Archive for the ‘June 16’ Category

Feast of Francis J. Uplegger (June 16)   2 comments

Above:  Grace Lutheran Church, San Carlos, Arizona

Image Source = Google Earth



German-American Lutheran Minister and Missionary; “Old Man Missionary”

Also known as Franz John Theo Uplegger

Francis J. Uplegger comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).

Uplegger, born in Rostok (now in the Federal Republic of Germany) on October 29, 1867, spent most of his life in the United States of America.  He arrived in the United States in August 1886 and naturalized in 1895.  Our saint, who settled in St. Louis, Missouri, in the 1880s, graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary and became an ordained minister in the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States (GELSMOOS), now The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS).  Uplegger served as the pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Hermansfort, Wisconsin, starting in 1891.  Afterward, he held positions in Denmark and the German Empire.  From 1916 to 1919, he served as the principal of Milwaukee Lutheran High School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The two sponsors of the high school were the Missouri Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Other States (extant 1892-1919).

Above:  Grace Lutheran Church, San Carlos, Arizona

Image Source = Google Earth

Uplegger married Emma Plass (1866-1925) on August 20, 1891.  The couple had four children–Alfred Martin Johannes (1892-1984), Johanna Magdalena (1896-1983), Gertrude (1898-1991), and Dorothea (1902-1986).  Alfred, an ordained minister, became a missionary attached to the Wisconsin Synod’s mission (established in 1893) to the San Carlos Apache Nation in 1917.  He invited his father to join him.  Our saint accepted the invitation and remained on the reservation until June 19, 1964.  He spent the rest of his life ministering under the auspices of the merged Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Wisconsin and Other States, which renamed itself the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod in 1959.  The mission became more of a family effort when Johanna and her husband, Heinrich “Henry” Edward Frank Rosin, joined the team.

Above:  Grace Lutheran Church, San Carlos, Arizona

Image Source = Google Earth

Our saint fond his niche, for the glory of God, on the reservation.  He already knew German, English, Norwegian, French, Greek, and Hebrew.  He added Apache to that list.  In 1930-1931, Uplegger helped the tribe to draft its constitution.  Furthermore, our saint translated the liturgy, the catechism, and much of the Bible into Apache.  He also composed Apache hymns and wrote a four-volume Apache-English dictionary.  “Old Man Missionary,” as he became known, retired in 1961.  That year, the tribe formally adopted him.  Alfred continued to minister on the reservation.  He retired in 1977.

Our saint died on the reservation on June 19, 1964.  He was 96 years old.









Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Francis J. Uplegger,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the San Carlos Apache Nation.

Raise up, in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom,

that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ;

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

Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 96 or 96:1-7

Acts 1:1-9

Luke 10:1-9

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 716


Feast of Rufus Jones (June 16)   2 comments

Above:  Rufus Jones

Image in the Public Domain



U.S. Quaker Theologian and Cofounder of the American Friends Service Committee


This child will one day bear the message of the gospel to distant lands and to people across the sea.

–Peace Jones, aunt of Rufus Jones, speaking of her newborn nephew


Rufus Matthew Jones did just that.  He, born in South China, Maine, on January 25, 1863, was a son of Edwin Jones and Mary Gifford Hoxie Jones.  Our saint grew up in a Quaker family.  He was a diligent scholar from an early age, studying first in a one-room village school, eventually transferring to Oak Grove Seminary (in nearby Vassalboro, Maine), then attending Providence Friends School (in Rhode Island).  After graduating from Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania, in 1885, Jones taught at Oakwood Seminary, Union Springs, New York.  In 1886-1887 our saint studied at Heidelberg University, in Germany.  Next, in 1887, Jones became a teacher at Providence Friends School.  Two years later he began to serve as the principal of Oak Grove Seminary, Vassalboro.  Then, from 1893 to 1934, our saint taught psychology and philosophy at Haverford College.  Howard Thurman was one of his pupils.

Jones was a philosopher, historian, mystic, prolific writer, and agent of social reform.  In 1915 he helped to found the Fellowship of Reconciliation.  Two years later he and Henry founded the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).  The AFSC’s initial purpose was to help conscientious objectors serve in non-combat roles, such as driving ambulances, during World War I.  The AFSC, of which Jones served as chair until 1928 and again in 1935-1936, became a relief and humanitarian agency after the Great War.  Its good works included feeding many Germans after the alleged war to end all wars and helping Jewish refugees in the 1930s.

Jones, husband first of Sarah Coutant (from 1888 to 1899), who died of tuberculosis, then of Elizabeth Cadbury (1902f), was an advocate of Quaker unity.  He used his position as the Editor of the Friends Review (1893-1894)/The American Friend (1894-1912) to work toward this goal.  The AFSC, with its inter-Quaker cooperation, also served this ecumenical purpose.  The organic union of Yearly Meetings across Orthodox, Conservative, and Hicksite lines, or combinations of two of the three, started after Jones died, however.  The various New York, Ohio, and Philadelphia Yearly Meetings merged into composite New York, Ohio, and Philadelphia Yearly Meetings in 1955.  The consolidation of the Baltimore Yearly Meetings followed in 1968.

Jones, a man committed to Christian missions, was not hostile to other religions.  In 1927, while traveling in Asia, he met with Mohandas Gandhi.  Later during that trip our saint spoke to the World Missionary Conference at Jerusalem.  He encouraged delegates, while supporting evangelism, to recognize the positive elements in other religions.

Jones advocated for German Jews in the 1930s.  In 1938, after the Kristallnacht, our saint was one-third of a Quaker delegation that visited the headquarters of the Gestapo.  The humanitarian Quakers, using the AFSC’s track record of feeding many otherwise-starving Germans after World War I, negotiated with Reinhard Heydrich, later an architect of, as the Third Reich put it creepily, “the final solution to the Jewish problem,” the “Jewish problem” being that Jews were alive.  The Quaker visitors received permission to send relief aid for Jews and to aid and abet the emigration of many Jews, thereby saving lives.

Jones, who was on the Modernist side of Quaker theology, spent his final years as he had spent his previous ones–living out Quaker values.  He represented the AFSC at the Nobel Prize ceremony in 1947, when the organization won the Peace Prize.  (A Quaker organization winning the Nobel Peace Prize is logical.)  He died, aged 85 years, at Haverford, Pennsylvania, on June 16, 1948.

