Archive for the ‘Saints of 1780-1789’ Category

Feast of Gabriel Richard (October 15)   Leave a comment

Above:  Detroit in 1800

Image in the Public Domain

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

GABRIEL JACQUES RICHARD (OCTOBER 15, 1767-SEPTEMBER 13, 1832)

French-American Roman Catholic Missionary Priest in Michigan

Father Gabriel Richard comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget (1763-1850), under whom he served.

Gabriel Jacques Richard was French.  He, born in La Ville de Saintes on October 15, 1767, matriculated at the theological seminary in Angers in 1784.  Ordained to the priesthood on October 15, 1790, our saint sailed for the United States of America in 1792.  He arrived in Baltimore, Maryland, and began to teach mathematics at St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore.

John Carroll (1735-1815), the Bishop of Baltimore (1789-1807) then the Archbishop of Baltimore (1807-1815), appointed Richard to perform missionary work in Michigan in 1798.  The 31-year-old priest arrived in Detroit on June 16, 1798 (the Feast of Corpus Christi), to begin serving at St. Anne’s Church as assistant priest.   He served as the parish’s pastor from 1802 to 1832.

Detroit was a small town in 1798; the population was about 1,200.  About half of that population was French-born.  Forests and a lack of good roads cut Detroit off from the rest of the world, by land.  The streets were muddy, there were no schools, and the main business was trading liquor for furs from Native Americans.

Richard set about improving the community.  He started schools that taught the “three R’s,” as well as dressmaking, sewing, and weaving.  He helped to organize relief efforts after the great fire of 1805.  Our saint appointed a town crier, who announced the news from the steps of St. Anne’s Church every Sunday.  The priest also posted news for the literate people every week.  Richard founded and published The Michigan Essay, the first newspaper in Michigan, in 1809.  The town crier had a greater audience than the newspaper.  Our saint also published many books, including The Child’s Spelling Book.

Richard accumulated a private library of 240 volumes.  Topics ranged from theology to science, and included navigation, surveying, teaching methods for the deaf and the mute, and mathematics.

About half of the population consisted of Protestants, who had no pastor of their own.  In 1807, Richard accepted their invitation to fill this vacancy.  He served as their pastor (while also serving at St. Anne’s Church) until 1816, when Presbyterian John Monteith (1788-1868) arrived.  Monteith went on to serve as the pastor of the First Protestant Society of Detroit (founded in 1818) then of the First Presbyterian Church, one of its successors.  Richard and Monteith, friends, worked together to improve education in Detroit.  They were two of the founders of the Catholepistemiad (1817-1832), forerunner of the University of Michigan.

Richard, under the authority of Bishop Flaget after the latter’s consecration, functioned as a missionary to local indigenous people.  He won their respect.  During the War of 1812, our saint was a prisoner of war of the British.  The priest, who ministered to indigenous allies of the British Empire, had sworn allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America.  Chief Tecumseh (c. 1768-1813) helped to secure Richard’s release.  The chief promised not to fight for the British unless they freed the priest.

Richard served a term (1823-1825) as the non-voting delegate of the Territory of Michigan (modern-day Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota) in the United States Congress.  Our saint, despite having no vote, helped to get the funds for the Detroit-Chicago road.

Richard nearly became the first Bishop of Detroit.  He had excommunicated a parishioner.  The excommunication had damaged the man’s business, so he sued our saint.  The court sided with the businessman and fined the priest $1,117 (between $31,000 and $35,000 in 2021 currency).  The priest could not pay the fine.  Our saint was, therefore, an involuntary guest in the sheriff’s home until some parishioners arranged for Richard’s release.  Our saint, chosen to be the first Bishop of Detroit before news of the legal matter reached Rome, remained a priest.  The first Bishop of Detroit assumed office in 1833, after Richard had died.

Cholera swept through Detroit in 1832.  Our saint ministered to victims until he contracted the disease.  He, aged 64 years, died on September 13, 1832.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 29, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTIC AND RELIGIOUS

THE FEAST OF SAINTS BOSA OF YORK, JOHN OF BEVERLEY, WILFRID THE YOUNGER, AND ACCA OF HEXHAM, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS

THE FEAST OF JAMES EDWARD WALSH, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY BISHOP AND POLITICAL PRISONER IN CHINA

THE FEAST OF SIMON B. PARKER, UNITED METHODIST BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF TIMOTHY REES, WELSH ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER AND BISHOP OF LLANDAFF

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

Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people,

we thank you for your servant Father Gabriel Richard,

who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock;

and we pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life,

we may by your grace grow into the full stature of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  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

–Adapted from the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 38

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

Feast of Benedict Joseph Flaget (November 7)   4 comments

Above:  Benedict Joseph Flaget

Image in the Public Domain

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

BENEDICT JOSEPH FLAGET (NOVEMBER 7, 1763-FEBRUARY 11, 1850)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Bardstown then of Louisville, Kentucky

Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget 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).

Flaget was French.  He, born at Contournat, near Billom, Auvergne, on November 7, 1763, became an orphan when two years old.  Our saint and his two brothers grew up in the household of an uncle (Canon Benoît Flaget) and an aunt at Billom.  At the age of seventeen years, our saint matriculated at the Sulpician seminary in Clermont.

Flaget became a priest.  He, ordained on All Saints’ Day, 1783, at Issy, taught for years.  Our saint taught theology at Nantes for two years then did the same at Angers.  The anti-clericalism of the French Revolution led to the closing of the seminary at Angers.  Flaget, after returning briefly to Billom in 1791, sailed for the United States of America in January 1792.  He sailed with Étienne (Stephen) Theodore Badin (1768-1853), then a subdeacon, but destined to become the first Roman Catholic priest ordained in the United States of America, on May 25, 1793.  Flaget also sailed with Jean-Baptiste-Marie (John Baptist Mary) David (1761-1841), whom he had recruited to the seminary.

