Catholic Standard and Times records, 1909-1941 (MC 27)

The Catholic Standard was first published on January 6, 1866 as the official organ of the Diocese of Philadelphia. The Catholic Times first appeared on December 3, 1892. The two papers merged at the end of November 1895 and the first issue of The Catholic Standard and Times was published on December 7, 1895. This paper continues to be published today as the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The collection includes correspondence documenting the business activities and development of the newspaper.

6 boxes,  2.4 linear ft.

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.

Researchers will find it useful to use the more recent (html) finding aid in conjunction with the legacy finding aid, which includes item-level information.

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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.

Joseph M. Corrigan papers, 1896-1942 (MC 25)

A prominent orator and preacher, Bishop Joseph M. Corrigan, D.D. served as the sixth rector of the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. from 1936 until his sudden death in June 1942. He was also rector of and a professor at St. Charles Seminary (Wynnewood, Pa.) from 1918 to 1936.

After his ordination in Rome in 1903, Corrigan returned to Philadelphia where he played a very active role in the city’s religious and social affairs. He served as assistant pastor in several parishes, and for several years was in charge of the Madonna House and settlement work among Italians. Following his parish work, Corrigan was named Diocesan Director of Catholic Charities and was placed in charge of the Catholic Children’s Bureau.

Corrigan was also a member of the board of directors of the Community Council of Philadelphia (the Welfare Federation). He served as state chaplain of the Pennsylvania State Council of the Knights of Columbus, and was also a judge of the matrimonial court and moderator of the priests’ vigilance committee. Corrigan also served as the first retreat master of the Philadelphia Laymen’s Weekend Retreat League, also known as the Men of Malvern.

The same year that he became rector of St. Charles, Corrigan was made a domestic prelate by Pope Pius XI. His elevation to the episcopacy came in 1940.

This collection contains correspondence as well as some of Corrigan’s sermons, speeches, and radio addresses, and a few photographs. Much of the collection includes ephemera, specifically newspaper clippings, relating to Corrigan’s endeavors and achievements, which are contained in several personal scrapbooks. Also included are materials concerning Catholic University, including a notebook documenting Corrigan’s schedule during his time as rector as well as some items relating to Corrigan’s involvement with the Knights of Columbus. Items relating to Corrigan’s death, such as sympathy letters to his sister and newspaper clippings, are also included. [3 boxes, 3 scrapbooks, 2.6 linear ft.]