Michael J. Stolee
Michael J. Stolee was born on September 24, 1871, in Haugesund, Norway. He received his ministerial degree from the United Church Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1900, at which time he was ordained. From 1900-1911, Stolee served as a missionary in Madagascar. For all but two of these years, he worked as superintendent of the mission. Stolee left Madagascar in 1911 to assume the position of Professor of Theology at the United Church Seminary.
In 1919, Stolee became a member of the Commission for France of the National Lutheran Commission on Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Welfare, an inter-Lutheran body established in 1917 to provide spiritual care to Lutheran soldiers serving in World War I. He aided church reconstruction efforts in France from March through September of 1919. In 1920, he again traveled overseas, as a European Commissioner of the National Lutheran Council (NLC), an inter-Lutheran agency founded in 1918 to administer domestic programs, publicize Lutheran activities and beliefs, and provide overseas emergency relief to areas devastated by World War I.
After his work for the NLC was completed, Stolee returned to his teaching position. In 1923, Augustana Theological Seminary, Rock Island, Illinois, conferred on him the degree D.D. He also authored the work The Genesis of Religion.
This collection contains a photocopy of Michael J. Stolee’s journal written during his travels as a European Commissioner for the NLC in 1920. Also included is a transcription of the journal prepared by Stolee’s grandson in 1998. The journal contains discussion of the situation and needs of Lutheran churches and their congregations in Stolee's visits to Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and France. It also describes Stolee’s meetings with Lutheran church leaders, government officials, and other European Commissioners. It is unclear whether the photocopy of the journal is complete.