Kentucky born Karl Michael Schmitt (1922- ), a recent centenarian and alumnus of Catholic University, is a distinguished scholar and teacher on Latin American studies. Special Collections, which includes University Archives, is fortunate to have a small but important collection of Dr. Schmitt’s materials, mostly photographs, documenting his World War II era time on campus, with many outdoor group shots that are generally dated and persons identified. There is also an unpublished manuscript titled Changes at The Catholic University of America, 1940-2000: Some Reflections of an Old Grad.
Schmitt entered Catholic University in 1940 where he was mentored by Professor Manoel Cardozo while working in the library with Latin American related books, including the Oliveira Lima Library. While Cardozo was a ‘Brazilianist,’ Schmitt was drawn to Mexican history because of his interest in its Revolutionary history and due to a lifelong Mexican friend he met at Catholic U.(1) Schmitt also pursued extracurricular activities in theater, acting in three plays, before entering the World War II draft in early 1943. He served in the United States Army until September 1945, re-enrolling at Catholic U. upon his discharge. Becoming interested in student government, he was elected President of the Baltimore-Washington Chapter of the National Federation of Catholic College Students (NFCCS). Graduating from CatholicU in 1947 with a BA in History, he then earned an MA there in 1949.
After leaving CatholicU, Schmitt went on to a distinguished teaching career as a history and government professor, achieving his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1954. Leaving the U.S. State Department in 1958, he spent the majority of his career on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin. He was also a visiting professor University of California, Los Angeles, 1959 and at the University of Manchester, England, 1988-1989. Additionally, he taught at the National War College, 1970-1971 and was a member of Texas Catholic History Association, serving as president 1976-1977.
Schmitt authored several books on Latin America, most notably Communism in Mexico: A Study in Political Frustration (1965), studied from the perspective of domestic politics to describe the internal structure of the movement and its relations with government and labor. He observed the fidelity of the Mexican Communist Party (PCM) to Moscow and discussed the movement’s weaknesses as a competitor for power in the Mexican context of modified democracy in a single-party system. He argued it was an orthodox Communist party whose membership was insignificant, blindly loyal to Moscow, harassed by the government, and ineffective in its political activity. The government combined toleration of deviant opinion with quick suppression of behavior threatening public order, with Schmitt concluding that Communism in Mexico would remain ineffectual unless a major depression occurred or the pressure of population increase became extreme.
See Dr. Schmitt’s extensive 2022 interview by Portal, the web magazine of the Llilas Benson Latin American Studies and Collections of the University of Texas He also wrote a letter dated 1/11/2022 to CatholicU updating his recent life and his collection at CatholicU has been digitized. Please direct any questions to email@example.com
(1) Portal, the web magazine of Llilas Benson Latin American Studies and Collections, University of Texas, 2022.
(2) Special thanks to Shane MacDonald for his work on the Schmitt digital collection.
It is difficult for the twenty-first century mind to grasp the endless drudgery of the daily lives of nineteenth century workers, especially the masses of the poor, and particularly women. While the status of mother or wife was better than that of domestic servant, there was little else separating them from the constant toil of hauling and fetching, cooking and cleaning, child and elder care. Additionally, unmarried or widowed women worked in factories and other places of commercial employment with harsh conditions, low pay, and scant regard. Out of this challenging milieu arose the example of Lenora Barry, called ‘Labor’s True Woman.’ Born on August 13, 1849, in County Cork, Ireland, as Leonora M. Kearny, daughter of John Kearny and Honor Granger, she was the only woman to hold national office with the Knights of Labor, America’s first large and somewhat successful labor union during their brief heyday in the mid to late 1880s. She was a dedicated advocate for bettering the conditions of American working women and the progress of women’s rights, including suffrage, during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
Her Irish farming family immigrated in the wake of the Irish Famine to Pierrepont, a rural New York community, in 1852. Following her mother’s death in 1864, her father remarried to a woman barely Leonora’s senior, with the resulting tension prompting the younger woman to attend a teaching school. After receiving a teaching certificate at only age 16, she taught at a local school for several years. She married Irish immigrant William E. Barry, who was both painter and musician, in 1871 and they settled in Potsdam, New York, where their first child, a daughter, was born in 1873. Per state law and despite a chronic teacher shortage, she was forced to give up teaching because she was a married woman and forced by economic necessity into manual labor. She and her family moved constantly, with two sons born by 1880 when her husband and daughter both died. After years as a seamstress, she found work in an Amsterdam, New York, hosiery factory where she and fellow workers faced hard conditions, low pay, and long hours.
