The history of a cathedral is not just about another nice building, but also about the struggles, triumphs, and personal histories of a people. Gary Topping, professor of history at SLCC and archivist for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Utah, chronicles in his new book The Story of the Cathedral of the Madeleine, the first 100 years of that magnificent building and the stories and voices of Utah Catholics.
And as Topping’s book points out, the Cathedral has been a welcoming space for not only Catholics, but people of many faiths or no faith in particular. Over the last 20 years, the cathedral has become an important place for its celebration of the Utah performing arts, welcoming events by the Utah Symphony, Ballet West, Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Utah Opera, among a variety of groups, along with its Annual Eccles Organ Festival, starting in just a few days. Pick up the book and learn about another side of Utah history.
Gary Topping @ The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, 801-484-9100, Tuesday, Sept 15, 7 p.m.
Originally published in Salt Lake City Weekly, 9.9.2009