The American Friends Service Committee and the Fellowship of Reconciliation continue in work of which Jones would approve–creating peace, advocating for immigrants and refugees, opposing discrimination, working for economic justice, et cetera–in other words, loving one’s neighbors as one loves oneself.  That sounds Christian to me.








O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served,

and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60


Feast of George Berkeley and Joseph Butler (June 16)   1 comment

British Flag 1707-1801

Above:  The British Flag, 1707-1801

Image in the Public Domain



Irish Anglican Bishop and Philosopher


JOSEPH BUTLER (MAY 18, 1692-JUNE 16, 1752)

Anglican Bishop and Theologian



These two men come to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days via The Church of England and The Episcopal Church.  Common Worship:  Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000) lists June 16 as the feast day for Joseph Butler.  Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010) sets aside June 16 to commemorate the lives of Joseph Butler and George Berkeley.  Celebrating these two saints on the same day makes sense.  Yes, they had some major differences, but they had much more in common than not.  I, after taking notes on both men, have noted the following similarities, among others:

  1. They were contemporaries;
  2. They were great intellectuals;
  3. They, like John Locke, were empiricists;
  4. They criticized aspects of Locke’s philosophy;
  5. They influenced major subsequent philosophers;
  6. They were philosophers and theologians;
  7. They defended the truth of Christianity against assumptions of Deism;
  8. They were published authors;
  9. They were Anglican bishops; and
  10. They rejected speculative philosophy and theology in favor of practical theology.

The God of Deism was a non-interventionist figure.  He was like a watchmaker, for he, to follow the analogy, created the watch, wound it up, then left it alone.  The God of Deism was not the God to whom Psalmists in distress called out for help.  Deism was a theological system grounded in reason, not in reason and revelation or in revelation.  Its existence and prominence in the 1600s and 1700s fed a long-running debate in which our saints participated.  Another debater was the composer George Frederick Handel (1685-1759), whose Messiah (1742) argued against Deism.

I respond favorably to Christian intellectuals.  Christianity has an ancient and venerable tradition of reconciling science, reason, and philosophy with theology.

  1. One might consider, for example, St. Clement of Alexandria (circa 150-circa 210/215), the “Pioneer of Christian Scholarship,” who melded pagan Platonism with Christianity.  Truth is truth, St. Clement, insisted, regardless of its origin.  His star pupil, Origenes Adamantius (185-254), Origen, for short, carried on the good work.
  2. Pope Sylvester II (lived circa 945-1003; reigned 999-1003), unlike some of his contemporaries, did not fear technology (such as the abacus and the telescope) or classics of Greco-Roman literature and philosophy.  He did not care if valid knowledge and useful technology came from Muslims or ancient pagans.  For this reason many in the anti-intellectual wing of the Roman Catholic Church accused him of being in league with Satan.
  3. St. Thomas Aquinas (circa 1225-1274), who reconciled faith with reason, and Aristotelian philosophy with Christianity.
  4. St. Albert the Great (1200-1280), a Dominican priest and Roman Catholic Bishop, was also a scientist.
  5. The birth of modern science in the 1500s overlapped with the Protestant Reformation, the proper context in which to consider the Church’s shameful treatment of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), a faithful Catholic who preferred good science to bad theology.
  6. The Society of Jesus has a mixed record regarding science, for many Jesuit priests have been scientists yet one of their greatest members, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), labored under a Vatican-imposed gag order because of his synthesis of theology, reason, philosophy, and evolutionary science.
  7. The Roman Catholic Church has, fortunately, been more accepting of science since the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), than it was during the period immediately Vatican II.

Unfortunately, anti-intellectualism persists in much of Christianity.  According to an old joke, a fundamentalist says to a liberal,

I will agree to call you a Christian if you agree to call me a scholar.

That witticism is, due to its genre, necessarily an exaggeration, but it contains such truth.  Although some of the greatest Christian scholars have been Evangelicals, Calvinist (with ties to the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Evangelical Presbyterian ChurchMark A. Noll, who has joined the faculty at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, found ample material to research and write The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (1994).  And Dr. Francis S. Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health since 2009, is an Evangelical Protestant who has led the Human Genome Project.  He wrote The Language of God (2006), in which he criticized Intelligent Design as failing to hold its own under scientific scrutiny.  He as received much condemnation for that last point.

I recall an awkward lunch I ate at home some years ago.  My father was pastor of Warwick United Methodist Church, Warwick, Georgia, U.S.A., in the borderlands of rural Worth and Crisp Counties.  One day I accompanied him to have lunch with two of his parishioners.  One of our hosts, a man I would never mistake for an intellectual, made a much too-broad comment about educational attainment and piety.  Well-educated people, he insisted, had a different (and implicitly inferior) type of faith than did others.  Both my father and I, aside from being well-educated, were also tactful in the moment.  Nobody created an unfortunate scene.

Now, without further ado, I proceed to summarize then lives and part of the thought of two saints who belied that man’s stereotype more than my father and I did.


Bishop George Berkeley

Above:  Bishop George Berkeley, by John Smybert

Image in the Public Domain


Berkeley, a native of County Kilkenny, Ireland, was an empiricist and a metaphysical philosopher.  Our saint, of English ancestry, studied at Kilkenny school then at Trinity College, Dublin (1700-1704), from which he graduated.  He maintained an association with his alma mater until 1724, serving as a fellow (lecturing in the subjects of Greek, Hebrew, and theology) from 1707 to 1724.  He took some leaves of absence during that time, touring in Europe in 1713-1714 and 1716-1720, as well as spending time in London, where he associated with Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Alexander Pope, and Joseph Addison.

Berkeley, a clergyman since 1709, served as the Dean of Dromore in 1721-1722.   In 1724 he resigned his fellowship at Trinity College, Dublin, to become the Dean of Derry, a post he held until 1733.  He sought unsuccessfully to found a college for colonists and Native Americans in Bermuda.  He married Anne Forster in 1728 then moved to Newport, Rhode Island.  There he encouraged higher education in North America until he left for Ireland in 1731.  He donated his library to Yale College (now University), New Haven, Connecticut, hence Berkeley College and Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University.  Another namesake is the city of Berkeley, California.

