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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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"An Evening of Reflections with Henri Nouwen" poster

Item consists of one poster advertising "An Evening of Reflections with Henri Nouwen", which took place on November 11, 1993 at Saint James Church (New York, NY). Two copies of the poster are autographed by Nouwen.

"From Magic to Faith" lecture notes

File consists of 23 typed pages of a lecture titled "From Magic to Faith," which discusses the religious development of individuals from childhood to adulthood from a psychological perspective. The lecture was most likely presented in Nouwen's "summer school" course Psychology 121: "Special Topics" : Psychology of Religion in 1967. Student assignments for the summer school course mention their interest of the psychological development of individuals from infancy through adulthood.

"I spoke...as a brother"

Item consists of a copy of an article called "I spoke...as a brother" by Lance Morrow. The article is about forgiveness and pardoning.

"Toekomstige parkeerplaats tussen de sterren"

Item consists of an article which defends Nouwen's article "Toekomstige parkeerplaats tussen de sterren" after an accusation of Nouwen of being "ensconced behind the walls of the Pius - convict" [according to a brief translation].

"Vieren van elkaar": in gesprek met Henri Nouwen

Item consists of an interview titled "Vieren van elkaar" ["Celebrating together"]. Item also includes Nouwen's handwritten notes that he made during the interview. The notes include his drawings of the time-line and a wagon-wheel like figure with a dark centre.

'What do you know by heart?': learning spirituality

This item is a 3 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, “‘What do you know by heart?’: Learning Spirituality”, published in Sojourners, August , 1977, pp. 14 – 16. Nouwen begins this article outlining his theme by using a story which he says ‘expresses in a simple but powerful way the importance of spiritual formation in theological education’. Nouwen then goes on to speak of the inadequacy in theological studies of ‘head’ knowledge. What is also needed he says is ‘heart’ knowledge; spiritual formation. Nouwen suggests three themes which he says are important in the context of theological education: Lectio Divina, silence and guidance. By Lectio he means the prayerful, meditative reading of scripture. By silence he suggests the ground for the word to bear fruit. He says, ‘In silence the word of scripture can be received and meditated on.’ Nouwen talks of guidance as the need for someone competent to help the student through the pitfalls of spiritual formation. Nouwen then goes on to stress in addition that ‘Christian spirituality is in essence communal’. ‘All of this suggests strongly that spiritual formation in theological education includes ongoing formation in community life’. Nouwen sees the need then for emphasis on the communal in classroom, worship, and responsibility for one another. He says, ‘So spiritual life is always communal. It flows from community and it creates community’. Nouwen concludes the article by stressing the role of the Holy Spirit in all spiritual life and ends with the following conclusion:’ Spiritual formation gives us a free heart able to see the face of God in the midst of a hardened world and allows us to use our skills to make that face visible to all who live in darkness’.

1989 tax instalments

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's 1989 income tax payment instalments. Includes two Instalment Guide for Individuals 1989 from Revenue Canada. Also includes two statements from Revenue Canada.

1989 tax material

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's 1989 income tax. Includes a record of cheque books kept by Joe Sarno for Nouwen's Connecticut Bank and Trust account. Includes statements from the Connecticut Bank and Trust account. Also includes copies of statements from Nouwen's Midland Bank account (in England).

1989 tax material

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's 1989 income tax. Includes ledger pages kept by Joe Sarno documenting Nouwen's Master Card, monthly expenses, European trips, a US cheque book, and Visa credit card. The ledger pages are accompanied by statements, reports, and receipts with notes. Also includes a list of bank deposits and additional expenses.

1990 - 1992 chequebook

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's chequing account. Includes a deposit/cheque record book, invoices, and statements.

1990 royalty statements

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's 1990 royalty statements. Includes statements from Harper and Row, Ave Maria Press, and Credence publishers.

1990 tax information

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's 1991 income tax. Includes ledger pages kept by Joe Sarno for expenses and revenue. Includes monthly expense summaries from Connie Ellis, Bank of Montreal and Revenue Canada statements. Also includes an Instalment Guide for Individuals 1991 from Revenue Canada.

1990 tax material

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's 1990 income tax. Includes a cheque record book, bank statements, royalty statements, receipts and invoices, and Revenue Canada statements. Also includes correspondence with the US Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, about an ongoing filing issue and the Instalment Guide for Individuals 1990 from Revenue Canada.