The three future missionaries landed in Baltimore, Maryland, on March 29, 1792.  They proceeded to study English and prepare for their tasks in the New World.  John Carroll (1735-1815), the Bishop of Baltimore (1789-1808) then the Archbishop of Baltimore (1808-1815), assigned Flaget to minister to indigenous people at Fort Vincennes, Northwest Territory (now Indiana).  Our saint arrived on December 21, 1792.  Recalled after two years, he taught at Georgetown College (now University) until 1798.  Then, transferred to Havana, Cuba, in 1798, Flaget eventually returned to Baltimore, in the company of twenty-three students.

Pope Pius VII created the Diocese of Bardstown, Kentucky (out of the Archdiocese of Baltimore), and appointed Flaget the first bishop thereof on April 8, 1808.  Flaget, back in France, initially refused.  Yet he accepted the appointment.  Our saint returned to the United States of America in 1810.  He sailed with friend and colleague Father Simon William Bruté (1779-1839), later the first Bishop of Vincennes.  Another passenger on that vessel was Subdeacon Guy Ignatius Chabrat (1787-1868).  Flaget, consecrated by Archbishop John Carroll in Baltimore on November 4, 1810, arrived in Bardstown on June 9, 1811.

The Diocese of Bardstown was initially vast.  However, as time passed, the Church carved other dioceses out of it.  In 1811, the Diocese of Bardstown included the original Northwest Territory (1787), Kentucky, and Tennessee.  The new diocese was a daunting mission field.  In 1811, after a long and difficult overland journey, Flaget and his entourage arrived in Bardstown.  Shortly after arriving, the new bishop wrote in his journal:

In entering the town, I devoted myself to to all the guardian angels who reside therein, and I prayed to God, with all my heart, to make me an instrument of His glory in this new Diocese.  O my dear brother, have compassion on me, overloaded with so heavy a burden, and pray fervently to God that he would vouchsafe to lighten it.

–Quoted in Cady and Webber. A Year with American Saints (2006), 574

Above:  The Basilica of St. Joseph, Bardstown, Kentucky

Image Source = Google Earth

Flaget was an effective and energetic missionary bishop.  He founded a seminary and parishes.  Construction of his first cathedral, the Basilica of St. Joseph, Bardstown, finished in 1823.  Chabrat became one of Flaget’s missionary priests.  Flaget ordained him, the first Roman Catholic priest ordained west of the Allegheny Mountains, on Christmas Day, 1811.  Flaget also helped to select most of the Roman Catholic bishops consecrated in the United States of America in the 1810-1830s.  John Baptist Mary David (1761-1841), the Bishop Coadjutor of Bardstown (1819-1832), succeeded as the Bishop of Bardstown when Flaget retired, in 1832.  Our saint’s age and health were catching up with him.

David served as the Bishop of Bardstown for less than a year (1832-1833).  Whatever and however great his virtues were, the majority of priests and lay people wanted Flaget back.  Therefore, David resigned and Flaget returned.  Our saint’s second tenure lasted from 1833 to 1850.  His next Bishop Coadjutor was Chabrat, consecrated on July 20, 1834.  By then, the diocese spanned only Kentucky and Tennessee.  Flaget and Chabrat continued to found institutions, build up the diocese, and lay the foundations for future dioceses.  And Flaget traveled in France and Italy (1835-1839).  In his absence, the Diocese of Bardstown became the Diocese of Louisville in 1837.  Chabrat, who had taken over most of the administrative work of the diocese, was going blind.  Therefore, he resigned in 1847 and returned to France.  Flaget needed a new Bishop Coadjutor.

Flaget’s third Bishop Coadjutor was Martin John Spalding, a priest in the diocese.  Spalding was a fine choice, for he was already one of the main administrators of the Diocese of Louisville.  Spalding was the effectively the Bishop of Louisville, starting in 1848, for the aged Flaget all-but officially retired while retaining the title “Bishop of Louisville.”

Flaget, aged 86 years, died in Louisville, Kentucky, on February 11, 1850.

His tomb is in the basement of the Cathedral of the Assumption, Louisville.

Spalding served (officially) as the Bishop of Louisville from 1850 to 1864.  He, appointed the Archbishop of Baltimore (1864-1872), was an uncle of John Lancaster Spalding (1840-1816), the Bishop of Peoria (1877-1908).

Flaget, by the grace of God, functioned as an instrument of divine glory.

May you, O reader, do the same in your context.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 28, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JAROSLAV VAJDA, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER, HYMN TRANSLATOR, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOZEF CEBULA, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1941

THE FEAST OF SAINT PAMPHILIUS OF SULMONA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF ALMSGIVER

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER CHANEL, PROTOMARTYR OF OCEANIA, 1841

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM STRINGFELLOW, EPISCOPAL ATTORNEY, THEOLOGIAN, AND SOCIAL ACTIVIST

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

Almighty God, whose will it is to be glorified in your saints,

and who raised up your servant Benedict Joseph Flaget to be a light in the world:

Shine, we pray, in our hearts, that we also in our generation may show forth your praise,

who called us out of darkness into your marvelous light;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Isaiah 49:1-6

Psalm 98 or 98:1-4

Acts 17:22-31

Matthew 28:16-20

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 717

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

Feast of Richard Challoner (September 30)   1 comment

Above:  Richard Challoner

Image in the Public Domain

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

RICHARD CHALLONER (SEPTEMBER 29, 1691-JANUARY 12, 1781)

English Roman Catholic Scholar, Religious Writer, Translator, Controversialist, Priest, and Titular Bishop of Doberus

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

INTRODUCTION

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

Bishop Richard Challoner comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via his many works, mainly his 1749-1952 revision of the Douai-Rheims Version of the Bible (1582/1609).

