The Catholic University of America

Hubert Louis Motry

An inventory of Hubert Louis Motry Papers 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: lib-archives@cua.edu

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

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Descriptive Summary

Repository: The American Catholic Research Center and University Archives
Creator: Hubert Louis Motry, August 28, 1884-May 18, 1952
Title: Hubert Louis Motry Papers
Dates: 1647(1918-1952)1952
Extent: 9 linear feet; 18 boxes
Abstract: The Monsignor Hubert Louis Motry papers are a chronological record of his career as a professor and Dean of the School of Canon Law at The Catholic University of America (CUA). This series also includes personal correspondence and work done as a canon lawyer. Motry's many cases are included with this collection, as well as pieces of marital doctrine he wrote. The cases that comprise his career as a canon lawyer are clerical and marital, including his discussions on this matter on 'The Catholic Hour' radio program, with transcripts and correspondence from these broadcasts. Also, the Motry papers cover his years as a chaplain for Fort Humphreys and Fort Belvoir. Lastly, these papers include many photographs from his career and personal life.
Collection Number: 063
Language: English

Biographical Note

The Rt. Rev. Monsignor Hubert Louis Motry was born on August 28, 1884 in Tiffin, Ohio. During his youth he attended local parochial schools and eventually made his way the College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. Motry graduated with his A.B. in 1903 and taught in the Classics department at the Josephinum for eight years. He was ordained a priest in 1909. Motry was a priest in the Diocese of Albany as well during his early career. He earned his Master's and Doctorate degrees at The Catholic University of America (CUA) before he became a Canon Law professor. His academic achievements were remarkable: in 1918 he earned his Master's in Sacred Theology and Theology, three years later he earned his Master's in Canon Law and his Doctorate in Sacred Theology, and in 1922 earned his Doctorate in Canon law and began his teaching career at CUA. Motry was also a well-traveled man, making an extensive trip of Germany and Italy in 1930.

Msgr. Motry's career at Catholic U. was important in the advancement of the field of Canon Law. He would teach Canon Law classes, with a focus on ecclesiastical law and marriage legislation. He was instrumental in starting the Canon Law Society of America (CLSA) and publishing many articles in scholarly journals on marital law, such as marriage between Protestants and Catholics and writing for law digests in twenty-five dioceses. Motry's gift in interpreting Canon Law led to the prestigious position as one of the main editors of 'The Jurist,' a journal pertaining to Canon Law. He would serve not only as a professor of Canon Law but as Dean of the School of Canon Law from 1937 until his death in 1952.

Motry was not just a gifted academic but also a dedicated priest as well. He served as Chaplain to the Army Corp of Engineers at Fort Belvoir from 1919 until his death in 1952. He also served in many capacities with the Richmond Diocese as Judge, Advocate, Procurator, and Counselor in synod matters, within a court of Canon Law. He also was known for his oratory skills and for his homilies. His dedication to the priesthood was recognized on June 4, 1949 when Pope Pius XII named him a member of the Pope's household and he was made Right Reverend Monsignor at the Josephinum on June 5, 1949 on the fortieth anniversary of his ordination. Despite this achievement Motry would not live long to enjoy it: following a year of failing health he died after giving daily mass on May 18, 1952 at the age of 68. At his memorial mass at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception he was praised as both a dedicated academic and priest who loved ministerial work.

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Scope and Contents

The Msgr. Hubert Louis Motry papers are divided into eleven series. The first six series of this collection are comprised of his personal and business correspondence. The seventh series is an extensive collection of his finances; which include bills, checking accounts, insurance policies, tax returns, and bank statements. The eighth contains Motry's personal publications as well as publications pertaining to Canon Law, Church Doctrine, and Politics within the church during this time. The ninth series is a collection of his photographs, which include his trips to Europe, photographs with fellow members of the clergy, and photographs with family and friends. The tenth series has miscellaneous items which include blank Canon Law court forms, leaflets on doctrine, and various pamphlets and newspaper clippings on Canon Law issues. The eleventh and final series contains oversized items such as a rare Italian Book from 1647 and Motry's CUA diplomas.

The Motry papers provide an extensive overview of his well-rounded career at Catholic University, as a chaplain, canon lawyer, and a priest. Due to the many people that corresponded with Motry as well as the size of many of the topics these files are all organized chronologically. Motry's CUA correspondence contains his lecture notes as well as his inter-university correspondence. There are many transcripts, in both Latin and English, of Canon Law cases and doctrine. In these files one will note Msgr. Motry's close attention to detail with his cases, finances, and all aspects of his life. Furthermore, the many cards of thanks from his colleagues and parishioners indicate he was much appreciated by his community. In all his letters Motry appears a compassionate man trying to do what was best for whomever he was dealing with, be it a parishioner, a student or people involved in one of his canon law cases.

