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University of St. Michael's College, John M. Kelly Library, Special Collections
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Series consists of a draft of Teresa V. O'Neill's thesis and correspondence related to the thesis.

There's a lot of pain

This item is a two page article by Henri Nouwen entitled 'There's a lot of pain...' published in Alive Now! Novemeber-December, 1991, p. 44-45. It is the first article by Nouwen featured in this publication. The theme of this issue is ‘Loneliness’ and this article is identified as an excerpt taken from a lecture Nouwen presented at the Scarritt-Bennett Center. The article discusses the pain and brokenness of human relationships and love and heart given and shared by God.

Theology of the word

Item consists of handwritten notes and a partial typescript of "Theology of the Word", a sermon and lecture given by Nouwen. He argues that in a culture where words are overworked, the word of God is full of power and beauty because it is alive, active and fruitful.

Theology diploma from Corpus Studiosorum Nobiomagensium Carolus Magnus

File consists of one theology diploma from Corpus Studiosorum Nobiomagensium Carolus Magnus. This diploma is likely Nouwen's degree from the seminary, which he received after his ordination. The diploma has a raised red wax seal with a ribbon. Diploma is dated November 5, 1957.

Theology degree records

Sub-series consists of materials related to Nouwen’s time pursuing his doctoral (doctoraal) degree in Theology at Nijmegen University. It appears as though Nouwen received the degree conferred upon completion of the doctoral exams although his thesis was not accepted. Note of December 18, 2013: file 319 unequivocally suggests that Nouwen pursued a degree in psychology (or to be precise in the Social Sciences) in early 1971. See also file 329, box 290 which contains a more elaborate outline of the thesis in question.

Theologisch Dagboek 1970 - 1971

File consists of Nouwen’s diary, titled "Theologisch Dagboek" [Theological Journal] which documents Nouwen's Theology studies from October 1970 to July 1971. Volume also contains brief reading notes.

Theatre and Company - March 14, 1992

File consists of correspondence and other material from Stuart Scardon-Watties, regarding Nouwen's attendance at the play "The Shunning" performed by Theatre and Company in Kitchener, Ontario. Includes Connie Ellis' response that Nouwen would attend on March 14th and bring three members of L'Arche Daybreak. Includes an information sheet on the play and the theatre company.

The wounded healer: ministry in contemporary society

Item consists of a book which Nouwen wrote about being a minister in contemporary society. The book has been divided into the following: Introduction, The Four Open Doors; Chapter I: Ministry in a Dislocated World, The Search of Nuclear Man; Chapter II: Ministry for a Rootless Generation, Looking into the Fugitive's Eyes; Chapter III: Ministry to a Hopeless Man, Waiting for Tomorrow; Chapter IV: Ministry by a Lonely Minister, The Wounded Healer; Conclusion, A Forward Thrust.
As is stated on the front flap: "Noting that modern man is above all a suffering man--he is psychologically wounded by lack of hope, by loneliness, by the predicament of rootlessness--Professor Nouwen explains why the minister of today can only help others deal with these problems if he is willing to go beyond his professional role and leave himself open as a fellow human being with his own wounds and suffering."

The wind is rising: prayer ways for active people handout for 1985 lecture course

  • CA ON00389 F4-7-1-2197
  • File
  • [distributed between February 19 - March 14, 1985]
  • Part of Henri Nouwen fonds

File consists of a newspaper titled "The Wind is Rising: Prayer ways for active people". Editors of this newspaper are William R. Callahan, SJ, and Francine Cardman. The publication date is given as 1978. The newspaper has been labelled as #21 and someone has written "please do not hand out - extras at the Carriage house".
A copy of this handout has not been included in the bound volume for this course.

The way of the heart: desert spirituality and contemporary ministry

Item consists of a book which originated as a seminar Nouwen held at Yale Divinity School on the spirituality of the desert and then as Convocation lectures at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas and at the National Convention of Pastoral Counselors in Denver. The book has been divided into the following: Prologue; Solitude; Silence; Prayer; Epilogue; Notes.
As is stated on the back cover of the book: . . . ."Solitude shows us the way to let our behavior be shaped not by the compulsions of the world but by our new mind, the mind of Christ. Silence prevents us from being suffocated by our wordy world and teaches us to speak the Word of God. Finally, unceasing prayer gives solitude and silence their real meaning. . . . The 'way of the heart' leads us not only to a fuller encounter with God but also to a more creative relationship with our fellow human beings."

