Marquette U. mourns the death of Rev. Francis Prucha

Marquette University mourns the death of Rev. Francis Paul Prucha, S.J., professor emeritus from the History Department. Father Prucha died on Thursday, July 30, at the age of 94.

Father Prucha trained generations of doctoral students in history, published more than 25 books and many scholarly articles. While researching The Churches and the Indian Schools, 1888-1912, a book that analyzed this contentious relationship between the Catholic Church and the United States with respect to missions and schools for Native American people, he discovered that the archival records of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions needed professional care for preservation and public access, which led to the establishment of Marquette University as the Bureau’s archival repository in 1976.

Father Prucha’s two-volume The Great Father: The United States Government and the American Indians, published in 1985, is regarded as a classic among professional historians. These acclaimed volumes and his other works provided crucial detail on the development of tribal-federal relationship between Native American tribes and the United States government, an understanding of which is important to these ongoing relationships today. In particular, they provide tribal attorneys and others with an essential framework for ongoing research. Known for his detailed and careful research and analysis with primary sources, Father Prucha’s work will be remembered as the “gold standard” which continues to inspire the next generation of historians and researchers.

A visitation will be held Monday, Aug. 3, at 6 p.m. A funeral Mass will follow at 7 p.m. at San Camillo Chapel, 10200 W. Bluemound Rd., in Wauwatosa. – See more here. You can read more about Father Prucha and his work here.