In 1734 Berkeley became the Bishop of Cloyne.  He retired in late 1752 and retired to Oxford, England.  There he died a few months later, on January 14, 1753, shortly after securing the admission of his son, George, as an undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford.

Berkeley was a man of his time, responding to issues contemporary to him.  One issue was materialism, meaning not the accumulation of material goods but matter, that is, the stuff of which physical reality consists.  As a student at Trinity College, Dublin, Berkeley had studied the Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), by John Locke (1632-1704).  Locke argued for the following propositions:

Ideas originate in one’s brain because of the influence of the universe, a material system in which the universe’s “bodies” act mechanically, that is, by “impulse,” upon each other and upon human senses.

  1. Ideas are the only things of which people can be directly aware.
  2. Ideas of “primary qualities” represent accurately the real character of material things.
  3. Ideas of “secondary qualities” do not represent accurately the real character of material things.
  4. We humans mistakenly “attribute reality” to smell, taste, sound, and color.
  5. There are also “immaterial substances,” but Locke admitted that he did not know how to prove this point.
  6. Consciousness might be nothing more than a property of matter, one rooted in memory.

Berkeley argued against these points, preferring immaterialism.  He countered that the physical world exists only in experiences of it.  He found no good reason to accept the existence of matter, as Locke understood it.  Rather, the principle of

Esse is percipi,


to be is to be perceived,

held sway in Berkeley’s thought.  Ergo:

For the mind of God is present always and everywhere; all ideas are always in the mind of God, and it is by direct communion with His mind that human beings are supplied with the ideas that make up their experience.  It is literally true that “in Him we live, and move, and have our being.”  Thus, the reality of the everyday world is secured by being made directly dependent upon the mind of God, and the notion of “matter,” the very foundation of the scientific world view, is simply rejected.

Encyclopedia Americana (1962), Volume 3, Page 554

Berkeley, true to his Anglicanism, rejected abstract speculations in favor of practical theology.  He affirmed one of the core principles of the Law of Moses–complete human dependence upon God.  As for Berkeley’s rejection of the basis of modern science, that point is up for debate.  (I favor science and theology.)

Berkeley’s philosophical theory of immaterialism became influential after he died.  Thomas Reid (1710-1796) criticized it in Inquiry into the Human Mind (1764).  The theory influenced subsequent philosophers such as David Hume (1711-1776), Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), and Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860).  Another critic was John Stuart Mill (1806-1873).

Berkeley was a varied thinker and an excellent literary stylist.  Major works included the following:

  1. Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710) and its counterpart for the mass audience, Three Dialogues Between Hyles and Philonus (1713);
  2. An Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision (1709), a work of psychology;
  3. De Motu (1721), a work in Latin on the philosophy of science;
  4. Aleiphron, or the Minute Philosopher (1732), a defense of morality and religion against Deism;
  5. The Analyst (1734), a critique of Isaac Newton’s differential calculus;
  6. The Querist (1735-1737), regarding economic problems in Ireland; and
  7. Sirus (1744), regarding science and philosophy.

The author of the article about Berkeley in the Encyclopedia Britannica (1968), Volume 3, on page 508:

The most patent features of his style are precision, economy and a seemingly inevitable grace; with here and there salty satire and teasing wit; the roots of it are a natural logicality, a rare purity of sentiment and a deep philanthropy. provides copies of Berkeley’s works.  Examples include the following:

  1. The Works of George Berkeley, D.D., Late Bishop of Cloyne in Ireland; To Which is Added, an Account of His Life; and Several of His Letters to Thomas Prior, Esq., Dean Gervais, Mr. Pope, Etc. (1820)–Volumes I and II;
  2. The Works of George Berkeley, D.D., Formerly Bishop of Cloyne; Including Many of His Writings Hitherto Unpublished; With Prefaces, Annotations, His Life and Letters, and an account of His Philosophy (1871), by Alexander Campbell Fraser–Volumes I, II, III, and IV; and
  3. The Works of George Berkeley, D.D., Bishop of Cloyne (1897), edited by George Sampson–Volumes I, II, and III.


Joseph Butler

Above:  Bishop Butler

Image in the Public Domain

JOSEPH BUTLER (MAY 18, 1692-JUNE 16, 1752)

Butler, a native of Wantage, Berkshire, England, was an empiricist thinker.  He differed from Berkeley by accepting science.  Butler’s rational orthodoxy stood in contrast to the Methodist enthusiasm of John Wesley (1703-1791), his fellow Anglican.  Our saint understood correctly that we humans act based on probabilities.  He also grasped that actions, not certainties, are the bases of religion.  Thus he rejected the quest for certainty, that idol of fundamentalism, and defended Christianity as a “rational probability.”

Butler, who came from a Presbyterian family, became a great Anglican theologian.  He was the youngest of eight children of a wealthy linen and woolen draper.  Our saint, educated at Gloucester then Tewkesbury, had once intended to become a Presbyterian minister, but he came to prefer Anglicanism instead.  He converted in 1714 and matriculated at Oriel College, Oxford, the following year.  He studied philosophy, one of his favorite subjects, if not his favorite subject.  Our saint found himself disenchanted with the conservatism of the course of study, for he noticed defenses of Aristotelian thought against Newtonian physics and the thought of Francis Bacon (1561-1626) and John Locke.  Butler complained:

Our people have never had any doubt in their lives concerning a received opinion.

–Quoted in Gibbs, The Middle Way (1991), page 48

Butler graduated with his B.A. degree in 1718.  Subsequent degrees from the same institution were Bachelor of Law (1721) and Doctor of Law (1733).

Our saint, ordained in 1719, found his niche in The Church of England.  From 1719 to 1725 he preached at Rolls Chapel, London.  He became the Rector of Stanhoppe in 1725 and maintained that title and received its income for 15 years.  From 1733 to 1736 Butler doubled as the Chaplain to Lord Chancellor Charles Talbot.  In 1736 he became the Clerk of the Closet to Queen Caroline of Ansbach (1683-1737), consort of King George II (reigned 1727-1760).  Butler and Queen Caroline became friends and engaged in theological discussions.  She spoke highly of him to King George II and recommended Butler for promotion.  (The monarch was the titular head of The Church of England.)  In 1738 Butler became the Bishop of Bristol, in charge of a poor see.  He remained as Rector of Stanhoppe until 1740, when be began to double as the Dean of St. Paul’s, London.  From 1746 to 1750 he did triple duty as the Clerk of the Closet to King George II.

