Herman Joseph Heuser papers, 1811-1933 (MC 1)

Herman Joseph Heuser, D.D. (1851-1933) was a prominent Catholic intellectual and prolific writer who influenced scholarly circles and clerical life in the United States and abroad through his publications, including the  journal the American Ecclesiastical Review (1889-1975), which he edited for many years.

Along with editing the American Ecclesiastical Review, Heuser also organized and directed the Dolphin Press of Philadelphia, which printed many ecclesiastical works. From 1900 to 1908 he published the Dolphin, a general Catholic literary magazine that began as a book supplement to the American Ecclesiastical Review. In 1907, during the controversy over Modernism, Heuser was appointed by the Apostolic Delegate as general censor for all Catholic publications in the United States.

Heuser also acted as a consultant to religious orders. He helped to write the constitutions of the Sisters of Mercy, Merion, Pa., where his sister was for a time General Superior, and of Katharine Drexel’s Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.

He served as an adviser to the Pontifical Commission on Anglican Orders in 1896, and received an honorary Doctor of Sacred Theology degree from Pope Pius X.

This collection largely contains correspondence, both personal and professional in nature. A significant portion of the correspondence is between Heuser and prominent figures within the Catholic Church, including Cardinal James Gibbons, Archbishop Patrick J. Ryan of Philadelphia, Katharine Drexel, and Thomas C. Middleton. Other notable correspondents include Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Princess Catherine Radziwiłł, and Leopold Stokowski. Some of the topics covered include Catholicity in Russia, church architecture, Catholic American Indians, and the religious aspects of the issue of vasectomy.

A significant amount of materials in the collection relate to Canon Patrick Augustine Sheehan of Doneraile, Ireland, specifically Sheehan’s book, My New Curate; a story gathered from the stray leaves of an old diary, which appeared serially in Heuser’s magazine. Items, such as drafts and research notes, deriving from Heuser’s work with the American Ecclesiastical Review and the Dolphin, are also included. The collection also contains prayers, sermons, some genealogical information, and scrapbooks with miscellaneous materials.

Most of the materials in the collection are in English, though some are written in German, French, and Italian.

27 boxes, 10.4 linear ft.

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James F. Connelly papers, 1790-1974 (MC 67)

James F. Connelly (1955-), ordained in 1955, spent the majority of his career as a member of the faculty at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary (Overbrook, Pa.) where he taught church history. He also served as Vice-Rector of the Seminary’s Theology Division from 1968 to 1970.

circa 1976

A trained historian, Connelly centered his scholarship and writings on the history of the Archdiocese and St. Charles Seminary. He authored two works, St. Charles Seminary, Philadelphia : a history of the Theological Seminary of Saint Charles Borromeo, Overbrook, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1832-1979 and The visit of Archbishop Gaetano Bedini to the United States of America, June 1853-February 1854. Connelly also edited The History of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, published in 1976. He also contributed articles to the New Catholic Encyclopedia.

Connelly served as the first full-time secretary to Cardinal Krol. He was also very involved with the Eucharistic Congress held in Philadelphia in 1976 as well as with the canonization ceremonies for John Neumann. For the latter, he chaired the Liturgy Committee, which was responsible for all the ceremonies surrounding the canonization in both Rome and Philadelphia, and for supplying the booklets, liturgical texts, and prayers used during the ceremonies.

The collection largely contains Connelly’s research notes and writings that cover a multitude of topics, though a significant amount deal with the history of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, specifically the history of Catholicism in the Philadelphia and surrounding dioceses, Cardinal Krol’s tenure, and St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. A good deal of research notes were most likely gathered for his published works. A significant amount of materials also relate to the work Connelly did for Neumann’s canonization ceremonies. There are daily log entries of his time at the Seminary from about 1964 to 1978. Correspondence, research notes, published materials, ephemera, and mixed media materials, such as cassette tapes, are also included.

23 boxes, 9.2 linear ft.

John W. Keogh papers, 1906-1960 (MC 50)

circa 1943

Msgr. John W. Keogh (1877-1960) served as a college chaplain for the University of Pennsylvania’s Newman Club (1913-1938), and was the first “Chaplain General” of the national Federation of College Catholic Clubs (1917-1938). He also served as a chaplain for several Catholic organizations and institutions including the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Ladies Auxiliary of that association, and St. Bede’s Chapel.

Keogh was also very involved in the total abstinence movement. He served as president of the Catholic Total Abstinence Union of American. He also served as president  and was instrumental in the founding of the Priests’ Total Abstinence League of America.

The collection is mostly comprised of correspondence, both personal and professional, that mainly documents his work as chaplain of the Newman Club at the University of Pennsylvania.  Also included are clippings, research notes, and published materials reflecting Keogh’s interests in various current events of the first half of the 20th century, particularly those that the Catholic Church was engaged in, such as abstinence, communism, birth control, and Catholic Action. The collection also contains sermons and photographs as well as some legal and estate materials as Keogh was the executor of several wills and estates.

4.8 linear ft., 12 boxes

Martin I. J. Griffin papers, 1842-1950 (MC 8)


A prominent Catholic historian and Philadelphia native, Martin Ignatius Joseph Griffin was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 23, 1842. His parents, Terence J. and Elizabeth (Doyle) Griffin, were immigrants from Ireland. He was educated in parochial and public schools and began his journalistic career as a contributor to Catholic newspapers. Widely known as a church historian, Griffin authored many works dealing with Catholic history and was a frequent contributor to and editor of several magazines and periodicals, including The Irish Catholic Benevolent Union Journal, American Catholic Historical Researches and Griffin’s Journal. He edited a Sunday School journal from 1867 to 1870 before serving as assistant editor to the newly established Catholic Standard and Times, the official Philadelphia diocesan newspaper, from 1870 to 1873.

Griffin founded the American Catholic Historical Society in 1884 and served as its secretary. He also belonged to several other historical associations, including the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Society of Philadelphia and served as secretary for the Irish Catholic Benevolent Union. An energetic promoter, he organized Philadelphia’s first youth’s Catholic Total Abstinence Society and in 1872 was one of the founders of the Catholic Total Abstinence Union of America.

The Martin I. J. Griffin papers document the life, work, and research of Martin I. J. Griffin (1842-1911). This collection dates from 1842 to 1950, with the bulk of materials dating from 1870 to 1911, and contains mostly correspondence, research files, notes, clippings, ephemera, and assorted personal records. The clippings are organized by subject and deal principally with Griffin’s research on the Catholic Church in America. Researchers should bear in mind that this collection contains materials which predate Griffin and also some materials which were created decades after Griffin’s death. Additionally, it should be noted that the majority of the dates are approximations due to the fact that many of the materials contain handwritten dates that reflect the date of the subject and not of the document itself. There is also a significant amount of undated materials.

26 linear ft.; 61 boxes

Researchers may find it helpful to consult the more recent finding aid (HTML) in conjunction with the legacy finding aid (PDF).

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