Challoner lived during a time of official persecution of Roman Catholicism in the United Kingdom.  Prior to the Catholic Emancipation Act (1829), Roman Catholics could not participate fully in public life.  For decades after the Catholic Emancipation Act, they still could not participate fully in public life, either.  However, the Catholic Emancipation Act did permit Roman Catholics (except clergy) to sit in the Parliament and serve as members of lay corporations.  Roman Catholics could also hold most crown offices, with a handful of exceptions.  Furthermore, no Roman Catholic cleric was to wear clerical attire outside of church, religious orders were officially under a ban (an unenforced one), and no Roman Catholic prelate was to use a title any Anglican prelate used.  Nevertheless, the Catholic Emancipation Act was a huge step forward for British and Irish Roman Catholics.  The Universities Tests Act (1871) opened universities to Roman Catholics.

Understanding the political-religious climate in which Challoner lived is crucial to grasping his works and their tone.  If one understands why he gave as good as he got, one comprehends our saint and his works in context.

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

CONVERT, PRIEST, SCHOLAR, AND APOLOGIST

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

Challoner, born in Lewes, England, on September 29, 1691, came from a Presbyterian family.  His father was a winecooper.  The father died when our father was a boy.  Then Challoner’s mother became the housekeeper to a Roman Catholic family at Gage, Firle, Sussex.  Our saint joined the Roman Catholic Church when he was about 13 years old, in the household of another Roman Catholic family–the Holmans, of Warkworth, Northamptonshire.  Father John Gother, the Holmans’ chaplain, was also a religious writer and a controversialist.  He taught Challoner Roman Catholic doctrine and helped him get into the English College, Douai, France.

Challoner spent 1705-1730 at the English College, Douai.  He matriculated in July 1705.  Our saint was such a good student that he completed the twelve-year-long course of study in eight years.  In 1708, the pupil committed to return to England on a mission, when required to do so.  Challoner, when twenty-five years old, began to teach the rhetoric and poetry courses.  The following year, he began an eight-year-long appointment as Professor of Philosophy.  Challoner, ordained to the priesthood on March 28, 1716, graduated with his Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1719.  The following year, our saint became the Vice President, as well as Professor of Theology and Prefect of Studies.  Challoner received his Doctor in Divinity degree in 1727.  Before our saint left the English College, he published his first book, Think Well On’t; or, Reflections on the Great Truths of the Christian Religion, for Every Day in the Month (1728).

Challoner returned to England, on a mission, in 1730.  He settled in London and began his ministry.  Our saint initially did so disguised as a layman because of the political-religious climate in England.  Challoner said Masses secretly, visited prisons, and performed his priestly duties faithfully.  In his spare time, our saint wrote and translated.  He wrote or translated the following through 1737:

  1. The Grounds of Catholic Doctrine, as Contained in the Profession of Faith (translation, 1732);
  2. Unerring Authority of the Catholic Church (1732);
  3. A Short History of the First Beginning and Progress of the Protestant Religion, Gathered Out of the Best Protestant Writers, By Way of Question and Answer(1733);
  4. A Roman Catholic’s Reasons Why He Cannot Conform (1734);
  5. The Touchstone of the New Religion (1734);
  6. The Young Gentleman Instructed in the Grounds of the Christian Religion (1735);
  7. A Specimen of the Spirit of the Dissenting Teachers (1736); and
  8. The Catholic Christian Instructed in the Sacraments, Sacrifice, Ceremonies, and Observances of the Church; By Way of Question and Answer (1737).

The latter book got Challoner into legal trouble.  Our saint had criticized Anglican divine Dr. Conyers Middleton (1683-1750), a man whose sarcastic polemics got him in trouble with various people.  Middleton had condemned the Roman Catholic Church.  Then Challoner spared no words regarding Middleton in the preface to The Catholic Christian Instructed.  Next, the querulous Middleton pressed charges against our saint, who returned to Douai.

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

BISHOP AND VICAR APOSTOLIC CHALLONER

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

What would Challoner’s next promotion be?  Some favored him becoming the President of the English College, Douai.  The previous President had died in 1738, and our saint was qualified for the position.

However, Benjamin Petre (1672-1758) had a different job in mind for Challoner.  Petre, the Titular Bishop of Prusa and the Vicar Apostolic of the London District (March 12, 1734-December 22, 1758), wanted Challoner to serve as the Coadjutor Vicar Apostolic of the London District instead.  (The Apostolic Vicarate of the London District existed from 1688 to 1850.)  Petre prevailed; Challoner received his appointment on September 12, 1739.  Challoner was insufficiently Roman Catholic for critics who pointed out that he was a convert from Presbyterianism.  Finally, after a long delay, our saint became the Titular Bishop of Doberus and the Coadjutor Vicar Apostolic of the London District on January 29, 1741,

Challoner kept writing in 1738-1740.  His works included:

  1. Rheims Testament (1738), edited with F. Blyth;
  2. a translation of the Confessions of Saint Augustine of Hippo (1740); and
  3. The Garden of the Soul:  A Manual of Spiritual Exercises and Instructions for Christians, Who, Living in the World; Aspire to Devotion; With an Explanation of the Mass (1740).

Challoner had a rigorous travel schedule to maintain in his new position.  He had oversight over ten English counties, the Channel Islands, British North America (mainly Maryland and Pennsylvania), and parts of the West Indies.  Going to the Western Hemisphere was impossible, for practical reasons.  Visiting the ten home counties took three years.

While traveling, Challoner had time to write.  He wrote or translated the following works, among others, from 1741 to 1758:

  1. The Ground of the Old Religion (1742);
  2. A Letter to a Friend Concerning the Infallibility of the Church (1743);
  3. Memoirs of Missionary Priests, as Well Secular as Regular and of Other Catholics of Both Sexes, That Have Suffered Death in England on Religious Accounts from the Year of Our Lord 1577 to 1684 (174_);
  4. Britannia Sancta (1745), with help from Alban Butler;
  5. the revised, modernized version of the Douai-Rheims translation (1582/1609) of the Bible (in stages, 1749-1752);
  6. A Papist Misrepresented and Represented (17__), abridged from Gother;
  7. Remarks on Two Letters Against Popery (1751);
  8. Instructions for the Jubilee (1751);
  9. Meditations for Every Day of the Year (1753);
  10. The Wonders of God in the Wilderness; or, the Lives of the Most Celebrated Saints of the Oriental Deserts (1755);
  11. The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus (1757), abridged from Abraham Woodhead; and
  12. Manual of Prayers (1758).

