Skip to main content

H. A. Reinhold papers

Collection MS-2003-060: H. A. Reinhold papers


  • Creation: 1908 - 1997
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1935 - 1968

Scope and Content Note

The H.A. Reinhold papers includes correspondences in German and English, as well as manuscripts of books, articles, sermons, and radio broadcasts. The collection also includes personal documents, publications, financial records, audio material, photographs, artwork, and various personal artifacts.

Series I. Correspondence: "Correspondence" consists of four subseries: Early German, German Sea Apostolate, Post-Expulsion, and Family. All letters, postcards, and telegrams were received or sent by Reinhold between 1918 and 1967. "Early German" contains miscellaneous letters and telegrams dated from 1916 to 1929. "German Sea Apostolate" includes correspondences from the time when Reinhold headed the Seaman's Apostolate out of Bremerhaven and Hamburg. "Post-Expulsion" consists of various letters and postcards, including many dealing with German World War II refugees and Reinhold's work with the Liturgical Week. Papers in the "Family" subseries were received by Reinhold from and about various family members. Each subseries is arranged alphabetically, with the exception of the subseries "German Sea Apostolate," which is arranged chronologically.

Series II. Manuscripts: "Manuscripts" consists of five subseries: Books, Articles and Book Introductions, Book Reviews, Notes, and Addresses/Sermons/Radio Broadcasts. "Articles and Book Introductions" contains two sub-subseries: "Articles" and "Serial Articles," and includes works from Reinhold's "Timely Tracts" in Orate Fratres. Many manuscripts in "Books" and "Book Reviews" address the liturgy. "Notes" includes outlines of articles and miscellaneous fragments. Of note in "Addresses, Sermons, and Radio Broadcasts" are the handwritten manuscripts of Reinhold's sermons in Niendorf. The series' dated manuscripts were created by Reinhold between 1929 and 1966; many are not dated. Some articles are in English and others are in German. Each subseries and sub-subseries is arranged alphabetically.

Series III. Publications: "Publications" consists of two subseries: Articles and Reviews, and Publications by others about H.A.R. "Articles and Reviews" are publications by H.A.R. and include works in English, German, and French, with many having the liturgy as the subject. The subseries "Publications by others about H.A.R." consists of reviews of Reinhold's books, articles commenting on his life and death, and articles in which he was mentioned. The dated publications range from 1931 to 1997; several are not dated. Each subseries is arranged alphabetically.

Series IV. Personal Documents: "Personal Documents" consists of identity and citizenship certificates, church papers, German documents, Reinhold's last will and testament, university and school papers, awards and honors, and other personal documents. The Duquesne University citation and degree are oversized. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series V. Financial Records: "Financial Records" contains documents relating to Reinhold's finances. Of note are the donation records related to Reinhold's post-WWII work sending care packages to Germany. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series VI. Photographs: "Photographs" consists of three subseries: Photographs of H.A.R., Photographs of Other People and Places, and Albums. The series includes framed portraits, negatives, family photographs, World War I photographs, and photographs of friends such as W.H. Auden. Dated materials are between 1914 and 1960; many are not dated. Each subseries is arranged alphabetically.

Series VII. Scrapbooks: "Scrapbooks" contains books that include articles and clippings dated between 1957 and 1966, and postcards dated between 1914 and 1931. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series VIII. Artwork and Artifacts: "Artwork and Artifacts" consists of two subseries: Artwork and Artifacts. The series consists of artwork created for Reinhold and items such as medallions, a rosary, and liturgical vestments and artifacts. Each subseries is arranged alphabetically.


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research. Phonograph disc and one dictabelt have been digitally copied; all original media were retained, but may not be played due to format. Digital use copies can only be accessed in the Burns Library Reading Room. An additional dictabelt is not available for playback due to format impermanence and can not be reformatted by Burns Library at this time. Please let Burns Library Public Services know of your specific interest; when it becomes possible we will schedule reformatting.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical Note

Hans Anscar Reinhold was born in Hamburg, Germany on 1897 September 9. His parents placed great import on a good education and put effort into finding a good school for their children. Consequently, their son attended a public school with Lutheran affiliations, rather than the local private Catholic school. After discovering an interest in languages, history, art, and architecture, Reinhold's indifference to his early education turned to hard work and success. During World War I Reinhold served on the Russian front and in army intelligence translating English and French codes.

