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Au-delà du New Deal / Beyond the New Deal
Local Activism and the Shaping of New Institutions and Political Agendas

« For both Cross and Flag »

Catholic Action in Northern California During the Thirties
William Issel

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1The separation of church and state has been a central principle of American life since the Bill of Rights became part of the Constitution in 1791. However, the interconnection of politics and religion predated the Constitution by more than a century, and today Americans continue to debate the extent to which religious faith should guide public policy. This essay seeks to recover a forgotten chapter of this aspect of American cultural history by telling the story of the origins, development, and consequences of a campaign in northern California when the men and women activists of Catholic Action worked to infuse everyday life and public policy with Catholic Christian principles. During the 1930s and beyond, they worked to neutralize those tendencies in American life that Walter Lippman, in his 1929 work A Preface to Morals famously identified as « the Acids of Modernity. »

2On May 12, 1935, San Francisco attorney Sylvester M. Andriano gave the commencement address at St. Mary’s College in Moraga. A 1911 graduate of St. Mary’s, Andriano spoke on « Catholic Education and the Lapse of Catholic Action. » Six days later, Archbishop John J. Mitty thanked the San Francisco attorney and added that he was « delighted beyond measure » with the talk. A lay activist for years, Andriano founded and presided over the Young Men’s Institute Forum and the Laymen’s Retreat Movement. In 1922, the Italian born attorney (he became a naturalized citizen in 1914) founded the Dante Council of the Knights of Columbus (K of C) affiliated with the Italian national parish operated by Salesian priests in the city’s North Beach neighborhood. In 1937, Mitty appointed Andriano director of the Holy Name Society, and in January 1938 the Archbishop asked Andriano to head a new Catholic Action men’s organization. James L. Hagerty, a philosophy professor at St. Mary’s College was named executive secretary of the new group.1 Hagerty edited The Moraga Quarterly, a journal of literary and social criticism that addressed Catholic readers throughout northern California. In 1939, the Quarterly published a recent speech by a young San Franciscan, a speech devoted to « the preparation for entrance into the field of labor relations » and titled « The Catholic College Graduate and Labor. » The author was John F. (Jack) Henning, a recent St. Mary’s College graduate who later became the head of the California State Federation of Labor as well as Undersecretary of Labor in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Henning argued that « The army of the Church is today engaged in a stern struggle » and « the need of the Catholic Church for an articulate laity in Labor is too gigantic to question. » He stressed that Catholics in labor relations needed to fight both « American Way » individualism and the « painted panaceas » of « the land of Communism or the land of Fascism. » Henning praised « those who act only as the voice of the membership, the voice of the rank and file, who administer their offices upon the direct rule of the majority of the membership. » He also urged Catholics in the labor movement to avoid red baiting : « question the motives of those leaders who brand every militant surge of rank and file activity the result of ‘red agitation.’ » Catholic workers should endorse genuinely democratic unionism and get involved with the « Association of Catholic Trade Unionists, the Catholic Worker movement, and other similar enterprises which sponsor Catholic labor schools.2

3During the 1930s, Sylvester Andriano, James Hagerty, Jack Henning and numerous Catholic men and women campaigned for Catholic Action. In concert with their Archbishop, Rev. John J. Mitty, they saw themselves engaged in a struggle against secularism, materialism, fascism, and communism. The activists combined zeal to revitalize their personal faith with a determination to be politically influential. The California activists took their charge from Pope Pius XI’s calls for revitalization of the Church’s mission as outlined in series of encyclical letters from 1922 to 1937 [Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio (1922), Quas Primas (1925), Non Abbiamo Bisogno and Quadragesimo Anno (1931), and Divini Redemptoris (1937)]. Their campaign was a northern California expression of an important but neglected cultural dynamic of the New Deal era.

4The Catholic Action campaigns have been ignored in general histories of the period from the Great Depression to the Cold War. Even historians of the American Catholic experience have failed to appreciate the significance of the grassroots campaigns for Catholic Action. The secondary literature on Catholicism in the United States pays scant attention to this initiative, which took place at the very moment that Catholics left behind their « immigrant church » mentality and moved into to the mainstream of American public life. Sometimes, Catholic Action work complemented the work of liberals in the New Deal and post‑New Deal period ; this was particularly the case with Catholic social welfare and labor relations efforts, though tensions over the balance of local, state, and federal control of welfare existed. Sometimes the principles of Catholic activists clashed with the priorities of other, secular and liberal, supporters of FDR’s liberal Democratic coalition. This was the case with their opposition to Communists in the labor movement, their condemnation of the Loyalist side in the Spanish Civil War, and their opposition to birth control.3

5This examination of the complex intersections of religion and politics focuses on the grassroots and examines the Catholic Action campaign in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. During the period the Archdiocese contained 171 parishes, some 600 priests, and over 400,000 Catholics living in thirteen bay area counties from Santa Clara in the south to Mendocino in the north. Four interrelated projects comprised the agenda of the northern California Catholic Action campaign, and this essay touches briefly on each in the interest of suggesting the broad outlines of this Church and lay endeavor : 1) revitalization of religious practice ; 2) social welfare reform ; 3) the Catholic labor movement ; 4) public policy lobbying efforts by the Church and by lay Catholic organizations.


6The Catholic Action campaign began on May 7, 1932 with a speech by Coadjutor Archbishop John J. Mitty at a reception for the Archdiocesan Council of the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW). Five weeks earlier, Mitty had arrived from Salt Lake City to take up his new responsibilities under Archbishop Edward J. Hanna (Mitty succeeded Hanna when he retired in March, 1935). During his first weeks in San Francisco, Mitty and John J. Burke, the General Secretary of the National Catholic Welfare Conference (NCWC) corresponded about the need to intensify the Church’s efforts to mobilize laymen and women in legislative lobbying. Burke shared with Mitty his pleasure at having the complete text of a papal encyclical published in The Congressional Record for the first time (Quadragesimo Anno). However, he urged Mitty to take pains to convince bay area men and women to write to their congressmen and senators opposing legislation such as the Sheppard‑Towner Maternity Bill. That bill and others, according to Burke, « assumes for the Federal Government an authority and an administration which our Federal Constitution never contemplated, and its gross paternalism [is] particularly injurious in that it moves farther away from the individual citizen that civic responsibility which rests upon him and of which he should be actively conscious. » Burke also urged Mitty to encourage opposition to a Senate Bill, still in subcommittee, that given its origins in the lobbying of « Mrs. Sanger » would « promote the propaganda of birth control. »4