As the Bishop of Bristol (1738-1750) Butler locked horns with John Wesley.  The founder of Methodism was preaching without authorization to miners in the Diocese of Bristol.  Wesley was not canonically resident in the Diocese of Bristol.  Butler ordered Wesley to go home and stated that he (Wesley) should cease to pretend to have received special revelations from the Holy Spirit.

Butler refused an offer to become the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1747.  According to an apocryphal story, he said,

It is too late for me to try to support a falling Church.

–Quoted in Gibbs, The Middle Way (1991), page 50

Our saint had complained about the “decay of religion” in England.  Certainly part of that decay was the influence of Deism.  His preferred method of supporting the “falling Church” in his final years was ritualism.  Thus Butler foreshadowed the Oxford Movement of the 1800s.  Critics accused him of having succumbed to Papism, an allegation tantamount to accusing one of being bound for Hell.

Butler, translated to the wealthy Diocese of Durham in 1750, died of stomach and intestinal disorders at Bath, Somerset, England, on June 16, 1752.  He never married, thus he lived in a manner consistent with his opposition to the marriage of the clergy.  He also lived simply and gave away the vast majority of his money.

Ernest Campbell Mossner, author of Bishop Butler and the Age of Reason:  A Study in the History of Thought (1936), wrote:

In the history of eighteenth century English culture, what Locke is to philosophy, what Newton is to physics, what Burke is to politics, Butler is to theology…And the spokesman is by no means unworthy of his distinguished associates.

–Quoted in Gibbs, The Middle Way (1991), pages 47-48

Butler affirmed science, reason, and orthodox Christianity.  He shared many yet by no means all of the points of Deism, for he argued against that system.  Our saint affirmed among other things, miracles, human sinfulness, the Incarnation of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, and the Atonement.  He also accepted scientific developments and knowledge, and had a high opinion of human reason.  Scripture, tradition, and reason–Richard Hooker’s Three-Legged Stool–defined Butler’s theology.

Butler rejected speculative thought in favor of practical theology.  He insisted that religion is a matter of practice, not certainty.  In his theology probability, not certainty, is the grounding of human knowledge and actions.  Furthermore, Butler wrote, nature contains much mystery, perplexity, and obscurity; reason and order do not rule supreme there.  Via experience one can discern facts upon which to infer probable truth.  Ergo, theological and natural forms of knowledge are equally indispensable and probable.  Simply put, the grounding of Christianity is divine revelation, not nature.  One can access much of truth via science and reason, but one cannot perceive other aspects of truth by those methods.  There is more than one way to perceive truth correctly.

Butler also thought deeply about psychology.  He criticized John Locke’s theory of psychological continuity, based in memories.  Our saint opposed blind obedience to “received wisdom,” but he also evaluated alternatives critically, as he should have done.

Butler also critiqued the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), who argued that self-love directs all human actions.  That is simplistic, our saint thought.  He countered that benevolence is a second influence, benevolence, is also at work in human nature and in harmony with self-love.  Related to benevolence, Butler wrote, is conscience, which he understood to mean the voice of God inside one’s head.  According to Butler, therefore, the conscience is sovereign, to follow one’s conscience is to behave virtuously, and to obey the will of God, and conscience is consistent with reason.

Lee W. Gibbs wrote of Butler, who, like Berkeley, influenced David Hume and Immanuel Kant, that;

In short, the life and work of Bishop Joseph Butler was thoroughly representative of the middle way.  He exemplified that perennial Anglican openness to the changing historical circumstances of his day, while maintaining at the same time that continuous body of traditional beliefs held to be essential to the Christian faith.

The Middle Way (1991), pages 58-59 makes available works by and about Butler.  They include the following:

  1. The Works of the Right Reverend Father in God Joseph Butler, D.C.L., Late Bishop of Durham; To Which is Prefixed, an Account of the Character and Writings of the Author, by Samuel Halifax, D.D. Late Lord Bishop of Gloucester (1828)–Volumes I and II;
  2. The Whole Works of Joseph Butler, LL.D., Late Lord Bishop of Durham (1852);
  3. The Works of Joseph Butler (1897), edited by William Ewart Gladstone (Prime Minister, 1868-1874, 1880-1885, 1886, and 1892-1894)–Volumes I, II, and III;
  4. Bishop Butler (1901), by William Archibald Spooner; and
  5. Bishop Joseph Butler (1923), by Albert Edward Baker.



My Ecumenical Calendar of Saint’s Days and Holy Days recognizes a wide range of saints.  I imagine that, if by means of a time machine, I could gather all of them in one place and, via a universal translator, they could all understand each other, some fascinating discussions–even arguments–would occur.  I would, in such a fanciful and hypothetical situation, engage in some arguments.  If agreeing with me across the board were a criterion for inclusion on my Ecumenical Calendar, it would not exist.

I admit that I disagree with Berkeley and Butler on certain points.  That is fine, for they disagreed with each other.  They also share the same commemoration on the calendar of saints of The Episcopal Church.  Anglican collegiality permits such unity in the midst of differences.

I also admit that despite my attempts to understand that, despite my attempts to understand some of the philosophical arguments of Butler, I remain uncertain regarding the objective definition of what he wrote sometimes.  For example, the contents of his critique of Locke’s theory of personality and consciousness remain a mystery to me.  That is fine, for that fact has no bearing on my opinion of Butler as a saint and a seeker of God.  I still recognize him as one who engaged his intellect vigorously, thought deeply, and did so for the glory of God.  Butler, true to his convictions, avoided the opposite errors of idolizing “received wisdom” on one hand and more recent developments in science and technology on the other hand.  I respect that.

The process of taking notes, processing them, and drafting this post has taken parts of several days and constituted a workout for my intellect and my right hand, for the draft is lengthy.  Typing this post has given my fingers a workout also.  I am better informed for the process of creating this post.  May you, O reader, be better informed after reading it.





Holy God, source of all wisdom:

We give thanks for your servants George Berkeley and Joseph Butler,

who by their life and work strengthened your Church and illumined your world.

Help us, following their examples, to place our hearts and minds in your service,

for the sake of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 6:6-10

Psalm 119:89-96

Acts 13:38-44

John 3:11-16

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 431


Feast of William Hiram Foulkes (June 16)   1 comment

PCUSA 1937

Above:  Part of The Christian Century‘s Report on the 1937 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.