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Arrangement

The Hubert Louis Motry Papers consists of 11 series:












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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

 

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Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Donor unknown, papers received about 1952-1953.

Processing Information

 

Processing completed in 2011 by Raymond Moore. EAD markup completed in 2011 by Raymond Moore. Revised by W. J. Shepherd, Austin Arminio, and Laurel Howard in 2018.

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Related Material

American Catholic History Researcher Center and University Archives:

Frederick Richard McManus Papers

National Council of Catholic Men (NCCM) Records

Joseph Conrad Plumpe Papers

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Office of the General Secretary Records

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Index Terms

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


Persons:
Motry, Hubert Louis

Organizations:
Canon Law Society of America
Catholic University of America

Places:
Richmond, Virginia
Washington, D.C.

Subjects:
Canon Law
Chaplains-Military


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Bibliography

The CUA Alumnus April/June 1952

 

Eulogy by Very Rev. Francis J. Connell Dean, School of Sacred Theology, 1952

 

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Detailed Description of the Collection

                       
Series 1: Personal Correspondence, 1930-1951 (2 Boxes)
This series contains Msgr. Motry's personal correspondence with friends from the clergy and Catholic University as well as from his years as chaplain at Fort Belvoir and his time as a canon lawyer. It is organized chronologically.
Box Folder
1 1 Personal Records, 1930-1931
  2 Personal Letters, 1930-1931
        Letters from friends from CUA and Germany
  3 Personal Letters, 1930-1937
        Letters from parishioners in Virginia, business letters, and business cards.
  4 Dr. Heinie Schumacher, 1930-1933
        Personal correspondence
  5 Personal Letters, 1931
        Personal correspondence with various religious.
  6 Personal Letters, 1931
        Personal correspondence with various dioceses, some letters in Latin and Greek.
  7 Personal Letters, 1931
        Correspondence with St. Mary's Academy.
  8 Personal Letters, 1931-1932
        Personal business letters and a December 4th edition of the Messenger.
  9 Personal Letters, 1931-1951
        Letters from the Vatican and St. Joseph's rectory in Richmond, Virginia.
  10 Personal Letters, 1931-1951
        Personal letters, Canadian postcards, and a letter from Senator Joseph McCarthy.
  11 Personal Letters, 1948-1950
        Assorted holiday correspondence
Box Folder
2 1 Christmas Cards, 1949
        Assorted Christmas cards from friends, colleagues, and parishioners
  2 Christmas Cards, 1949
        Assorted Christmas cards from friends, colleagues, and parishioners
  3 Christmas Cards, 1949
        Assorted Christmas cards from friends, colleagues, and parishioners
  4 Christmas Cards, 1949
        Assorted Christmas cards from friends, colleagues, and parishioners
                       
Series 2: CUA Correspondence and Lecture Notes, 1929-1952 (2 Boxes)
This contains Msgr. Motry's correspondence relating to his work at CUA, including letters to the Rector, President, members of the faculty, students, and people outside the University relating to his work as a professor and Dean of Canon Law. Lastly there are several files with his lecture notes with correspondence. This series is arranged chronologically.
Box Folder
3 1 CUA Related, 1929-1951
        Correspondence with the students at the School of Canon Law, the 1929 Rector's report, and 1930 Commencement is included as well.
  2 CUA Related, 1930-1931
        Canon School of Law
  3 CUA Related, 1931-1933
        A collection of the best exams from students in Msgr. Motry's Canon Law classes.
  4 CUA Related - Faculty of the Canon School of Law, 1931-1951
        Correspondence with the faculty at the School of Canon Law, as well as a required book list for the 1933-1934 academic year.
  5 CUA Related - Canon Law School, 1931-1951
  6 Correspondence - CUA Related 1931-1952
        Library Receipts included
  7 CUA Releated - Business Office, 1942
        Budget requests for the 1942-1943 academic year, correspondence with Rev. James A. Magner.
  8 Correspondence - CUA Related, 1940-1951
        Dean of School of Canon Law records on students, and graduate student correspondence. (1 Letter in German)
  9 Correspondence - CUA Related, 1947-1951
        Canon Law
  10 Correspondence - Professional, CUA Related 1950-1951
Box Folder
4 1 Correspondence - CUA Related, 1931-1935
        Various correspondence with other CUA departments in relation to the School of Canon Law
  2 Student Papers, 1933-1937
        Papers from Msgr. Motry's students as well as notes to them on their work in his classes.
  3 Dissertation Notes, 1940-1941
        Correspondence with doctoral students on their dissertations, notes included on their dissertations
  4 Canon Law Correspondence, 1940-1951
  5 Correspondence on Notes, 1931-1950
        Correspondence with faculty on Msgr. Motry's lecture notes, some notes are included as well.
  6 Lecture Notes, unknown
        Various lecture notes including notes on the Apologetics
  7 Canon Law Notes and Doctrines, unknown
        Msgr. Motry's notes on Canon Law doctrines and procedures, used as lecture notes.
                       