7In the May 7 speech that initiated his Catholic Action campaign, Mitty told the NCCW women in his audience that he wanted « greater effort and activity on your part » to monitor and shape the work of « our State Legislature and our National Congress. » « You have to take an active part » and « prevent over centralization and too much bureaucracy » and « bills [that] totally ignore fundamental Christian and American principles. » Then Mitty moved beyond political action and called for a broad campaign on several fronts. « Catholic Action » the Archbishop reminded his audience, « has been preached to us in season and out of season » and it was time to move beyond rhetoric to practice. « Our aim [in this campaign] is to bring the ideals and principles of Christ into every phase of human life, into our own individual life, into family, social economic, professional, political and national life. We are striving to advance the interests of Christ, to bring the spirit of Christ into our homes, our reception halls, our workshops, our offices, our legislative assemblies. We have a duty to make a contribution of Christian ideals and principles to the nation. » The « purpose and object » of lay organizations, Mitty stressed, « is not political. Neither as a Church nor an organization are we interested in any political aim or any political party. » However, « We cannot live as if we were not part of the country » and we must « work unceasingly for both Church and country, for both Cross and Flag. »5

8In his position as Coadjutor Archbishop, Mitty continued to boost the expansion and activism of the NCCW. By the end of 1934, with the support of Archbishop Hanna, who served as Chairman of the Administrative Committee of the NCWC, all thirteen counties of the Archdiocese had established chapters. The work proved slow and difficult, as suggested by a Mrs. W. H. Culigan in a letter to the Archbishop in March 1933. We have « a hopeless case here in Santa Clara » because of « too much foreign element and too few women of the stamp needed to get together a suitable quorum for organization. » In San Francisco, where the campaign proved most successful, the Archdiocese sponsored the first regional conference of the NCCW in February 1933, highlighted by a « mass meeting » at the War Memorial Opera House in the Civic Center. In May 1933, the Industrial Problems Committee of the Archdiocesan NCCW co‑sponsored, with the Social Action Department of the NCWC, an Industrial Problems conference in the city. By February 1935 an estimated 4652 women belonged to the 21 of 45 parish women’s organizations affiliated with the NCCW. Another 6679 women held membership cards in the 33 non‑parochial NCCW affiliates (the largest groups were the Loyola Guild, the alumnae of Sacred Heart Convents, and the Ladies Auxiliary of the Apostleship of the Sea). Despite the apparent success of the campaign, the group’s secretary, Christine Regan O’Toole, urged the Archbishop to continue his appeal for participation during his annual address to the local NCCW « because so many are present, who are indifferent to the work of the Council. »6


9Catholic Action during the last three years of Archbishop Hanna’s service (1932‑1934) and during Archbishop Mitty’s tenure from 1935 through the rest of the decade of the 1930s developed through the efforts of women like Christine Regan O’Toole and men like Jack Henning and Sylvester M. Andriano. They built the infrastructure of their lay organizations in a process that included cooperation with the Chancery office and deference to the hierarchy’s authority. However, the initiatives of the Archdiocese and the work of O’Toole, Andriano and others did not take place in a vacuum, because like other residents of San Francisco and the bay area they found themselves forced to meet the challenges posed by the Pacific Coast maritime strike from May through July of 1934. Catholic Action in the labor field took shape as activists sought to implement the policies of Pius XI in competition with Communist and other leftist activists involved in the dramatic struggle over power on the waterfront. On June 9, at the end of the first month of the strike by longshoremen and sailors, the official Archdiocesan newspaper presented the Church’s point of view in a front‑page editorial on « The Maritime Strikes. » « The rights of the ship‑owners over their ships do not give them the right to impoverish the whole community ; nor do the rights of the striking workers include the right to pursue their aims regardless of the consequences to the third party in the dispute, namely the people who are not directly involved, but who depend upon cargoes for their livelihoods and sustenance. » The Monitor urged « all Catholics, who are employers, or who are in any way directly connected [with management] to read and know the contents of the encyclicals…that treat of the problems of capital and labor…and to acquaint their associates and acquaintances with the contents of these encyclicals and to give them copies of them. » Should Catholic San Franciscans fail in this duty, according to the editorialist, « then those Catholics will be held to answer. »7

10In addition to prescribing the moral responsibility of all San Franciscans to involve themselves personally in helping to settle labor conflicts according to Catholic principles, the editorial alerted Catholics to the particular danger posed by extremism. « Shipowners have a perfect right to refuse to deliver the management of their business to a soviet. Longshoremen have a perfect right to organize in a union and to bargain collectively for wages and hours that will enable them to support their families in frugal comfort, to educate their children, and to lay something by for sickness and old age. But these rights are obscured because of the laissez faire extremists on the one hand and the communist fanatics on the other. The public has had enough of both. » « We regret that hate motivates both of these groups. The Communists hate injustice more than they love justice. The ruthless ‘individualists’ among employers do not consider justice at all, but hate all who check their lust for power and money. »

11San Franciscans needed to organize a Catholic counterforce. « If Christian workers would stem the tide of Communism, they must bring to the workers’ cause as devoted an energy and as strict a discipline as members of the Communist Party manifest. Communism is a religion—a materialistic religion [and] appeals to many workers because the apostles of Communism work with a zeal worthy of a better cause. They can be challenged and checked only by men, who for the love of God study the Catholic teaching as thoroughly as Communists study the Communist theory ; who devote as much energy to the propagation of the principles contained in the encyclicals on labor as the Communists do in spreading the doctrine of Marx ; who labor as industriously to apply Catholic principles as the Communists work to apply the principles of Lenin. »

12During the worst violence of the waterfront strike, from July 3 to July 5, Archbishop Hanna invited economist Sam Kagel and unionist E. B. O’Grady to Archdiocese headquarters and personally urged them to do what they could to stop the bloodshed. Then on July 13, with the city in the throes of a General Strike, Hanna addressed San Franciscans in a speech broadcast over radio stations KGO, KPO, and KFRC. Returning to the themes enunciated in his newspaper’s June 9 editorial, the Archbishop explicitly endorsed both labor unions and collective bargaining, and condemned employer exploitation that ignored « the human character of the worker. » Then, in a blunt rejection of the Communist Party slogan « class against class, » Hanna criticized unionists who premised their activities on the necessity of « conflict between class and class, » and warned leftist unionists that « rights must be religiously respected wherever they are found. » Both sides in the waterfront strike, Hanna insisted, should move quickly to accept the results of arbitration, keeping in mind the « underlying principles which have ever been the teaching of Christianity during 2000 years. »8

