The Catholic University of America

National Council for Catholic Evangelization (NCCE)

An inventory of National Council for Catholic Evangelization Records at The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives


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Descriptive Summary

Repository: The American Catholic Research Center and University Archives
Creator: National Council for Catholic Evangelization
Title: NCCE
Dates: 1983-2002
Extent: 5 linear feet; 4 boxes
Abstract: The NCCE collection consists of administrative records, print programs, audio recordings and memorabilia documenting both council activities and the NCCE annual conference. These materials span the roughly 20 year life-cycle of the organization. NCCE was conceived as a professional association of diocesan directors of evangelization inspired by Pope Paul VI's Evangelii Nuntiandi. It operated in concert with the NCCB Committee on Evangelization and was best known for its role in the evangelization program "Go and Make Disciples." The NCCE folded in 2002.
Collection Number: 186
Language: English

Historical Note

In the early 1980s, The National Council of Catholic Evangelization emerged from a network of clergy affiliated with the formally ad-hoc NCCB (National Conference of Catholic Bishops) Committee on Evangelization to become a nationally recognized diocesan organization with over 2000 members. In its day the NCCE hosted upwards of 18 annual conferences, published a newsletter, and received grants from recognized philanthropies. But the NCCE was perhaps best known for implementing an influential program in 1992 known as "Go and Make Disciples." Due in good measure to these efforts, the message of "Go and Makes Disciples" grew out of a strategic document published by the General Secretary to become a centerpiece for what today is known as the USCCB Committee for Evangelization and Catechesis. Today the NCCE no longer exists but the legacy of the "Go and Make Disciples" campaign lives on.

Looking back, it is important to note that 1992 also saw the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or what is commonly known as the "universal catechism," which reflected the ecumenical spirit of Pope Paul VI's Evangelii Nuntiandi. This is significant for it was Paul VI's Apostolic Exhortation that provided the bedrock for the formation of the NCCE under Father Alvin Illig and the ad-hoc Bishop's Committee on Evangelization. Issued in 1975, Evangelii Nuntiandi came to symbolize the church's effort to reach out to growing ranks of evangelical Christians in the late 1970's by emphasizing inclusiveness through pastoral communication.

Another target audience for the Committee on Evangelization was lapsed Catholics. In 1983, with Pope John Paul II's subsequent call for a "new evangelization" eliciting support from the laity, NCCE was chartered as a professional group for diocesan directors. However the Committee on Evangelization would not become a standing committee within the NCCB until 1990 leaving the evangelization proponents with little in the way of staff or monetary support throughout the 1980's. The elevation also appeared to signal a change in fortunes for the NCCE to yield crucial resources as "Go and Make Disciples" ramped up. The following comes from the USCCB website:

"in March 1990, the Committee on Evangelization of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) presented plans to develop a national plan and strategy for evangelization to the NCCB Administrative Committee. After conducting a broad consultation with dioceses, state Catholic conferences, religious communities, and national organizations, the Committee on Evangelization submitted a final draft to the plenary assembly of the NCCB. Go and Make Disciples: A National Plan and Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States was approved on November 18, 1992, and was authorized for publication by the General Secretary."

According to a 2002 testimonial from Bishop William Houck, much of the NCCE's capacity for evangelical outreach was credited to Paulist initiative with considerable recognition going to the late Fr. Illig for his advocacy and to Father John Hurley for the success of "Go and Make Disciples." Further notes from the collection reveal that the dialog between the NCCE and the Paulists over the years stemmed from Fr. Illig's leadership of both the NCCB Committee on Evangelization (1977-1982) and the Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Association. When the NCCE was formally organized in 1983, relations with the PNCEA continued to remain in place for years to come. Fr. Illig passed in 1991, just as NCCE was hitting its prime, but by then its membership was already thriving. According to the 1996 records, its ranks had increased from 125 charter members to over 2500. While considerable enthusiasm and dedication remained among members up to the millennium, by then financial hardships had returned and the organization was formally dissolved in 2002.

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Scope and Contents

The NCCE Collection consists of two series documenting its administrative records and outreach activities. Much of it pertains to annual conference and the "Go and Make Disciples" program. There are few primary resources from the early days and little in the way of personal communications. The first series is two boxes of print records. Box 1 contains an extensive series of member newsletters along with minutes, by-laws, and internal records. There is also an organizational history compiled by Sr. Priscilla Lemire, the NCCE's last executive director. Box 2 contains a chronological assortment of program brochures from its 1987-2002 annual conferences. It also includes conference memorabilia, mostly photo albums from the late 1990's.

The second series is AV material and contains on-location recordings of conference speakers spanning from 1993 - 2002. Box 3 contains cassettes mostly from 2001 along with some undated recordings from Father John Hurley. It also contains miscellaneous photos, VHS, and additional audio cassettes ca. 1997. Box 4 contains additional cassettes organized into binders. Topics in Box 4 include evangelization, catechism and Spanish language outreach.

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Arrangement

The National Council of Catholic Evangelization Records consists of 2 series:



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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

25 years or living persons

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Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Donated in 2004 by Sr. Priscilla Lemure, former Executive Director

Processing Information

Processing completed in 9/11/12 by Carter Rawson. EAD markup completed in 9/12/12 by Carter Rawson.

