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Louis J. Twomey, S.J. Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Collection 02

Scope and Contents

Most of the papers of Father Louis J. Twomey, S.J., originated between the late 1940s and his death in 1969. However, a scattering of correspondence and other material dates back into the 1920s and forward into the 1970s.


  • Created: 1926-1979
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1947-1969
  • Other: Date acquired: 01/12/1990


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.  No known restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Physical rights are retained by the J. Edgar and Louis S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans.  Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.

Biographical or Historical Information

Louis J. Twomey, S.J., was born on 5 October 1905 in Tampa, Florida. He attended Catholic grammar and secondary schools in Tampa and then enrolled at Georgetown University. In 1926, after finishing three years at Georgetown, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Grand Coteau, Louisiana. Called back to Tampa for a year to assist his family, he resumed studies at Grand Coteau in 1929. In 1931 Loyola University of the South awarded Louis Twomey a B.A. degree. Graduate studies at St. Louis University culminated in June 1933 with a M.A. in English. From September 1933 to July 1936 he served on the Spring Hill College faculty. Leaving Spring Hill, he studied dogmatic and moral theology at St. Mary's College in Kansas until June 1940; on 21 June 1939 Louis Twomey was ordained a priest. Between September 1940 and July 1941 he underwent his tertianship at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Cleveland and then from August 1941 to June 1945 held the principal's post at Tampa's Jesuit High School. In September 1945 he entered the Institute of Social Science at St. Louis University, from which he graduated in June 1947 with a M.A. in Economics. Father Twomey was then assigned to Loyola University in New Orleans. Shortly after arriving at Loyola he founded the Institute of Industrial Relations (in 1964 renamed the Institute of Human Relations). Until his death in 1969, Father Twomey's life was closely intertwined with the Institute and with Loyola. The Institute offered a curriculum of adult noncredit courses centering on labor-management relations. In addition, it sponsored conferences and seminars on Catholic social doctrine, race relations, communism, and other topics. The Institute consisted of several divisions: the Labor-Management Center, the Social Order Center, and, beginning in 1964, the Inter-American Center. Father Twomey participated actively in social reform efforts, especially in the areas of civil rights and labor. For example, for many years he lectured throughout the United States for the Summer School of Catholic Action, he sat on the Board of Directors of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, and in 1967 he traveled to Rome where he helped draft Father General Pedro Arrupe's A Letter on the Interracial Apostolate. In the mid-1960s the federal government recognized Father Twomey's prominence in reform activities by appointing him to several advisory committees. For instance in 1964 President Lyndon Johnson selected him to be a member of the National Citizens Committee for Community Relations. Also during the mid-1960s the federal government awarded contracts to the Institute of Human Relations to fund job-training programs and the Inter-American Center. Along with these contributions to social reform, Father Twomey sought to convince other Jesuits that involvement in the social apostolate was both an urgent necessity and an essential expression of religious commitment. Beginning in 1948 he edited and did most of the writing for Christ's Blueprint of the South, a monthly bulletin designed to stimulate the social formation of Jesuits. Father Louis J. Twomey died on 8 October 1969 in New Orleans.

Note written by Carpenter, Arthur


46.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Father Twomey's papers, especially the correspondence, document this Jesuit's active involvement in the social apostolate. Also, they provide documentation about the Catholic Church's stance towards various social issues and about the recent history of New Orleans and the United States. Of particular value is material from the 1950s and 1960s concerning civil rights, labor-management relations, and communism.

Arrangement Note

As the original order of these papers had been lost, they have been arranged into nine series based on types of material: Correspondence; Literary Productions; Appointment Books and Minutes; Records of the Institute of Human Relations; Lists; Miscellaneous Materials; Photographic Material; Audio Recordings; and, Printed Material. The arrangement has been refined further by dividing each series into subseries--usually into broad subject areas that reflect the activities of Father Twomey and the Institute of Human Relations. Typical subseries include Labor, Civil Rights and Race Relations, the Inter-American Center, and Job Training Programs. Finally, within each subseries the material is often arranged chronologically.

Source of Acquisition

Ariatti, Ray

Method of Acquisition

Gift, 1990.02

Accruals and Additions

Addition to the original donation received in June, 1988, consisting of 2.4 linear ft. This addition is included in the 96 boxes.

Existence and Location of Originals

multi-part note content

Related Materials

Christ's Blueprint for the South. Available from Loyola Library's Department of Special Collections and Archives.

Related Publications

Becnel, Thomas. Labor, Church, and the Sugar Establishment: Louisiana, 1887-1976. Baton Rouge: LSO Press, 1980. Fichter, Joseph B. One-Man Research: Reminiscences of a Catholic Sociologist. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1973. McNapsy, C.J. At Face Value: A Biography of Father Louis J.Twomey. New Orleans: Institute of Human Relations, Loyola University,1978. Payne, John Robert. "A Jesuit Search for Social Justice: The Public Career of Louis J. Twomey, S.J., 1947-1969." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas at Austin, 1976. Richard, Ann Marie. "A Rhetorical Analysis of the June, 1958 Radio Speeches of Louis J. Twomey." M.A. thesis, Louisiana State University, 1971.

Archon Finding Aid Title
Carpenter, Arthur
Description rules
Other Unmapped
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the J. Edgar and Louis S. Monroe Library, Special Collections & Archives Repository

6363 St Charles Ave
New Orleans 70118 US