- Advisory Council to the Administrative Board of U.S. Bishops. 1969-1975.
- American College in Louvain (ACL). Records. ca. 1860-2011. 90 feet; 64 boxes. Boxes 1-61 stored off site, extra Retrieval time needed.
- Bicentennial, Ad Hoc Committee for the Observance of the/Call To Catholic Action. 1973-1980, 75 feet; 63 boxes..
- Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). 1969(1971-1978)2001. Collection stored off site, extra Retrieval time needed.
- Catholic Association for International Peace (CAIP). 1926-1969. See also: Social Action Department.
- Catholic Conference on Industrial Problems (CCIP). 1922-1957. See also: Social Action Department.
- Catholic Relief Services. 1944-1961, 1977-1992. 8.75 feet; 7 boxes.
- Communications Department-Catholic News Service (CNS) 1919(1919-2008)2022
- Communications Department-Media Relations. 1953, 1958-2005, 17.5 feet; 14 boxes
- Communications Department-Office for Film and Broadcasting ca. 1936-2012.
- Cultural Diversity Office. 1972-2012. 56 feet; 71 boxes. Donor: USCCB, 2014-2022.
- Decent Literature, Episcopal Committee on/National Office for Decent Literature. 1940-1969.
- Diocesan Development Program for Natural Family Planning. 1964-1993, 10 feet; 8 boxes.
- Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Secretariat of, 1955(1955-1997)2007.
- Education Department. 1919(1919-1974)2001.
- Episcopal Committee on the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD). See: Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Episcopal Committee on
- Episcopal Committee on Decent Literature. See: Decent Literature, Episcopal Committee on/National Office for Decent Literature. See also: Executive Department/General Secretary.
- Episcopal Committee on Motion Pictures. See: Motion Pictures, Episcopal Committee on. See also: Executive Department/Office of General Secretary.
- Executive Department/Office of the General Secretary (OGS). 1905(1919-1972)2001.
- Family Life Bureau. 1929-1974. See also:Social Action Department.
- Foreign Visitor's Office. 1952-1963.
- Glass Lantern Slides. Ca. 1927, 1942-1946.
- Government Relations. 1953-2006. 39 feet; 31 boxes.
- Health Affairs Department. 1966-1971.
- Hispanic Affairs (formerly Spanish Speaking). 1972-2002. 13.75 feet; 11 boxes. 25 Year Restriction
- Immigration Bureau/Department. 1922-1993. 1.25 Feet; 1 box.
- Interamerican Bureau. 1942-1954. See: International Affairs and Inter-American Bureau, Office of Consultant on. See also: Executive Department/General Secretary.
- International Affairs and Inter-American Bureau, Office of Consultant on. 1942(1945-1950)1954.
- Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth. 1987, 1991-1993. 40 feet; 32 boxes.
- Latin America Bureau. 1928-1964. See also: Executive Department/Office of General Secretary.
- Lay Organizations Department. 1920-1975.
- Legal Department/General Counsel. 1921-1981.
- Mexican Files. 1921-1981. See also: Executive Department/Office of General Secretary.
- Motion Pictures, Episcopal Committee on. 1933-1944.
- National Catholic Community Service (NCCS). 1932, (1940-1981), n.d.
- National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS). 1917, (1918-1947), 1970. See also: National Catholic War Council.
- National Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. 1921, (1935 1982), 1982. See also: Education Department.
- National Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Episcopal Committee on. 1934-1991.
- National Council of Catholic Laity. 1958, (1970-1975), n.d.
- National Council of Catholic Men (NCCM). 1920-1975.
- National Council of Catholic Nurses. 1958-1971.
- National Council of Catholic Women. 1919-2000.
- Papal Visit Office. 1979-2008.
- Peace Corps Desk. 1961-1962. See also: Executive Department/Office of General Secretary.
- Rural Life Bureau. 1930-1938. See also: Social Action Department.
- Social Action Department. 1920 (1920-2002), 2009.
- UN Affairs. 1946-1972. See also: Executive Department/Office of General Secretary.
- Youth Department. 1929, (1929-1968), 1975. See also: Executive Department/Office of General Secretary.
Records. 1919-2011. 1,779.5 feet; 1,239 boxes, 40 volumes, 1,750 audio-visual items. Donor: United States Catholic Conference/United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1972-2023.
The National Catholic Welfare Council (NCWC), the annual meeting of the American hierarchy and its standing secretariat, was established in 1919 as the successor to the emergency organization, the National Catholic War Council, created in 1917 to supervise and unify American Catholic activities during the First World War. Father John Burke, a Paulist priest, was elected first General Secretary and directed the efforts of the five original departments: Social Action, Education, Press, Legal, and Lay Organizations. In 1922, after controversy with the Vatican, the name was changed to the National Catholic Welfare Conference to reflect its consultative nature, and the administrative board was incorporated as the National Catholic Welfare Conference, Inc. This structure served the American church until 1966.
Following the Vatican II Council, the bishops established the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) and its standing secretariat, the United States Catholic Conference (USCC). As separate organizations with distinct responsibilities, the NCCB focused on internal ecclesiastical concerns while the USCC carried forward work in society at large. The NCCB enabled the bishops to deliberate and respond collectively on a broad range of issues, with work being carried out through various secretariats, and standing and ad hoc committees. The two parts were re-unified in 2001 and re-named the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). It is a civil non-profit entity including clergy, religious, and lay people who develop public policy and programs for approval by the Administrative Board and the bishops for implementation by USCCB departments and other offices.