13 The parties to the waterfront strike settled the dispute during the next two weeks. Catholic activists who were close to the Archbishop played key roles. Michael J. Casey, a long‑time president of the local teamster’s union and confidant of Archbishop Hanna, opposed the General Strike of July 16 to 19. He failed to stop it, but he did convince the five teamster delegates to the Labor Council’s General Strike Committee to vote against the citywide shut down. Casey’s influence helped shape the divided vote on the General Strike Committee : 315 yes, 245 abstain, and 15 no. Another Catholic activist, lawyer Francis J. Neylan, used his influence to assemble the recalcitrant shippers at his home in suburban Woodside. He served them a « cold water lunch, » and he argued that continuing to hold to a union‑busting position and refusing to compromise would cause long‑term harm to the city’s business economy and economic prospects. Neylan convinced them to move to the center and endorse a moderate settlement. Finally, the National Longshoremen’s Board, on which Archbishop Hanna served, added its influence on the side of compromise. The strike settlement realigned the relationship between organized labor and business in the direction called for by Catholic leaders. Business leaders agreed to arbitration. They expressed a public commitment to respect the rights of labor and to treat workers with dignity. They also pledged themselves, in the words of the Chamber of Commerce president, « to see that those isolated instances in which labor has been exploited shall be corrected. »9

14Moderates from business and labor working closely with the Church and local government constructed the settlement and brought the strike to an end. These leaders, and the city press, particularly The Monitor, immediately set to work representing the settlement as a victory for business unionism, with its emphasis on putting pork chops on the table, and a defeat for radical unionism, with its call for proletarian revolution in the streets. The city’s voters expressed their moderate character in many ways, perhaps none more dramatically than by reestablishing the right to peaceful picketing by unions while at the same time consistently choosing moderate businessmen over leftist reformers for mayors and supervisors. Tension persisted in the city’s public life. Business leaders’ rhetorical affirmation of labor’s rights clashed with their practical desire to limit union power, but the Catholic principles that had shaped the outcome of the Great Strike became increasingly a part of San Francisco’s public culture in the decades to come.10


15When Archbishop Mitty took office in March 1935, he followed up on the waterfront strike settlement by encouraging additional lay activism on the political and cultural fronts. Support for patriotism and opposition to communism constituted an important element of this effort. On March 22, the Archbishop encouraged local participation in the « proposed mobilization plan of the Knights of Columbus. » The San Francisco efforts paralleled the national « Mobilization for Catholic Action » drafted by William P. Larkin and distributed by the K of C Supreme Council in New Haven, Connecticut. Demonstrating the executive abilities that would be a hallmark of his entire tenure, the new Archbishop, through Rt. Rev. Monsignor Richard Collins, State Chaplin, fostered « A Plan for the Knights of Columbus in California. »11 Drafted by San Franciscan William T. Sweigert, State Deputy, the seven‑page Plan outlined an ambitious program : « The present loose association of councils must be replaced by something more sensible and more conducive to progress and action. » (bold face in original) San Francisco Knight Edward Molkenbuhr, Chairman of the Department of Parish Cooperation and Catholic Activities, explained that the purpose of « the mobilization of Catholic man‑power » was « to effectually [sic] combat the destructive forces and the « isms » [sic] that are becoming so rampant, and which are undermining Christianity and the welfare of nations. » Pleased that « the Knights of Columbus have had bestowed upon them the appellation, ‘Standard Bearers of Catholic Action’ » Molkenbuhr urged « every member of our Order to enlist under this banner, and zealously work in its interest. »12

16Molkenbuhr and his colleagues, along with numerous lay volunteers worked closely with the Archbishop to limit the influence of the Communist Party during the next several years. Archbishop Mitty also made common cause with the American Legion (he served as director of the California department of the organization in 1935) and with several local business leaders affiliated with the Industrial Association of San Francisco. On January 5, the Archbishop spoke out against « a new philosophy abroad in the world today, the philosophy of the Totalitarian State » at the golden jubilee dinner of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. He published his speech alongside a reprinting of Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Quod Apostolici Muneris in the official newspaper on Washington’s Birthday, under the bold headline « Communism, a Monstrous Evil. » In June, in a speech that brought the Regional Catholic Conference on Industrial Problems to a close, the Archbishop argued that « we cannot put religion in one compartment and industry in another, and social amusements in another, and political and legislative in another. Religion is worthless unless it has its message for human beings in every phase of human life [and] before we can attempt a satisfactory solution of the problems of industry… we need a renewal of the Christian spirit in our own hearts and our own souls. »13

17The chief target of anti‑Communist effort in the bay area was Harry Bridges, the Australian‑born head of the new International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union (ILWU). The Archbishop, Jack Henning and the other leading Catholic labor activists opposed the Communist Party’s agenda in the ILWU, but they refused to endorse the campaigns to deport Bridges. Henning, and Mike Casey, until his death in May1937, maintained cordial relations with Bridges. The records of the American Communist Party and related Comintern files on the American party, recently opened to historians in Moscow, indicate that Bridges was, in fact, a member of the Central Committee of the American CP. However, the new evidence does not support the claim that the Party controlled Bridges or that Moscow gold financed the ILWU’s work.14

18To his credit, the Archbishop refused to encourage the personal vilification and character assassination of Bridges practiced by the most aggressive of the local super patriots. Mitty also decided, after an investigation that yielded ambiguous information about the personal history of the organizers, not to affiliate the Church with an American League against Communism that appeared in the city in 1936. However, he did assist in the organization of a « United Front » against « Radical and Communistic Activities » organized by the American Legion, the K of C, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and the Young Men’s Institute. In addition, Mitty received detailed reports of the activities of several Communist Party activists in San Francisco from private investigators hired by Hugh Gallagher, Chairman of the Pacific American Shipowners Association. When Communist Party front organizations successfully attracted hundreds to public meetings in 1936 and 1937, the Archdiocese responded with programs that drew thousands to Kezar Stadium and the Civic Auditorium. At the Kezar Stadium event, Mitty forthrightly condemned « appeals to class warfare » and the « philosophy that at once blasphemes Christ and aims to destroy our Government. »15