In order to take positive action on the issues faced by her fellow workers, Barry joined the women’s branch of the Knights of Labor in 1885, near the time of that organization’s zenith. Originally a secret postwar group of Philadelphia clothes workers, it was transformed into an association fighting for labor reform across trades and industries on a national level. Barry soon rose to become master workman or president of her local Knights branch of about 1,500 members, then head of District Assembly 65, which had fifty two local branches with over 9,000 members. The following year she served as one of five district delegates to the General Assembly of the Knights of Labor in Richmond, Virginia. Endorsed by the Knights national leader, Terence V. Powderly, whose archival papers hold pride of place in Catholic U’s Special Collections, Barry was voted by the convention delegates to lead the newly created Department of Women’s Work. She was the first woman to be paid as a labor organizer and the only one to hold national office in the Knights of Labor. Her charge was to investigate women’s employment conditions, build new Knights assemblies, agitate for equal pay.
Barry travelled across the country investigating the lot of women workers, and her reports to the Knights General Assembly in 1887, 1888, and 1889 detailed abuse of both women and children. She also gave over 500 speeches during her career, with ‘The Dignity of Labor’ on July 4, 1888, in Rockford, Illinois, being long remembered. Nearly 65,000 women belonged to the Knights, who offered jobs and affordable goods as well as supporting boycotts in women workers’ interests. About 400 Knights locals included women but Barry found it difficult to build a strong following due to both apathy and divisions trying to organize women in a male dominated society. Employers denied her entrance to their work sites and better paid workers hesitated to join labor movements fearing their situations would decline. Barry began to support state and federal legislation to protect workers, with a notable success in Pennsylvania passing its first factory inspection act in 1889.
Unfortunately, for both Barry and women workers, she became embroiled in internal disputes with Knights Secretary-Treasurer, John Hayes, who took control of the Women’s Department in 1888 and harassed Barry with tacit support from Powderly to her resignation in 1890, effectively ending the Women’s Department. Another factor though was her marriage to Obadiah Read Lake, a St. Louis printer and telegraph editor, that same year and her notion that women should not work outside the home unless there was economic need. Barry continued to travel and agitate for women’s suffrage and temperance, though not ignoring labor as she spoke to the Congress of Women at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Later in life, known as ‘Mother Lake,’ she moved to Minooka, Illinois, and was active in both the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and Catholic Total Abstinence Union. Perhaps ironically, she died July 18, 1923 due to mouth cancer. While there are no papers of her own at Catholic University’s Special Collections, her correspondence and reports feature prominently in the those of Terence V. Powderly and John W. Hayes, which can also be accessed digitally via ProQuest’s History Vault. For more on the Knights and/or women workers of the era, see the scholarship of Susan Levine, Steven Parfitt, Kim Voss, and Robert Weir.
William Bentley Ball (1916-1999), subject of a previous blog post and whose papers reside at Catholic University, was a Pennsylvania based constitutional lawyer and devout Roman Catholic, dubbed “God’s Litigator” and “Religious Freedom Fighter” by the Catholic Press (1). Ball argued nine cases and advised on more than two dozen others, primarily related to religious freedom and the First Amendment, before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Ball was also an artist, poet, and author.
As a young man, Ball was a devout Catholic, anti-New Deal activist, and U.S. naval officer in World War II. After the war, he studied law at the University of Notre Dame, taught at Villanova, and served as general counsel for the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference. His first case before SCOTUS was in 1967 when he entered a brief on behalf of U.S. Catholic bishops supporting the overturn of prohibits on interracial marriage in the celebrated Loving v. Virginia case. Ball achieved national attention with the 1972 Wisconsin v. Yoder case in which that state tried to force Amish children to attend high school when the latter’s belief system found that unnecessary. Ball represented the family in question, the Yoders, pro-bono, arguing before SCOTUS that this prevented defendants from performing their religious obligation, and the justices agreed 7-2.
Ball’s other most famous case was in 1993 with Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School District in Arizona. James Zobrest (b. 1974) and his family were Pennsylvania transplants and Catholics who had moved to Arizona seeking the best possible education for the hearing impaired. Although many in the Deaf Community favor separate schooling, the Zobrests sought to mainstream their son, which required a daily on site sign language interpreter in the school to facilitate young James’ communication and learning. Public funding of these interpreters was not a problem so long as James attended public schools but when he transferred to a Catholic High School, Salpointe in Tuscon, said funding was denied by the Catalina Foothills School District, believing that it was a violation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause, which generally prohibits the government from establishing, advancing, or giving favor to any religion. Arguing this was religious discrimination, the Zobrest family went to court.
