Archive for December 2018

Spiritual Paths   3 comments

Above:  My Desk, December 19, 2018

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Christian spiritual directors have, for some time, understood the variety of spiritual types, related, quite often, to preferences in prayer styles.  The last time I read deeply in the field, I learned that the middle two characters of one’s Myers-Briggs personality type often correlate to a preference of a certain style of prayer.

Another way of classifying spiritual types comes from Roman Catholicism:

  1. The Path of Intellect (Thomistic Prayer), in the style of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Teresa of Avila;
  2. The Path of Devotion (Augustinian Prayer), in the style of St. Augustine of Hippo;
  3. The Path of Service (Franciscan Prayer), in the style of St. Francis of Assisi; and
  4. The Path of Asceticism (Ignatian Prayer), in the style of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

The test for determining one’s spiritual type takes only a few minutes.  A one-page document with fourteen rows and four columns requires one to look at a row of four words and rank them (“1” to “4,” “1” meaning least descriptive and “4” meaning most descriptive of oneself at the time).  Then one tallies each column.

My spiritual type has changed.  In the middle 1990s, when I was in my twenties, I was, first and foremost, a Thomist.  I have forgotten what the second, third, and fourth rankings were, but I was definitely on the Path of Intellect.  This morning I took the test again.  My scores were as follows:

  1. The Path of Asceticism–48;
  2. The Path of Intellect–43;
  3. The Path of Devotion–30; and
  4. The Path of Service–19.

Asceticism, according to this definition,

involves imagining oneself as part of a scene in order to draw some practical fruit from it for today.

It also entails a certain rigor in spiritual discipline.

The Thomistic preference for spiritual order applies to me.

Spiritual growth over a lifetime entails both change and constancy.  I, as a Christian, embrace that principle as I affirm another one:  one’s spiritual path must flow through Jesus.  Furthermore, to assume that one’s spiritual path in Christ is the only proper path for all people is in error.  In fact, one’s spiritual path in Christ in the present may not be one’s spiritual path in Christ five years from now.  In my case, the new preference for asceticism is consistent with my embrace of minimalism.

Pax vobiscum!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 19, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE EIGHTEENTH DAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF RAOUL WALLENBERG, RIGHTEOUS GENTILE

THE FEAST OF CHICO MENDES, “GANDHI OF THE AMAZON”

THE FEAST OF ROBERT CAMPBELL, SCOTTISH EPISCOPALIAN THEN ROMAN CATHOLIC SOCIAL ADVOCATE AND HYMN WRITER

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Feast of Paul Shinji Sasaki and Philip Lendel Tsen (October 31)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Far East, 1930-1941

Scanned from Hammond’s World Atlas–Classics Edition (1957)

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PAUL SHINJI SASAKI (MARCH 11, 1885-DECEMBER 21, 1946)

Anglican Bishop of Mid-Japan, Bishop of Tokyo, and Primate of the Nippon Sei Ko Kei

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PHILIP LENDEL TSEN (JANUARY 7, 1885-JUNE 6, 1954)

Anglican Bishop of Honan, and Primate of the Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui

The Episcopal Church added this feast to the General Convention of 2009.  This feast debuted in Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010) and continued into its successor, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016).  The denomination, with its two-track calendar of saints, has not included this feast in the official calendar, the guide to which is the new Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018.

Paul Shinji Sasaki suffered at the hands of the imperial Japanese government. He, born in Japan on March 11, 1885, studied theology in England.  He, ordained to the diaconate on December 21, 1912, then to the priesthood on April 27, 1917, was Professor of Liturgics and Applied Theology at Central Theological College, Tokyo.  He, the Bishop of Mid-Japan (1935-1944), Bishop of Tokyo (1944-1946), and primate of the Nippon Sei Ko Kei (the Anglican Church in Japan) during most of World War II, suffered persecution by the Japanese government.  The Japanese government forced more than 30 denominations to merge into the United Church of Christ in Japan (Kyodan), without regard to doctrine and polity, in 1941.  Sasaki, citing the absence of Apostolic Succession and the Apostles’ Creed in the Kyodan, refused to lead much of the Nippon Sei Ko Kei into the merged body.  (Portions of the Anglican Church in Japan did join the Kyodan, however.)  Sasaki and bishop Tomudo Sugai, endured harrassment and incarceration.  They, arrested in late 1944, endured torture and malnutrition in prison.  On June 16, 1945, when the bishops left prison, they could not walk.  Sasaki, who never fully recovered, died in Tokyo on December 21, 1946.