1991 Diocesan Clergy Conference, Anglican Church of Canada - June 3 - 5, 1991

File consists of correspondence and other material regarding Nouwen's leadership with Bishop J.C. Fricker at the Diocesan Clergy Conference for the Anglican Church of Canada, at the Trent Conference Center, Peterborough, Ontario. Includes minutes from planning meetings, agenda for the conference, liturgical materials for each of the services, and details about the Trent Conference center. Also includes many letters to Nouwen reflecting on the conference, notes on the conference in Nouwen's hand, an a letter from Nouwen detailing how the conference should be structured. The theme of the conference was "Living the Spiritual Life - A Conference of Priestly Spirituality."

1991 RCA Convocation (Reformed Church of America) - July 25 - 28, 1991

File consists of correspondence and other material regarding Nouwen's participation in the RCA (Reformed Church of America) 1991 Convention "Praise and Promise" in University of California, Irvine, California. The majority of the correspondence is with Harold De Roo, Barbara Cullum, and Mary Jo Waters. Nouwen's talk was entitled "Loving God and Others." Includes travel itinerary, airline tickets, list of expenses, receipts, map, registration form, program, and newsletter. Also includes letters of response from both Nouwen and Connie. A video was made of the proceedings and sent to Nouwen from Barbara Cullum.

1991 tax return

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's 1991 income tax. Includes statements from the Mutual Group, Cambridge Trust Company, and Revenue Canada. Includes 1991 Tax Guides from Revenue Canada, statement of Income and Expenses for 1992, a copy of T1 General 1991 Income Tax Return, correspondence with Revenue Canada, and a copy of Joe Sarno's Power of Attorney.

1992 statements for taxes

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's 1992 income tax. Includes correspondence from Connie Ellis and Lydia Banducci including monthly summaries of expenses, copies of Bank of Montreal statements and deposit book. Also includes copies of some invoices and statements from Revenue Canada.

1992 tax return

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's 1992 income tax. Includes correspondence from Joe Sarno regarding Nouwen's financial situation including statements of income and expenses. Includes ledger pages from Sarno for deposits and expenses. Includes statements from Chase Visa credit card, Union Trust Master Card, Union Trust retirement account, Fleet Bank, and Revenue Canada. Also includes invoices and receipts for travel expenses.

1992 tax return

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's 1992 income tax. Includes a copy of the T1 General 1992 Income Tax Return. Includes receipts, statements, and a Guide from Revenue Canada. Includes documentation from Bank of Montreal, Friends of L'Arche, Fleet Bank, Mutual group, and from publishers.

1993 expenses detail

  • CA ON00389 F4-6-3-1425-1, 1425-2, 1425-3
  • File
  • February 1993 - April 1994
  • Part of Henri Nouwen fonds

File consists of three file folders of material regarding Nouwen's 1993 tax return. File (1) includes receipts with notes from February to July 1993, many from Nouwen's trip to the Netherlands. File (2) includes receipts with notes from July to August 1993. File (3) includes receipts with notes from September to December 1993. Also includes Master Card and Visa credit card statements for 1993.

1993 tax information

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's 1993 tax return. Includes correspondence to Sarno from Nouwen's office. Includes royalty statements, retirement fund statements, donation receipts, and statements from Fleet Bank. Includes invoices for travel expenses, liturgical supplies, books, and couriers. Some material is original and some copies.

1993 tax information

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's 1993 tax return. Includes monthly summary of expenditures and copies of Bank of Montreal deposit slips and statements. Also includes statements from Cambridge Trust, Union Trust, and TIAA CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association College Retirement Equities Fund).

1993 tax return

File consists of material regarding Nouwen's 1993 tax return. Includes tax forms from Revenue Canada, Friends of L'Arche, banks, retirement funds, donation receipts, and publishers. Includes T1 General 1993 Tax Return forms, correspondence, and statements from Revenue Canada. Also includes the 1993 Tax Guide from Revenue Canada. Most of the materials are photocopies.

