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Archival description
University of St. Michael's College, John M. Kelly Library, Special Collections
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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."

Army socks

Item consists of one pair of olive green socks that were part of Henri Nouwen's military uniform. There is a label with 'Nouwen' sewed onto each sock.

Army uniform

Item consists of Nouwen's army uniform from when he served as army chaplain for the Dutch Army between 1957 and 1963.

Box 372 contains:

  • jacket
  • pants
  • 2 ties
  • hat
  • belt
  • handkerchief
  • raincoat
  • scarf
  • clerical collar

Box 373 contains:

  • wool coat
  • trench coat
  • dog tag
  • gloves
  • collar insignias

Box 374: includes a second army uniform, which likely belonged to an unknown family member of Nouwen's. There is a label stapled to the left sleeve of the jacket which reads "H.P.M. Nouwen. H.P.T.". It is unknown exactly how Nouwen was related to this person.

Awards and honourary degrees

Sub-series consists of awards and honourary degrees bestowed upon Henri Nouwen by various academic institutions, religious and community organizations, and literary associations, including correspondence and memorabilia relating to the awards and award ceremonies.

Black Orthodox rosary

Item consists of one black Orthodox rosary. The Rosary is made of knotted wool to simulate beads, with light blue thread wrapped around segments for decoration. The end of the rosary is a cross shape in the wool.

Black rosary bead

Item consists of one set of rosary beads. The beads are black and include a metal icon of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus (back of the icon features a depiction of adult Jesus).

Black wooden rosary

Item consists of one black wooden rosary with metal attachments. There are two metal pendants, the first depicting the Virgin Mary, and the second is wooden crucifix with metal ends and Jesus.

Blue box

Item consists of one blue plastic case for holding papers. Nouwen used this case for his L'Arche Journal, kept from 1985 to 1986.

Brass plate of Saint Gennaro

Item consists of one small brass plate with the image of Saint Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples, and the inscription "prega per noi," the Italian phrase for "pray for us".

Brown rosary beads

Item consists of one set of rosary beads. The beads are brown, and the string underneath is a cream colour. The end of the rosary features a wooden and metal crucifix (the cross is wooden, and Jesus is metal).

COMISS award

File consists of the COMISS Award medal Nouwen received from the Council on Ministry in Specialized Settings for his outstanding contribution to the field of pastoral care, counseling and education.

Car keys and other keys

File consists of keys that were used by Henri Nouwen. This includes a set of keys for Nouwen's 1990 Honda, one set for an unidentified car, a Honda key attached to a ring with a wooden tag labelled "Cambridge" and other miscellaneous keys.

Ceramic chalice

Item consists of one ceramic chalice with an orange glaze paint.

Ceramic ornament of St. Francis of Assisi and wolf

Item consists of a painted sculpture of St. Francis of Assisi with a wolf. He is wearing the brown garb of a Franciscan monk. He has his arms around the wolf, and the wolf is looking up at him. The bottom of the sculpture is covered in green felt and features a sticker with the letters "LBI".

Christopher Award

File consists of the Christopher Award medallion awarded to Henri Nouwen as well as two copies of the award ceremony's program and a New York Times newspaper clipping about the award ceremony.

Clay bird ornament

Item consists of one small clay bird. The top of the bird is painted blue.

Clay sculpture

Item consists of one small clay sculpture, possibly made by a member of L'Arche Daybreak. The sculpture features Nouwen with his arms around a child, whose hand is reaching towards Nouwen's open mouth. The Nouwen figure has a blue-gray glaze paint for clothing, and has glasses carved on his face.

Clerical collars

Item consists of six clerical collars, all used by Henri Nouwen.

Coasters

Item consists of one set of coasters. The initials "H.N." are embossed on the coasters in gold ink.

Collected artwork

Sub-series consists of artwork depicting Henri Nouwen and other framed images and sculptures, which may have been displayed in Nouwen's office or living space.

