File consists of twenty-six letters, two newspaper articles, a book store advertisement, and one phone message. Sixteen of the letters are from Rodleigh and Jennie Stevens and Karlene Stevens, with four letters from Nouwen to the Stevens. Besides the two newspaper articles, the phone message, and the book store advertisement, there are six letters from people not related to the Flying Rodleighs (letters 7, 9, 15, 16, 17, 18). Two of which, letters 7 and 9, were likely received while Nouwen was visiting Patricia and Bart Gavigan in England in August 1992. It is unknown why these letters were kept together in a file, except that all of the letters relate to or mention the circus, with the exception of letters 7 and 9). Details of letters are as follows:
- November 6, 1992, 1 p., typed letter from Rodleigh and Jennie Stevens, writing from Germany, updating Nouwen on their circus tour, their worries about grounds conditions in the towns they perform in, his work on the act, the problems with the new net, updates on the rest of the Flying Rodleighs, and their plans for the winter season.
- October 3, 1992, 1 p., typed letter from Rodleigh and Jennie Stevens, writing from Germany. The Stevens update Nouwen on their lives (including their practices for their circus act), and provide Nouwen with a list of the towns for their circus tour in November. They tell Nouwen about the death of Rodleigh’s uncle of a stroke, and then tell Nouwen about their car troubles.
- August 31, 1992, 2 p., handwritten letter from Karlene and Kailene Stevens. Karlene asks about Nouwen’s trip to England, and tells him the news of the Flying Rodleighs, including their act, their visitors, and their winter plans. Karlene updates Nouwen on Rodleigh’s new net, and the injuries of the Flying Rodleighs. Karlene wrote a note from her daughter, Kailene.
- August 31, 1992, 1 p., handwritten letter from Jennie Stevens, writing from Germany, thanking Nouwen for a gift, and updates Nouwen on the act, saying that the older they get, the harder it is for them to recover. She thinks they will stop the act at the end of the next year. She says she is sending the letter with Karlene, so will not repeat all of the news. She concludes with “I hope you are keeping well and looking after yourself. Remember, you can’t care for others if you don’t care for yourself!”
- August 23, 1992, 1 p., typed letter from Rodleigh and Jennie Stevens, writing from Germany, hoping that Nouwen had a nice rest in England. They update Nouwen on the act, their new blue net, their new routine, and their winter plans. They write that Rodleigh’s uncle died of a stroke, just as his mother did, nearly a year ago.
- August 12, 1992, newspaper clipping, in Dutch, from Trouw, by Ruut Verhoeven. Title is “Unieke verzameling circustalent: ‘Ik ga door tot m’n vijftigste, tenzij er beteren komen’.” [“Unique combination of circus talent: ‘I’ll go until my fiftieth, unless improvements come.’”] The article is about Asian circus performers, article includes a photograph.
- July 31, 1992, 1 p., handwritten letter from Jeff Merkel, relieved to hear Nouwen is healing quickly from being in the hospital. He goes on to tell Nouwen about his spiritual renewal. He concludes by asking for Nouwen’s assistant’s name at Harvard.
- July 25, 1992, 1 p., typed letter from Rodleigh and Jennie Stevens, writing from Germany, thanking Nouwen for his letter and hoping that he is not overworking himself. Rodleigh expresses worry for Karlene and how her stomach injury is affecting her work. They thank Nouwen for the news about Connie, and give him their tour schedule for August while he is in England. They update him on the act, their new net, and injuries, and Rodleigh’s troubles with the sale of his old car.
- July 21, 1992, 4 p., handwritten letter from Kathy Bruner, writing from England, thanking Nouwen for his letter, and asking for more news about Nouwen having been in the hospital. She says she is in week 5 of the L’Arche Renewal, and she expresses anguish surrounding John’s [John O’Brien] death.
- July 16, 1992, newspaper clipping, in Dutch, from NRC Handelsbaad. Title is “Andre Mey Sarasani, de directeur van circus Sarasani: ‘Het publiek stelt andere eisen” [“Andre Mey Sarasani, the director of Circus Sarasani: ‘The public has different requirements’”] by Henk van Gelder. Article is about the German circus Sarasani, which was founded ninety years ago, and the director believes the public expects a new circus.
- July 14, 1992, 2 p., handwritten letter from Karlene and Kailene Stevens, thanking Nouwen for the book, and hoping Nouwen will be able to visit again. Karlene updates Nouwen on their act, and the injuries, including her recovery from her stomach injury, and Mr. Siemoneit’s (the director of the circus) plans for the Circus Barum. Karlene includes a greeting from Kailene, her young daughter.
- June 6, 1992, 1 p., typed letter from Rodleigh and Jennie Stevens, writing from Germany, updating Nouwen on Karlene’s injury, and telling Nouwen that they could all do with ‘fittening up.’ Rodleigh tells Nouwen about the injuries and aches of all of the performers in their act (Jon [Griggs], Joe [Johan Jonas], Karlene, and Jennie), and says he has completed their new net. He says he is sending photographs [photographs not included as of May 28, 2010].
