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Joseph Mary Cataldo S.J. (March 17, 1837 – April 9, 1928) was an Italian-American Jesuit priest, a pioneer missionary in the inland Pacific Northwest, who also founded Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.
Born in 1837 in Terrasini in the The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, Cataldo was admitted to the Jesuit novitiate in Palermo, Sicily on December 22, 1852. After ordination, he was sent to the foreign mission in the Rocky Mountains in the United States. Due to ill health, Cataldo was then sent to Panama and later to Santa Clara College in Santa Clara, California. After his recovery, he was then sent north to minister to the Spokane Indians. He was later made superior of the Rocky Mountain mission which included the Spokane.
Cataldo then opened a small schoolhouse at Saint Michael's Mission where both Native American and white students attended. In order to expand the mission, he was able to purchase two parcels of land totalling 320 acres (1.3 km2) for $936. The first parcel of 280 acres (1.1 km2) north of Spokane was to be used for the relocation of St. Michael's mission. This location became the site for the Jesuit scholasticate Mount Saint Michael. The second parcel of 40 acres (16 ha) was located on the Spokane Falls, near modern downtown Spokane on the Spokane River. In 1881, Cataldo was encouraged to use the second parcel of land for the establishment of a college to serve the growing Catholic population in the area. It was here that Cataldo established Gonzaga College, now Gonzaga University.
Cataldo never retired; into his 90s he served the Nez Perce people at Slickpoo near Kamiah, Idaho. He died at age 92 at the Umatilla Indian Reservation, east of Pendleton, Oregon, on April 9, 1928.
- "Father Cataldo celebration set". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. March 14, 1928. p. 1.
- "Sixty years in Jesuit order celebrated by Father Cataldo". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. September 25, 1912. p. 5.
- "Father Cataldo taken by death". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. April 10, 1928. p. 2.
- "Fatally ill, he says last mass". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. April 11, 1928. p. 1.
- Bond, Rowland (September 2, 1972). "Ailing Father Cataldo was tough as they come". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. p. 13.
- Parks, Mike (September 18, 1866). "Mount St. Michael's ready for historic recollection". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. 1.
- "Spokane Valley Online". Spokane Valley Online. Archived from the original on November 17, 2006. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
- "Calls Gonzaga University real "mother" of Spokane". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. June 18, 1927. p. 3.
- "Start work on Indian mission". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. September 2, 1924. p. 7.
- "Missionary to Indians". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. (photo). June 17, 1927. p. 1.
- "Guide to the Joseph Cataldo, S.J. Papers 1862-2006". Northwest Digital Archives. Retrieved 2008-02-08.