The federal district court in Arizona held that furnishing a sign-language interpreter violated the First Amendment the interpreter would via sign language promote James’ religious doctrine at government expense. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s decision, stating that the interpreter would have been the instrumentality conveying the religious message with the local school board, in effect, sponsoring the religious school’s activities. The court admitted that denying the interpreter placed a burden on the parents’ right to free exercise of religion, but it was justified to ensure that the First Amendment was not violated. The Zobrests engaged the services of the progressive Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest. Their lawyer, Thomas Berning, teamed up with the Conservative Catholic litigator, Ball, the latter working again on a pro bono basis, to take the case to SCOTUS. Incidentally, Ball’s daughter had been young Jim Zobrest’s first sign language interpreter before the family had left Pennsylvania. In their landmark case, Ball and Berning were supported by the Department of Justice on the basis of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), Missouri Synod Lutherans, Southern Baptist Convention, National Council of Churches of Christ, and the National Association of Evangelicals. In opposition, were the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Jewish Committee, and the Anti-Defamation League (2).
On February 24, 1993, the case was held before the Supreme Court. Ball argued that the school district’s refusal was a violation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as well as the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Chief Justice William Rehnquist authored the majority’s 5-4 opinion, ruling that the service of a sign-language interpreter in was part of a government program distributing benefits neutrally to disabled children under the IDEA regardless of whether the school was public, private, or religious. Rehnquist further held that the only economic benefit the religious school might have received would have been indirect and that aiding the student and his parents did not amount to a direct subsidy of the religious school because the student, not the school, was the primary beneficiary. The Supreme Court thus ruled that there was no violation of the establishment clause, and the decision of the Ninth Circuit was reversed. Zobrest vs. Catalinais a significant case because it marked a shift in the court toward interpreting the establishment clause to allow government-paid services for students who attend religiously affiliate nonpublic schools and was notably followed by Agostini v. Felton (1997), in which the court held that remedial services financed by federal funds under Title I could be provided in parochial schools.
Although Jim had graduated before the SCOTUS decision the family was nevertheless compensated for the thousands of dollars a year they had scraped together for his sign interpreters. For Ball, this was perhaps his finest victory in the twilight of his notable career. The definitive account of this notable piece of legal history is Bruce J. Dierenfield and David A. Gerber. Disability Rights and Religious Liberty in Education: The Story Behind Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School District. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2020. Much of the source material is available in the aforementioned papers of William Bentley Ball at Catholic U. For access questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(1) Bruce J. Dierenfield and David A. Gerber. Disability Rights and Religious Liberty in Education: The Story Behind Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School District. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2020, p. 104.
Father Gilbert Vincent Ferrer Hartke, O.P., founder of the Drama Department at Catholic University (CU) in 1937, is a campus legend who casts a long shadow. His legacy includes his archival papers that reside in Special Collections, ongoing stage productions including Shakespeare, and above all the long list of stage, film, and television luminaries taught or mentored by CU’s B.M.O.C. These include Jon Voight, Helen Hayes, John Slattery, Ed McMahon, Philip Bosco, Henry Gibson, Susan Sarandon, Lawrence Luckinbill, and Robert Moore. Moore (1927-1984) was a multiple Tony Award nominee director and actor who often collaborated with Neil Simon. Like Hartke, Moore also has a presence on campus, where his small collection, mostly entertainment industry related photographs, is housed in our Special Collections.
Moore was born in Detroit and grew up in Washington. He attended public schools and graduated from Roosevelt High School where he was heavily influenced by drama coach Pauline Eaton Oak. He served for six months in the United States Navy in 1945, and then studied drama sans degree under Fr. Hartke at Catholic University. His first acting gig, to limited success, was in Jean Kerr’sJenny Kissed Me in 1948. He also worked as typist for the United Nations and at Catholic University. In the 1950s, Hartke invited him to direct summer productions, at least twenty each, at Olney Theater in Maryland and Winooski, Vermont.
Moore made his New York directing debut in 1968 with The Boys in the Band, written by CU classmate Mart Crowley and which won Moore the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Direction of a Play. It ran for three years, simultaneously with Promises, Promises and Last of the Red Hot Lovers. His later stage directions, which garnered five Tony Award nominations, included Deathtrap, They’re Playing Our Song, Woman of the Year, and My Fat Friend.
He also directed many episodes of the television situation comedies, Rhoda, starring Valerie Harper, and The Bob Newhart Show. He also directed three films written by Neil Simon, Murder by Death, The Cheap Detective, and Chapter Two, as well as a television version of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and made for television film Thursday’s Game.
