Special Collections 
	and Archives

Guidelines for Interlibrary Loans Historical Note Notable People



The roots of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions began in 1873 with the appointment of a Catholic Commissioner for Indian Missions. The purpose of that office, which was incorporated the following year as the Office of the Catholic Commissioner for Indian Missions and later renamed the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, was to protect, promote, and administer the interests of the Catholic Church with respect to missions and evangelization among the Native Americans in the United States. In so doing, it advocated for and raised funds for Catholic missions and related Native American social and cultural issues in general.

Notable People: Officers and personnel of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions and notable allied fund raising raising organizations.

Notable Events: Notable events regarding the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions and Catholic evangelization of Native Americans in the present-day United States.

Notable Evangelization: Selected Native American missions, schools, parishes, and ministry programs supported by the Black and Indian Mission collection and the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions.

Pictorial History: "The Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions: 140 Years of Action", presented at the 75th annual Tekakwitha Conference in Fargo, North Dakota, July 24, 2014.

Notable People: Officers and personnel of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions and those of allied fund raising raising organizations.

Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions/ Office of Catholic Commissioner for Indian Missions


1873-1883 General Charles B. Ewing (1835-1883)
1883-1884 Captain John Mullan (1830-1909)

Executive Directors

Biographies: Click on names (also in Series 14-1, Box 91; See Series 17 for interviews of Monsignor Lenz and Reverend Zeurn, S.J.

Portraits: The Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Digital Image Collection includes portraits of the first five directors.

1879-1884 Reverend John Baptist A. Brouillet (1813-1884)
1885-1901 Reverend Joseph A. Stephan (1822-1901)
1901-1921 Monsignor William H. Ketcham (1868-1921)
1921-1935 Monsignor William M. Hughes (1880-1939)
1935-1976 Reverend John B. Tennelly, S.S. (1890-1981)
1976-2007 Monsignor Paul A. Lenz (1925-); Vice-Postulator of the Canonization Cause of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, 2006-2012
2007-present Reverend Wayne Carroll Paysse (1960-)

Assistant or Associate Directors

1905-1913 Reverend Charles Warren Currier (1857-1918)
1921 Reverend William Quinn
1981-1985, 1995-2001 Reverend Theodore (Ted) F. Zuern, S.J. (1921-2007); Legislative Assistant, 1995-2001

Presidents of the Board of Directors/Committee of Prelates

1884-1896 Bishop Martin Marty, O.S.B. (1834-1896), Bishop of Sioux Falls, South Dakota
1896-1921 Cardinal James Gibbons (1834-1921), Archbishop of Baltimore
1921-1951 Cardinal Denis J. Dougherty (1865-1951), Archbishop of Philadelphia
1951-1967 Cardinal Francis J. Spellman (1889-1967), Archbishop of New York
1967-1988 Cardinal John J. Kroll (1910-1996), Archhbishop of Philadelphia
1988-1989 Archbishop William D. Borders (1913-2010), Archbishop of Baltimore
1989-2000 Cardinal John J. O'Conner (1920-2000), Archbishop of New York
2000-2003 Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua (1923-2012), Archbishop of Philadelphia
2003-2007 Cardinal William H. Keeler (1931-), Archbishop of Baltimore
2007-2009 Cardinal Edward M. Egan (1932-), Archbishop of New York
2009-2011 Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien (1939-), Archbishop of Baltimore
2011-present Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan (1950-), Archbishop of New York

Editor, The Indian Sentinel

1916-1932 Inno McGill
1933-1935 Reverend Arthur E.J. Reilly
1935-1962 Reverend John B. Tennelly, S.S. (1890-1981)

Field Missionaries

1910s [Nicholas (Nick)] Black Elk (Oglala) (1863-1950)
1920s Reverend Albert Negahnquet (Potawatomi, 1874-1944)
1920s Reverend Philip B. Gordon (Ojibwa, 1885-1948)

Field Lecturers

1901-1920s? Reverend Henry G. Ganss
1910-1916 Monsignor William M. Hughes (1880-1939)
1921-1925 Reverend William Huffer
1922-1926 Reverend John S. Woods
1924-1925 Reverend William Flynn

Secretaries/ Administrative Assistants

1880s-1890 Reverend George L. Williard
1880s-1920s Charles S. Lusk
1928-1920s Reverend John S. Woods
1930s Eugene J. Welsh
1990s-2007 Patricia O'Rourke


1876-1879 Reverend John Baptist A. Brouillet (1813-1884)
1879-1881 Reverend Felix Barotti
1881-1884? Reverend Charles S. Jones
1880s Reverend Jacob A. Walter
1910s-1925 Reverend Edward R. Dyer, S.S. (1854-1925)
1926-1935 Reverend John B. Tennelly, S.S. (1890-1981)

Legal Advisors

1900s? Charles Joseph Bonaparte (1851-1921)

Associated Fund Raising Organizations

1875-1887 Catholic Indian Missionary Association and Catholic Indian Mission Fund, Washington, D.C.
1884-ongoing Commission for the Catholic Missions among the Colored People and the Indians, Washington, D.C.
1885?-1975? Association de la Sainte Enfance (Pontifical Society of the Holy Childhood), Paris
1885?-1921? Leopoldine Stiftung (Leopoldine Society), Vienna
1885?-1975? Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Lyon, France
1901-1922 Society for the Preservation of the Faith Among Indian Children, Washington, D.C.
1904-1991 Marquette League for Catholic Indian Missions, New York City
1906-ongoing Catholic Church Extension Society, Chicago
Ask an Archivist