The Viatorian Community Archives recently received a copy of Steven M. Avella’s new book The Church in Southwest Iowa: A History of the Diocese of Des Moines from the Most Reverend Richard E. Pates, Bishop of Des Moines. Author Fr. Steven Avella is a professor of history at Marquette University.
The book includes a section on the life of Bishop Gerald Thomas Bergan, who served the Diocese Des Moines from 1934 – 1948. Bergan studied at St. Viator College in Bourbonnais beginning in 1909 and served as priest in the Peoria Diocese before being appointed as Bishop of Des Moines.
The history of Bergan, the Viatorians and Dowling College is described in a section titled ‘Saving the High School – The Viatorian Gambit.’ This will be an interesting resource to be used – along with our in-house archival records from that era – in telling the story of the Viatorians in this diocese after St. Viator College closed in 1938.