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Henri Nouwen fonds
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A life through Adam

This item is an article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘A Life Through Adam’ published in British edition of The Reader’s Digest, September 1990, pp. 75 -77. This item is a slightly revised version of the article published in the January 1990 U.S. edition of The Reader’s Digest (see item 1753). This item is condensed from an article published in Weavings, March/April 1988. Nouwen begins by stating that he has recently moved from academia to living at the l’Arche community of Daybreak with men and women who have mental disabilities. He describes being assigned to help a very severely handicapped man named Adam. Nouwen describes his daily routine with the totally helpless 25 year old man and his growing awareness that Adam was doing more for him than he for Adam. ‘This severely handicapped young man, whom outsiders sometimes describe with very hurtful words, started to become my dearest companion’. Nouwen goes on to describe the very special effect Adam has on the people with whom he lives and the peace that, because of Adam’s need, helps them to work together.

A new life among the handicapped: farewell to Harvard

This item is a 9 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘A New Life Among the Handicapped’ published in the New Oxford Review, Vol. LIII, No.7, September 1986, pp.5 – 13. The article is identified as the first installment of a series of articles taken from a Nouwen diary written during his time as priest-in-residence at L’Arche, Trosley-Breuil, France. The excerpts from Nouwen’s diary in this article begin August 13, 1985 and end September 24. In the first entry Nouwen describes this as ‘the first day of my new life! Nouwen writes of meeting Madame Vanier, of his leaving Harvard, his new quarters and his sense of how different this life is from his very busy life in academia. The entries that follow include reflections on how Jean Vanier began L’Arche with Pere Thomas Phillipe, Nouwen’s longing to be able to live a simpler life, his gratitude for the prayerful support of his friends, his hurt and anger when a friend fails to visit him. Nouwen speaks of his daily time spent in the Oratory at Trosly: ‘In many ways the Oratoire is the heart of l’Arche…every time I enter the Oratoire I feel a deep rest coming over me…’ Nouwen also speaks of one of the foyers he visits which is called La Forestiere where the most severely handicapped live. Further entries speak of the people he meets and include his reflections on their lives.

A place where God wants to dwell

This item is a one page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘A Place Where God wants to dwell’, published in Compass: A Jesuit Journal, Vol. 7, No. 4, September 1989, p. 34. Henri begins the article by describing his reading as a teacher of Christian spirituality and his discovery that you must be poor ‘so God can finally be with you’. Nouwen then goes on to describe his experience at l’Arche Daybreak in Richmond Hill Ontario and in particular his friendship with Adam Arnett. Nouwen describes Adam as a profoundly handicapped man who knows nothing of the world Nouwen has lived in and yet becomes for Nouwen, a teacher. Nouwen writes, “Daybreak turns our expectations upside down…Because of Adam’s weakness – his poverty – we can be united in ways that form the body. Because of Adam’s needs, we come to grips with our own’. Nouwen goes on to describe a l’Arche community as not a romantic place but one of struggle and a school of discipleship.

A prayerful life

This item is a short quote from Henri Nouwen’s book The Way of the Heart and is entitled, ‘A Prayerful life’ published in Christopher News Notes, N.Y. , No. 279. No year is identified but the file suggests ‘after 1981’. The quote outlines the need in prayer to ‘include all people’.