As an actor, he played a disabled gay man opposite Liza Minelli in the 1970 drama Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon. He also appeared in episodes of the aforementioned Rhoda, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Diana Rigg’s Diana. He died at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York of pneumonia, due to AIDS complications, one of the early celebrity casualties of that dreaded malady.
As explained in a previous blog post, Special Collections at The Catholic University of America consists of four departments: rare books, museum, university archives, and the manuscript collection, otherwise known as The American Catholic History Research Collection. Although ‘manuscript’ literally means handwritten, ‘manuscript collection’ is used by archivists, curators, and librarians to refer to collections of mixed media in which unpublished materials predominate, including correspondence, meeting minutes, typescripts, photographs, diaries, and scrapbooks. This describes personal papers but also the institutional records of our outside or non-Catholic University donors such as Catholic Charities USA, National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), including their earlier incarnations like their World War I era National Catholic War Council. Among the USCCB records the most important are those of the Office of the General Secretary (OGS), sometimes called the Executive Department, and these contain the American Catholic Church’s involvement in almost every major issue of the twentieth century.
One of the most fascinating episodes recounted and inventoried in the OGS records, replete with detailed documents and photographs, is that of the American Catholic participation in the Papal Relief Mission to Russia, 1922-1923. Churchill’s famous 1939 quip defining Russia as “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,” (1) could be aptly paraphrased as “a puzzle, wrapped in a conundrum, inside a perplexity” when applied to the Papal Relief Mission of a decade and a half earlier. This was the first international aid mission of the Roman Catholic Church, undertaken to alleviate the starving children of Bolshevik Russia, the core of the nascent Communist Soviet Union, the emerging archenemy of the Catholic Church. The Famine of 1921-1923, focused in areas of the Volga, Ukraine, and northern Caucasus afflicted as many as 16 million people, perhaps killing as many as 5 million. It is with bitter irony that we mark this one hundredth anniversary with a renewed war with attending death and destruction, not to mention looming hunger, in this same sad corner of Eastern Europe.
Prior to the famine, Russia had suffered three and a half years of World War I and the Civil Wars of 1918–1920 with millions of casualties, both military and civilian. The various warring elements arbitrarily seized food from civilians to supply their armies and deny it to their enemies. The Bolshevik government requisitioned supplies from the peasantry offer little in exchange, prompting peasants, especially the more wealthy ones, called Kulaks, to reduce crop production and sell any surplus to the Black Market. Initially aid from outside Soviet Russia was rejected. The American Relief Administration (ARA), formed to help victims of starvation of World War I, offered assistance to Lenin in 1919 on condition that they hand out food impartially, but Lenin refused this as interference in Russian internal affairs. He was, however, convinced by this as well as other famines and unrest to reverse policy and permitted relief organizations to bring aid. The ARA had an organization set up in Poland relieving famine that had started there in late 1919.
Under the auspices of the ARA, headed by Commerce Secretary and future President, Herbert Hoover, the Papal Relief Mission to Russia by 1922 was feeding approximately 158,000 persons a day. The pivotal figure between American Catholics and the Roman Curia, and subsequently between the Vatican and the Bolsheviks, was Edmund Aloysius Walsh, S.J., founder of the first American School of Diplomacy, at Georgetown University. (2) Walsh served as papal emissary in charge of this mission, which, among other duties, entailed liaising with the ARA, keeping the Vatican informed, and negotiating with the Bolsheviks regarding the church’s position within a communist society. Stateside, Walsh was backed by the National Catholic Welfare Council (NCWC), ably led by Paulist priest and Catholic University alum, John Burke, who helped focus American Catholic relief efforts. Overall, Walsh’s experience provides a firsthand view of the Bolshevik world view and insight into the manner in which the Bolshevik Revolution was understood, or not understood, by the Vatican. Therefore, in spite of the good will that the mission’s success earned for the Vatican, efforts to establish diplomatic relations ultimately failed because the gulf between Catholicism and Communism was too great.
For more information on how to access NCWC/USCCB records, please contact us at email@example.com
(1) See also Churchill by Himself (2013), Chapter 10, Russia, page 143, Broadcast, London, 1 October 1939.
Special Collections, including the Rare Books Department, like the rest of the world, is continuing to emerge from the shadow of the COVID Pandemic. We continue to purchase new books and related materials, which we reported on in our November 2020 and November 2021 blog posts, and are pleased to announce further acquisitions during the 2021-2022 fiscal year from reputable dealers in order to further enhance our collections. This was a banner year, with eight purchased Rare Book acquisitions, four of which are featured below. The others are listed in the footnotes and more information is available upon request.
