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.