This monumental collection of records entails correspondence and reports, press releases and publications, audio and video tapes, photographs and motion pictures, detailing the expansive scope of Catholic advocacy and action in virtually all facets of American life, especially prior to 1966. Material of the General Secretary/Executive, Social Action, and Education departments are most voluminous, important, and widely researched. Others include the Legal, Press, and Youth Departments; Family, Rural Life, and Latin American Bureaus; Decent Literature and Motion Picture committees; National Catholic Community Service (NCCS); and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD). Records for the Immigration Department and the Catholic Association for International Peace (CAIP) are housed, respectively, at the Center for Migration Studies at Staten Island and Marquette University.
Indvidual Department Descriptions
The creation of the Advisory Council was a post Vatican II phenomenon that reflected a new vision of the Church as a community of the 'people of God' and not just a hierarchical structure. There was a focus on the shared responsibility of bishops and non-bishops alike in conducting the pastoral affairs of the Church. A major undertaking of the Advisory Council was to study the possibility of creating a National Pastoral Council but it was decided that this was not feasible. The Council was influential in other areas though as it had a role in shaping decisions that led to the establishment of the Campaign for Human Development, the Bicentennial Conference on Liberty and Justice, and a greater NCCB/USCC concern for Blacks and the Spanish-speaking.
Records are made up on material produced by the Steering Committee to Study the Feasibility of a National Pastoral Council, 1970-1974, and the Committee on the History of the Advisory Council, 1969-1975. There is no filing order and the arrangement is generally chronological.
Records produced by the committee, 1973-1980, and consisting of minutes, reports, correspondence, and printed material. For more information contact email@example.com.
Established in 1969, the Campaign for Human Development (CHD) serves as the American Catholic Church's domestic anti-poverty program. Its stated purpose is both to raise funds to support organized groups of the poor to develop economic and political power and to educate the public with a new knowledge of contemporary problems. Since its founding, the CHD has funded more than 3,000 self-help projects developed by the poor. Each year national grants are distributed to more than 200 local communities and many more smaller projects are funded by the 25 percent share of the CHD collection retained by the dioceses. CHD is funded solely by private donation, primarily an annual parish appeal. A permanent USCC committee of eight bishops and seven lay/religious members has overall responsibility, which includes setting policy and making final funding decisions. Diocesan bishops appoint directors to manage things at the local level. Their duties include the promotion of fund raising, evaluating funding applications, monitoring funded programs, and supporting seedling organizations. There is also an Advisory Committee and a national CHD staff. The latter is headed by an Executive Director appointed by the General Secretary of the USCC and manages day to day operations.
Records on deposit at Catholic University consist of material relating to the first decade of funded projects, divided by regional areas. There is little else to indicate a filing system or location of specific items. Collection stored off site, extra Retrieval time needed.
In 1927, due to the prevalence of isolationist sentiment in the United States, the Social Action Department organized and provided a secretariat for the Catholic Association for International Peace (CAIP). The first meeting was held at The Catholic University of America and the membership included not only experts in the application of Catholic teachings on international order, but those interested in learning about and promoting those principles. CAIP's principle efforts were directed to meetings, which were often held in cities such as Washington and Chicago, and the publication of the proceedings of those meetings, as well as study committee statements, and papers on special topics prepared by individual authors. CAIP was abolished in 1967 when it merged with the reorganized Social Action Department of the former NCWC to form the USCC's Department of Social Development and World Peace, now known as Social Justice and World Peace.
Records consist chiefly of those relating to the meetings, 1926-1949; statements, 1927-1968, publications, 1929-1964; and committee and conference files of William O'Brien, 1958-1969, who served as CAIP's last president. Additional CAIP archives are at the Marquette University Archives.
Founded upon the initiative of the Social Action Department, the CCIP was conceived as an association to discuss and promote the study of industrial problems. Linna E. Bressette served as the Field Secretary and was particularly concerned to bring papal teachings on the social order to a wider audience. At the first meeting in 1923,and at subsequent meetings, the CCIP's was to discuss industrial policy. Attendance was drawn primarily from representatives of labor, education, and social work. Fewer employers participated although some such as Patrick Henry Callahan assumed an active role. Eventually, it became evident that its interests were too limited to assimilate the widening types of Catholic social action so, in 1957, it gave way to a successor organization of broader scope, the National Catholic Social Action Conference.
Records relate primarily to the meetings held in cities across the country, 1922-1951. They are arranged chronologically by meeting date with no particular order thereunder. In addition, there are Linna Bressette general administrative files, 1922-1957, which include correspondence, membership material, financial records, publications, and some photographs. Finally, there are some topical and meeting files of the CCIP's Interracial Secretary, ca. 1931-1950.
Founded under the auspices of the Office of the General Secretary (OGS) of the National Welfare Conference, now the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, as War Relief Services in 1943, it is currently known as Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and based in Baltimore. It has become a global operation that works not only to alleviate suffering caused by war and disaster, but to raise the general standard of living for the poorer nations of the world. The materials we house are NOT the CRS Archives, but rather CRS items in the NCWC/USCCB records, including boxes 48, 72, 133, 160, 190, 194, 195, and 231 listed in the OGS online finding aid. Additionally, there are another 8 boxes, numbered 115-121, in an addendum of USCCB boxes not yet inventoried online, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Established after the re-organization of the NCWC in 1967, the Communications Department serves the media relations needs of the NCCB/USCC and is the chief spokesperson for the American bishops. The Office for Film and Broadcasting was responsible for reviewing and rating film and television influencing social and personal values. These reviews and ratings were disseminated via the Catholic News Service (CNS) to a variety of domestic and foreign newspapers and subscribers.
