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Archival description
University of St. Michael's College, John M. Kelly Library, Special Collections Henri Nouwen fonds
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Bond lectures file

File consists of a registration form for The Bond Lectures held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Waco, Texas.

Book from Joan Vayo

File consists of a copy of a book of poems from Joan Vayo titled "when in the rain a snow".

Book reviews

  • CA ON00389 F4-9-4
  • Subseries
  • 1972 - 1996, predominant 1981 - 1996
  • Part of Henri Nouwen fonds

Sub-series consists of published articles as well as bookstore advertising, and transcripts of radio reviews regarding Nouwen's books, audio cassettes, and booklets. Also included are book reviews mentioning Nouwen's forewords and a book of which Nouwen was a contributing author. The articles are in various formats including entire publications, clippings, and photocopies as originally saved by Nouwen. This sub-series contains only those articles which Nouwen or his office collected.
In an attempt to re-establish a system similar to that originated by Nouwen, the Archives created one file to represent each reviewed book, etc., combining the various translations for a single book in the single file. On occasion, articles were photocopied by the Archives staff should more than one of Nouwen's books be mentioned; the copies were distributed to the appropriate book review files.

Books about Nouwen

Sub-series consists of four books written between 1985 and 1994 about Nouwen or containing a chapter about Nouwen. The two books written in 1994 represent student theses-like material on Nouwen's life. The other two books reflect on the lives of many individuals; Nouwen is represented in one chapter of each book. The books have been described at the item level.

Books and articles

Sub-series consists of draft manuscripts and typescripts of many of Nouwen's published and unpublished books and articles, including forewords, introductions and afterwords for other authors' books. The sub-series represents Nouwen's writing process, from miscellaneous notes and journal entries to galley and print proofs. Some articles contain subject matter later published in Nouwen's full-length books; links between them have been made where appropriate. The sub-series has been divided into sub-sub-series for each of Nouwen's book-length projects, as well as files.
The sub-sub-series are as follows:

  1. Book on Anton T. Boisen
  2. Intimacy
  3. With Open Hands
  4. Aging
  5. Out of Solitude
  6. Reaching Out
  7. Genesee Diary
  8. Man at the Watershed
  9. Clowning in Rome
  10. In Memoriam
  11. A Cry for Mercy
  12. Downward Mobility
  13. A Letter of Consolation
  14. Compassion
  15. Gracias! A Latin American Journal
  16. A Spirituality of Peacemaking
  17. Love in a Fearful Land: A Guatemalan Story
  18. Lifesigns
  19. Behold the Beauty of the Lord
  20. Letters to Marc about Jesus
  21. The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey
  22. Heart Speaks to Heart
  23. In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership
  24. Theology as Doxology
  25. L'Arche and the World
  26. A Spiritual Journey
  27. Mary, Mother of the Priests
  28. Taken, Blessed, Broken, Given
  29. The Life of the Beloved
  30. Show Me the Way: Readings for Each Day of Lent
  31. The Return of the Prodigal Son
  32. Circus Diary
  33. Ukrainian Diary: July 24-August 14, 1993
  34. Our Greatest Gift: A Meditation on Dying and Giving
  35. With Burning Hearts: A Meditation on the Eucharistic Life
  36. The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey through Anguish to Freedom
  37. Can You Drink the Cup?
  38. Ministry and Spirituality: Three Books in One
  39. Adam: God's Beloved
  40. Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith
  41. Sabbatical Journey: The Final Year
  42. Articles

Books by Nouwen

Sub-series consists of hard and soft cover books or booklets written by Nouwen or containing Nouwen's words, published between 1969 and 1996. The Archives has a variety of editions, printings and translations of his books. It is not certain how Nouwen obtained most of the English versions since, other than a handful of presentation copies, few were personally inscribed to him. Although it may be presumed that some were publisher gifts, since many of the books still have their price tags, it is possible that they were purchased by Nouwen or his associates.

Books contributed to by Nouwen

Sub-series consists of books written between 1974 and 1996 of which Nouwen co-authored, contributed a chapter, provided excerpts from his previously published works, or was interviewed. As well, Nouwen also provided introductions, forewords, prefaces, and recommendations to many books also included in this subseries. In addition to the books are photocopies of Nouwen's contributions to two other books not owned by the Archives. Paper notes and inscriptions within the books suggest that many of the books were given to Nouwen from the authors or publishers.

