Sant a Fe Avenue and Sixth Street on a hill overlooking sh. In Durango, Colorado, meanwhile, a second parish, Sacred Heart, was opened by the Theatine Fathers in 1906 for Italians and Mexicans who 1882. Additionally, three Colo rado parishes that served Italian Catholics bore the name of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and in both Denver and Pueblo the Mount Carmel parishes were staffed by Jesuit priests. 17

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24 Pueblo, with its multitude of ethnic groups, perfectly fit the national parish model. After the formation of the Pueblo Diocese in 1941, the new see city was described as of the Pueblo Daily Chieftain gave a contemporary history of the previous ten years: The gradual development of the city brought an increase of foreign Catholics who, owing to their language and other circumstances, felt as if they were debarred from the churches where the English speaking Catholics gathered. They were mainly Mexicans and Italians. It was thought necessary to attend to their particular wants, and the Rev. Father Gentile, S.J., allowed for a chapel to be constructed for their benefit, he, himself, furnishing the necessary funds. The chapel was built in August, 1884 on ten lots purchased by the same father in 1882, on Summit and Second Streets, and was dedicated to St. Joseph. In March 1899 the Apostolic Delegate to the United States, Archbishop Sebastian Martinelli, wrote to Bishop Matz about complaints he receiv ed from Italians in Pueblo that they were being spiritually neglected. The church that was built as a result was Our all the Italian societies in full uniform and by repr esentatives of other nationality groups Hispanos as speaking people began attending the new church mainly o disuse and was demolished Into the 1940s Mt. bbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania to come to Pueblo

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25 Slovenes, Germans, and Slovaks who were living in the Grove neighborhood on the broom factory was purchased, converted the cover page of the 1894 Baptismal R ecord: Three principal nationalities, Germans, Slovaks, Krainers, and also Croatians, held a meeting today concerning a new structure for church and school purpose. The members present of different nationalities expressed themselves to be perfectly s atisfied to stay together, enjoy equal rights, and take upon themselves equal obligations in erecting and keeping this structure. This building will be common to said nationalities although they may have afterwards churches of their own. Just as the in 1911. off. The ethnic Catholics of Pueblo, while faithful to their culture and church, entrance of the United States into World War I in 1917, the Germans, Slovenes, and Slovaks of Pueblo were openly insulted and abused due to their homelands fighting on various stood on the steps of the Pueblo courthouse and pledged his support and the support of his parishioners for the American war effort. 18

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26 As the twentieth century progressed, ethnic but their influence continued to be felt. Canon 216 of the New Code of Canon Law in 1918 forbade the formation of any new national parishes, and in the 1920s and 30s American Catholic leaders began to push the idea t hat national parishes should gradually be eliminated. The reality at the grassroots, however, was that ethnic parishes were still church was very much alive, and Cat holicism continued to be a religion rooted in diverse and second generation immigrants made up almost two still belonged to nation al parishes. In the W est, it was during this period that the number of ethnic parish es reached its zenith. In 1930 the Catholic Directory listed eleven national foreign language parishes for the Denver Diocese (which still included Pueblo). In the 1940s as industrialization and urbanization changed the demographics of the region, many ethnic parishes did in fact begin to lose their enclosed neighborhood character and, instead, became gathering places for members of a particular ethnic group now spread t hroughout a growing urban area. By 1944, in fact, all of the national foreign language parishes in the newly created Pueblo diocese had lost that specific designation. de facto ethnic parish. A 2011 Pueblo Chieftain retros pective on the parish reported : Although Italians dominated, the congregation from the beginning reflected the ethnic makeup of neighboring settlements Goat Hill, Peppersauce Bottoms, Bessemer, and the Grove, home to the church at 421 Clark St. There were plenty of Slavics and friendly rivalry between the Italian based Society of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Congr egacin de Nuestra Seora de Guadalupe. Both groups organized huge festivals, community meals

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27 and other events to raise money for the church. s peaking Catholics complained to the diocese that immigrant men were often forgiven for sins without proper penance, stemming from a linguistic misunderstanding when they confessed in rudimentary English and the priest did not understand what they were sayi ng. Others believed that members of ethnic allowed to eat meat on Fridays. In actuality, immigrants were oftentimes given the Friday dispensation because of the hard physical labor they did, or bec ause of the Bulla Cruciata a quirky side note of Papal history that will be looked at in a later chapter of this study. Still, the overall legacy of Pueblo was a positive one. They fostered a feeling of p lace an d community that helped with the psychological toll of immigration, while at the same time they facilitated a gradual assimilation into American cultural contri butions of et hnic Catholics enriched American culture, transforming it into something new. of parochial education and its contentious relationship with public schoo ls comprised another large piece of the weaving of a national American fabric. 19 The Church and Education Since they played such a large role in the lives of immigrant children, schools attracted the attentions of a number of interested parties. F or the church, the parochial public schools were the best way to foster American

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28 loyalty, teach English, and impart progressive, Protestant middle class mores; while for nativist anti Catholic groups principally the resurrected Ku Klux Klan the parochial Catholic puppet regime. Though their methods differed, both parochial an d public education was seen as the clearest path to assimilation into American society. The church supported school system was part of a broader Catholic social services network nt to the for the sick in hospitals, sheltered orphans, provided for the elderly, established settlement houses in cities, and operated many other institutions of socia Above all, however, the nuns were teachers: by 1900, there were over 3,800 Catholic itted to constructing education, however. Italian immigrants, perhaps reflecting the anticlericalism of their eir own schools or send their children to parochial schools when a state supported public school was readily educational system, immigrants from Italy had a predisposition towa rds state supported schools, and the y n Pueblo Italian immigrants, often out of necessity, sent their children to parochial school alongside other ethnic Catholic immigrant children. 20

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29 Th parish in 1885 at a cost of $10,000, with the high school following in 1887, and the corner of San Pedro and Guadalajara (now Routt and Michigan) in South Pueblo, St. with schoolers and 67 high schoolers. Tuition was $5 a year for children parish families and $1 per month for non parishioners. The Sisters of Charity were among a number of religious who were active in Pueblo at the time. Sisters from St. Franciscan School. The city even briefly boasted a Catholic college to complement its parochial grade and high schools. Bishop Matz, writing to the Cardinal Prefect of the Propaganda in January, 1903, felt that a college should be provided for the Catholic boys of Pueblo In his letter Dedicated on October 18, enrollment to match anticipated numbers, and closed in 1926, replaced by Holy Cross Abbey in nearby Caon City Catholic institutions sought to instill American middle class values, but on their own (Catholic) terms. In the 1920s, the Holy Family Nursery

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30 roaming the streets in want of everything and, most likely, would be learning lessons of Catholic institutions would lose that faith which is the only treasure they have inherited from their 21 In the 1920s a resurgent KKK believed that Rome was anxious to subvert the public school system in order to turn it into a vehicle for Catholic propaganda. Since the schools were essential to t conspicuous targets, and Catholics were though t I n the event of after t of nativism waned in influence, there was still the need for whether they were enrolled in parochial or public schools and for Catholic schools to prove their com mitment to teaching those same American values. In August 1916, after the secular Denver newspapers published comments criticizing Catholic schools as undemocratic, wrote a lett er that was printed in both the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Catholic Register In it, he defended the parochial school as a model of democratic ideal: e

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31 happens that the Catholic school system is the greatest safeguard that American liberty Pueblo Star Journal and Chieftain published an editorial favoring the restriction of federal funds to students of public schools, Father John C. publisher Frank S. Hoag that touched on the democratic theme in defense of Catholic schools, muc It is only in private schools that the tenets of religion and morality can be taught, and the preservation of religion and morality is our contribution to the stability of our democratic form of government leaders of our Church spring from the families of the working class and know its problems. 22 In Pueblo, Catholi c high school education evolved from the parish level to a larger centralized school as the city grew. Bishop Matz, speaking at a school dedication in Grand Junction, Colorado, in 1916, spoke of the educational progress that had been made, particularly in largest city, had seven Catholic schools with an enrollment of nearly fifteen hundred. The bishop mentioned that, although there had been discussion of a central Catholic high school i n Pueblo, he felt that it would not materialize, since the southern Colorado city, like Denver, was spread out over a large territory, making it almost impossible to select a location that would be convenient to all parts of the city. Nevertheless, the id ea did eventually come to fruition, aided in part by the development of automobile culture and refinement of the public transportation system, which reduced distance as a barrier to education, and Catholic schools grew citywide. By the 1944 1945 school ye

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32 1,085. As new parishes were founded in burgeoning areas of the ci ty and county, a parochial school was usually part of the plant design, like in 1948 when Father Charles A. Murray, S.J., pastor of Mount Carmel parish, converted surplus buildings purchased from the War Assets Administration into a new school plant at St. St. Joseph parish) in Blende, east of the city proper. Between 1942 and 1952, parochial school enrollment in the new Diocese of Pueblo increased eighty nine percent, from 3,226 to 6,130, of which 2,302 were in the city of Pueblo a lone. 23 In the 1940s the diocese kicked off a pledge drive for a new building for Pueblo Catholic High School. The Most Rev. Joseph C. Willging, first Bishop of Pueblo, published a letter in the April 3, 1944 edition of the Pueblo Catholic High School s tudent paper, The Tatler that excoriated public education and Catholics who might favor state run e ducation. The bishop wrote : Any Catholic who does not give active support to our High School proves the lack of proper Catholic education in the mission and spirit of the our new Pueblo Catholic High building? Just as soon as the Catholic population of Pueblo is converted to the realization of the imperative need of an adequate and modern school property, and is made more conscious of the supreme advantages of religious higher educations, and becomes less satisfied with the glamor (sic) of godless and paganistic education. The fundraising effort ultimately proved successful, an d the new Pueblo Catholic High was dedicated on May 3, 1951 in a ceremony attended by the Most Reverend Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, D.D., Apostolic Delegate to the United States. Speaking at the dedication, the Most Rev. Hubert M. Newell, Coadjutor Bishop of Cheyenne and former superintendent of schools for the State of Colorado, yet again tied in Catholic education

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33 his love for his country is second only to his love only to enjoy the privileges of government, but also to protect its interests from unjust like Catholic immigrants needed to prove their American loyalty, their church constantly strove to prove its own bona fides and show that the tenets of the faith were compatible with American egalitarianism and democracy. 24 Even though the new Pueblo Cath olic High building was touted as a good barometer of the strength of Catholic education, demographic changes and other societal forces were starting to signal the end of widespread Catholic education by the later twentieth century, resulting in a drastic r eduction in the number of Catholic schools school aged Catholic students attended one of the two public high schools, Central and Centennial, and this trend continu ed into the next two decades, until the Most Rev. Charles Buswell, second Bishop of Pueblo, closed all the Catholic schools in the city in 1971 due to declining enrollment and lack of financial sustainability. Thomas Noel has identified four factors in th e decline of the number of Catholic schools statewide in the 1960s and 70s. First, there was a drastic decline in the number of nuns (the lifeblood of parochial education) as fewer women joined religious orders in the post Vatican II church. Secondly, th e number of children per Catholic family declined, as Catholics adapted more closely to a suburban, nuclear family model. Fewer Catholic children equated to fewer potential Catholic school students. Additionally, as ethnic Catholics became better integra ted into the mainstream culture they developed a greater acceptance

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34 of public schools. Finally, the cost of education soared, making public school a financially attractive choice for working families. Despite its decline in influence, the Catholic educat ional system played a major role in acculturating Catholic immigrants and acceptance of the Roman Catholic Church as a viable religious institution, rather than one to be repe lled. By teaching its students that one could be both a good Catholic and a good American, the parochial school ultimately helped educate the American culture at large. 25 The Mainstreaming of the American Church The experience of what it has meant to be C atholic in America has changed with shifting social norms and cultural characteristics, but perhaps the largest factor in Catholic acceptance by the mainstream was simply the large numbers of Catholics moving to and living in the United States. By 1908 en ough Catholics had called the U.S. home that in June of that year Pope St. Pius X issued the Apostolic Constitution Sapienti Congilio equal footing with the European churches. By World War I there were over 16,000,000 Catholics in the United States, and Richard Linkh argues that Catholicism was already n church counted nearly 40,000,000 members, and the property holdings of major dioceses reached astronomical figures. The Between 1940 and 1997 the number of American Catholics grew 188%, so that by 1998 the 62,000,000 adherents comprised a

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35 larger group than the total population of either the United Kingdom or France. While anti Catholic views are still periodically express ed in certain evangelical churches, the open, public exhibition of xenophobic anti Catholicism prevalent in the past has 26 paralleled the growth of the church itself in the area. That is to say, although Catholicism was well established regionally, due to its roots under Spanish and Mexican ru le, the American Church in the W est preceded the influx of Catholic immigrants by a mere few decades. Unlike in the eastern United States, where cities were relatively long established and the Catholic Church had already formed parishes and clearly defined E piscopal jurisdictions, in the W est the church grew in tandem with the fledgling towns. Despite Catholicism being the ancient faith in the area, i t (the American church) functioned as a true frontier, missionary church, and it underwent its growing pains alongside the ethic immigrants themselves, taking on the multicultural characteri stics of its worshippers in the process.