Records on deposit cover a vast range of topics of concern to the American Catholic Church, ranging from paper files of the reviews to several audio-visual formats including reels of 16mm film of mostly news shows from the 1960s; 3/4 inch U-Matic tapes mostly consisting of network news and the 1987 Papal Visit; audio tapes largely related to the show Guidelines; VHS and BETA video tapes of general topical interest, A-Z, and other related formats and materials.
The USCCB Committee on Cultural Diversity was established in 2007. It was created through the combination of several former secretariats, including the Secretariat for Hispanic Affairs, and the Secretariat for African American Catholics. The Secretariat for Cultural Diversity’s first director was Father Allan Deck, S.J. who presided from 2007-2011. This collection consists of materials from the Secretariat for Hispanic Affairs, and the Secretariat for African American Catholics, as well as materials integral to their founding. It contains correspondence, planning materials for various conferences and events, and photographs and audio visual materials from the two secretariats.
The National Office for Decent Literature (NODL), and its supervisory episcopal committee, were established in 1938 to act against the lascivious type of literature which posed a threat to moral, social, and national life, especially among youth. The NODL was a service organization that advised interested groups working on literature programs. It issued a quarterly bulletin detailing activities and programs nationwide and printed a monthly list of magazines and books judged objectionable for youth. The NODL was not exclusively Catholic and many reviewers were Jewish or Protestant. Publications were evaluated according to a code which condemned, among other things, explicit horror, violence, and sex as well as blasphemous, profane, and obscene speech. It also was critical of stories that glorified criminals, disrespected lawful authority, and ridiculed religious or racial groups.
Records include annual reports, 1946-1967; evaluation reports, 1954-1969; general subject files, A-Z, 1951-1968; miscellaneous publications, 1940-1966; and index cards to publications by author, A-Z, 1960-1968, and by title, A-Z, 1959-1969.
Administrative records, state records, correspondence, publication, and meeting minutes.
This Secretariat serves The Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs which has a mandate for
ecumenical and interreligious affairs in accordance with the Decree on Ecumenism and on Non-Christian
Religious of the Vatican's Second Ecumenical Council. They promote cooperation with the Jewish community,
non-Christian religions, and with the secular world. Records include subject files, R-W, covering about 1966-
1991; State files, 1966-1998; and Ecumenical dialog files, mostly with the Lutheran Church, 1989-1990.
The Bureau of Education, later a department, was established in 1919 as part of the National Catholic Welfare Council, which became the National Catholic Welfare Conference in 1922. The first episcopal chairman was Austin Dowling, Archbishop of St. Paul. The first Executive Secretary was James Hugh Ryan, who also was Assistant General Secretary to John J. Burke and later the Fifth Rector of The Catholic University of America, 1928-1935. The directorship was first offered to Francis Howard of National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) but he declined and Edward Pace, acting as Director, filed the first annual report in 1920. Arthur Coleman Monahan became the first director from 1921-1922. His successors include Francis M. Crowley, 1924-1929, George Johnson, 1929-1944, Frederick Hochwalt, 1944-1966, and James C. Donohue. The original divisions were Statistics and Information, Teachers' Registration (renamed Placement in 1940), Health Education, Research in Catholic Education, and the Library. An Inter-American Collaboration Section was added in 1941. The Education Department sponsored many conventions and conferences and was very involved in major issues such as the Oregon School Case of the 1920s attacking parochial education and the later controversy over the establishment of a federal Department of Education.
The department worked in close collaboration with the NCEA, so much so that for the years 1929-1966 the same person directed both entities simultaneously; George Johnson for 1929-1944 and Frederick Hochwalt for 1944-1966. After 1966, Hochwalt continued at NCEA while James Donahue directed the NCWC department. Along with the reorganization of the NCWC in 1967, which resulted in the creation of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB)/United States Catholic Conference (USCC), the Education Department itself saw considerable changes with the creation of divisions of Adult Education, Elementary and Secondary Education, Higher Education, Religious Education, Research and Development, and Youth Activities which was transferred from the now defunct Youth Department.
Records include General Correspondence and Subject Files, 1919-1970; Elementary and Secondary Education Files, 1921-1974, which include Federal Aid to Education, 1940-1963; Higher Education Files, 1921-1974; Youth Activities Files, 1958-1973; International Files, 1945-1963, including the Foreign Visitor's Office (FVO), 1952-1963, and Exchange Programs, 1946-1960; Scrapbooks, 1925, 1961-1965, which include the Oregon School Case; and Miscellaneous Publications, 1920-1970.
The General Secretary, as chief executive officer of the Administrative Board, not only directed the work of the Executive Department, otherwise known as the Office of the General Secretary (OGS), but also supervised the operations of the other departments and coordinated the multiple activities of the various NCWC units. Under the dynamic leadership of the first General Secretary, Father John J. Burke, C.S.P. (1919-1936), the conference worked on both a national and an international level to define American Catholic identity, promote Catholic social thinking, influence public policy, and coordinate humanitarian efforts. These notable endeavors were continued to varying degrees by Burke's successors, Michael J. Ready (1936-1944), Howard J. Carroll (1944-1957), and Paul F. Tanner (1959-1968). Major activities included the suppression of birth control and communism, defense of Catholic education and cultural identity, and the promotion of social justice and international peace.