Challoner succeeded as the Vicar Apostolic of the London District on December 22, 1758, upon the death of Bishop Petre.  Our saint, being 67 years old, immediately applied for a Coadjutor Vicar Apostolic.  James Robert Talbot (1726-1790) received his appointment on March 10, 1759.  Talbot became the Titular Bishop of Birtha and the Coadjutor Vicar Apostolic on August 14, 1759.  Neither Challoner nor Talbot knew how long our saint had left–decades, actually.  Challoner remained in London, mostly and his health recovered.  Meanwhile, Talbot traveled.

Challoner tended to his administrative duties well.  These duties included opening two schools for boys, founding a school for poor girls, starting conferences among priests in London, and helping to found the Benevolent Society for the Relief of the Aged and Poor.  He did all of this in hiding, evading arrest for being a Roman Catholic cleric.  After the passage of the Catholic Relief Act (1778), being a priest ceased to lead to a sentence of life imprisonment.

Challoner’s final batch of writings and translations included:

  1. A Caveat Against the Methodists (1760);
  2. The City of God of the New Testament (1760);
  3. A Memorial of Ancient British Piety; or, a British Martyrology (1761);
  4. An Abstract of the Old and New Testaments (17__);
  5. The Following of  Christ, in Four Books (17__), a translation of The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis;
  6. The Lord’s Prayer and the Angelic Salutation (17__);
  7. The Morality of the Bible (1762);
  8. Devotion of Catholics to the Blessed Virgin (1764); and
  9. Rules of Life for a Christian (1766).

The final blow to Challoner came from the infamous Gordon Riots (1780).  For three days, an anti-Roman Catholic mob attacked Roman Catholic chapels and the homes of Roman Catholic families in London.  Some members of the mob sought the aged Challoner, to drag him into the street and kill him.  Our saint heard the mob from his hiding place.  He escaped, with help, during the riots.

Challoner never recovered from the shock of this violence.  He, aged 89 years, died in London on January 12, 1781.

Talbot succeeded him as the Vicar Apostolic of the London District and served until 1790.

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

CONCLUSION

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

Challoner’s greatest literary legacies may be his meditations, hagiographies, and the revision of the Douai-Rheims Version of the Bible.  These have achieved the status of classics.  The Douai-Rheims-Challoner Version of the Bible was the standard Roman Catholic English-language translation of the Bible well into the twentieth century.  It was also the basis of the Confraternity Version (in its stages, 1941-1969), itself the basis of The New American Bible (1970, 1986, 1991), revised into The New American Bible–Revised Edition (2011).

I am an Episcopalian.  To be precise, I am an Anglican-Lutheran-Catholic, in that order.  When I hear Roman Catholics speak of an infallible Church, I roll my eyes, at least metaphorically.  I reject the concept of an infallible Church.  I also reject the concepts of an infallible Bible and an infallible Pope.

I respect and admire Challoner while disagreeing with him much of the time.  I recognize him as a member of the Christian family.  I also condemn all those who persecuted Challoner and other Roman Catholics or consented to that persecution.  Furthermore, I deplore the bigotry and violence of those who participated in the Gordon Riots (1780).

Challoner should have been able to operate openly while in England.

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

Lord God of love and justice,

thank you for the tireless efforts, faithful witness, and

devout writings of your servant, Richard Challoner.

May we, inspired by his love for you,

rededicate our lives to your service,

and remain faithful despite all obstacles.

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

Jeremiah 38:1-13

Psalm 70

2 Timothy 4:1-8

Luke 9:21-27

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 9, 2021 COMMON ERA

FRIDAY IN EASTER WEEK

THE FEAST OF DIETRICH BONHOEFFER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MARTYR, 1945

THE FEAST OF JOHANN CRUGER, GERMAN LUTHERAN ORGANIST, COMPOSER, AND HYMNAL EDITOR

THE FEAST OF JOHN SAMUEL BEWLEY MONSELL, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND POET; AND RICHARD MANT, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF DOWN, CONNOR, AND DROMORE

THE FEAST OF LYDIA EMILIE GRUCHY, FIRST FEMALE MINISTER IN THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA

THE FEAST OF MIKAEL AGRICOLA, FINNISH LUTHERAN LITURGIST, BISHOP OF TURKU, AND “FATHER OF FINNISH LITERARY LANGUAGE”

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

Feast of Judith Lomax (September 23)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of Virginia

Image in the Public Domain

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

JUDITH LOMAX (SEPTEMBER 25, 1774-JANUARY 19, 1928)

Episcopal Mystic and Poet

Judith Lomax 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).

Judith, born on her father’s plantation at Portobago, Virginia, on September 25, 1774, was a poet and a fervent Evangelical Episcopalian.  Her father was Thomas Lomax.  Our saint’s mother was Ann Lomax.  Judith’s faith was a conventional form of piety for her time and place.  She kept a Sabbath journal, published in 1999.  Our saint never married; she wrote of her “Heavenly Bridegroom.”  Judith also wrote poetry about a wide range of subjects, including nature, friendship, and death.  She made history by becoming the first woman in Virginia to publish a volume of poetry.  The Notes of an American Lyre debuted in 1813.  Our saint, who left her father’s plantation after his death in 1816, lived in Port Royal, Virginia, until 1827.  That year, with her health failing, Judith moved into the home of a sister in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  Judith, aged 53 years, died there on January 19, 1828.

History–the of the past, with interpretation–teaches me to contextualize everything and to excuse nothing that is inexcusable.  I chafe against the relativistic notion that X may be wrong–today, at least–but that I ought to excuse it in the past because X was ubiquitous back then.  Societal and social norms and mores change, but right is always right and wrong is always wrong.  “Many people were doing it” does not excuse sin.