A psychologist on priests' identity crises

Item consists of a one page article by Henri Nouwen entitled: "A psychologist on priests' identity crises" published in The National Catholic Reporter, 17 May 1967, p. 6. The article is about three perceived threats to the mental health of priests. These are described in terms of problems with time, with space and with self-understanding. 1) The new priest starts by giving his whole time to his ministry with little or no demarcation between work and rest. He thrives on being at the center, being available to everyone all the time. In time , because there is little change in fact, this can and does frequently lead to being ‘ an irritated, empty, routine, tired man’. In addition, at a daily level there is no demarcation of time between ‘work’ and ‘home’. No time to stop and reflect or even pray. 2) ‘Besides a healthy use of time, a healthy use of place is of great importance for the mental health of the priest’. Because he is always at work there is no space to find rest; because the people he lives with are the people he works with, there is no personal space. The demarcation lines of authority are vague and unhealthy. ‘…healthy spacing not only refers to healthy defining of places and rooms, but also connected with that, to healthy clarification of responsibilities and authority which belong to the different roofs under which we live’. 3) With a lack of privacy and no demarcation of personal, private relationships the priest often lacks a firm self-identity. ‘Without a spiritual life and a good friend he is like a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal’. In addition, there is a lack of clarity of his role as a professional, he receives little praise from anyone including superiors so he does not know how well he is doing. The author stresses the importance of the priest’s everyday confrontation with living theology in the people he serves and that is not used or appreciated.

A response from Henri J.M. Nouwen

This item is a 1 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘A Response from Henri J.M. Nouwen” published in The Christian Ministry, Vol. 18, No. 1, January 1987, p. 20. This item is a response to an article published in this same volume entitled: ‘The Minister as Narrator’ by John Robert McFarland in which the ‘model’ of the minister presented by Nouwen in ‘The Wounded Healer’ and that of James D. Glasse in ‘Profession: Minister: Confronting the Identity Crisis of the Parish Clergy’ is critically evaluated and found wanting. Nouwen responds by noting that his concept of wounded healer was simply ‘an attempt to say something – not everything – about ministry’. Nouwen suggests that McFarland’s ideas have merit and much to offer, ‘if he does not try to offer too much’.

A self-emptied heart: the disciplines of spiritual formation

This item is a three page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘A Self-Emptied Heart: The Disciplines of spiritual formation’, published in Sojourners, Vol. 10, No. 8, August , 1981, pp. 20 – 22. This is part three of a three part series. Nouwen begins this article by stating that discipleship requires discipline. He identifies three disciplines in particular: 1) the discipline of the church – ‘by which we remain in touch with the true story of God in history. Nouwen identifies the importance of the church community ,’ The attention to the presence of Christ in our own personal story can only remain free from self-deception when we remain attentive to the presence of Christ in the daily life of the church’. 2) The discipline of the book – here Nouwen emphasizes the necessity of reading the scriptures deeply and meditatively. 3) The discipline of the heart – ‘The discipline of the heart is the discipline of personal prayer which…leads us not just to our own heart, but to the heart of God’. Nouwen concludes this series of three articles, ‘We are called to follow Christ on his downwardly mobile road, tempted to choose the broad path of success, notoriety, and influence, and challenged to subject ourselves to spiritual disciplines in order to gradually conform to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ’.

A seven day journey with Thomas Merton

Item consists of a book in which Nouwen has written the foreword, reflecting on his own visit with Merton and a friend, Joe Ahearn, in 1966. Nouwen concludes in part: "When I read Esther de Waal's [book] I said to myself: 'What better guide can there be than this earthy, yet so spiritual man, whom I met with my friend Joe at the pond in Gethsemani.'"

A son of the circus

Item consists of a book collected by Nouwen. The book is a work of fiction and mentions dwarf clowns.

A spirituality of waiting: being alert to God's presence in our lives

This item is a 12 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled: ‘A Spirituality of Waiting: Being Alert to God’s presence in our Lives’, published in Weavings, January/February 1987, pp. 6 – 17. Nouwen begins by suggesting two aspects of waiting: waiting for God and the waiting of God. Nouwen identifies these two aspects of waiting found first in the beginning of Luke’s Gospel and then, at the end of Luke’s Gospel. In the first section Nouwen points out how hard it is for most of us to wait; that waiting is considered as wasting time. He then points to the people in Luke’s Gospel who are waiting: Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary, Simeon and Anna. Nouwen then discusses 1) the nature of waiting as waiting with a sense of promise and 2) waiting as active. In the scripture the figures he writes of are waiting for the fulfilment of a promise and they are waiting very actively. ‘The secret of waiting is the faith that the seed has been planted, that something has begun. Active waiting means to be present fully to the moment, in the conviction that something is happening where you are and that you want to be present of it’. Nouwen also describes a waiting person as a patient person. In a section on the practice of waiting Nouwen describes the need we have of community and mutual support along with an alertness to the word. Nouwen then looks at the waiting found in the last part of Luke’s Gospel , in the passion of Jesus. Nouwen states that this material is outlined in a book by W.H. Vanstone called ‘The Stature of Waiting’. Nouwen begins by describing the concerns of a friend who was dying of cancer and didn’t see how to live the passivity of his life. The remainder of the article enlarges on the idea by Vanstone that Jesus moved from action to passion, losing control of his life and waiting and allowing it to happen. Jesus and God are waiting to see how people will respond, how we will respond and they do not have control over that. Nouwen concludes by stating, ‘If it is true that God in Jesus Christ is waiting for our response to divine love then we can discover a whole new perspective on how to wait in life’.