Photograph Dated December 31, 2013

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor



U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer


Science and religion no more contradict each other than light and electricity.

–William Hiram Foulkes


William Hiram Foulkes, born in Qunicy, Michigan, in 1877, was a Presbyterian minister, a denominational statesman, and a writer of hymns.

The progress of our saint’s career was as follows:

  1. Foulkes graduated from the College of Emporia, Emporia, Kansas, in 1897.  Next he attended McCormick Theological Seminary, where he received the Bernardine Orme Smith Fellowship for general excellence.  He also studied on the graduate level at New College, Edinburgh, Scotland.
  2. Foulkes ministered at churches in Elmira, Illinois; Portland, Oregon; New York, New York; Cleveland, Ohio; and Newark, New Jersey; in that order.
  3. Foulkes served as the General Secretary of the Board of Ministerial Relief and Sustenation of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. from 1913 to 1918.
  4. Foulkes served as the Chairman of the New Era Movement (in full, the New Era Expansion Program) of the denomination.  The purpose of the New Era Movement (1919-1933) was to encourage cooperation among congregations, presbyteries, synods, and denominational boards and agencies to promote stewardship, ecumenism, and missionary education.
  5. Foulkes sat on the General Council of the denomination.
  6. Foulkes contributed to the 1935 Handbook to the 1933 Hymnal.
  7. Foulkes served as the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. in 1937-1938.
  8. Foulkes retired in 1941.
  9. Foulkes died at Smithtown, New York, in 1961.

Our saint wrote at least three books:

  1. Living Bread from the Fourth Gospel (1914), a devotional volume;
  2. Sunset by the Wayside (1917), a volume of poems; and
  3. Homespun:  Along Friendly Roads (1936), a volume of Christian essays.

He also wrote hymns, including “Take Thou Our Minds, Dear Lord” (1918), which I have added to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  It is a hymn about consecration to God–having the mind of Christ, yielding to God, et cetera.  He wrote it as a devotional text for young people.  Dr. Calvin Weiss Laufer had asked Foulkes to compose words

that will challenge their hearts and minds.

–Quoted in William Chalmers Covert and Calvin Weiss Laufer, eds., Handbook to The Hymnal (Philadelphia, PA:  Presbyterian Board of Christian Education, 1935), page 266

Perhaps the best way to conclude my remarks is to affirm a simple prayer from that hymn:

Guide Thou our ordered lives as Thou dost please.









Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless you for inspiring William Hiram Foulkes

and all who with words have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728

Feast of Norman Macleod and John Macleod (June 16)   1 comment


Above:  Glasgow University, Glasgow, Scotland, 1890-1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-07596


NORMAN MACLEOD (JUNE 3, 1812-JUNE 16, 1872)

Scottish Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

Cousin of

JOHN MACLEOD (JUNE 22, 1840-AUGUST 4, 1898)

Scottish Presbyterian Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer


With this post I add two cousins to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.  Both Norman Macleod and John Macleod belonged to a dynasty of Scottish Presbyterian clergymen.  Both of them wrote hymns.  And each, in his own way, served God.

Norman Macleod (1812-1872), educated at Glasgow University, entered the ranks of Church of Scotland clergy in 1838.  He remained with that denomination after the great schism of 1843, the one that formed the Free Church of Scotland (1843-1900), which became part of the merged United Free Church of Scotland in 1900 before reuniting with the mother church in 1929.  Norman served at Loudoun Parish, Ayrshire, starting in 1838, moved to Dalkeith in 1843, and transferred to Barony Parish, Glasgow, in 1851.  He had joined the family business, so to speak, for his father and grandfather (both named Norman Macleod also) were Scottish Presbyterian ministers.

Norman had a great interest in the welfare of the people around him and elsewhere.  Thus he founded the first penny savings bank in Glasgow and provided mechanisms by which poor people could purchase good and affordable food and clothing. In 1865 Norman became embroiled in a Sabbath-related controversy.  His relatively liberal position was that, since Sunday was the only day many people had off, nobody should expect them to spend most of that day in church.  And, two years later, as the Convener of the India Mission Committee of the Church of Scotland, traveled to the subcontinent.  The trip broke his health.

Norman engaged in other activities beyond the parish level.  In 1849 he became the Editor of The Edinburgh Christian Instructor.  Two years prior he had cofounded the Evangelical Alliance, an anti-Tractarian ecumenical organization.  And, from 1860 to 1872, he edited and contributed to Good Words magazine.  Finally, in 1869, he served as the Moderator of the Church of Scotland.

Norman also wrote hymns.  One of these was “Courage, Brother!  Do Not Stumble.”

Courage, brother! do not stumble,

Though thy path be dark as night;

There’s a star to guide the humble:

“Trust in God, and do the right.”


Let the road be rough and dreary,

And its end be far out of sight,

Foot it bravely; strong or weary,

Trust in God, and do the right.


Perish policy and cunning,

Perish all that fears the light!

Whether losing, whether winning,

Trust in God, and do the right.


Some will hate thee, some will love thee,

Some will flatter, some will slight;

Cease from man, and look above thee;

Trust in God, and do the right.


Simple rule, and safest guiding,

Inward peace, and inward might,

Star upon our path abiding,–

Trust in God, and do the right.


Courage, brother! do not stumble,

Though thy path be dark as night;

There’s a star to guide the humble:

“Trust in God, and do the right.”

James Moffatt wrote of Norman that

He was one of the greatest of Scottish churchmen, a man of rare breadth and catholicity of spirit, an earnest philanthropist, an eloquent and moving preacher, and a warm-hearted, manly Christian.

Handbook to The Church Hymnary (London:  Oxford University Press, 1927, page 418)

A more immediate tribute came from Queen Victoria, whose chaplain Norman had become in 1857.  She donated two memorial windows at Crathie Church, Deeside.

John Macleod (1840-1898), Norman’s cousin, was the son of another John Macleod, a minister of the Church of Scotland.  The younger John, educated at Glasgow University, entered the ranks of Church of Scotland clergy in 1861.  Fourteen years later he became pastor of the great Govan Parish in Glasgow.  There he led the growing congregation effectively, oversaw the construction of a new building, and founded daughter congregations.