Philip Lendel Tsen, born in Anhui province, China, on January 7, 1885, also went on to run afoul of authorities.  He, as the Bishop of Honan, in the Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui (the Anglican Church in China), led his flock faithfully during World War II.  After World War II our saint also led the denomination as its Presiding Bishop.  Tsen attended the Lambeth Conference in 1948.  After he returned, Communist authorities arrested him.  The Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui did not long survive the creation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.  Tsen died in Shangha on June 6, 1954.  He was 69 years old.

Governments and denominations come and go, but God and the Church continue.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 18, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE SEVENTEENTH DAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF MARC BOEGNER, ECUMENIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT GIULIA VALLE, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN

THE FEAST OF SAINT ISAAC HECKER, ROUNDER OF THE MISSIONARY SOCIETY OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE

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Almighty God, we thank you for the faith and witness of Paul Shinji Sasaki,

bishop in the Nippon Sei Ko Kai, tortured and imprisoned by his government,

and Philip Tsen, leader of the Chinese Anglican Church, arrested for his faith.

We pray that all Church leaders may be delivered by your mercy,

and that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may be faithful to the Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:22-31

Psalm 20

1 Thessalonians 21-8

Mark 4:26-32

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 661

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Regarding Clutter   2 comments

Above:  My Desk, December 9, 2018

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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I live in a small space.  In that space I keep my desk, my dining table, and my kitchen counters mostly empty the majority of the time.  At the moment the surface of my dining table is unusually full of candles, but this is a holiday season.  As of the first full week of January, it will be mostly empty again.  Furthermore, I enjoy being able to see walls and floors.  I abhor clutter.

I have possessions; they do not possess me.  I have fewer possessions than I did a few years ago; this fact delights me.  My library is down to about 800 volumes, from more than 2400.  I prefer donating to thrift stores to shopping at them.  When I do shop there, I almost always do so with a goal in mind; I seek a particular item or items.  My bedroom has two closets; my wardrobe fits easily into the smaller of the two.  This is a change from the time that my wardrobe filled both closets.  The recent rearranging of some furniture means that I no longer have a place for one lamp.  That object occupies space in a closet, for now.  That closet is mostly empty anyway, and I may decide to part company with that lamp, in time.

I recall a statement from a Buddhist monk regarding hair and vanity:  “It is just hair.”  Regarding possessions I say, “They are just objects.”  Many of them are useful objects.  I am fond of many of them.  I even have sentimental attachments to many of them.  But I possess them; they do not possess me.  And they are not in the way.  Neither is my home junky.

Life is good.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 18, 2018 COMMON ERA

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Posted December 18, 2018 by neatnik2009 in Various Memories and Opinions

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Feast of Gerhard von Rad and Martin Noth (October 31)   3 comments

Above:  Volumes by Von Rad and Noth, from My Library, December 10, 2018

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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GERHARD VON RAD (OCTOBER 21, 1901-OCTOBER 31, 1971)

German Lutheran Biblical Scholar

colleague of

MARTIN NOTH (AUGUST 3, 1902-MAY 30, 1968)

German Lutheran Biblical Scholar

Gerhard von Rad and Martin Noth were German Lutheran Biblical scholars who placed much emphasis on oral traditions and their roles in forming certain Biblical texts.  Both of them also wrote for The Old Testament Library series, of the Westminster Press.