Voluminous records of the Executive Department/Office of the General Secretary. They are divided into subject, numerical, executive secretary, Mexican, and private files, 1905(1919-1972)1981. Beginning in 1919, administrative files were organized numerically, with numbers assigned to notable persons, organizations, and topics. This filing system remained in effect until 1949-1950 when efforts were made to convert into general subject files. The conversion process was not completed so that currently there are 97 boxes, some 120 feet, of subject files and 47 boxes, some 70 feet, of numerical files. Research focusing prior to 1949 must consult both of these sub-series to pursue a particular event or topic. There are 13 major subject headings: Administration, Church, Communism, Cults and Sects, Education, Information Media, International Affairs, Military Affairs, NCWC, Organizations, Social Action, Travel, and U.S. Government.
In addition, there are three other divisions of departmental files. The first consists of 1 box of material dealing with Executive Secretary James Hugh Ryan, 1919-1928, who often deputized for the first General Secretary, Father John Burke. The second group are the Mexican Files, consisting of material related to the special case of Mexico, 1921-1981. The third consists of Private Files of Burke and his successor, Michael J. Ready, 1905-1944, 1951.
Other records include miscellaneous photographs, 1921-1980, scrapbooks and oversized material, 1919-1972; and publications, 1919-2001. Finally, there are records of associated bureaus and affiliates: Inter-America Bureau, 1942-1954; Latin American Bureau, 1928-1970; Peace Corps Desk, 1961-1962; Office of UN Affairs, 1946-1972; Episcopal Committee on Motion Pictures/John T. McNicholas, 1933-1950; Episcopal Committee on Decent Literature/National Office for Decent Literature, 1939-1969, and the Advisory Council to the Administrative Board of US Bishops, 1970-1975.
The Family Life Bureau, attached to the Social Action Department and inspired by Pope Pius XIth's 1930 encyclical Casti connubi, was established by the bishops in 1931 to serve as a central organization for the development and coordination of family life programs and projects nationwide. It's activities consisted of conventions, special conferences, publications and field services as related to preparation for marriage, parents as educators, Cana conferences, the formation and operation of family clubs, the observance of diocesan family days, and marriage counselling. Associated with the bureau were family life directors from archdioceses and dioceses across America.
Records consist of correspondence and subject files, conference material, and copies of Family Life publications such as Family Apostolate and Catholic Family Leader. There is a concentration on the time period of about 1930 to 1950, when Rev. Edgar Schmiedler was director, with only some of the publications as late as 1974. For additional Family Life Bureau archives records, consult the Center for Migration Studies at Statten Island, New York.
Directed from the Education Department, the Foreign Visitor's Office (FVO) was established in 1952 to provide orientation of visiting foreign adults to introduce them to the American Catholic Church and arrange Catholic contacts for them as they traveled. Records include correspondence, both chronological, 1954-1959, and by subject, A-Z, 1952-1963; and miscellaneous publications, 1958-1963.
There are one hundred and eleven slides in this collection. They appear to have been used together in a lecture or presentation highlighting the NCWC's work with the American veterans of both the First and Second World War. The images are mostly in black and white, although there are a number of color images. They feature photographs of social events, religious events, NCCS/ NCCM events, United States' Armed Forces personnel, children, and assorted NCWC organizational charts. Many of the slides prominently feature African American soldiers or children, and many also show interracial events or groups. There are also slides of women in Armed Forces uniform and their work contributing to the war effort.
The Office of Government Relations represents the USCCB with the U.S. Congress on public policy issues. The records reflect USCCB efforts to coordinate legislative activities on specific issues such as Catholic Education, Communications, Social Justice, International Justice and Peace, Marriage, Family, Religious Liberty, Pro-Life, and Migration and Refugees.
The Health Affairs Department was formed after the NCWC/USCC reorganization of 1966-1967, with divisions of Health Care Facilities, Health Care Programs, Health Manpower, and Nursing Services. By 1972, Health Affairs had become a committee affiliated with the Department of Social Development and World Peace, and by 1974 was listed as a Section of this department. The Vietnam Assistance Program resulted from a contract between the USCC and USAID with the intent was to supply qualified and motivated Catholic personnel to work within the USAID/South Vietnam Ministry of Health Program to develop the Public Health System In Vietnam. This program was in effect from May 1966 to June 1971. Records consist of material from the Vietnam Assistance Program. Included are monthly progress reports, 1968-1971; employment contracts, insurance and reports, 1966-1971; staff questionnaires, 1969; photographs, 1968-1971; and miscellaneous publications and news clippings, 1967-1968, 1971.
Records consist of material from the Vietnam Assistance Program. Included are monthly progress reports, 1968-1971; employment contracts, insurance and reports, 1966-1971; photographs, 1968-1969; and miscellaneous publications and news clippings, 1967-1968.
Established as a bureau in 1920 and made a department in 1953, the Immigration Department provided a broad technical service for immigration, emigration, deportation, naturalization, citizenship and related matters. It also conducted correspondence on behalf of aliens seeking to enter or adjust their status once in the United States and represented aliens as counsel in any legal proceedings. The department operated from offices based in New York City, Washington, and El Paso. The founder and longtime director of the bureau/department was Bruce M. Mohler.
The records at Catholic University consist of the annual reports, 1922-1993, in addition to correspondence pertaining to the Immigration bureau/department within the records of the NCWC/USCC General Secretary. Archival records of the bureau/department, except for annual reports, are on deposit at the Center for Migration Studies at Staten Island, New York.