Judith supported the American Colonization Society.  The colonization antislavery movement was inherently racist; it affirmed that the United States of America was properly a country of White people.  Therefore, operating within that racism schema, many people, such as Judith Lomax, favored freeing slaves and shipping them out of the country.  Yet many African Americans, such as pioneers in Liberia, welcomed the opportunity the colonization movement provided for them.  

For a period of her life, Judith could not easily get to an Episcopal church.  Yet she had easy access to Baptist and Methodist churches.  She corresponded with missionaries in Africa, read tracts in French, communed ecumenically, and hoped for a post-denominational future.  Judith tended scrupulously to her spiritual life.

May you, O reader, tend scrupulously to your spiritual life.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 31, 2021 COMMON ERA

WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEK

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIA SKOBTSOVA, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MARTYR, 1945

THE FEAST OF ERNEST TRICE THOMPSON, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND RENEWER OF THE CHURCH

THE FEAST OF FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN AND HIS BROTHER, MICHAEL HAYDN, COMPOSERS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOAN OF TOULOUSE, CARMELITE NUN; AND SAINT SIMON STOCK, CARMELITE FRIAR

THE FEAST OF JOHN DONNE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND POET

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

Almighty God, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness:

You have shown us the splendor of creation in the work of your servant Judith Lomax.

Teach us to drive from the world the ugliness of chaos and disorder,

that our eyes may not be blind to your glory,

and that at length everyone may know the inexhaustible riches

of your new creation in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 28:5-6 or Hosea 14:5-8 or 2 Chronicles 20:20-21

Psalm 96

Philippians 4:8-9 or Ephesians 5:18b-20

Matthew 13:44-52

–Adapted from the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978)

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

Feast of Hannah More (September 6)   Leave a comment

Above:  Portrait of Hannah More, by Henry William Pickersgill

Image in the Public Domain

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

HANNAH MORE (FEBRUARY 2, 1745-SEPTEMBER 7, 1833)

Anglican Poet, Playwright, Religious Writer, and Philanthropist

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

I see, by more than Fancy’s mirrow shewn,

The burning village, and the blazing town:

See the dire victim torn from social life,

The shrieking babe, the agonizing wife!

She, wretch forlorn! is dragged by hostile hands,

To distant tyrants sold, in distant lands!

Transmitted miseries, and successive chains,

The sole sad heritage her child obtains!

Ev’n this last wretched boon their foes deny,

To weep together, or together die.

By felon hands, by one relentless stroke,

See the fond links of feeling nature broke!

The fibres twisting round a parent’s heart,

Torn from their grasp, and bleeding as they part.

Hold, murderers, hold! not aggravate distress;

Respect the passions you yourselves possess.

–From “Slavery” (1788), by Hannah More

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

INTRODUCTION

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

Hannah More comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Episcopal Church.  Her feast day in Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018 is September 6.

More was simultaneously of her time and ahead of it.  She was simultaneously a conservative, a social reformer, and a revolutionary.

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

BIOGRAPHY

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

Our saint, born in Fishponds, Bristol, England, on February 2, 1745, grew up in The Church of England.  Her father, Jacob More, was the master of Fishponds Free School.  He taught his five daughters, and elder daughters taught younger daughters.  The More sisters emerged as young women well-educated in mathematics, Latin, French, and literature, among other topics.  Young Hannah, as a girl, began writing poems.  As a young adult, she taught (1758f) at the girls’ boarding school her father had founded in Bristol.

Like many other well-educated English women of the time, our saint was a literary figure.  She, engaged to William Turner of Belmont Estate, Wraxall Somerset, from 1767 to 1773, never married.  Her fiancé’s unwillingness to commit to a wedding date ended that engagement.  Immediately afterward, More suffered a nervous breakdown.  After she recovered, our saint devoted herself to literary, moral, and social causes.

More wrote plays from 1762 to 1779.  Her earliest plays, for girls at the boarding school to perform, came from her pen while she was a teacher.  Her last play written (yet not published) was The Fatal Falsehood (1779).  When our saint complimented Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) the first time, he dismissed her kind words.  He replied:

Madam, before you flatter a man so grossly to his face, you should consider whether or not your flattery is worth having.

Nevertheless, the Great Moralist eventually changed his mind regarding our saint.  He came to think of her as

the finest versafatrix in the English language.

More, an active member of the female Bluestocking Group, devoted to pursuits of the literary and intellectual variety, became a religious writer, moral activist, and social reformer in the 1780s.  She befriended General James Oglethorpe (1696-1785), the founder of Georgia.  Our saint also befriended William Wilberforce (1759-1833) and other abolitionists.  More became more active in the abolitionist movement; she wrote antislavery prose and poetry.  Our saint, a member of the Evangelical wing of The Church of England, applied her faith to the world around her.  As the decades wore on, subsequent works included Practical Piety (1811), Christian Morals (1813), and The Character of St. Paul (1815).  She also composed pamphlets.  One was Village Politics (1792), a rebuttal of Thomas Paine‘s Rights of Man (1791).  Another anti-French Revolution tract from our saint’s pen was Remarks on the Speech of M. Dumont (1793), which condemned atheism, in particular.  In 1795-1798, More composed tracts for the Association of the Discountenancing of Vice.

More’s conservative streak was decidedly anti-feminist.  Her reaction to the French revolutionary government improving the education of women was telling:

They (women) run to study philosophy, and neglect their families to be present at lectures in anatomy.

When More and her sister Martha founded schools for poor girls, the sisters also established a narrow curriculum.  It included the Bible and the catechism yet not writing.  More opposed transforming her students into

scholars and philosophers.

Yet even these schools were too liberal and revolutionary for many conservatives.  The More sisters contended with allegations that they were, by teaching basic literary, doing too much and, thereby, lifting the girls above their proper station in society.  The More sisters were also allegedly advancing Methodism, according to one conservative Anglican cleric.

Our saint affirmed the “separate spheres” theory.  More accused Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), the author of Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792), of possessing a

moral antipathy to reason.

According to our saint, women were not “fit” for government, on the grounds of being unstable.  She also refused an invitation to join the Royal Society of Literature, on the grounds that no woman should belong to it.

