The Catholic - Labor Network

 (Updated: March 30, 2009)

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Higgins Archives @ CUA

The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives is pleased to announce the creation of a finding aid, using Encoded Archival Description (EAD), for the papers of ‘labor priest’ Msgr. George Higgins. Born in 1916 in Chicago, he obtained a Master's degree in Economics in 1942 and a Ph.D. in 1944 from The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, DC. He served the American bishops’ conference from 1944 to 2001 in various capacities relating to Catholic social thought, labor relations, and ecumenical affairs. He attended the Vatican II Council and was a moving force in the Church's support for Cesar Chavez and the farm workers union movement. He also served as Chairman of the Public Review Board of the United Auto Workers of America (AFL-CIO) and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. Higgins wrote numerous book reviews for Commonweal and America, was the author, 1945-2001, of the syndicated column "The Yardstick,” and, in his later years, returned to Catholic University as a lecturer. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Bill Clinton in 2000 and died on May Day, 2002. He was widely mourned as a tireless champion of the labor movement and a progressive voice in the Roman Catholic Church. The bulk of the collection consists of paper records including correspondence, subject files, and publications.

To use our finding aid, please link to

To search individual finding aids, use the "Ctrl+F" function on your keyboard to search for a keyword within the finding aid, or you may simply browse.

For research assistance for any of our collections, please contact our office at
or call us at 202-319-5065.

William J. Shepherd
Associate Archivist
The American Catholic History
Research Center and University Archives
The Catholic University of America (CUA)
101 Aquinas Hall
620 Michigan Avenue, NE
Washington, DC, USA, 20064


Msgr. George Higgins with Msgr. Egan at first C-L Network gathering in 1996For over 50 years, Msgr. Higgins has been at the vanguard of Catholic - Labor Relations. His writings on the subject of worker justice in light of Catholic social teaching has been an inspiration and a challenge for many in the Church. 
This page of the Catholic - Labor Network is specifically dedicated to his work and writings.

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