Please note that Catholic University does not have any NCWC immigration or adoption case file records. For these inquiries please contact the Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) Office at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
The Social Action Department's Latin American Bureau was suspended from 1933 until 1959 yet an interest in Latin America affairs persisted and was made more acute by the events of the Second World War. The NCWC discussed re-instating it as the Inter-American Bureau in 1944-1945 with the hope that Richard Pattee, who worked as a lecturer in History at The Catholic University of America and as Assistant Chief of the Cultural Relations Division at the US State Department, would agree to serve as Director. The NCWC Administrative Board established an Office of Consultant on International Relations on 1 January 1946, to work under the guidance of the Executive Department, as well as supervise the operation of the Inter-American or Latin American Bureau. The combined Office of Consultant on International Affairs and the Latin American Bureau began to function in July 1946 with Pattee as head and John Parr engaged to handle the administrative work. Both men would write articles and lecture extensively, both at home and abroad, on a series of international and inter-American questions.There were several name changes, with Foreign Affairs replacing International Affairs and Inter-American replacing Latin America Bureau, and simply reference to the International Bureau at times as well. There are no annual reports after 1950 nor mention of the office/bureau so its final status is difficult to determine though a bonafide Latin American Bureau was re-established in 1959.
Records consist of General Administration files, 1945-1950, including annual reports, 1946-1950; Richard Pattee's personal papers including articles, books, manuscripts, lectures, and correspondence, 1942-1952; and miscellaneous publications including NCWC Foreign Affairs, 1946-1949, and UN Social Welfare Information Series, 1949-1950.
Established in 1929 within the NCWC and attached to the Executive Department, the Bureau promoted an interchange of information between Catholics of the United States and Latin America primarily in the field of Catholic Social Action. Under the directorship of Father Raymond A. McGowan, who was also Assistant Director of the Social Action Department, the focus was upon education, social work, lay organization, economics, the press, and international relations. Suspended in 1933, there were discussions to re-establish it in 1944-1945 but nothing came about until 1959. Father John Consedine was selected to head the revived bureau whose mandate was updated to include assistance in the recruitment and service of United States lay and religious personnel in Latin America, especially the Papal Volunteers, as well as the forwarding of financial assistance there. In 1968, it was reconstituted as the Division for Latin America with Rev. Louis M. Colonnese succeeding Father Consedine as director. It was phased out by 1974.
Correspondence and subject files, organized alphabetically by correspondent's name or geographic region, for both periods of active operations, 1928-1933 and 1959-1964, plus working papers of the 1970 Catholic Inter-American Co-Operation Program (CICOP).
Established in 1920 to coordinate the activities of the National Council of Catholic Men (NCCM) and National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW), and later the National Council of Catholic Nurses (NCCN). It served as a channel for the interchange of information and service between NCWC/USCC and the laity in their common Church work, especially in promoting Catholic principles and ideals in education, social and civic life. Only the NCCW still exists though now independent of the NCWC/USCC.
Originally known as the Department of Laws and Legislation, it was established in December of 1919 as one of the five founding departments of the National Catholic Welfare Council. The name has been changed twice, in April of 1926 it became the Legal Department, and in November of 1966 it became the Office of the General Counsel, the name that it still bears. This department/office has worked to maintain a record of proposed and enacted federal legislation; to exchange legal and legislative information with and to advise the departments and committees of the NCWC/USCC and interested organizations and individuals; to confer and exchange judicial, legal, legislative, and administrative information with state Catholic conferences, diocesan attorneys, and other national, regional, and local Catholic entities and organizations; to serve the dioceses and Catholic agencies by means of extensive legal research, advice regarding specific legal issues, study of government regulations, and by attending to administrative matters before federal authorities. In addition, it has served to represent the NCWC/USCC in litigation and has published scholarly works and conducted public speaking on issues of law and policy affecting the Roman Catholic Church. Noted directors include William F. Montavon (See also: Papers of William Frederick Montavon), 1925-1951, Eugene J. Butler, 1951-1956, William R. Consedine, 1956-1974.
Records include general administration files, primarily correspondence, 1921-1980; subject files regarding congressional matters, 1920-1960, education, 1923-1980, foreign/international relations, 1924-1980, organizations, 1921-1980, social security, 1933-1960, states, 1922-1968, taxation, 1933-1980, and tenure of church property, 1927-1971; and miscellaneous publications and proceedings, 1929-1964. There are also some personal correspondence files for directors Montavon, 1929-1955, Butler, 1930-1956, and Consedine, 1942-1966.
Material related to Mexico removed by NCWC staff from the main body of the files of the Executive Department/Office of the General Secretary. Said files appear to have been given special treatment due to the precarious position of the Church in unstable Mexico beginning in the 1920s, which was of special importance to the American bishops. Records include card files and interview books, general correspondence, specific files on the Montezuma Seminary and the Pious Fund of the Californias, and miscellaneous publications. With the exception of some of the publications and Pious Fund items, these records have been microfilmed and the decision was taken not to attempt to restore them to their proper provenance though they remain in close intellectual and physical proximity.
This committee was established in 1933 to work to improve the standard and quality of motion pictures and directed the National Legion of Decency based in New York City. John T. McNicholas of Cincinnati was the longtime head of this committee and these are his records. They include general correspondence, Bishops' Statements, and annual reports.
