Giuseppe Cataldo: Pioneer Missionary and the Last of the Black Robes

Sep 01, 2016 683

By Rita Cipalla

In 1881, a stash of silver dollars, 936 of them to be exact, bought 320 acres of land overlooking the Spokane River in eastern Washington. At the time of the sale, the property was described as "the old piece of gravel near the falls." Six years later, Gonzaga College opened its doors to a small group of boys and a slightly larger group of Jesuit faculty. On opening day, the school had seven students; by the end of the first year, that number had increased to 20.

The land purchase and the founding of Gonzaga College were the work of Father Giuseppe Maria Cataldo, a pioneer missionary serving the Pacific Northwest. For 60 years, Cataldo established or served at missions and churches in Idaho, Washington, Montana, Oregon, Alaska and California. His long career of missionary service helped inspire his nickname, "Last of the Black Robes."

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Fonte: L'italo-Americano

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