Feast of Ruth Byllesby (April 26)   2 comments

Above:  Christ Church, Augusta, Georgia

Image Source = Google Earth

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

RUTH ELLIS BYLLESBY (1865-APRIL 25, 1959)

Episcopal Deaconess in Georgia

The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia declared Deaconess Ruth Byllesby a saint and established her feast day as April 25, the anniversary of her death, in 2012.

Her feast day here, on my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, is April 26.  April 25 is the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist.  Per my policy regarding feast days of Biblical saints, I reserve April 25 for St. Mark.

The Episcopal Church used to have an order of deaconesses.  In the 1970s, when the denomination approved the ordination of women to all three orders of ordained ministry (diaconate, priesthood, and episcopate), it folded the order of deaconesses into the Sacred Order of Deacons.

Byllesby, born in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1865, was a deaconess for most of her life.  She, a daughter of an Episcopal priest, trained at St. Faith’s School for Deaconesses, New York.  She worked as a deaconess in the North from 1902 to 1927.  Over the years, she and relatives wintered in Augusta.  Our saint spent much time at Christ Church, Augusta, and in the adjacent Harrisburg mill village.  (Textile mills paid low wages.)  Two cousins, interested in outreach, endowed a fund for such ecclesiastical work.  Byllesby, in charge of outreach in the community, made Christ Church her base of operations in 1927.

There she remained until 1943.  Harrisburg, long poor, became more impoverished during the Great Depression.  Deaconess Byllesby moved into the rectory (next to the church building), and transformed the rectory into Neighborhood House.  From Neighborhood House Byllesby dispensed assistance.  She provided necessities for many families, started a club for young mothers, advocated for child labor laws, and insisted that girls receive good educations.  Her sole requirement to receive aid was to be or to become active in a church of one’s choosing.

Byllesby left Augusta in 1943.  She, aged 94 years, died in Connecticut on April 25, 1959.

Christ Church, Augusta, remains active in community outreach.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 10, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MARIE-JOSEPH LAGRANGE, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF SAINT AGRIPINNUS OF AUTUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP; SAINT GERMANUS OF PARIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP; AND SAINT DROCTOVEUS OF AUTUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF FOLLIOT SANDFORD PIERPOINT, ANGLICAN EDUCATOR, POET, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN OGLIVIE, SCOTTISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1615

THE FEAST OF SAINT MACARIUS OF JERUSALEM, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Almighty God, you chose your servant Ruth Ellis Byllesby

to serve the poor, feed the hungry, and clothe your children:

give us grace to pattern our lives after the shining example of Blessed Ruth,

that we may spread the Gospel by helping those in need,

with humility and the heart of a servant,

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

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Philippians 2:1-7 (8-10)

Psalm 112

Matthew 25:31-46

–The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

2 responses to “Feast of Ruth Byllesby (April 26)

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Wow! What a woman! Thanks for the short bio!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: