Special Collections 
	and Archives

Guidelines for Interlibrary Loans CNAMB Historical Note/ Scope and Content

BUREAU OF CATHOLIC INDIAN MISSIONS RECORDS

THE CATHOLIC NEGRO-AMERICAN MISSION BOARD (CATHOLIC BOARD FOR MISSION WORK AMONG COLORED PEOPLE)

HISTORICAL NOTE/ SCOPE AND CONTENT

Records of the three agencies of the Black and Indian Mission Office -- the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, the Black and Indian Mission Collection (Commission for Catholic Missions among Colored People and Indians) and The Catholic Negro-American Mission Board (Catholic Board for Mission Work among Colored People), which support Catholic evangelization in the United States and dependent territories for African Americans and Native Americans.

Gift of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, 1977-[ongoing].  Processed by Philip C. Bantin, 1977-1986, and Mark G. Thiel, CA (Certified Archivist), 1986-[ongoing].  Selected series microfilmed, 1980-[ongoing].  De Rancé, Incorporated (Milwaukee), provided generous support for the initial acquisition and processing of records, 1976-1980.  See e-Archives for select materials available online.

Restrictions: Restricted records are described below in the Scope and Content Notes. Access to these records requires permission in writing from the Black and Indian Mission Office, 2021 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20006-4207. Phone: (202) 331-8542. Newsletter: The Sentinel. Website: Black and Indian Mission Office. In addition, the researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of libel, privacy, and copyright which may be involved in the use of these records. Consult an archivist for further information.

Historical Note

Notable events: Notable events among Catholic African Americans.