Series 3: Professional and Catholic Hour Correspondence, 1930-1951 (1 Box)
This series is comprised of correspondence relating to Msgr. Motry's Catholic Hour Radio broadcasts from 1930-1931. The transcripts and notes from the broadcasts are included. As well as, congratulatory correspondence and correspondence related to the content from the program.
Box Folder
5 1 Correspondence - Professional, 1930-1931
        Catholic Lay Organization
  2 Correspondence - Professional, 1930-1932
        Correspondence relating to content discussed on the Catholic Hour with other Canon Lawyers.
  3 The Catholic Radio Hour Transcripts, 1932-1950
        Transcripts from the Catholic Hour with note cards.
  4 Catholic Hour Correspondence (1), 1931
  5 Catholic Hour Correspondence (2), 1931
  6 Correspondence - Professional, 1931
        Catholic Hour Correspondence
  7 Correspondence - Professional, 1931
        Correspondence relating to content discussed on the Catholic Hour, contains correspondence with Trenton Diocese.
  8 Correspondence - Professional, 1932-1950
        Correspondence relating to content discussed on the Catholic Hour.
  9 Correspondence - Professional, 1931-1940
        Correspondence relating to content discussed on the Catholic Hour, with other Canon Lawyers and Canon Law academics.
  10 Correspondence - Professional, 1933-1935
        Canon law consul given to other Dioceses by Msgr. Motry
  11 Correspondence - Professional (Albany, NY), 1933-1935
        Canon law consul to Diocese of Albany
  12 Correspondence - Professional (Amarillo, TX), 1935
        Canon law consul to Diocese of Amarillo
  13 Correspondence - Professional, 1935
        Academic opinion on Cappello doctrine, correspondence with other religious on this doctrine.
  14 Correspondence - Professional 1951
        Correspondence with Robert Butler, Ambassador to Cuba, on a baptismal case, related to Canon Law cases discussed on The Catholic Hour.
                       
Series 4: Clerical Case Correspondence, 1925-1952 (3 Boxes)
This contains Msgr. Motry's correspondence relating to his Canon Law cases with different dioceses. The variety of cases range from land rights to major liturgical guidance. These cases are from many dioceses including the diocese he advised the most, Richmond. These files are organized chronologically.
Box Folder
6 1 Correspondence - Outside CUA - Clerical Cases, 1925-1950
        Several Canon Law cases within the diocese of Richmond including a land dispute.
  2 Correspondence - Outside CUA - Clerical Cases 1925-1951
  3 Correspondence - Outside CUA - Clerical Cases, 1952, 1928-1932
        A petition against celibacy by the Russian Orthodox Church, 1952 as well as other correspondence.
  4 Correspondence - Outside CUA - Clerical Cases, 1929-1952
        Several Canon Law cases within the diocese of Richmond including a land dispute.
  5 Correspondence - Outside CUA - Clerical Cases, 1931-1951
        canon law correspondence
  6 Non-Matrim - Current Users (Clerical), 1925-1950
        Several Canon Law cases within the diocese of Richmond including a land dispute.
  7 Clerical Cases, 1932-1950
  8 Correspondence - Clerical, 1933-1950
        Several Canon Law cases concerning the legality of many diocesan hospitals and the legal advice given
  9 Correspondence - Clerical, 1947-1952
        Canon Law cases judging what is proper liturgy
Box Folder
7 1 Richmond Diocese Cases, 1930-1931
        Diocesan issues for which Msgr. Motry provided legal aid.
  2 Correspondence- Liturgical, 1931-1951
        Various Canon Law cases
  3 Missionary Servants of the Blessed Trinity Constitutions, 1933
  4 Correspondence - Professional, 1933-1952
        Canon Law aide his home diocese in Ohio
  5 Clerical Cases, 1925-1950
        Clerical cases dealing with Hospital cases and conducting improper marriages in Harrison, New York.
  6 Rules for Unknown Religious Order Rules, unknown
        Unknown and incomplete religious order rules.
  7 St. Benedicts Home Rule, 1925-1950
        At the back of the box there are three copies of St. Benedicts Home Rule, there are 2 English, and 1 Latin copy.
Box Folder
8 1 Sessio Secunda Preparatoria and correspondence, 1931-1932
        This is an analysis of a Canon Law document in Latin
  2 Diocesan Diocese of Richmond Synodus, 1933
        These documents are in Latin.
  3 Latin Documents on Liturgical Matters, 1939
  4 The Statutes, Revised, 1949
        There are English and Latin versions of these Canon Law Statures.
                       