Commemorative coin

Item consists of one commemorative coin. The front of the coin features a raised profile of Pope Paul VI, and the Latin of his name: "Paulus VI. Pont. Max" The verso of the coin reads "Anno santo 1975. Roma" and a raise depiction of two saints and a doorway. Nouwen likely got this coin while he was in Rome.

Crucifix pendant

Item consists of one small metal pendant. On the front is a crucifix, with engraved figures behind Jesus, and angels above His head. The verso lists the name "Assisi" and has an engraved phrase in Latin, likely a prayer.

Dolby stereo

Item consists of one stereo system. This was Henri Nouwen's Dolby System 4 speaker system and manual recording system. Sue Mosteller says that this is the player that Nouwen used to play all of his cassettes.

Engraved wooden box

Item consists of one engraved wooden box. The engraving is a pattern of squares with triangles.

Ephemera and artifacts

  • CA ON00389 F4-14
  • Series
  • [1957 - 1996], predominant 1980 - 1996
  • Part of Henri Nouwen fonds

Series consists of ephemera and artifacts collected by or given to Nouwen throughout his lifetime, including awards and honorary degrees, materials kept in his office and home, promotional materials, artwork, postcards, religious artifacts, and personal artifacts.

Series has been arranged in the following seven sub-series according to their function:
1.14.1. Awards and honourary degrees;
1.14.2. Contents of Nouwen's office;
1.14.3. Promotional material for lectures, workshops and special events;
1.14.4. Collected artwork;
1.14.5. Personal effects;
1.14.6. Postcards, cards and prints;
1.14.7. Religious artifacts.

Framed photographs from Nouwen's home

File consists of 22 photographs, most of which are framed. These photographs were kept by Nouwen in his home. Most depict Nouwen family members. Included in the file is a framed woven piece of fabric, which was stored with the photographs.

Glass chalice

Item consists of one clear glass chalice. Chalice is approximately 12 cm in diameter, and 26 cm tall. It is slightly larger than E144. Chalice is very simple, but the node on this chalice is slightly decorative with a crimped pattern. Nouwen used this chalice for the Eucharist while he was a priest at L'Arche Daybreak.

Glass chalice

Item consists of one clear glass chalice. Chalice is approximately 12 cm in diameter, and 23 cm tall. Chalice is very simple, with a small node and simple base. Nouwen used this chalice to give the Eucharist while he was a priest at L'Arche Daybreak.

Glass chalices and paten

File consists of two clear glass chalices, and one clear glass paten. One of the chalices is slightly larger than the other. These chalices were used by Nouwen while he was a priest at L'Arche Daybreak. The cups were made by a glassblower in Vermont, Simon Pearce. Nouwen liked the clear glass because the wine could be seen, and many people could drink from them. He wrote, in Can You Drink the Cup, "These glass cups speak about a new way of being a priest and a new way of being human."

Glass paten

Item consists of one clear glass paten. The plate of the paten is 22 cm in diameter, and the paten is approximately 9.5 cm tall, while the base is 9 cm in diameter. It is very simple in design. Nouwen used this paten to give the Eucharist while a priest at L'Arche Daybreak.

Gold chalice

Item consists of one gold chalice and its matching paten, as well as a small spoon (used to give the Eucharist to those who could not receive it otherwise). The chalice base features a small crucifix, as well as other decorative engravings of grapes and grape leaves, and a few diamonds that belonged to Nouwen's maternal grandmother. The bottom of the chalice is engraved with a Latin phrase, "Ego sum vites, vox palmites" ["I am the vine, you are the branches"], as well as the name of Reverend Antonius Cornelis Ramselaar, Nouwen's uncle. The chalice was Ramselaar's, and it was given to Nouwen on the occasion of his ordination in 1957. The chalice and paten have a leather carrying case, and they are wrapped in blue velvet.

Haitian tapestry file

File consists of a letter from Barbara Vajk as well as a Haitian tapestry and educational information pertaining to the tapestry that Vajk sent Nouwen as a gift.

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.

Hinged wooden book stand

Item consists of one hinged wooden book stand that can collapse to be flat. The book stand is carved and features carved maple leaves.

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