The first item is a Sixteenth century Italian manuscript, 11 x 8 inches, regarding a dispute between the Gonzaga family of Mantua and the Vatican represented by its auditor, Ippolito Aldobrandini (1536-1605), later Pope Clement VIII (1592-1605). The manuscript is a notarial deed concerning the February 4, 1583 trial held in Mantua in the San Pietro Cathedral. It is a certified copy written in the Bishop’s Mantua palace on March 16, 1583 and given to Aldobrandini, who was representing the Holy See appearing in this trial as the judge commissioner. The trial, initiated at the request of Claudio Gonzaga, Abbott of the Benedictine Church of Santa Maria di Felonica in Mantua, addressed the validity of feudal rights claims by Felonica concerning properties used by the church. The manuscript has 90 leaves, or 180 written pages, with contemporary inscriptions on front cover and many pages with a notary stamp. This was purchased in June 2021 from Portuguese dealer Sandra Antunes, who in turn obtained it from Sotheby’s of Italy, in 2005.[i] Incidentally, it is often claimed that the spread of Coffee’s popularity is due to Pope Clement VIII’s influence. Supposedly responding to criticism of the beverage as ‘Satan’s drink,’ he tasted it, declaring it would be a pity to permit infidels to have exclusive use of it, so he blessed the bean, arguing it was better for people than alcohol.
The second purchase is a remarkable Sammelband, 7.6 x 6 inches, of fifteen Jansenist tracts, 1682 to 1709, in contemporary binding titled “Paneg[yrique]. Jans[eniste]. [et] Div[erse]. Autre Ecrits”. Several of the items are not recorded in any American institutional library. The rarity of these tracts may be due to their heterodox nature as at least seven were added to the IndexLibrorum Prohibitorum (Books prohibited to Catholics) soon after publication. Many were written anonymously by Gilles de Witte (1648-1721) who followed Jansenist ideas of reading the Bible in the vernacular. He had already attracted the attention of the authorities by publishing a Dutch translation of the New Testament in 1696. He also wrote approvingly of Cornelius Jansenius with a biography of the Bishop of Ypres and an overview of the Jansenist conflict, affirming that many Jesuits has similar views and had not been condemned. This was obtained in September 2021 from David Rueger of InLibris.
The third accession was a book printed in Mexico, then a province of Spain, by Por Dioego Fernandez de Leon in 1684, titled: Explicacion de las sesenta, y cinco proposiciones prohibidas por la santidad de N.M.S.P. Innocencio XI. mandadas publicar por el Excellentissimo Señor Don Diego Sarmiento de Valladares, obispo inquisidor general: y publicadas por el Santo Tribunal de la Inquisicion de esta Nueva España en siete de abril de mil seiscientos, y ochenta. Author el padre fr. Mathias Rodriguez, predicador, y confessor, de la Santa Provincia de San Diego de religiosos descalços de N.P.S. Francisco de esta Nueva España ; dedicada al Capitan Don Francisco de Alarcon, y Espinosa alcalde ordinario, que fue de la ciudad de la Puebla de los Angeles, su regidor, y thesorero general de la Santa Cruzada. This is a first edition, 7.5 x 6 inches, with an armorial woodcut on the second leaf, bound in contemporary vellum with remnants of the original ties. The text was written by Fransican friar Mathias Rodriguez of San Diego, New Spain, examining a papal bull condemning sixty-five supposed heretical propositions or ‘laxism’ by Jesuits relating to fornication, gluttony, robbery, and usury. This includes the original Latin of the bull, the Spanish text of the heresies, and Rodriquez’s commentary. In order to expand their ministry, many Jesuits adopted a less stringent approach to theology (‘probabilism’), resulting in Pope Innocent XI’s condemnation in 1679 reasserting Conservative ‘rigorism.’ Among the condemned propositions in this book are two related to abortion. Obtained in January 2022 from Liber Antiquus.
The fourth acquisition is a salesman’s sample book of sacramental textiles from the French firm of G. Bochard, which operated in St. Etienne from the late nineteenth century until the mid-twentieth century. The company focused primarily on embroidered silks, not only for vestments, but also table cloths, banners, and book braids. Examples in this volume include swatches of numerous priestly vestments, including cincture, maniple, stole, chasuble, cape, dalmatic, surplice, and cotta represented in vivid woven silks as well as embroidered and tapestry fabrics, many with stock notes, and other related marginalia in French. This burgundy board scrapbook, ca. 1935, has a string tied with matching silk braid, approximately 10.5 by 8 inches, containing 16 card stock leaves mounted recto and verso with 92 original silk sample swatches. There are also three black and white mounted photo illustrations of finished patterns. This was purchased in March 2022 from Type Punch Matrix.
