Edward F. Hawks papers, 1900-1952 (MC 15)

Edward F. Hawks (1878-1955) was one of several Episcopalian priests who converted to the Catholic faith in 1908, one year after the Episcopalian Church altered its canon law allowing non-Episcopalians to preach before its congregations. Hawks had been a member of the Companions of the Holy Saviour, a group founded in Philadelphia by Father William McGarvey, which promoted a more Catholic understanding of the Episcopal Church.

After converting, Hawks left his home in Canada and became a priest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, where he served for several years as a parish curate. During World War I, he served as a chaplain in the Canadian army. When he returned to Philadelphia in 1919, he established St. Joan of Arc parish, where he remained until his death.  He was also the founder of the Catholic Evidence Guild, an organization designed to attract converts and lapsed Catholics.

Hawks was a well-known writer and lecturer. For more than 30 years, he wrote a column on current events for the diocesan paper The Catholic Standard and Times. From 1936-1938, after becoming a domestic prelate, he toured Spain to gather accounts of the Civil War for his column. His efforts on behalf of the Nationalist cause won him decoration from the Spanish government.

The collection contains mostly correspondence. Some photographs and miscellaneous personal materials are also included.

1 box, .2 linear ft.

Herman Joseph Heuser papers, 1872-1933 (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.

26 boxes, 10.4 linear ft.

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