Roman Catholics from throughout Utah will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Diocese of Salt Lake City during a program and Mass on Sunday, April 14, in the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah.
All Utahns, including Catholics and members of other faiths, are invited.The day has been declared Utah Catholic Heritage Day by Gov. Norm Bangerter in recognition of the church's social, cultural and religious contributions to the state.
Preliminary events will begin at 3 p.m. and will feature a variety of presentations depicting the church's heritage. They include a "Blessing of Four Winds" by members of the Indian community, choral selections by Vietnamese, Hispanic and Tongan choirs and hymns sung by an assembly of 1,000 boys and girls from Utah's Catholic schools.
At 4 p.m., a centennial Mass will be celebrated by the Most Rev. William K. Weigand, bishop of the diocese; the Most Rev. Joseph Lennox Federal, bishop emeritus of the diocese; bishops and archbishops from surrounding Western states and diocese priests.
The Most Rev. John R. Quinn, archbishop of San Francisco, will deliver the sermon.
A geographical territory, the diocese was established Jan. 27, 1891, by Pope Leo XIII and originally included all of Utah and eastern Nevada. At the time, it was the largest diocese geographically in the United States, covering 84,900 square miles.
Irish-born Bishop Lawrence J. Scanlan, who came to Utah as a young priest and developed fledgling Catholic parishes, schools and hospitals throughout the territory, was appointed the first bishop.
Utah's Catholic population has grown from 800 in 1873 to 66,000 in 62 parishes and missions today.