19Then in 1938, Jack Henning, John F. Maguire, and Laura Smith organized a San Francisco chapter of the Association of Catholic Trade Unionists (ACTU).16 The new organization, its membership restricted to Catholics, ratified a constitution that declared its purpose in language that Henning used in his St. Mary’s College speech : « To foster and spread . . . sound trade unionism built on Christian principles. » The ACTU program drew upon Catholic labor teachings and stressed both the rights and the duties of workers. The rights included job security, an income high enough to allow a family to live a decent life, collective bargaining through independent, democratic unions, a decent share in employer profits, the right to strike and picket for a just cause, a just price, and decent hours and working conditions. Duties including performing an honest day’s work, joining a union, striking only for a just cause, refraining from violence, respecting property rights, living up to agreements freely made, enforcing honesty and democracy in the union, and cooperating with employers in establishing industry councils and producer cooperatives. In San Francisco and elsewhere, the ACTU sponsored educational programs designed to increase the number and influence of Catholic unionists as organizers, officers, and negotiators. Later (in 1948), the local chapter amended the constitution to add clauses requiring « strict honesty within the union and a square deal for everybody regardless of race, color, or creed » and prohibiting membership to anyone « who is a member of any subversive organization.17

20Archbishop Mitty gave the ACTU his « wholehearted approval, » and he gave his blessing to Rev. Hugh A. Donohoe’s request to serve as its chaplain, the only ACTU office that was not an elective position. Initially, the Archbishop instructed Donohoe to steer the ACTU away from « political activities and from possible difficulties between various labor organizations. » However, as Mitty became convinced of the ACTU’s commitment to the spread of unionism based on Christian principles, he quickly recognized the organization’s potential to counter the influence of communism within the local labor movement and gave it his unreserved full support. The ACTU received public praise as an excellent example of the type of Catholic worker societies called for by Pius XI in Quadragesimo Anno. Business leaders received assurance that the new organization had the endorsement of the Archdiocese. Catholic workers received encouragement to join the group.18

21 John F. Maguire served as president of the ACTU during its active years from 1939 to the mid‑1950s. Like Hugh Donohoe, and John Shelley of the American Federation of Labor County Council, Maguire was a graduate of St. Paul’s grammar school in the heavily Catholic Mission District. By 1944 ACTU membership within the Archdiocese had swelled to the point where a second chapter was established in Oakland. The Oakland chaplain was Father Bernard Cronin, a graduate of the Social Action School for Priests, and the author of a biography of the legendary Father Peter Yorke, San Francisco’s « Consecrated Thunderbolt. »19 After twenty‑five years of operation, some 750 applications had been distributed and 600 union members joined and paid dues, though monthly meetings and communion breakfasts typically attracted fewer than two dozen activists. By the time Laura Smith, a retail clerk’s union member who had been a founding member, closed the checking account in 1963, the group had been largely inactive for five years.20

22During its first decade, San Francisco ACTU members self‑consciously drew upon principles of Catholic Action to make a difference in the San Francisco labor movement, particularly on the waterfront. The longshoremen’s unions dominated the organization, with the 274 members from the ILWU divided as follows : 191 from Local 10, and 16 from Local 6. Another 67 belonged to Warehouse union Local 34. Fifty teamsters from Local 85 belonged to the ACTU, as did 40 retail clerks from Local 1100. The building trades unions, which also enrolled large numbers of Catholic members, were poorly represented, perhaps owing to the fact that the Communist Party had not targeted the trades in the way it had the maritime unions. The most dramatic evidence of the ACTU’s work occurred in Local 10 of the ILWU, where ACTU members made a concerted effort to compete with left‑wing candidates for local offices. Harry Bridges was international president of the ILWU and he scoffed at charges that he operated a communist dictatorship and boasted of his union’s democratic procedures. Bridges had a point. In 1943, James Stanley Kearney, who joined the ACTU in early 1940, ran against Communist Party member Archie Brown in the election for Local vice‑president. Kearney won the election. Then, during the subsequent twenty‑seven years, Kearney won elections for nine one‑year terms as the president of Local Ten. This record is more impressive than it may appear at first glance, because the union bylaws required incumbents to stand down after each term to keep a president from succeeding himself. When Kearney died suddenly in 1970 he was still serving as president, and the entire waterfront shut down in honor of his memory. It is not surprising that Paul Pinsky, the director of the Research Department of the ILWU sent an informant to ACTU meetings who took notes on the proceedings. Kearney’s Catholic Action leadership style, like that of George Bradley, another Local 10 officer and ACTU activist, has been ignored in previous accounts of the ILWU. When Catholic activists have been acknowledged, they have been described using the pejorative phrase « rightwing faction. »21 As a consequence of such biased interpretations, the importance of Catholic Action in the work of the San Francisco ACTU activists has been forgotten, their religious principles and motives have been ignored, and they have been vilified as misguided anti‑Communists.22


23The efforts of Jack Henning and his colleagues to bring Catholic Action into the labor movement by means of the ACTU were matched on another front by the work of Sylvester Andriano and James L. Hagerty. They pursued the Catholic Action agenda through the medium of a new organization called The Catholic Men of San Francisco. Andriano graduated from St. Mary’s College in 19ll, Hagerty in 1919. Andriano immersed himself in his San Francisco law practice and public affairs in city government and in the North Beach Italian American community. Mayor James Rolph appointed Andriano to the Board of Supervisors, and Angelo Rossi, mayor from 1931 to 1943, appointed his friend and personal attorney Andriano to the Police Commission. When Mayor Rossi assembled a Citizen’s Committee of 25 during the « July Days » of the 1934 strike, he appointed Andriano one of the members. Andriano later recalled being the sole pro‑union voice in an otherwise hostile business and professional group ; he vigorously and successfully argued that the mayor should not request a martial law proclamation from Governor Merriam. In contrast to Andriano’s active public life, Hagerty, a bachelor, pursued a more contemplative career devoted to his students and to the cause of Catholic Action. He began teaching at his alma mater immediately after receiving his baccalaureate degree, earned an M.A. in 1921, and commenced a career as a philosophy professor at St. Mary’s that continued until his death in 1957. Hagerty edited The Moraga Quarterly from its first issue in 1930 through the years of World War II.23

24Two years before Hagerty received his bachelor’s degree, Andriano and a partner established an Italian Catholic Union in North Beach and the group began publication of a weekly newspaper, L’Unione ; the Archdiocese assumed responsibility for the weekly in 1927. Andriano maintained a residence in the town where he was born, Castelnuovo Don Bosco, and in 1931 during a summer trip to Italy he « became really interested in Catholic Action and upon my return to San Francisco undertook the study of it in earnest. » In 1935 Andriano spoke at the Archbishop’s request on Catholic Action to the graduating class at St. Mary’s, and in the following year the Archbishop asked him to address the combined Catholic high school graduation ceremony at the city’s Dreamland Auditorium. Andriano’s high school commencement address came four weeks after the nationwide radio broadcast of Baltimore’s Auxiliary Bishop John M. McNamara’s speech at the annual Notre Dame University reunion in Washington, D.C.. McNamara renewed the call for lay men and women to « share in [the mission of the hierarchy]… to promote the good of human society throughout the world and to combat the evils which make for its destruction. » By this time, Hagerty and Andriano had formed a Catholic Action prayer and study group and they asked Archbishop Mitty to approve and endorse plans for a more extensive program of study and action. While impressed with their zeal (« Mr. Andriano has probably read everything that has been published on the subject and has the Catholic ideal of it »), Mitty proceeded cautiously. He dispatched Rev. Thomas N. O’Kane of St. Joseph’s College to meet with Andriano and Hagerty and their colleagues « so that the group would keep within the reservation. »24

