This collection contains the personal papers of Fr. Martin Mangan and includes correspondence, notes, newspaper clippings, outlines of talks given by Fr. Mangan, booklets and flyers, photographs, videotapes, and awards documenting Fr. Mangan's personal life, education, ministry, and social activism in Decatur.
The Very Reverend Martin B. Mangan (1929-2001), a native of Springfield, Illinois, was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest on May 1, 1957. He graduated from Springfield's Cathedral Boys High School in 1947 and attended in turn St. Louis University, the Diocesan Latin School near Springfield, and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois, where he earned a master's degree.
Fr. Mangan was appointed as co-pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Granite City, Illinois, in 1957. He went to Rome a year later to study for a doctorate in canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University. After his return to the United States in 1961, he worked for seven years in the Office of the Bishop of the Springfield Diocese of Illinois. He was then pastor of parishes in Granite City (1968-72), Taylorville (1972-77), Mount Sterling (1977-81), Highland (1981-86), and Tuscola, Illinois (1986-91). St. James Church of Decatur, Illinois, was his final pastoral assignment, where he served from 1991 to 2001.
Starting in the 1960s, Fr. Mangan, known as "Mitz" to his friends, took a special interest in civil rights and social justice issues. Most of the papers in this collection deal with his activism, primarily in support of Decatur-area labor unions.
Significant portions of the collection pertain to the lockout of workers from the A. E. Staley plant in Decatur, and protests against Staley's British parent company, Tate & Lyle. The collection also documents clashes in the mid-1990s between labor and management at the Caterpillar and Bridgestone/Firestone plants in Decatur. Fr. Mangan was instrumental in establishing Religious Leaders for Justice at A. E. Staley, an interdenominational group of more than 170 members who wrote letters to Sir Neil Shaw, Tate & Lyle's chairman. He also helped to organize the Catholic Labor Conference, a nationwide group of Catholic labor activists which met in Decatur in 1996.
The collection is organized in nine series: Series I. Biographical materials (1958-2001), Series II. Education and ordination (1950-1962), Series III. Parish appointments (1957-1996), Series IV. Decatur ministry and community work (1991-2002), Series V. Homilies (1970-2000), Series VI. Retreats, talks, and topical files (1970-1999), Series VII. Posthumous tributes, awards, and lecture series, Series VIII. Bob Sampson Research on Fr. Mangan (2001-2002, 2009-2010), Series IX. Photographs (1989-2008).
The collection was donated to the University of Illinois Library in 2001 by Sr. Glenda Bourgeois, O.S.U. As Parish Life Coordinator at St. James Church, she filed Fr. Mangan's papers, and the collection retains her division of the material between chronological and topical folders. Robert D. Sampson, a friend of Fr. Mangan's in Decatur, proposed and facilitated Sr. Glenda's gift. He also added numerous items to the collection in 2001, including material on Fr. Mangan's death. He donated additional material in 2009-2010 concerning the Father Martin Mangan Lecture Series on Social Justice; his interviews and correspondence with Fr. Mangan's friends and associates; and, in 2016, further material from Fr. Mangan's funeral which has been interfiled. In 2008, Elizabeth Ann (Betsy) Finzer, Fr. Mangan's sister, loaned additional materials to the Library, photocopies of which are also interfiled in the collection.
A website created by "Friends of Mitz" is available from the Internet Archive at:https://web.archive.org/web/20040614230351/http://frmartinmangan.com/ (accessed 10/2015).