Govan Parish belonged to the High Church wing of the Church of Scotland.  There, at Govan, John pioneered responsive readings, practiced taking Holy Communion as the central act of Christian worship, and favored celebrating the major Christian feasts–radical ideas by the standards of Puritanical Presbyterians.  “Pope John of Govan,” as many people called him, wrote a treatise, The Holy Sacrament of Baptism, and wrote two posthumously published books–Poems and Hymns (1902) and The Gospel in the Institution of the Lord’s Supper (1907).  The Scottish Church Society, which he founded, carried on his liturgical work.

Among the hymns which John wrote was “Blessed Jesus, High in Glory,” which debuted in The Scottish Hymnal (1884).

Blessed Jesus, high in glory,

Seen by saints and angels fair,

Children’s voices now adore Thee;

Listen to Thy children’s prayer.


Gentle Jesus, Thou dost love us,

Thou hast died upon the Tree,

And Thou reignest now above us,

That we too might reign with Thee.


Give us grace to trust Thee wholly,

Give us each a childlike heart,

Make us meek and pure and holy,

Meet to see Thee as Thou art.


Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

Bless us all our life below,

Till we each that heaven inherit,

Which the childlike only know.

May more people honor these holy men.





For Further Reading:


Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people,

we thank you for your servants Norman Macleod and John Macleod,

who were faithful in the care and nurture of your flock.

We pray that, following their examples and the teachings of their holy lives,

we may by your grace attain our full maturity in Christ,

through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

Trinity Sunday, Year C   Leave a comment

Above:  A Tango Postcard

May God Have This Dance?


MAY 22, 2016

JUNE 16, 2019


The Assigned Readings for This Sunday:

Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31

Psalm 8 or Canticle 13 from The Book of Common Prayer (1979)

Romans 5:1-5

John 16:12-15

The Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Some Related Posts:

Prayer of Praise and Adoration for Trinity Sunday:

Prayer of Confession for Trinity Sunday:

Prayer of Dedication for Trinity Sunday:

Alta Trinita Beata:

Trinitarian Benedictions:

Prayer of Confession for Trinity Sunday:

Ancient of Days:

Thou, Whose Almighty Word:


Wisdom literature, from Proverbs to Sirach/Ecclesiasticus and the Wisdom of Solomon, personifies divine wisdom as feminine.  Much of this imagery influenced the prologue to the Gospel of John, in which Jesus is the Logos of God; the Logos resembles divine wisdom.  Thus, in Proverbs 8, we read a premonition of the Second Person of the Trinity.  The  Second and Third Persons come up in Romans 5 and John 16.  And both possible responses address the First Person of the Trinity.

The doctrine of the Trinity is a fine example of theology.  The doctrine has no single, definitive passage of scripture to attest to it.  Rather, it is the product of deep Christian thinkers who pondered a number of passages carefully and put them together.  Some professing Christians disapprove of that process of doctrine-making; it is, to them, like sausage-making in the simile of laws and sausages:  it is better not to know how they are made.  But that comparison does not apply to sound doctrine, a category in which I file the Trinity.  Those who object to the process of sound doctrine-making are living ironies, for they are more attached to such doctrines than I am.  Yet the process by which the Church itself–a human institution–arrived at them–offends such people.  Such doctrines, they prefer to imagine, fall from Heaven fully formed.  Karen Armstrong is correct:

…fundamentalism is ahistorical….

A History of God:  The 4000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1994), page xx

(I, alas, have had some unfortunate conversations with some rather doctrinaire and less than intellectually and historically inquisitive professing Christians.  They have rendered me even more allergic to Fundamentalism than I already was.)

I propose that the best way to understand as much as possible about God is through poetry and other art forms.  We humans, I have heard, danced our religion before we thought it.  And the doctrine of the Trinity is at least as much artistry as it is theology.  The nature of God is a mystery to embrace and experience, not to attempt to understand.  So, O reader, dance with God, who seeks you as a partner on the dance floor.







Saints’ Days and Holy Days for June   Leave a comment


Image in the Public Domain

1 (Justin Martyr, Christian Apologist and Martyr, 166/167)

  • David Abeel, U.S. Dutch Reformed Minister and Missionary to Asia
  • Pamphilus of Caesarea, Bible Scholar and Translator; and His Companions, Martyrs, 309
  • Samuel Stennett, English Seventh-Day Baptist Minister and Hymn Writer; and John Howard, English Humanitarian
  • Simeon of Syracuse, Roman Catholic Monk
  • William Robinson, Marmaduke Stephenson, and Mary Dyer, British Quaker Martyrs in Boston, Massachusetts, 1659 and 1660

2 (Blandina and Her Companions, the Martyrs of Lyons, 177)

  • Anders Christensen Arrebo, “The Father of Danish Poetry”
  • Christoph Homburg, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • John Lancaster Spalding, Roman Catholic Bishop of Peoria then Titular Bishop of Seythopolis
  • Margaret Elizabeth Sangster, Hymn Writer, Novelist, and Devotional Writer
  • Stephen of Sweden, Roman Catholic Missionary, Bishop, and Martyr, Circa 1075

3 (John XXIII, Bishop of Rome)

  • Christian Gottfried Geisler and Johann Christian Geisler, Silesian Moravian Organists and Composers; and Johannes Herbst, German-American Organist, Composer, and Bishop
  • Frances Ridley Havergal, English Hymn Writer and Composer
  • Ole T. (Sanden) Arneson, U.S. Norwegian Lutheran Hymn Translator
  • Will Campbell, Agent of Reconciliation

4 (Stanislaw Kostka Starowieyski, Roman Catholic Martyr, 1941)

  • Francis Caracciolo, Co-Founder of the Minor Clerks Regular
  • Maurice Blondel, French Roman Catholic Philosopher and Forerunner of the Second Vatican Council
  • Petroc, Welsh Prince, Abbot, and Missionary
  • Thomas Raymond Kelly, U.S. Quaker Mystic and Professor of Philosophy

5 (Dorotheus of Tyre, Bishop of Tyre, and Martyr, Circa 362)

  • Elias Benjamin Sanford, U.S. Methodist then Congregationalist Minister and Ecumenist
  • Orlando Gibbons, Anglican Organist and Composer; the “English Palestrina”