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36 CHAPTER II I THE FRONTIER CHURCH: CATHOLICISM IN THE WEST Frederick Jackson Turner argued that the frontier transformed Americans. My investigation of one institution suggests the contrary: the wi lder and more remote the frontier, the more some people especially women how quickly Westerners installed the old traditions. Thomas J. Noel 27 church that had established a foothold in the region centuries before and had remained the major cultural constant for the a it was also a church that, under American jurisdiction, grew into maturity alongside the fledgling American frontier towns. Consequent ly, the Catholic Church in the W est was able to more quickly ada pt to changing demographic patterns and effectively incorporate the new immigrants into the American church. To be sure, there was strife between a U.S. church hierarchy from the East mainly French or Irish American and the ethnic immigrant n ewcomers after the church leadership attempted to impose an austere American model of Catholi cism in Colorado and New Mexico. T he immigrants were ultimately able to assert their place in th e church, however. Through organization and collaboration, and ai ded by decisions from the Vatican, Catholic immigrants succeeded in building ethnic parishes where they could practice their native faith within their own culture, while at the same time they participated in American society as workers in the U.S. economy, interacting with different cultures on a daily basis in factories, steel mills, smelters, warehouses, railroads, and mines. Immigrant children, influenced by American mass culture, brought the English language and an American

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37 outlook home to their parent s, and slowly over the years the faith of Catholic immigrants in even the most isolated ethnic parishes, and public education overtook parochial schools. This transformatio n of an old model of faith or the creation of a new model was not entirely one si ded, however. Rather, it was a give and take between the U.S. church and the ethnic Catholic immigrants, as many Old World practices (devotions to regional saints, festiv als, processions, etc.) found their way into American Catholicism day, illustrating the immigrant contribution to the Americ an religious and cultural landscape Spanish and Mexican Roots Roman Cath olicism was the first Christian faith to touch the shores of the New World, making landfall with Columbus in the late fifteenth century. Spanish and Portuguese explorers carried their Catholicism with them in their expeditions throughout the two American continents, and in the sixteenth century Spain established the administrative structures for the governance of her colonies. Likewise, Rome established vicariates and dioceses to administer to the needs to New World Catholics, and as Spanish explorations pushed northward into the area of present day New Mexico the church struggled to expend its resources in order to cover vast new areas of settlement. By the time the English pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, the Spanish had planted eleven churches in New Mexico. Fray Domingo de Anza, a Franciscan friar, is believed to have established the first mission in present day Colorado as part of the 1706 Juan de Ulibarri expedition. Ulibarri officially claimed what is now Colorado for King Phillip V, and de Anza founded a mission at El Quartelejo an Apache village thought to have been

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38 near the junction of Horse Creek and the Arkansas River, fifty miles east of the present site of the city of Pueblo. From the Ulibarri expedition until the 1803 Louisiana Purchase all the land south of the Arkansas River and west of the Rocky Mountains was considered made incursions into the region, and on November 15, 1806, Army lieutenant Zebulon Montgomery Pike, upon catching sight of the Rocky Mountains, wrote: t I could distinguish a mountain to our right, which appeared like a small cloud; when our party arrived on the hill they with some accord gave three cheers to the Mexican mountains. Throughout the Spanish colonial period and on through Mexican independence, Episcopal oversight of the northern frontier presented a challenge for the church. According to David Weber, the church failed to fully extend itself to the far north o bishops lived on the frontier under either Spain or Mexico and they presided over Texas and New Mexico from distant cities. New Mexico, in fact, fell under the Diocese of Durango, one t housand miles south of Santa Fe. region consisted largely of Spaniards, and throughout the 1820s the leadership was decimated after the archbishop of Mexico loyally return ed to Spain and other bishops followed his example. Compounding the problem, many elderly bishops died in office, and b y mid 1829 not a single bishop served in all of Mexico. For over a decade the Vatican refused to appoint new bishops to fill these va cancies, in part because the Pope sought to restore Mexico to Spain, and in fact he would not recognize Mexican independence until 1836. 28

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39 At the more intimate local level, priests for the frontier communities were similarly hard to come by. Spanish and M exican priests tended to avoid the isolation, hardship, danger, and low salaries of the northern periphery in favor of the more comfortable urban parishes of the Mexican core In the early 1800s, for example, over 1,000 priests served the single Mexican c ity of Puebla while fewer than eighty priests worked the northernmost provinces of Texas, New Mexico, and California, causing one Some of the priests who served on the frontier took full advantage of the absence of bishops and the lack of Episcopal supervision: foreigners traveling through New Spain to drink, gambling, and women, who fathered illegitimate children and indulged the Mexican 1851 and lifted the veil on bad cleri cal behavior, defrocking several priests who refused to change conduct that the bishop regarded as scandalous. Still, many of the early missionaries to the area acted out of genuine devotion to God, enduring hardships in an unforgiving desert landscape. Author Willa Cather, whose novel Death Comes for the Archbishop f the early frontier clergy : missionaries threw themselve s naked upon the hard heart of a country that was calculated to try the endurance of giants. They thirsted in its deserts, starved among its rocks, climbed up and down its terrible canyons on stone bruised feet, broke long fasts by unclean and repug nant food. Surely these endured Hunger Thirst Cold Nakedness of a kind beyond any conception St. Paul and his brethren could have had. Whatever the early Christians suffered, it all happened in that safe

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4 0 little Mediterranean world, amid the old m anners, the old landmarks. If they endured martyrdom, they died among their brethren, their relics were piously preserved, their names lived in the mouths of holy men. 29 After the American government took possession of the southwest, the Vatican reor ganized the territory for U.S. jurisdiction. In need of clergy for the vast new region, American bishops turned to Europe France in particular for priests, and in New Mexico both French and Italian clergy ministered to the nuevomexicanos The 1850 ap pointment of Frenchman Jean B. Lamy as Vicar Apostolic was indicative of an eastern people. In 1853 the New Mexico Vicariate (covering New Mexico and Arizona) was made a di ocese, and Father Lamy consecrated as its first bishop. French missionary h ad suffered under Spanish and Mexican governance. These newly arrived priests often government established civil control over the southwest, the American church tried to 30 The Colorado Church The town of San Luis became the first permanent settlement in what is now Colorado in 1851. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the 1848 peace agre ement that ended the Mexican American War, had ensured that the new U.S. citizens of the area could keep their own land, their culture, and their Catholicism, but after the 1858 discovery of gold near the confluence of Cherry Creek and the South Platte Riv er (the site of present

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41 newcomers, Archbishop Lamy selected the frail looking Frenchman Joseph Projectus Machebeuf who was assigned to a new parish in 1860 that comprised all of present day Colorado and Utah. After having served first at Albuquerque (1853 1858) and then Santa Fe (1858 1860) Father Machebeuf eventually logged over 100,000 miles on his mis sionary travels throughout what is now New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah, traveling in a wagon outfitted with a square canvas top so he could sleep inside. His carriage had a half curtain in front that could be let down in case of storms and a tailg ate that could be lowered and used as an altar. On an October 1860 journey from Santa Fe to the new town of Denver, Father Machebeuf, accompanied by Father Jean Baptiste Raverdy, stopped at Nuestra Seora de Guadalupe in Conejos, built in 1857, which beca me the first permanent Catholic Church in Colorado. 31 mountains over Taos, then over the Sangre de Cristo range, coming down to the Green Horn, St. Charles, and Pueblo. In what baptizing a few children. A 1906 Denver Catholic Register retrospective on this historic 1860 sojourn reinforces the Catholic century view of Mexicans: Father Machebeuf and Father Raverdy came to Pueblo on their way to minister to the Catholics of the Pikes Peak regions. Coming down the Greenhorn mountains, they reached the Arkansas River where Pu eblo now stands. They found here a few dilapidated adobe houses, inhabited by Mexicans, who were between civilization and barbarism.

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42 Raverdy headed back south on horse back, carrying with him vestments and sacred Archbishop Lamy realized that Colora do was growing too large for his jurisdiction, and on his recommendation Colorado and Utah were turned into one Vicariate Apostolic in 1868, with Father Machebeuf appointed as Vicar. Utah would be separated from Colorado in February 1871 and given over to the jurisdiction of the archbishop of San nineteenth century, growing from 34,277 in 1860 to 39,864 in 1870, to 194,327 in 1880, to 412,198 by 1890. Recognizing this gro wth, on August 16, 1887 Pope Leo XIII elevated the Vicariate of Colorado to the Diocese of Denver, with Bishop Machebeuf as its head. 32 The town of Pueblo similarly boomed in the 1870s and 80s. Emerging at first as arrival of the railroad and the establishment of a steelworks enabled Pueblo to quickly 1872, he assigned Father Charles M. P of nuns to the Colorado church, although mentioned in an earlier chapter, cannot be overlooked. Sisters opene d hospitals, schools, and orphanages, and lent an air of

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43 Colorado after the 1860s. The church p layed a vital role in tempering unrefined frontier culture somewhat. Thomas Noel credits it with introducing and liberal arts, culture, and morals at Curtis and 11 th Streets two parishes in the Pueblo area 33 The Frontier as an Idea (and an Ideal) fford wrote in the late now in American possession, was transformed in the eastern Pr otestant American mind into a land of incredible opportunity for economic success, social mobility, and a fresh start. In his 1934 American Memoir Saturday Review editor Henry Seidel Canby wrote that est and came back dependence, his sense of room at the top, and his mobility in the c lass order and in a frontier of expanding opportunities in the cities or in the West held the Protestant culture together. The ideal of the western frontier was always a mix of fact and fiction. There was, of course, money to be made out west, but it ne cessitated the right mix of demographic, cultural, and economic markers

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44 Protestant faith, male gender, and access to venture capital. For the Roman Catholic, Jew, immigrant, African American, Asian Amer ican, Native American, Hispanic, or wh est offered work opportunities but usually on a blue collar, manual labor level. Alan Trachtenberg calls the images and emotions conjured by the word West minerals served economic and ideological purposes, merging, he maintains, into a single complex image of the west the spatial site for revitalizing national ity, the W est proved indispensable to the formation of a cult ural mission to fill the frontier emptiness with civilization, by means of political and economic incorporation. Myth and exploitation went hand in han d. 34 where they could fulfill their religious duties and celebrate important events in th eir lives, a nd the harsh climate of Colorado and New Mexico often affected their religious outlook. Writing to Commonweal Willa Cather reflected on the diverse geography of New Hispanos lonely, sombre villages in the mountains the church decorations were sombre, the martyrdoms bloodier, the grief of the Virgin more agonized, the figure of Death more terrifying. In warm, gentle valleys everything about the churches was milder with the physical environment, economics played a part in shaping religious life. The boom and bust cycle of mining delayed stabilization of the population and, as Carol he region is

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45 retained a rural missionary character, which was only reinforced by ethnic immigrants who brought along a rural ethos from the old country, despite the fact that many national religious customs eventually succumbed to Americanization. Before World War I, Jensen reports, Catholics of recent European extraction were widely dispersed in the blo, Colorado, where, after some initial conflicts among themselves, they were gradually assimilated 35 As it grew in numbers, the Colorado church established schools, hospitals, orphanages, and newspapers to keep the f aithful engaged beyond the doors of their parish church. The first Catholic newspaper in the state, the Colorado Catholic started in November 1884, and on August 11, 1905 Bishop Nicholas C. Matz, second bishop of Colorado, sanctioned the first issue of t he Denver Catholic Register the official diocesan newspaper. Bishop Machebeuf had brought the Benedictines, the Franciscans, and the Jesuits into the diocese, while Bishop Matz added the Dominicans in 1889, the Redemptorists in 1894, the Servites in 1898 the Theatines in 1906, and the Vincentians in 1907. All of the various religious orders contributed to the success of the Catholic Church in Colorado through their hard work and dedication to their vows, and by Bishop ,000 Catholics in the state, served by 179 priests. state was home to 376, 832 Catholics. Despite its growth, at midcentury the Colorado church still struggled with including its largest ethnic group, the Mexicans, among its clergy. Pueblo Monsignor

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46 Pueblo diocese, writes of the 1962 death of 102 year old Father Joseph Samuel Garcia. Father Garcia, Stauter repor speaking background to work in Colorado between his own ordination in 1887 and the 1957 ordination of the Rev. Joseph Montoya. 36 osition in a borderlands region provided the setting for an interesting tangential topic that involved the intersection of Catholic practice, church administration, ethnic relations, nineteenth century diplomacy, and medieval European history (!) the top ic of the Bulla Cruciata The 1818 Adams Ons treaty between Spain and the United States had established the Arkansas River as the boundary line between Spanish territory and American claims. The land south of the river belonged to Spain and after 1821 to Mexico worldwide fell under the special privilege of eating meat on Fridays with a Papal b lessing. Pope Innocent III, in office from 1198 to 1216, granted the Bulla Cruciata h forces aiding the Pope in the Crusades, Innocent bestowed the privilege of eating meat on existed but also was to extend in perpetuum to any future territories they would As a 1940 Pueblo Star Journal & Sunday Chieftain article explained it: being within the old Spanish territory its Catholic inhabitants are to this day affected by the B of the Arkansas no longer is a Spanish possession, the church edict has

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47 of the 21,000 local Catholics living on the North Side must abide by fasting and abstinence rules. Hispanos and Gringoes used the privilege willy nilly since time immemorial and many an ordained or consecrated Gringo over the years had purposely put himself on the south side of the Arkansas River in order to eat steak or or football coaches often purposely scheduled Friday night games in southern Colorado towns like Walsenburg, Trinidad, Alamosa, and La Junta so that they and their teams could have cheeseburgers afterwards, saving northern road games against the Denver schools for other days. Stauter remembers that, after the cre ation of the Diocese of Pueblo, Bishop Willging sought to have the privilege revoked. The bishop made have the Bulla Cruciata Hispanos cannot get in line with the rest of the church, with us Germans, Italians, and Pius XII allowed the repeal, closing an odd but interesting chapter in intra church and inter ethnic relations. 37 Folk Religion struggled, as did immigrants nationwide, against an American Catholic hierarchy that often misunderstood their cultural religiosity and looked down on their rural faith pr actices as superstition. Mexicans and Italians kept holy certain feast days, some determined by the universal church and others by national traditions. They held filial and

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48 other social relationships sac red, like the Mexican compadrazgo vecinos (neighbors) predicated on serving as godparents to their commitments to their h eave nly intercessors the saints were considered sinful. While the priest s confess their sins and receive communion, and across the southwest a strong Hispanic tradition of home altars ( altarcitos ) and home chapels ( oratorios ) continued into the twentieth century. Usually built by the mothers in the family, altarcitos and oratorios were part of the omnipresence of religious symbols in the home, or what Gilberto t of the transferral of culture and religious values from one style of Catholicism that developed in the Mexican American home stressed sacramentals holy water, candles, rosaries, scapulars, medals, relics, and devotions like novenas and triduums. George Sanchez argues that this home based Catholicism was spurred in part by the inability of the church to provide enough priests or a Spanish liturgy. Mark Noll describes H ispanic Catholicism as existing on two levels, and quotes theologian Justo L. Catholicism has been torn between a hierarchical church which has generally represented and stood by t he powerful, and a more popular church, formed by the masses and led by 38 Death Comes for the Archbishop a conversation between Father Vaillant (a character based on Colorado Bishop Latour (a character based on New Mexico bishop Jean Lamy) highlights the

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49 flung areas of the diocese to minister to Mexicans and Indians, Father Vaillant tells the bishop of the native inhabitants of the region: They are full of devotion and faith, and it has nothing to feed upon but the most mistaken superstitions. They remember their prayers all wrong. They cannot read, a nd since there is no one to instruct them, how can they get it right? They are like seeds, full of germination but with no moisture. A mere contact is enough to make them a living part of the Church. The more I work with the Mexicans, the more I be lieve it was people like them our Saviour bore in mind when He said, Unless ye become as little children buried treasure; they guard it, but they do not know how to use it to their a prayer, a service, is all that is needed to set free those souls in bondage. The church did not understand the Hispanic spirituality that focused on the home and on community festivals more than on official ecclesiastical activities. A common expres sion soy catlico a mi manera elaborate outdoor neighborhood religious feasts with music, processions, and rich symbolism and a home eal of good Catholic behavior was not part of this tradition. 39 The church also initially spoke out against the cultural reliance on spiritual healers the curanderos or, more commonly, curanderas since the majority of folk medicine practitioners were women. Although priests preached against the curanderas the Mexican people nonetheless continued to avail themselves of healers and folk medicine. With the urbanization of the Hispano population in the twentieth century, the curandera

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50 tradition moved to eradicate them altogether without destroying the popular religiosity that inspired them, a For their part, the cura nderas never overtly attempted to turn the people away from Catholicism. If to Christ, the saints, or Mary into their folk remedies, which utilized herbs and plants adapted from Native American traditions. Still, the antagonisms between priest and curandera Bless Me, Ultima set in 1940s New powers of Ultima, a curandera who lives with his family. Traveling with Ultima to cure a man who has been embrujado (bewitched by an evil curse), Antonio learns firsthand of the tension between Catholicism and folk medicine: e covered him with fresh sheets. allow your grandfather to let me use my powers. The church was afraid t hat priest at El Puerto did not want the people to place much faith in the powers of la curandera He wanted the mercy and faith of the church to Would the magic of Ultima be stronger than all the powers of the saints and the Holy Mother Church? I wondered. Antonio, much like the Mexican / Hispano people at large, eventually merges the two systems, learning that the belief in folk medicine can be reconciled and coexist with the Catholic faith. Similarly, in the Italian immigrant community people likewise gave respect to older women who possessed knowledge of folk remedies. Robert Orsi, writing er women in the neighborhood had