25By the autumn of 1937, Andriano and Hagerty had met with the pastors of each of the sixty parishes in San Francisco to solicit support for a citywide Catholic Action lay organization, and they presented the Archbishop with a draft « Plan for Catholic Action. » In the introduction to the « Plan, » the authors defined the problem and outlined a solution : « Despite flowery statements perhaps Catholicity is not making much progress. Perhaps barely holding its own. Perhaps really losing. Not only in numbers but also in fervor and fidelity. Birth Control, Practical cessation of immigration, the American materialistic environment, atheistic anti‑clericalism. The old self‑sacrificing, self‑denying Catholicity would seem to be rapidly dying out. A fervent few . . . an overwhelming majority of normal Catholics. Communistic propaganda may have made far more inroads than it appears. AND NOW THE SUGGESTED REMEDY. The best defense is an attack. Systematic, co‑ordinated, directed, expository, Nationwide evangelization (italics and upper case in original) Under direction and control of the Apostolic Delegate and Bishops. » The plan of action called for a « constant, patient, consistent Crusade, » including a diocesan « truth crusade, » diocesan mission bands of priests who are « young, zealous, enthusiastic Americans, » adaptation of Mormon, and various other missionary methods for laymen and laywomen, pamphlets and lectures, Catholic shelves in public libraries. The goal : « Arousing the zeal of pastors for this work by propaganda, assistance, suggestions, and contact. »25

26On December 22, 1936, the Archbishop invited several dozen men from throughout the city for a meeting in the basement of St. Mary’s Cathedral to discuss « uniting the parishes of San Francisco in a definite program of Catholic Action. » In addition to representatives from the largest parishes, the invitation list included high‑ranking officers from the more important municipal government departments and executives from the city’s largest and most prestigious business firms. Most of the men who attended this first meeting on February 12, 1937 continued to gather every other week during that year for focused discussions on how to move from the theory of Catholic Action to the practice. Then, on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 1938, between 200 and 250 men gathered in the Cathedral basement and formally inaugurated The Catholic Men of San Francisco. James L. Hagerty announced that « Confirmation is the Sacrament of Catholic Action, making men soldiers » and suggested that the assembled volunteers should regard themselves as part of the « priesthood of the layman. » The Rt. Rev. Monsignor Charles A. Ramm stressed that « personal sanctification [is] necessary in order that the Holy Ghost might find them fit to be the instruments of the work ; second, the necessity of remembering that this ‘participation in the apostolate’ meant the saving of souls to compose the Mystical Body of Christ. »26

27Mitty appointed Sylvester Andriano and James Hagerty to the positions of president and executive secretary of the new organization, and in March, Andriano traveled to Rome to secure official Vatican approval of the Catholic Action initiative in San Francisco. Pope Pius XI gave the group his blessing, and Giuseppe Cardinal Pizzardo, the Chief Assistant for Catholic Action in Italy, and Monsignor Luigi Civardi, author of the official Manual of Catholic Action (1935), assured the San Franciscan that his plan was a sound one. On October 29, 1938, the eve of the Feast of Christ the King, Archbishop Mitty announced that « I like to sum [Catholic Action] up in one phrase : That what the Holy Father wants you to do is to vitalize your religion, make it something really vital in your lives. » The Archbishop criticized the notion that « Religion is not supposed to come out of that [certain limited] compartment and overflow into our being. We have a feeling of inferiority about religion, due to an historic situation where we were out‑numbered. But there is no necessity for it today. Human life has been practically denuded of Christian principles. What the pope wants is to vitalize them. That is the meaning of Catholic Action—no more, no less . . . in doing that we not only make a contribution to the progress of the Church, but we are making a substantial contribution to the welfare of our own land, a contribution to America which it badly needs ; we are making a contribution to human civilization, until we bring about a right balance between material and spiritual things, which are going topsy‑turvy. »27

28From 1938 until the beginning of 1942, when World War II sidetracked their work, Andriano and Hagerty gradually built up the numbers and expanded the activities of the organization at the citywide and parish level. The Archdiocesan Council operated as a bay area lay interest group, working with the K of C and AOH. They successfully lobbied for local ordinances prohibiting sexually explicit magazines from sidewalk news kiosks and magazine racks, and they boycotted movies that sympathized with the Spanish Republic or included licentious behavior on the screen. Parish Councils, charged with organizing Catholic Action Circles in each of the city’s 60 parishes, pursued a three part agenda of devotional revitalization involving individual sanctification ; sanctification of the home ; sanctification of society. The program included participation in parish holy hour devotions ; regular celebration of annual feast days ; blessing of homes, grace before meals, family communion and renewal of marriage vows daily ; parish Sunday mass crusades aimed at increasing regular attendance and limiting latecomers and those leaving early ; use of the missal and active participation in rosaries, benedictions, and stations of the cross. By mid‑1941, according to an official report, 90% of the parishes in the Archdiocese, 160 parishes, had established Catholic Action Circles involving 1500 men and 300 women. Catholic Action schools for parish priests and parochial school teachers operated in San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. The Archdiocese published a local manual for Catholic Action work, as well as a Catholic Action and the Priest booklet by Rev. John J. Hunt, the group’s chaplain. The Archdiocesan Council published a monthly newsletter and operated a Speakers Bureau that dispatched lecturers to meetings and radio programs in all the bay area counties. St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park added a required Catholic Action course to its curriculum. Bay area Catholic high schools established student Catholic Action Circles.

29Attorneys in the organization established a separate Catholic lawyer’s guild called the St. Thomas More Society. The lawyers organized a Spanish Relief Committee and raised funds for reconstruction of battle‑scarred communities. In 1937, the Committee published Democracy ! Which Brand, Stalin’s or Jefferson’s by Umberto Olivieri, a professor at the Jesuit‑run Santa Clara University. Sylvester Andriano wrote the preface, arguing that « the Red Government of Spain, far from being the champion of democracy, is a regime of tyranny, persecution and barbarism and the only hope for the triumph of order and justice and of true democracy lies with the Nationalists. » One leading attorney in San Francisco, John Francis Neylan, who like Andriano had close personal ties with Archbishop Mitty, lashed out at the New Deal with particular fury on the grounds that it violated morally acceptable relations between the central government and American citizens. Neylan served as general counsel to William Randolph Hearst’s business empire from 1925 to 1935, and in a lengthy address to the San Francisco Bond Club on April 28, 1938 entitled « The Politician—the Enemy of Mankind » he excoriated « mad schemes and ambitions which are fundamentally responsible for the amazing conditions existing in this country today. » Neylan especially castigated « the multitudinous schemes of spending public money » by « the coterie that has controlled patronage, appropriations and relief expenditures. »28


30Archbishop Mitty’s Catholic Action campaign encompassed legislative activism in addition to building a Catholic labor movement and encouraging laymen and women to revitalize their personal faith and become political activists dedicated to infusing public life with Catholic principles. During his first year in office, the Archbishop delegated legislative work to Msgr. James Cantwell, a member of the Archdiocesan staff. Cantwell worked with pastors of northern California parishes to develop a database that could be used during political campaigns. The priests responded with information on the socio‑economic background, religious affiliation (and sometimes local gossip) and voting records of members of the California State Assembly and Senate in counties within and beyond the Archdiocesan boundaries. From 1935 to 1939, Andrew R. Johnson, a San Francisco Realtor and insurance broker, monitored the legislature’s activities and lobbied in Sacramento on behalf of the interests of the Archdiocese. Attorney Andrew Burke, a member of the law office of Garret W. McEnerney, the counsel for the Archdiocese, worked with Johnson in Sacramento. (In the late 1930s, Burke and McEnerney played key roles in the national campaign to deny Franklin D. Roosevelt a third term because, like numerous Catholic critics across the country, they regarded FDR's attempts to « pack » the Supreme Court a sure sign of his dictatorial propensities.) During the first four years of Mitty’s tenure, Burke and Johnson kept Mitty apprised of the introduction of numerous bills and solicited his advice on how to proceed during the legislative process. In 1935, for instance, Mitty opposed a bill (it never passed) that would have created a State Department of Eugenics with responsibility for forced sterilization of prison and mental hospital inmates. During the second half of the decade, the Archbishop attempted unsuccessfully to convince bishops in the other dioceses to cooperate with him in coordinating legislative work on behalf of the Church in California. He attempted to improve the efficiency of the Church’s organized lobbying activities, and he tried to eliminate duplication of effort between diocesan legislative representatives and lobbyists from the K of C. Although a variety of measures met defeat due to lobbying directed by the Archbishop, notably a law to empower the State Board of Education and State Superintendent of Schools to approve private school curriculum, Mitty’s attempts to improve organized Catholic legislative work seem to have been unsuccessful.29

31If the success of Archbishop Mitty’s efforts to improve the effectiveness of legislative lobbying at the statewide level yielded ambiguous results, the outcome of Catholic Action‑oriented political work in San Francisco was more positive. In 1937 and 1938, Mayor Rossi signed into law a spate of anti‑smut and anti‑prostitution ordinances passed by the city Board of Supervisors after being introduced by board members close to Sylvester Andriano. Though primarily symbolic (and often not enforced in years to come), they did signify that the city respected Catholic principles. In 1939, Catholic Action won another victory. The Catholic Men of San Francisco convinced the administration of the upcoming Golden Gate International Exposition to cancel an exhibit in the Hall of Science sponsored by the Birth Control Federation of America. Margaret Sanger happened to be speaking to the League of Women Voters of San Francisco the same week that the Exposition announced the cancellation of the birth control exhibit. Sanger expressed her disappointment to a reporter for The People’s World, the local Communist Party newspaper : « Wherever I go I meet the same opposition—and I must say that it is most insidious and effective. »30


32This study of the Catholic Action campaign in northern California is meant to contribute to a growing scholarship based on detailed empirical research in local sources about the ways that Americans motivated by religious beliefs sought to influence public life during the period from the Great Depression to the Cold War. The historical literature about this era, while rich in many ways, has tended to neglect Catholic activism as a source of public policy innovation. When Catholic political action does make an appearance in the literature, it typically figures as an aspect of « American Conservatism » or appears in biographies of unrepresentative persons such as the demagogue Father Coughlin or the inspirational Dorothy Day. However, the San Francisco evidence, and recent work based on the cases of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and St. Paul, Minnesota, and Providence, Rhode Island provide an alternative approach. Kenneth Heineman demonstrated the powerful influence of the Catholic Church and Catholic laymen and women in shaping the New Deal in the Steel City in his book A Catholic New Deal. The St. Paul and Providence cases are illuminated in Mary Wingerd’s Claiming the City : Politics, Faith, and the Power of Place in St. Paul and Evelyn Savidge Sterne’s Ballots and Bibles : Ethnic Politics and the Catholic Church in Providence. They provide striking evidence of the influence of the Catholic faith in St. Paul’s and Providence’s cultural and social history from the late 19th century to the New Deal era. The evidence from northern California, Pittsburgh, St. Paul, and Providence is powerful, extensive, and suggestive. Additional research into Catholic Action campaigns at the grassroots may well result in assigning greater importance to the role that religion played in American culture during this important period in the twentieth century, especially the complex intersection of religion and politics.31

