James J. Norris Vatican II Collection

Link to the Finding Aid


The James J. Norris - Vatican Council II Collection contains correspondence, notes, newspaper clippings, and related material as well as published and non-published documents associated with his involvement in the Second Vatican Council from his initial attempts to become a lay auditor to his participation in post-conciliar sub-commissions.

Collection Size (number of document cases and boxes):

2.5 linear feet; 5 boxes

Collection Description :

The collection consists of his professional correspondence and the materials he used while serving as a lay auditor at the Second Vatican Council. The majority of the collection comprises his involvement in the Schema on the Church in the Modern World and the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity both as a lay auditor and as a member of a sub-commission from 1963-1967. There is also correspondence with Msgr. Achille Glorieux regarding updates and drafts of Schema XIII, The Church in the Modern World, and with prominent lay figures involved in the council, such as Martin H. Work and Mieczyslaw de Habicht, regarding recommendations to the council.  There are also materials relating to other schemae of the council dating from 1960-1962 and a small amount of material directly related to the council but not produced by the Catholic Church, such as published correspondence and newspaper clippings dating from 1963-1966.  The notes, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and speeches, are concerned with the council and its outcomes. In some cases, Norris wrote notes directly on the drafts of schemae, and in others he wrote his notes separately. These notes identify possible suggestions for altering Church documents. There is also a considerable amount of counciliar and post-conciliar documents primarily concerned with Schema XIII, The Church in the Modern World and The Apostolate of the Laity, including drafts of schemae and their individual chapters, commentaries, observations, voting results, and appendices.  The collection also includes documents published between 1960 and 1962 by the Vatican Council as preparatory materials for those involved in the council.