The way of living faith: a spirituality of liberation

Item consists of a book in which Nouwen has written the foreword, stating in part: "Segundo Galilea has not simply written a book to help Latin American Christians with their spiritual life. He has developed a Christian spirituality that gladly receives the new insight and 'passion' of the people of God learned in their long, hard journey toward freedom."

The violence of everyday living

Item consists of a copy of a magazine article called "The violence of everyday living" by Paul Connolly. The article is about violence.

The trusting heart & the primacy of the mystical life: holy enough to walk on water

This item is a 10 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘The Trusting Heart & the Primacy of the Mystical Life’ published in the New Oxford Review, Vol. LIII, No.8, October 1986, pp.5 – 14. The article is identified as the second 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 October 17, 1985 and end November 26. The first two entries focus on Pere Thomas’ response to Nouwen’s concern about his need for affection. He said Pere Thomas speaks about trust in human relationships and the ‘heart as the deepest source of the spiritual life…’ Nouwen writes of a visit from some friends and an experience at Mass with 3 handicapped men who were the altar servers. There are then more reflections on the mystical life, about the need for a new kind of religious order that will focus on peace, a new kind of ministry Nouwen sees he needs for the Assistants at L’Arche, his failure as he sees it to pray often enough for the dead. Nouwen then writes at length about the visit of his friend Jonas, with whom he had been angry when he failed to come before. He and Jonas speak about their relationship but Nouwen also notes their different perceptions of l’Arche. Nouwen offers reflections on his tendency to give from his abundance, ‘I see clearly how far I am from being like the two widows.(1Kings:17 – 26 and Mark 12: 41 – 44) I also realize that I cannot force myself to become like them. My spiritual task is to love God more each day, so that the many things that occupy my heart and mind will gradually lose their power over me’. Nouwen writes of a visit from Fr. George Strohmeyer of Erie, Pa. L’Arche and concludes this articles entries with a reflection of Abraham’s sacrifice of Issac.

The transcendent quality of prayer

This item is a one page article by Henri Nouwen entitled: The Transcendent Quality of Prayer, published in Faith/At/Work , March 1976, p.26. Nouwen begins the article by stating, ’Prayer reveals to us the real nature of things. It is the affirmation of life not as a possession to be grabbed and hoarded but as a gift to be shared’. Nouwen then goes on to speak of the difference between living as if people, things, ideas are to be grabbed and possessed or as if these things are received as a gift to be shared. He suggests that through prayer the latter becomes a reality to the life of the person who prays. Nouwen concludes the article in the following way, ‘Through prayer we discover that people are more than their character – that they are persons in the sense of per sonare - sounding through. When we become personas to each other, we sound through a peace greater than we ourselves can make and a love deeper and wider than we ourselves can contain. When we become persons we do indeed become transparent to each other and the Lord can speak through us to us’.

The taste of new wine

Item consists of a book in which Nouwen has written the foreword, stating in part: "The Taste of New Wine is today as important as it was when it was first published. . . .Indeed God's spirit blows where it wants, and the renewal of the church in large part, comes from the people of God who trust in their own spiritual gifts. . . ."

The suffering Christ: peacemaking across the Americas

This item is a 4 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘The Suffering Christ’, published in The Other Side, December 1983, Issue 147, pp. 16 – 19. This article is identified as an adaptation of a talk given by Henri Nouwen during a vigil for peace and non-intervention in Central America which was held in Philadelphia, Fall 1983. Nouwen opens the article by stating, ‘As people of God we are called to know God. Yet we who live in North America will never fully know God if we ignore the way God speaks to us through the people of South America’. This theme runs through the article which asks people to become involved in the struggles and sufferings currently in Central and South America. Nouwen describes his own attempts to understand what is happening there by going himself to Nicaragua. He states that the more people he talked to, the more confused he became and the more aware of deep divisions even among Christians. He asks ‘How can one live in such a world and be faithful? How can one live in a country in which even the Christians are growing more and more suspicious of one another? How can one live in that world and find one’s own spiritual center?’ Nouwen’s answer is to look at the ‘deep truth of those words we repeat so often: “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again”. For Nouwen there is the revelation of God’s suffering in the men, women and children of Central America; Nouwen then sees that because Christ is risen ‘that Jesus has overcome death; he has overcome evil and agony. Nouwen then states, ‘“Christ will come again”. What does this mean for us today?’ His answer is that Christ will not ask us if we have been successful but what we have done to serve the least of Christ’s people. Nouwen concludes by asking, ‘Are we willing to be weak and vulnerable with those who suffer? Are we willing to sit in solidarity with them and share their sorrow, their anxiety, their agony?’.

