Sister Mary Ellen Gleason, S.C., Director
Mahoney Library, Second Floor
2 Convent Road
Morristown, NJ 07960-6989
Phone: (973) 290-4241
Established in Spring 2001, the Center was developed from several initiatives taken during the past four years. An oral history project, Gifts from the Past, was begun in 1998 with a grant of $5000 from the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth Ministry Grants Program and the College matched these funds.
One of the goals of Gifts from the Past was to collect Catholic women's stories of their experience of being Catholic and the ways they are handing on the faith. Another goal has been to make these stories available for students and researchers as a source in studying Catholicism in New Jersey and in the United States.
In May 2000, the oral history project was awarded a grant of $9000 from the New Jersey Historical Commission along with the College providing additional funding. The purpose of this grant was to conduct oral history interviews of post World War II Catholic women immigrants living in Jersey City, Union City and Passaic.
Close to 100 oral histories have been recorded of New Jersey women, some of these women lived in the state for many years and were influenced by the Sisters of Charity and others are recent immigrants whose Catholic roots were planted in countries such as Peru, Mexico, India, Kenya, Cuba, and Belize.
Leadership for the Center is provided by Dr. Erin Biviano, Sister Kathleen Flanagan, Dr. Christine Giacalone,Dr. Johanna Glazewski, Sister Mary Ellen Gleason, Dr. Anne M. Langan, Debra Martin, Carole Rogers, Dr. Margaret Roman, and Dr. George Sirgiovanni.
A grant of $6800 was awarded by the Vincentian Studies Institute in November 2001. The purpose of this grant is to pursue the theme of "Handing On the Charism," by conducting interviews among women whose stories deepen our awareness of the way the Vincentian charism has influenced or transformed their lives.
In February 2002, another grant was received from the New Jersey Historical Commission, in the amount of $3414. This funding will be denoted to the collection, transcription and preservation of oral history interviews with African-American Catholic women who live in two New Jersey communities with deep African-American roots - Newark and Montclair.
Additional gifts have been received to assist with the development of the Center and the College has provided more funding.