6 (Franklin Clark Fry, President of The United Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church in America)

  • Claude of Besançon, Roman Catholic Priest, Monk, Abbot, and Bishop
  • Henry James Buckoll, Author and Translator of Hymns
  • Ini Kopuria, Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood
  • Johann Friedrich Hertzog, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • William Kethe, Presbyterian Hymn Writer

7 (Matthew Talbot, Recovering Alcoholic in Dublin, Ireland)

  • Anthony Mary Gianelli, Founder of the Missionaries of Saint Alphonsus Liguori and the Sisters of Mary dell’Orto
  • Frederick Lucian Hosmer, U.S. Unitarian Hymn Writer
  • Hubert Lafayette Sone and his wife, Katie Helen Jackson Sone, U.S. Methodist Missionaries and Humanitarians in China, Singapore, and Malaysia
  • Seattle, First Nations Chief, War Leader, and Diplomat

8 (Clara Luper, Witness for Civil Rights)

  • Bliss Wiant, U.S. Methodist Minister, Missionary, Musician, Music Educator, and Hymn Translator, Arranger, and Harmonizer; and his wife, Mildred Artz Wiant, U.S. Methodist Missionary, Musician, Music Educator, and Hymn Translator
  • Charles Augustus Briggs, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Episcopal Priest, Biblical Scholar, and Alleged Heretic; and his daughter, Emilie Grace Briggs, Biblical Scholar and “Heretic’s Daughter”
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins, English Roman Catholic Poet and Jesuit Priest
  • Henry Downton, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Roland Allen, Anglican Priest, Missionary, and Mission Strategist

9 (Columba of Iona, Celtic Missionary and Abbot)

  • Giovanni Maria Boccardo, Founder of the Poor Sisters of Saint Cajetan/Gaetano; and his brother, Luigi Boccardo, Apostle of Merciful Love
  • José de Anchieta, Apostle of Brazil and Father of Brazilian National Literature
  • Thomas Joseph Potter, Roman Catholic Priest, Poet, and Hymn Writer
  • Will Herzfeld, U.S. Lutheran Ecumenist, Presiding Bishop of the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, and Civil Rights Activist

10 (James of Nisibis, Bishop; and Ephrem of Edessa, “The Harp of the Holy Spirit”)

  • Frank Laubach, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Missionary
  • Frederick C. Grant, Episcopal Priest and New Testament Scholar; and his son, Robert M. Grant, Episcopal Priest and Patristics Scholar
  • Getulius, Amantius, Caeraelis, and Primitivus, Martyrs at Tivoli, 120; and Symphorosa of Tivoli, Martyr, 120
  • Landericus of Paris, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Thor Martin Johnson, U.S. Moravian Conductor and Music Director


12 (Edwin Paxton Hood, English Congregationalist Minister, Philanthropist, and Hymn Writer)

  • Christian David Jaeschke, German Moravian Organist and Composer; and his grandson, Henri Marc Hermann Voldemar Voullaire, Moravian Composer and Minister
  • Enmegahbowh, Episcopal Priest and Missionary to the Ojibwa Nation
  • Joseph Dacre Carlyle, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Milton Smith Littlefield, Jr., U.S. Presbyterian and Congregationalist Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymnal Editor
  • William Cullen Bryant, U.S. Poet, Journalist, and Hymn Writer

13 (Spyridon of Cyprus, Bishop of Tremithus, Cyprus; and his convert, Tryphillius of Leucosia, Bishop of Leucosia, Cyprus; Opponents of Arianism)

  • Brevard S. Childs, U.S. Presbyterian Biblical Scholar
  • Sigismund von Birken, German Lutheran Hymn Writer

14 (Methodius I of Constantinople, Defender of Icons and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constaninople; and Joseph the Hymnographer, Defender of Icons and the “Sweet-Voiced Nightingale of the Church”)

  • David Low Dodge, U.S. Presbyterian Businessman and Pacifist

15 (John Ellerton, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer and Translator)

  • Carl Heinrich von Bogatsky, Hungarian-German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • Dorothy Frances Blomfield Gurney, English Poet and Hymn Writer
  • Evelyn Underhill, Anglican Mystic and Theologian
  • Landelinus of Vaux, Roman Catholic Abbot; Aubert of Cambrai, Roman Catholic Bishop; Ursmar of Lobbes, Roman Catholic Abbot and Missionary Bishop; and Domitian, Hadelin, and Dodo of Lobbes, Roman Catholic Monks

16 (George Berkeley, Irish Anglican Bishop and Philosopher; and Joseph Butler, Anglican Bishop and Theologian)

  • Francis J. Uplegger, German-American Lutheran Minister and Missionary; “Old Man Missionary”
  • John Francis Regis, Roman Catholic Priest
  • Norman Macleod, Scottish Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer; and his cousin, John Macleod, Scottish Presbyterian Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer
  • Rufus Jones, U.S. Quaker Theologian and Co-Founder of the American Friends Service Committee
  • William Hiram Foulkes, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

17 (Samuel Barnett, Anglican Canon of Westminster, and Social Reformer; and his wife, Henrietta Barnett, Social Reformer)

  • Edith Boyle MacAlister, English Novelist and Hymn Writer
  • Emily de Vialar, Founder of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Apparition
  • Jane Cross Bell Simpson, Scottish Presbyterian Poet and Hymn Writer
  • Mark Hopkins, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Theologian, Educator, and Physician
  • Teresa and Mafalda of Portugal, Princesses, Queens, and Nuns; and Sanchia of Portugal, Princess and Nun

18 (William Bingham Tappan, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Poet, and Hymn Writer)

  • Adolphus Nelson, Swedish-American Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Bernard Mizeki, Anglican Catechist and Convert in Southern Rhodesia, 1896
  • Johann Franck, Heinrich Held, and Simon Dach, German Lutheran Hymn Writers
  • Richard Massie, Hymn Translator
  • Vernard Eller, U.S. Church of the Brethren Minister and Theologian

19 (John Dalberg Acton, English Roman Catholic Historian, Philosopher, and Social Critic)

  • Adelaide Teague Case, Episcopal Professor of Christian Education, and Advocate for Peace
  • Michel-Richard Delalande, French Roman Catholic Composer
  • William Pierson Merrill, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Social Reformer, and Hymn Writer

