Title: Catholic Human Relations Council Collection
Collection number: CSLA-27
Catholic Human Relations Council
14 archival document boxes, 3 oversized document boxes, and 1 oversized folder.
Loyola Marymount University. Library. Department of Archives and Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90045-2659
Abstract: The Catholic Human Relations Council Collection consists of the administrative and organizational records, and resource files
of a lay Catholic civil-rights organization of the 1960s and 1970s active in Los Angeles.
Physical location: William H. Hannon Library
Languages represented in the collection:
Library, Loyola Marymount University.
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
[Identification of item], Series number, Box and Folder number, Catholic Human Relations Council Collection, CSLA-27, Department
of Archives and Special Collections, William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University.
Gift of Mr. Horace Williams, past president of the Catholic Human Rights Council, 2003. Accession number: 2003.55.
The Catholic Human Relations Council (CHRC) was founded in Los Angeles in 1963 and officially incorporated in January 1964,
with the purpose--according to its constitution--to "promote better relations among the people of this community through the
practical application of the Christian principles of charity and justice, as expressed by the Catholic bishops of the United
States in their joint statements of 1943, 1958, and 1963, and relevant papal encyclicals."
The CHRC was also part of the National Catholic Conference on Inter-Racial Justice. Its first president was Emil J. Seliga,
and Horace Williams and William Fitzgerald, Loyola University political science professor, were among its first members (which
numbered around 150 persons). Although a Catholic organization, membership was open to non-Catholics as well. An initial major
activity was the organization's work against Proposition 14, an initiative on the California ballot spearheaded by California
realtors to repeal California's fair housing act, the Rumford Act. This included participation in meetings and demonstrations
against the proposition, as well as educational outreach to Catholic churches and officials. In addition, the CHRC worked
for school integration in Los Angeles and lobbied against legislation considered harmful to civil rights in California. The
CHRC was also a strong supporter of Cesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers' strike against the owners of vineyards in California.
In short, the Catholic Human Relations Council participated in some of the major issues of the civil rights movement of the
Besides political activities, the CHRC provided practical assistance in the form of money and referral services to indigent
persons. By 1966 its work in civil rights was respected enough to receive from the Community Relations Conference of Southern
California an award for "distinguished achievements dedicated to the ideals of democracy and the advance of unity." To publicize
its work and ideals the CHRC had its own newsletter, The Witness, that, besides articulating the CHRC's philosophy, recorded
the activities of Roman Catholic social activism in general in southern California. By 1967, Horace Williams had succeeded
Emil Seliga as president of the CHRC. Williams' work for the CHRC, as well as for other Catholic organizations, resulted in
his being made a Knight of St. Gregory, an honor bestowed on lay Catholics only by the pope.
||The Catholic Human Relations Council (CHRC) was founded in Los Angeles.
||CHRC works against Proposition 14
||CHRC officially incorporated.
||Presented award by the Community Relations Conference of Southern California
||Horace Williams succeeds Emil Seliga as president in 1967
The materials in the Catholic Human Relations Council Collection are all textual, consisting of correspondence, newspaper
articles, newspapers, magazines, brochures, flyers, pamphlets, board minutes and agendas, formerly in the possession of Mr.
Horace Williams, past president of the organization. The inclusive dates of the collection are from 1958 through 1992, with
the bulk dates 1969 through 1971. The majority of the collection's materials, eg, publications and press releases, are related
to issues in which the Catholic Human Relations Council (CHRC) was involved but which the organization itself did not produce.
These materials often originated with organizations of the "New Left" of the 1960s such as the Los Angeles committee supporting
the Berrigan brothers (Series 4, Box 1, Folder 6), and have research value for this reason. Organizational and administrative
records of the Catholic Human Relations Council are less in quantity (see especially Series 3 and Series 3, Subseries A).
The arrangement of this collection in series is based on the original order that Horace Williams established. These CHRC materials
most likely served a dual purpose, both as organizational and administrative records of the CHRC and as personal resource
files for Mr. Williams. One subseries (in Series 3: Subject Files) was set up to account for loose materials. A scrapbook
was also transferred to the Research Collection but because of its extremely poor condition its contents had to be separated
from the scrapbook. Materials separated from the scrapbook are noted in the content field of the box and folder list.
This collection is arranged in five series based on the original order of Horace Williams' filing system: Series 1: Organization
Files, Series 2: Publications, Series 3: Subject Files, Series 4: Issues Files, Series 5: National Catholic Conference for
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice
Catholic Human Relations Council
Civil rights movements--California -- Los Angeles -- History -- 20th century
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Race relations
Social justice -- Religious aspects -- Catholic Church