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1 John J. Mitty to Sylvester Andriano, May 18, 1935, Correspondence files, 1935, A folder, Chancery Archives of the Archdiocese of San Francisco (CAASF). The Monitor, May 11, 1935. Sylvester Andriano to James L. Hagerty, March 10, 1935, Box 237, James L. Hagerty Collection, St. Mary’s College Archives.
2 Jack Henning, « The Catholic College Graduate and Labor, » The Moraga Quarterly, IX, 3 (Spring 1939) : 165‑70.
3 On Catholic Action in the local labor movement, see « The Catholic Church and Organized Labor in San Francisco, 1932‑1958 » by William Issel and James Collins, Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia, Vol. 109 1 & 2 (Spring and Summer 1999) : 81‑112. A revised and expanded version of that article, William Issel, « A Stern Struggle : Catholic Activism and San Francisco Labor, » is chapter eight in American Labor and the Cold War : Grassroots Politics and Postwar Political Culture, edited by Robert Cherny, William Issel, and Kieran Taylor (New Brunswick : Rutgers University Press, 2004). For another study that includes evidence of the influence of Catholic social thought in the city’s public life see William Issel, « Business Power and Political Culture in San Francisco, 1900‑1940, » Journal of Urban History, 16 (Nov. 1989) : 52‑77. On Catholic Action more generally, see Prayer and Practice in the American Catholic Community, edited by Joseph P. Chinnici and Angelyn Dries (Maryknoll, N. Y. : Orbis Books, 2000), Part 3, The Era of Catholic Action, 115‑179 ; Joseph P. Chinnici, O.F.M., Living Stones : The History and Structure of Catholic Spiritual Life in the United States, second edition (Maryknoll, N. Y. : Orbis Books, 1996), 166‑213 ; Jeffrey M. Burns, Disturbing the Peace : A History of the Christian Family Movement, 1949‑1974 (Notre Dame : University of Notre Dame Press, 1999), 13‑18. See also Dennis Michael Robb, « Specialized Catholic Action in the United States, 1936‑1949 : Ideology, Leadership, and Organization, » Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1972, Jay P. Dolan, In Search of An American Catholicism : A History of Religion and Culture in Tension (New York : Oxford University Press, 2002), 154‑55, 157, 177‑78, 160, 186‑87, and John T. McGreevy, Catholicism and American Freedom : A History (New York : W.W. Norton & Co., 2003), chapter five « The Social Question, » and chapter six « American Freedom and Catholic Power. » Monsignor Francis J. Weber, Archivist of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles chronicles some forty projects in his Examples of Catholic Action in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (Missions Hills, California : Saint Francis Historical Society, 2003).
4 John J. Burke to John J. Mitty, Feb. 5, 1932, May 6, 1932, May 23, 1932, Correspondence files, 1932, NCWC 1 of 2 folder, CAASF.
5 Sermon by Coadjutor Archbishop John J. Mitty to the Council of Catholic Women, May 7, 1932, Mitty Sermon Collection, CAASF.
6 [Mrs.] W. H. Culigan to Dear Archbishop, March 29, 1933 ; Announcement of the First Regional Conference of the NCCW, both in Correspondence files, 1933, NCWC folder 2 of 2 ; Christine Regan O’Toole to Most Reverend John J. Mitty, Feb. 15, 1935 ; « Catholic Action » nd, four page report by the Archdiocesan Council, both in Correspondence files, 1938‑39, NCCW/NCCM folder 2 of 2.
7 The Monitor, June 9, 1934. Quotations in the next paragraphs are from this front‑page editorial.
8 San Francisco News, July 14, 1934. Sam Kagel, interview by author, June 15, 1998. Hanna, having been involved in a variety of labor arbitration roles during the 1920s (at a time when many leftist unionists spelled arbitration « arbetraytion »), was then serving on President Franklin Roosevelt’s National Longshoremen’s Board. Kagel and O’Grady served on the Joint Maritime Strike Committee. See David F. Selvin, A Terrible Anger : The 1934 Waterfront and General Strikes in San Francisco (Detroit, 1996), 100,159.
9 John W. Mailliard, quoted in San Francisco News, July 23, 1934. Kagel interview. Neylan letters in the John F. Neylan collection at the Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley. Selvin, Terrible Anger, 169.
10 For a detailed analysis of these developments see William Issel, « New Deal and World War II Origins of San Francisco’s Postwar Political Culture, » in Roger W. Lotchin, ed., The Way We Really Were : The Golden State in the Second Great War (Urbana, 2000), 68‑92, and William Issel, « Liberalism and Urban Policy in San Francisco from the 1930s to the 1960s, » in The Western Historical Quarterly XXII (November 1991) : 431‑450.
11 Jeffrey M. Burns, « Mitty, John Joseph, » in Michael Glazier and Thomas J. Shelley, The Encyclopedia of American Catholic History (Collegeville, MN, 1997), 967‑68 ; « Life Summary of Archbishop Mitty, » The Monitor, Aug. 31, 1935, 2
12 William T. Doyle to John J. Mitty, March 22, 1935, Correspondence files, Knights of Columbus folder, 1933‑36. « A Plan for the Knights of Columbus of California, » Ibid. « Plan for Council Participation, Knights of Columbus, Mobilization for Catholic Action, » Ibid., Edward Molkenbuhr, « Catholic Action in Our Order, » in Knights of Columbus Historical Review (1936) : 35.
13 « Address at St. Vincent de Paul Golden Jubilee Dinner, » Jan. 5, 1936, Mitty Sermons. The Monitor, Feb. 22, 1936. « Closing Address, Regional Catholic Conference on Industrial Problems, » June 9, 1936.
14 Robert W. Cherny, « Harry Bridges and the Communist Party : New Evidence, Old Questions ; Old Evidence, New Questions, » a paper delivered at the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians, April 4, 1998, copy in author’s possession. See also Harvey Klehr, John Earl Haynes, & Fridrikh Igorevich Firsov, The Secret World of American Communism (New Haven, 1995), 127.
15 Author’s interview with Jack Henning, October 7, 1998, San Francisco. Joseph S. Connelly to Rev. Dr. Thomas A. Connolly, Aug. 31, 1936 ; Ret. Rev. Thomas A. Connolly to Joseph S. Connelly, Sept. 2, 1936, Correspondence files, 1936, Communism 1936‑37 folder. Hugh Gallagher to Most Reverend John J. Mitty, June 5, 1936, Aug. 3, 1936, Nov. 2, 1936 ; « 9th Convention of Communist Party in America » handwritten notes, Sept. 1936 ; « Special Memorandum in re : Harry Bridges, Oct. 25, 1936 ; « San Francisco Mailing List of the American Friends of the Soviet Union » nd ; John J. Mitty to My dear Jim, Nov. 13, 1936, marked « confidential » ; John J. Mitty to Rev. Bryan J. McEntegart, April 14, 1937, all in Correspondence files, 1936, Communism 1936‑37 folder, CAASF. San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 25, 1936 ; San Francisco News, April 29, 1937.
