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History Vault

Labor Priests: Progressive Politics and the Catholic Church, John A. Ryan Papers, 1892-1945

 

Labor Priests: Progressive Politics and the Catholic Church, John A. Ryan Papers, 1892-1945

John A. Ryan was the foremost social justice advocate and theoretician in the Catholic Church during the first half in the 20th century. Ryan was a Professor of Political Science and Professor of Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America from 1915 until 1939 and Director of the National Catholic Welfare Council's Social Action Department during its first 25 years, from 1920 until his death in 1945. Ryan’s relationship with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal both personally and politically garnered him the nickname "Right Reverend New Dealer." The John A. Ryan Papers span from 1892 to 1945, with a heavy focus on the last twenty years of his life, 1925 to 1945. Most of the collection consists of Ryan’s correspondence, focusing on the Catholic Church, politics, and Ryan’s writings, speaking engagements, and personal matters. The Ryan Papers also include articles, sermons, reports, pamphlets, lecture notes, scrapbooks, and a personal journal.