The National Catholic Community Service (NCCS) was established by the American hierarchy in 1940, and maintained until 1980, to serve the spiritual, social, educational, and recreational needs of the military and defense workers and their families. NCCS rendered service with both professional personnel and volunteers at home and overseas. It was a member agency of the United Service Organization (USO) and the Veteran's Administration's (VA) Voluntary Service National Advisory Committee and operated a VA Hospital Program with the assistance of a VA diocesan hospital committee. NCCS was under the direction of a board of trustees composed of members of the NCWC/USCC Administrative Board, the military vicar and his delegate, that worked closely with the various departments and committees of the NCWC/NCCB. The board voted in 1979 to dissolve NCCS and this action took effect on 22 February 1980. NCCS was involved in numerous publications including NCCS-VA Hospital News, NCCS Chairman's Newsletter, USO Notebook, and various prayer books and pamphlets. Thomas Hinton was Executive Director for much of NCCS's history, 1948-1972. He had served previously in several administrative capacities in NCCS including program, budget, and field operations. He later served as Director of Finance and Administration of USCC/NCCB, 1972-1979.
Records include copies of USO board, conference, and council minutes, 1943-1978; NCCS board of trustees minutes and reports, 1941-1976; general administration subject files, 1940-1975; club reports and correspondence, 1966-1971; VA Hospital Service subject files and printed material, 1944-1981; Joint Action in Community Service files, 1967-1971; memorabilia, 1966 and undated; publications and printed material, 1932(1941-1979)n.d.; and photographs, 1969-1980, and undated.
Established in 1920, the NCWC Press Department provided the Catholic press, radio, and eventually television in the United States and other countries with news, editorial, feature, and picture services gathered and prepared by professional journalists and released under the names NCWC News Service and Noticias Catolicas (in Spanish and Portugese for Latin America). Both services were designated by the abbreviation (NC) and the former is now known as the Catholic New Service (CNS). Prior to the NCWC reorganization in 1967, the Press Department operated under an episcopal chairman and carried on its activities with a lay director experienced in journalism and trained staff at the headquarters in Washington, DC, and field correspondents in cities throughout the United States and the world. The founding director was Justin McGrath, 1920-1932, and he was followed by Frank A. Hall who served 1932-1963, the period of NC News' greatest development.
Administrative files including general correspondence, 1920-1972, which is indexed; correspondence within the NCWC, 1919-1971; and correspondence with the Catholic Press Association, 1919-1969; general subscriber files, A-Z, 1920-1972; obituary files for prominent catholics, A-Z, 1940-1970, which is indexed; and miscellaneous publications and press releases, 1931-1977. Several libraries, including those of The Catholic University of America and Marquette University, retain microfilmed copies of the press releases for 1920-1983.
The National Service School for Women, popularly known as Clifton, was established in 1918 by the National Catholic War Council, predecessor to the National Catholic Welfare Conference (NCWC), now known as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). It's purpose was to train women for war and reconstruction efforts both at home and overseas. This was succeeded in 1921 by the National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS), which gave a two year graduate program for women students and was operated by the National Council of Catholic Women, then an affiliate of the NCWC. In 1934 the Catholic University of America (CUA) opened its School of Social Work for the training of priests, religious, and laymen. As academic and social interaction between these two schools grew, plans for a merger were undertaken and became effective in July of 1947. The combined schools became known as the Catholic University of America's National Catholic School of Social Service, which is still in operation.
Material in this group of records consist primarily of administrative files as well as photographs and
publications from the NCWC or pre Catholic University merger era, 1918-1947. There is an occasional overlap of material but records focused on the Catholic University era and subject to Catholic University restrictions (50 years or permission of the current dean) and are listed as part of the university records groups at
The concept of CCD began in Italy in the 16th Century in the aftermath of the Council of Trent, and was strongly promoted by Pope Pius X in the early twentieth century. It only gained official recognition in the United States in 1934, when the National Catholic Rural Life Conference featured a 'Confraternity Day' as part of its annual meeting. This was in recognition of the need for religious education in rural America and the existence of diocesan and parish units already addressing this need in 19 parishes. Later that same year, the Bishops' Annual Meeting established an episcopal committee with a national center as a bureau under the Executive Department. The center became operational in 1935, transferred to the Education Department in 1969 and dissolved in 1974. From 1967, a new organization, the National Conference of Diocesan Directors (NCDD) was operated as a part of the NCWC/USCC until 1982 when it became an independent entity. It is currently known as the National Conference of Catechetical Leadership (NCCL).
Records consist of general correspondence, 1935-1982; photographs with an index, 1921-1960; scrapbooks of clippings, 1933-1957; and publications including the proceedings of the national conventions, manuals, and training kits, 1935-1973. In addition, there are the working files of the National Catechetal Directory Committee, 1973-1977, and personal papers, 1943-1952, of Father Joseph Burns Collins, who directed the national center from 1942 to 1967. The Collins material largely consists of copies of his writings and public addresses. Due to the long affiliation with the Education Department of the NCWC/USCC, the CCD records are considered a separate but equal part of that department and housed in close proximity to that collection.
