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Archival description
Henri Nouwen fonds
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Henri Nouwen fonds

  • CA ON00389 F4
  • Fonds
  • 1910 - 1997, 1964 - 1996 predominant

Fonds consists of 15 series:

  1. Manuscripts
  2. General files
  3. Calendar files
  4. Personal records
  5. Publisher files
  6. Financial files
  7. Teaching materials
  8. Nouwen’s education records and study notes
  9. Published works
  10. Video recordings of Nouwen
  11. Sound recordings
  12. Collected materials
  13. L'Arche Daybreak administrative files
  14. Ephemera and artifacts
  15. Photographs

Nouwen, Henri J.M.

Letters from Foster Parents Plan

File consists of a letter from Sabina Castillo on behalf of Foster Parents Plan regarding Nouwen's sponsorship of a boy, Hugo Corini, from Bolivia.

Letters from L'Arche

File consists of letters, including four photo cards, and articles from members of the L'Arche community of Trosly-Breuil (also called La Ferme) in France, including official correspondence from Jean Vanier and letters from Thérèse Monique, Barbara, Agnes, Simone Landrien and Larry Gray. Also includes the original draft of a letter written by Nouwen to his students at Boston College explaining his reasons for joining the L'Arche community, and a letter from Therese [Cecury?] giving Nouwen the address to her parents Paul and Marie Peeters in France (it has been annotated "file: Trosly").

Letters from Laura Rice

File consists of letters from Laura Rice, including a pamphlet from Chapel House of Colgate University (Hamilton, NY).

Christmas Cards

File consists of Christmas cards sent to Nouwen. Correspondents include:

  1. The Forrester Dufresnes (Ed, Sandy, Rachel and Aimee)
  2. Mary E. Hobgood and Thomas B.Chittick
  3. Sr. Julie Raman, ICM (writing from The Phillipines)
  4. James W. Skehan, SJ
  5. Barbara M. Fader
  6. Mary Deeley, husband, Dan Lum and daughter Katie [photograph removed]

Letters from Paul Beals

File consists of letters, including a photo card, from Paul Beals, including a typescript "Journey of a Madman" by Mark Andrew Beals, and a copy of a letter from Beth Porter welcoming Beals to L'Arche Daybreak.

Letters from Foster Parents Plan

File consists of letters Foster Parents Plan regarding Nouwen's sponsorship of a young boy, Hugo Corini, from Bolivia, including short notes from Hugo's uncle on behalf of Hugo (translated by the agency).

Letter from Jane Bernhardt

File consists of a letter from Jane Bernhardt, a portrait artist painting portraits of imprisoned peace activists.

Letters from Frank Gerry

File consists of letters from Frank Gerry, writing from the Philippines, as well as a copy of the journal "Life Forum".

Letters from Frances Kersjes

File consists of letters from Frances Kersjes, writing from Cochabamba, Bolivia, and two (one very long) typed letters from Nouwen.

Occasional Correspondence

File consists of letters from 26 correspondents. All have been annotated as "file: occassional correspondence" or " File:O.C. ". They include:

  1. Dr. Timothy Albrecht, University Organist, Emory University (Atlanta, GA)
  2. Robert Broome, on behalf of Baptist Peacemaker (Louisville, KY)
  3. Sr. Rose Marie Canty, CSC, regarding icon painter Sr. Jane Ellen Cown
  4. Toianna Gump (Personal)
  5. Jeanne Hein (Personal regarding Mike (Flood?)
  6. Carmen Lampe
  7. John Lehman on behalf of Lovers Lane United Methodist Church (Dallas, TX) (includes a sermon by Dr. Don Benton)
  8. Liana MacKinnon
  9. Elizabeth (Betty) Mahan (includes newspaper article on Robert E. White, former ambassador to El Salvador)
  10. Beth McClendon
  11. Sr. Josephine Nalfe, OSU
  12. Eugene Patenaude, CO, (on behalf of The Oratory of Saint Philip Neri (Rock Hill, SC))
  13. Gretchen Person
  14. Julie Pierce (writing from Japan)
  15. Wilbur Ressler
  16. Jay Rochdale (regarding his Doctoral thesis on Van Gogh)
  17. Lynn T. Runnells (a former Boston College student, writing circa 1986) [photographs removed]
  18. Sr. Moira [Sald?] OSB [lastname unclear] from the Sisters of St. Benedict in Manchester, NH
  19. John Shearer (asking to establish a ‘written spiritual direction’ relationship with Nouwen)
  20. Al Staggs (copy of sermon "Who's On Trial?"
  21. Maria Strain (regarding National Peace Day Celebrations (additional correspondence can be found under Maria Strain 1986, box 241, file 5080)
  22. Joan Sullivan, S.N.D. (including a memorial for Henrietta F. Sullivan)
  23. Suzanne [last name unknown] (writing from Dorset, England regarding icons)
  24. Carol Tharp-Perrin (a muralist, including copies of articles about her work)
  25. Dr. Edward Graham Toomey, MD
  26. Christiana M. Wills

Letters from Philip Zaeder

File consists of letters from Philip Zaeder, many addressed to Peter Weiskel and Vincent Masi, Nouwen's assistants, in addition to Nouwen.

