“No one who ever brushes shoulders with Sister Rose can forget the experience. Her unique charism, blending warmth with idealism, moves everyone she meets. She is also a team player who serves on many teams, all with the same fervent ideals.”
This passage was written to summarize the legacy of Sister Rose Thering upon the receipt of an honorary degree bestowed by Seton Hall University in 2000. These remarks show that the esteem she was shown in life was profound and remains ever strong even a decade after her death six years later. Her life and works are diverse and continuously honored not only on the campus, but also on a global level alike. Sister Rose (as she was affectionately known) was most widely noted for her advocacy of Israel and promoting the spiritual and educational importance inherent within Christianity and Judaism. Her respect for each religious tradition entailed a perpetual celebration of the uniqueness found within each faith and fostering respectful dialogue between both religious traditions whenever possible. This became one of her most lasting contributions to humankind.
Rose Elizabeth Thering was born on August 9, 1920 in Plain, Wisconsin and entered the order of Racine Dominican Sisters at the age of 16. She later earned her academic credentials that included an undergraduate degree from Dominican College (1953), master of arts from the College of St. Thomas (1957), and a doctorate from St. Louis University (1961) before embarking on her long-standing work as an educator.
The doctoral dissertation written by Sister Rose focused upon the negative treatment of Judaism found in Catholic-produced textbooks. The findings of this study were utilized by Cardinal Augustin Bea, a German Jesuit priest who during the Second Vatican Council used the work of Sister Rose for perspective that resulted in the 1965 document: Nostra Aetate (“In Our Age”), A Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions, which came down to the following major pronouncement in regard to the Crucifixion of Christ: “. . . what happened in his passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today”. As regarding how this issue was to be handled in catechetical instruction, it added, “The Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God.”
This adherence to Nostra Aetate in turn became a lifelong cause for Sister Rose where she advocated for Christians to understand and embrace this message of toleration and bring the principles from print to real life recognition. Her activism resulted in fighting Anti-Semitism and becoming more involved in community initiatives where she was one of the founding forces behind the National Christian Leadership Conference Leadership Conference for Israel, United States Foreign Relations Committee, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) among many others. In addition, Sister Rose became a charter member of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education where her work led to required instruction of the Holocaust and Genocide throughout all New Jersey Public School systems. Her outreach was so widely known that a film about her activism entitled: Sister Rose’s Passion released in 2004 was later nominated for an Academy Award.
Even though she was a citizen of the world, Sister Rose made an important and lasting mark on Seton Hall when she arrived on campus in 1968 through her work as a faculty member in the College of Education. She advanced to the rank of Professor and was elected Chair of Secondary Education before her official retirement in 1989. Sister Rose further helped to enhance the Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies, conducted over 50 tours of Israel and countless workshops on Judaism that helped lead to the origin of the Menorah Studies Program that led to the Graduate Department of Judaeo-Christian Studies founded in 1974. She later became a Professor Emerita at Seton Hall and the Sister Rose Endowment Center named in her honors continues to the sponsor the annual “Evening of Roses” event where leaders in both the Jewish and Christian communities were honored for their contributions to mutual religious understanding.
In addition to the memories and testimonials that remain, the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center houses the Sister Rose Thering Papers (MSS 0016) consisting of various works that show more detail on her life and work over the last century. The following abstract provides an overview of this collection which is available for research consultation . . .
The Rose Thering Papers (1944-2005) consist of the professional and personal papers of Sister Rose Thering. The collection includes writings, correspondence, speeches, travel information, and subject files. Most of the material dates from Sister Rose Thering’s time in New Jersey working for the Institute for Judaeo-Christian studies, and documents her teaching and scholarly activities, her work for the state of New Jersey in creating legislation for the teaching of the Holocaust, her international activism, and her travel to gives talks to a wide variety of audiences. The materials also demonstrate the varied research interests of Sister Rose that are located in specialized subject files.
More details on this collection can be reviewed via the following link . . .