A sudden trip to Lourdes: by-passing the excitement of Berlin

This item is a 6 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘A Sudden Trip to Lourdes, published in New Oxford Review, Vol. LVII, No.7, September, 1990, pp. 7 - 13. Nouwen begins by stating that he is writing this in Lourdes during an unexpected divergence from his planned visit to Berlin. ‘The question for me was: How to live [the next decade]? The answer came quietly: In deep communion with Jesus’. Nouwen reflects on the water – of Baptism, of healing at the baths, on the rain. Nouwen goes to confession where the priests says to him, ‘Don’t be afraid to be poor, alone, naked, stripped of all your familiar ways of doing things. God is not finished with you yet’. Nouwen reflects on the innocence of Mary, of Bernadette and of his own. He reflects on Jesus’ passion in the Stations of the Cross and on the resurrection. After three days in Lourdes, Nouwen feels it is time to leave and he returns to the L’Arche community at Trosly. Nouwen, reflects as he is in the train returning to Paris, ‘I know that every time I choose for my innocence I don’t have to worry about the next 10 years. I can be sure I am not alone, but with him who called me to live as God’s child’.

A time for quiet, a time for action

This item is a half page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘ A Time for Quiet, a Time for Action’ published in the National Catholic Reporter, April 26, 1974, p.11. This article begins with a quotation from Mark 1:32 -39, “In the morning long before dawn he got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there”. Nouwen then points to all the action in Jesus’ life that surrounds these words and develops the idea of the importance to Jesus’ fulfillment of his ministry of these moments alone and at prayer. “ In the lonely place Jesus finds the courage to follow God’s will and not his own, to speak God’s words and not his own, to do God’s work and not his own”. He then states as the goal of this article, “I want to reflect on this lonely place in our own lives”. Nouwen suggests that we tend to know that we too need a lonely place and silence and that without it there is a danger that our lives will be governed only by what we ‘do’. He says, “practically all of us think about ourselves in terms of our contribution to life”. In the remainder of the article Nouwen suggests that our attempts to find our identity in the busyness of the world is leading many people to depression and anxiety. Nouwen emphasizes the importance then of silence and solitude in human life: “ Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure. Somewhere we know that without a lonely place our actions quickly become empty gestures”.

A time to mourn, a time to dance

This item is a 2 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘A Time to mourn, a time to dance’, published in the Toronto Catholic New Times, mediation section, 15 March, 1992, Vol. 16, No.6, pp. 8-9. It is indicated that this is taken from a talk by Nouwen given to ‘Celebration 25’ honouring the 25th anniversary of the founding of Christian Counselling Services in Toronto. It is part one of five parts. The archives has only the first 3 parts of the series. In the Introduction, Nouwen points to his sense that healing is not strictly the preserve of professionals. ‘It belongs to the heart of our Christian vision that all of us, whether we have degrees or not, are called to be healers’ through the Holy Spirit. Nouwen goes on to suggest however that the ‘first thing the Healing Spirit within us calls us to do is to mourn our losses…’. Nouwen identifies the many kinds of losses people experience and to suggest that ‘our survival instinct is to live as if they are not real, as if life goes on as usual nothing really happens’. Nouwen goes on to say, ‘true healing starts at the moment that we can face the reality of our losses and let go of the illusions of control…I do believe that the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of love, is given to us to reach out beyond our fears and embrace the reality of our losses. That is what mourning is all about’.