1565 Black Catholics from Spain and the Caribbean were involved in the settlement of Saint Augustine, Florida.
1738 Free Black Catholics settled Santa Teresa de Mose, Florida.
1781 Many Black and Indian Catholics from Mexico were involved in the settlement of Los Angeles, California.
1785 Father John Carroll, the Prefect Apostolic of the United States, wrote to the Vatican about his pastoral concerns for Black Catholics, many of who then resided in Maryland.
1875-1900 Bishop James Augustine Healy (1830-1900) served as Bishop of Portland in Maine and became the first African-American Catholic bishop in the United States.
1793 Black Catholics from Haiti settled Fells Point, Maryland, near Baltimore.
1829 Mother Elizabeth Lange (1784-1882), O.S.P., and others began religious life in Baltimore as the Oblate Sisters of Providence, which became the first Black community of women religious in the United States.
1837 Henriette DeLile, a mixed-race African American, founded the Sisters of the Holy Family in New Orleans. Initially, it was known as the Sisters of the Presentation.
1871 The St. Joseph Society of the Sacred Heart (Josephite Fathers and Brothers) became established in Baltimore.
1874 Patrick Healy, a mixed-race African American, served as president of Georgetown University, and became the first African American president of a Catholic university.
1875 James A. Healy, a mixed-race African American, served as Bishop of Portland (Oregon), and became the first African American Catholic bishop.
1878 Mathilda Beasley (1832-1903) founded the Third Order of St. Francis as a community of women religious for African Americans.
1886 Rev. Augustus "Father Gus" Tolton (1854-1897) of Quincy, Illinois, became the first publically identified African American Catholic priest.
1887 The Commission for the Catholic Missions among the Colored People and the Indians (now known as the Black and Indian Mission Collection) held its first annual Lenten appeal to support African American and Native American evangelization in the United States.
1889 Daniel Rudd founded the National Black Catholic Congress, a lay organization, which met for the first time first in Washington, D.C. Subsequent lay congresses were held almost annually during the 1890s. An 1893 congress in Chicago cited practices of racism and segregation in the United States with such practices in some U.S. Catholic churches as well.
1891 Saint Katharine Drexel founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People, which focused on evangelizing African Americans and Native Americans in the United States.
1904, January Archbishop Diomede Falconio, O.F.M., the apostolic delegate of Pope Pius X, received a letter from Cardinal Girolamo Maria Gotti, O.D.C., the cardinal prefect of the Congregation of the Propaganda, commanding the Church in the United States to cease unchristian practices of racism and discrimination found in some U.S. Catholic institutions. At this time, the Catholic Church still regarded the United States as a mission territory, which gave Propaganda special jurisdiction over the U.S. Church.
1905 At their annual meeting, Cardinal Gotti's letter prompted the U.S. archbishops to discuss the annual Lenten collection . They concluded that it did not provide adequate funding for Black evangelization and that a special organization should be established to provide additional support.
1907 The Catholic Negro-American Mission Board (CNAMB) was established in New York City as the "Catholic Board for Mission Work Among the Colored People" to provide a second funding stream for mission work in the black community.
1909 The Knights of Peter Claver was founded as a predominantly Catholic African American fraternal organization.
1916 Rev. Ignatius Lissner, S.M.A., founded the Franciscan Handmaids of Mary in Savannah, Georgia, as a community of African American women religious to teach African American children. In 1924, it relocated to New York City.
1922?- CNAMB raised funds through its publications, Our Colored Missions, 1922?-1974?, and Educating in Faith, 1974-.
1925 The Federated Colored Catholics was founded as a national lay religious organization of Catholic African Americans to promote mutual cooperation and Catholic education.
1970 CNAMB renamed itself The Catholic Negro-American Mission Board.
1980 The Catholic Negro-American Mission Board affiliated with the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions and the Lenten Collection (Commission for Catholic Missions among Colored People and Indians).  Now known collectively as the Black and Indian Mission Office, the three agencies continued their respective missions with one shared office, staff, and board of directors.
1980 To enable joint board meetings while remaining a separate corporation, the Catholic Negro American Mission Board standardized the membership of its board of directors to conform to that of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions and the Commission for Catholic Missions among the Colored People and the Indians, which are the archbishops (ordinaries) of Baltimore, New York, and Philadelphia.
1980 The CNAMB began to award select need-based grants directly to Catholic African American missions, schools, parishes, and ministry programs.
1980 The Marquette University Archives became the archival repository for the CNAMB.
1988 The Catholic Church beatified Mother Katharine Drexel, S.B.S.
2000 The Catholic Church declared Mother Katharine Drexel, S.B.S., a saint in heaven.
2008 The Black and Indian Mission Office launched a website for the BCIM, the Lenten Collection, and the CNAMB.
2008-[ongoing] The BCIM and CNAMB jointly sponsored the Monsignor Paul A. Lenz Art Contest for students in Catholic schools and/or Catholic religious education programs funded by these agencies.
2009-2010 The Black and Indian Mission Office established the National Advisory Council on Catholic Missions among Black and Native American Peoples, a board comprised of lay Catholics.
2011 The Archdiocese of Chicago initiated a canonization cause for Rev. Augustus "Father Gus" Tolton (1854-1897).

 

Notable People: Officers and personnel of the Catholic Negro-American Mission Board.

Executive Directors

1907-1925 Reverend John E. Burke (1852-1925); obituary: Our Colored Harvest, 13(1925):4:1-2.
1925-1962 Reverend Edward C. Kramer (1882-1962); obituaries: "A Farewell to Fr. Kramer 'Bill Bailey' has gone 'Home'", Our Colored Missions, 48(1962):3:1-3 (not paginated); "Quartermaster for Christ", Society of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, 80(1968):2:14-17.
1962-1980 Reverend Benjamin M. Horton, S.S.J. (1918-1988)
1980-2007 Monsignor Paul A. Lenz (1925-)
2007-present Reverend Wayne Carroll Paysse (1960-)

