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Inventory of the Daniel O'Hanlon - Vatican II Collection, 1962-1969
GTU 89-5-02  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • Biographical/Historical Description
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Daniel O'Hanlon - Vatican II Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1962-1969
    Accession number: GTU 89-5-02
    Shelf location: 2/C/1-4
    Creator: O'Hanlon, Daniel S.J., 1919-1992
    Size: Number of containers: 11 boxes

    Linear ft.: 8 1/2
    Type of material: Papers, correspondence, newspapers, books, photographs
    Repository: The Graduate Theological Union
    Berkeley, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Source and Date

    Daniel O'Hanlon, March 1992


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Graduate Theological Union. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Graduate Theological Union as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Daniel O'Hanlon -Vatican II Collection, GTU 89-5-02, The Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.

    Access Points


    Vatican Council (2nd: 1962-65)
    Vatican Council (2nd: 1962-65) --History --Sources

    Names as Subjects

    O'Hanlon, Daniel, 1919-1992

    Biographical/Historical Description

    Daniel O'Hanlon, S.J. (1919-1992) entered the Jesuit Order in 1939, and was ordained in 1952. He studied in Rome and Tubingen, receiving his S.T.D. in Fundamental Theology from the Gregorian University, Rome, 1958. Post Doctoral work included a semester with Rudolph Bultman at Syracuse, and a semester with Paul Tillich at Harvard. He began teaching at Alma College in 1958. He came to Berkeley when Alma College moved to join the GTU and became the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley in 1966. He was Professor Emeritus at JSTB at the time of his death in a car accident in 1992.
    In 1963, he worked as a journalist, writing a weekly column for America Magazine, a Jesuit publication. In 1964-65, while working for the Secretariat for Christian Unity, he was assigned to be the interpreter/guide, the "ciceroni", for the Protestant and Orthodox English speaking observers at the Vatican Council, living with them and attending daily proceedings. He did simultaneous translations for them from the Latin proceedings. At first he did this by just listening over the regular sound system and speaking into a microphone for the observers wearing headphones. Later, he had special headphones himself to hear the proceedings. He tells that is was a particularly arduous job. They had, however, the "best seats in the house", high up looking directly down on the chair of the Council. (interview with Fr. Daniel O'Hanlon, March 23, 1992)
    Fr. O'Hanlon wrote an article in the September 28, 1963 issue of Americaentitled "Vatican II: A Look Ahead." In that article he stated: "it is of supreme importance that the Council address itself to concrete realities and structures in the life of the Church. Could not this be what Pope John meant when he insisted that the purpose of the Council was not the definition of dogmas but a pastoral adaptation to the needs of our time? The Church, especially when she acts through her bishops assembled in Council, responds to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in a living and concrete situation. She does something. To conceive the Church as above all a compiler of abstract theological propositions, as no more than the author and protector of a system of doctirne, leads to a false concept of the Council and its work. Only if it has the courage to actually do something can the Council produce lasting results. ...(a) wall-building mentality is at cross purposes with the direction and spirit of the Vatican Council. The tearing down of some of these walls may be the Council's most fruitful task."
    Hans Kung wrote an article for the January 21, 1966 issue of Commonwealentitled "What has the Council Done?' He gives this summary: "The Council has certainly not done everything which it could have done from the point of view of the present situation. But is has done a great deal more than we expected at the time. At that time (1960) I wrote: 'The Council will either be the fulfillment of a great hope or its disappointment. Mediocre results in the face of the seriousness of the world situation and the needs of Christianity would be a great disappointment.' Today I can say: despite the real disillusionments, the Council has been the fulfillment of a great hope."

    Scope and Content

    The collection was given to the GTU Library in the late 1970's by Daniel O'Hanlon. It was not officially deeded to the GTU Archives until 1992. Originally in cardboard cartons, the collection was reboxed and moved at least twice by different library staff persons when the library was moved, and again during a later construction phase of the library. Because of the moves, the original order of the collection was destroyed.
    The archvist began discussions about the papers and his organization of and intention for them with Father O'Hanlon, but his sudden death left me to reconstruct an organization as close to his as possible. He had labeled several file folders, but also had great amounts of loose material without any headings. Wherever possible I have retained his file folder headings. The loose unheaded materials are organized as closely as I could to the common subject any given stack presented. The daily proceedings begin with Session II, 1963. I have made the overall organization of the collection chronologically: beginning with 1) 1962, 2) moving through the sessions II-IV, 1963-1965, 3) then the collected material about each "document" for discussion and action at the Council, and 4) finally, all the material having to do with post-conciliar issues and follow-up.
    In the container listing is included with each file folder description various letters which indicate the language of the items in that folder. The code is as follows:
    • E -English
    • L -Latin
    • v.l. -various languages
    • I -Italian
    • G -German
    • F -French
    • S -Spanish