Series 5: Canon Law Marital Case Correspondence, 1925-1952 (2 Boxes)
The following series contains Msgr. Motry's Canon Law Marital cases such as annulments and divorces. There are actual courts presiding in Latin for certain cases. Msgr. Motry also has many letters from many parishioners asking for his assistance. This series is in chronological order.
Box Folder
9 1 Marital Cases, 1928-1949
        Divorce Proceedings in Latin
  2 Marital Cases of Diocese of Trenton, 1930
        Discussing Marital Case issues with Bishop John J. McMahon
  3 Cases - Marriage, 1931-1932
        Divorce cases, particularly a 1931 Baltimore case
  4 Marriage Cases, 1931-1951
        Includes 1947 Proceedings of the divorce and annulment Mary Louise Jones vs. John Carbery.
  5 Correspondence - Marriage Cases, 1932-1950
        includes Annulment Proceedings in Latin
  6 Marital Cases, 1932
        includes US Army Case within the Richmond Archdiocese
  7 Marital Cases, 1933-1952
        World War II divorce proceedings are included
  8 Correspondence - Marriage Cases, 1934-1951
  9 Marriage Cases, 1948-1950
        Includes divorce proceedings of Margaret Sternbergh, parts of which are in Latin
  10 Marital Cases, Forms, unknown
        Marriage forms in Latin or English
Box Folder
10 1 Marriage Cases, 1913-1950
  2 Marriage Cases - Responses and Testimonies, 1925-1935
  3 Marital Cases, 1927-1936
        Correspondence with Testimony
  4 Berry vs. Eastman, 1933
  5 Correspondence - Marital Cases, 1934-1936
        Correspondence with the plaintiffs as well.
  6 marriage case - Newton T. Miller, 1946-1951
  7 Correspondence - Marriage Case, 1947-1951
        The cases are accompanied by a written Latin testimony.
  8 Marital Cases, 1950-1951
        The Marital Case of Carl Robert Briggs.
  9 Marriage Cases (Hilda von Siller), 1951
        Pre-Nuptial Agreement to be used in the Diocese of Richmond
  10 Marriage Cases, with Testimony, 1947-1951
  11 Carl Robert Briggs case, 1950
  12 Pre-Nuptial Agreement, 1952
                       
Series 6: Chaplain Correspondence, 1928-1951 (1 Box)
The following series is a collection of Msgr. Motry's correspondence as Chaplain for the Army Corp of Engineers at Ft. Belvior in Virginia as well as Ft. Humphreys. This series is in chronological order.
Box Folder
11 1 Ft. Humphreys, VA, 1930-1950
        Included is Mass Attendance Forms
  2 Ft. Humphrey's, VA, 1930-1950
        St. Martins Chapel Records
  3 Ft. Humphrey's, VA, 1930-1931, 1951
        Chaplain Finances
  4 Ft. Humphrey's Correspondence, 1931
  5 Military Vicariate Papers, 1940
        Msgr. Motry's work at Ft. Belvior are in this correspondence
  6 Military Vicariate, 1940-1941
  7 Correspondence - Marriage Case, William Piel, 1950
        These are the records concerning William Piel's marriage and the annulment suit which followed.
                       
Series 7: Finances, 1924-1952 (2 Boxes)
This series is a chronologically-arranged collection of Msgr. Motry's personal finances, including receipts, insurance policies, tax returns, utility bills, and leaflets for charitable donations and businesses. There are also materials representative of Motry's historical moment, such as Ration Books from World War II. Lastly, Box 3 contains old checkbooks and bank receipts.
Box Folder
12 1 Finances, 1924-1937
        This folder contains bank statements, checks, and income tax returns.
  2 Finances, 1930-1931
        Business receipts
  3 Personal Finances, 1931-1935
        Telephone bill receipts, bank statements from Federal-American National Bank and Trust
  4 Finances, 1932-1950
        Receipts from various businesses, gas rationing books and World War II stamps.
  5 Finances, 1933-1950
        Bank statements and utility bills
  6 Finances, 1937-1951
        Income tax returns, tax collector notices, CUA Check stubs, and tax fines 1940-1941.
  7 Finances, 1950-1951
        Solicitations from Catholic Organizations, bank statements, and check stubs.
Box Folder
13 1 Finances, 1930-1931
        Bank receipts and auto-owner insurance
  2 Finances, 1930-1936
        Garage receipts and bills, telephone bills
  3 Finances, 1930-1949
        Bank Receipts, Utility bill receipts, bank deposits, life (1933) and auto (1949) insurance policy. Also, the certificate that allows him to perform marriage ceremonies in Washington, D.C. is in here as well.
                       