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51 women sought out local healers to cure the m of a variety of ailments and for protection against curses. 40 The Italian religious sensibility, much like that of Mexicans and Hispanos had two tracks, with one based in the home. The world of the sacred was not only encountered inside a church buildi ng, it was also encountered and celebrated through the Italians was not the same as the official religion of the church, as Jay Dolan reports lar religion was a complex system of magical practices inherited from a pre This duality of religion one popular and one official explained the religious behavior of Italian immigrants. Like the whom religion was all pervasive, but at the same time their lukewarm attitude toward on popular religious activities and symbolism functioned as markers of cultural cohesion and solidarity. Sicilian immigrants to Pueblo, for example, introduced a tradition that carries on to the present day the Saint Joseph Day Table. Several centuries ago, a severe famine in Sicily had ravaged the land, and the peasant farmers appealed to St. Joseph by filling an altar with a precious resource American families fill home altars with a variety of foods o ftentimes foods with no meat since March 19 th usually falls during Lent and petition Saint Joseph for help for such things as illness, economic hardship, and the safe return of loved ones from war. the health and prosperity that may

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52 neighbors, who are welcome to partake of the food. In the 1940s, The Southern Colorado Register (the official diocesan newspaper of the P ueblo diocese) would list the addresses of families who had made St. Joseph tables. 41 Immigrants in the Frontier Church rivalries made his task all the more difficult. He auth groups towards their own Masses at a certain hour, or reserved the church basement for a particular nationality, and church sacraments were often administered by ethnic or language group. An 1883 Pueblo Daily Chieftain Spanish speaking people. The bishop was then called to baptize a Mexican child, and he learn English and as lacking disciplin e and training kept the church from recruiting Hispanic priests, and Msgr. Patrick Stauter asserts that a lot of the time in the Catholic speaking were given the same brand of treatment that was handed out to the Negro in th church lost Spanish Giovanni Batista Sca labrini founded an apostolic college in Piacenza, Italy, to train Italian priests to work with Italians abroad. In Pueblo, by the early 1900s the Grove

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53 chastising Italian wor shippers for taking up pew space that he felt belonged to legitimate You Dagos b o and civil matters. 42 In a 1945 Denver Catholic Register report on the 50 th within three blocks are possible in a city of seven churches has seemed strange enough to rate mention in Register also reported on the eventual It has been es inhabitants. This number does not include any of the dialects or ramifications of the mother tongues. With the pas sing of the years the caldron has simmered down so that linguistic difficulties are less prominent and nationalistic lines less marked. The present war has proved that the people are Americans, regardless of their mother tongues. Salt Creek, a Me xican settlement east of the city, had been the site of the Sagrada Familia chapel built in the 1890s, but by 1923 the congregation had outgrown the tiny

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54 chapel and a new mission church dedicated to the Sacred Heart was built. Priests from Mt. Carmel serv ed the mission, but by the 1940s it had itself become too small. The Sacred Heart mission was then replaced by a larger building which eventually became St. year 2000 In the mid 1940s Mt. Carmel priest Charles J. Murray, S.J., had question of a Mexican church. Father Murray explained that many Mexicans would wherein the religious customs, the national traditions, and the general spirit and religious feeling o f the Spanish 43 Many Mexicans belonged to Mt. Carmel, which began life in 1899 when Archbish op Sebastian Martinelli wrote to Bishop Matz to inform him of a complaint by the Italian people in Pueblo that they were being spiritually neglected. At the October s Mt. Carmel was held on June 5, 1904, with Bishop Matz administering the sacrament. The fundraising efforts to get the church built in the first place had played up the talians would receive. An edit orial in the Italian language newspaper explained : The erection of a church in our midst will have a dual purpose, ie. to awaken in your hearts the principles of that faith which sucked the milk

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55 of our mothers ( che succhiammo col latte delle nostre madri ) and at the same time suppress all those differences of parties, which weaken the of t he church) will give you a new and higher social prestige among the (remember the way) with which you were treated on the day of Confirmation in the church of the Germans, a fact w ell known. ( colla quale foste tratt ati il giorno della cresima nella chiesa dei Tedeschi, fatto a tutti ben noto and perseverance will crown the enterprise. ( il primo passo stato gi dato, la vostra generosit ) Pioneer Pueblo priest Charles M. Pinto, S.J., writing from El Paso, Texas, to itual progress in your group there in Pueblo your little Italian chapel ( la capella Italiana priests speaking slowly i n Spanish at the 10:00 a.m. masses for the Mexican community, utilized Mt. Carmel for both religious and patriotic festivals. They celebrated September 16 th of the Mexican nat December 12 th feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe by listening to the priest deliver a sermon 44 Wh ile Catholic immigrant groups made great strides in building their ethnic parishes and keeping their culture intact, the 1910s and 20s witnessed a ratcheting up of nativist sentiment. In the San Luis Valley town of Alamosa Mexican children continued to be

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56 1920s a resurgent Ku Klux Klan had added Roman Catholics, immigrants, and Jews to Afri can Americans on their enemies list. In publications like The Fiery Cross The Kourier The American Standard Dawn and The Imperial Night Hawk the Klan the priest rgin Protestant America, the Klan believed, they would end the separation of church and state, ban the Bible, and destroy the freedoms of press, speech, and religion. message in Pueblo found a willing audience in part because of the multiethnic roots of 45 The Pueblo Church Takes Shape The Pueblo parish, established in June 1872, comprised the counties of Pueblo, Fremont, Bent, and parts S.J., arrived by train to find himself nulla domus nullum sacellum nulla pecunia building, dedicated to S t. Ignatius of Loyola, was erected on the corner of West and Thirteenth Streets, but initially average attendance at Sunday Mass was not more than performed by the Ita lian Father Pinto was for a Mexican child, Anastacia Aragon, daughter of Pabritio and Incarnata Aragon. In 1875, Father Pinto was succeeded by another Italian Jesuit, Rev. Francis N. Gubitori, but the Italian priests rubbed some of the

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57 atholics the wrong way. By 1887 St. Ignatius was transferred from fledgling Pueblo church established a hospita l and orphanage in reflection of its Hospital in a boarding house in the Grove in 1881, which was moved to a brick building on the corner of Gra nt and Quincy fifteen months later. Sacred Heart Orphanage, opened by the Wheaton (Illinois) Franciscan Sisters in 1903 (with the help of donations and publicity from Captain John J. Lambert, editor of the Pueblo Chieftain ), cared for Catholic children an d had an average yearly occupancy of between 150 and 160, even McClelland Home, while African American children found refuge at the Lincoln Home. Just as religion and ethnici organized their blocks so that even death did not cause an in termingling of disparate groups. Protestant graves were to the left of the main entrance, while Catholic graves were on the right, as after Cemetery west of town (the present day Imperial Memorial Gardens ) was touted as a new Catholic cemetery On November 5, 1948 the bishop celebrated an outdoor Mass in the Resurrection section of Valhalla, blessing a marble statue of the glorified Christ. 46 By 1941 Colorado had grown to the extent that Pope Pius XII split the Denver diocese, which encompasse d the entire state, into two dioceses. Pueblo was chosen as the Episcopal seat of the newly created Diocese of Pueblo, covering thirty southern Colorado

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58 counties, while Denver was elevated to an archdiocese, covering thirty three northern Colorado countie s. Reporting on the new southern diocese, The Denver Catholic Register wrote : The new Diocese of Pueblo contains territory rich in the romantic by the Spanish conquistadores, who had pri ests in their parties. Thus, the new diocese can lay claim to priority in the celebration of Mass Pueblo, it was an organized town. The only Catholics he found were Mexicans, for whom he offered mass. fifth of the total population of 360,000 in the area covered by the diocese. Eighty four priests (40 dioc esan and 44 77,000 Catholics were guided by 219 priests (122 diocesan and 97 religious), or more than 2 times more priests than the 78,000 original Catholics had grown to just under 90, 000. For a few years after the Denver Catholic Register contained one ful l page dedicated to news and events of southern Colorado, but in 1945 Pueblo Bishop Willging eventually authorized the creation of the Southern Colorado Register the Puebl o 47 The Pueblo church confronted ethnic and religious discrimination against its Murray, S.J., Pastor of Mt. Carmel Parish, sought to help his parishioners purchase their ialization, Italian and Mexican

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59 laborers had settled into ethnic neighborhoods like Goat Hill (or Smelter Hill), Peppersauce Bottoms, and Salt Creek, building homes on land to which they legally had a tenuous claim at best. As quasi legal squatters, the i mmigrant homeowners often fell behind on their property tax payments. As Msg unning gringos and maybe others who were not gringos acquired titles to these lands by watching the lists of delinquent tax payers published in the clear titles, the squatters had no recourse except to pay the demanded amount or face eviction. moneda was badly conceived the idea of the Mount Carmel Credit Union, which started in December 1942 The credit union had assets of 333 members with $53,000, of which $43,000 was loaned rship and peace of mind by reported on its success: Sponsored by the Catholic Church, the movement already has made it possible for more than 300 Mexican famil ies to buy their own homes and thus emerge from a near feudal system under which they have existed for more than half a century. When a black Cuban psychiatrist wanted to borrow some money in order to purchase a out by the banking and real estate powers of o had grown to $94,245 by 1950 $90, 712 of which was out on loans and it had helped 400 families own their homes. By 1952 it had 1,296 members and $252,734 which grew in five years to 4,249 members and $1,866,229 in 1957. 48

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60 After the Pueblo church became a diocese, it continued its outre ach to the Hispanic community. The Santo Nio Well Baby clinic was established in 1948 in Blende / Salt Creek in a building that later became part of St. Joseph parish. Hispanic mothers could bring their infants in for medical care provided by nurses fro m the county health department. In 1946 the diocese had purchased the Tabor Lutheran Church the Hispanos Murray involved in both projects. A May 1950 issue of the Southern Colorado Register reported day meeting to discuss problems peculiar to the Spanish ew diocese continued to be strong. There were 4,707 students in diocesan schools in 1945, and by could also boast of a Congressional Medal of Honor winner among thei r alumni, as a 1947 Pueblo Catholic High graduate was awarded the Medal in 1953. Murphy was one of four Puebloans who ultimately earned the official Pueblo motto. 49 The Catholic C hurch in the American W est functioned as a true frontier church, growing in tandem with the new towns that sprung up seemingly overnight. Because of its Spanish and Mexican roots in the area, Roman Cathol icism was the first Christian faith to penetrate this vast geographic region. After the territory was acquired by the United States, however, the established church hierarchy in the east began the process of eri

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61 eastern and western outlooks. Disdainful of but eventually acquiescent to religious practices of the Hispano and Mexican in habitant s of the W est, the American the fold B y sanctioning the formation of national parishes and allowing culturally specific celeb rations and religious devotions, the church facilitated assimilation, and t he immigrants themselves ultimately asserted control over their own ethnic identity formation, incorporating their Catholic faith into their new American citizenship. The church in the West succeeded in keeping it s members by incorporating an older Mexican and Spanish Catholicism into a new American infrastructure, and a gainst the backdrop of an industrial, multiethnic frontier city like Pueblo, the process was all the more striking. Spurred by the economics of in dustrial growth and development in the western land of of a new American iden tity.

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62 CHAPTER IV THE PITTSBURG OF THE WEST Situated at the foot of the great passes, through the continental range of the Rocky Mountains, at the western terminus of the Missouri Pacific Railway, lies the City of Pueblo, Colorado, now fa miliarly styled the The geographical location of Pue blo makes it the natural gateway from the East to the Pacific Coast, for nowhere between Wyoming on the north and New Mexico on the south, for a distance of nearly si x hundred miles, is there such a natural passageway around the Arkansas Valley of Colorado her people could live without any assistance from the outside world, and would in a fe w years be the richest on earth, that they could absolutely revel in luxury on the products of their land and factories. Colorado abstract of a 24 page booklet e Colorado, The Pittsburg of the 50 Pueblo continues into the present day as a multicultural, multiethnic, almost f ounding in the mid nineteenth century in a borderlands region, on a river that had functioned as an international boundary line just a few years before, set the tone for the hened by the rapid industrialization of the 1870s, contributed to the formation of new ethnic ncountered religious discrimination from the Protestant power elite B ut unlike towns where an established, culturally homogeneous population suddenly absorbed large numbers of fferent cultures, languages, and religions comprising its population put down roots at roughly the same time. In the nineteenth century, eastern business interests, by touting Pueblo as the

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63 s front range in large environment for an intermingling of ideas and attitudes, and exposu re to different cultures Corporations like the Colorado Fuel & Iron (CF&I), under t he guise of corporate paternalism, established internal sociological departments that strove to make industrial tradition ensured that place was as equally important as t ime in playing a part in ethnic identity formation. A pueblo on the Borderland The area where present day Pueblo sits, along with southern Colorado in general, shares a common culture with northern New Mexico, as both were explored by the Spanish before t hey were part of the United States. After crossing the Rio Grande de San Francisco (the Arkansas River) about fifteen miles from the site of present day Pueblo on his 1706 expedition, Juan de Ulibarr described the newly encountered land thusly: The plai n on our side is a strand of a long league of level land and extremely fertile as is shown by the many plums, cherries, and wild grapes New Spain. After the establishment of a Spanish colony in New Mexico, Anglo traders and trappers, strange and fascinati ng customs. Even the climate was new The Pueblo area, due to historical events like the Louisiana Purchase, the Adams Hidalgo, has been claimed by a number of national and territorial governments, landing

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64 under the flags of Spain, France, Mexico, New Mexico, Louisiana, Kansas, and even Texas at one time or another. Before that, nine different Indian tribes the Aztecs, Toltecs, Kiowas, Comanches Navajos, Utes, Apaches, Arapahoes, and Cheyennes had claimed it at various times. Fort Pueblo, built on the American side of the Arkansas River in 1842, took advantage of both the American and Mexican markets, and was no stranger to functioning as a m ulticultural, multiethnic meeting place. 51 Beckwourth, who had at one time been a war chief of the Crow Indians. Writing in his autobiography of the October 1842 construction of the fort, Beckwourth reported e all united our labors, and constructed an adobe fort 60 yards square. By the following July, 1843, Lieutenant John C. Fremont, on his second expedition, came down Fountain pueblo their civilized Indian villages) where a number of mountaineers who have married Spanish women in the Valley of Taos had co They were principally Mexican inhabitants. Francis Parkman, an 1846 visitor to El Pueblo wrote: It was a wretched species of fort, of most primitive construction, being nothing more than a large square enclosure, surrounded by a wall of adobe, miserably cracked and dilapi their broad hats, and their vile faces overgrown with hair, were lounging about the bank of the river in front of it. They disappeared as they saw us approach.

