Joseph A. Francis papers
Scope and Contents
The materials in this collection span the years between 1934 and 1997, and includes much of Bishop Francis' own writings for his speeches and sermons. Race and religion is a frequent topic of his pieces, and the work done for his pastoral letter on racism, "Brothers and Sisters to Us," is included. There are also religious pamphlets and newspapers which feature articles by or about Bishop Francis. The eight photographs in this collection capture Bishop Francis in religious ceremonies at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newark, as well as in the company of non-religious figures such as actor James Earl Jones. Included also are several video and audiotapes of lectures and ceremonies. This collection also includes a great number of awards, honors, and certificates, demonstrating the recognition and honor bestowed upon Bishop Francis by his community.
Conditions Governing Access
Temporarily closed to research.
Conditions Governing Use
All materials available in this collection (unless otherwise noted) are the property of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and Seton Hall University, which reserves the right to limit access to or reproduction of these materials. Reproduction of materials or content is subject to United States copyright restrictions and may be subject to federal or state privacy regulations. Permission to publish exact reproductions must be obtained from the Director of the Archives and Special Collections Center.
Biographical / Historical
Bishop Joseph Francis was ordained as a priest in 1950 and earned his Master's Degree from Catholic University prior to his appointment as the Auxiliary Bishop of Newark, New Jersey. He was only the fourth African American Roman Catholic bishop in the country, and the first ordained in the Northeast. Born in 1923 in Lafayette, Louisiana, Bishop Francis would become a pioneering figure in the discussion of race and religion. His 1979 pastoral letter on racism, "Brothers and Sisters to Us," is well-recognized within the religious community. The founding of Verbum Dei High School in the Watts community of Los Angeles is also a significant accomplishment in Bishop Francis' career. He served there as principal for six years after its founding, expressing a dedication to serving the educational needs of minority communities. In addition, Bishop Francis dedicated much of his time to the Catholic Volunteer Network, serving as Episcopal Advisor and helping in the growth of the program to a national level. He had a profound impact in the spheres of catholic education and racial justice, and was well-respected and admired by his peers and those he served. Bishop Francis died of heart failure, at age 73, in 1997.
2.45 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
Joseph Francis was ordained as a priest in 1950 and became the fourth African American Roman Catholic bishop in the country, and the first ordained in the Northeast. Bishop Francis was a pioneering figure in the discussion of race and religion. The materials in this collection span the years between 1934 and 1997, and includes much of Bishop Francis' own writings for his speeches and sermons.
This collection is arranged into seven series: I. Correspondence II. Professional Papers III. Race and Catholicism IV. Speeches and Sermons V. Photographs VI. Plaques and Ephemera VII. Audiovisual materials
This collection is arranged into seven series:
Preservica Internal URL
Preservica Public URL
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Materials were transferred to the Archives and Special Collections Center from Bishop Joseph A. Francis and from the Archdiocese of Newark.
Existence and Location of Copies
Select items from this collection have been digitized. To view these items, click here.
This collection was processed by Lori Lauterbach in January of 2012. Finding aid written by Lori Lauterbach in 2012; description and finding aid modified, html finding aid created by Tracy M. Jackson and Ben Clark as part of Overhaul Project collection survey, 2012.
- Joseph A. Francis, 1934-1997
- Lori Lauterbach
- January 2012
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- Finding aid written in English.