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Re: Father Dan E. Reilly, Chicago, early 1900s
Posted by: Kathryn Hagel (ID *****2953) Date: March 29, 2012 at 15:30:24
In Reply to: Re: Father Dan E. Reilly, Chicago, early 1900s by Jacqi Stevens of 1134

Dear Jacqi,
I think the reason the Archdioesan Archives says it releases only biological information is that it wants to let people, who might be looking for a problem priest, that it isn't releasing complaints and disciplinary information, etc. Priests could enter the minor seminary in junior high and entered the major seminary in high school and served the archdiocese until death, so there is a lot of biological information available.

It takes so long to get the information from the archives, because the Catholic Church has a serious personnel shortage, especially of priests, so there aren't enough qualified personnel to do a search of the confidential files of priests and lay people. Because of the shortage, most dioceses give priority to searches for people who need to prove that they have received all the sacraments required for the sacrament they are about to receive, such as marriage. There is also a priority for people needing sacramental records to prove their immigration status. So genealogy isn't the top priority, though the bishops recognize that genealogy is valuable in strengthening people's sense of family identity and are happy to help as much as they can.

I'm glad that you have found my research helpful.

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