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65 Fort Pueblo would survive a Christmas 1854 attac k by Ute Indians, and by the time of Father Macheb building s were being erected and streets mapped out. Pueblo became the seat of the newly created Pueblo County when the 1861 1862 nteen counties. Pueblo County included everything from Fremont County eastward to the Kansas line and from El Paso The Colorado Chieftain began publication on June 1, 1868, becoming a daily four year s later and changing its name to The Pueblo Chieftain Rocky Mountain News folded in 2009. The town of Pueblo was officially incorporated on March 22, 1870. 52 After the westward, General William Jackson Palmer, who built the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, established a new town south of the Arkansas River and placed the railroad station there so his company co uld sell building lots. The town, South Pueblo, was i ncorporated on October 27, 1873 and included streets nam ed after Mexican cities and other Spanish names Between Pueblo and South Pueblo a third town Central Pueblo was incorporated on June 21, 188 2, and three months later a fourth town, Bessemer, was organized to the south of South Pueblo and incorporated. An act of the State General Assembly combined Pueblo, South Pueblo, and Central Pueblo into the City of Pueblo on April 10, 1886, and Bessemer merged into the city in 1894. Palmer believed that his plan for industrialization would energize the W Thomas Andrews argu

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66 and prepare them by a gr adual process for coming to the inner temple of Americanism A newly displaced and the 53 Turning Pueblo i deposits, ready access to water (the Arkansas River and Fountain Creek ) in an arid land, and its relative proximity to the capital city of Denver made it an ideal stop for railroad first as a result of the smelting of metals like gold, si lver, copper, and lead mined near the headwaters of the Arkansas and sustained by an integrated iron and steel industry that exploited nearby coal, iron ore, and limestone. The city transformed from an agricultural trading center to an example of frontier industrialization. In 1878 the firm of Mather and Geist selected Pueblo for a new location for a smelter, since coal, limestone, iron ore, lead, and silver and gold ores were in abundance in the surrounding mountains and it was a downhill pull from all d irections to Pueblo. General Palmer and Dr. William Bell decided to build a steelworks at South Pueblo to provide a steady supply of rails for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, and on January 23, 1880, three subsidiary companies merged into the Colorado Coal and Iron Company. The first blast furnace, christened 5, 1881, and the steelworks were put into operation by April 12, 1882, as the first steel

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67 rails produced west of the Mississippi were rolled. The 1892 merger of Colorado Coal corporation in the western United States, Colorado Fuel & Iron (CF&I). The new company established Pueblo operate into the present day, albeit after undergoing multiple ownership and name some sense of its imprint on Colorado history: it possessed over $13 million in authorized capital, had 7,050 employees, owned in excess of 77,000 acres of farming, town building, grazing, iron mining, and oil bearing land, owned an additional 71,837 acres of coal land containing an estimated four hundred million tons of fuel, operated fourteen coal mines, and had a share in fuel and steel markets that sprawled from Kansas to the Pacific and from Canada to Mexico. 54 e. An electric street railway system was in operation by 1889, a few years ahead of such cities as San Francisco, Chicago, and New Orleans. By 1894, the Philadelphia Smelting and Refining Company (controlled by Meyer Guggenheim and sons) had its works in Pueblo, with general offices in Denver. The Eilers Smelter was built in 1887, and the United States Zinc Co. smelter was located in Blende, east of the city proper. Many smelting jobs were immigrant group, and the numerous smelters and steelworks attracted large numbers of immigrant labor, both from Europe and Mexico, joined by Hispano migration from New Mexico. er the next fifty years, dramatically altering the demographics of northern New Mexico villages. Geographer

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68 Richard Nostrand reports that, for example, by 1956, of the twenty six permanent families that had been present in the village of El Cerrito, NM, i n 1940, four fifths of them had moved to Pueblo. This fit into a general pattern regarding Mexican Americans. Whereas earlier land had been the basis of the economy, after the 1848 American their land and displaced from their traditional pastoral economy, most Mexican Americans were forced into the unskilled labor market of the new, expanding American Hi spanos was to move to cities like Pueblo (and Denver) for work. 55 Most of the early immigrants were men, who worked to save enough money to either send for their families or worked until they had enough money to quit and go back home. Bet ween 1908 and 19 23 close to sixty percent of all Italians who came to the United States eventually returned home. In 1908 alone, returnees outnumbered immigrants by almost tw o to one. For those who stayed or those who finally set down roots on their second or third trip their positions in the industrial market economy created an opportunity to partake of American institut ions like banks. Word of mouth or the g ood word of a fellow countryman could often overcome ethnic resistance to entrusting their meager earnings to a

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69 beginnings of their ethnic identity formation w ere in place. The Christmas 1919 edition of The Denver Catholic Register claimed, commercial center of that region between the M The immigrants. 56 The Immigrants Build a New Pueblo born residents as hailing from Ireland, Cana da, Prussia, England, Bavaria, Mexico, Switzerland, Poland, Hesse, Baden, France, Wurtenburg, Hanover, Russia, Darnstadt, Austria, Bohemia, Denmark, Sweden, Nova Scotia, and Saxony The route that many immigrants followed from Europe to Pueblo took them p rapid industrialization in the 18 70s drew large numbers of laborers from the newly unified Italy and ethnic Slovenes from the Austrian Empire. According to Joanne Dodds, an esti mated ninety percent of the young men from the Italian village of Lucca Sicula, for example, ended up in Pueblo, represented today by prominent family names like Bacino, Cardinale, Genova, Musso, Pagano, and Parlapiano. Slovenes from Carniola, Slovenia, S tyria, Dalmatia, and Croatia immigrated to the eastern United States, where many continue d on westward, lured by agents from the Pueblo Board of Trade advertising jobs. Ignac (Jim) Pugelj (Pugel) was a typical case: entering the country through Ellis Isl and at 19 years of age, he was living in Cleveland when his priest informed him about available Pueblo after a four in the 1880s

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70 and 90s, Slovenian language newspapers like Mir (Peace), Koloradske Novice (Colorado News), Slovenski Narod (Slovenian Nation), and Glas Svobode (Voice of Freedom) kept Slovene immigrants connected to both their new homeland and the old countr ies, and by 1891 approximately three hundred Slovenians were living in Pueblo. 57 Slovenians, along with some other Slavic groups, were called Bojons There are vene men were named John and upon ar rival in Pueblo many dressed in their finest clothes to apply for work at the smelters or the steelworks. The name John and the bow tie were combined to describe the men as Bojons A m ore plausible theory holds that traveling to Paris by train on the fir st leg of the long journey to the United States, Slovenians overheard Parisians Quels beaux gens hen questioned about their nationality upon arriving at Ellis Island instead of declaring themselves to be subjects of the hated emperor Franz Joseph beaux gens transliterated by immigration officials to Bojons Unlike most ethnic or racially specific slang monikers, Bojon is not usually considered offensive by the people the term desc christened Bojon town ma itivity to 58

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71 with an additional seventeen percent in the second generation. Many settled in heavily eastern European Bessemer just west of the CF&I steelworks, the Grove district near the walls. And outsi Italians, lived in Salt Cre ek east of town or on Goat Hill from Ash S treet to the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway, west to Summit Street by native born Puebloans t o be self imposed barriers to assimilation, and a Pueblo grand jury reported o Wine not fit in with the Protestant, Progressive ethos of the temperance movement. Rites of life passage ceremonies like baptisms, marriages, and funerals also continued in Pueblo much as they had in the old country. A typical Catholic funeral, for example, started with the procession from the home, where the deceased had been lying i n state, to the church for Mass. After the funeral Mass the deceased was taken to the cemetery for the final blessing and burial in a hand dug grave (the digging having been done by family, friends, and neighbors). 59

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72 Between 1900 and 1920 over th ree milli on Italians emigrated to the United States, with about one third coming from agricultural jobs ( such as farming and shepherding ), another third were unskilled laborers employed in the construction industry, and the remaining group consisted of skilled work ers like masons, carpenters, and tailors. While County for farming, and Italian American families like the Mussos, Mauros, DiSantis, and DiTomasos still farm the la found work in the smelters, steelworks, and factories. In the 1870 Census no Italians were listed in Pueblo County, and the 1880 Census only recorded five. By 1885, ation had grown to 140, and by 1900 there were 761. The unpublished memoirs of Antonio DiSipio (1909 1967), transcribed by his daughter Pauline, illustrate the immigrant experience. Migrating from the village of Civitella Messer Raimondo, province of Chi eti, region of Abruzzi, DiSipio wrote that: When my Papa left Philadelphia, after he became an American citizen, because he had a lot of family ( famiglia ) and friends ( paisani ). There were Catholic Godparents, Godchildren, and Baptism and Confirmation Sponsors. Much like the history of bojon the mythologies surrounding the origin of the derisive Italian American descriptors wop and dago are largely speculative. Wop is believed to st have passports but could simply enter the United States. Dago hat dago referred to the before sunrise to after sunset schedules they worked. The day had gone,

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73 prohibitive, preventing the first American born Italian generation from maki ng the trip to visit far flung family back home, further loosening the link to Italy and facilitating their Americanization. A second generation Pueblo Italian, listening to her Italian born father speak of his twenty five day ocean sojourn, told him replied to the request : 60 driving force in creating a monument to a source of ethnic pride that brought together Siciliano Calabrese Abruzzeze and others under an umbrella of Italian nationalist sentiment Christopher Columbus. Pueblo Italian American Hector Chiariglione had been elected president of the Columbian Federation in 1896, and th national convention was held in Pueblo. The Pueblo Columbus monument, the first of its kind west of the Mississippi River, was unveiled on Abriendo Avenue on Thursday, October 12, 1905. The parade that accompanied the unveiling was an exam ple of multiethnic cooperation, with Italian organizations like the Fedelta Italiana Society of Pueblo joined by Mexican fraternals like La Unione Mexicana and the Benevolent der a Spanish flag. State Senator Casimero Barela, a Hispano from Trinidad whose family traced their presence in the area back to the days of New Spain, spoke to the assembled with Adams, who asked the crowd if they wanted him to speak in English, Spanish, or Italian, S The efforts of the Columbus movement

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74 came to fruition in 1907, when Colorado became the first state in the nation to make Columbus Day a state holiday. 61 The 1920s: Floods, Nativism, and the Klan What Ralph when the Arkansas River overran its banks after heavy rainfall and flooded the lowlands of downtown and the Grove. The water reached a depth of 20 feet, 4 inches in some places, causing o ver 100 deaths (though other estimates range upwards of 1,000) and over $20 million in property damage. Aside from the damage in the Grove, the floodwaters also covered other immigrant neighborhoods like Peppersauce Bottoms and Little Italy. Many bridges were washed out, railroad tracks were torn and twisted, over 700 homes were destroyed, and dead animals rotted in the mud filled streets. Matjaz with the smell of burning tar, wood, and other flammable materials caused by natural gas Oliver H. Shoup proclaimed martial law in the city on June 5 th Searchers found over 400 animals that had dr owned along the St. Charles Mesa in eastern Pueblo County. Many Slovenian homes in the Grove were destroyed, and enough Slovene families decided to relocate to the mesas above the river, in Bessemer just north of the CF&I steelworks, to Boj on town unbowed. In a September 1, 1921 letter to the editor of The Denver Catholic Register a Charles M.

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75 new maintained. 62 The rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan and the surge in anti immigrant sentiment Catho lic immigrants were targeted twice over, both for their racial pedigree and for their religion. According to Robert Goldberg, the Klan had secretly arrived in 1922 and 43, Americans comprised just 3.2 percent of the attack that the pope had ordered the construction of the Holy Cross Abbey in Caon City to be his summ er residence and a base from which to infiltrate Protestant America. One third (like the Irish, French Canadians, Germans, and English) were p art of that Catholic thir d. T therefore, coupling of certain elements in the foreign born community to the breakdown of law and ten men were killed in the Italian neighborhoods, c prohibition squad also received death threats signed with the blackhand symbol.

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76 Ra mpant and overt bootlegging, unsolved murders, and crime presented itself as an instrument of justice, able to succeed where law enforcement had failed. 63 During 1923 the Pueblo Klan gathered strength and proudly displayed it. In May more than 1,000 uniformed Klansmen burned a forty north side. In June the Pueblo Klavern hosted a meeting of Denver, Aguilar, La J unta, and other Colorado Klansmen, and an estimated 3,200 KKK members assembled in a field north of the city. During the winter Klansmen were compelled to meet in the International Order of Odd Fellows Building at Seventh Street and Grand Avenue, and the T.C. Collister of the Northern Avenue Methodist Church and the Reverend George Lowe of t he Eastside Baptist Church, who served as the local Catholic than anti immigrant per se like 1925 Pueblo Municipal election, the Klan won control of the city government by electing two Klansmen to the city commission, and the group presented a positive public relations face to the people, distributing Christmas food baskets to hundreds of needy Pu eblo families. By the late 1920s, however, the Pueblo Klan suffered a rapid decline, as its main reason for existing had been brought under control, ironically enough due in part to Klansmen who had been elected to office on law and order platforms. In October 1926 Chief of Police J. Arthur Grady proclaimed the end of

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77 successes or bored by its inactivity. Goldberg writes that the P make the transition from crime fighter to ordinary fraternal l odge, disappeared from the he 1930 City Directory however, 64 The CF&I Sociological Department and Corporate Paternalism steelworks attracted thousands of immigrant laborers, where the workers were exposed daily to a number of different cultures, languages, and religions. Th us, the CF&I played environment for the forging of new ethnic identities. Early on, however, there is scant ndustrial firms spent focal points of corporate paternalism that would characterize Progressive era corporate welfare and social work by the early 1900s. American busine sses, as manifestations of the Protestant work ethic, self overtly antagonistic to the newly arrived hordes of (mostly Catholic) immigrants who entered the United States between the 1880s and 1920s. White collar occupations were seen as a path to upward mobility, but prerequisites like a solid foundation in the English language and literacy meant that for most immigrants, even the ones that had been white collar or skilled in the old country, the only optio n was blue collar manual labor. The desire for upward mobility caused many immigrants to strive to educate themselves in English, and Olivier Zunz asserts t hat securing skilled labor work

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78 assimilation, for the rules were set entirely b American citizenship, and heterogeneous ethnic neighborhoods exacerbated the problem nship. The solution was paternalistic corporate practices like building sc hools where immigrant children would be taught camps fit in perfectly with this concept, allowing 65 In 1901 CF&I established an internal Sociological Department, under the direction of Dr. Richard Corwin, to coordinate its paternalist goals. Dr. Corwin and other welfare capitalists believed that projects like company towns could, as Thomas Andrews into better citizens more content with their work. ical staff, like their counterparts back east, investigated every aspect of the immigrant lifestyle and found it inferior to the middle for example, did not hide their feelings of condescen sion toward the blue collar workforce. One of the investigators, George Brown, reminisced that the assembly line know what a bathtub was, a lot of the foreign element from Europe. Those Americanized them. their findings in Camp an d Plant e clannishness of these people [Mexicans] however

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79 their unwillingness either to be interfered with or to interfere with, or to inquire into the doings of other s not of their own race made working smelter laborers, but with enough criminals among area, Salt Creek, podge settlement of about 2,500 Spanish Still, the company often made upcoming October 1915 Colorado visit was printed in English, Spanish, Italian, and Slovenian in The CF&I Industrial Bulletin the successor to Camp and Plant as was War II, Hispanics had become the employee majority, and the CF&I Blast the successor to the Industr ial Bulletin contained articles written in Spanish. 66 The company sociologists, with their Progressive reliance on their role as 1903 article traces the roots of the pr oblem back to the Moorish conquest of southern El Cinico ) maintained

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80 Es la voluntad de Dios t learn a lesson from these simple people in the future. For this reason w scientific racialism of the An American does not like the tortillas of the Mexican, nor does the Mexic an like the ammonia and alum bread of the American. In French, Spanish, Italian, and the other Latin tongues the equivalent of the word the Mexicans is what we may call primitive, th e adobe oven serving for Northern people is more energetic than a Southern race, and that the master minds who have established the great enterprises on the former American desert were n ot fatalists and have not worn the shackles of the patriarchal system, but have felt, as a heritage from their Teutonic ancestors, that they were individual thinking beings. Half hearted compliments were extended to other racial groups as well. A 1902 article on company Reporting on how many Japanese notified their superintendents that they woul d leave unless they were furnished with baths, the author proclaimed, blessing if some of our so called Christians in cities could come as near being next to Godliness as the so 67 The CF&I sociologists made it very clear that their mission was to Americanize the immigrants. A 1902 Camp and Plant article explained that the steelworks employed

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81 aggr Bohemians, Poles, Russians, Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, Dutch, German and French, and m any more. It has been estimated that twenty seven different languages, to say assoc iate with Mexicans, Italians with Italians, English speaking with English speaking, ns were held up as an example of inter ethnic struggles, as convalescing Italian patients at the ople are remarkably peaceable and law sponsored kindergartens as an effective acculturation force. The comp any experts wrote : Taking the child at from three to six years, before it has had time to develop ugly habits and a cramped character, and while it is still susceptible to every to give its development towards a strong, refined, shapely character a momentum which will carry it sa fely over obstacles that may be placed in exchange of languages. English speaking children usually learn the language of the most numerous foreign type, usually Italian or Mex ican, while the foreigners acquire English.