Border regions of faith: an anthology of religion and social change

Item consists of a book in which Nouwen has written Chapter 42, beginning on p. 347, titled: "Christ of the Americas." The article was first published in America, 102 (April 21, 1984), and reflects, in part, on his feeling that "in order to come to know the living Christ among the people in the northern part of the Americas, I had to be willing to expose myself to the way the living Christ reveals Himself in the southern part of the Americas."

Brady, Joan file

File consists of a mass mail-out letter and a brochure from Clear Light Studio about Joan Brady and her painting called House of Flowers, the mail out is an order form for a reproduction of the print.

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".

Brieven aan Marc: over Jezus en de zin van het leven

Item consists of a book of seven letters; the translated title is: Letters to Marc About Jesus. Nouwen wrote this book in response to a publisher friend named Herman Pijfers, and his suggestion that Nouwen write a book in Dutch. As well, the book was written in collaboration with Marc van Campen, Nouwen's nephew, who agreed to share a 'book of letters' about the spiritual life. The book has been divided into the following: Preface; Letter 1. Jesus: the Heart of Our Existence; Letter 2. Jesus: the God Who Sets Us Free; Letter 3. Jesus: the Compassionate God; Letter 4. Jesus: the Descending God; Letter 5. Jesus: the Loving God; Letter 6. Jesus: the Hidden God; Letter 7. Listening to Jesus; Index of Biblical Quotations.

Brieven van lezers

Item consists of an article which criticizes Nouwen's article "Toekomstige parkeerplaats tussen de sterren" [according to a brief translation].

Broken

This item is a 5- page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Broken’ published in ‘Living Prayer’ by Living Prayer Inc., Barre, VT, Vol. 26, No. 2, March – April 1993, pp. 3 – 7. This item is a slightly abbreviated chapter from Nouwen’s book ‘Life of the Beloved’. Nouwen is writing this as a letter to a secular friend. Nouwen begins by saying ‘Our sufferings and pains are not simply bothersome interruptions of our lives; rather they touch us in our uniqueness…the way I am broken tells you something unique about me’. Nouwen goes on to suggest that the most painful brokenness in society is what he calls ‘inner brokenness – a brokenness of the heart’. He suggests that the reaction of many is to feel rejected, alone and cast out by God. Nouwen offers two ways we may respond to our brokenness: befriending it and second, putting it under the blessing. Nouwen suggests that though looking the brokenness in the eye and befriending it is counter-cultural because we want to move away from pain, it is the way to healing. Nouwen then goes on to write about putting brokenness under the blessing as in fact, a precondition for befriending it. ‘Then our brokenness will gradually come to be seen as an opening toward the full acceptance of ourselves as the Beloved’. Nouwen concludes with some comments about how the music of Leonard Bernstein has helped him to understand what he is now writing about.

Brokenness and community

Item consists of a copy of a manuscript called "Brokenness and community", by Jean Vanier and introduced by Ronald F. Thiemann. The manuscript is a compilation of two speeches delivered by Vanier at Harvard Divinity School's inaugural Harold M. Wit Lecture Series given November 6 and 7, 1988. The speeches are titled "The broken and the oppressed: Source of problems and death, or source of life?" and "Community is caring, bonding, and mission".

Brooklyn, Cathedral of St. James - March 22, 1981

File consists of correspondence and other material regarding Nouwen's participation in the Lenten Vespers series at St. James Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York. The theme of his lecture was "Absurdity to Obedience."

Brothers and sisters in Christ

Item consists of a typescript of "Brothers and Sisters in Christ", a sermon given at the Abbey of the Genesee on August 12, 1979 (Nouwen stayed at the Abbey of the Genesee for six months in 1979). The sermon is regarding the sending of two monks to Brazil. Nouwen speaks of monastic life as a sign to the world that the eternal is in the temporal and that the monks sent will be a sign of that in Brazil. He argues that we are nurturing the eternal in the temporal.

Broughton's file

File consists of Broughton’s Church Goods and Religious Articles Catalogue, Broughton’s Religious Education Resource Catalogue and Broughton’s Family Gift Guide – all three are for the 1990-1991 season.

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).

Bruderhof

File consists of business correspondence concerning the Plough Publishing House, which was run by the Hutterian Brethren. Includes a copy of Christianity Today, March 15, 1985.

Brunnen Verlag

File consists of business correspondence concerning Nouwen's book Our Greatest Gift.

Bulletin of Yale University Divinity School

Item consists of one copy of the Bulletin of Yale University Divinity School, Series 67, Number 8, April 1971, which includes programs for study; there is no mention of Nouwen.

Business meals - 1992

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's 1992 business meals expenses. Includes receipts arranged by month.