Administrative Assistants

1980s-2007 Patricia O'Rourke

Presidents of the Board of Directors

1907-1922 Unidentified
1922-1925 Archbishop John W. Shaw (1863-1934), Archbishop of New Orleans
1925-1938 Cardinal Patrick J. Hayes (1867-1938), Archbishop of New York
1938-1968 Cardinal Francis J. Spellman (1889-1967), Archbishop of New York
1968-1980 Cardinal Terrence J. Cooke (1921-1983), Archbishop of New York
1980-2000 Cardinal John J. O'Conner (1920-2000), Archbishop of New York
2000-2003 Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua (1923-), Archbishop of Philadelphia, Retired
2003-2007 Cardinal William H. Keeler (1931-), Archbishop of Baltimore, Retired
2007-2009 Cardinal Edward M. Egan (1932-), Archbishop of New York, Retired
2009-2011 Archbishop Edward O'Brien (1939-), Archbishop of Baltimore
2011-present Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan (1950-), Archbishop of New York

 

Notable Evangelization: Selected African American missions, parishes, schools, and ministry programs supported by the Black and Indian Mission Collection and the Catholic Negro-American Mission Board.

State Place Institution Years
Alabama Birmingham Holy Family Church 1938-
    Our Lady of Fatima Church 1905-
  Chastang St. Peter the Apostle Church 1860-
  Mobile Most Pure Heart of Mary Church 1899-
  Montgomery St. John the Baptist Church 1908-
  Phenix City Mother Mary Church 1940-
  Prichard St. James Major Church 1925-
  Tuskegee Institute St. Joseph Church 1940-
Arkansaw Little Rock St. Bartholomew Church 1907-
  Pine Bluff St. Peter Church 1894-
California Los Angeles African American Catholic Center for Evangelization  
    St. Odilia Church 1926- (no longer African American)
Delaware Wilmington St. Joseph Church 1889-
District of Columbia Washington Epiphany Church 1923-
    Holy Redeemer Church 1919-
    St. Vincent de Paul Church 1903-
Florida Jacksonville St. Pius V Church 1919-
  Miami St. Francis Xavier Church 1927- (merged)
  Pensacola St. Joseph Church 1891-
Georgia Atlanta Our Lady of Lourdes Church 1912-
  Savannah St. Benedict the Moor Church 1874-
Illinois Chicago Holy Angels Church 1880-
    St. Elizabeth Church 1881-
Indiana Indianapolis St. Rita Church 1919-
Kansas Leavenworth Holy Epiphany Church 1874-1953 (closed)
Kentucky Louisville St. Augustine Church 1870-
Louisiana Baton Rouge St. Francis Xavier School 1918-
  Breaux Bridge St. Francis of Assisi Church 1923-
  Lafayette Immaculate Heart of Mary Church 1934-
  Lake Charles Sacred Heart of Jesus Church 1919-
  Marksville Holy Ghost School 1919-
  New Orleans All Saints Church 1919-
    Blessed Sacrament Church 1915-
    Corpus Christi Church 1916-
    St. Augustine Church 1841-
    St. Peter Claver Church 1920-
    Xavier University of Louisiana 1915-
  Opelousas Holy Ghost Church 1920-
  St. Martinsville Notre Dame de Perpetual Secours Church 1938-
Maryland Baltimore St. Francis Xavier Church 1864-
    St. Peter Claver Church 1888-
Michigan Detroit St. Peter Claver Church 1920s-
Minnesota St. Paul St. Peter Claver Church 1892-
Mississippi Bay St. Louis Society of the Divine Word, St. Augustine Seminary 1923-
  Camden Sacred Heart Church 1844-
  Canton Holy Child Jesus Church 1947-
  Clarksdale St. Elizabeth Church 1891-
  Greenwood St. Francis of Assisi Church 1951-
  Jackson Holy Ghost Church 1908-
  Mound Bayou St. Gabriel Church 1949-
  Natchez Holy Family Church 1891-
  Pascagoula St. Peter the Apostle Church 1907-
Missouri St. Louis At. Alphonsus Liguori "Rock" Church 1872- (African American, 1940s-)
    St. Charles Lwanga Center 1978-
    St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church 1873-1951 (closed)
Nebraska Omaha St. Benedict Church 1919-
New Jersey Patterson Our Lady of Victories Church 1882-
New York Brooklyn St. Peter Claver Church 1921-
  New York St. Benedict the Moor Church 1883-
    St. Mark the Evangelist Church 1907-
North Carolina Greenville St. Gabriel Church 1936-
Ohio Cincinnati Holy Trinity Church 1926-
    St. Ann Church 1866-1938 (merged)
    St. Ann - St. Edward Church 1938-1965 (closed)
    St. Edward Church 1864-1938 (merged)
  Cleveland Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament 1922-1961 (closed)
    St. Adalbert Church unknown-2009 (closed), 2012- (African American, 1960s-)
Ohio Columbus St. Cyprian Church 1912-1957 (merged)
    St. Dominic Church unknown- (African America, 1950s-)
Oklahoma Tulsa St. Monica Church 1926-
Pennsylvania Bensalem Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Center for Evangelization 1970s-
  Philadelphia St. Peter Claver Church 1889-1985 (closed)
South Carolina Charleston Sacred Heart Church 1920-
  Georgetown St. Mary Church 1899-
  Orangeburg Holy Trinity Church 1917-
Texas Beaumont Our Mother of Mercy Church 1937-
  Corpus Christi Holy Ghost Church 1914-
  Dallas St. Peter Church 1905-
  Galveston Holy Rosary Church 1888-2008 (merged)
  Houston Our Mother of Mercy School 1930-
    St. Nicholas Church 1887-
Wisconsin Milwaukee St. Benedict the Moor Church 1908-