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82 The sociological department also took notice of a Catholic kindergarten in the Grove, CF&I was the major econo mic force in Pueblo for decades, and the workforce. Their studies, in turn, gave the English speaking employees a glimpse (however biased) of the new cultures setting do wn roots in Pueblo. 68 The Immigrants Find Their Voice language media like newspapers and radio programs that kept their compatriots informed about news and events back home, but also served as a bridge to Americ anization by providing U.S. and local news. On Sunday, August 28, 1949 the first radio broadcast of the Slovenian Hour took place on called Music from Italy aired on Sundays, with Ciro DiMeglio playing Italian records and speaking in Italian. A November 1950 Pueblo Chieftain article reported on three new candidates for a vacancy on City Council: John Butkovich (a Slovene), Joseph Occhiato (an Italian), and Manuel Diaz (a Mex ican) a sign that the immigrants groups were were still uncomfortable, however, with large numbers of ethnics living in their midst, even if only temporarily. An April 1945 Pueblo Star Journal article on the War quarter several hundred Mexican nationals imported because of wartime labor shortages at the Colorado State Fairgrounds reported on the bitter opposition to the plan by ne ighborhood residents. Five petitions were being

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83 their mark on the town and playe d a large part in creating the culture of the present day city. A 1906 Denver Catholic Register article on Pueblo maintained : Pueblo is a Catholic city, because to support these churches (the ethnic parishes) there must be people, and out of a populatio n, say of 70,000 other institutions that cities much larger do not possess. There are her parochial schools, her orphan asylum, and academies and college, and who will say that Puebl o is not becoming a great city? Great cities, as well as great things, are not built in a minute. It takes time, and those who have faith in the progress of Pueblo are working with mighty endeavors to make this beautiful southern city worthy of a p rominent place on the map. The ethnic Catholics who made Pueblo their home were certainly part of the efforts to 69 Monsignor Patrick Stauter, upon hearing of his pastoral assignment to Pueblo, r eflected that the railroaders he had worked with before entering the seminary did not hold the city in great esteem. Additionally, priests who were transferred from Denver to 17 years later Stauter was thankful that the Steel City had been so good to me and its Catholic people at least were comprised of a large number of immigrants, reflected the working class ethos of their church, their ethnic groups, and their neighborhoods. Life in the immigrant sectors of the city centered around family, neighbors, friends, co workers, and mu tual aid. immigrants lived through many of the same tensions experienced by immigrants in the East, but the frontier Catholicism they found in the West, built on a more ancient faith, gave the region a distinct character. Against the backdrop of

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84 and ethnic Catholics made a life for themselves in the new country Reflecting the various tensions of the time (Catholic Catholic West, and e ven inter ethnic and intra ethnic strife), the immigrants in the city joined longer established citizens in pursing the American dream. 70

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85 CHAPTER V THE CATHOLIC IMMIGRANTS OF PUEBLO Self Italian) organized crime, Pueblo grew into its role as a multiethnic melting pot. Its Catholic immigrants had battled against crude stereotype s and both racial and religious discrimination from an established American culture. T heir experiences were certainly not unique, since these issues and culture clashes occurred in regions all over the country, but t he Pueblo expe rience was exacerbated by est, where housing and other resources were scarce. As immigrant groups struggled to establish living quarters, they settled near their compatriots, creating ethnic enclaves within larger neighborhoods, and some entrepreneurs among their numbers opened small grocery stores, providing native foods that reminded the immigrants of back home. Stores, newspapers, music, radio, schools, churches, fraternal clubs, mutual aid societies, and other social organizations were ways that im migrant groups asserted a semblance of control over their lives and established a place for themselves in the evolving American society. Inter Ethnic Strife For immigrant and migrant groups striving to Americanize and gain acceptance into the larger Ameri can society, the quickest perceived way to achieve this began with groups. For Hispanos this meant convincing the dominant culture of their identity as thereby bypassing (or ignoring altogether) the entire mestizaje

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86 process in Mexico that created a new ethnicity that melded Spanish and indigenous characteristics. Nuevomexicanos many of whom ultimately migrated to Pueblo for work, had been American citi zens since 1848 and thus had an advantage over workers from Mexico, since they were not immigran ts. Euro American society viewed Mexicans as a Hispanos resented being lumped in with people from Mexico, so they instead st ressed a direct lineage from Spain straight through to New Mexico, somehow unencumbered by any Mexican or Indian blood. Hispano parents hoped for light as a beauty ideal while darke r skin became synonymous with ugliness or impurity. There was also a socioeconomic aspect to these racial and class lines. Gilberto Hinojosa asserts : could be identified by racia l designations, by titles (such as don or doa ), ricos (rich) sometimes baptized members of the lower classes, be they pobres (poor) or racially distinct, forming padrino madrina (godparent) and compa drazgo (co parent) relationships with friends and neighbors and their children. Intermarriage across class and racial /ethnic lines extended important familial ties that blunted prejudice and assisted social mobility. Indeed, these processes serv Through mixed marriages an Indian could be transformed into a Spaniard in as little as two generations. Hispanos better in an Anglo Hispanos from New Mexico and southern Colorado migrated to work in the mining areas around Walsenburg, the Pueblo steelworks and smelters, and the sugar beet and agricultural industries in the Denver Greeley area. Second and third generation Hispanos (second and

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87 experience of the European ethnics by losing their language and their cultur al ties to the Hispanos American life that they know vir tually nothing of Hispanic lore. The Spanish language, if used at all, has become the language the Spanish classes at CU 0 percent are completely fluent in the regional (Spanish) dialect. Those who are completely fluent are either from Pueblo, which is in Southern Colorado near New Mexico, or from rural It was the continued immigration from Mexico that would ensure that Spanish would continue to be spoken in the region and would not effectively disappear, like Italian and Slovenian did. 71 The large numbers of Mexican immigrants to Pueblo in the twentieth century speaking presence sign ificantly and thus intensified the Hispano Mexican strife had roots in the nineteenth century when, according to Richard Nostrand, Anglo men were generally kind in their feelings toward Hispano American war, for example, U.S. soldiers described the residents of New Mexico (who dependable, dishonest, movement of the 1960s, with its embracing of the indigenous heritage of the mestizo Mexican culture and its love for everything represented by darker skin

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88 caused a renewed dialogue about whiteness, skin tone, ethnic identity, and assimilation with middle class American mores. To the Chicano activists, Hispanos who strove for itors to their race, more radical Mexican American element. Chicanos (as many Mexican Americans now preferred to be known) declared that the claim to Spa La Raza one people and one culture. Unity, political or otherwise, was often difficult (if not i mpossible) to achieve, however, especially since Americanized Hispanics sneered at Mexican immigrants as mojados : Hispanos as pochos which meant Mexicans who we literally, Mexicans who were bleached or faded because of their proximity like Pueblo founded Honorific Commissions to promote the speaking of Spanish, t he celebration of Mexican holidays like the Sixteenth of madre patria Hispanos on the other hand, called the Mexicans surumatos which meant people from the south and was understood to car ry a degree of opprobrium. Hispanos claimed superiority over Mexicans on the grounds of better language, education, cleanliness, culture, and citizenship. By 1980 Puebloans identifying as Hispano population of 116, 095) while those identifying as Mex ican numbered 19,656 (or 16.9%). The almost equal number showed the importance of the distinctions between two options of self identifying on most non Hispanics never bothered to subdivide the group or d ifferentiate between Hispano however, the difference was of utmost importance. Both sides seemed to agree that they

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89 were culturally different from one another, mainly acknowledging language differences as the prime exa mple. Cuarto de dormir ( Hispano Spanish) rather than recmara cabello instead of pelo medias rather than calcetines calzones rather than pantalones for 72 Stark cultu ral differences were found among other ethnic groups as well. Among the Italians, for example, Jay Dolan writes that Sicilians, Calabrians, and Romans were Hispano Mexican divid tone, and geographic lines. Around 1880 northern Italian immigrants to the U.S. were increasingly outnumbered by their southern connazionali poorer, less bolstered by the emergence of racialist pseudo science in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as anthropologists like Cesare Lombroso explained that the people of the mez zogiorno (southern Italy) were racially distinct from and hopelessly inferior to their northern connazionali Whereas northern Italians descended from superior Aryan t campanilismo despised the Irish, the French bore a grudge against the Germans, and the Germans claimed superiority over the Poles, who could not forgive the Austrians, who despised

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90 African Americans, who distrusted Yankees, who saw Hispanos as dirty, lazy, and ter Antonio DiSipio, Pueblo Italian immigrant, wrote in his memoirs of the regional divisions that were still of utmost importance to his parents. While dating T he Passanante family is Sicilian. I am not sure that my Abruzzese family approves of our courtship. In fact, there are some young Pueblo women whose people are from Abruzzi in Italy. Papa Angelo and Mama Concetta feel that an Abruzzese woman is more suited to me. Inter marriage and Americanization would lessen and ultimately eradicate such regional 73 Cooperation and coexistence among ethnic Catholic groups was usually centered around the par ish church. In the 1870s Father Salvatore Persone, S.J., made the rounds of the plazas (villages) in the San Luis Valley from Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Conejos, the oldest Catholic Church in Colorado. Known as el Salvador de Conejos he preserved t raditions like First Communions, Corpus Christi processions, veneration of the Blessed Sacrament, Christmas festivals with luminarias (torches or small bonfires that lined the walkway to the church), and the elaborate ceremonial displays of the feast of Ou r Lady of Guadalupe. Known for treating rich and poor alike, Father Persone was loved by the Hispanos In Pueblo Catholic immigrants often built homes and settled in areas close to w ork, which usually meant the smelters or the CF&I steelworks, and the newly formed neighborhoods quickly took on the character of its residents. Elm Street, one of the

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91 larger streets in Bessemer, was heavily Italian, and Pauline DiSipio describes a typica l Sunday in the neighborhood during the 1920s in her self published oral histories: Everyone ate their Sunday dinner at 1 2:00 Noon, and it was always spaghetti!...after dinner, the neighborhood guys would get a broken down kitchen chair or bench and go to the middle of the block and play Biondolillo w ould come out with his saxophone, and Charlie Luppino would be playing his accordion, and everyone would sing and drink wine! The middle of the 800 block of Elm Street was where it was all happening. iety of ethnic groups in the Old ongside other ethnic groups r and the Grove were mini melting pots, and even though ethnic groups were still often segregated into different Masses within the parish, the immigrants helped each other out when times were tough. ay from the Grove, Slovenian school. 74 Mutual Aid to the United States, formed and relied on mutual aid societies, fraternal organizations, and social clubs to fill in the gaps of their new societal structure. These entities functioned as pseudo networking groups, bankers, insurance agents, unemployment officers, funeral planners, labor unions, legal advisors, childcare providers, arbitrators, small claims courts, civil rights advocates, and

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92 even matchmaking / marriage brokers among other roles. Eventually, their roles shifted to agents of Americanizatio n and, as the second and third generations came of age, sources of ethnic pride, both in identifications with the old country and with the new status of dutiful and patriotic Americans. A 1908 Slovenian mutual aid organization resolution stated that its m toward our beloved country, America, and to encourage all members who are not citizens immigrants and Hispano migrants the mutualistas (mutual aid societies) and ligas protectivas (protective associations) were important pieces in the struggle against Mutualistas like the Alianza Hispana Americana which had a large lodge in Pueblo, provided sick and death benefits and unemployment insurance, celebrated patriotic holidays like the Sixteenth of September and Cinco de Mayo provided a community forum, an d strengthened familial ties to Catholicism with devotions like the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Mexican tradition also placed importance on the cofradias (religious confraternities), voluntary organizations of laypeople who stressed a strong sense of Catholic identity. Cofradias had roots in medieval Spain before being transported to the New World, and Jay Dolan traces the reliance on the cofradia to the decades of neglect by the Mexican church toward the people living in the northern frontier, where arrived in New Mexico in 1851, in fact, he found that only twelve priests were expected to serve an estimated 68,000 Catholics scattered across an area as large as France.