ACT Conference (Association Charities Therapist) - February, 1997

File consists of correspondence and other material regarding Nouwen and Sue Mosteller speaking at the Association of Christian Therapists (ACT) Conference in San Diego, California. The theme of the conference was "Responding to Christ's Call: Moving into Freedom and Light." Nouwen did not attend this event due to his death on September 21, 1996. Includes a letter of condolence received from the ACT.

AIDS file

File consists of materials related to AIDS and pastoral care, materials include pamphlets, brochures, newspaper articles, copies of articles, newsletters and copies of manuscripts relating to AIDS. File also consists of a letter from Elizabeth Morris, which accompanied information and articles related to life, death and AIDS, a letter and informational material from Rev. Ken (Kenneth T.) South, on behalf of AIDS National Interfaith Network, inviting Nouwen to be a speaker and a copy of a type letter of response from Connie Ellis, Nouwen’s administrative assistant declining the invitation. File includes handwritten notes in Nouwen's hand related to the AIDS Project LA.

Abbey of the Genesee file

  • CA ON00389 F4-13-14055
  • File
  • 1982 - 1996, predomonant 1982 - 1985
  • Part of Henri Nouwen fonds

File consists of twelve letters from Brother Christian at the Abbey of the Genesee between 1982 and 1996, predominantly 1982-1985. File also contains a photograph and copies of two articles with one of the articles referring to Nouwen's death.

Abingdon Press

File consists of business correspondence concerning a contract for the Dictionary of Pastoral Care and Counseling and a book titled: Spiritual Traditions for the Contemporary Church.

About Zaccheus, who climbed the sycamore tree

Item consists of a typescript of "About Zaccheus, Who Climbed the Sycamore Tree", a sermon on the religious aspects of friendship. Nouwen argues that Zaccheus' openness to concentrate on Jesus with an openness to him, allows something to happen between them. Henri comments on the way we meet people but we are full of ideas, worries and tensions, or we wait to impress the other, or we listen to see if we agree or disagree. Without concentrating on the person, without having room in ourselves to receive the person and what is being said, we miss the opportunity for a real meeting.

Accepting the Word handout for 1985 summer course

File consists of two pages of photocopied and annotated lecture notes. The first sheet is titled "Accepting the Word" and in the upper right-hand corner is labelled "Handout #11". The second sheet is also titled "Accepting the Word" but does not contain the numbered label.
This file appears to illustrate the editorial efforts of Nouwen to adjust and adapt his earlier lecture notes for the summer course at Boston College.

Accompaniment Workshop, Montreal - October 1, 1991

File consists of correspondence and other material regarding Nouwen's presentation at a workshop for L'Arche assistants in Montreal. The theme of the workshop was "Hand in Hand," Nouwen's presentation was entitled "Holding Hands and Brokenness in L'Arche and in the World." Nouwen's presentation may have been in French. Includes the notes written by Nouwen on large flip chart paper, a typescript of the talk (entitled Accompaniment), and an article by another entitled "La Sanctification Depend-Elle du Psychisme?" Also includes travel itinerary, airline tickets, and a list of expenses.

Accompaniment workshop file

File consists of Nouwen’s handwritten notes in regards to an accompaniment workshop being carried out at Daybreak on October 21, 1992. File also includes a suggested topics list and an agenda for the workshop.

Accompaniment: individual requests for etc. file

File consists of a letter from Gregory Tucker requesting to spend time at Daybreak. File also includes a handwritten note, not in Nouwen's hand, summarizing the letter and saying that Nouwen is OK with the stay, if Tucker agrees to work with the Daybreak residents. File also consists of a letter from Joe Egan, Kathy Bruner and Sue Mosteller to Nouwen asking him to look over a document to be presented to Council on accompaniment. Attached are Nouwen’s typed notes and thoughts on accompaniment.

