Archive for the ‘Saints of 1800-1809’ Category

Feast of Blessed Antonio Rosmini (July 1)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Antonio Rosmini

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED ANTONIO FRANCESCO DAVIDE AMBROGIO ROSMINI-SERBATI (MARCH 25, 1797-JULY 1, 1855)

Founder of the Institute of Charity

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Pray that God in his mercy may give me patience to carry my cross though it be to the end of my life, and that I may never think hardly of those have brought it on me.

–Blessed Antonio Rosmini, quoted in Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1997), 284

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Blessed Antonio Rosmini, a priest, a scholar, a philosopher, and an Italian patriot, was usually embroiled in ecclesiastical controversies.

Our saint, born in Rovereto, Italy, Holy Roman Empire (when it was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire, to quote Voltaire), on March 25, 1797, came from wealth and lower aristocracy.  His family’s money came from silk manufacturing.  Rosmini, a graduate of the University of Padua, joined the ranks of priests in 1821.  Then he wrote and studied at Rovereto (1821-1826) and Milan (1826-1828).

Rosmini started getting into trouble immediately.  He opposed state interference, such as the nomination of bishops, in ecclesiastical matters.  The Church, our saint insisted, must be independent of all states and an arm of none.  That position offended many powerful people.

Nevertheless, Rosmini had powerful allies, too.  One of these was Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari (1765-1846), also known as Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846).  Gregory XVI approved Rosmini’s new order of priests, the Institute of Charity, founded on February 20, 1828.  St. Magdalena of Canossa (1774-1835), foundress of the Daughters of Charity, had, in 1820, invited our saint to found a similar order for men.  He accepted, eight years later.  The founding of the Institute of Charity was a response to one of the church’s problems–the inadequate education of priests.

Rosmini, a capable philosopher, countered John Locke.  In particular, our saint wrote in response to Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding.  Rosmini’s rebuttal was A New Essay Concerning the Origin of Ideas (1830).  Another major work that proved to be more controversial was Treatise on Moral Conscience (1839).  Rosmini was in trouble with elements of Holy Mother Church for that work from 1839 to 1854, when the Church exonerated him.

[NOTE:  I choose not to paraphrase Rosmini’s philosophy.  Instead, I refer you, O reader, to the article about our saint at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy for those details.]

Two other controversial works were Five Wounds of the Church (1832) and A Constitution Based on Social Justice (1848).  The latter work anticipated Catholic social teaching that Pope Leo XIII (reigned 1878-1903) established.  The five self-inflicted wounds of the church were:

  1. The separation of the priests and the people at Mass.  Rosmini favored liturgical renewal that entailed the transition to vernacular language in the Mass.
  2. The Inadequate education of priests.  Rosmini addressed this problem in the Institute of Charity.
  3. The disunity of bishops.
  4. The nomination of bishops by secular authorities.
  5. The enthrallment of the Church to wealth.

Rosmini’s reputation in the Church was improving until 1848.  Pope Pius IX (reigned 1846-1878) was initially a liberal and a reformer.  During the first two years of his pontificate, our saint’s support for Italian unification was not a liability either.  In 1848, however, Pio Nono became a reactionary.  The following year, the Church listed Five Wounds of the Church (1832) and A Constitution Based on Social Justice (1848) on the Index.

Rosmini, 58 years old, died in Stressa, Piedmont, Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, on July 1, 1855.

Rosmini’s official ecclesiastical reputation has varied postmortem.  He was officially exonerated from 1854 to 1888-1889.  Then Pope Leo XIII condemned some of our saint’s propositions.  The Vatican exonerated our saint again in 2001, during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II.  Then Pope Benedict XVI declared Rosmini a Venerable in 2006 and beatified him the following year.

Rosmini was ahead of his time.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 29, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS

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

to call the Church and renew its life [such as Blessed Antonio Rosmini].

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

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Feast of Benjamin Carr (May 23)   Leave a comment

Above:  Benjamin Carr 

Image in the Public Domain

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BENJAMIN CARR (SEPTEMBER 12, 1768-MAY 24, 1831)

Anglo-American Composer and Organist

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

Music was the family business.  Our saint, born in London, England, on September 12, 1768, was a son of Joseph Carr, a music publisher.  Benjamin studied music in London.  He also performed as a soloist in Ancient Concerts in that city.  The family immigrated to the United States and settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1793.  Our saint joined the family business, Carr’s Musical Repository, the first music store in the United States.  The original and main location was Philadelphia.  Benjamin opened the satellite store in New York City.  Brother Thomas opened the satellite store in Baltimore, Maryland.  Carr’s Musical Repository published patriotic music, including the Federal Overture, one of our saint’s compositions.

