1988 Lumen Christi Award Winner
LEFT: A church in Bryce Canyon was built with resourcefulness and creativity.
RIGHT: Reverend Joseph Valine was responsible for building churches across the state of Utah.

"Mass in Churches Instead of Gas Stations and Trailers"

In the early 20th century, many Catholics in Utah, a predominantly Mormon state, gathered for Mass in parishioners’ kitchens, public libraries, gas stations and trailers. But the work of Father Valine changed that. He spent most of his life founding parishes in Utah, giving Catholics who were struggling to maintain their faith real houses of worship. With grit, determination and creativity, he helped build seven mission churches from the ground up so Catholics in Utah, both locals and tourists, could gather for Mass and the sacraments. Father Valine was known to be resourceful in his building projects.

For a church in Bryce Canyon, he found a local man willing to donate an acre of land and a carpenter willing to donate his services. Then, he appealed to tourists to help with furnishings. When he received the Lumen Christi Award in 1988, Father Valine said, “The thing I am most proud of is that I have kept the Church alive in this part of the country.”

Postscript: Reverend Joseph Valine died in 1992.

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