In addition, the Archives & Special Collections Center along with the University Libraries of Seton Hall contains a number of books authored by and about Sister Rose along with various articles that highlight her research and varied pronouncements . . .
For more information regarding Sister Rose Thering along with other figures related to the Judaeo-Christian Studies program and its history please feel free to contact us via e-mail at: Archives@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.
The Archives & Special Collections Center is proud to announce the opening of the John C.H. Wu Papers for access to our research community through the generosity of John and Theresa Wu and the entire Wu family. Dr. Wu was a scholar, author, and jurist who spent several years as a member of the Seton Hall faculty who made significant contributions to the studies of law, philosophy, religious studies, and other subject areas during the course of his lifetime which are reflected in part through the original manuscripts, printed works, photographs, notebooks, sketch books, subject files, and other materials that represent the intellectual life of Dr. Wu.
Counted among the highlights from the work of scholar, author, and jurist include the following highlights from his educational and professional life. John Ching Hsiung (C.H.) Wu (Chinese – Wu Jingxiong, 吳經熊) was on March 28, 1899, in the city of Ningbo, Jiangsu Province. His early education focused primarily on the teachings of Confucius along with the study of Daoism, Buddhism, and notable poets of ancient China. At age fifteen, Wu entered a local junior college, where he was exposed to the field of physics which he continued to study at the Baptist College of Shanghai. A change of educational path occurred during the spring of 1917 when Wu began studying law and transferred to the Comparative Law School of China. Wu completed his degree by the fall of 1920 and subsequently attended the University of Michigan Law School for post-graduate work and earned his JD in 1921. From here he began writing articles that largely compared the legal traditions of China and the Western World. In May 1921, Wu earned a fellowship from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which enabled him to study at the Sorbonne and Berlin University prior to his return to the United States where he became a research fellow at Harvard Law School in 1923.
Page of an unpublished manuscript –
“Philosophical Foundation of the Old and New Legal System of China” by Dr. John Wu
During the mid-1920s, Wu moved back to China and settled in Shanghai where he began teaching at the Comparative Law School of China, and helped to co-found the China Law Review. During the World War II years, Wu became a writer for the cause of Chinese freedom and re-located to Hong Kong and was enlisted by Chinese President Chiang Kai-shek in 1942 to translate the Christian Book of Psalms and the entire New Testament into Chinese. In the spring of 1945, Wu attended the inaugural United Nations conference in San Francisco as an adviser to the Chinese Delegation and also became lead author of the Nationalist Constitution that same year. He also helped to work on their Charter and by the end of the year he was appointed the Chinese delegate to the Vatican which took effect on February 16, 1947 and lasted through 1949.
Upon leaving China, Wu became the Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hawaii in 1949 where he also wrote his autobiography entitled – Beyond East and West (New York: Sheed and Ward and Taipei: Mei Ya Publications, 1951). After his tenure in Hawaii, Wu began teaching legal studies at Seton Hall University and helped in the founding of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies during the 1951 academic year and remained a member of the faculty until his retirement in 1967. His legacy survives through regular interest in the scholarship that has been left behind for present and future scholars to discover.
This collection is available for study by appointment and more information about what is featured within the John C.H. Wu Papers can be found via the following link –
The Donald M. Payne papers, 1988-2012, Mss 0078, are now open for research at the Archives and Special Collections Center. This collection of 53 linear feet is the collected congressional papers of Donald M. Payne, Sr., who was New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District Representative to the United States Congress from 1989-2012. Congressman Payne was New Jersey’s first African American congressional representative, and served eleven consecutive terms, passing away in 2012 during his twelfth term.
Donald Payne, Sr., was a native of Newark, N.J., and attended Seton Hall in the 1950s. A Democrat and a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Congressman Payne was a leading advocate of education and human rights. He was especially active in supporting increased funding for higher education and in supporting democratic efforts in Africa, particularly in Sudan. He was a member and former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and won a number of awards for his work on behalf of education, democracy, and human rights.
