Steven M. Avella is a Catholic priest and a professor of history at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is the author of several books on the relationship of the Catholic Church to the social and cultural order of the Midwest and the American West.
He was raised in Sacramento and since the 1990s has devoted himself to a close study of his home region. He has written popular and scholarly history of the city, its religious institutions, and its consumer culture.
His books include Sacramento Indomitable City (2003, Arcadia Press) and Sacramento and the Catholic Church (University of Nevada Press, 2008). Avella has also produced a biography of Sacramento Bee editor and publisher, Charles K. McClatchy.
He has used many resources for these works, but especially the holdings of the Center for Sacramento History, the California Room of the State Library, and the Sacramento Room of the Central Library.