Adam's peace

This item is a 3 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Adam’s Peace’ published in the Rosebank Biblical College Journal ‘Link’, March 1989, pp. 1 -3. This item is reprinted from the journal of World Vision, August/September 1988. Nouwen begins by describing his move from the intellectual atmosphere of Harvard to the l’Arche community for the mentally handicapped at Daybreak. Nouwen writes of the atmosphere of loving equality at his house and then begins to write of Adam Arnett for whom Nouwen had some responsibility. Nouwen describes Adam as a totally dependent man who could not speak nor care for himself and who suffered daily with grand mal seizures. As he began to know Adam however, Nouwen says, ‘Out of this broken body and broken mind emerged a most beautiful human being offering me a greater gift than I would ever be able to offer him’. Nouwen uses the remainder of the article to write of Adam’s role as a man of peace, a peacemaker. ‘Adam’s peace is first of all a peace rooted in being’. Nouwen compares this with the desire of many people to strive for success and for self-worth rather than accepting much more just ‘to be’. Nouwen writes of the importance of the heart over the mind; of the heart as the center of our being where God is. Nouwen writes of the ways in which Adam helps to create community among all those who are committed to his care. Nouwen writes, ‘I’ve told you about Adam and his peace to offer you a quiet guide with a gentle heart, a little light for walking through this dark world’. As Nouwen concludes the article he writes of Jesus, the Prince of Peace; Jesus whose peace is found in weakness. Nouwen begins his conclusion by then turning to us and saying, ‘I say to you: do not give up working for peace. But remember that the peace you seek is not of this world…Keep your eyes on the one who is poor with the poor, weak with the weak, and rejected with the rejected. That one is the source of all peace’.

Adam's peace

This item is a 3 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘Adam’s Peace’, published in Seventh Day Adventist journal ‘Signs of the Times’, May 1989, pp. 2 – 4. Although this article does not attribute its source it is taken from the journal of World Vision, August/September 1988. It was originally a talk given by Nouwen at Harvard University. Nouwen begins by describing his move from the intellectual atmosphere of Harvard to the l’Arche community for the mentally handicapped at Daybreak. Nouwen writes of the atmosphere of loving equality at his house and then begins to write of Adam for whom Nouwen had some responsibility. Nouwen describes Adam Arnett as a totally dependent man who could not speak nor care for himself and who suffered daily with grand mal seizures. As he began to know Adam however, Nouwen says, ‘Out of this broken body and broken mind emerged a most beautiful human being offering me a greater gift than I would ever be able to offer him’. Nouwen uses the remainder of the article to write of Adam’s role as a man of peace, a peacemaker. ‘Adam’s peace is first of all a peace rooted in being’. Nouwen compares this with the desire of many people to strive for success and for self-worth rather than accepting much more just ‘to be’. Nouwen writes of the importance of the heart over the mind; of the heart as the center of our being where God is. Nouwen writes of the ways in which Adam helps to create community among all those who are committed to his care. Nouwen writes, ‘I’ve told you about Adam and his peace to offer you a quiet guide with a gentle heart, a little light for walking through this dark world’. As Nouwen concludes the article he writes of Jesus, the Prince of Peace; Jesus whose peace is found in weakness. Nouwen begins his conclusion by then turning to us and saying, ‘I say to you: do not give up working for peace. But remember that the peace you seek is not of this world…Keep your eyes on the one who is poor with the poor, weak with the weak, and rejected with the rejected. That one is the source of all peace’.

Adam's peace

This item is a one-page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Adam’s Peace’, published in ‘The Christian Reader’, March/April 1992, p.40. The article is identified as an excerpt from, ed. Robert Durback: ‘Seeds of Hope’, a Henri Nouwen Reader. Nouwen opens the article by describing his move from academia to the L’Arche community of Daybreak and his introduction to Adam, a severely handicapped man for whom Nouwen is asked to help care. Nouwen describes his initial discomfort but after time realizes that this man ‘who by many outsiders is considered an embarrassment, a useless creature who should not have been allowed to be born, had started to become my dearest companion’. In time Nouwen recognizes the presence of Jesus, the Prince of peace in him.