In addition, there were four other purchased acquisitions, listed below. These new arrivals are a further enhancement to the diverse Rare Books Department of Special Collections at Catholic University. They are already making an impact via perusal by patrons and instructional purposes for various university classes. If you are a faculty, student, or alumni with interest and expertise in rare books and have acquisition suggests, please contact us. We can not make any promises but will seriously consider any proposals.
 Sandra Antunes, R. Dr. Augusto Jose da Cunha 9 Menos-2C,1495-240 Alges, Portugal.
 David Rueger, Inlibris LLC, 245 9th Ave, #166, New York, NY 10011.
 Paul Dowling, Liber Antiquus, 7306 Brennan Lane, Chevy Chase, MD, 20810.
 Type Punch Matrix, 1111 E. West Hwy, Suite 300, Silver Spring, MD, 20910.
Small format Prayer Booklet to the Holy Family, partially titled, ‘Tierna, Y Dulce Memoria…’ printed in Puebla by Manuela de la Ascension Cerezo, 1753, purchased in June 2021 from W. S. Cotter Rare Books, 4615 Cedar Point Drive, Auston, TX, 78723.
 Broadside by Adolph Sutro, titled ‘Sutro and the A.P.A.’, printed in San Francisco, 1894, regarding the anti-Catholic American Protective Association, obtained in June 2021 from David Lesser, Fine Antiquarian Books, One Bradley Road, Woodbridge, CT, 06525.
 Two catechisms in English and Odjibwe, titled ‘Katolik Anamie…’ 1880, and ‘A Baltimore Short English-Odjibwe Catechism..’ 1896, bought in February 2022 from William Reese Company, 409 Temple Street, New Haven, CT, 06511.
Since the nineteenth century American colleges and universities have published annual reports, yearbooks, newspapers, and other promotional materials chronicling their institutional related events and accomplishments to faculty, students, alumni, and other interested parties. Many of these, such as yearbooks and newspapers, while sanctioned by administrators, are produced by students. Others, generally targeted at alumni and other potential donors, are official institutional publications, often citing institutional archives. The award winning CatholicU magazine, published since 2017, is the latest incarnation of The Catholic University of America’s official publication. Earlier versions include The CUA Bulletin, First Series (1895-1928), CUA Bulletin, Second Series (1932-1968), Envoy (1971-1990), and CUA Magazine (1989-2017).
Previous blog posts have featured the early years of Catholic University’s yearbookThe Cardinaland student newspaper, The Tower, both digitized, while this one is focused on the CUA Bulletin, Second Series, and its recent in-house digitization. The first manifestation of the Bulletin was more of an academic journal in format and content, though including newsworthy items. It is largely scanned and online in several places due to the lack of copyright. There were 34 volumes in a 6” x 9” format. There were 4 rather thick issues per year through 1908, then 9 more slim issues 1909 through 1925, then back to 4 issues for the final three years, 1926-1928. The pages were consecutively numbered for all but the last volume when each of the four issues begin pagination all over again.
The second series, the subject of this post, was published in 36 volumes, 1932-1968, but in the glossy magazine format more recognizable in similar and later alumni focused publications at Catholic University and elsewhere. As historical objects, such publications reflect the customs and perspectives of their time and may seem offensive to contemporary views. We have chosen to retain the digital content intact for historical accuracy though we do not necessarily endorse views depicted in this online archive now available to the research community and broader public.
Regarding the original print format, individual issues of the first seven volumes, November 1932-August 1939, were 14 pages each and sized 7.75 x 9.75 inches. The remaining issues through 1968 were sized at 8 x 10.5 inches, though the number of pages per issue rose to 16 for volumes 31-34, 1963-1966, but was reduced to 6 pages for the last two volumes in 1967-1968. Oddly, the last two volumes are numbered 1 and 2. A particularly erratic feature of this otherwise very professionally produced publication was the number of issues per volume, ranging from 4 to 6 for the majority of publication, but with only 2 for volume 34 but 7 for the second volume 1 for 1967. Future plans in Special Collections include digitization of the aforementioned successor publications Envoy, CUA Magazine, and Catholic U.
Future plans in Special Collections include digitization of the aforementioned successor publications Envoy, CUA Magazine, and Catholic U. For more on Special Collections see the folowing post and our web site.