More, a philanthropist, donated money to help Bishop Philander Chase (1775-1852) found Kenyon College, which opened in 1825.  In her will, she bequeathed funds to various charities, mostly religious.

More, aged 88 years, died in Clifton, Bristol, on September 7, 1833.

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

EVALUATION AND CONCLUSION

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

My moral relativism is very limited.  I live in a moral universe with plenty of black, white, and gray.  Furthermore, I, as one trained in historical methodology, grasp the importance of interpreting people’s lives in context.  Nevertheless, I also state that wrong is wrong and right is right.  I ask:

What is wrong with educating poor girls to become scholars, philosophers, and policy-makers?  

I affirm the equality of the sexes, of course.  X chromosomes and Y chromosomes should never function as excuses for not granting social and legal equality.

Hannah More was right more often than she was wrong.  She was correct, for example, to oppose slavery.  She was right to draw attention to its immorality via her writing.  And she was correct when she donated to Kenyon College.  More was correct when she established Sunday schools, too.

Being right more often than one is wrong is good and wonderful.  At the end of your life, O reader, may an honest evaluation of you be that you were right more often than you were wrong.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 25, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE ANNUNCIATION OF OUR LORD

THE FEAST OF SAINT DISMAS, PENITENT BANDIT

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

Almighty God, whose only-begotten Son led captivity captive:

Multiply among us faithful witnesses like your servant Hannah More,

who will fight for all who are oppressed or held in bondage;

and bring us all, we pray, into the glorious liberty

that you have promised to all your children;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Exodus 3:1-12

Psalm 146:4-9

John 15:5-16

Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018

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

Feast of Ignaz Franz (August 19)   2 comments

Above:  Grosser Gott, Wir Loben Dich

Image in the Public Domain

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

IGNAZ FRANZ (OCTOBER 12, 1719-AUGUST 19, 1790)

German Roman Catholic Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymnal Editor

Ignaz Franz comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Methodist Hymnal (1966).

Franz wrote at least forty-seven hymn texts.  Yet his name has survived in the Christian Church and in hymnody via just one text, Grosser Gott, Wir Loben Dich (1771).  At least three English-speaking men have translated that text into English.  I have schedule these three men for consideration for inclusion on this Ecumenical Calendar.  For those of us who do not read or speak German, but do read and speak English, Franz’s great hymn was probably most often come down to us as “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name.”  This text, composed as the German Te Deum Laudamus, debuted in Franz’s major hymnal, Katholisches Gesangbuch, auf allerhoechsten Befehl ihrer k. k. apostl Majestaet Marien Theresiens zum Druck befoerert (1774).

Franz entered the world at Protzau, Silesia (now Zwrócona, Poland), on October 12, 1719.  He began his studies at Glaz (now Klodzka, Poland), when he was nine years old.  Our saint studied theology and philosophy at Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland). He also mastered Italian and French there.  He, ordained to the priesthood in Olmütz (now Olomouc, Czech Republic) on September 22, 1742, became chaplain at Gross-Glogau (now Glogów, Poland).  After serving as the archpriest in Schlawa (now Slawa, Poland), our saint transferred to Breslau in 1766.  For the rest of his life, Franz worked as the Accessor at the office of the Apostolic Vicar.  He also edited catechisms.

Our saint published ten books, nine of them in Breslau.  Most of these ten volumes were hymnals.  His first hymnal, Allemeines und vollstaendiges katholishches Gesangbuch, debuted in 1768.  Our saint also published a prayer book for craftsmen and servants in 1776.  His book of tunes (1778) included Reformed and Lutheran chorale tunes.  The consensus among Protestant and Roman Catholic authorities in the area was that most of our saint’s hymns were light are, and that he was a better hymnal editor than hymn writer.

I cannot evaluate that last claim.  For all I know, some of Franz’s other hymns could be masterpieces, or merely good work, at least.

Ignaz Franz died, aged 70 years, in Breslau on August 19, 1790.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 12, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ABSALOM JONES, RICHARD ALLEN, AND JARENA LEE, EVANGELISTS AND SOCIAL ACTIVISTS

THE FEAST OF BENJAMIN SCHMOLCK, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF CHARLES FREER ANDREWS, ANGLICAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF HENRY WILLIAMS BAKER, ANGLICAN PRIEST, HYMNAL EDITOR, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF MICHAEL WEISSE, GERMAN MORAVIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR; AND JAN ROH, BOHEMIAN MORAVIAN BISHOP AND HYMN WRITER

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

Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially Ignaz Franz)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

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

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

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

Feast of Isabella Graham (July 28)   Leave a comment

Above:  Isabella Graham

Image in the Public Domain

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

ISABELLA MARSHALL GRAHAM (JULY 29, 1742-JULY 27, 1814)

Scottish-American Presbyterian Educator and Philanthropist

Isabella Graham 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).

Our saint, in the name of and for the love of Christ, became an active philanthropist.  Isabella Marshall, born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, on July 29, 1742, was the sole daughter of John Marshall and Janet Hamilton (Marshall).  Young Isabella, educated at a boarding school, came from a devout Presbyterian family.  Our saint officially joined The Church of Scotland at Paisley when she was 17 years old.  Her minister was John Witherspoon (1723-1794), with whom she was in contact on-and-off.

Our saint married Dr. John Graham, a surgeon in the Royal Army, in 1765.  She their four children (three daughters and one son) who survived infancy accompanies Dr. Graham to Canada then to Antigua.  When Dr. Graham died after a brief illness on November 22, 1774, Isabella was pregnant.  She and her children settled in Scotland, and our saint raised five children as she took care of her aging father in Paisley.  Our saint also founded two successive schools, the second one being a boarding school for girls in Edinburgh.  Furthermore, Graham founded the Penny Society, to help the destitute sick.

Meanwhile, Witherspoon, who had moved to Princeton, New Jersey, in 1768 then signed the Declaration of Independence years later, had built a new life in the United States of America.  He, visiting Graham in Scotland in 1785, encouraged her to cross the Pond for good.  Our saint waited until July 1789, when her children had finished their schooling.