20 (Joseph Augustus Seiss, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Liturgist, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator)

  • Alfred Ramsey, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator
  • Bernard Adam Grube, German-American Minister, Missionary, Composer, and Musician
  • Charles Coffin, Roman Catholic Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Hans Adolf Brorson, Danish Lutheran Bishop, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • William John Sparrow-Simpson, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Patristics Scholar

21 (Aloysius Gonzaga, Jesuit)

  • Carl Bernhard Garve, German Moravian Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer
  • Charitie Lees Smith Bancroft de Chenez, Hymn Writer
  • John Jones and John Rigby, Roman Catholic Martyrs, 1598 and 1600

22 (Alban, First British Martyr, Circa 209 or 305)

  • Desiderius Erasmus, Dutch Roman Catholic Priest, Biblical and Classical Scholar, and Controversialist; John Fisher, English Roman Catholic Classical Scholar, Bishop of Rochester, Cardinal, and Martyr, 1535; and Thomas More, English Roman Catholic Classical Scholar, Jurist, Theologian, Controversialist, and Martyr, 1535
  • Gerhard Gieschen, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator
  • James Arthur MacKinnon, Canadian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr in the Dominican Republic, 1965
  • Nicetas of Remesiana, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Paulinus of Nola, Roman Catholic Bishop of Nola

23 (John Gerard, English Jesuit Priest; and Mary Ward, Founder of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

  • Heinrich Gottlob Gutter, German-American Instrument Maker, Repairman, and Merchant
  • John Johns, English Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Vincent Lebbe, Belgian-Chinese Roman Catholic Priest and Missionary; Founder of the Little Brothers of Saint John the Baptist
  • Wilhelm Heinrich Wauer, German Moravian Composer and Musician


25 (William Henry Heard, African Methodist Episcopal Missionary and Bishop)

  • Domingo Henares de Zafira Cubero, Roman Catholic Bishop of Phunhay, Vietnam, and Martyr, 1838; Phanxicô Đo Van Chieu, Vietnamese Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr, 1838; and Clemente Ignacio Delgado Cebrián, Roman Catholic Bishop and Martyr in Vietnam, 1838
  • William of Vercelli, Roman Catholic Hermit; and John of Matera, Roman Catholic Abbot

26 (Isabel Florence Hapgood, U.S. Journalist, Translator, and Ecumenist)

  • Andrea Giacinto Longhin, Roman Catholic Bishop of Treviso
  • Pearl S. Buck, U.S. Presbyterian Missionary, Novelist, and Social Activist
  • Philip Doddridge, English Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Theodore H. Robinson, British Baptist Orientalist and Biblical Scholar
  • Virgil Michel, U.S. Roman Catholic Monk, Academic, and Pioneer of Liturgical Renewal

27 (Cornelius Hill, Oneida Chief and Episcopal Priest)

  • Arialdus of Milan, Italian Roman Catholic Deacon and Martyr, 1066
  • Hugh Thomson Kerr, Sr., U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Liturgist; and his son, Hugh Thomson Kerr, Jr., U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Scholar, and Theologian
  • James Moffatt, Scottish Presbyterian Minister, Scholar, and Bible Translator
  • John the Georgian, Abbot; and Euthymius of Athos and George of the Black Mountain, Abbots and Translators

28 (Teresa Maria Mastena, Founder of the Institute of the Sisters of the Holy Face)

  • Clara Louise Maass, U.S. Lutheran Nurse and Martyr, 1901
  • Plutarch, Marcella, Potanominaena, and Basilides of Alexandria, Martyrs, 202
  • William Mundy and John Mundy, English Composers and Musicians


30 (Johann Olaf Wallin, Archbishop of Uppsala, and Hymn Writer)

  • Gennaro Maria Sarnelli, Italian Roman Catholic Priest and Missionary to the Vulnerable and Exploited People of Naples
  • Heinrich Lonas, German Moravian Organist, Composer, and Liturgist
  • Paul Hanly Furfey, U.S. Roman Catholic Priest, Sociologist, and Social Radical
  • Philip Powel, English Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1646


  • First Book of Common Prayer, 1549


Lowercase boldface on a date with two or more commemorations indicates a primary feast.

Feast of St. John Francis Regis (June 16)   Leave a comment

Society of Jesus


Roman Catholic Priest

Known also as Jean-Francois Regis

Alternative Feast Day = September 10

St. John Francis Regis, who came from a wealthy French family, devoted his adult life to serving the poor and proclaiming the Good News of Jesus.  His lifespan–43 years–was short by modern Western standards, but he accomplished much in that time.

Regis became a Jesuit novice at age 19 (in 1616), a full member of the order two years later, and a priest in 1631.  He was a tireless preacher who earned a reputation as “the saint” during his lifetime, for he braved the elements to keep his appointments.  Snowdrifts and other obstacles did not deter him from preaching missions and administering sacraments.

The saint also worked with vulnerable members of society.  He ministered to Bubonic Plague patients at Toulouse.  Working in hospitals, he cleaned wounds and performed other physical and unpleasant tasks.  The saint also collected donations for food and money for the wealthy and used these to help the poor.  Young women whom circumstances had forced into prostitution benefited from the saint’s efforts, too.  He established hostels for them and arranged for them to find work as lace makers.

The saint longed to travel to New France, for the purposes of preaching there and working on behalf of First Nations human rights.  But he died of an illness before he could do any of this.   His last words, which he uttered while looking at a crucifix, were, “Into your hands I commend my spirit.”

The Church recognized the saint’s holiness quickly.  Lobbying for his cause began shortly after his death.  Pope Clement XI beatified him in 1716, and Clement XII canonized the saint in 1737.  St. John Francis Regis is the patron of lace makers.

The life of St. John Francis Regis reminds us of the link between our relationships with God and each other.  The Biblical prophets understood this well, for they made the connection between righteousness and fair treatment of the vulnerable members of society, especially the poor.  May we, as individuals, groups, societies, cultures, and nation-states, never forget this.

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

Loving God, who became Incarnate and shared human identity with us, we thank you for the holy example of St. John Francis Regis, who loved you and his neighbors as he loved himself.  Like him, may we hear the cry of the poor and act affirmatively and effectively; and may we seek you also in the sacraments.  Amen.

Amos 8:1-14

Psalm 63

James 2:14-26

Matthew 25:31-46