The Catholic University of America

Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton

An Inventory of the Joseph Clifford Fenton Diaries at The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives


Contact Information:

Mailing Address: The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. 20064

Telephone: 202-319-5065

Email: archives@mail.lib.cua.edu

URL: http://archives.lib.cua.edu/

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Descriptive Summary

Repository: The American Catholic Research Center and University Archives
Creator: Joseph Clifford Fenton, 1906-1969
Title: Joseph Clifford Fenton Diaries
Dates: 1948-1966
Extent: .5 feet; 1 box
Abstract: Diaries of Catholic priest Joseph Clifford Fenton during the years of 1948-1966. Most of the journals deal with Fenton's trips to Rome to participate in the Second Vatican Council.
Collection Number: 331
Language: English, Latin

Biographical Note

The Right Reverend Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton was born on January 16, 1906. He was Dean of the School of Theology at the Catholic University of America (CUA) and also served as the editor of the American Ecclesiastical Review from 1944 to 1963. He received his undergraduate degree from Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and completed his ordination in Rome receiving a Doctor of Sacred Theology degree. Fenton also served on the Pontifical Theology Commission in preparation for the Second Vatican Council. He retired from CUA in 1963 and died from a heart attack on July 7, 1969. He is probably best remembered as an aggressive opponent of Jesuit John Courtney Murray regarding religious freedom and the issue of Church and State.

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Scope and Contents

The are eleven journals that roughly cover Fenton's trips to Europe, mainly Rome and Vatican City. The dates on the journals roughly correspond to 1948, 1950, 1954, 1955, 1958 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, and 1966. Sometimes the journal dates will overlap into a new journal. These journals describe Fenton's trips to Rome to meet with various Cardinals, Popes and other important people within the Catholic Church. They also contain drafts of letters written to important people and outlines for essays. The journals also deal with Fenton's experiences attending the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and his opinions on the council, providing an interesting eyewitness look at one of the most important events for Roman Catholics.

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Arrangement

The Joseph Clifford Fenton Diaries have eleven items in one box.


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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None.

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Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Collection was donated and deposited by Joseph Komonchak. The collection was received on June 15, 2009. The collection was accessioned on July 1, 2009.

Processing Information

Processing completed in July, 2012 by William Dawson; with contributions from Mary Zito. EAD markup completed in July, 2012 by William Dawson. EAD additions in 2014 by Michael J. Dobbs.

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Related Material

At the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives:

Binz, Leo, Vatican Council II Collection

Caporale, Rocco, Vatican Council II Collection

Hallinan, Paul J., Vatican Council II Collection

Ligutti, Luigi, Vatican Council II Collection

Norris, James J., Vatican Council II Collection

O'Boyle, Patrick, Vatican Council II Collection

O'Connor, Martin John, Collection

Peter, Val J., Vatican Council II Collection

Primeau, Ernesto, Vatican Council II Collection

Sheen, Fulton, Vatican Council II Collection

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Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.


Persons:
Cardinal Paul Richaud
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Joseph Fenton
Pope John XXIII
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Paul VI
Pope Pius XII

Organizations:
Roman Catholic Church

Places:
France
Rome, Italy
The Vatican

Subjects:
First Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council


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Bibliography

American Catholic's Who's Who, 1964-65.

The Encyclopedia of American Catholic History, 1997.

Cross Roads Newsletter, Fall 1964.

Washington Star Newspaper, June 13,1963.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

                       
Joseph Clifford Fenton Diaries 1948-1966 (1 Box)
The Series is a collection of diaries that Fenton Kept beginning in 1948 until 1966. They mostly deal with his day to day activities, but some diaries contain interactions with important people and drafts of papers and correspondences.
Box Folder
1 1 The Journal of a Trip to Rome, 1948
        Volume
        Grey hardcover notebook. Fenton talks about his travels to Rome; the diary also contains outlines and drafts for several papers that he is writing.
  2 The Journal of a Pilgrimage [Europe], 1950
        Volume
        Grey hardcover notebook. Diary of Fenton's trip to Europe. Mentions how he flew on Star of Maryland Plane that crashed in Egypt. Journal contains draft of a letter to Dwight D. Eisenhower.
  3 Ninth Trip to Rome, May 1954-June 1955
        Volume
        Black softcover notebook. Talks about a speech he is giving in Rome. Pages are fragile.
  4 My Tenth Trip to Rome, also the Eleventh, Twelfth and Thirteenth trips, August 1955-September 1958
        Volume
        Black softcover notebook, Ink is fading, pages are fragile. P.172 Describes Fenton's encounter with a CUA Faculty member.
  5 My 1958 Trip to Rome and Lourdes(continuation from previous journal),My 1960 Trip to Rome 1958-1960
        Volume
        Black softcover notebook, Fenton asks that contents past page 74 not be revealed until 20 years after his death. Talks about his work for Vatican II.
  6 Notes of my previous fourteenth trip to Rome continued from the previous volume 11/18/1960, November 18, 1960-December 12, 1960
        Volume
        Green softcover notebook, Account of his work as a member of the Pontifical Theological Commission for Vatican II.
  7 The Continuation of the Chronicle of my Fourteenth trip to Rome, December 13, 1960-January 28, 1961
        Volume
        Green softcover notebook, Account of his work as a member of the Pontifical Theological Commission for Vatican II. Contains account of Papal audience.
  8 The Continuation of the journal of my Fourteenth trip to Rome, Beginning of the journal of my fifteenth trip to Rome, October 1960-September 1961
        Volume
        Black softcover notebook, contains notes of Fenton's trip. Fifteenth trip starts at p.132.
  9 Journal of the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth trips to Rome, March 1962-February 1963
        Volume
        Black softcover notebook. Account of Vatican II proceedings.
  10 Journal of Trip to Rome, 1963-1965
        Volume
        Blue hardcover notebook, contains accounts of Vatican II. Also claims he has been misinterpreted by several articles, including one from the New Yorker. Hears accounts of JFK assassination through Italian TV.
  11 Journals of the 23rd, 25th, 26th and 27th trips to Rome, 1966
        Volume
        Account of theological conference, "The Theology of Council." Observations of Post Vatican II Catholicism. Notebook is very fragile.

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Related Material

Index Terms

Bibliography

Detailed Description of the Collection

Joseph Clifford Fenton Diaries 1948-1966

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