The Donald M. Payne papers chronicle Congressman Payne’s work during his 23 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. Included are notes and drafts of legislation with which Congressman Payne was heavily involved, papers and photographs from his travels to Africa, research materials related to his areas of interest, and many other materials documenting his work in Congress. This collection is a rich resource for anyone interested in diplomacy and international relations, promotion of education, New Jersey and national politics, political events in Africa over the past 25 years, and the legislative process.
The collection is primarily paper documents and photographs, which are available to researchers in the Archives and Special Collections Center reading room. Advance appointments are required for the use of archival material. Also in the collection are some electronic, audio, and video materials, which are not yet available for research, due to preservation concerns. These materials came to Seton Hall University through the generosity of Congressman Payne’s family and heirs.
Please feel free to contact us with questions or to make an appointment to view this collection!
As always, this work could not have been accomplished without the dedication of our staff, student workers, and interns. Now that summer is over and the fall semester is picking up, keep an eye out for more resources and information in the coming months!
The Archives and Special Collections Center continues to work hard to bring more of our resources to the community. A number of new finding aids have been published recently, thanks in large part to the efforts of our students, volunteers, and staff behind the scenes.
A collection that belongs to both Seton Hall and Archdiocese history is the Immaculate Conception Seminary records, 1868-2008, SHU 0023, a partially processed and partially described collection; the finding aid for this collection, although incomplete, is also now available for researchers to use.
Ace Alagna was a photographer from Newark who worked in the White House Press Corps before buying the Italian Tribune newspaper. He edited the newspaper for almost 30 years, during which time he and the Italian Tribune were the organizers and main sponsors of the Newark Columbus Day parade. The annual parade usually had a celebrity grand marshal, often someone of Italian heritage, who would be present for the parade and attendant celebrations. Ace Alagna knew a wide a range of people in New Jersey, and traveled around the country and around the world.
The Ace Alagna photographic collection, 1944-1998, Mss 0018, includes images of notable politicians, actors, athletes, musicians, and writers such as John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, N.J. Governors Richard Hughes and Brendan Byrne, Congressman Peter Rodino, Danny Aiello, Frank Sinatra, Connie Francis, Phil Brito, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Piscopo, Tony Curtis, Bob Hope, and Tony LoBianco, among many others. The collection includes numerous pictures of Newark and the Columbus Day parade from the 1970s-1990s, and a large number of pictures of N.J. politicians in the state senate and assembly.
Many of the images in the collection have been scanned, and so far a small percentage of those scans are available online. There are also unprocessed portions of the collection that have not yet been described in the finding aid, particularly black and white and color prints of many of the negatives, videos related to the Columbus Day parade, and some materials that appear to be layouts for images to appear in the Italian Tribune. Materials that are not available online are available for research, with the assistance of Archives staff, at the Archives and Special Collections Center. Additional scans will be made available online in the future, as time permits, and unprocessed materials will be added to the finding aid as they are processed. Keep an eye out for more images and materials, and meanwhile, take a close look through this rich window into Newark’s history and culture!
The Archives and Special Collections Center at Seton Hall University is excited to be a part of the Newark Archives Project (NAP), a comprehensive online database of primary source material related to Newark co-sponsored by the Newark History Society and Rutgers University-Newark.
The Newark Archives Project’s mission is to “identify and describe Newark-related archival materials, not only in Newark and Essex County, but in New Jersey and New York, and ultimately throughout the United States.” What makes this project especially helpful for scholars is the in-depth description of materials related to Newark within collections; project staff survey materials in person as much as possible to identify relevant content and the locations of that content within a collection, giving greater and more specific detail than can often be achieved in the descriptions provided in finding aids alone. For researchers interested in Newark and its history, NAP is an invaluable tool for locating material.
