Home Our Diocese Book celebrating history of Catholic Diocese of Wilmington on sale now

Book celebrating history of Catholic Diocese of Wilmington on sale now

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“Rejoicing in the Lord” is a hard-cover, 336-page, full-color, glossy 10-inch by 10-inch book that features histories and photographs of all Catholic churches in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore.


Two history books, “Rejoicing in the Lord,” and “Family of Faith” have been published to help commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, diocesan officials have announced.

“Rejoicing in the Lord” is a hard-cover, 336-page, full-color, glossy 10 inch by 10 inch book that features histories and photographs of all Catholic churches in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore, plus biographies of all nine Wilmington bishops, with important ministries and events highlights.

“Family of Faith” is a 35-page, color diocesan history done in the comic book or graphic novel style that would appeal to middle schoolers and teens. Both books are published by the French company, Éditions du Signe, and are available through most parishes or from the Diocese of Wilmington offices.

“We are happy to announce that these two much-anticipated publications have arrived and are now available to the public via our parishes and the diocese,” said the Very Reverend Joseph W. McQuaide IV, Chancellor of the Diocese of Wilmington, Co-Chair of the Diocesan Sesquicentennial Committee, and coordinator of the book projects. “Many people worked long, hard hours to make these books a reality. I am sure that both books will become treasured additions to the book shelves of our Catholic community.”

“Rejoicing in the Lord” begins with a forward by the Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly, Bishop of Wilmington, and chapters on Catholics in colonial Delmarva and early U.S. Delmarva. The book is then organized by the nine bishops of the Diocese of Wilmington beginning with the Bishop Thomas A. Becker years (1868-1886) and concluding with the Bishop Malooly years (2008-present).

Bishop Malooly celebrates Mass with fellow priests marking the 150th Anniversary of the diocese at the Cathedral of St. Peter March 3. Yearlong events are planned for the sesquicentennial. (Dialog photo/Joseph P. Owens)

Histories of each church in the diocese is included in the chapter that covers the year of its establishment, beginning with St. Francis Xavier (Old Bohemia) in 1704 through St. Margaret of Scotland, 1999, and Our Lady of Guadalupe, 2006. Each two-page church history contains never-before seen professional photographs that were taken exclusively for the book. Additionally, side-bar stories highlight important historical figures (St. John Neumann, St. Katharine Drexel, Fr. Roberto Balducalli), institutions (St. Francis Hospital, Ministry of Caring, Catholic Charities), and organizations (Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, Knights of Columbus), that have had an impact on the diocesan community are found throughout the book.

“Family of Faith” gives the history of the Catholic community in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore in a colorful and entertaining way that is geared toward children and teens, but is an enjoyable and informative book for all ages. Beginning with the arrival of the first Catholics to America, and continuing through the Revolution, Civil War, arrival of the first bishop, through the present day, this cleverly illustrated comic book tells the story of the Diocese of Wilmington through the events and people of the time. Readers are transported through the ages as historical figures seem to come alive in “Family of Faith.”

“Rejoicing in the Lord” is available for $40 each, and “Family of Faith” is sold for $18. To purchase one or both books, parishioners are asked to call, email or visit their local parish office or contact the Diocesan Chancery.

The Diocese of Wilmington’s Sesquicentennial Year celebrations began on March 3, 2018 and will conclude with a Mass on March 3, 2019. A Marian Pilgrimage will be held on October 6, 2018 at the site of the Our Lady Queen of Peace Shrine on the grounds of Holy Spirit Church in New Castle, Delaware, and feature the unveiling of the commissioned painting of “Our Lady of Wilmington” by renowned local artist, Neilson Carlin.

A gathering of Catholics from across the diocese has been announced for Nov. 3, 2018 at the Ocean City Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. The gathering, titled “Convocation 150,” will include a keynote presentation, breakout sessions, roundtable discussions, prayer, and Mass. The gathering will be an opportunity to celebrate, affirm, and deepen the Catholic community’s commitment to discipleship rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Other upcoming activities in 2019 include a prayer service to honor the Religious Men and Women of the Diocese; Masses in honor of Saints John Neumann and Francis de Sales; an ecumenical prayer service for Christian unity; and a closing Mass scheduled for March 3, 2019.

Throughout the year, detailed information about the 150th anniversary celebration is being posted on the Diocese of Wilmington’s website, www.cdow.org/150th and at www.facebook.com/cdow150th, and @CDOW150th on Twitter and Instagram.

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington comprises 56 parishes, 18 missions and 36 schools serving the State of Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  There are over 244,000 Catholics in the diocese.