Graham settled in New York, New York.  She taught for a few years before devoting herself entirely to philanthropy.  She founded the Society for the Relief of Poor Widows with Small Children in 1797.  Our saint went on to found and/or organize the Orphan Asylum Society (1806), the Society for Promoting Industry Among the Poor, and a Sunday School.  She was also crucial to the first missionary society in New York City and led (1812f) the Magdalen Society in New York City.  Furthermore, Graham visited hospital patients and female convicts, supervised the writing of tracts, and distributed Bibles and tracts.

Graham, aged 71 years, died in New York, New York, on July 27, 1814.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 8, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GERALD FORD, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND AGENT OF NATIONAL HEALING; AND BETTY FORD, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES AND ADVOCATE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

THE FEAST OF ALBERT RHETT STUART, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF GEORGIA AND ADVOCATE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

THE FEAST OF ALICE PAUL, U.S. QUAKER WOMEN’S RIGHTS ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF GEORG NEUMARK, GERMAN LUTHERAN POET AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF GIOVANNI BATTISTA BONONCINI AND ANTONIO MARIA BONONCINI, ITALIAN COMPOSERS

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

Lord 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 your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-14

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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

Feast of Stephen Theodore Badin (July 21)   1 comment

Above:  Stephen Theodore Badin

Image in the Public Domain

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

ÉTIENNE THÉODORE BADIN (JULY 17, 1768-APRIL 21, 1853)

First Roman Catholic Priest Ordained in the United States of America

Roman Catholic Missionary in Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan

Étienne Théodore Badin/Stephen Theodore Badin 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).

Badin was French.  He, born in Orléans on July 17, 1768, studied at Montaigu College, Paris, then, starting in 1789, at the Sulpician seminary, Orléans.  Our saint, subdeacon when the revolutionary government closed the seminary in 1791, departed France before the end of the year.  In November, he sailed from Bordeaux in the company of Benedict Joseph Flaget (1763-1850) and John Baptist Mary David (1761-1841).  The three Frenchmen arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on March 26, 1792.  John Carroll (1735-1815), the Bishop (1789-1808) then Archbishop (1808-1815) of Baltimore, welcomed them in Baltimore two days later.  Badin had slightly more than a year of theological education left to complete.  After he did, Carroll ordained him to the priesthood on May 25, 1793.  This was the first ordination of a Roman Catholic priest in the United States of America.

Father Badin embarked on a long ministry.  His first appointment was to Georgetown.  During those few months, our saint improved his command of English.  Then he and one Father Barrières walked from western Pennsylvania and across Kentucky.  They found Roman Catholics, heard confessions, reconciled penitents, and said Masses.  Father Barrières left for New Orleans in April 1794.  Until the spring of 1819, Badin tended to his mission field (Kentucky) faithfully.  He did much to build what became the Diocese of Bardstown, Kentucky, in 1808.  Starting in July 1806, Father Charles Nerinckx joined the Kentucky mission.  Benedict Joseph Flaget, on Badin’s recommendation, served as the Bishop of Bardstown, Kentucky, in 1808-1832 and 1833-1841, then as the Bishop of Louisville, Kentucky, in 1841-1850.  David was the Bishop Coadjutor of Bardstown in 1819-1832 then the Bishop of Bardstown in 1832-1833.  Badin frequently accompanied Bishop Flaget on journeys within the diocese.

Badin returned to France in the spring of 1819.  He served as a parish priest in Millaney and Marreilly-en-Gault, about 40 miles from Orléans, starting in 1820.  Badin helped to provide funding and furniture for the Kentucky missions.

Badin, back in the United States of America in 1828, returned to the mission field.  He spent a year in Michigan, followed by a year in Kentucky.  Our saint ministered among the Pottawattomie Indians at the St. Joseph River, Indiana, until 1836.  After spending 1836-1837 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Badin served as the Vicar-General of the Diocese of Bardstown (1837f).  Our saint also continued to visit missions.  When the see transferred to Louisville in 1841, so did Badin.  Our saint celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of this ordination to the priesthood in Lexington, Kentucky, on May 25, 1843.  From September 1846 to the winter of 1848, Badin ministered at Bourbonnais Grove, Illinois, in the Diocese of Chicago.  Then our saint retired.

Badin spent his retirement in episcopal households.  Until 1850, he was part of the household of Martin John Spalding (1810-1872), the Bishop of Louisville, Kentucky (1848-1850).  Spalding’s famous and illustrious nephew was John Lancaster Spalding (1840-1916), the Bishop of Peoria (1877-1908) and one of the founders of the Catholic University of America.  In 1850, Badin joined the household of John Baptist Purcell (1800-1883), the Bishop (1833-1850) then Archbishop (1850-1883) of Cincinnati.

Badin died in Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 21, 1853.  He was 84 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 7, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS RALPH MILNER, ROGER DICKINSON, AND LAWRENCE HUMPHREY, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 1591

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS FLORENTINE HAGEN, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT HEDDA OF WESSEX, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF LEO SOWERBY, EPISCOPAL COMPOSER AND “DEAN OF CHURCH MUSIC”

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HELMORE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND ARRANGER AND COMPOSER OF HYMN TUNES

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

Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Stephen Theodore Badin,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of

Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan.

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 Lemuel Haynes (July 19)   Leave a comment

Above:  Lemuel Haynes

Image in the Public Domain

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

LEMUEL HAYNES (JULY 18, 1753-SEPTEMBER 28, 1833)

First Ordained African-American Minister

The Reverend Lemuel Haynes 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).

Haynes served God and resisted racism, slavery, the colonization movement, and Universalism.  That life started in a socially inauspicious context.  Our saint, born in West Hartford, Connecticut, on July 18, 1753, never knew his father and saw his mother only once that he recalled.  Hayne’s father was an African American.  Our saint’s mother, who was white, worked as a washer woman on a farm.  She, refusing to acknowledge her son, abandoned him when he was a few days old.  In time, she married and started a new life.  Haynes saw her from a distance, eventually, and her flight from the scene indicated that she still refused to accept him.  Our saint spent his first five months in the home of a farmer, Mr. Haynes, who named the child Lemuel, literally “Consecrated to God.”