 

Scope and Content

The Catholic Negro-American Mission Board, Series 1-3 Correspondence Charters, and By Laws:

Only scant correspondence exists for the first three administrations of Fathers John E. Burke, Edward C. Kramer, and Benjamin M. Horton, S.S.J.  Note that any correspondence from transition years (1925, 1962, 1980, and 2007), is filed under the previous administration. These records have not been microfilmed.

1907-1925 -- Reverend John E. Burke: Includes the charter received during the administration of Father Burke, the first director, 1907-1925. 

1926-1962 -- Reverend Edward C. Kramer: Includes the amendments, resolutions, and related correspondence from the administrations of Father Kramer, the second director, 1925-1962. 

1963-1980 -- Reverend Benjamin M. Horton, S.S.J.: Includes the amendments, resolutions, and related correspondence from the administration of Father Horton, the third director, 1962-1980.  Also included is a needs survey and funding initiative of Black Catholic schools begun by Monsignor Lenz, 1979-1980. The correspondence is divided into general and grant correspondence, which is arranged chronologically in annual increments. General correspondence includes bequests, inquiries, unfunded requests, and perpetual memberships in the Catholic Negro-American Mission Board, whereas grant correspondence includes funded requests with related correspondence and enclosed documentation.

1981-2007 -- Monsignor Paul A. Lenz: General correspondence of the administration of Monsignor Lenz, the fourth director, 1981-2007. The correspondence is divided into general and grant correspondence, which are arranged chronologically in annual increments. General correspondence includes bequests, inquiries, unfunded requests, and perpetual memberships in the Catholic Negro-American Mission Board, whereas grant correspondence includes funded requests with related correspondence and enclosed documentation.

Minutes of the combined annual and special meetings of the Boards of Directors of the BCIM (Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions), Collection (Commission for the Catholic Missions among the Colored People and the Indians) and CNAMB (Catholic Negro American Mission Board) are arranged in annual increments, which are interfiled among the annual increments of the general correspondence in the series 1-2. 

2008-present -- Reverend Wayne Carroll Paysse: Father Paysse is the fifth director, 2008-present.  The bulk of these records are active and remain at the Black and Indian Mission Office. 