The CCD concept developed in the aftermath of the 16th century Council of Trent, and was strongly promoted by Pope Pius X in the early twentieth century. It only gained official recognition in the United States in 1934, when the National Catholic Rural Life Conference featured a 'Confraternity Day' as part of its annual meeting. This was in recognition of the need for religious education in rural America and the existence of diocesan and parish units already addressing this need in several parishes. Later that same year, on November 14, the Bishops' Annual Meeting established an episcopal committee with a national center as a bureau under the Executive Department. The episcopal committee was chaired by Archbishop Edwin V. O'Hara from 1934 to 1956, Bishop Matthew Brady from 1957 to 1959, and Bishop Charles P. Greco from 1959-1969. The episcopal committee was dissolved on November 13, 1969 and succeeded by the Committee for the Department of Education. The center became operational in 1935, transferred to the Education Department in 1969 and dissolved in 1974. A new organization, the National Conference of Diocesan Directors (NCDD), was operated as a part of the Bishops Conference, 1967-1982, thereafter becoming an independent entity now known as the National Conference of Catechetical Leadership (NCCL). Records consist of Constitutions, by-laws, and incorporation; committee meeting minutes and related material; and various publications, including manuals, leaflets, and The New American Bible.
The NCCL was a brief union of the National Council of Catholic Men (NCCM) and National Council of Catholic Women arising out of celebrations of their joint fiftieth anniversaries in 1970 as part of the Lay Organizations Department of the National Catholic Welfare Conference (NCWC)/United States Catholic Conference (USCC). A joint NCCM/NCCW committee had recommended the merger as a way to promote greater lay unity but the short lived organization went defunct when the NCCM folded in 1975. NCCW went its own way thereafter. Records include board of directors minutes, bylaws, financial material, publications, and slides of the 1973 New Orleans assembly.
The NCCM was established in 1920 as part of the Lay Organizations Department of the National Catholic Welfare Council (NCWC). Its various functions included the federation of Catholic men's groups in a common agency, to be a central clearinghouse for information on lay activities, to promote lay cooperation in regard to the Church's welfare, to help existing Catholic lay organizations on the local level, to contribute to national and international movements with moral questions, and to inculcate appreciation of Catholic principles in education, social, and civil life in general. The NCCM operated through a committee system on national, diocesan, and parish levels. NCCM published a monthly news organ called Alertand other publications as well. It operated a film distribution office and a New York radio and television office, from which it produced the Catholic Hour, 1929-1968. NCCM celebrated its golden anniversary in 1970 and was briefly merged with NCCW to form the National Council of Catholic Laity, before going defunct in 1975.
Records include constitutions, bylaws, and incorporation, 1920-1970; minutes of the Board of Directors, 1920-1969; reports and convention proceedings, 1932-1968; general correspondence including national organizations and diocesan, 1939-1975; Catholic Hour radio and television scripts, transcripts, audio tapes, and phonographs, 1929-1968; photographs, 1930, ca. 1960s; and miscellaneous publications, 1924-1969.
The National Council of Catholic Nurses (NCCN) was formally organized at Chicago on 10 June 1940, under the direction of the Episcopal Chairman for the Lay Organizations Department, which also included the National Council of Catholic Men (NCCM) and National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW), of the former National Catholic Welfare Conference. NCCN operated under an elected board with a spiritual director. Membership was through affiliated diocesan organizations though there were provisions for individual memberships as well. NCCN had as its program the personal sanctification of its members and the inculcation of Christian principles in the field of health and nursing. Its official publication was the quarterly The Catholic Nurse. The only records currently on deposit are a scrapbook of news clippings, photos, and notes from Phyllis Fulnecky of the South Bend, Indiana, chapter, 1958-1971; and a hardbound copy of a NCCN organizational booklet from about 1950. Additionally, there are three general subject files and annual reports for the NCCN in the records of the NCWC General Secretary/Executive Department, 1938-1966.
Established in 1920 as part of the Lay Organization Department of the National Catholic Welfare Conference (NCWC), the NCCW was a breakthrough for Catholic lay women that coincided with the winning of suffrage for American women. NCCW has operated as a federation of Catholic women's organizations under an Executive Director and a Board of Directors. Stated goals have been the study and promotion of Catholic principles through a system of national committees having counterparts on the diocesan and parish level. NCCW has provided representation for American Catholic women at national and international meetings concerned with the moral and religious welfare of humanity in general and women in particular. Numerous publications produced include the monthly magazine Catholic Woman and various news sheets. In its early days, the NCCW managed the National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS) for women, prior to its merger in 1947 with the School of Social Work at The Catholic University of America (CUA). Records consist of Board of Directors' minutes and related material, 1920-1985; convention and assembly proceedings, 1920-1996; executive director's correspondence, 1983-1998; diocesan affiliate card files, ca. 1940s-1960s; Home and School Association, 1948-1966; national and international membership records, 1920-1984; general publications, 1919-2000, including Catholic Woman, 1975-1997; and audiovisual material, ca. 1920s-1998.
Papal Visit Office. 1979-2008. 54 feet; 42 boxes. Donor: USCCB, 1997, 2014.
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In early 1961, as a new facet of US Foreign Policy, President John F. Kennedy established a Peace Corp of volunteers, both secular and religious, to serve as a source of skilled manpower in carrying out technical and education projects in developing countries. Shortly thereafter, a NCWC Peace Corps Desk was established in Washington, DC, under the episcopal chairmanship of Auxiliary Bishop Edward E. Swanstrom of New York, with Robert Melina as Executive Director. Its efforts were directed at assisting and advising applicants, dioceses, organizations, and institutions in recruiting Catholics for the Peace Corps. Under pressure from certain Jewish and Protestant groups, Peace Corps Director Sargent Shriver announced in December of 1961 a reversal of policy in that there would not be any cooperation with religious groups and that none would handle Peace Corps projects. Bishop Swanstrom expressed 'regret' and the NCWC Peace Corps Desk ceased operations on 19 January 1962.
