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Joseph A. Francis papers

 Collection
Identifier: ADN 0003-011
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.

Dates

  • 1934-1997

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.

Extent

2.45 Linear Feet

Overview

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.

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.

Arrangement

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 Preservica Access

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.

Related Materials

John J. O'Connor papers, 1873-1928 (bulk 1900-1927), ADN 0002.004, in the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center.

John M. Osterreicher papers, 1920-2000, Mss 0053. The Monsignor Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, Walsh Library, Seton Hall University.

Processing Information

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.
Title
Joseph A. Francis, 1934-1997
Author
Lori Lauterbach
Date
January 2012
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
  • TypeCollection

Repository Details

Part of the The Monsignor Field Archives & Special Collection Center Repository

Contact:
Archives, Walsh Library
400 South Orange Ave
South Orange NJ 07079 US
973-761-9476