The spirituality of peacemaking

This item is a 3 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘The Spirituality of Peacemaking’ published in The Lutheran, February 5, 1986, pp. 12 – 14. Nouwen writes of the peacemaker as one who prays. ‘Prayer is the beginning and the end, the source and the fruit, the core and the content, the basis and the goal of all peacemaking’. Nouwen describes peace as a divine gift which is received in prayer. It is in prayer, he suggests, that we find ourselves part of wounded humanity, one like those who create war. ‘Only when we are willing repeatedly to confess that we too have dirty hands even when we work for peace, can we fully understand the hard task of peacemaking’. Nouwen references the gospels and the words of Jesus about the prayer of the peacemaker and the receipt of the gift of love in the relationship with Jesus that comes from prayer. ‘Nothing is more important in peacemaking than that it flows from a deep and undeniable experience of love’. Nouwen concludes, ‘Prayer – living in the presence of God – is the most radical peace action we can imagine’.

The spirituality of peacemaking

This item is a 12 page article/talk by Henri Nouwen entitled The Spirituality of Peacemaking, given on the occasion of the celebration of the anniversary of the Norbertine Foundation of the Daylesford Abbey in Paoli, on November 18, 1982. Nouwen opens by suggesting that various of the Beatitudes ‘jump out’ at certain historical times. He states his sense that for this time the question is ,’how are we going to live out “blessed are the peacemakers”? Nouwen states that this is a question for all Christians and all churches. Nouwen states that he wishes to use the words of Jesus, ‘May you have peace in Me; in the world you will have trouble. I have come to conquer the world’. Nouwen goes on to say that he wishes to use these words to speak about peace in terms of prayer, resistance and community. Nouwen suggests that human beings act out neediness, woundedness, aggression and this is a barrier to peace. ‘But I say that Jesus Christ came to take us out of that interlocking world of needs…Prayer and the life of prayer is the life in which we move out of that dwelling place of needing and move towards the house of the Lord’. Nouwen follows this by suggesting that prayer gives us the ability to resist evil, to resist being overcome by suffering and death. Finally, Nouwen states that ‘it is the community that helps us to see the true meaning of prayer and resistance’. Nouwen concludes by stating that ‘we are a Eucharistic people and that is to be peacemakers’.

The spirituality of peacemaking

This item is a 4 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘The Spirituality of Peacemaking’ published in The Church Herald of the Reformed Church in America, Vol. XLIII, No. 17, October 3, 1986, pp. 5 -7 & 27. This article is identified as a first of two on peacemaking. Nouwen begins the article by stating, ‘A peacemaker prays. Prayer is the beginning and the end, the source and the fruit, the core and the content, the basis and the goal of all peacemaking’. Nouwen goes on to discuss the difficulty of many to find time for prayer and the very mixed motives we have even when we do good works. ‘Why is it so hard to go beyond this strange moral exchange in which every good deed has a price attached it? Why is it that our needs often spoil even the most generous gesture?’ Nouwen goes on to say that it is in prayer that we can come to know ourselves and to grow to be free from the self-deceit he speaks of. He warns of peacemaking based on fear or a need to know what others think of us. Nouwen says,’ Peacemaking is a work of love and love casts out fear’. Nouwen concludes by stating, ‘Prayer – living in the presence of God – is the most radical peace action we can imagine’.

The spiritual life: inward disciplines

This item is a two page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Inward Disciplines: The Spiritual Life’, published by Alive now!, March/April, 1992, pp. 26-7. This item is a short excerpt from a lecture by Henri Nouwen at the Scarritt-Bennett Center, 1991. Nouwen begins by quoting from an unknown translation of Ps. 139. Nouwen then states ‘The spiritual life starts at the place where you can hear God’s voice’. Nouwen concludes this short excerpt by stating that the spiritual life also starts ‘where you dare to claim the first love’.

The sixth parliament of George III. 1798-1800

File consists of a draft of Teresa V. O'Neill's thesis entitled "The sixth parliament of George III. 1798-1800." O'Neill submitted this thesis for her MA in Modern Irish History at the University College of Dublin, for which she received First Class Honours when she graduated in 1943.

O'Neill, Teresa V.

