Death Comes for the Archbishop

Topics: Pope John Paul II, Catholic Church, Pope Pages: 3 (1096 words) Published: April 17, 2005
Death Comes for the Archbishop
Willa Cather

Willa Cather is the author of the award winning novel Death Comes For The Archbishop written in 1927. She was born in 1873 near Winchester, Virginia and soon moved to Nebraska (Cather, 1927). During her childhood she was surrounded by foreign languages and customs. Even at her young age she felt a connection to the immigrants in Nebraska and was intrigued with their connection to the land. Willa also loved writing about the vanished past of the American Southwest where nature and Christianity is opposed to the modern urban life and society ( She was raised Episcopalian and later in life she joined the Protestant Church in search for spirituality while still being captivated with the grandeur of ceremonies performed in the Catholic Church. These fascinations were projected directly into to her writings, as seen in her book Death Comes For The Archbishop. This book was awarded the Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1930 ( This book is considered an American Classic due to its longevity in popular literature. It also provides the important historical background on the Catholic Church and its impact on the American Southwest. Willa emphasizes, through her writings, the hardships of the people involved in making this part of America what it is today. It points out the influence of the earliest Spanish missionaries of the 16th century through the latter part of the 19th century involving French missionaries and exposes the corruptness as well as the dedication of the missionaries of the church. The book's main setting is in the 19th century, during the settlement of New Mexico and Colorado and recalls the journeys that a priest undertook and the hardships overcame in order to meet his and the churches goal of bringing the Catholic faith to Mexicans and native Indians. Through his travels and the spiritual work in the beautiful, yet...
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