Catholic Club of Philadelphia records, 1871-1923 (MC 23)

Proposed in May 1875, the Catholic Club of Philadelphia, formerly the De Sales Institute of Philadelphia, was organized January 2, 1877. The club, one of many founded in major cities throughout the country during the late 19th century, offered wealthy men of a certain socioeconomic background cultural, intellectual, and social opportunities. These clubs sponsored balls, concerts, lectures as well as other events and activities that raised large sums of money for local church charities.

This collection contains administrative records, including by-laws and reports, as well as general correspondence. Programs, souvenirs, and ephemera related to club-sponsored events and events sponsored by other local Catholic societies are also included.

2 boxes, 0.8 Lin. Ft.

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David Lynch papers, 1830-1875 (MC 13)

David Lynch (1793-1860) was an active member of the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania in the mid-19th century and a friend and supporter of President James Buchanan. Appearing to have been politically well-connected, Lynch was granted an auctioneer’s license for the state of Pennsylvania by then Governor George Wolf. Lynch was also appointed Post Master of Pittsburgh. He held this position from 1833-1840.

The bulk of this small collection is comprised of Lynch’s correspondence with other politically active Pennsylvanians and includes letters between Lynch and James Buchanan. Also included are personal papers, pamphlets, religious ephemera, newspaper clippings, photos, and engravings.

0.2 linear ft., 1 box

*Materials in this collection have been digitized and can be viewed at the Digital Library @ Villanova University.

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John J. Bonner papers, 1909-1945 (MC 49)

Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1926-1945, John J. Bonner is credited with establishing the Philadelphia Catholic League and was one of the best-known Catholic educators in the country.

Born in Philadelphia on November 2, 1890, John Bonner entered St. Charles Seminary after graduating from Roman Catholic High School. He transferred to the North American College in Rome, and was ordained there in June 1917.

Upon his return to the United States, he was appointed assistant rector of St. Bridget’s Church (1917-18), left this post to serve as a U.S. Army chaplain (1918-19), and after his discharge from the army, was appointed vice rector of Roman Catholic High. Between 1923 and 1926, he served at St. Bernard’s in Easton, PA, and taught at Immaculata College.

In 1926, Bonner was appointed Superintendent of Schools for the Philadelphia Archdiocese and remained in the position until his death on November 17, 1945. During his tenure as Superintendent, Bonner earned a nationwide reputation as an educator, orator, and administrator.

The documents in this collection consist mainly of correspondence, sermons, speeches, and prayers that Bonner amassed during his career as Superintendent.

6 boxes, 3.4 linear ft.

Lawrence E. McCrossin papers, 1917-1919 (MC 4)

Lawrence E. McCrossin, a Philadelphia native, was a field secretary for the Knights of Columbus Committee on War Activities in France towards the end of World War I. Prior to this, McCrossin was secretary for the Philadelphia Typographical Union No. 2.

The Lawrence E. McCrossin papers date from 1917 to 1919 and contain travel orders, receipts, inventory lists, and security passes related to McCrossin’s activities in Europe. Most of the correspondence issued through the Knights of Columbus deals with supply and personnel data. Also included are referrals from noted officials Richard V. Farley of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry and Major Thomas F. Meehan of the United States Army; booklets on the subject of various aspects of French life and government along with literature on the Republic of Ireland; and copies of the Chicago Tribune and New York Herald Tribune focusing on the Versailles Treaty and different post-World War I issues. Some materials in French.

.2 linear feet; 1 box