Business meals - 1993

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's 1993 business meals expenses. Includes receipts arranged by month.

Business meals - 1994

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's 1994 business meals expenses. Includes invoices and receipts with notes arranged by month.

Business meals and promotion - 1989

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's 1989 business meals and other promotional activities expenses. Includes receipts with notes and invoices arranged by month.

But what then can we do

This item is a one page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘But what then can we do?’ published in Alive Now! November-December, 1991, p. 47. It is the second article by Nouwen featured in this publication. The first article is entitled 'There's a lot of pain...' The theme of this issue is ‘Loneliness’ and this article is identified as an excerpt from Nouwen’s ‘Reaching Out’. Nouwen begins by asking ‘But what then can we do with our essential aloneness which so often breaks into our consciousness as the experience of a desperate sense of loneliness?’ Nouwen goes on to speak of the need to convert our loneliness into a fruitful solitude.

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.

Calendar files

Series consists of files containing correspondence and other material related to Nouwen's day to day engagements. Nouwen received dozens of invitations each month to give lectures or talks, lead retreats, preside at religious occasions, and provide spiritual direction. Requests came from a wide range of institutions, organisations and individuals, the majority having some sort of religious affiliation. Invitations from institutions included university divinity schools, seminaries, hospital pastoral departments, churches, and Christian retreat centres. Invitations from organisations included the National Catholic AIDS Network, the Ministry of Money, and the Archdiocese of Toronto. Invitations from individuals included requests for Nouwen to preside over masses, weddings, funerals, baptisms and ordinations, and those interested in personal spiritual direction. Such requests often came from priests, ministers, pastors, and chaplains. The majority of Nouwen's engagements took place in the Northeastern United States, Southern Ontario, and Holland. However, he also attended events in Illinois, Texas, California, British Columbia, Quebec, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the Ukraine. After Nouwen's move to L'Arche Daybreak in 1986, files were created to plan and document special events associated with his role as pastor. There are files regarding community meetings, community weekends, assistant workshops, visits to other L'Arche communities and meetings of the International Federation of L'Arche.
Generally, when an invitation was accepted a file was created and arranged chronologically according to the date of the event. In some cases the file contains material regarding events scheduled in the same city and in the case of 1985 material regarding an entire months schedule. However, typically the files are organised by event/engagement. In addition to the date of the event the title of the file would often include the name of a person or organisation and/or the event and/or the location of the event. A typical file consists of the initial letter of invitation describing the nature of the request, follow-up correspondence to confirm dates and other arrangements, details regarding Nouwen's role at the event, drafts of promotional material, reference material on the organization(s) involved, the event, the issue and the location, and travel documents. In some cases, the file will also contain handwritten or typed notes, copies of outgoing letters, schedules, programs, bulletins, evaluations completed by attendees, thank you letters and cards from the organiser of the events and others, newspaper clippings of the events and/or the published version of his speech or lecture. Outgoing letters only begin to be seen after 1986 and after that they are not consistent. Much of the correspondence after 1986 is further enriched by the annotations of Nouwen and his assistants Connie Ellis (1986-1992) and Kathy Christie (1992-1996) at L'Arche Daybreak. Other members of the community, including Sue Mosteller, Joe Vorstermans, Nathan Ball and Elizabeth Buckley, also contributed to the files.
The files were created between 1980 and 1996, however, the file titles themselves extend to 1998 because events were often scheduled two or more years in advance. There are no files for January 1982 to April 1985. The files from 1985 contain invitations only from March to August grouped by month. There are no files for June 1987 to May 1990. Approximately 74% of the files in the series are for June 1990 to August 1995. Their are only a small number of files for September 1995 to October 1998, this is likely because Nouwen was on sabbatical from September 1995 to September 1996. The files contain gaps and inconsistencies due to Nouwen's frequent movement between 1982 and 1986 as well as changes in Nouwen's support staff and their differing recordkeeping techniques.
This series provides an excellent overview of Nouwen's schedule of events and specific information regarding his participation at those events. Noteworthy are the handwritten and typed notes used for speaking engagements (some are unpublished) as well as copies of outgoing letters written by Nouwen.