Series 1-3 Restrictions: Records created before 1985 are restricted for 25 years after their date of creation. For more information, please consult the archives staff.

Black and Indian Mission Collection (Commission for the Catholic Missions among the Colored People and the Indians) and the Catholic Negro-American Mission Board (The Catholic Board for Mission Work among the Colored People), Joint Series 9, Photography: Contains two format-based sub-series pertaining to African American Catholics -- Black and white prints and color prints.  Both series are contained in folders arranged alphabetically by U.S. states and the District of Columbia, followed by foreign countries and there under by communities and Catholic institutions.  Many of the prints were sent on request by pastors and school principals. Some prints were submitted to illustrate publications (series 7) or accountability reports (series 5-5). With few exceptions, the Collection created or collected all photography before 1980, whereas CNAMB created or collected all photography thereafter. Portraits of Collection and/or CNAMB office personnel, e.g. Reverend Tennelly, Monsignor Lenz, Reverend Paysse, plus office visitors, are filed in BCIM series 9-1 (black & white prints) and 9-3 (color prints) under "District of Columbia, Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions".  Similarly, those of Saint Katharine Drexel are filed in BCIM series 9-1 (black & white prints) and 9-3 (color prints) under "Pennsylvania, Bensalem, Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament".  Select images are included online in the collection, African American Catholics, which is linked here: Marquette e-archives, A-Z.

Other series within the records of the Commission for the Catholic Missions among the Colored People and the Indians and other Marquette University collections also contain documentation relating to this series.

For each folder, the dates noted are limited to the first and last known years when images were created with intervening years, if any, not included. These are followed by “undated” to indicate images for which the year of their creation is not known. However, if approximate dates are known, they are given in parentheses as follows:

· “undated (Received Commission for Catholic Missions among the Colored People and the Indians)” = No creation years known; the years given identify when the Commission received the images, which typically was less than five years after they were taken.

· “undated (Used Our Negro and Indian Missions)” or “undated (Used Other Title)” = No creation years known; the years given identify when Our Negro and Indian Missions or Other Title first published the images, which typically was less than 10 years after they were taken.

· "undated (ca. year-year)" = No creation years known; the years given identify the approximate years derived from clues within the images and related text.

The institutions listed are mostly local churches and schools and were the sources for the Commission’s photography. Most photographs within these folders document local events of the institutions and nearby communities. However, many nearby communities also have separate institutions and corresponding folders as do those distant places that have been identified. Events located far from the institutions that sent the photographs, including those taken out-of-state and outside of the United States, are arranged by the place where the photographs were taken rather than by the institution that provided the prints.

Restrictions: Researchers assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of libel, privacy, and copyright which may be involved in the use of these records. Consult an archivist for further information.

Series 9-2, Black and White Prints: Pastors with consumer-grade portable cameras captured most images, which include scenes such as school graduations, retreat weekends, first communions, confirmations, and dedications of new buildings. Professional photographers also captured a few black and white images before 1930.

Series 9-4, Color Prints: Pastors and diocesan program directors with consumer-grade portable cameras captured most images, which include scenes such as school graduations, retreat weekends, first communions, confirmations, and dedications of new buildings. Several images pertain to activities of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

The Catholic Negro-American Mission Board, Series 18, Publications: This series includes the periodicals, Our Colored Mission and Educating in Faith, and general publications, e.g. appeal letters, calendars, list of needy Black schools, survey, grant forms, produced by CNAMB.  The New York Public Library produced the microfilm of both periodicals.

Marqcat, the online catalog of the Marquette University Libraries, provides bibliographic records for the publication titles in this series, which are so noted with a call number in the descriptive inventory.

 

More Related Resources

  • Catholic Social Action: Checklist of Marquette Catholic Social Action collections, which includes more special collections about African American Catholics.

Black and Indian Mission Office > The Catholic Negro-American Mission Board

The National Black Catholic Congress

U.S. Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishops > Cultural Diversity in the Church

Ask an Archivist