Carr was an organist, a pianist, a conductor, and a composer.  In 1800, he founded the Musical Journal to bring European music to the United States.  After 1800, he focused mainly on teaching and church music.  He, he briefly the organist at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Philadelphia, spent three decades as the organist and the director of music at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Philadelphia.  Carr also arranged the hymn tune SPANISH HYMN/MADRID/SPANISH CHANT (“Come, Christians, Join to Sing“) in 1825.  His arrangement was for solo, quartet, and a full choir.

Carr, aged 62 years, died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 24, 1831.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 23, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT IVO OF CHARTRES, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF BENJAMIN CARR, ANGLO-AMERICAN COMPOSER AND ORGANIST

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK AUGUSTUS BENNETT, FIRST MAORI BISHOP IN AOTEAROA/NEW ZEALAND

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JÓZEF KURGAWA AND WINCENTY MATSUZEWSKI, POLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS, 1940

THE FEAST OF SAINT WILLIAM OF PERTH, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC BAKER AND MARTYR, 1201

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

we bless your name for inspiring [Benjamin Carr]

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

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Feast of David Low Dodge (June 14)   Leave a comment

Above:  Flag of New York, 1778-1901

Image in the Public Domain

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DAVID LOW DODGE, III (JUNE 14, 1774-APRIL 23, 1852)

U.S. Presbyterian Businessman and Pacifist

David Low Dodge, III, 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).

Dodge, a businessman, retired so he could devote himself to good works full-time.  He, a son of David Low Dodge, Jr. (1742-1807), and Mary Stuart Dodge (1735-1816), debuted in Pomfret (now Brooklyn), Connecticut, on June 14, 1774.  He grew up on a farm.  Our saint married Sarah Cleveland (1780-1862), daughter of a minister, on June 7, 1798.  The couple had seven children.  Dodge was briefly a teacher before he became a merchant of dry goods in Hartford, Connecticut.  Eventually, he moved to New York, New York, in 1807.  For the next two decades, Dodge made much money.  He owned the first textile factory in Connecticut.  He also had a hand in the insurance, timber, land management, iron mining, and coal mining businesses, as well as the Erie Railroad.  Our saint retired in 1827.

Dodge had begun his religious-societal work long prior to retirement.  He had written and published a tract, The Mediator’s Kingdom Not of This World; But Spiritual, Heavenly, and Divine, in 1809.  According to our saint, all was was contrary to Christianity.  He had his reasons for making this argument:

The death of his half-brothers William and Jesse during the U.S. War for Independence had been devastating to the family.

Dodge affirmed the Biblical commandment not to repay evil with evil.

He took proper offense at the negative economic consequences of war on the poorest members of society.  Dodge had helped to found the New York Peace Society in 1815; he had also served as its president.  In 1828, when that organization merged into the American Peace Society, Dodge became the president of the new body.  He vacated the presidency in 1836 yet remained active in the society for the rest of his life.

Dodge, a founder of the New York Bible Society (1809; later the International Bible Society, now Biblica) and the New York Tract Society (1825), died in New York City on April 23, 1852.  He was 77 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 3, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF CAROLINE CHISHOLM, ENGLISH HUMANITARIAN AND SOCIAL REFORMER

THE FEAST OF ELIAS BOUDINOT, IV, U.S. STATESMAN, PHILANTHROPIST, AND WITNESS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIE-LÉONIE PARADIS, FOUNDRESS OF THE LITTLE SISTERS OF THE HOLY FAMILY

THE FEAST OF SAINTS MAURA AND TIMOTHY OF ANTINOE, MARTYRS, 286

THE FEAST OF SAINT TOMASSO ACERBIS, CAPUCHIN FRIAR

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Almighty God, whose prophets taught us righteousness in the care of your poor:

By the guidance of your Holy Spirit,

grant that we may do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in your sight;

through Jesus Christ, our Judge and Redeemer, who lives and reigns

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

Isaiah 55:11-56:1

Psalm 2:1-2, 10-12

Acts 14:14-17, 21-23

Mark 4:21-29

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 736

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Feast of Elias Boudinot, IV (May 3)   Leave a comment

Above:  Elias Boudinot, IV, 1798

Image Creator = Charles Balthazar Julien Fevret de Saint-Mémin (1770-1852)

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-pga-13207

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ELIAS BOUDINOT, IV (MAY 2, 1740-OCTOBER 24, 1821)

U.S. Statesman, Philanthropist, and Witness for Social Justice

Elias Boudinot, IV, 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).