25th Anniversary of Nouwen's Ordination

File consists of materials related to the planning of the celebration event for the 25th anniversary of Nouwen's ordination. Contents of file are as follows:
Folder 1 contains the 25th Ordination Anniversary list of invited guests and addresses.
Folder 2 contains the guest book from the event, and the RSVP cards from those invited to the event, as well as some brief correspondence from invited guests, and an administrative list containing information regarding accommodations for the invited guests and their arrival times.
Folder 3 contains administrative information for the planning and costs of Nouwen's celebration party, as well as a list of gifts received.
Folder 4 contains correspondence from invited guests regarding travel plans, information on where guests are staying and arriving, and a sample invitation to the celebration.
Folder 5 contains a typed copy of the speech by John Mogabgab titled "Go and Speak!" for Henri Nouwen's Silver Jubilee on July 21, 1982 at the Swarthmore College Amphitheater. Mogabgab writes about Nouwen's writing and vocation, and talks about the Genesee Diary and Compassion, and Nouwen as a writer.

7th Annual Canadian Association of Christian Therapists (A.C.T.) Conference "The Abuse and Use of Power" - May 4 -5, 1991

File consists of correspondence, with Kenneth Fung, and other material regarding Nouwen speaking at the 7th Annual Canadian A.C.T. Conference at the Mount Carmen Spiritual Centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Nouwen spoke on "Healing the Wounded Healer." Includes schedule, flyer, and notes from the conference. Also includes a travel itinerary for a trip to New York where Nouwen attended the wedding of Fred Bratman and Robin.

A contemporary monastic experience

Item consists of a typescript of "A Contemporary Monastic Experience", a talk given on Holy Thursday. Nouwen describes the death and resurrection of Jesus, not so much as an event that happened in the past, but as the Christ event that is being realized in us in the unfolding liturgical year. Living the liturgical year in the monastery allows one to 'live' the event without as many illusions about God or self, primarily because of the desert-like quality of monastic life.

A critical analysis

This item consists of a 4 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘A Critical Analysis’ published in Ave Maria National Catholic Weekly, 3 June 1967, p. 11-13, 30. Nouwen discusses the rise and popularity of the Pentecostal movement at Notre Dame University in Indiana and states that the article ‘is an attempt to clarify certain issues and to be of some help in an honest evaluation’. Nouwen looks at the phenomenon from three perspectives: 1) A Historical Perspective: He writes of the past and current religious atmosphere at Notre Dame. Here he credits an article by Killian McDonnell. O.S.B. (The Ecumenical Significance of the Pentecostal Movement) where there is a discussion of the ‘sobriety’ and ‘objectivity’ of Roman Catholic liturgy in contrast to the more emotional freedom and sense of belonging in the Pentecostal services. Nouwen suggests that this latter may answer a need in the new more ambitious and competitive atmosphere at the university. 2) A Psychological Perspective. Here Nouwen asks how we can evaluate this new movement by asking several questions: Does it heal or hurt? He suggests that evidence leads to a conclusion that while there may be a short term benefit ‘it is very doubtful that it will cure deep mental suffering’. He also asks ‘Can it be dangerous’? He states that ‘for those who are not prepared every inducement of a strong emotion can break and do serious harm. He also suggests that for those who do not receive the ‘gifts’ such as tongues or joy there then may be the question ‘what is wrong with me’. This leads to the need for direction, guidance and care. Finally he asks: Does it create community? Nouwen suggests that the powerful emotions of belonging and sharing, may risk creating a community that is inward and elitist. ‘the Pentecostal movement creates a situation of oneness and togetherness, which makes the community highly self-centered and hinders the development of the autonomous Christian…’. 3) A Theological Perspective: here Nouwen is asking if the Pentecostal movement is reflecting the theological developments of Vatican II and suggests that it may not meet the new stress on incarnational theology. He concludes the article by stating: ‘the new wave of Pentecostalism at Notre Dame University obviously answers a burning need in many students. It worries many who are concerned about the effects on the mental health of some…It places heavy responsibility on the leaders of the movement, and it disturbs many theologians’ but it also offers a chance to come to a new realization of the crucial importance of the valid religious experience – as an authentic part of the Christian life’.

A cry for mercy: prayers from the Genesee

Item consists of a book of prayers which Nouwen wrote during his six-month stay, February to August 1979, with the Trappist Monks of the Abbey of the Genesee in upstate New York. The book has been divided into the following: Prologue; I February-March: A fearful heart; II March-April: A cry for mercy; III April-May: Rays of hope; IV May-June: The power of the Spirit; V June-July: The needs of the world; VI July-August: A grateful heart; Epilogue.
As is stated on the back cover: "These contemporary prayers speak powerfully of one man's search for a closer relationship with his God and of his struggle to confront his own inner turmoil."