Special Collections at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., is happy to announce the receipt in September of the donation of eight small collections of Pro-Life archival materials from The Sisters of Life of New York City. While the Sisters decided to donate the bulk of their archives, centered on the Joseph Stanton Papers, to Harvard’s Schlesinger Women’s History Library, it is nevertheless gratifying for Catholic University to host at least a portion of this valuable archive dedicated to an issue of vital importance to the American Catholic Church.
The Sisters of Life are a uniquely American, Roman Catholic religious institute, following the Augustinian rule. It is both a contemplative and active religious community, dedicated to the promotion of pro-life causes. Their abbreviation S.V. stands for Sorores Vitae, which is the Latin version of their name. They were founded under the auspices of John O’Connor (1920-2000), the Cardinal-Archbishop of New York in 1991, when eight women gathered in New York to begin the new community. Since then, they have grown to over a hundred Sisters from across the globe, in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, and the Philippines. They have also expanded missions from their birthplace in New York beyond to Denver, Stamford, Philadelphia, Washington, and Toronto.
The new collections at Catholic University total fifty-one boxes, over sixty linear feet, covering the 1970s to 2000. They include the Abortion Parental Consent Legal Research Case Files from the University of St. Thomas Law School, the Center for the Rights of the Terminally Ill Collection, The Long Island Grass Roots Pro-Life Collection, March for Life Memorabilia, National Right to Life News Complete Collection, Natural Family Planning Archival Collection, Pro-Life Movement Newsletters and Periodicals, and various rare Catholic and other periodicals.
Each of these collections will be processed, primarily by student workers and practicum volunteers, to create online finding aids (inventories), joining those presently on the Special Collections website.(1) We also plan to craft a Pro-life research guide to the related materials. For more information on these and other collections, including another order of homegrown sisters, please contact us at https://libraries.catholic.edu/special-collections/archives/about/contact-us.html
(1) Special thanks to Brandi Marulli, both for visiting the Sisters of Life in person in 2020 to assess their records, and for her help with this blog post.
Born in 1896, Keenan was the eldest of eight children. He left school at an early age to help support his family after his father was injured and he became an electrician by trade. He participated in the labor movement in Chicago, beginning with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ (IBEW) Local 134 in 1914, and then from 1937 as Secretary of the Chicago Federation of Labor. In 1940, he moved to Washington, DC, to work with President Franklin Roosevelt’s National Defense Advisory Commission to mobilize national defense in the face of Hitler’s European onslaught. He eventually became the Vice Chairman for Labor of the War Production Board, 1943-1945, where he worked effectively to stabilize industrial relations in the construction field and to halt strikes and work stoppages while arbitration agreements were conducted. He served in postwar Germany, 1945-1948, as both an advisor to American commander General Lucius D. Clay and as President Truman’s special coordinator between labor and industry for reorganizing trade unions.
Keenan returned home for the 1948 elections where he was first director of the League for Political Education where he was credited with an important role in Truman’s upset victory over Thomas Dewey. He later served as labor’s campaign liaison with presidents John F. Kennedy (1960) and Lyndon B. Johnson (1964), Vice President Hubert Humphrey (1968), and Senator George McGovern (1972). He served as first Secretary of the Building and Construction Trades Department of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), 1951-1954, and IBEW International Secretary, 1954-1976. He was a key friend and advisor to George Meany when the latter merged the rival AFL and CIO into one organization in 1955 and Keenan served thereafter as Vice President and Executive Council member of the combined AFL-CIO.
Keenan was an active Catholic layman and was honored with the papal medal, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Award, in 1973 and an honorary doctorate from The Catholic University of America (CUA) in 1974. For the latter, Catholic University stated “Like his patron and fellow craftsman, Joseph the Carpenter, he richly deserves the title ‘Justus Vir.’” He was also a recipient of the Medal of Merit and Medal of Freedom by President Harry S. Truman for World War II services. Keenan was known to support civil rights organizations and helped found the Joint Action in Community Service (JACS), the political organization behind Jobs Corps that trained millions of disadvantaged, including minorities, for employment.  He was also devoted to the State of Israel. He was married three times, first to Ethel Fosburg, by which they had son Joseph Jr; second to Mytle Fox, whose son John was adopted by Keenan; and third to Jeffie Hennessy. His burial mass in 1988 was held at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. For more information on Keenan, see his papers at Catholic University and a 1971 oral history transcript at the Harry Truman Library.
 Francis X. Gannon. Joseph D. Keenan, Labor’s Ambassador in War and Peace. Lanham, New York, and London: University Press of America, 1984, p. 155.