Called from darkness: a Lutheran worship celebration in support of the second special session on disarmament of the United Nations at jazz vespers

This item is a 7 page talk given by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘Called from Darkness’ given to a Lutheran Worship Celebration in support of the Second Special Session on Disarmament of the United Nations at Jazz Vespers, published in Sermons at St. Peter’s Church, Sunday, June 13, 1982. Nouwen identifies his intention in this talk to reflect on a ‘spirituality of peacemaking’ using three key words: prayer, resistance and community. In his discussion of prayer Nouwen first speaks of the difference between speaking out of our needs: for affection, attention, power and speaking from our relationship with God rooted in prayer. ‘Now prayer is that slow process in which we move away from that dark sticky place of our needs into the light of Christ’. Nouwen also identifies prayer as an act of resistance, ‘resistance against this needy, sucking and frightening go-around’. Nouwen then reflects on the word resistance. ‘Resistance means to say No! No! No! against all the forces of death’. Nouwen speaks about the power then of life and our resistance to it and that is our struggle not just in the big things in life but the small. Nouwen goes on to suggest that resistance is not just to say No! but even more to say yes. ‘Resistance in the deepest sense means to continuously proclaim that God is a God of the living, that God is a God of life’. Nouwen also states that ‘Resistance is prayer because it is a proclamation and a confession of the living God’. In discussing the third word ‘community’, Nouwen identifies community as the place of prayer and resistance. The person who acts towards peace with the support of community is rooted in a place of acceptance and forgiveness. Nouwen concludes the talk by saying that he believes the most important point is that ‘community is to be a Eucharistic community’.

Called to be hosts

This item is a 2 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled: Called to be Hosts, published in Faith/At/Work, September, 1976, p 30-31. Nouwen begins the article by stating ‘The call to ministry is the call to be a host to the many strangers passing by. In this world full of strangers…we search for a hospitable place, where life can be found’. Nouwen speaks then of our ambivalent feelings towards the stranger of both fear and attraction and suggests that ‘during the last years strangers have become more subject to hostility than to hospitality’. Nouwen then goes on to speak of the way in which a minister is to offer healing hospitality to the stranger. He speaks of the need to offer a space where the stranger can grow to be himself. ‘This will come to pass only when ministry is undergirded by spirituality, that is, when the outer movement from hostility to hospitality is supported by an inner movement from property to poverty. Poverty means that my identity in the final analysis is not determined by what I can do or think, but by what God’s Spirit can do, say, and think in me.’ Nouwen concludes, ‘When poverty enables us to create a friendly space for the stranger and to convert hostility into hospitality, then the stranger might be willing to show his real face’.

Calvinist Contact

File consists of business correspondence concerning an interview Nouwen did with a representative of Calvinist Contact Publishing Ltd. circa October 20, 1987.

Cambridge Trust Co. - old material

File consists of older material regarding Nouwen's Cambridge Trust retirement account. Includes correspondence, statements, forms, and informational pamphlets.

Cambridge, Jana Kelly - February 10, 1987

File consists of correspondence and other material regarding Nouwen's participation as speaker at the St. Paul Lecture Series, St. Paul Lower Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Includes handwritten notes from Nouwen's talk "The Peace that the World does not Give."

Cambridge, Mass. - October 28-29, 1980

File consists of a letter of thanks from George Rupp, Dean, Harvard University, The Divinity School, regarding Nouwen's visit to the school and possible future plans.

Canada Trust accounting

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's financial situation in 1994. Margaret Sutton collected information regarding Nouwen switching his accounting services to Canada. Includes a conversation with a tax consultant at Canada Trust, a breakdown of Nouwen's accounts in 1994, and a Summit Account Agreement booklet from Canada Trust.

Canada customs

File consists of an invoice from Canada Customs for the import of religious books.

Canadian Broadcasting Center - February 26, 1981

File consists of a letter from producer Tim Bentley of the radio program Open Circuit regarding arrangements to conduct an interview with Nouwen about his book The Wounded Healer and other topics. The letter appears to be confirming arrangements, however, there is nothing to indicate that the interview did take place.

Capital management (Andy McGee)

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's capital management account with McGee Capital Management Ltd (Andy McGee account manager). Includes year-end statements, annual reports and information pamphlets from Fidelity Investments, GT Global, Trimark Investments, Templeton Management, and Mackenzie Financial. Also includes a copy of the final cheque to the Estate of Henri Nouwen to close the account.

Capital punishment file

File consists of a copy of an article on capital punishment called “A spiral of violence”.

Car insurance 1983 - 1994

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's car insurance. Includes correspondence, statements, claim forms, and informational pamphlets and booklets from Hunter, Rowell and Co. Limited, Guardian Insurance, CAA (Canadian Automobile Association), the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, and Honda. Also includes the original owner's manual for 1986 Honda Civic and Certificate of Title and 1983/1984 insurance statement for Nouwen's car in the United States.

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