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93 Because of this, the people became accustomed to celebrating a home based religion that kept the Catholic faith a central part of their lives. 75 Like the Mexicans, the Italians also closely tied together religi on and mutual aid, with many Italian organizations proudly bearing the name of a saint or functioning as an 930 Pueblo had eight Italian societies the Societa Cristoforo Colombo Societa Fedelta Italiana Societa Indipendente Siciliana Incorporata in April del Societa Protetiva Beneficenza Societa San Giuseppe Societa Femminile Nuova Italia Societa Principessa Iolanda and the Societa Agricoltori Italiani. Italian lodges were also often named after Italian national heroes like Christopher Columbus, Giuseppe Garibald i, Dante Alighieri, Cristoforo Colombo Lodge No. 1309, incorporated on October 20, 1894. Mutual aid societies like the Societa Indipendente Siciliana had admission fees and dues amounts based on age groupings ($1.00 for 18 30 year olds, up to $5.00 for 45 50 year olds). A sick member who could not work was to receive $5.00 a week up to six months, after which the benefit was reduced to $2.50 weekly for an additional six mon ths. At a flowers. One organization, the Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA), is still alive in Pueblo, sponsoring and promoting a major in Italian at Colorado State Unive rsity

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94 immigrants were so proud of their membership in a fraternal organization that the o birth and death, and religious iconography. By the 1930s at least eleven different Slovenian mutual aid and fraternal organizations were active in Pueblo, with some ope rating bilingually and others already switching to English as their official language, and Slovenian groups held national conventions in Pueblo in 1912, 1921, 1933, 1945, and Kranjsko slovenska katoli ska jednota Slovenska narodna podporna jednota Jugoslovanska katoliska jednota which had split from KSKJ at the 1908 na tional convention held in Pueblo); Zapadna Slovanska Zueza (Western Slavonic Association, founded in Denver in 1908); and Slovenska zenska zueza (Sloveni along with churches, clubs, kinship networks, saloons, and the ethnic neighborhood itself allowed immigrants, Roy Rosenzwei g argues, values, beliefs, and traditions 76 The Penitentes Strengt hen the Bond of Catholicism with Culture The spiritual neglect of New Mexico and shortage of priests under both Spain and Mexico contributed to the rise of a lay brotherhood ( hermanidad ) called the Fraternidad de Nuestro Padre Jesus de Nazareno (Fraternal Brotherhood o f Our Father Jesus of Nazareth) commonly known as the Penitent Brotherhood or the Penitentes that operated as part religious cofradia and part mutualista Although their exact origins remain a subject of dispute and conjecture, they functio ned as an ersatz clergy, leading prayer

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95 services in their windowless chapels ( moradas ) and performing penitential ceremonies and passion plays during Holy Week. Started in the mountain villages of northern New Mexico and spread to southern Colorado with H ispano migration, the Penitentes continue in a reduced form into the present day, as aging Hermanos still perform their Holy Week duties assisted by a small number of younger novices, and a Penitente morada (chapel) sits in eastern Pueblo County, outside o f the small community of Avondale. Because of their secrecy and often fanatical adherence to Middle Ages era Catholic ideas of penance, self flagellation, and mortification of the flesh, the Penitentes have been misunderstood, Mexicans, Protestant Americans, and the institutional church itself. The Penitentes developed their own liturgy and ceremonies, incorporating severe corporal punishments such as whipping and back to atone for their sins. They had achieved sufficient Episcopal visit to the northern reaches of New Mexico he outlawed them as an unauthorized group that vio lated Catholic doctr ine. The bishop suggested that instead of bei ng known as brothers of penance the Penitentes should be is 1833 pastoral letter did acknowledge the conditions that had fostered the growth of the brotherh ood in the first place: neglectful priests who set poor examples in their own lives, who failed to baptize infants, who misused sacraments like confession, efore (Anglo) American settlement in New Mexico the Penitentes

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96 condemned the Mexicans for their self the Brothers withdrew to their moradas 77 Rather than operating as a heretical offshoot of the church, the Penitentes instead strengthened the link between its members and orthod ox Roman Catholicism, as brothers constantly carried cuadernos (notebooks) filled with hand written alabados and amoro sos (prayers and hymns). Ruben Archuleta, the Hispano former Chief of Police of t he Pueblo Police Department, comes from a proud Penitente heritage and writes that membership consisted of Hispanic Catholic men who were an integral part of their community and church. Regulation #1 of the induction ritual stated be admitted in this Brotherhood who does not acknowledge the Ap ostolic Roman ovices were also required to respond in the affirmative to the it is necessary as a faithful Christian Catholic that you believe all that our that most of the tension between the brotherhood and the church was at the level of the bis hops. At the local level, meanwhile: Hermanidad because the Hermanos actually made life easier for them. When a fellow brother died, the Hermanos would help the church by assisting with funeral arrangements and praying at the wake and burial service. As time went on, the relationship between the Brotherhood and the Church improved dramatically. Many clergy believed that without the constancy of this cofradia Catholic parish lif e in the southwest might have been lost to neglect or to aggressive Protestant evangelization. ethnic 78

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97 The Penitentes performed many tasks of a mutual aid society, and in the 1920s many brothers in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico formed a coalition with the Sociedad Proteccin Mutua de Trabajadores Unidos (Mutual Protection Society of co Penitentes An 1892 article in The Santa Fe Daily New Mexican excoriated Penitente ending in self Camp and Plant study at th e El Cinico and Southern Colorado where may be seen the blood on the rafters, as the thongs struck them, wet with the blood of the enthused penitents El Cinico goes on to describe the Good Friday r eenactment of the Crucifixion, where a brother would voluntarily hang on a cross from either revives after weeks of sickness or dies, in which case he receives a distingu ished s writer refused to pass judgment on the Penitentes contrasting cannot e participants based Frontier Times the pseudo ew Mexico I found that the Penitentes form the most powerful body in the country. A power which is not recognized, but which, by its hidden strengths, exercises far reaching control of the e secular world and half

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98 in the religious more closely tied together Hispanic notions of culture and religion and Denver Catholic Register herever a morada is loc ated, a non Catholic 79 Relations with the U.S. Church Catholicism was so ingrained with Mexican culture that conversion to any Protestant faith was a drastic step, and Gilberto Hinojosa argues that, even for lax Catholics or those who harbored anticlerical sentiments, rejection of the Catholic faith theater, music, and even Mexican cuisine had developed and flourished in the shadow of the church. Those who openly left it risked shunning or condemnation by family and friends, and Mexican Catholicity remained strong, despite often overtly hostile treatment by the Anglo church. Some American clergy, unable to understand th people a massa damnata a people without hope of redemp tion. Throughout the American W est, Mexican Catholics were mad e to feel unwelcome or inferior. exican st few pews of a church were a common sight in California, American parish, for Mass. After the buil ding of Mexican American spirituality, drawing from Spanish and Indian roots and influenced by the treatment afforded them in U.S. parishes, developed thusly, as exp lained by Hinojosa: A kind heavenly Father, together with a loving Mother, maintained the prescribed order of the community and watched over their children on earth.

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99 The trials and tribulations of life, including the exploitation that the people faced daily, were shared with the suffering Son, who through his death had death were, thus, the most holy of all celebrations. The santos those revered holy men and women who had preceded the faithful and who took special commemoration as well. Certain Indian religious ideas gods sacrif icing themselves for men, the need to do penance, the stoic acceptance of suffering, the futility of earthly pleasures were Mexican apparition in 1531 to an Indian named Juan Diego in the hills near Mexico City. Appearing as a dark skinned young Indian woman in native dress, and speaking in the Aztec language of Nahuatl comfort to the oppressed and exploited na tive population a mere ten years after the fall of writes that this apparition, in the face of the affronts of the Spanish colonizers. She was not only a religious figure but a national figure who gave birth Enrique Krauze argues that she became the symbol of the mestizo union between Spanish and Indian, as creating a Virgin for themselves, a Mexican 80 exicans entertain the greatest respect for their religion, though I am afraid a great number of them have lost sight of its Death Comes for the Archbishop Father Martinez, the powerful and borderline apostate priest of the Taos pa

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100 introduce European civilization here and change our old ways, to interfere with the secret dances of the Indians, let us say, or abolish the bloody rites of the Penitentes I foretell an Despite early American misunderstandings of Mexican spirituality and racial biases against the Mexican Catholics, the tie between Catholicism and culture never wavered, and throughout the twentieth century Mexican Americans found their place in the church hierarchy, as more Hispanic men and women entered seminaries and 1969 the National Conference of Catholic Bishops set up an office for Hispanic vocations. In 1970 Patricio Flores, a former migrant worker, was appointed auxiliary bishop of San Antonio, becoming the first Hispanic to be named a bishop in the United States. Ten years later, a New Mexico Hispano the Rev. Arthur Tafoya, was appointed by Pope John Paul II to be the third bishop of Pueblo, and by 1990 there were two Hispanic archbishops, nineteen bishops, approximately 1,600 priests, and 2,000 nuns nationwide. Mexican American Catholics had asserted their presence in the U.S. church. 81 The Italian American Catho lic experience mirrored that of Mexican Americans in many ways. Father Salvatore Cianci, an immigrant priest, regretted that his countrymen children and as old peopl e, but not during their vital years, tending to regard relig ion as than a halo which glorifies our cradle to disappear after first communion celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, much like the Mexican feast of

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101 Our Lady of Guadalupe, seemed foreign and bizarre to Americans. Richard Linkh writes that: Colored lanterns strung across the streets, the sound of marching bands, the smell of grill ed sausage and fried green peppers filling the air, the sight of women marching barefoot pinning dollar bills on the robes of the Madonna all this could hardly be considered a religious occasion by an American clergy used to a solemn and dignified ri tual. Italy, like Mexico, harbored anticlerical roots at the village level, due to the clergy historically linking up with the power structure in society (the nobility and the wealthier class), and these sentiments were transplanted to America by the immi grants. In 1908 an Italian named Giuseppe Alio killed Father Leo Heinrich of Denver, and five months later Alio went to the scaffold in Colorado State Penitentiary calling down maledictions on the priesthood. During the 1890s over 700,000 Italians arrive d in the United States, with another 2 million coming during the next decade, and to the American clergy the major problem with these new immigrants was that too many of them arrived with scant religious instruction and little interest in more than a nomin al attachment to the church. In 1917 a Father B.J. Reilly wrote to Cardinal Farley in New York that when the Italians made clear distinctions between religion and church and often viewed the Church with critical cynicism. Robert Orsi asserts that the existential rejection of their wh portrayed as fatalistic and suffocated by their belief in a predetermined universe, with the belief in the evil eye held up as an example of the popular fear that what happened in e result of a curse. The Italian immigrants would oftentimes not

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102 acknowledge or anticipate good things, lest they tempt fate to punish them for such evident undeserved contentment. Fatalistic thinking among immigrant groups was diagnosed by Progressive e ra experts as resulting from, among other causes, the psychosocial consequences of colonialism. 82 er a glimpse at early a Slovenian pari sh, therefore Antonio noted : Yugoslavians and Slovenians. They are Slavic kids living in the U.S.A., just like I am an Italian kid living in the U.S.A. Papa Angelo t ells me parents have to pay fifty cents so that we can go to our Catholic St. Mary School. writ American, would learn to speak, read, and write English in a Catholic school attached to an ethnic parish that still primarily spoke culture and Americanization agent. By striking the right middle ground between self imposed immigrant isolationism on the one hand and total assimilation a nd loss o f culture on the other, the church effectively held onto its ethnic immigrant worshippers. Ethnic parishes allowed people to keep their ties to God similar to those they knew in the old country, while parochial schools helped to facilitate the ne

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103 environment for the development of a new ethnic identity. 83 The Ethnic Catholic Immigrants Become Catholic Americans Complementing (and Americanization were other shared immigrant experiences, like intra ethnic membership in a fraternal organization, interethnic membership in a labor union, and shared sacrifice in the military. Participat ion in these activities, where all members strove to achieve a common goal, often broke down ethnic, racial, or language barriers and instilled a new source of pride. Groups like the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) were by the 1920s dedic the best, purest, and most perfect type of a true and loyal citizen of the United States of immigrants enlis ted or were drafted into the armed forces in both World Wars, instilling (or reinforcing) a sense of duty and patriotism for the United States. Italian and Slovenian Americans often fought against their ethnic compatriots who were on the belligerent side, thus displaying loyalty to the U.S., while during World War II Mexican Hispanic soldiers served in integrated units, and organized the American GI Forum after the war t o secure their rights. Unlike Italians and Slovenians, who gained their always and regions, separ ate from the internal Mexican / Chicano Hispano divide over

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104 Mexican discrimination, and Ngai further argues that, while the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo had given Mexican Americans de jure U.S. citizenship, the legal racialization of their national origin made them de facto society. Mexic an Americans, she contends, functioned much like Asian Americans defined citizensh 84 For purposes of naturalization, the U.S. government had deemed Mexican 1930, using an imprecise definition of t Mexico and are not definitely white added). Since categories like race and ethnicity were varying, fluid, and easily changed, Gordon argues that the U.S. courts Mexico in the early twentieth century (half a million immigrants in the 1920s alone) caused Mexicans to become targets of intense Americanization campaigns. Their children were learning English in school, working in the U.S. economy, serving in the military, and worshipping in an increasingly Americanized church some of the factors that allowed earlier waves of Hispano mi grants and Mexican immigrants to follow an acculturation trajectory similar to that of European immigrants. By the late twentieth century, cultural demographers were noting that Mexican Americans were increasingly converging with the larger society in are as like higher educational attainment, increased

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105 occupational similarity, decreased fertility, and the rise of English in the home. Later arrivals from Mexico and their families, however, continued to live in a similar pattern to the immigrants of 1880, 1 900, or 1920, with limited English, little interaction with the dominant society, and saddled with a legally questionable citizenship status, often functioning as an economic underclass in manual labor or service sector jobs. The proximity of Mexico to th e U.S. and a continued American demand for low wage labor almost guarantees that immigration from Mexico will continue, with the newer arrivals lagging behind the longer established groups. 85 For Italian Americans, Thomas Guglielmo believes that whiteness was never in doubt, since the courts, the Census Bureau, newspapers, unions, employers, realtors, and politicians all accepted Italians as white, and he asserts that whiteness was the most important resource that Italians possessed. Others like Robert Ors i focus on factors like mass culture when studying immigrant assimilation. Orsi maintains that the immigrant generation compared their Italian values to the American values of their children, and felt that the younger generation was forsaking family and f aith in order to chase a world v alues. The younger keep the immigrants from defecting to Protestantism and progress toward a more American Catholicism and only under the careful supervision of

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106 immigrant parents wished for. Silvano Tomasi maintains that both the ethnic parish and Italian language press, which could have served as main carriers of ethnicity, instead were means of assimilation. Nicholas Russo believes th at national parishes, by maintaining ethnic solidarity, prevented widespread social disorganization and at the same time served as a bridge between the old world and the new. 86 Immigrant groups like the Italians faced a paradox when it came to Americanizin g. On the one hand, they wanted a better life for their children, and they realized that that meant speaking English and adopting a more American value system, losing t heir cultural values. Immigrants often changed their names, whether by choice to foreign names, and this added to the disorienting psychological trauma of im migration, where displaced populations felt shaken loose from their moorings. Pueblo Slovenian American Jim Pugel, for example, had been born Ignac Pugelj in Carniola. The first American born generation, along with those who had immigrated with their fam ilies at a very young age, developed a growing cultural divide with their parents. More attracted to mainstream mass culture, the younger generation forged a new ethnic working class culture that was incubated in the factories, mills, and mines of industr ial America. Roy Rosenzweig argues that social and economic forces like the development of mass production and mass marketing techniques that helped to create a middle class shaped ethnic working class culture. The second and third generations socialized more outside of their ethnic group able to communicate in the same language thanks to the American

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107 educational system for example, married outside their ethnicity over 50% of the time among the second Italian, half Slovenian cousins. After the newly created middle class began to move to other parts of Pueblo, most s till initially traveled back to their ethnic parishes on Sunda y mornings for Mass, parishes in their new neighborhoods rather than make the trek across town. A 1948 Pueblo Star Journal article noted that: The Slovenian people, ma ny of them now in their third generation in this country, have become thoroughly Americanized as the Rev. Fr. Cyril are among the best kept, pride of ownership being one of the outstan ding characteristics of the people. Most of them now live in Bessemer and Minnequa Heights. Many of the younger generation have intermarried is America. The Slovenians, lik pot and taken their place as Catholic Americans. 87 By mid Hispanos and longer established Mexicans were well on the way to forging a new identity a s American Catholics. The proximity to Mexico and continued immigration from that country kept the Spanish l anguage radio programs and newspapers are now a distant memory, but the city still has Spanish language radio stations and print media. Some parish churches in the city Mt. Carmel among them have heavily Spanish speaking congregations, and offer Spani sh Masses at certain hours, a practice that hearkens back to the days of the national ethnic parishes. Overall,

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108 however, the three ethnic groups examined in this study were able to assert their place in the new American economy and culture, transforming t he city and the Roman Catholic Church in the process. The children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of the immigrant generation are living testaments to their successes and it is these descendents, through their participation in ethnic pride organ izations and bequests to their churches, that will carry on the legacy of the Catholic Americans.