Following the Great War, Reinhold studied at the University of Freiburg where he read The Spirit of the Liturgy by Romano Guardini. Reinhold marks this reading as a turning point in his life that gave him a more positive attitude towards Catholic teaching. In 1920 Reinhold entered the Jesuit seminary at Innsbruck. While at the monastery at Maria Laach in 1922, Reinhold had his first experience with the dialogue Mass and was impressed by the participation of the people in celebrating the Mass. In 1923 he studied at the University of Westphalia and followed it by a year and a half at the University of Münster and the diocesan seminary at Osnabrück.

Reinhold was ordained to the priesthood on 1925 December 19 at Osnabrück. His first assignment was in Niendorf where he introduced the dialogue Mass to the congregation. In 1929 he was assigned to be the priest for a mission to German Catholic seamen. The Seaman's Apostolate operated out of Bremerhaven until 1933 when Reinhold moved to Hamburg. Reinhold served in this capacity for six years and was an instrument in founding the International Council of the Apostolate of the Sea 1930. It was in this post that Reinhold connected the work of liturgical reform with social justice.

As Hitler and the Nazis took power in Germany in the 1930s, Reinhold's criticism of the government put him at risk with the Gestapo. Reinhold left Germany in 1935 and eventually settled in New York City where he worked for the Catholic section of the Protestant Refugee Committee. After brief service teaching in Rhode Island, Reinhold moved to Seattle, Washington in 1938 to be the port chaplain. He eventually received an assignment in a Yakima, Washington church, and in 1944 became the pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Sunnyside, Washington. Also in 1944 Reinhold became a United States citizen.

Reinhold left Washington in 1956 because of difficulties with his health and with Bishop Joseph Dougherty of Yakima. He moved to Pittsburgh and worked under Bishop John Wright, where he was permitted to speak and write. In 1957 Reinhold was diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson's Disease. Reinhold died in Pittsburgh on 1968 January 26.

Reinhold dedicated much of his adult life to liturgical reform. He emphasized celebration of Mass on the parish level, focusing on the spiritual importance of the liturgy, not just its literary, musical, artistic, and historical features. Reinhold was the author of seven books, among them The American Parish and the Roman Liturgy (1958), Bringing the Mass to the People (1960), and Liturgy and Art (1966). From 1938 to 1957 Reinhold wrote "Timely Tracts," a popular column in Orate Fratres (later Worship), a leading magazine of the American liturgical reform movement. He also wrote articles for Commonweal and various other publications.


Glazier, Michael and Thomas J. Shelley, eds. The Encyclopedia of American Catholic History.Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1997.

Reinhold, H. A. H.A.R.; theAutobiography of Father Reinhold. [New York:] Herder and Herder [1968].


27.5 Linear Feet (42 containers )

0.5 Gigabytes (2 files, approximately 12 minutes of audio)

Language of Materials



Hans Anscar Reinhold was a Catholic priest who authored many books and articles about liturgical reform. He was born in Germany and served in the German army during World War I. The rise of the Third Reich prompted Reinhold to leave Germany for the United States, where eventually he became a citizen in 1944, and where he lived until his death in 1968. The collection includes correspondences in German and English over the years, as well as manuscripts of books, articles, sermons, and radio broadcasts. The collection also includes personal documents, publications, financial records, audio material, photographs, artwork, and various personal artifacts.

Series Description

Collection is arranged in 8 series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I. Correspondence
  2. Series II. Manuscripts
  3. Series III. Publications
  4. Series IV. Personal Documents
  5. Series V. Financial Records
  6. Series VI. Photographs
  7. Series VII. Scrapbooks
  8. Series VIII. Artwork and Artifacts


Gift of Dan Kane in 1985. Kane acquired the material directly from Reinhold.

  • Financial and medical correspondence, bills, checks, and tax forms.
H. A. Reinhold Papers
1908-1997 (bulk 1935-1968)
Neil Zuber and Jillaire McMillan (2000), Scott Peterson (2006), subsequent updates
Spring 2007
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2023 February: Revised description for audiovisual content. Removed access CDs and linked to digital files stored on access server.

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States