Records created during its brief existence consist mainly of general correspondence divided into chronological files and alphabetically by subject, organizations, and countries. There are also alphabetical card indexes of applicants.
Founded within the Social Action Department in 1920 under Edwin O'Hara, later Bishop of Kansas City, the bureau sought to enrich the spiritual and material well-being of rural people. O'Hara founded the National Catholic Rural Life Conference in 1923, which was based in the mid-west, first at St. Paul, MN, then at Des Moines, Iowa. This conference, whose archives are housed at Marquette University, eventually made the NCWC Rural Life Bureau obsolete. Records at Catholic University consist of general correspondence, surveys, and printed material.
An original department of the NCWC established as a clearinghouse to promote, interpret, and apply Catholic social thought with special focus on industrial, international, and interracial relations as well as rural life, communism, social work and charities. Principal tools in this effort were the papal encyclicals and the statements of the American bishops on social and economic matters. Soon after its creation, the department began to sponsor addresses and lectures, publish books and pamphlets, and conducted conferences and institutes. The department's three directors, Msgr. John A. Ryan, 1919-1945; Rev. Raymond A. McGowan, 1945-1954; and Msgr. George G. Higgins, 1954-1967, were all especially interested in industrial relations. The department was re-organized and renamed as Social Development, and later known as the Department of Social Development (or Social Justice) and World Peace.
The records begin with general departmental files, 1920-1950, followed by various bodies sponsored by the department, including the National Social Action Conferences, 1938-1939; Inter-American Seminars on Social Studies, 1942-1946; and the Inter-American Catholic Social Action Confederation, 1948-1952. These are followed by material on intercreedal cooperation, 1938-1948, then the files of assistant directors Fathers John Hayes, George Higgins, and John Cronin, 1942-1959. Next are files on organizations and topics of special interest, 1930-1959, followed by those of assistant director, Father Raymond McGowan, 1925-1954, whose influence was evident in almost every sphere of the department's activity. Next come records of the department's field secretary, Linna E. Bressette, 1921-1955, and those of the Catholic Conference on Industrial Problems, 1922-1951, followed by those of the CCIP's successor, the National Social Action Conference, 1956-1957. There are also records related to labor schools, 1936-1944; priests 1937-1946, and files of the Catholic Association for International Peace (CAIP), Family Life, and Rural Life bureaus. Photographs dated 1936-1952, miscellaneous oversized items, and printed materials round out the collection.
Following the 1945 San Francisco Conference which drafted a charter for the United Nations, the NCWC decided on a policy of cautious promotion of an 'imperfect' UN. In 1946, NCWC established a UN Office in New York City which was conceived as a vehicle for promotion of Catholic principles and programs as well as a clearinghouse for intelligence to give the insular American church a more international outlook. The director of this office was Catherine Schaefer and she would hold this position for 26 years, the lifetime of the office.
General correspondence and subject files including the American Hierarchy, the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations (WUCWO), the Catholic Association for International Peace (CAIP), and the International Catholic Coordinating Committee for UNESCO. Additional material consists of annual reports, NC News press releases, and publications Newsnotes, Vantage, and Noticias de las Naciones Unidas.
In February of 1937, the NCWC Administrative Board instituted a Catholic Youth Bureau with a Priest Director under the Executive Department. It was elevated to department status in November of 1940. Vincent Mooney, CSC, was the first director followed by Charles E. Bermingham, 1945-1948, and Joseph Schieder, 1948-1961. The Youth Department served as a clearinghouse of information and as a liaison with national Catholic youth groups such as the National Council of Catholic Youth, the National Federation of Catholic College Students (NFCCS), and the National Newman Club Federation. The National Council of Catholic Youth had a diocesan section which became known as the National Catholic Youth Organization Federation (CYO). The National Newman Club Federation, later to become the primary part of the National Newman Apostolate, and the NFCCS formed the college and university section of the Youth Department. The NFCCS had been founded in 1937 as a counter to campus communist clubs while the first Newman Club had been founded in 1883. However, the Federation of College Catholic Clubs, founded in 1915, was renamed the National Newman Club Federation in 1938. Other Catholic youth groups, such as the National Catholic Camping Association, joined the Youth Department later. With the reforming impact of the Vatican II Council and the reorganization of the NCWC in 1966, the Youth Department was downgraded to a division, known as Youth Activities, and placed under the Department of Christian Formation, the once and future Education Department.
Records consist of the several component parts of the Youth Department including the National Newman Apostolate, 1929-1967; the NFCCS, 1941-1968; the National Council of Catholic Youth (NCCY)/CYO, 1933(1940-1968)1974; National Catholic Camping Association (NCCA), 1950-1963; and the International High School Student Program, 1959-1966. The Newman files contain correspondence, minutes, reports, membership and financial records of the National Newman Club Federation, 1929-1967; the National Newman Chaplain's Association, 1952-1965, the John Henry Cardinal Newman Honor Society, 1934-1965; and the National Newman Foundation, 1959-1971. NFCCS records include National Congress Minutes, 1943-1968, Subject files, 1953-1968, and publications, 1941-1964. NCCY/CYO records include diocesan affiliation files, 1954-1962, subject files, 1955-1963, convention records, 1949-1967, and publications such as Youth and Program Service, 1941-1975. NCCA records include subject files, 1950-1962, financial files, 1953-1957, and publications, 1961-1962. The High School Student records are confidential case files, 1959-1966.
See also the NCWC/USCC Education Department for Youth Activities Files, 1958-1973.