Since 2010, when the pilot phase of the project was launched, about a dozen institutions, primarily in the city of Newark, have been surveyed. Now project staff have expanded beyond the city into neighboring towns and areas, surveying nearby institutions holding materials related to Newark. Seton Hall University’s Archives and Special Collections Center, as the repository for the Archdiocese of Newark and located in South Orange, adjacent to Newark, is delighted to contribute to NAP. Since June of this year, Dr. Gail Malmgreen, Project Director, and Alix Ross, Archivist, have been surveying our collections to highlight specifically Newark-related materials. Based on their work, the collection descriptions are included in the Newark Archives Project database with box and folder-level lists of relevant materials. More than 50 of our collections have been surveyed and described already, and they’re not finished yet!
The NAP site is very easy to use. Researchers can search for materials by keyword, subject, or time period, or can browse by repository. The result list gives the name of the collection, the repository that holds it, the collection size, and the first part of the collection description. Clicking on the collection title gives the full collection description as well as the detailed contents of Newark materials. The name of the repository is a link to more information on location and how the collection can be accessed, including a link to the institution’s website. So far more than 1300 collections are included in the database, and more are being added continuously.
This is great resource for local researchers or anyone with an interest in Newark and its history. Seton Hall is very proud to be included in the NAP database and we are grateful to the wonderful staff who have surveyed our materials. Check out Seton Hall’s collections in NAP, and explore from there!
The 1940 presidential election was unusual in several respects: it marked the first (and only) time in American history that a President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, officially ran for a third term; both candidates were selected at the party conventions and came as something of a surprise to their party; and the entire campaign was shadowed by World War 2 in Europe and Asia, with both candidates advocating non-intervention. In addition, Wendell Willkie was a former supporter of Roosevelt who, although defeated in the campaign, went on to work closely with Roosevelt afterwards. Willkie was a dark horse candidate who had never held or even run for political office before, and the lead-up to the Republican National Convention included strong runs from candidates including former President Herbert Hoover and Thomas E. Dewey, who would go on to become the Republican candidate in the 1944 election when Roosevelt ran for a fourth term. As a result of Roosevelt’s long turn as President, the United States congress passed the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution in 1947 that limited a President to two terms or ten years in office.
The major issues of the campaign, faithfully documented in this rich set of scrapbooks, revolved around the economic recovery of the country from the Great Depression after the stock market crash of 1929, the possibility of American involvement in World War 2, and the legality or advisability of Roosevelt’s run for a third term. The scrapbooks include news articles describing events of the campaign and election as well as opinions, editorials, and political cartoons on candidates and issues. These materials have not yet been digitized and are very fragile, but they give a window into a political process quite different from today. Come to the Archives to see them, or contact us to find out more!
As part of our efforts to describe all of our collections online, a number of new finding aids have been posted during the spring semester.
Collections from the Archdiocese of Newark that have had new finding aids posted include the papers of three auxiliary bishops, the records of several offices of the Archdiocese, and the records of some related organizations. Collections from University Archives include the papers of a number of past presidents of the University as well as the records of the College of Education and Human Services and the National Defense Language Institute. Manuscript collections include the papers of several important figures in University history as well as documentation on events in the Archdiocese.
The papers of three auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese, Bishop Justin J. McCarthy, Bishop Martin W. Stanton, and Bishop Joseph A. Francis, now have finding aids and catalog records. The Justin J. McCarthy papers, 1936-1959, ADN 0003.004, include the sermons and lecture notes of Bishop McCarthy, who was a graduate of Seton Hall College, Immaculate Conception Seminary, and the North American College in Rome, was the pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows in South Orange, and was a spiritual director of and professor of theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary in the 1930s-1950s. The Martin W. Stanton papers, 1957-1977 (bulk 1957-1961), ADN 0003.005, are the papers of Bishop Stanton, a New Jersey native who attended the Immaculate Conception Seminary and Fordham University, where he received his doctorate in sacred theology, and who attended all sessions of the Second Vatican Council; the collection includes correspondence from Bishop Stanton’s time in Rome for the first session of Vatican 2 as well as correspondence on his ordination as bishop. The Joseph A. Francis papers, 1934-1997, ADN 0003.011, are the papers of Bishop Francis, the fourth African-American Roman Catholic bishop and the first ordained in the Northeast, and who was an important figure in discussions of race and religion in the United States; the papers include correspondence, writings, sermons and speeches, photographs, and awards.