16 Henning interview. Laura Smith to Msgr. Connolly, enclosing a copy of a mimeographed pamphlet, « It’s Our City Too, » Sept. 26, 1938, Labor file, 1934‑1939. Gus Gaynor, Brotherhood of Railway Clerks, press release dated Oct. 18, 1938 in Labor file, 1934‑1939, CAASF.
17 « ACTU Preamble, Constitution, Pledge » and « Proposed Changes…San Francisco Chapter 6 » (mimeo, July 8, 1948, in the Labor Management School Records/ACTU (hereafter ACTU Records) Archives of the University of San Francisco.
18 The Monitor, Sept. 9, 1939 ; May 10, 1941 ; August 28, 1943 ; Nov. 18, 1944 ; April 26, 1947 ; March 5, 1948. Mitty to Hugh Gallagher of Matson Navigation Co., March 20, 1941, Labor file, 1939‑1943, CAASF.
19 The Monitor, Jan. 15, 1944.
20 Data on the ACTU is from the organization’s membership and dues ledgers, checking account statements, attendance lists at meetings, and correspondence in the ACTU Records. At the point of its greatest activity, the organization had 599 dues paying members ; I have been able to identify the union affiliations of all but 64 members.
21 Data on Kearney’s and Bradley’s electoral successes in Local 10 is from the subject card files and from various issues of the union’s newspaper The Dispatcher in the ILWU’s Anne Rand Library. Handwritten notes taken at ACTU meetings are in the Paul Pinsky Collection, Northern California Labor Archives and Research Center. That the leftist officers of the ILWU’s International organization took the ACTU considerably more seriously than have subsequent historians is evident from the research director’s careful monitoring of its activities during the late 1940s. See Howard Kimeldorf, Reds or Rackets? The Making of Radical and Conservative Unions on the Waterfront (Berkeley, 1988) : 138,150.
22 Kearney’s Catholicism is ignored altogether by historian Howard Kimmeldorf, as are the dozens of ILWU members who paid dues to the ACTU as well as to the ILWU. Kearney does merit a mention as a popular officer of Local 10 and one of many Catholic officers in various CIO unions in Vincent Silverman’s recent book. Silverman, however, does not take the religious character of the ACTU seriously, characterizing it wholly negatively as an anti‑Communist outfit. He is dismissive toward Kearney’s Catholicism and the ACTU work in San Francisco on the basis of oral history testimony by a single informant. To his credit, Silverman is forthright about his point of view : « I grew up almost instinctively hating such nefarious figures as Walter Reuther, James Carey, and Joe Curran ». Vincent Silverman, Imagining Internationalism in American and British Labor, 1939‑49 (Urbana, 2000), xi, 130, 242.
23 St. Mary’s Collegian, Sept. 13, 1957 ;Sylvester Andriano to James L. Hagerty, March 10, 1943, Hagerty Collection, St. Mary’s Archives ; Email letter from Rose Marie Cleese (Angelo Rossi’s granddaughter) to Bill Issel, Jan. 24, 2002.
24 Ibid. ; « Bishop McNamara Defines Catholic Action in Address at Notre Dame U. Reunion, » The Monitor, May 2, 1936 ; John J. Mitty to Sylvester Andriano, March 4, 1936 ; Correspondence files, 1936‑37, A folder ; John J. Mitty to Rev. Thomas N. O’Kane, October 7, 1936, letter marked Confidential, Correspondence files, Catholic Action 1936‑1940 folder, CAASF.
25 « Plan for Catholic Action » in Correspondence Files, Catholic Action 1936‑1940 folder ; Andriano to Hagerty, March 10, 1943, Hagerty Collection, St. Marys Archives.
26 John J. Mitty to various addressees, Dec. 22, 1936, Correspondence files, Catholic Action folder, 1936‑1940, CAASF ; uncorrected draft « Catholic Action Group » marked « News item : The Monitor, and attached typewritten notes of January 6, 1938 meeting in Catholic Action folder 1936‑1940, CAASF.
27 John J. Mitty, « Address on Catholic Action, » Oct. 29, 1938, Mitty Sermons and Addresses, CAASF. Sylvester Andriano to Most Reverend and dear Archbishop, May 19, 1938, Correspondence files, Catholic Action 1936‑1940 folder, CAASF. Mgr. Luigi Civardi, A Manual of Catholic Action (New York, 1941 [1935] ).
28 James L. Hagerty to Most Reverend John J. Mitty, March 28, 1938 ; Catholic Men of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, « Summary of State of Organization Following Spring Series of District Meetings, 1941, » both in Correspondence files, Catholic Men folder 1 of 2, 1938‑1941, CAASF ; John J. Hunt, Catholic Action and the Priest (San Francisco, 1938) ; John J. O’Connor, « Emphasis on Action, » St. Anthony Messenger (February, 1942) ; Sylvester Andriano to James L. Hagerty, March 10, 1943, Hagerty Collection, St. Mary’s Archives ; Umberto Olivieri, Democracy! Which Brand, Stalin’s or Jefferson’s? (San Francisco : 1937) ; John Francis Neylan, The Politician—Enemy of Mankind (San Francisco : 1938).
29 The archival evidence regarding this subject is limited and further research needs to be done before a more definite conclusion can be offered about Mitty’s degree of success in influencing state legislation and improving the efficiency of the Church’s statewide lobbying efforts. The following letters provide evidence of the complexity of the issues : John J. Mitty to Most Reverend Robert Armstrong, D.D., 18 March 1939 ; John J. Mitty to Most Reverend John J. Cantwell, D.D., January 6, 1937 ; John J. Mitty to Hon. Culbert L. Olson (Governor of California), 27 November 1939, all in Correspondence Files, Legislature 1935‑1939 folder 2 of 2. See also Msgr. James Cantwell to various pastors and letters from pastors to Cantwell, various dates in 1935, in Correspondence files, 1935‑1939, Legislature folder, 1935‑39, folder 1 of 2, folder 2 of 2, CAASF ; Andrew Burke to Most Reverend John J. Mity, March 26, 1935, CAASF. See also Christine Rosen, Preaching Eugenics : Religious Leaders and the American Eugenics Movement (New York : 2004), 139‑64.
30 Sue Barry, « News and Views, » The People’s World, May 22, 1939 ; Anthony B. Diepenbrock to Board of Directors, Golden Gate International Exposition, March 4, 1939, Correspondence Files, Golden Gate Exposition folder 1 of 2, 1939‑1940.
31 Two groundbreaking studies present the case for reorienting American intellectual history during this period in such a direction. See Christopher Shannon, A World Made Safe for Differences : Cold War Intellectuals and the Politics of Identity (Lanham, MD : 2001) and Eugene McCarraher, Christian Critics : Religion and the Impasse in Modern American Social Thought (Ithaca : 2000). See also Mary Lethert Wingerd, Claiming the City : Politics, Faith, and the Power of Place in St. Paul (Ithaca : 2001), Evelyn Savidge Sterne, Ballots and Bibles : Ethnic Politics and the Catholic Church in Providence (Ithaca : 2004), and Kenneth J. Heineman, A Catholic New Deal : Religion and Reform in Depression Pittsburgh (University Park, PA : 1999).
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William Issel

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