Mostly, though, our saint grew up (until the age of 12 years) in the home of David Rose, of Granville, Massachusetts.  Young Lemuel, an indentured servant, grew up as one of the children in a white family.  The Roses of Granville were a devout Congregationalist family in an intellectual backwater.  The town had a terrible school and no public library.  Haynes, baptized in the local Congregational church, spent much of his life piecing together an education, often via tutoring and reading.  In time, for example, our saint studied Greek and Latin under tutors.

Note:  The First Congregational Church of Granville, Massachusetts, joined with the Granville Baptist Church to form the Granville Federated Church (United Church of Christ and American Baptist Churches U.S.A.) in 1937.

Haynes joined the revolutionary cause.  He became a minuteman in 1774 then joined the Continental Army the following year.  In 1776, our saint condemned the hypocrisy of slaveholding Patriots in an essay, “Liberty Further Extended.”

Above:  Granville, New York, and Environs

Image Source = Google Earth

After Haynes left the Continental Army, he became a licensed Congregationalist preacher at Middle Granville, New York, on November 29, 1780.  Our saint married Elizabeth “Bessie” Babbitt (1763-1836), a white teacher, on September 23, 1783.  The couple had nine children.  Haynes became the first ordained African-American minister on November 9, 1785, at Middle Granville Congregational Church.  The Haynes family departed for Torrington, Connecticut, the following year.

Note:  The Congregational church in Middle Granville, New York, no longer exists.  However, North Granville, South Granville, and Granville are short drives away and also in Washington County.

Haynes spent 1786-1788 as a pastor in Torrington.  The congregation, founded in 1741, was the First Church of Christ until 1787, when it became the First Congregational Church.

Note:  The First Congregational Church of Torrington, Connecticut, is an affiliate of the Evangelical Association of Reformed and Congregational Christian Churches.

Haynes was a pastor in West Rutland, Vermont, from March 28, 1788, to April 27, 1818.  During this time, in 1804, Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, awarded our saint an honorary M.A.  He, therefore, became the first African American to receive such a degree.  Our saint’s departure from that ministry was unhappy; racism was one of the reasons for it.

Note:  That congregation is now the United Church of West Rutland, an affiliate of the United Church of Christ.

Haynes ministered at the First Congregational Church, Manchester, Vermont, from 1818 to 1822.

Note:  The First Congregational Church, Manchester, Vermont, is an affiliate of the United Church of Christ.

Haynes served as the pastor of South Granville Congregational Church, South Granville, New York, from 1822 to 1833.  There he remained until, at the age of 80 years, he died of natural causes on September 20, 1833.

Note:  As far as I can tell, based on its website, South Granville Congregational Church is independent.

Above:  Lee-Oatman Cemetery

Image Source = Google Earth

Haynes’s legacy continues.  His mortal remains rest in the Lee-Oatman Cemetery, between South Granville and Granville, New York.  His home in South Granville is a National Historic Landmark.  The current edifice of the South Granville Congregational Church slightly postdates Haynes’s lifetime.  Next to that building sits the Haynes House of Hope, where up to two terminally ill people may live.  The legacy of Lemuel Haynes also persists anywhere Christians resists racism and confront hypocrisy.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 7, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS RALPH MILNER, ROGER DICKINSON, AND LAWRENCE HUMPHREY, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 1591

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS FLORENTINE HAGEN, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT HEDDA OF WESSEX, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF LEO SOWERBY, EPISCOPAL COMPOSER AND “DEAN OF CHURCH MUSIC”

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HELMORE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND ARRANGER AND COMPOSER OF HYMN TUNES

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

Almighty God, we praise you for the men and women you have sent

to call the Church to its tasks and renew its life [such as your servant Lemuel Haynes].

Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your Church and proclaim the reality of your kingdom;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

–Adapted from Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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

Feast of John Darwall (December 18)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Matthew’s Church, Walsall, England

Image in the Public Domain

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

JOHN DARWALL (BAPTIZED JANUARY 13, 1731-DECEMBER 18, 1789)

Anglican Priest and Composer

John Darwall comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Methodist Hymnal (1966).

Darwall was a priest, a composer, and an amateur musician.  He, baptized at Houghton, Staffordshire, England, on January 13, 1731, studied at Manchester Grammar School then at Brasenose College, Oxford (B.A., 1756).  Our saint, ordained in The Church of England, served as the Curate (1761-1769) then the Vicar (1769-1789) of St. Matthew’s Church, Walsall.  Darwall wrote a pamphlet, Political Lamentations Written in the Years 1775-1776, which he dedicated to Frederick North (1732-1792), the Prime Minister (1770-1782).  Our saint also wrote The New Universal Psalmodist (Fifth Edition, 1770), in three volumes.  In that set, he published original tunes for the Psalms.  One of those tunes, listed as both DARWALL and DARWALL’S 148TH, has remained popular with editors of hymnals.  (You, O reader, may know it as a tune for “Rejoice, the Lord is King” and/or “Ye Holy Angels Bright.”)  Furthermore, Darwall published two volumes of piano sonatas.

Darwall, aged 58 years, died in Walsall on December 18, 1789.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 30, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOAN OF ARC, ROMAN CATHOLIC VISIONARY AND MARTYR, 1430

THE FEAST OF APOLO KIVEBULAYA, APOSTLE TO THE PYGMIES

THE FEAST OF JOACHIM NEANDER, GERMAN REFORMED MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOSEPHINE BUTLER, ENGLISH FEMINIST AND SOCIAL REFORMER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS LUKE KIRBY, THOMAS COTTAM, WILLIAM FILBY, AND LAURENCE RICHARDSON, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS, 1582

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

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

we bless your name for inspiring [John Darwall]

and all those who with music 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), 728

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