Father Reynold Hillenbrand-Samuel Cardinal Stritch Correspondence


Father Reynold Hillenbrand

Courtesy of University of Notre Dame Archives




Father Reynold Hillenbrand (1905-1979), more than any one person, was responsible for Chicago's vibrant social-Catholic activism. The rector of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary from 1936-1944, Hillenbrand oversaw the training of dozens of priests, introducing them to the liturgical and labor-priest movement. Moreover, he helped organize labor schools throughout the diocese and encouraged the Catholic Workers. Samuel Cardinal Stritch (1887-1958), his superior, did not always agree with everything that he did, but he seldom more vigorously expressed his disapproval than when Hillenbrand attacked the Illinois Manufacturers Association, several of whose officers were Catholic. The Cardinal undoubtedly had this incident of Hillenbrand's class-specific Catholicism in mind when he dismissed him as rector after he joined a picket line of clerks on strike against Montgomery Ward in 1944.




Hillenbrand to Stritch



As you read these documents, reflect on the following question:

1. How did Stritch's and Hillenbrand's vision of Catholicisim differ?


Stritch to Hillenbrand