The Catholic University of America

Washington Catholic Evidence Guild

An inventory of the Washington Catholic Evidence Guild Collection 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/

Search this page:

To search for text within this finding aid press Ctrl+F to open your web browser's search box.

   

Descriptive Summary

Repository: The Catholic University of America, The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives
Creator: Washington Catholic Evidence Guild
Title: Washington Catholic Evidence Guild Collection
Dates: 1924-1983
Extent: 1.5 linear feet; 3 boxes
Abstract: The Washington Catholic Evidence Guild Collection is composed of original materials and commentary collected by Henry Kirk, relating to the Washington, DC activities of the Catholic Evidence Guild, the annual meetings of the National Catholic Evidence Conference, and supplemental materials collected and written to support the mission of the Guild.
Collection Number: 297
Language: English

Biographical Note

The Catholic Evidence Guild is a lay movement which seeks the diffusion of Catholic teachings through the instrumentality of outdoor speaking. It was initiated in London's Westminster Cathedral Hall by Vernon Redwood on April 24, 1918, and began its outdoor work in Hyde Park on August 4, 1918. The organization's goal was to educate non-Roman Catholics to the teachings of the church by means of assemblies, at which Guild members (priests as well as laypersons) would speak and take questions from interested listeners. Guild talks were intended to be doctrinal and expository, never extradoctrinal or oratorical. Through the efforts of individuals such as publishers Frank and Maisie Ward Sheed, the movement spread to the United States in 1931 and was ultimately represented in several cities, notably Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Hays (Kansas), New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and Waterbury.

The Washington Catholic Evidence Guild was formed by Paul B. Ward, C.S.P. and two members of the faculty of the Catholic University of America, Reverend Drs. Charles A. Hart and William H. Russell. One of the Guild's most active participants was Harry J. Kirk (1889-1987), who served as President of the Washington Guild (1940-1942) and the National Catholic Evidence Conference (NCEC) (1940-1943). He was also a member of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (1931-1977), a national Catholic charity, and Treasurer for the National Conference of Catholic Charities (NCCC) in the 1950s. Facing pressures from disapproving clergy members and new district laws prohibiting "soap-box" speakers in national parks, the Washington Guild was disbanded in 1948, although some Paulist priests and seminarians continued to meet for a time afterwards. The Guilds went into general decline, and only the New York and Guam chapters exist today.

Return to the Table of Contents


Scope and Contents

Series 1: Catholic Evidence Activities (1934-1946) focuses on the accomplishments of the Washington, DC Catholic Evidence Guild, including their weekly open air apostolate missions in Franklin Park and in Northern Virginia, and their seasonal activities, including the annual public Stations of the Cross and door-to-door Christmas caroling. This series also contains correspondence between members of the Guild, primarily Harry Kirk, and other religious institutions, articles that were circulated among group members, an annual report, and news clippings of the group and their audiences.

Series 2: National Catholic Evidence Conference (1941-1944) consists of manuscripts bound by Harry Kirk regarding the tenth and thirteenth annual conferences. Kirk modified the proceedings notes, articles, schedules, and speakers lists with personal commentary.

Series 3: Supplemental Materials (1933-1983) consists of articles, schedules of events, and materials prepared for publication, primarily by Harry Kirk, regarding the activities of the Catholic Evidence Guild and other open air apostolate missions.

Return to the Table of Contents


Arrangement

The Washington Catholic Evidence Guild Collection consists of three series:




Return to the Table of Contents


Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None

Return to the Table of Contents


Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated in two parts by Harry J. Kirk and his estate in 1984 and 2011.

Processing Information

Processing completed in September 2011 by Lauren Kanne. EAD markup completed in September 2011 by Lauren Kanne.

Return to the Table of Contents


Related Material

Russell, William Henry

Return to the Table of Contents


Index Terms

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


Persons:
Hart, Charles A.
Kirk, Harry J.
Russell, William H.
Ward, Paul B.

Organizations:
National Catholic Evidence Conference
Washington Catholic Evidence Guild

Places:
Washington, D.C.

Subjects:
Catholic Laity Programs
Open Air Apostolate


Return to the Table of Contents


Detailed Description of the Collection

                       
Series 1: Catholic Evidence Activities, 1934-1946 Box 1-2
This series focuses on the activites of the Washington, DC Catholic Evidence Guild, including prepared manuscripts and reports, correspondence, newsclippings and photographs of the group and their audiences, and articles collected and distributed among the group.
Box Folder
1 1 Annual Report [1], 1940
  2 Annual Report [2], 1940
  3 Articles of Interest, 1940-1941
  4 Correspondence, 1940-1946
Box Folder
2 1 Good News to the Man in the Street, 1941
  2 Newspaper Clippings and Photographs, 1934-1944
  3 Plan for Parochial Missionary Work, 1940
  4 Seasonal Activities, 1940-1943
                       
Series 2: National Catholic Evidence Conference, 1941-1944 Box 2
This series consists of bound manuscripts of the tenth and thirteenth annual National Catholic Evidence Conference, including articles, schedules, speakers, and commentary.
Box Folder
2 5 Tenth Annual Meeting [1], 1941
  6 Tenth Annual Meeting [2], 1941
  7 Tenth Annual Meeting [3], 1941
  8 Thirteenth Annual Meeting, 1944
                       
Series 3: Supplemental Materials, 1933-1983 Box 3
This series consists of articles, schedules of events, and materials prepared for publication, primarily by Harry Kirk, regarding the activities of the Catholic Evidence Guild and other open air apostolate missions.
Box Folder
3 1 Activities in the Catholic Evidence Guild and NCEC, 1933-1954
  2 Manuscript Preparation Notes, 1940-1946, 1983
  3 Open Air Apostolate [1], 1933-1954, 1983
  4 Open Air Apostolate [2], 1933-1954, 1983
  5 Open Air Apostolate [3], 1933-1954, 1983
  6 Problem of Suffering and the Mystery We Call Death, 1982
  7 A Strange Story, 1963-1964

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Related Material

Index Terms

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Catholic Evidence Activities, 1934-1946

Series 2: National Catholic Evidence Conference, 1941-1944

Series 3: Supplemental Materials, 1933-1983

Search the University Libraries' website