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109 CHAPTER VI CONCLUSION version of the struggles that were waged by immigrants to the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Immigrants who were Roman Catholics began their new lives in Am erica doubly disadvantaged, and exacerbating the problem was the fact that their own fellow Cath olics and their American clergy mistrusted them and questioned the validity of their faith. American Catholicism had struggled to gain acceptance or at least toleration from the Protestant majority, and the arrival of millions of new Catholics in the late 1800s and early 1900s complicated the situation. Once the Vatican weighed in on the Americanization issue in the 1890s, however, the U.S. church was shrewdly able to hold on to the overwhelming majority of the immigrant newcomers. Ethnic parishes al lowed for a more gradual assimilation process, and the Catholic immigrants utilized them to remain Catholic while simultaneously becoming American The American church in the W est grew alongside the immigrants, since unlike in the east the U.S. church leadership was itself relatively new to the region. Roman Catholicism had been planted in the southwest centuries earlier by the Spanish, but in the switch from Mexican to American jurisdiction after 1848 the church needed to reorganize its Episcopal str ucture. Antagonisms between the newly arrived clergy and the Hispanic Catholics already living here carried over into the twentieth century with the arrival of the ethnic European Catholics. Very few immigrants ultimately left the church, however, since Catholicism was such a large part of Mexican, Italian, and Slovene culture. Even

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110 among immigrants who harbored anticlerical sentiments or distrusted the official church, the Catholic faith remained strong. Despite the often hostile treatment they receive d at the hands of their priests and bishops, the immigrants stayed loyal to the ch urch, and the remarkable thing i s that the American church lost so few of the millions who arrived. Even though certain ethnic groups might not have attended Mass regularly or paid tithes, at the end of the day most immigrants would not have hesitated to claim their Catholic identity. migrants from New Mexico, and the newcomers interacted with each other daily in the segregated in neighborhood enclaves and worshipped in ethnic parishes, but the workday brought them into contact with other cultures, languages, and relig ions. Regionalism was strong, and Italian immigrants often battled with compatriots from different areas of Italy, while immigrants from Mexico likewise fought with their fellow Spanish speakers, the Hispanos from New Mexico, over issues of whiteness and social acceptance. Immigrant children, meanwhile, were learning English and a more American outlook in school whether the school was public or parochial. The next generations married outside of their own ethnic group more often, and lost their bond wit Even the longer established Mexicans and Hispanos adopted English as their main language over time. The more recent Mexican immigrants are the ones that have kept the Spanish language alive. d their memberships in mutual aid societies and fraternal clubs to help further their transformation into patriotic Americans. Additionally,

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111 religious confraternities like the Hispano Penitentes kept the tie to the Catholic faith strong. Mexicans and His panos Calabrese Siciliano and Romano ; and Slovenes were Austro Hungarians, Jugo became Americans and at e very stage of the process they were always Roman Catholic. No matter what challenges they faced or adversity they overcame, their religion was always the omnipresent identifier in their lives. The Pueblo of today stands as a testament to their efforts, a leadership, political office, community organizations, and philanthropic ventures. Likewise, the ethnic immigrants transformed the Catholic Church in America overall and in Pueblo, specifically. E that draw Puebloans of all races, ethnicities, and religions festivals of the type that the 1880s U.S. church had dismissed as rural superstition but that are now a Pueblo tradition. While not as well known as the story of immigrants in New York, Chicago, or even Denver, the experiences of the Catholic immigrants in Pueblo, Colorado (an industrial borderlands city on the western frontier) offer up yet another example of how the United State s became the country it is today. It is my sincere hope that their story has enlightened the reader even half as much as it did me to research and write it. Their journey to becoming Catholic Americans deserves to be heard.

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112 NOTES 1 Matjaz Klemencic and Karl Pugelj, Jim Pugel and Other Slovenian Pioneers of Pueblo, Colorado (Ljubljana, Slovenia: Institut za Narodnostna Vprasanja / Institute for Ethnic Studies, 2009), 96. 2 Robert Anthony Orsi, The Madonna of 115 th Street: Faith and Community in Italian Harlem, 1880 1950 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985), xxii. 3 Determination: A History of the Catholic The American Catholic Parish: A History From 1850 To The Present Volume II: The Pacific, Intermountain West and Midwest States ed. Jay P. Dolan (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1987), 187. 4 Richard L. Nostrand, The Hispano Homeland (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 19 92), 7. 5 The American Catholic Parish 169, 220. 6 Pueblo Police Department, Pueblo, Colorado Pictorial History, Vol. 2 (book issued by Pueblo Police Department, December 1995), 5. 7 Thomas G. Andrews, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008), 91. 8 Mexican Americans and the Catholic Church, 1900 1965 eds. Jay P. Dolan a nd Gilberto M. Hinojosa (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1994), 148. 9 Frank Lambert, Religion in American Politics: A Short History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008), 17 18; also David H. Bennett, The Party of Fear: From Nativist Movements to the New Right in American History (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 1988), 2, 20. 10 Mark A. Noll, A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Com pany, 1992), 208 209. See also Lambert, Religion in American Politics 65 67; and Bennett, The Party of Fear 39. 11 Bennett, The Party of Fear 29 30; see also Mark A. Noll, The Old Religion in a New World: The History of North American Christianity (G rand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002), 123; Jay P. Dolan, In Search of an American Catholicism: A History of Religion and Culture in Tension (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 57; Linda Gordon, The Great Arizona Orphan Ab duction (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999), 198 199; and Lary May, Screening

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113 Out the Past: The Birth of Mass Culture and the Motion Picture Industry (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), 174. 12 Richard M. Linkh, American Catholicism and European Immigrants 1900 1924 (New York: Center for Migration Studies, 1975), 29, 68; see also Bennett, The Party of Fear 87. 13 Declaration of Independence. See Noll, A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada 153, 205 206, 220, 348; s ee also Dolan, In Search of an American Catholicism 8; and Jay P. Dolan, The American Catholic Experience: A History from Colonial Times to the Present (Notre Dame, IN: U niversity of Notre Dame Press, 1992), 127, 155 Mexican Americans and the Catholic Church 175. 14 Dolan, In Search of an American Catholicism 134; see also Roy Rosenzweig, Eight Hours for What We Will: Workers and Leisure in an Industrial City, 1870 1920 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 116 117; and Noll, The Old Religion in a New World 237; also The Denver Catholic Register Thursday, February 26, 1942 Vol. XXXVII N o. 27; The Pueblo Chieftain January 17, 1947; and The Southern Colorado Register Friday, June 7, 1946 Vol. I No. 48. 15 Rosenzweig, Eight Hours for What We Will 165; see also Noll, A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada 357; Linkh, A merican Catholicism and European Immigrants 12 in Mexican Americans and the Catholic Church The American Catholic Parish 212 213 16 Dolan, The American Catholic Experience 162; see also Silvano M. Tomasi, C.S., The Italian Experience in the United States eds. Silvano M. Tomasi and Madeline H. Engel (New York: The Center for Migration Studies of New York, Inc., 1970), 185; also Linkh, American Catholicism and European Immigrants 104; Noll, The Old Religion in a New World 125; and Dolan, In Search of an American Catholicism 91. 17 serts, Diversity, and Self The American Catholic Parish 215, 221 222; see also Thomas J. Noel, Colorado Catholicism and the Archdiocese of Denver 1857 1989 (Denver: University Press of Colorado, 1989), 19; and Rev. William H. Jones, Th e History of Catholic Education in the State of Colorado (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1955), 169. 18 The Southern Colorado Register October 9, 1959 special edition commemorating the installation of the Most. Rev. Charles Buswell as second Bishop of Pueblo 40, 41, 45; also The Denver Catholic Register Thursday, May 18, 1944, 14; and The Pueblo Daily Chieftain Wednesday, April 30, 1890, 10 (Folder # PCCLD VT P 1719 01 /

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114 Rawlings Library Special Collections); and Anniversary of the Church as the People of God under Patronage of Saint Mary Help of VT P 1738 01 / Rawlings Library Special Collections). 19 Linkh, American Catholicism and European Immigrants 128; see also Dolan, In Search of an American Catholicism The American Catholic Parish 223; and The Pueblo Chieftain Monday, February 28, 2011, 5A (Folder # PCCL D VT P 1725 01 / Rawlings Library Special Collections). 20 Noll, A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada 352; also Linkh, American Catholicism and European Immigrants 114. 21 Noel, Colorado Catholicism 27; see also Rev. William Malone, History of the Catholic Church in Colorado, From the Date of the Arrival of Rt. Rev. J.P. Machebeuf, Until the Day of His Death (Denver, CO: C.J. Kelly, 1889; reissued by the Archdiocese of Denver, 1961), 102; Joanne Wes t Dodds, They All Came to Pueblo: A Social History (Virginia Beach, VA: The Donning Company / Publishers, 1994), 23, 88; Jones, The History of Catholic Education in the State of Colorado 171; VT P 1725 01 / Rawlings Library Special Collections). 22 Robert Alan Goldberg, Hooded Empire: The Ku Klux Klan in Colorado (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1981), 9; see also Jones, The History of Catholic Education in the State of Colorado 218, 484 485. 23 Jones, The History of Catholic Education in the State of Colorado 214, 480, 482. 24 The Tatler (Pueblo Catholic High School student newspaper), April 3, 1944; see also Jones, The History of Catholic Education in the State of Colorado 48 7, 491 492, 507, 509. 25 Jones, The History of Catholic Education in the State of Colorado 487; see also Noel, Colorado Catholicism ,191 192. 26 Linkh, American Catholicism and European Immigrants 133, 195; see also Noll, The Old Religion in a New World 177, 283. 27 Noel, Colorado Catholicism vii. 28 Noel, Colorado Catholicism 1, 2; see also David J. Weber, The Mexican Frontier, 1821 1846: The American Southwest Under Mexico (Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1982), 69, 70; Pike quoted in Jones, The History of Catholic Education in the State of Colorado 33 34, 527.

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115 29 Weber, The Mexican Frontier 72 73, 77; and Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927)), 275 276. 30 Dolan, The American Catholic Experience and Self The American Catholic Parish 178, 199; and Noel, Colorado Catholicism 8 9. 31 Noel, Colorado Catholicism 4 5, 8 9, 10 11. 32 and Malone, History of the Catholic Church in Colorado 39, 43, 57; see also The Denver Catholic Register Vol. I No. 48, Friday, July 6, 1906; and Noel, Colorado Catholicism 12, 20, 21, 41. 33 Noel, Colorado Catholicism Malone, History of the Catholic Church in Colorado 69, 75 34 Noel, Colorado Catholicism xi; see also May, Screening Out the Past 4; and Alan Trachtenberg, The Incorporation of America: Culture and Society in the Gilded Age (New York: Hill and Wang, 1 982), 17. 35 Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop Self The American Catholic Parish 141, 199. 36 Noel, Colorado Catholicism 79, 81, 85, 139; see also Msgr. Patrick C. Stauter, The Willg ing Years: Seventeen Years with the First Catholic Bishop of Pueblo (Chicago: Adams Press, 1986), 210 211. 37 Pueblo Star Journal & Sunday Chieftain January 21, 1940 p.2 (Rawlings Library, John Korber Collection); see also Jones, The History of Catholic E ducation in the State of Colorado 36 37; and Stauter, The Willging Years 49 50. 38 Mexican Americans and the Catholic Church, 1900 1965 Mexican Cathol Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900 1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 166; and Noll, A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada 489 490. 39 Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop 206 207; see also Noll, A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada 489 490; Dolan, In Search of an American Catholicism 142 143; and Dolan, The American Catholi c Experience 371. 40 Mexican Americans and the Catholic Church, 1900 1965 94; Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me,

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116 Ultima (New York: Warner Books, Inc., 1994), 97; also Orsi, The Madonna o f 115 th Street 132. 41 Orsi, The Madonna of 115 th Street 226; see also Dolan, The American Catholic Experience 173; Dodds, They All Came to Pueblo 197; The Southern Colorado Register Vol. I, No. 38, Friday, 03/29/1946, 1; and Joanne West Dodds, The Or der Sons of Italy in America, Southern Colorado Lodge No. 2738: Celebrates the 100 th Anniversary of American Heritage (Pueblo, CO: My Friend the Printer, Inc., 2005), 11. 42 Noel, Colorado Catholicism 36 37; see also Stauter, The Willging Years 7, 13, 19; Dodds, They All Came to Pueblo 105; Jones, The History of Catholic Education in the State of Colorado 117; Linkh, American Catholicism and European Immigrants 92 93; The Pueblo Chieftain Friday, January 1, 1 915, 30, and February 4, 1994 (Rawlings Special Collection: Folder # PCCLD VT P 1732 01); The Southern Colorado Register October 9, 1959, 25; and The Denver Catholic Register Vol. I No. 48, Friday, July 6, 1906. 43 History of t he Catholic Church in Colorado 103; The Denver Catholic Register Thursday, March 22, 1945, 14; Thursday, June 21, 1945, 12; Thursday, April 8, 1943, 8; and Thursday, June 17, 1943; see also booklet Parish, Pueblo, Colorado: The History, Th e People, The Traditions In Celebration of St. Pueblo Archives); also The Pueblo Chieftain Mount Carmel Parish, 1900 unknown, from May 17, 1945, 6, which also per la ricostrozione della Chiesa de Monte Carmelo (Rawlings Special Collection, Folder # PCCLD VT P 1725 01). 44 unt Carmel Parish, 1900 May 17, 1945, 1 (Rawlings Special Collection, Folder # PCCLD VT P 1725 01); July 13, 1900 (13 Luglio 1900); see also Dodds, The Order Sons of Italy 4; Pauline Annette DiSipio, Echoes o f Elm Street: An Italian Heritage (self published by author, 1996), 175, accessed at Gornick Slovenian Library; The Pueblo Chieftain September 14, 1946; The Denver Catholic Register Vol. XV No. 21, December 18, 1919, 3; 1920 Mount Carmel Yearbook, and ty ped letter from Father Carlo M. Pinto, S.J., both from the Rawlings Special Collection (Folder # PCCLD VT P 1725 01). 45 Jones, The History of Catholic Education in the State of Colorado 204; also Bennett, The Party of Fear 214 215; and Goldberg Hooded Empire 8. 46 Dodds, They All Came to Pueblo 37 Malone, History of the Catholic Church in Colorado 98, 99 100; Sacred H eart Parish Church Directory, October 20, 1872 (Rawlings Special Collection, Folder # PCCLD

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117 VT P 1730 01); Noel, Colorado Catholicism 52 53; and Stauter, The Willging Years 58 59. 47 The Denver Catholic Register Vol. XXXVII No. 14, Thursday, Nov ember 27, 1941, 1, 4; see Noel, Colorado Catholicism 138, for slightly different population figures for the The American Catholic Parish 272; and Staute r, The Willging Years 41 42, 217. 48 Stauter, The Willging Years 171 172, 173, 256, 275, 321; also the Pueblo Star Journal Friday, March 31, 1950, 11. 49 Stauter, The Willging Years 173, 224, 229, 240, 259, 286, 305 306; see also The Southern Colorado Register October 9, 1959, 30. 50 Camp and Plant Vol. III No. 20, Saturday, May 23, 1903, 466. 51 The Hispanic Contribution to the State of Colorado ed. Jose de Ons (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, Inc., 1976. Published under the auspices of the University of Colorado Centennial Commission), 7; see also Ralph C. Taylor, Colorado: South of the Border (Denver, CO: Sage Books, 1963), 35, 358; and Dodds, They All Came to Pueblo 17 18. 52 Taylor, Colora do: South of the Border 360 362, 363 364, 376, 378; also Camp and Plant Vol. V No. 16, Saturday, April 30, 1904, 379; The Christmas 1919 issue of The Denver Catholic Register band of Utes were invit ed to participate in the revelry (for Christmas Day). Fired by the 53 Taylor, Colorado: South of the Border 379; see a lso Andrews, Killing for Coal 31, 44, 48; Pueblo Police Department, Pueblo, Colorado Pictorial History, Vol. 2 (book issued by Pueblo Police Department, December 1995); and Nostrand, The Hispano Homeland 193 194. 54 Dodds, They All Came to Pueblo 31, 32; also Andrews, Killing for Coal Century in Pueblo 1871 First National Bank accessed at Gornick Slovenian Library), 13 15. 55 Dodds, They All Came to Pueblo 110; see also Kle mencic and Pugelj, Jim Pugel and Other Slovenian Pioneers of Pueblo, Colorado 42; Nostrand, The Hispano Homelan 175; Dolan, The American Catholic Experience 15.