Primarily known as a portrait painter in Milwaukee, Bernard Isaac Durward (1817-1902), was a native of Montrose, Scotland In addition to portraits, he also painted numerous religious subjects and still life paintings as well as creating several altar pieces for churches in the Milwaukee area. He also became known for his poetry. His volume of poetry, Cristofero Colombo (1889), was celebrated at the 1893 World’s Fair at Chicago as the “best original and extended epic yet written in this land.” (6) Additionally, he was a collector, having acquired a number of works for his gallery at Durward’s Glen from other Wisconsin artists of the time. Bernard’s son, Charles Durward (1844-1875), was also a painter, especially of religious scenes and sites in Europe.
The youngest of five children, Bernard’s father died when he was an infant and the family struggled financially. He had to work as a youngster, becoming a shepherd boy in the Grampian Hills at age 8 and apprenticed to become a shoemaker at 12 to James Horne who also provided instruction in reading and writing. Bernard’s introduction to art was through the imitation of the works of others, which he sought to replicate in watercolor and crayon. He later became adept with the use of oils. He married Margaret Hillyard in 1842 and briefly settled in England where their sons Bernard Jr. and Charles were born in 1844. In 1845 the young artist embarked with his wife and two children on a one month ocean voyage across the Atlantic and made his way by the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Bernard’s uncle Martin lived. After a short lived attempt to homestead in Dodge County near Neosho, the Durwards moved back to Milwaukee where they eventually had an original home built called the ‘Octagon House’ on the land now called Gordon Park. Bernard became a successful portrait painter, with his subjects being many of Milwaukee’s elite, including Solomon Juneau and Bishop John Henni, the first Bishop of Milwaukee, who would influence Bernard to convert to Catholicism in 1853.
Bernard also had literary success as fifty of his short poems were printed in the Milwaukee Sentinel, the Crayon of New York, and the Leader of St. Louis. His poem, May (1855), won special praise while his most famous was St. Mary’s of the Pines, written during the Civil War. When St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee opened in 1856 he joined the faculty teaching English and elocution. He also taught painting to the School Sister of Notre Dame in Milwaukee. In 1862, the Durward family moved for a final time to the Baraboo Hills at a place they called ‘Durward’s Glen.’ Bernard sought the contemplative solitude of nature to inspire his religious art though as he aged he focused more on writing and poetry. He continued to support his family through painting commissions and teaching at the seminary until his death. Besides Charles, his other children included Bernard Jr. (1843-1855); two who became priests, John (1847-1918) and James (1851-1933); musician and writer, Wilfred (1857-1927); farmer, Andrew (1861-1926); and two daughters, Emma (1850-1852), and Mary Thecla (1863-1946), the only one born at the Glen.
Charles Durward was baptized a Roman Catholic in 1853 and attended St. Francis School. He traveled to Europe, where he painted Chester Cathedral from St. John’s Priory Window, Immaculate Conception of Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Charles Borromeo, the Madonna of the Sleep, and the Stable of Bethlehem. He later purchased six acres from his father and built a small home (later a guest house of the Order of St. Camillus) where he painted Madonna del Colombo and Stations in 1874, shortly before his untimely death due to eating the poisonous water hemlock plant. He was buried at St. Mary of the Pines. This artistic family was summed up “as eccentric, a reputation which was not diminished when the son, Charles, also began to paint and erected in the glen a studio and gallery for the quiet pursuit of religious art. These unusual proceedings, coupled with the ritualistic devotion of the family members toward one another (referring to each other as ‘the Artistic Brother,’ ‘the Poet Father,’ etc), were not calculated to bring art very close to the interests of the farmer natives.”(7) The bulk of the Durward Collection now resides in the Museum section of Special Collections at The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. Father John Durward had visited Catholic in 1909, striking up a friendship with Rector, Thomas J. Shahan. Subsequently, the initial donation of three paintings was made in 1919 by the John Durward Estate, and two of these, Madonna of the Dove and Madonna of the Sleep, are prominently displayed on campus. A further, substantial donation of 41 paintings was made in 2007 by the Order of St. Camillus. It is also of note that four of the paintings were returned to Catholic University in 2021 after being on long term loan to the Museum of Wisconsin Art.
(1) NMC 19, A framed oil painting, 30 by 38 inches.
(2) Mary Grace Terry. The Story of Durward’s Glen. Order of St. Camillus, 1958, p. 7.
(3) A framed oil painting by Bernard I. Durward, 24 x 35.5 inches. NMC 1163
(4) Terry, p. 31.
(5) A framed oil painting by Bernard I. Durward, 16.25 x 18.75 inches. NMC 1154
(6) Porter Butts. Art in Wisconsin. (1936), p. 78.