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Rev. James Brockman, S.J. papers

Identifier: MSS0055

Scope and Contents

The Rev. James Brockman, S.J. papers document Fr. Brockman’s work in Central and South America. The bulk of his papers include research files about Archbishop Oscar Romero. The collection contains materials created or gathered by Fr. Brockman such as correspondence, personal notes, publications, newspaper clippings and articles, research materials, photographs, and posters.


  • 1961-1997
  • Majority of material found within 1970-1989


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

Rev. James Brockman, S.J., was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1926. He served in the U.S. Army Air Force from 1945 to 1947, when he entered the Jesuit novitiate in Milford, Ohio. He earned a B.A. from Xavier University in Cincinnati, a master’s degree from Loyola University of Chicago, and was ordained a priest in 1960 at West Baden College in Indiana. Beginning in 1963, he taught and served as an administrator in Arequipa, Peru, at the Colegio San Jose. In 1973, he began writing for the Jesuit magazine America, contributing articles about the social, religious, and political spheres of Central and South American countries. As a reporter for America, he covered the Conferencia General del Episcopado Latinoamericano (CELAM) meeting in 1979 where El Salvadorian Archbishop of San Salvador, Archbishop Oscar Romero was a featured speaker. On March 24, 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated. Fr. Brockman’s deep knowledge of the conflicts between the Catholic Church and El Salvadorian government, recognition of Romero’s tireless work on behalf of the poor and oppressed, and his experience as a reporter most likely inspired him to research and write The Word Remains: A Life of Oscar Romero published in 1982. In 1983, Fr. Brockman returned to the United States to serve in the Jesuits’ Midwest Province but quickly became one of the leading experts on Romero’s life. He translated and published excerpts from Romero’s homilies, contributed articles to academic journals, and published a second edition of the biography in 1989. Fr. Brockman advocated for the United States government to stop financing the El Salvadorian government, as the money was being used to further the oppression occurring throughout the country. He also considered writing a biography about six El Salvadorian Jesuit martyrs who were killed in 1989, but according to a letter he wrote in March 1993, he decided not to start the project. In addition to his writing projects about Archbishop Romero, Fr. Brockman worked with diocesan Hispanic ministries in Gary, Indiana, and Little Rock, Arkansas throughout the 1980s and 1990s. He passed away on September 22, 1999.


37 Linear Feet (45 boxes)

Language of Materials


Spanish; Castilian


Dutch; Flemish


The Rev. James Brockman, S.J. papers are organized by into six series: 1. Rev. James Brockman, S.J. Biographical Files; 2. Country Files; 3. CELAM; 4. Liberation Theology; 5. Archbishop Oscar Romero and the Catholic Church in El Salvador; and 6. The Six Jesuit Martyrs/Universidad Centroamericana "José Simeón Cañas" (UCA)". The arrangement was imposed during processing.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession 1994.04; 2001.10

Guide to Rev. James Brockman, S.J. papers
M. Salvon 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the DePaul Special Collections and Archives Repository

John T. Richardson Library
2350 N. Kenmore Ave.
Room 314
Chicago Illinois 60614