Xavier administrator tackles Church history

Roger Fortin writes book chronicling the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati | November 7, 2002

Academic Vice President Roger Fortin traveled through 175 years of history while researching his newly released book, "Faith and Action: A History of the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati, 1821-1996." Published by The Ohio State University Press, the book paints a picture of the Catholic Church’s involvement in Cincinnati’s development and puts into context the changing values and programs of the Church in the region as well as the nation. Fortin, a professor of history, writes about how local Catholics in the early years wanted the Church to adapt to the new American situation, while at the same time espousing separation of church and state and religious liberty. He also chronicles how Cincinnati Catholics in the mid-19th century were dealing with a dominant Protestant culture and, at times, a hostile environment, and how, a century later, the Church had become much more a part of the mainstream. During the last 50 years, he writes, Cincinnati Catholics now feel more confident and view themselves as very much a part of American society. Most Cincinnati Catholics will find references to the parishes they grew up in and schools they attended. There are also several pages dedicated to former Archbishop Joseph Cardinal Bernardin and current Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk. Fortin spent about five years researching the book, which is now available in local bookstores or at Amazon.com. He is currently working on the history of the University for another book.