Reynold Henry Hillenbrand

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Reynold Henry Hillenbrand (July 19, 1904 – May 22, 1979) was a seminal American Roman Catholic Church leader in the Liturgical Movement,[1][2][3] Chicago priest and seminary rector,[4] pastor, and “Specialized Catholic Action” chaplain[5][6] following the methods of Belgian Cardinal Joseph Cardijn, who mentored clergy and laity in the Young Christian Students, Young Christian Workers,[7] Friendship House,[8] the Cana Conference, the Christian Family Movement, the Catholic Labor Alliance, and La Leche League.[9]


Msgr. Hillenbrand's three-part approach of faithfully presenting papal teaching, calling lay apostles, and bringing laity through the Catholic liturgy to social action, helped form US Catholic leadership prior to the Second Vatican Council, which his liturgical innovations during the Liturgical reforms of Pope Pius XII anticipated.[10]

Personally recruited by Cardinal George Mundelein to attend Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary, Hillenbrand championed the causes of labor and race relations, and brought the first women speakers, Dorothy Day, and later Baroness Catherine de Hueck Doherty,[11] to the University of St. Mary of the Lake, his alma mater, where he served as rector from 1936-1944. Several of Hillenbrand's seminary students, including Alfred Leo Abramowicz, Romeo Roy Blanchette, Daniel Cantwell, Michael R. P. Dempsey, John Joseph Egan, Thomas Joseph Grady, George G. Higgins, Timothy Joseph Lyne, Eugene F. Lyons, Edward A. Marciniak, John L. May, Paul Casimir Marcinkus, Cletus F. O'Donnell, William J. Quinn, and James A. Voss, became influential in social action and/or in both pre- and post-Vatican II American Catholic affairs.[9]

Hillenbrand Books,[12] published by The Liturgical Institute at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary, in collaboration with Liturgy Training Publications, is a scholarly book series named in Hillenbrand's honor. A Reynold Hillenbrand Institute was based in Chicago's archdiocesan college seminary from 1992–94, moved to the University of Saint Mary of the Lake, and closed at the approximate time of the founding of the Liturgical Institute there in 2000. A Hillenbrand lecture series continues at the Liturgical Institute, most recently presented by Denver Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput on June 24, 2010.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2006-11-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Robert L. Tuzik, "The contribution of Msgr. Reynold Hillenbrand (1904–1979) to the Liturgical Movement in the United States: influences and development," doctoral dissertation, University of Notre Dame, 1989
  2. ^ [1] Robert L. Tuzik, Reynold Hillenbrand: The Reform of the Catholic Liturgy and the Call to Social Action, Hillenbrand Books, 2010
  3. ^ [2] Keith F. Pecklers, SJ, The Unread Vision: The Liturgical Movement in the United States of America: 1926–1955, Liturgical Press, 1998
  4. ^ [3] Steven M. Avella, "Reynold Hillenbrand and Chicago Catholicism," U.S. Catholic Historian, 9:4:1990, pp. 353–370
  5. ^ [4] Andrew M. Greeley, The Catholic Experience: An Interpretation of the History of American Catholicism, Garden City, 1967, pg. 250
  6. ^ [5] Mary Irene Zotti, A Time of Awakening: The Young Christian Worker Story in the United States, 1938 to 1970, Loyola, 1991
  7. ^ Robert McClory, "Hillenbrand: U.S. Moses," National Catholic Reporter, September 7, 1979, pp. 3, 38-39
  8. ^ Ann Harrigan Makletzoff, "A look back. . . ," Community Magazine, 38(1), 1980
  9. ^ a b [6] Albert J. Schorsch, III, "Msgr. Reynold Hillenbrand: a Reassessment," A paper submitted to the Spring meeting of the American Catholic Historical Association (April 17–18, 2009)
  10. ^ Reynold Hillenbrand, "The Priesthood and the World," In J. E. Haley (Ed.), Apostolic Sanctity in the World: A Symposium on Total Dedication in the World and Secular Institutes, Notre Dame Press, 1957, pp. 26-34
  11. ^ [7] Margery Frisbie, An Alley in Chicago: The Life and Legacy of Monsignor John Egan, commemorative edition, Sheed & Ward, 2002
  12. ^ [8], Hillenbrand Books website, accessed 10/2/10
  13. ^ [9] "Hillenbrand Distinguished Lecture," website, accessed 10/9/10

External links[edit]

  • [10] Hillenbrand and the Sacred Liturgy, a memorial website to Reynold Hillenbrand at the Liturgical Institute, Mundelein Seminary, University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, IL
  • [11] Reynold Hillenbrand papers, University of Notre Dame Archives, South Bend, IN