The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984 Page: 115

Book Reviews

discussion between the three living Agrarians-Lyle H. Lanier, An-
drew N. Lytle, and Robert Penn Warren.
A Band of Prophets is a fitting tribute to those twelve southerners
who fifty years ago worried about what many of us worry about today-
the way of life in the South.
University of Georgia THERESA CULLEN TIMMONS
Social Justice and Church Authority: The Public Life of Archbishop
Robert E. Lucey. By Saul E. Bronder. (Philadelphia: Temple Uni-
versity Press, 1982. Pp. 215. Acknowledgments, introduction, pho-
tographs, notes, bibliography, index. $20.)
This book by Saul E. Bronder, who teaches history at the University
of Maryland, is a hard-hitting but balanced and thoroughly interesting,
even exciting, biography of the late Archbishop Robert E. Lucey of
San Antonio. Whatever his faults, whatever his alleged measures of ex-
cessive discipline directed against activist priests he himself had trained
to be activist, Lucey, in the arena of fighting economic injustice, had
few equals in the country, and even fewer among the clergy. In his
time he went after the money changers, and there was hell to pay.
When Lucey was nine years old, his father, a railroad employee, was
brutally killed under the wheels of a train. The boy, Robert Lucey, his
mother, and his siblings lived a deprived existence. There was virtually
no help from the railroad. Years later, Lucey the priest would say, "It
was barbaric how companies treated their workers in those days...."
(p. 7). Lucey's seminary training began in California and ended in
Rome, where Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum, involving
the rights of working people, became his bible. The jargon of social
service workers, called "Statistical Christs" (p. 22), left him cold-
Lucey wanted action.
By 1931 he was pastor of St. Anthony Church in Long Beach, Cali-
fornia, where he began a series of radio broadcasts that eventually in-
cluded attacks on Father Charles E. Coughlin, the radical, right-wing
priest. A man named Franklin Delano Roosevelt began to notice
Lucey. In 1934 Lucey became the "New Dealing bishop" (p. 41) of
Amarillo, Texas. When told of his appointment, Lucey wondered,
"Where the hell is Amarillo?" (p. 41) In 1940 he became the arch-
bishop of San Antonio and was greeted by the reviewer's father, Mayor
Maury Maverick, as "a 'fellow soldier' who 'will get in the trenches
with us' " (p. 65). That Lucey did by integrating local parishes and
church schools, and crying out for union wages.


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984, periodical, 1983/1984; Austin, Texas. ( accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.