Avella History2 cover


Volume 7

Confidence and Crisis
A History of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, 1959-1977

by Steven M. Avella

Urban Life Series No. 7. Illustrations & tables. 344 pages. 7 x 10. Hardcover. Bibliography. Index.

ISBN: 978-0-87462-086-3

Confidence and Crisis covers the tumultuous era of Roman Catholic life in Southeastern Wisconsin from 1959-1977. The first years of this period (1959-1965) were a continuation of the Catholic mobilization of the post-war era. The ideological confidence of this period was reflected in significant institutional expansion, flourishing vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and record attendance at Catholic parishes and schools. The implementation of Vatican II and Milwaukee’s engagement with issues of racial justice set another, more tentative, tone for the Catholic community. It was an era some remember as a period of great hope and idealism. For others it was a dark time, filled with confusion and bitter polarization in society and the Church. Overseeing this transition was William E. Cousins, a priest of Chicago and a former bishop of Peoria, Illinois whose often improvised reactions to various crises and changes attempted to preserve archdiocesan unity.

Steven M. Avella is a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and a professor of history at Marquette University. His previous work on the archdiocese includes In the Richness of the Earth. He is a former president of the American Catholic Historical Association.



Marquette University Press

Founded in 1916, the Marquette University Press, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, publishes scholarly works in philosophy, theology, history, and other selected humanities. Read more.