A different accent

Item consists of a book which features Nouwen in a chapter "Peace", subtitled "Living peace" dated April 28, 1983 and beginning on p. 35.

A dream after cardiac surgery

Item consists of an offprint of an article called "A dream after cardiac surgery" by Paul W. Pruyser. The article is about the author's recollection and analysis of a dream he had after undergoing cardiac surgery.

A dry roof and a cow: dreams and portraits of our neighbours

Item consists of a pamphlet in which Nouwen has written the introduction, stating: "The people portrayed in the book 'are in touch with something larger than a wish for a gift from a stranger who might come along and show pity on them. They are in touch with a dream that makes them visionaries of a new future.'"

A dry roof and a cow: dreams and portraits of our neighbours

Item consists of a book in which Nouwen has written the introduction, stating in part: "I trust that, as we let the words and images in this book penetrate our hearts, we will experience a deep desire to do whatever possible to make the dream of a worldwide community of love and peace become a reality."

A glimpse behind the mirror: reflections on death and life

This item is an 11 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘A Glimpse behind the Mirror: Reflections on Death and Life’ published in Weavings, A Journal of the Christian Spiritual Life, Vol. IV, No. 6, November/December 1989, PP. 13 – 23. This article is about Nouwen’s experience with possible death after a road accident. Nouwen begins the article by describing the accident, his experience of the hospital emergency room and intensive care ward. Nouwen describes his gradual awareness that he might die; that he was at peace. ‘I kept thinking that dying was quite possible and that I had to prepare myself and my friends for it. And so I let myself enter a place I had never been before: the portal of death.’ Nouwen describes his experience of the presence of the love of Jesus and his deep sense of wanting to make the journey of dying to life. Nouwen is hesitant however because he knows there are relationships unhealed and forgiveness not yet given nor received. Nouwen slowly realizes that he will not die and believes that he has work to do. ‘I believe that I am asked to proclaim the love God in a new way.’ Pondering the way Jesus was in the world Nouwen asks, ‘Can I become like Jesus and witness to what I have seen? Yes, I can live in God and speak to the human reality’. Nouwen concludes the article with a quote from Phil. 1:21 -26, words of Paul that Nouwen hopes will be his guide.

A glimpse of the "gay world" in San Francisco & the "fast world" in Los Angeles: struggling to remain anchored in Jesus

This item is a 5 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Struggling to remain anchored in Jesus, published in the New Oxford Review, July-August 1987, pp. 5 – 9. This item is part 10 and the final installment of a series of articles written during the year that Nouwen was resident at L’Arche, Trosly-Breuil , France. The items date from May 31, 1986 to July 6, 1986. The first entry describes a visit Henri and a friend make to the Castro district of San Francisco, a gay area. He writes of seeing the fearful, lonely faces of men struggling with the awareness of AIDS. Nouwen concludes the entry stating that his friend commented, ‘I am glad you came. There are too few people who mention his Name in the district. There are so many negative associations with his Name and still he is the greatest source of hope.’ The next entry describes his visit to Los Angeles and the atmosphere of what he describes as ‘the enormous superficiality of our culture’. Nouwen then flies to Madison, Wisconsin for a visit with Parker and Sally Palmer to discuss theological education and a possible one-week summer institute for seminary professors. Palmer and Nouwen discuss the need for theological students to have spiritual help, not to separate theology and spirituality. Nouwen notes that: ‘the study of theology must have the quality of prayer; theological study must also foster the creation of communities of faith… and finally, the study of theology must always lead to witness’. The final three entries are written when Nouwen returns to France and finds himself assessing his year there. He writes of wanting to share with Nathan but having to wait to do that, he notes that he feels scattered and finds it hard to pray for an hour in the morning, he is not sleeping well and feels ‘somewhat indifferent’ but not depressed. Nouwen realizes that he has not really got to know the handicapped people as well as he hoped. In the last entry Nouwen notes that he is leaving Trosly, will visit his family, go to Boston and then on to Daybreak for a three year commitment. He notes three graces from his time at L’Arche: being in Europe again, renewing and making friendships, and beginning to make a deeper contact with the handicapped.

A letter of consolation

Item consists of a book which Nouwen wrote as a letter of consolation to his father six months after the death of Henri's mother.

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