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Inventory of the Catholic Labor Institute Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • History of the Catholic Labor Institute
  • Description of the Catholic Labor Institute Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Catholic Labor Institute Collection.
    Dates: 1944-2003
    Collection number: CSLA-41
    Creator: Coogan, Thomas. F., Reverend, d. 1947
    Creator: Henning, Patrick W.
    Collection Size: 4 linear feet(1 archival document box, 2 oversize boxes)
    Repository: Loyola Marymount University. Library. Department of Archives and Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90045-2659
    Abstract: This collection consists of photographs and organizational subject files of the Catholic Labor Institute that document the organization's early history in Los Angeles from the late 1940s through the early 1950s, and then the final years of its existence, the late 1980s to circa 1991.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open to research under the terms of use of the Department of Archives and Special Collections, Loyola Marymount University.

    Publication Rights

    Materials in the Department of Archives and Special Collections may be subject to copyright. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, Loyola Marymount University does not claim ownership of the copyright of any materials in its collections. The user or publisher must secure permission to publish from the copyright owner. Loyola Marymount University does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or of publication rights held by the original author or artists or his/her heirs, assigns, or executors.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Series number, Box number and Folder number, Catholic Labor Institute Collection, CSLA-41, Department of Archives and Special Collections, William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University.

    Acquisition Information

    Donation of Patrick W. Henning, through Kenneth C. Burt. Michael Engh, S.J., served as the intermediary for the Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles Research Collection, 2003.

    History of the Catholic Labor Institute

    Reverend Thomas F. Coogan founded the Catholic Labor Institute (CLI) on 13 February 1947; Reverend Joseph V. Kearney was it spiritual director. Membership was for "practical Catholics" and for members of labor unions, per the CLI's constitution. That Los Angeles Archbishop John Cantwell blessed the organization spoke to its roots in the Roman Catholic Church. The purpose of the CLI was to support workers and labor unions in Southern California through such means as newsletters, programs and classes, discussion groups, counseling, and a speakers bureau.
    The group's purpose was fulfilled in different ways. Coogan headed—before his untimely death 26 October 1947—the Leo XIII School of Social Action. Other CLI outreaches included the Pius XI School of Labor Relations, at St. Mary's in Boyle Heights that Reverend Thomas O'Dwyer directed. In 1947, Coogan set the tone for the Catholic Labor Institute at its first Labor Day mass at St. Vibiana's Cathedral (which became an annual event presided over by the archbishop of Los Angeles, along with a breakfast) when he criticized the Taft-Hartley Labor Act, which had curtailed the Wagner Act. The union leaders in the pews were undoubtedly pleased at this denunciation.
    The CLI also took an active stance against Communism, opposing the communist-dominated United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (UE) Local 142 in its drive to lead Standard Coil in Los Angeles.
    The Catholic Labor Institute was especially active in the Mexican-American community of Los Angeles, including the International Ladies Garment Workers' Union (See the blog post of Kenneth Burt "Catholic Labor Institute in Los Angeles", http://http://kennethburt.com/blog/?p=729; accessed 13 September 2012). To this end, it offered citizenship classes in support of its Mexican American constitutents.
    The last director of the CLI was Patrick W. Henning. The organization ended sometime in the early 1990s.

    Description of the Catholic Labor Institute Collection

    The Catholic Labor Institute Collection documents the history of the Catholic Labor Institute (CLI) through photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, flyers, pamphlets, and personal notes (most likely those of the last director of the CLI, Patrick W. Henning). The materials principally cover the first five years of the CLI's existence (1947-1952), and the late 1980s and early 1990s, when Patrick W. Henning was its director--and its last.
    Of special interest in this collection are the materials documenting the break between the Archdiocese of Los Angeles under Cardinal Roger Mahony and the Catholic Labor Institute over the unionization of the archdiocese's cemetery workers (see Series 1, Box 1, Folders 4 and 5). Also noteworthy are the materials on the classes and programs that the CLI sponsored to educate and train workers in union organizing (see Series 1, Box 1, Folder 1; and Series 3, Box 2ov).


    The Catholic Labor Institute Collection is arranged in the following series:
  • Series 1: Subject Files
  • Series 2: Oversized Photographs
  • Series 3: Album
  • Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Coogan, Thomas. F., Reverend, d. 1947
    Henning, Patrick W.
    Kearney, Joseph V., Reverend
    Mahony, Roger Michael, Cardinal, 1936-
    Working Class -- California -- Los Angeles
    Labor Movement -- California -- Los Angeles -- History
    Labor -- Religious Aspects -- Catholic Church