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James O'Gara Papers

Identifier: OGA

Scope and Content

Publications of James O'Gara on Catholic social teaching, Catholic education, the Church and democracy, the renewal of the Church after the Second Vatican Council, and the role of the laity, including books, pamphlets, articles, typewritten manuscripts of talks and radio and television scripts; general correspondence and editorial correspondence for Paulist Press; and biographical files, including material from sociology courses, files on the Catholic Worker and Dorothy Day, a few folders involving Commonweal, papers from his program preparing candidates for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, and documents on the death of his wife, Joan, and on his own death.


  • Creation: 1939-2004.


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Typescripts of talks and television shows may not be copied or published.


Born in Chicago, 1918; editor of the Chicago Catholic Worker and Associate Director of the Catholic Worker House 1940-1941; served in the U.S. Army (infantry) in World War II; discharged in 1945, he attended the University of Chicago; earned a bachelor's degree in 1949 and a Master of Social Administration degree in 1951, both from Loyola University, Chicago; co-founder of Today, a national Catholic student magazine; managing editor of Saint Jude (which later became U.S. Catholic ); taught Sociology for two years at Loyola University, Chicago, and for four years at Fordham University, New York; served as managing editor of Commonweal , 1952-1967, and as editor-in-chief, 1967-1984; Fellow of the Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research, St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1984-1985; V. Harold and Martha Welch Chair of American Studies, University of Notre Dame, 1985-1986; active in his parish program for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults; columnist for The Long Island Catholic, 1991-2002; died 22 October 2003.


4 linear feet