Von Rad, resisting the anti-Semitism rife in his culture, reclaimed the Old Testament for the Church, especially the German portion thereof.  He, born in Nuremberg on October 21, 1901, married Luise (von Rad), born on January 13, 1901.  (Luise, aged 86 years, died on November 25, 1995.)  Our saint studied at the Universities of Erlangen and Tübingen.  He, ordained a Lutheran minister in 1925, became a tutor at the University of Erlangen in 1929.  He taught at the University of Leipzig (1930-1934) before becoming a professor at the Universities of Jena (1934-1945) and Göttingen (1945-1949).  From 1949 to 1951 our saint was Professor of Old Testament at the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg.  During the 1960s he was also a visiting professor at Princeton Theological Seminary.  Von Rad objected to the anti-Semitic tendency, especially in German Christian circles, to minimize the Old Testament in relation to the New Testament.  His Old Testament Theology (two volumes, 1965 and 1967), Genesis (1949 and 1972), and Deuteronomy (1966) pushed back against that tendency.

Noth was a leading scholar whose theories have never ceased to provoke criticism, especially from fundamentalists and many Evangelicals.  He, born to Gerhard and Cölestine Noth in Dresden on August 3, 1902, studied at the Universities of Erlangen, Rostok, and Leipzig.  He was a professor at the University of Königsberg (1930-1939, 1942-1943) and a soldier in the German army during World War II.  Then he was a professor at the University of Bonn (1945-1965) and the Director of the Deutsches Evangelische Institut, Jerusalem (1965-1968).  Our saint, husband of Helga and father of Albrecht, wrote the volumes Leviticus (1965) and Numbers (1968) for The Old Testament Library Series.  He also posited a common source for the Yahwist (J) and Elohist (E) sources, as well as the existence of separate Deuteronomistic (Joshua-Kings) and Chronicler histories.

Noth, aged 65 years, died suddenly in the Negev Desert of Israel on May 30, 1968.

Von Rad, aged 70 years, died in Heidelberg, West Germany, on October 31, 1971.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 18, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE SEVENTEENTH DAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF MARC BOEGNER, ECUMENIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT GIULIA VALLE, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN

THE FEAST OF SAINT ISAAC HECKER, ROUNDER OF THE MISSIONARY SOCIETY OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE

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O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Gerhard von Rad, Martin Noth, and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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Feast of Blessed Oleksa Zarytsky (October 30)   2 comments

Above:  Blessed Oleksa Zarytsky

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED OLEKSA ZARYTSKY (OCTOBER 17, 1912-OCTOBER 30, 1963)

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1963

Blessed Oleksa Zarytsky became a martyr for Christ at the hands of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.  He, born in the Ukraine, the part of the Russian Empire, on October 17, 1912, matriculated at the seminary in Lviv in 1931.  Our saint, ordained to the priesthood in 1936, first became a prisoner for the first time in 1948; he received a sentence of ten years of forced labor.  Zarytsky, released in 1957, was free for a few years.  He, arrested again and sentenced to three years of hard labor, died at the labor camp in Kazakhstan on October 30, 1963.  The causes of death were gastritis and complications from high blood pressure, results of the conditions of incarceration.

Pope John Paul II declared Zarytsky a Venerable then a Blessed in 2001.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 17, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE SIXTEENTH DAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON, ABOLITIONIST AND FEMINIST; AND MARIA STEWART, ABOLITIONIST, FEMINIST, AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF EGLANTYNE JEBB AND DOROTHY BUXTON, FOUNDERS OF SAVE THE CHILDREN

THE FEAST OF FRANK MASON NORTH, U.S. METHODIST MINISTER

THE FEAST OF MARY CORNELIA BISHOP GATES, U.S. DUTCH REFORMED HYMN WRITER

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr Blessed Oleksa Zarytsky

triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death:

Grant us, who now remember him in thanksgiving,

to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world,

that we may receive with him the crown of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:1-12

Psalm 116 or 116:1-8

Revelation 7:13-17

Luke 12:2-12

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 714

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Feast of Sts. Marcellus the Centurion and Cassian of Tangiers (October 30)   Leave a comment