Series 8: Publications, 1930-1952 (2 Boxes)
This series includes publications on both canon law and Catholic doctrine. Also included are various leaflets on new Catholic teachings and scholarly articles saved over the years.
Box Folder
14 1 Personal Correspondence, 1930-1934
        This folder contains personal publications on marriage doctrine and Catholic Hour reviews from the press. In the front of box 14 there are two day planners from 1951 and 1952.
  2 Publications, 1931-1940
        Newspaper clippings about CUA, Canon Law Issues,
  3 Publications, 1931-1948
        Newsletters on Catholic doctrine, scholarly articles, Catholic Magazines, and one edition of an October 23, 1932 Literary Digest. There are also articles on the Church's reaction of Hitler's rise. Lastly, there are many articles about Catholics marrying Protestant.
Box Folder
15 1 Publications, 1921
        An original copy of Msgr. Motry's Theology dissertation, "The Concept of Marital Sin in Early Christianity.
  2 Publications, 1932
        A January-March Review of The University of Ottawa, it is also in French
  3 Publications, unknown
        9 publications of "Happiness in Marriage"
  4 Publications, 1932-1950
        Publications of Catholic Magazines as well as some scholarly articles on 'mixed marriages,' Protestants and Catholics. Lastly there is a Canon Law document that is written in only Latin.
                       
Series 9: Photographs and Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1931-1951 (1 Box)
This collection contains correspondence that has to do with Msgr. Motry's personal life as well as his career in Canon Law, Priest, and scholar. The photographs include historic group CUA faculty pictures, his trips to Europe (in particular France, Germany, and Italy), There are also photographs from friends, years as chaplain, and several group photos from being ordained a Monsignor in 1949.
Box Folder
16 1 Correspondence - Personal, 1931
        Random personal letters to other dioceses, Bishops, and friends from back home.
  2 Correspondence - Personal 1931-1951
        Random personal letters parishioners seeking advice, and Christmas greetings from friends.
  3 Correspondence - Personal, 1949-1951
        Diocesan letters
  4 Photographs, 1930-1951
                       
Series 10: Professional Addresses, Miscellaneous, 1932-1950 (1 Box)
This series contains Addresses to business associates, speeches and articles, postcards, a score to a musical, CUA registration cards, and a 1935 collection of Vatican stamps.
Box Folder
17 1 Professional Addresses, Speeches, and Articles, 1928-1936
        This folder contains notes from Msgr. Motry.
  2 Professional Addresses and Articles, 1932-1948
  3 Miscellaneous, undated
  4 Vatican Stamps, 1935
        A book of new 1935 Vatican stamps as well as some minor correspondence from the Vatican.
  5 Miscellaneous, 1935-1945
        The complete score from the 1945 musical "Lost and Found". It also contains postcards.
  6 Miscellaneous, 1948-1951
  7 Miscellaneous, 1950
        Postcards, plane tickets, and leaflets
                       
Series 11: Oversize, 1647, 1918-1922 (1 Box)
This series is an oversized box that contains Msgr. Motry's six diplomas and Italian folio leaves from a 1647 volume dealing with geography.
Box Folder
18   Diplomas, 1647-1922
        Msgr. Motry's list of Diplomas are: STB in Theology June 12, 1918, STL in Sacred Theology June 12, 1918, JCB in Canon Law June 1921, JCL Jure Canico June 15, 1921, STD in Sacred Theology June 16, 1921, and Doctorem in Canon Law June 15, 1922.

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Related Material

Index Terms

Bibliography

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Personal Correspondence, 1930-1951

Series 2: CUA Correspondence and Lecture Notes, 1929-1952

Series 3: Professional and Catholic Hour Correspondence, 1930-1951

Series 4: Clerical Case Correspondence, 1925-1952

Series 5: Canon Law Marital Case Correspondence, 1925-1952

Series 6: Chaplain Correspondence, 1928-1951

Series 7: Finances, 1924-1952

Series 8: Publications, 1930-1952

Series 9: Photographs and Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1931-1951

Series 10: Professional Addresses, Miscellaneous, 1932-1950

Series 11: Oversize, 1647, 1918-1922

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