Several offices or former offices of the Archdiocese of Newark have generated collections which are now described in online finding aids and in the catalog. The Apostolic Nuncio records of the Archdiocese of Newark, 1950-2000 (bulk 1987-2000), ADN 0031 are the records gathered by the Archdiocese of Newark from communication with the Apostolic Nuncio, who is the top diplomatic representative of the Holy See to the United States and is usually the point of contact for American bishops and dioceses to the Vatican. This collection includes a variety of correspondence as well as materials related to the Rome and Vatican City Project Overview. The Mount Carmel Guild of the Archdiocese of Newark records, 1929-1974, bulk 1929-1937, ADN 0040, documents the activities of the Mount Carmel Guild, a division of the Associate Catholic Charities providing assistance to individuals and families in need that has since been absorbed into Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark; the collection includes materials related to the soup kitchen, ministry to individuals seeking American citizenship, ministry to the physically and mentally handicapped, and social justice work performed by the Guild. The Office of Research and Planning of the Archdiocese of Newark records, 1975-1989, ADN 0063, includes materials related to the work of the Office of Research and Planning, which defines Archdiocesan goals, develops and directs the overall short and long range plans and objectives of the Archdiocese, and develops programs to meet the needs of the Archdiocese. Projects documented in the collection include the merger of Associated Catholic Charities, the office of the Secretariat, Archdiocesan hospitals, ethnic studies, and team ministries. The Vicar for Religious of the Archdiocese of Newark records, 1930-1974 (bulk 1950-1960), ADN 0073, contain the records from the office of the Vicar for Religious, now known as the Delegate for Religious, who serves as the liaison between the Archbishop and members of religious orders in the Diocese; this collection primarily consists of correspondence between the Vicar and members of women’s religious communities on topics including contracts for teachers, ceremonies, canonization of Foundresses of orders, and other concerns.
Organizations related to the Archdiocese of Newark also have collections with new finding aids. The Legion of Decency of the Archdiocese of Newark records, 1954-1978, ADN 0055, are the records of the Legion of Decency, an organization dedicated to determining the moral content (objectionable or acceptable) of motion pictures in the United States, which was later absorbed into the organization that became the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; the collection primarily consists of index cards with the titles of films and a rating given by the Legion, as well as some correspondence and documentation related to activities in Essex County. The Fratres in Unum newsletters, 1963-1969, ADN 0057 includes issues of Fratres in Unum, a newsletter created by priests of the Archdiocese for priests discussing social issues as well as local concerns. The à Kempis of New Jersey records, 1984-1997 (bulk 1991-1997), ADN 0082 include records for à Kempis of New Jersey, a women’s charitable organization that hosted speakers and raised money for charity.
The personal collections of several faculty and benefactors of Seton Hall University have recently been made available via new finding aids and catalog records. The William T. and Marie Henderson family papers, 1930-1989, Mss 0008, are the papers of William and Marie Henderson, who were very involved with the University and South Orange communities and who were generous benefactors of the school; the collection includes correspondence and materials documenting the couples’ involvement with various charitable organizations. The Rose Thering papers, 1944-2005, Mss 0016, are the personal and professional papers of Sr. Rose Thering, a sister of the Order of Saint Dominic, professor at the Institute for Judeao-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University, outspoken activist in favor of Judeao-Christian relations, and an instrumental figure in the creation of legislation in 1994 mandating that the Holocaust be taught in New Jersey schools; her work was also referenced in deliberations for the Nostra Aetate: Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, a document adopted at the Second Vatican Council that reversed the Roman Catholic Church’s official position on relations with the Jewish religion and people. Her legacy is remembered in the Sister Rose Thering Fund, an endowment created to provide assistance to teachers in taking courses in Jewish-Christian Studies. The collection includes research materials, correspondence, photographs, and other materials. The Miriam Rooney papers, 1930-1965, Mss 0039, are the papers of Miriam Rooney, a lawyer, the first dean of the Seton Hall University Law School (making her the first female dean of a law school in the United States), and a professor of law; the collection includes letters from friends, a diary, photographs, and religious papers.