Above:  Part of the Roman Province of Africa

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT MARCELLUS THE CENTURION

Also known as Saint Marcellus of Tangiers

His feast = October 30

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SAINT CASSIAN OF TANGIERS

His feast transferred from December 3

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MARTYRS AT TANGIERS, 298

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The Roman Emperor Diocletian (reigned 284-305) established the Tetrarchy in 293.  The Tetrarchy was his temporary solution to the persistent solution to the problem of Roman imperial succession, frequently accomplished via military coups d’état.  Diocletian divided the Roman Empire into two parts–east and west.  He established himself as the Augustus of the East and appointed Maximian as the Augustus of the West.  Diocletian was the senior Augustus; Maximian answered to him.  Each of the Augustii had a Caesar, or vice emperor, with the right of succession to the post of Augustus.  The Tetrarchy eventually devolved into civil wars, resolved when Constantine I “the Great” became the sole emperor in 325.

In 298, on the occasion of the birthday of one of the emperors (probably Diocletian), St. Marcellus, a centurion, refused to participate in a pagan offering at Tangiers (now in Morocco).  He made a profession of Christian faith instead.  At the end of the ensuing trial, he received the sentence of death.  The stenographer at the trial was St. Cassian, who made his public profession of faith then went to his martyrdom, also.

St. Marcellus is the patron of conscientious objectors.

St. Cassian is the patron saint of stenographers.

Stories of such martyrs have strengthened the faith of Christians for thousands of years.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 17, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE SIXTEENTH DAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON, ABOLITIONIST AND FEMINIST; AND MARIA STEWART, ABOLITIONIST, FEMINIST, AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF EGLANTYNE JEBB AND DOROTHY BUXTON, FOUNDERS OF SAVE THE CHILDREN

THE FEAST OF FRANK MASON NORTH, U.S. METHODIST MINISTER

THE FEAST OF MARY CORNELIA BISHOP GATES, U.S. DUTCH REFORMED HYMN WRITER

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Jesus our Redeemer, you gave your life to ransom us;

you have also called us to drink your cup and undergo your baptism.

Thank you for the witness of Saints Marcellus the Centurion and Cassian of Tangiers;

may we have faith and resolution too.  Amen.

2 Chronicles 24:17-21

Psalm 3 or 116

Hebrews 11:32-40

Matthew 10:16-22

–Adapted from A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989), 680-681

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Feast of James A. Walsh, Thomas Price, and Mary Josephine Rogers (October 27)   Leave a comment

Above:  Maryknoll Logo

Image in the Public Domain

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THOMAS FREDERICK PRICE (AUGUST 19, 1860-SEPTEMBER 12, 1919)

Cofounder of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers

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JAMES ANTHONY WALSH (FEBRUARY 24, 1867-APRIL 14, 1936)

Cofounder of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers

Cofounder of the Maryknoll Sisters of Saint Dominic

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MARY JOSEPHINE ROGERS (OCTOBER 27, 1882-OCTOBER 9, 1955)

Foundress of the Maryknoll Sisters of Saint Dominic

Also known as Mother Mary Joseph Rogers

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One of my goals in renovating this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days is to emphasize relationships and influences.  The biographies of these three saints, with their overlapping lives, are ideal for telling together.

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BEGINNINGS

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Thomas Frederick Price was a man devoted to missionary work.  He, born in Wilmington, North Carolina, on August 14, 1860, grew up in a Roman Catholic family.  The prices experienced much hostility from many of their Protestant neighbors.  Our saint, who discerned his priestly vocation at an early age, studied at St. Charles Seminary, Catonsville, Maryland, from 1877 to 1881.  Then, from 1881 to 1886, he studied at St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore, Maryland.  On June 20, 1886, the date of Price’s priestly ordination in Wilmington, North Carolina, he became the first Roman Catholic priest native to that state.  He, at first a priest in the Asheville-Bern area, eventually undertook, with his bishop’s approval, a program of statewide evangelism.  Price began to publish and edit a magazine, The Truth, in 1897.  He also opened the Nazareth Orphanage in 1898.  Four years later Price opened the missionary training house at Nazareth.  From 1902 to 1909 he served as the spiritual director of the Regina Apostolorum.

