University of Notre Dame

Thomas W. Phelan Papers


Origination : Phelan, Thomas W.
Extent : 2.5 linear feet
Repository : University of Notre Dame Archives
Address : Notre Dame, Indiana 46556

Administrative Information


Kathleen Helfrich, Troy, NY.

Preferred Citation

Thomas W. Phelan Papers (TWP), University of Notre Dame Archives (UNDA), Notre Dame, IN 46556

Scope and Content

Personal papers of Rev. Thomas Phelan, including papers documenting his involvement in the Catholic Art Association; documenting activities of the officers and committees of CAA and including its quarterly publication, Catholic Art Quarterly (later called Good Work); containing extensive correspondence with Graham Carey and some correspondence with Tom Barry, Ade Bethune, Richard Bonvillain, Edward (Ned) Catish, Delbert Lederle, Dunstan Pruden, Edgar Holloway, Nancy Carey, George Easter, Sister Jean File, OSF, Mary Gill, John Hagreen, Philip Hagreen, B. Jongerius, John V.D. KilBride, George Nakashima, Ted Yarnold, and monks of Mount Saviour Monastery; with photographs of Catholic liturgical artworks and Catholic Art Association meetings.


Born 11 April 1925 in Albany, New York, Thomas Phelan attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, earned an S.T.L from the Catholic University of America in 1951, and pursued graduate studies at Oxford University, 1958-59 and 1969-70. A priest of the Diocese of Albany, he served as resident Catholic chaplain at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, 1959-1972, as Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences there, 1972-1995, and after 1995 as Institute Dean, institute Historian, and Senior Advisor to the President. He also taught at Rensselaer Polytechnic, served as chaplain and treasurer of the Rensselaer Newman Foundation, as Chair of the Architecture and Building Commission for the Diocese of Albany, as chair of the diocese's Orthodox - Roman Catholic Dialogue, as a member of its Ecumenical Commission, and as pastor of Christ Sun of Justice University Parish in Troy, New York. He died 31 March 2006.


Phelan, Thomas, 1925-
Carey, Graham
Catholic Art Association
Christian art and symbolism.
Art and religion.
Catholic Church and art.
Liturgy and art.
Catholic Art Quarterly
Good Work

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