The silence of God

Item consists of two draft typescripts of "The Silence of God", a Lenten meditation regarding Jesus before the Sanhedrin, Pilate and Herod. Nouwen argues that as Jesus stands before his accusers he is silent, not out of disdain or arrogance, but because those asking him to perform are doing so from curiosity and sensationalism. Nouwen suggests that Jesus only speaks when we come with a real desire to know him and receive his word into our hearts. This is one meditation in a Lenten series given by Nouwen at Battell Chapel in 1980.

The selfless way of Christ

This item is a 4 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled ‘The Selfless Way of the Christ: Downward mobility as Christian vocation’, published in Sojourners, June , 1981, pp. 12- 15. This is the first of a three part series (see July and August 1981). Nouwen’s introduction notes that ministry ‘is a true witness only when it emerges out of a genuine personal encounter, a true experience of love’. He goes on to say that this personal encounter and love is with Jesus Christ and these articles will probe the ‘direct relationship between our ministry and our spiritual life… [and] the radical claim the gospel puts upon us’. Nouwen writes that this commitment in ministry must be all inclusive, total. ‘One cannot be a little bit for Christ’. After the introduction the first section is entitled ‘Upward Mobility’ Here, Nouwen speaks about the reality that our society values more than anything, the idea that upward mobility is good and to fail in this is a failure of life. In the second section entitled ‘Downward Mobility’, Nouwen states that the ‘story of our salvation stands radically over and against the philosophy of upward mobility’. Nouwen examines a number of biblical quotations which support this. Nouwen concludes the section by stating that ‘following Jesus on the downward road means entering into a new life, the life of the Spirit of Jesus himself’. Nouwen entitles his final section ‘The Spiritual Life’, Nouwen asks if this downward mobility can really be an option, if it is really too much and needs to be mitigated. Nouwen’s theme here is that the disciple, the minister who listens to the Spirit of Christ will be free to take the downwardly mobile path.

The road to Daybreak: a spiritual journey

Item consists of a book representing Nouwen's day-by-day account of his first year at L'Arche in Trosly, France from August 13, 1985 to July 8, 1986. The book has been divided into the following: Prologue; 1. Parents and Children; 2. Following Jesus; 3. Darkness and Light; 4. First Glimpses of a New Vocation; 5. The Primacy of the Heart; 6. Feeling the Pain; 7. Forgiving the Hurt; 8. Jesus in the Center; 9. The Important and the Urgent; 10. Poverty and Wealth; 11. A Clear Call; 12. Going Home; 13. The Struggle of Prayer; 14. Deep Roots; 15. Choosing Life; 16. The Descending Way; 17. Passion, Death, and Resurrection; 18. Larger Connections; 19. The Gift of Friendship; 20. One Among Many; 21. A Hard but Blessed Vocation; 22. Contrasts and Choices; 23. Endings and Beginnings; Epilogue.
As is stated on the back cover: "The noncompetitive life with mentally handicapped people, their gifts of welcoming me regardless of name or prestige, and the persistent invitation to 'waste some time' with them opened in me a place that until then had remained unavailable to me, a place where I could hear the gentle invitation of Jesus to dwell with Him."

The return of the prodigal son: a meditation on fathers, brothers, and sons

Item consists of a book written by Nouwen regarding his experience with and reflection on Rembrandt's The Return of the Prodigal Son. The book has been divided into the following: The Story of Two Sons and Their Father; Prologue: Encounter with a Painting; Introduction: The Younger Son, the Elder Son, and the Father; Part I: The Younger Son, 1. Rembrandt and the Younger Son, 2. The Younger Son Leaves, 3. The Younger Son's Return; Part II: The Elder Son, 4. Rembrandt and the Elder Son, 5. The Elder Son Leaves, 6. The Elder Son's Return; Part III: The Father, 7. Rembrandt and the Father, 8. The Father Welcomes Home, 9. The Father Calls for a Celebration; Conclusion: Becoming the Father; Epilogue: Living the Painting; Notes; Acknowledgments.
As is stated on the back cover: ". . . .The painting has become a mysterious window through which I can step into the Kingdom of God. It is like a huge gate that allows me to move to the other side of existence and look from there back into the odd assortment of people and events that make up my daily life."

The published and unpublished Anglican sermons of John Henry Newman : Prolegomena to an Edition

File consists of a photocopy of Pett's thesis, "The published and unpublished Anglican sermons of John Henry Newman : Prolegomena to an Edition". Originally stored in three boxes, the thesis includes two or three copies of each page, although pages 2, 26, 47, 87, 114, 137, 155, 183, 214, 255, 270, 359, appear to be missing. This may be an error in pagination.

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