The Journal of San Diego History
Fall 1992, Volume 38, Number 4
Richard W. Crawford, Editor

Book Review

A Calendar of Documents and Related Historical Materials in the Archival Center: Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Prepared by Sister Miriam Ann Cunningham, C.S.C. with a Preface and Historical Introduction by Msgr. Francis J. Weber. Mission Hills: Saint Francis Historical Society, 1990. 296 pages. $50.00.

Reviewed by Alberto L. Pulido, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Ethnic Studies, University of Utah.

Described as the first guide of its kind ever issued for an ecclessial jurisdiction in the United States, the Calendar of Documents and Related Historical Materials is an important index for materials in the repository for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The calendar catalogs the archival holdings for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles between the years 1903 through 1917 which covers the episcopate of the Right Reverend Thomas J. Conaty who replaced George Montgomery as bishop of the Monterey-Los Angeles diocese.

Each entry is assigned a code number and described as to correspondents, date, language, pagination, and place of origin. The calendar is organized chronologically and provides descriptive accounts of 3427 individual letters. In addition, a total of 292 homilies, addresses, and lectures delivered by Bishop Conaty are listed and organized by subject heading. A biographical index of individuals mentioned in the correspondence is also provided.

This finding device is an invaluable research tool for scholars interested in the development of American Catholicism in California during the early twentieth century. Under the direction of Bishop Conaty, the institutional church experienced tremendous expansion in California as the number of Roman Catholics tripled. Bishop Conaty had established a total of twenty-seven new parishes only two years into his episcopate. His work with the diocesan newspaper, the laity, religious orders, and charitable organizations brought substantial growth to the region. His most important contribution was to Roman Catholic education. During his episcopate, school enrollments doubled, and a total of twenty-four schools were established in the diocese.

Scholars of Native American studies may also wish to consult this calendar, especially if they have interest in the Serrano and Cahuilla tribes of California. A brief perusal of the calendar reveals some interesting correspondence between Bishop Conaty and Father B. Florian Hahn who ministered exclusively to these groups in Banning, California.