Postcards and icons

Sub-series consists of approximately 500 postcards and icons collected by Nouwen. The postcards are blank except for three which contain letters on the verso. Nouwen maintained the collection of postcards and icons in three plastic index card boxes. The first section contains postcards largely of a religious nature, including architecture churches, monasteries, etc. from around the world) and artwork by Van Gogh, Chagall, Rodin, Degas, Renoir, Barlach, and others, as well as postcards of New York. Also contains a photograph of a sculpture of Jesus on the cross and the three postcards with letters.
The second section contains postcards of a religious nature, including architecture (churches, monasteries, etc. from around the world) and artwork by Renoir, Van Gogh, Rodin, and others. Also contains postcards of people, flowers and nature scenes, and scenes of places from predominantly around the US.
The third section contains envelopes of icons and postcards. The envelopes are labelled "Icons", "Marthe Robin", "Archives", "Abbey of the Genesee", "Marthe Robin", "Genesee", "Rembrandt", "Check For Archives" and "Freiburg Cards". Also contains some loose cards in the back, as well as a photograph of a picture of Edith Stein in 1925 and a photograph of a church, inscribed in Dutch on the back. This box also contains icon ordination cards from the 25th anniversary of Nouwen's ordination.

Administrative resources files

Series consists of administrative resources files which were maintained for Nouwen by Nouwen's administrative staffs from 1983 to 1997. These files contain materials collected by Nouwen in order to assist him with his roles as pastor, writer, researcher, and friend. In addition to subject-based material such as newspaper clippings and brochures, it is evident that Nouwen's administrative assistants at Daybreak used these files to hold administrative material related to liturgical events such as Christmas, Lent, and Easter, as well as other aspects of Nouwen's duties in the community. These files were likely maintained as a resource for Nouwen regarding his daily work.

The titles of the files are taken directly from the file labels created by Nouwen and his administrative assistants, unless otherwise noted. The files are arranged by subject or topic (such as Latin America, Vincent van Gogh, or Abbey of the Genesee), are in alphabetical order, and materials within the files have been maintained chronologically. Many of the materials have been placed in this series because they contain annotations, either by Nouwen or an assistant, saying "File" with the subject or name or "File - Resource files."

Photograph of view of city

Item consists of a slide (taken from a certain height) of a view of a city surrounded on one side by water.

Photograph of building

Item consists of a slide of a white building with an orange roof and clothes drying on a line; a house is visible in the background.

Photograph of unidentified boy

Item consists of a slide of an unidentified boy at an outdoor market, standing beside a pile of watermelons, holding a small one.

Photograph of view of coastline

Item consists of a slide (taken from a certain height) of the view of a coast line: trees, farmland, sea and an island. Shot 2.

Photograph of view of coastal town

Item consists of a slide (taken from a certain height) of the view of a coast line: trees, town, water, island and mountains in the distance. Shot 5.

Photograph of unidentified people

Item consists of a slide (taken from a distance) of unidentified people walking down a large sandy hill, with threes and the coast in the distance.

Photograph of unidentified man

Item consists of a slide of an unidentified man wearing a scarf on his head, visible on the other side of a white wall.

Photograph of narrow lane

Item consists of a slide of a narrow lane leading down a hill, lined with trees; two unidentified people are visible walking along it. Shot 2.

Photograph of mountains

Item consists of a slide (taken from below) of the sun shining on tree-covered mountains.

Photograph of two unidentified men

Item consists of a slide (taken from a distance) of one unidentified man standing on the shore, unloading cargo from two horses, and another unidentified man standing on a dock beside the cargo.

Photograph of unidentified man

Item consists of a slide of an unidentified man standing on a narrow path surrounded by bushes, trees and greenery.

Photograph of Henri Nouwen and Maria Nouwen

Item consists of one photograph of Henri Nouwen and his mother, Maria Nouwen. They are standing on the tarmac at an airport in front of a TWA airplane. They are smiling at the camera. Nouwen is turned to the side and is leaning towards his mother. He is also holding a bag under his left arm. He is wearing dark pants and a dark jacket, and a green shirt underneath.

Photographs of May 1967

File consists of 19 photographs of an unknown group of men. These photographs were likely taken while Nouwen was teaching a non-credit course to priests on Pastoral Care at Moreau Seminary, Notre Dame University (Notre Dame, IN). There are seven men visible in the photographs. They are at a large house in a rural area. Also depicted is a wooden walkway and some trees, and one of the men catching a ball.

Photograph of Henri Nouwen

Item consists of one photograph of Henri Nouwen leaning against the hood of a gold car parked outside of brown cabins. Nouwen is looking at the camera and wearing glasses, light coloured pants, a tan sweater and striped grey scarf.

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