File 2 - Henri Nouwen Society inception materials

Identity area

Reference code

CA ON00389 C3-6-3-2


Henri Nouwen Society inception materials


  • 1998-1999 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

7.5 cm of textual records

Context area

Name of creator

Archival history

The files were maintained by Tannis Arnett at the L’Arche Daybreak office of the Henri Nouwen Literary Centre. They transferred to the University of St. Michael’s College John M. Kelly Library in 2012 by Maureen Wright.

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Content and structure area

Scope and content

File consists of files kept by Tannis Arnett related to the incorporation and administrative operations of the Henri Nouwen Society from 1998 to 1999. The files include correspondence, minutes and agendas for meetings held by Wendy Greer and the Henri Nouwen Society Board; administrative correspondence between Arnett and Greer; planning and reference documents regarding the September 18-20, 1998 “Hearts Speak to Heart” retreat; and correspondence about the design of a Henri Nouwen Society brochure. File also includes additional material received later on the Henri Nouwen Society beginnings. Material is separated into seven files with the following contents and file titles:

  1. HNS Board - Brochure
    Faxes exchanged by Tannis Arnett, Carl MacMillan, Carolyn Whitney-Brown and Wendy Greer regarding the design, layout and content of the Henri Nouwen Society brochure. Included in the file are various versions of the brochure, some with handwritten annotations and edits. Also in the file are two documents unrelated to the brochure: a June 15, 1999 letter from Joyce Doyle, on behalf of Tannis Arnett, regarding a reservation deposit for an event taking place September 24-26, 1999 and a copy of an undated, uncredited article titled “Community in van Gogh’s The Potato Eaters”.

  2. HNS Board - Correspondence
    Correspondence regarding HNS Board activities. Included are letters from Tannis Arnett likely forwarded to HNS Board members by fax; contact information for the HNS Board members; copies of the minutes from the September 20-21, 1998 HNS Board meeting; the mission state of the Henri Nouwen Society; an early version of the Henri Nouwen Society brochure; copies of emails from Wendy Greer with updates regarding HNS happenings; and correspondence from Don McNeill.

  3. HNS Board - General
    Correspondence from Wendy Greer and to Sue Mosteller, Kathy Christie, Carl MacMillan and Tannis Arnett regarding the development of the Henri Nouwen Society’s objectives and mission statement. Also in the file is a copy of the May 1998 edition of the Nota Bene - News from the Yale Library newsletter with section underlined in pencil.

  4. HNS Board - Minutes
    Handwritten board meeting minutes for September 21, 1998.

  5. HN Society Board - Minutes and Incorporation
    File consists of records detailing the incorporation of the Henri Nouwen Society and minutes from various Henri Nouwen Society Board meetings. Included in the file is correspondence from legal contacts at McCanliss & Early to Jay and Wendy Greer; drafts and final copies of the Certificate of Incorporation and By-laws of the Henri Nouwen Society; Henri Nouwen Society missions statements and budgets; drafts and final copies of HNS Board meeting minutes with comments from Tannis Arnett, Wendy Wilson Greer, Kathy Christie and Sue Mosteller; contact information for the HNS Board members; and a notice regarding tax exemption status of the Henri Nouwen Society from the Internal Revenue Service. Also in the file is a March 1998 report by Sue Mosteller titled “The Henri Nouwen Literary Centre: The First Eighteen Months”, which includes the HNLC Mission Statement along with information about completed and planned work; an untitled biography of Henri Nouwen; and a L’Arche Daybreak file folder.

  6. HNS Board - Retreat Notes
    File consists of records detailing the attendance and organization of the Henri Nouwen Society retreat “Hearts Speak to Heart” that took place on September 18-20, 1998 in Toronto. Included in the file are attendance and invitation lists; notes on event tasks; drafts of the Henri Nouwen Society mission statement and objectives; the final version of the letter of invitation for the retreat; correspondence from Wendy Greer regarding organization of retreats and accommodations; letters between Tannis Arnett and retreat attendees regarding room accommodations, scheduling and travel arrangements; draft retreat schedules and programs; copies of brochures; and invoices and rental agreement from St. Joseph’s Centre where the event was held.

  7. HNS beginnings
    File consists of records from the beginnings of the Henri Nouwen Society including correspondence; mission statements, goals, and objectives of the society; brochures; early board meeting minutes; advisory group meeting agenda and minutes; and early project proposals.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions governing access

Files 2-3, 5-6 are restricted.

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Notes area


File titles based on Arnett’s file names.

See Henri Nouwen Literary Centre correspondence for more information about the incorporation and operations of the Henri Nouwen Society.

The Reservation in the first file was likely in regards to the Henri Nouwen Society Board meeting that took place on September 24-26, 1999 referenced in a July 20, 1999 email from Wendy Greer in former file number 97-247.

See former file number 97-173 for the meeting minutes from the meeting in fourth file.

The Board approved a proposal to form a Canadian foundation to run parallel with the Henri Nouwen Society during the September 20-21, 1998 meeting. Consisting of the same Board Members and Board Meetings, the foundation’s main function was identified as the collection of money received in Canadian funds, on behalf of the Henri Nouwen Society, in order to provide tax receipts.

Alternative identifier(s)

Former File Number

97-246 ; 97-247 ; 97-248 ; 97-249 ; 97-250 ; 97-251

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