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Related Material

Related Material at the American Catholic History Reseaarch Center and University Archives:

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

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Secretariat for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs

Related Material at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB):

Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs

Evangelization and Catechesis

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Index Terms

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


Persons:
Hurley, Fr. John
Illig, Fr. Alvin
Paul VI, Pope, 1897-1978

Organizations:
Catholic University of America
Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Association
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Places:
Rome
Washington D.C.

Subjects:
Catechesis
Evangelii Nuntiandi
Evangelization
Paulist
Pontifical
Religious Affairs


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Bibliography

Armstrong, John, (ed.), Roman Catholicism: Evangelical Protestants Analyze What Unites Us and Divides Us. Chicago: Moody Bible Institute, 1994 Geisler, Norman and Ralph MacKenzie, Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1995 2002 Recordings of the Process Used for Dissolution, written by Sr. Priscilla Lemire, Executive Director NCCE By-laws, 1996

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Detailed Description of the Collection

                       
Series 1, 1983-2002 (2)
The first series is two boxes of print records. The administrative records found in the first box are mostly bound. The grant awards and other loose leaf records are housed in file folders. The second box contains newsletters followed by program brochures and memorabilia from NCCE national conference which are not in folders.
Box Folder
1 1 "Minutes", 1986-2002
        Housed in binder
  2 "Bylaws and Annual Conference Handbook", 1983-2002
        Housed in binder
  3 "Recordings of the Process used for Dissolution", 2002
        Includes history of NCCE, housed in binder
  4 "NCCE History and Admin Records", 1983-2002
  5 "Paul VI Award", 2001
  6 "Carmelita Kenney Fund", ca. 1996
  7 "Executive Director Records (1)", 2000
  8 "Executive Director Records(2)", 1993-2000
  9 "NCCE Grant Admin (1)", 1995, 2001
  10 "NCCE Grant Admin (2)", 1998-2002
  11 "ABCM Grants", 1986-1995
  12 "Home Mission Grants", 1999-2003
  13 "Koch Foundation Grants", 1995-2002
Box Folder
2 1 "NCCE Newsletters", 2000-2002
  2 "NCCE Newsletters", 1995-1999
  3 "NCCE Newsletters", 1994-1995
  4 "NCCE Newsletters", 1990-1993
  5 "NCCE Newsletters", 1984-1989
  6 "NCCE Annual Conference", 2001
  7 "NCCE Annual Conference", 1987-2002
        35 Conference Brochures
  8 "Memorabilia: NCCE Annual Conference", 1996-1999
        4 photo albums of 4" x 6" color photos
  8 "Memorabilia: NCCE Annual Conference", 1996-1999
        6 laminated NCCE display signs approx. 10" x 14", n.d.
                       
Series 2, 1993-2002 (2)
The second series consists of 2 boxes of AV materials. Box 3 contains over 75 audio cassettes of on-location recordings, mostly from 2001 and 1997 annual conference. There is also some photo memorabilia and a VHS dub. The 2001 recordings are un-housed with limited bibliographic detail. Box 4 contains 12 folders of additional audio cassette recordings by assorted conference speakers (as marked.)
Box Folder
3 1 "Memorabilia: NCCE Annual Conference", 1998-2002
        10 envelopes of 4x6 color photos
  2 "AV: NCCE Annual Conference", 2001
        75 audio cassettes of speakers from 2001 conference
  3 "AV: NCCE Annual Conference", 1997
        1 folder containing 8 cassettes from 14th Annual Conference
  4 "AV: NCCE Annual Conference", 1993
        1 folder containing 8 cassettes from 9th Annual Conference
  5 "AV: NCCE Annual Conference", n.d.
        1 folder containing 12 cassettes
  6 "AV: NCCE Annual Conference", 2001
        1 VHS dub "Currents" January 2001 feat. Sr. John Vianney (app. 30 min)
Box Folder
4 1 "AV: NCCE Annual Conference", 2002
        1 folder containing approximately 9 cassettes from 18th Annual Conference.
  2 "AV: NCCE Annual Conference", 1998
        1 folder containing cassettes from 15th Annual Conference
  3 "AV: NCCE Annual Conference", 1997
        1 folder containing cassettes from 14th Annual Conference
  4 "AV: NCCE Annual Conference", 1997
        1 folder containing cassettes from 14th Annual Conference
  5 "AV: NCCE Annual Conference", 1996
        1 folder containing approximately 12 cassettes from 13th Annual Conference
  6 "AV: NCCE Annual Conference", 1996
        1 folder containing approximately 12 cassettes from 13th Annual Conference
  7 "AV: NCCE Annual Conference", 1993
        1 folder containing approximately 12 cassettes from 10th Annual Conference
  8 "AV: NCCE Annual Conference", 1993
        1 folder containing approximately 12 cassettes from 10th Annual Conference
  9 "AV: NCCE Annual Conference", 1993
        1 folder containing approximately 12 cassettes from 10th Annual Conference
  10 "AV: NCCE Annual Conference", 1993
        1 folder containing approximately 12 cassettes from 10th Annual Conference
  11 "AV: NCCE Annual Conference", n.d.
        1 folder containing 10 cassettes(unknown)

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Historical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Related Material

Index Terms

Bibliography

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1, 1983-2002

Series 2, 1993-2002

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