Father Raymond McGowan - Bishop Edward Mooney correspondence
Edward Mooney, the bishop of Rochester and future archbishop and cardinal of Detroit, was chosen as a member of the National Catholic Welfare Conference's (NCWC) Administrative Board in 1934 and was also appointed head of its Social Action Department (SAD). In many long and detailed letters, of which three are reproduced here, McGowan, assistant director of SAD, oriented Mooney to its vast number and wide range of activities. (McGowan, who had studied with Monsignor John A. Ryan at Catholic University, had been with SAD since its inception. Acceding to SAD's directorship in 1945 when Ryan died, he retired in 1954.) In so doing, he laid out a problem that not only particularly plagued SAD's work in "industrial relations," his own special interest, but also the whole of SAD's work: "the extent and quality of the organized lay movement and the Catholic leadership in these subjects."
As you read this document, reflect on the following questions:
1. Did McGowan think SAD was doing all it could to promulgate social Catholicism?
2. What lessons had SAD learned in its brief history?