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118 56 Thomas A. Guglielmo, White on Arrival: Italians, Race, Color, and Power in Chicago, 1890 1945 Pueblo 1871 The Denver Catholic Register Christmas 1919 edition, 88; s unpublished, transcribed memoirs of her father, Pueblo Italian immigrant Antonio DiSipio, Home at Last: My Story (accessed at Gornick Slovenian Library) reports that Antonio, like many immigrants, moved back home, living in Italy for 15 years (1920 1935) the steel mill in Pueblo. I will be earning more money than I am 57 Dodds, They All Came to Pueblo 42 43, 44 45, 46, 51, 52, 53, 126. Dodds reports that, of the 125 different newspapers that have been published in Pueblo County, twenty six have been foreign language papers, among them eight in Italian, five in Spanish, and four in Slovenian; see also Klemencic and Pugelj, Jim Pugel and Other Slovenian Pioneers of Pueblo, Colorado 29 30, 36 37. 58 Dodds, They All Came to Pueblo 53; see also Orsi, The Madonna of 115 th Street 47; and Klemencic and Pugelj, Jim Pugel 11, 13, 15 16, 21, 28, 61. 59 Goldberg, Hooded Empire 61; see also Klemencic and Pugelj, Jim Pugel 75; Camp and Plant Vol. IV No. 11, Saturday, September 26, 1903, 245; and Pauline Annette DiSipio, Echoes of Elm Street: An Italian Heritage (self published by author in 1996, accessed at Gornick Slovenian Library), 99. 60 Dolan, The American Catholic Experience 131, 148; see also Dodds, The Order Sons of Italy in America 1, 7; DiSipio, Home at Last: My Story 5, 18; and DiSipio, Echoes of Elm Street 107. 61 Dodds, The Order Sons of Italy in America 19, 20, 22, 25; also Taylor, Colorado: South of the Border 359. 62 Taylor, Colorado: South of the Border 381, 402; see also K lemencic and Pugelj, Jim Pugel 54 55, 59; Class book St. Mary School Pueblo, Colorado 1931 1932 (unpublished scrapbook, accessed at Gornick Slovenian Library), 11; and The Denver Catholic Register Thursday, September 1, 1921, 8. 63 Goldberg, Hooded Emp ire 60, 62, 120; and Klemencic and Pugelj, Jim Pugel 53. 64 Goldberg, Hooded Empire 60, 63, 64, 66 67, 115 116; and Klemencic and Pugelj, Jim Pugel 53. 65 Andrews, Killing for Coal 187, 224; see also Olivier Zunz, Making America Corporate 1870 1920 (C hicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1990), 127.

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119 66 Andrews, Killing for Coal 194; see also Zunz, Making America Corporate 134; Dodds, They All Came to Pueblo 199; Camp and Plant Vol. IV No. 11, Saturday, September 26, 1903, 247 ish, Pueblo, Colorado: The History, The People, The Traditions together by the CREW Youth Group, accessed at the Diocese of Pueblo archives); The CF&I Industrial Bulletin Vol. I No.1, Octobe r, 1915, Vol. II No. 4, April 30, 1917; and The CF&I Blast Vol.9 No. 49, Friday, March 25, 1932. 67 Camp and Plant Vol. IV No. 10, Saturday, September 19, 1903, 221 223; and Vol. I No.12, Saturday, March 1, 1902, 178, 182. 68 Camp and Plant Vol. III No. 8, Saturday, August 23, 1902, 185, 186; also Vol. II No. 9, Saturday, August 30, 1902, 202, 203; and The Pueblo Star Journal and Sunday Chieftain Sunday, March 1, 1964, 8D. 69 Klemencic and Pugelj, Jim Pugel 101; see also DiSipio, Home at Last: My Story 25; The Pueblo Chieftain November 19, 1950; and The Pueblo Star Journal April 19, 1945. 70 Stauter, The Willging Years 6. 71 American Faith Communities in Texas and the Mexican Americans and the Catholic Ch urch, 1900 1965 ed. Jay P. Dolan and Gilberto M. Hinojosa (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1994), 17 18, 24 The Hispanic Contribution to the State of Colorado ed. Jose de Ons (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, Inc., 1976. Published under the auspices of the University of Colorado Centennial Commission), 92, 200, 205; and Richard L. Nostrand, The Hispan o Homeland 57, 96. 72 Jay P. Dolan, The American Catholic Experience 374; see also Nostrand, The Hispano Homeland 13, 15, 17, 19, 163 164, 198, 201 202. 73 Dolan, The American Catholic Experience 136; see also Thomas A. Guglielmo, White on Arrival 15, 22; Orsi, The Madonna of 115 th Street 34; Lizabeth Cohen, Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919 1939 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 51; and Antonio DiSipio, Home at Last 20. 74 American Faith Communitie Mexican Americans and the Catholic Church 29; see also Pauline Annette DiSipio, Echoes of Elm Street 36, 40, 59, 177; and notebook St. Mary School Pueblo, Colorado 1931 (Book #7 in a collection of unpublished scrapbooks at Gor nick Slovenian Library, Pueblo, Colorado), 12.

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120 75 Mexican Americans and the Catholic Church / village roots of mutual aid, see Thomas J. The Hispanic Contribution to the State of Colorado 123; Dolan, The American Catholic Experience 176; The Pueblo Star Journal Fraternal Life: A Celebration of the first 100 years: 1908 at Gornick Slovenian Library), 13. 76 Joanne West Dodds, They All Came to Pueblo: A Social History 122 123; see also Matjaz Klemencic and Karl Pugelj, Jim Pugel and Other Slovenian Pioneers of Pueblo, Colorado 26 27, 38, 84 85; Cohen, Making a New Deal 208 209; Rosenzweig, Eight Hours for What We Will 27; The Pueblo Star Journal April 14, 1947, April 5, 1948, March 21, 194 8, and February 16, 1949; and Kathy Bacino Collection Colorado State University 77 David J. Weber, The M exican Frontier 78 79; see also Taylor, Colorado: South of the Border The Hispanic Contribution to the State of Colorado The Americ an Catholic Parish 208; and Andrews, Killing for Coal 94. 78 Ruben E. Archuleta, Land of the Penitentes, Land of Tradition ed. Joe T. Ulibarri (Pueblo, CO: Published by El Jefe Diversity, and Self The American Catholic Parish 209; and Ruben Archuleta Collection Colorado State University Pueblo archives (Box #8). 79 Archuleta, Land of the Penitentes, Land of Tradition 3, 72, 76 77; Camp and Plant Vol. III No. 20, Saturday, May 23, 1903, 462 464; Frontier Times Vol. 19 No. 2, November 1941, 73, 75 (part of the Archuleta Collection CSU Pueblo archives (Box #8); The Denver Catholic Register Vol. XXXVII No. 27, Thursday, February 26, 1942, 11; Pueblo Star Jou rnal April 1, 1946. 80 Mexican Americans and the Catholic Church 42 43, 58, 77, 120 132, 180; and Enrique Krauze, Mexico: Biography of Power A History of Modern Mexico, 1810 1996 transl. Hank Heifetz (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, Inc., 1997), 70, 73. 81 Jones, The History of Catholic Education in the State of Colorado 50; Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop 147; and Noll, A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada 491.

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121 82 Linkh, American Catholicism and European Immigrants 39, 40, 42; Noll, A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada 350 351; see also Tomas The Italian Experience in the United States 167; and Orsi, The Madonna of 115 th Street 57, 189, 229. 83 DiSipio, Home at Last: My Story (accessed at Gornick Sloveni an Library), 2, 7, 8. 84 Mexican Americans and the Catholic Church 84, 85, 87; see also Gordon, The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction 180; William Deverell, Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of its Mexican Past (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2004), 16; and Mae M. Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004), 7 8 85 Ngai, Impossible Subjects 54; Gordon, The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction 296, 302; Dolan, In Search of an American Catholicism 141; Nostrand, The Hispano Homeland Mexican Ameri cans and the Catholic Church 153; and Sanchez, Becoming Mexican American 272. 86 Guglielmo, White on Arrival 6, 176; Orsi, The Madonna of 115 th Street 56, 78, 111; S The Italian Experience in the United States 172 173, and Nicholas John in same, 197. 87 Orsi, The Madonna of 115 th Street 160; Andrews, Killing for Coal 1 19; Klemencic and Pugelj, Jim Pugel and Other Slovenian Pioneers of Pueblo, Colorado 48, 95, 117; Cohen, Making a New Deal 147; Rosenzweig, Eight Hours for What We Will 215; and Pueblo Star Journal April 19, 1948.

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122 REFERENCES PRIMARY SOUR CES 1. Camp and Plant The CF&I Industrial Bulletin and The CF&I Blast articles were accessed at the Bessemer Historical Society (BHS) Steelworks Museum Colorado Fuel and Iron (CF&I) Archives, Pueblo, Colorado. 2. articles (Rare Book Collec tion), Penitente articles (Ruben Archuleta Collection), and Italian Fraternal Society information (Kathy Bacino Collection) were accessed at the Southern Colorado Ethnic Heritage and Diversity Archives and Special Collections at Colorado State University Pueblo, Pueblo, Colorado. 3. The Denver Catholic Register and The Southern Colorado Register articles, unpublished parish histories, and parishioner correspondence were accessed at the Diocesan Archives of the Diocese of Pueblo, Pueblo, Colorado. 4. U npublished and self published memoirs, parish scrapbooks, and Slovenian Fraternal Society information was accessed at the Gornick Slovenian Library & Museum Archives 5. Pueblo Chieftain and Pueblo Star Journal arti cles (John Korber Collection), local neighborhood histories, and books released by the Order Sons of Italy and the Pueblo Police Department were accessed at the Western History Archives and Special Collections of the Rawlings Public Library, Pueblo, Colora do. SECONDARY SOURCES 1. Anaya, Rudolfo. Bless Me, Ultima New York: Warner Books, Inc., 1994. 2. Andrews, Thomas G. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008. 3. Archuleta, Ruben E. Land of the P enitentes, Land of Tradition E dited by Joe T. 4. Bennett, David H. The Party of Fear: From Nativist Movements to the New Right in American History Chapel Hill, NC: The Un iversity of North Carolina Press, 1988. 5. Cather, Willa. Death Comes for the Archbishop Alfred A. Knopf / Random House, 1992 (1927). 6. Cohen, Lizabeth. Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919 1939 New Y ork: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

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123 7. de Ons, Jose, ed. The Hispanic Contribution to the State of Colorado Boulder, CO: Westview Press, Inc., 1976. Published under the auspices of the University of Colorado Centennial Commission. 8. Deverell, Wil liam. Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of its Mexican Past Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2004. 9. Dodds, Joanne West. They All Came to Pueblo: A Social History Photograph Editor, Edwin Lloyd Dodds. Virginia Be ach, VA: The Donning Company / Publishers, 1994. 10. Dolan, Jay P. In Search of an American Catholicism: A History of Religion and Culture in Tension New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. 11. Dolan, Jay P. The American Catholic Experience: A History from Colonial Times to the Present Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1992. 12. Dolan, Jay P., ed. The American Catholic Parish: A History from 1850 to the Present Volume II: The Pacific Intermountain West and Midwest States Mahwah, NJ: P aulist Press, 1987. 13. Dolan, Jay P. and Gilberto M. Hinojosa, eds. Mexican Americans and the Catholic Church, 1900 1965 Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1994. 14. Goldberg, Robert Alan. Hooded Empire: The Ku Klux Klan in Colorado Urba na, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1981. 15. Gordon, Linda. The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999. 16. Guglielmo, Thomas A. White on Arrival: Italians, Race, Color, and Power in Chicago, 1890 1945 New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. 17. Jones, Rev. William H. The History of Catholic Education in the State of Colorado Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1955. 18. Klemencic, Matjaz, and Karl Pugelj. Jim Pugel and Other Slovenian Pioneers of Pueblo, Colorado Ljubljana, Slovenia: Institut za Narodnostna Vprasanja / Institute for Ethnic Studies, 2009. 19. Krauze, Enrique. Mexico: Biography of Power A History of Modern Mexico, 1810 1996 Translated by Hank Heifetz. New York: Harp er Collins Publishers, Inc., 1997. 20. Lambert, Frank. Religion in American Politics: A Short History Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008.

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124 21. Linkh, Richard M. American Catholicism and European Immigrants 1900 1924 New York: Center for Mig ration Studies, 1975. 22. May, Lary. Screening Out the Past: The Birth of Mass Culture and the Motion Picture Industry New York: Oxford University Press, 1980. 23. Ngai, Mae M. Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America Prince ton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004. 24. Noel, Thomas J. Colorado Catholicism and the Archdiocese of Denver 1857 1989 Denver, CO: University Press of Colorado, 1989. 25. Noll, Mark A. A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada Gran d Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1992. 26. Noll, Mark A. The Old Religion in a New World: The History of North American Christianity Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2002. 27. Nostrand, Richard L. The Hispano Homelan d Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992. 28. Orsi, Robert Anthony. The Madonna of 115 th Street: Faith and Community in Italian Harlem, 1880 1950 New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1985. H istory of the Catholic Church in Colorado, From the Date of the Arrival of Rt. Rev. J.P. Machebeuf, Until the Day of His Death Denver, CO: C.J. Kelly, 1889. Re issued by the Archdiocese of Denver, 1961. 30. Rosenzweig, Roy. Eight Hours for What We Will: Workers and Leisure in an Industrial City, 1870 1920. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. 31. Sanchez, George J. Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900 1945 New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. 32. Stauter, Msgr. Patrick C. The Willging Years: Seventeen Years with the first Catholic Bishop of Pueblo Chicago, IL: Adams Press, 1986. 33. Taylor, Ralph C. Colorado: South of the Border Denver, CO: Sage Books, 1963. 34. Tomasi, Silvano M., and Made line H. Engel, eds. The Italian Experience in the United States New York: The Center for Migration Studies of New York, Inc., 1970. 35. Trachtenberg, Alan. The Incorporation of America: Culture and Society in the Gilded Age New York: Hill and Wang, 1982

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125 36. Weber, David J. The Mexican Frontier, 1821 1846: The American Southwest Under Mexico Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1982. 37. Zunz, Olivier. Making America Corporate 1870 1920 Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1990.