Fitzgeralds and the Catholic Church

John D. wrote, “Sunday morning we all went to the Community Church. There were only two churches in Adenville, the Mormon Tabernacle and the Community Church. All the Catholics and Protestants in town went to the Community Church. Once in a while a Catholic missionary priest came to Adenville to baptize Catholic babies, marry Catholics, and hold Confessions and Mass in the Community Church” (pg. 71 The Great Brain)

Other than the naming of the town, everything else John wrote is fairly accurate.

Early Worship

The first permanent settler of Price, Utah arrived in 1878. He was a bachelor and lived in the area only a year. During that year others followed. By Spring of 1879 several new families settled in the same vicinity. Though Mormon, by faith, their church leaders had not sent them “they were seeking new land and new possibilities, just as many of their parents had done in coming from foreign lands.” (Price City of Diversity pg. 12).

Around 1879 – settler Frederick Grames built a bowery on his property for anyone who wanted to hold a religious service, ceremony, or civic celebration.

1884 a group of Mormon citizens erected a religious building, known as The Log Meetinghouse. Described as “unpretentious” with three windows on the east and west side and a “raised platform where meetings were conducted.”

The log house became the first social, religious, civic and educational center of Price.

Catholicism –

The settlement of Price exploded with peoples. Not all the newcomers were Mormon. Among them Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald, better known as Papa and Mamma.

Carbon County: A History states, “The first activities of the Catholic Church were directed by Father Antonio Petillo of Salt Lake City. He came to Carbon County (Price area) at intervals between August 13, 1912 and July 21, 1914.” Records list him as officiating in baptismal and religious rites during the time.

Not until 1913 did Catholicism get an anchor leader in the area. Monsignor Alfredo F. Giovannoni, came through neighboring Helper and realized the potential for a church in the area.


Enthused to grow a congregation, Father Giovannani “began a movement to build a place of worship for his people”.


A decade later Notre Dame de Lourdes was complete.

In 1937, those hallowed brick walls hosted the funeral of one of Price’s last pioneers, Papa (Thomas “Fitz”) Fitzgerald.

Today the meeting house is still in use.

2 thoughts on “Fitzgeralds and the Catholic Church”

  1. Interesting post, but I think you’ve got a couple of typos in regards to dates:

    “The first permanent settler of Price, Utah arrived in 1978.”
    Did you mean 1878?

    “Around 1879, 1810”


    Sorry to nitpick.

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