Adam's peace

This item is an article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Adam’s Peace’ published in World Vision, Vol. 32, No. 4, August-September, 1988, pp. 4- 7. Versions of this article have been published previously in Weavings and in The Journal of Christian Healing, 1988. See items 1727 & 1729. Nouwen begins by describing his move from the intellectual atmosphere of Harvard to the l’Arche community for the mentally handicapped at Daybreak. Nouwen writes of the atmosphere of loving equality at his house and then begins to write of Adam Arnett for whom Nouwen had some responsibility. Nouwen describes Adam as a totally dependent man who could not speak nor care for himself and who suffered daily with grand mal seizures. As he began to know Adam however, Nouwen says, ‘Out of this broken body and broken mind emerged a most beautiful human being offering me a greater gift than I would ever be able to offer him’. Nouwen uses the remainder of the article to write of Adam’s role as a man of peace, a peacemaker. ‘Adam’s peace is first of all a peace rooted in being’. Nouwen compares this with the desire of many people to strive for success and for self-worth rather than accepting much more just ‘to be’. Nouwen writes of the importance of the heart over the mind; of the heart as the center of our being where God is. Nouwen writes of the ways in which Adam helps to create community among all those who are committed to his care. As Nouwen concludes the article he writes of Jesus, the Prince of Peace; Jesus whose peace is found in weakness. Nouwen begins his conclusion by then turning to us and saying, ‘I say to you: do not give up working for peace. But remember that the peace you seek is not of this world…Keep your eyes on the one who is poor with the poor, weak with the weak, and rejected with the rejected. That one is the source of all peace’.

Adam's peace

This item is a 2 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘Adam’s Peace’ published in the journal of the Lake County Right to Life Committee, Inc., Grayslake Ill., U.S.A., February – March, 1989, pp. 10-11. This item is part one of a two part article reprinted from the World Vision journal, August/ September 1988. Nouwen begins by describing his move from the intellectual atmosphere of Harvard to the l’Arche community for the mentally handicapped at Daybreak. Nouwen writes of the atmosphere of loving equality at his house and then begins to write of Adam Arnett for whom Nouwen had some responsibility. Nouwen describes Adam as a totally dependent man who could not speak nor care for himself and who suffered daily with grand mal seizures. As he began to know Adam however, Nouwen says, ‘Out of this broken body and broken mind emerged a most beautiful human being offering me a greater gift than I would ever be able to offer him’. Nouwen uses the remainder of the article to write of Adam’s role as a man of peace, a peacemaker. ‘Adam’s peace is first of all a peace rooted in being’. Nouwen goes on to say, ‘I know this is right because, after four months of being a little with Adam, I am discovering in myself the beginning of an inner at-homeness that I didn’t know before’.

Additional expenses for 1994 tax return

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's additional expenses for Nouwen's 1994 tax return not purchased with a credit card. Includes receipts with notes from Nouwen's trips to the Netherlands and France in June and December 1994.

Addresses by others to the Fraternity of Priests of L'Arche

File consists of copies of addresses that were given by Eduardo Card. Pironio, Andre de Jaer, S.J., Jean Vanier, and Cardinal Jean Willebrands of the Fraternity of Priests of L'Arche. Contents are as follows:

  1. Address from Eduardo Card. Pironio, President, on Pontificum Consilium pro Laicis letterhead, in the Vatican City, dated June 30, 1987.
  2. "Quelques questions et reflexions sur la vocation chretienne et catholique au celibat dans les communautes de l'Arche," by Andre de Jaer, S.J. on January 17, 1988.
  3. "La fraternite sacerdotale de l'Arche - Projet," by Jean Vanier in January 1988.
  4. Letter addressed to Jean Vanier and all the Catholic leaders of L'Arche ["A Monsieur Jean Vanier et a tous les responsables catholiques de l'Arche"] from Cardinal Jean Willebrands, President, writing on Secretariatus Christianorum Unitatem Fovendam letterhead (Vatican City), dated September 24, 1987.