Two additional collections related to Catholic subjects in the New Jersey region have had finding aids posted this semester. The Collection on the Cause for Pierre Touissaint, 1991-2000, Mss 0036, was created from two separate donations to the Center regarding the cause for sainthood of Pierre Touissaint, who was born into slavery in 1766 in what is now Haiti and moved with his family and master to New York; the collection primarily consists of newspaper clippings describing the life and cause for sainthood of Pierre Toussaint, as well as photographs, correspondence, and mass cards related to Pierre Toussaint. The Collection on Pope John Paul II’s visits to the United States, 1979-1996 (bulk 1995), Mss 0044, documents the visit of Pope John Paul II to Newark and surrounding areas in 1995 through documents, memorabilia, photographs, and other materials, and refers to previous visits the Pope made to the United States.
All of these collections and many others are available for research at the Monsignor William Noe Field Archives and Special Collections Center Monday through Friday, 9-5. Please call ahead to make an appointment to view materials, or visit our web page for more information. Some materials are available online through our Digital Field Archives and Special Collections Center, and the number of digital items available any time continues to grow. Stay tuned for further developments and more fascinating materials from the Vault!
Ambassador Thomas P. and Dr. Margaret B. Melady have been involved in diplomatic and international affairs since the 1950s, particularly on the continent of Africa. Ambassador Melady has held multiple diplomatic posts for the United States, including Ambassador to Burundi, Ambassador to Uganda, and Ambassador to the Holy See, and is the new Interim Dean of the Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations here at Seton Hall University. Dr. Melady is an alumnus of Seton Hall, a former President of the American University in Rome, and is now the President of Melady Associates, a firm specializing in public affairs and educational counseling. The couple have written multiple books on politics in Africa, including Ten African Heroes: The Sweep of Independence in Black Africa, published in 2011.
The correspondence and personal papers that formed the core of the research for that book are a part of a new archival collection held at the Archives and Special Collections Center, the Thomas and Margaret Melady papers, 1959-2010 (bulk 1960-1975). The collection is the gift of Ambassador and Dr. Melady, and documents their involvement with many of the individuals responsible for the vast political changes that took place over the whole continent of Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. In addition to the ten men featured in the book, who feature prominently in the collection, there are letters from dozens of other individuals and organizations, photographs, and newsclippings documenting that turbulent time.
Thomas Melady first went to Africa in the 1950s while working for the Foreign Service. He and Margaret Badum married in 1961, and the couple spent a great deal of their time in Africa throughout the 1960s and 1970s, deeply involved in diplomatic and political events all over the continent. Thomas Melady also started the Africa Service Institute, an organization dedicated to the education and advancement of students and leaders in Africa. The materials in the Thomas and Margaret Melady papers cover 36 nations and areas from Angola to Zimbabwe, and cover a range of topics from the intensely personal to the course of nations. Correspondents include political leaders, such as Léopold Sédar Senghor, William V.S. Tubman, and Kenneth David Kaunda; Catholic officials such as Archbishop Jean Zoa of Yaoundé and Archbishop Luc-Auguste Sangare of Bamako; fellow diplomats from and to the United States or the United Nations; students, academics, priests, and many others. Topics include political events in Africa and the United States, the role of racism in politics of the day, requests for assistance from the Africa Service Institute, personal notes of thanks and updates, and a wide variety of conversational subjects.
This rich collection was described in detail by the Meladys before coming to the Archives, and that original description forms the majority of the finding aid. While no materials from the collection have yet been digitized, the entire original collection is available at the Archives and Special Collections Center, on the first floor of Walsh Library. Please see our Hours page to find Hours and Directions, or Contact Us to make an appointment.
The book Ten African Heroes is also available in the Archives and Special Collections Center.