- April 9, 1992, 1 p., typed letter from Rodleigh and Jennie Stevens, thanking Nouwen for his letter, and that everything is ready for his visit in May. He tells Nouwen that an elephant in the circus died, and updates him about the weather. Rodleigh says they are waiting to hear from Mr. Siemoneit on whether they will stay on the Circus Barum the next year, or if they will create a larger act and take it to the Ringling Brothers circus in the United States. He says Kailene has started school, and then concludes with news about his new net.
- March 15, 1992, 2 p., typed letter from Rodleigh and Jennie Stevens, writing from Germany, thanking Nouwen for his correspondence over the winter, and updating him on their winter. He includes a list of their spring tour with the Circus Barum (also includes 4 copies of that list made larger). Letter includes the response letter from Nouwen from March 30, 1992.
14.a. Letter from Nouwen is 1 p., typed, and tells them his plans to visit his father, rent a camper, and visit them. He says Connie has been working very hard on the tapes [interviews of the Rodleighs], and asks them to read over the transcripts. Letter is signed.
- March 3, 1992, 3 p., typed letter from Walter Gaffney. Gaffney thanks Nouwen for a weekend at Daybreak. He says he went to the library and found materials on the circus, and quotes several passages, and tells him facts that he learned. He includes a copy of the article “11-Flying Acts and the Finale” from “The Circus in America” by Charles Philip Fox and Tom Parkinson (Country Beautiful, 1969). He discusses issues of inactive and former priests. Letter includes a form letter from March 1, 1992, updating friends on his network’s plans and activities.
- January 29, 1992, 1 p., handwritten letter from Fred Bratman, providing Nouwen with his promised bibliography of circus books owned by the New York Public Library System, and he recommends that Nouwen write to Fred Dahlinger, the director of the Robert L. Parkinson library for a more complete bibliography. Letter includes the two page bibliography, and a photocopy of an article, “Carny Performers Build a Haven Near Tampa Bay” by Larry Rohter, about former circus workers settling in a town in Florida.
- October 22, 1991, 2 p., handwritten letter from Douwe Schulte, an artistic promoter, producer, journalist, and collector. Schulte thanks Nouwen for the programme from Cirque du Soleil. Letter is in Dutch.
- [1991 or 1992], postcard from Douwe Schulte. Picture on the postcard is of circus performers, and Schulte mentions the circus. Postcard is in Dutch.
- October 19, 1991, 1 p. typed letter from Rodleigh and Jennie Stevens, writing from Germany. They thank Nouwen for his letter, and give him their November tour schedule while Nouwen is in Europe. They say he is welcome to stay with Jon [Griggs], and tell him of their plans to go to Italy to tour for the winter. They update Nouwen on their practices and their new tricks.
- October 15, 1991, 1 p., brief typed letter from Nouwen to the Flying Rodleighs, saying he saw Cirque du Soleil in Chicago, and is sending them the programme. He says the trapeze act was very beautiful, and that the show was unusually beautifully integrated.
- September 20, 1991, 1 p., typed letter from Rodleigh and Jennie Stevens, writing from Germany, sending their prayers for Nouwen’s ill sister-in-law. They update Nouwen on their act, and say they are looking forward to seeing him in November. They tell Nouwen of their plans for the winter, and update him on their practices and their visitors. They tell Nouwen about the sudden death of the wife of one of the other circus performers. Letter includes a copy of the response from Nouwen from October 8, 1991.
21.a. 1 p., typed letter from Nouwen to Rodleigh and Jennie Stevens, saying he hopes to visit them in November. He says he is sad for the death of Peter’s wife, and says he has been doing a lot of travelling in the United States and Canada.
- September 3, 1991, 2 p., typed letter from Nouwen to the Flying Rodleighs. He sends his regret that he could not visit them in August, as his sister-in-law, Marina, has severe cancer. He says he saw the State Circus of Moscow while in Holland, and compared the trapeze act to that of the Flying Rodleighs. He says he plans to return to Germany in mid-November.
- Advertisement from a book store, van de moosdijk, from August 22, 1991. Contains annotations by Nouwen with marks next to books about the circus. Also includes annotations by Nouwen featuring phone numbers.
- June 24, 1991, 1 p., typed letter from Rodleigh and Jennie Stevens, writing from Germany, sending a copy of their tour schedule. They give updates about their act, a new tent for the circus, and Jon [Griggs]’s excitement for his new truck.
- June 4, 1991, 1 p., typed letter from Rodleigh and Jennie Stevens, writing from Germany, expressing appreciation for Nouwen’s genuine interest in them and their show. They update Nouwen on the new tent for the circus, their practice, their difficulty with uneven ground, and their concerns about needing new rigging and a net, which is expensive in Germany. Letter includes a copy of Nouwen’s response.
25.a. June 11, 1991, 1 p., typed letter from Nouwen, telling the Stevens about his extensive travelling, and how he has told people of his great admiration for the Flying Rodleighs. He says he hopes to visit again, and send greetings to the group. He hopes they will be hired by the Hungarian State Circus for the winter, as he has always wanted to get to know Hungary. He concludes by saying “I hope you are really doing well together and that people continue to be excited about the way you bring them in touch with their desire to fly and be caught.”
-  1 phone message for Nouwen from Debbie Whittaker regarding the Greenbelt Festival in England in August .