James Anthony Walsh, named in G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006), also devoted his life to missionary work.  He, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on February 24, 1867, attended public schools then Boston College, Harvard College, and St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts.  He, ordained to the priesthood in Boston on May 20, 1892, served first as the curate of St. Patrick’s Church, Roxbury.  Starting in 1903, he was the diocesan Director of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith, with offices in Boston.  In 1907 Walsh founded a missionary magazine, The Field AfarMary Josephine “Mollie” Rogers worked for the magazine.

Rogers, also named in A Year with American Saints (2006), devoted most of her life to foreign missions.  She, born to an Irish Catholic family in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 27, 1882, attended public schools; the family was attempting to fit in with Boston society.  In 1901 she matriculated at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, where Roman Catholics were marginal.  At Smith College, as an undergraduate student, she became involved in the Student Volunteer Movement, with its focus on foreign missions.  Later, as a graduate student teaching zoology.  Rogers helped to start the Newman Club, founded as a Catholic missions club.  This effort brought her into contact with Father James A. Walsh, whom she met in his Boston office in December 1906.  Within two years she had abandoned her graduate program, gone to work in the offices of The Field Afar, and begun teaching in a local school.

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PRICE AND WALSH

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Price and Walsh had been working on the same proposal independently.  They had been writing about the need for a seminary to prepare American men to become foreign missionary priests.  Their meeting at the Eucharistic Congress, Montreal, Canada, in 1910 led to collaboration.  The following year they traveled to Rome, to ask Pope Pius X to approve their new order, the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, a.k.a. the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.  The Holy Father did approve, on June 29, 1911.  The site of the new seminary became Ossining, New York.  The first group of missionary priests, headed for China, was ready in 1918.  James E. Walsh (1891-1981) was one of those priests.  Price, fulfilling a dream to become a missionary, went to China as a missionary.  He, 59 years old, died of a burst appendix in Hong Kong on September 12, 1919.

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WALSH AND ROGERS

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Father James A. Walsh, the Maryknoll Superior General from 1911 to 1936, helped Rogers and other women become fully involved in foreign missions.  The women were auxiliary to the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, but were more effective in the Foreign Missions Sisters of Saint Dominic (now the Maryknoll Sisters of Saint Dominic), which Mollie Rogers and James A. Walsh founded on February 14, 1920.  Rogers led the order until her death, in 1955.  She founded the Maryknoll Contemplative Community in 1932.

James A. Walsh ended his days as Bishop Walsh.  On June 29, 1933, in Rome, he became the Titular Bishop of Siene.  He, aged 69 years, died on April 14, 1936.

Rogers, aware of the Presence of God, encouraged the sisters to cultivate that sense in their lives.  The goal, in her mind, was for the sisters to see each other as God saw them.  She understood the importance of justice in relationships.  The basis of such justice, she insisted, was loving, fearless honesty.

Rogers, aged 72 years, died on October 9, 1955.

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The Maryknoll Fathers, Brothers, and Sisters have taken the Gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 17, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE SIXTEENTH DAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON, ABOLITIONIST AND FEMINIST; AND MARIA STEWART, ABOLITIONIST, FEMINIST, AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF EGLANTYNE JEBB AND DOROTHY BUXTON, FOUNDERS OF SAVE THE CHILDREN

THE FEAST OF FRANK MASON NORTH, U.S. METHODIST MINISTER

THE FEAST OF MARY CORNELIA BISHOP GATES, U.S. DUTCH REFORMED HYMN WRITER

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Everlasting God, you have sent your messengers to carry the good news of Christ into the world;

grant that we who commemorate James A. Walsh, Thomas Price, and Mary Josephine “Mollie” Rogers

may know the hope of the gospel in the our hearts and show forth its light in all our ways;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 49:1-6

Psalm 67 or 96

Acts 16:6-10

Matthew 9:25-38

–Adapted from A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989), 682-683

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