Administrative documents and guidelines from Boston College

File consists of a group of documents mailed to Nouwen in late 1984 regarding his agreement to teach a course at the Boston College Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry during the summer of 1985. These documents include:
-a letter from Philip J. King, Director of the Institute dated November 20, 1984
-a letter from Dr. Padraic O'Hare, Associate Director of the Institute, also dated November 20, 1984
-A book order form for textbooks and required readings for the course Introduction to Spirituality (also referred to as Introduction to the Spiritual Life) to be taught by Nouwen at Boston College
-one page outlining Boston College's guidelines for testing and evaluation of students
-four pages outlining Boston College's academic policies regarding teaching assistants, grading and testing procedures, photocopying and proper citation
-a form indicating the deadlines for returning various forms to the institution, such as book orders, syllabi and bibliographies.
The original package contained Nouwen's teaching contract with Boston College, but this document has been lost.

Administrative records

  • CA ON00389 F4-7-2
  • Subseries
  • 1966 - 1994, predominant 1983 - 1985
  • Part of Henri Nouwen fonds

Sub-series consists of administrative materials relating to activities which Nouwen performed as a university professor within the administrative and social frameworks of the academic setting. This sub-series has been divided into sub-sub-series according to each academic institution, namely:

  1. University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana, USA.
  2. Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
  3. Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
  4. Boston College, in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA.
    and,
  5. Regis College, the University of Toronto, Canada.
    It is highly likely that Nouwen created administrative records while a professor at the Joint Pastoral Institute of Amsterdam and the Catholic Theological Institute of Utrecht between 1968 - 1970. However, these records have not survived.

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."

Administrative thesis material

File consists of a blank form to apply for a thesis (with spaces for a title and supervisors); a thesis proposal typed on Prof. Dr. J.J.G. Prick's letterhead including a summary of the paper, but this is likely a draft as there are a few typographical errors; a draft for a doctoral thesis proposal with annotations and corrections by Nouwen; a letter from the Social Sciences Faculty at University of Nijmegen written by the Dean of Faculty, O. Schreuder, which outlines Nouwen's Thesis director (Professor Prick), the title of the thesis (De betekenis van Anton T. Boisen's acute psychose in verband met zijn vraag naar de verhouding tussen geestesziekte en religieuze bekering [The significance of Anton T. Boisen's acute psychosis related to his question about the relationship between mental illness and religious conversion]). The letter goes on to say the thesis defense date has yet to be set, and the committee will consist of Dr. W.J. Berger (Pastoral Psychology), Prof. Dr. K.J.M. van de Loo (Clinical Psychology), and Prof. Dr. F. Haarsma (Pastoral Theologian).
File also includes a letter to Nouwen regarding his request for the appointment of a thesis director for his PhD. They sent him a candidate's guideline for a PhD thesis.

Advent

Item consists of a typescript of "Advent", a sermon given by Nouwen on December 15, 1971. Nouwen argues that in Advent we know that God is not going to come on Christmas. We expect God in lightning and disaster. But perhaps Advent is waiting and preparing for the God who speaks to us in the gentle breeze. Advent is waiting, but it is also to know that we are waited for. Nouwen recounts the story of the prisoner of war who, at the point of giving up, receives a note from his wife saying they were waiting for him to come home. It changed everything for him. We have received a letter (the Scriptures), and we know God waits for us as we wait for God.

Advent 1988 - making the circle full file

File consists of a copy of "Making the circle full" the 1988 Advent booklet for Daybreak, without pictures. File also contains original sketches to be inserted into the designated locations in the booklet.

Advent 1989 - making the circle full file

File consists of a copy of the ‘Making the circle full’ 1989 Advent booklet on coloured paper, an information sheet on Chanukah and copies of sketched cut-out men to use with the booklet.

Advent 1991 file

File consists of a copy of a letter from Nouwen to John Guido pertaining to Advent celebrations for 1991. The letter is dated June 28, 1991.

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