Elias Boudinot, IV, was an attorney.  He, a son of Mary Catherine Williams (Boudinot) and Elias Boudinot, III (a silversmith and a merchant), debuted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 2, 1740.  Our saint, who had eight siblings, read law under his Richard Stockton (1730-1781), husband of one of our saint’s sisters, in Princeton, New Jersey.  (Stockton went on to sign the Declaration of Independence.)  Boudinot became an attorney in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, in 1760.  He married Hannah Stockton (1736-1808), sister of Richard, in 1762.  The couple had two children.

Boudinot, a friend of George Washington, affiliated with the pro-independence cause relatively early.  He became a member of the Essex County Committee of Correspondence in 1774.  Three years later, our saint became the Commissary General of Prisoners (Continental Army) and joined the Second Continental Congress.  He resigned from Congress the following year.  Boudinot served in the Confederation Congress from 1781 to 1784, under the Articles of Confederation.  He also served a year (1782-1783) as President of the United States in Congress Assembled.  In that capacity, our saint signed the Treaty of Paris of 1783, by which the British Empire recognized that the United States (still plural) were no longer part of that empire.

Boudinot also helped to transform the United States from a confederation of thirteen countries into one country, then to build it up.  He advocated for the ratification of the proposed Constitution of the United States (1787) and helped to secure New Jersey’s ratification (1787) of that document.  Boudinot served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1789 to 1795.  National political parties formed at the end of his tenure in the U.S. Congress.  Boudinot, initially part of the pro-Administration faction, passed logically into the new Federalist Party in 1794.  He served as the Director of the U.S. Mint from 1795 to 1805.

Boudinot was a devout Presbyterian.  He served as a trustee of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) from 1772 to 1821.  Our saint, drawing from Reformed theology, wrote The Age of Revelation (1801), a rebuttal of Thomas Paine‘s The Age of Reason, Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology (1794).  Boudinot argued against Paine’s Deism.  Our saint, from a theological tradition that taught that the two books of God are the Bible and nature, accepted science and sound theology as being mutually compatible.

Boudinot, like many people of the time, wondered about the origins of the First Nations.  He thought that they descended from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.  Our saint explained this in A Star in the West (1816), years prior to Joseph Smith‘s alleged revelation in western New York.

One may suppose credibly that, given Boudinot’s acceptance of science, he would, if he were alive in 2020, accept the genetic evidence discrediting his proposal from 1816.  Contrast Boudinot’s pro-science approach, O reader, with Mormon epistomology, which boils down to ignoring evidence that contradicts a conclusion, and seeking to know that an objectively false proposition is true by having enough faith.

Boudinot’s interest in indigenous peoples combined with his faith to lead him to defend the rights of First Nations against his fellow white people and the federal government.  He sponsored some indigenous youth, students in New England.  One of these youths was a Cherokee named Galagina (circa 1803-1839).  Galagina, with permission, took the name “Elias Boudinot,” after his benefactor.

Boudinot also opposed slavery.  He wrote to defenders of the Peculiar Institution:

How will you answer, in the great day of inquisition for blood, for the share you have had in that horrid traffic in the souls of men, called the Guinea trade?  How will you account for the contradiction between your national declarations in the day of distress and humiliation, and your political conduct, under the smiles of divine Providence, since your deliverance has been effected?

Boudinot also helped to found the American Bible Society in 1816.  He served as its first president, until 1821.  The Society distributed nearly 100,000 Bibles by 1820.

Boudinot, generous in life, was generous in his will.  Our saint made bequests to various charitable causes.  For example, he gave 13,000 acres to the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to provide wood at low cost to poor people.  Another bequest was $200 (the equivalent of $4,720.40 in 2020) to buy eyeglasses for poor people with bad vision, so they could read the Bible.

Boudinot died in Burlington, New York, on October 24, 1821.  He was 81 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 17, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PATRICK, APOSTLE OF IRELAND

THE FEAST OF EBENEZER ELLIOTT, “THE CORN LAW RHYMER”

THE FEAST OF HENRY SCOTT HOLLAND, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER AND PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAN SARKANDER, SILESIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND “MARTYR OF THE CONFESSIONAL,” 1620

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIA BARBARA MAIX, FOUNDRESS OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE SISTERS OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY

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Holy and righteous God, you created us in your image.

Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression.

Help us, like your servant Elias Boudinot, IV,

to work for justice among people and nations,

to the glory of your name,

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

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2016), 60

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Feast of John Gloucester (April 13)   1 comment

Above:  John Gloucester

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHN GLOUCESTER, SR. (1776-MAY 2, 1822)

First African-American Presbyterian Minister

The Reverend John Gloucester comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via Samuel Eli Cornish (1795-1858), whom he mentored.  Gloucester’s feast day is April 13, the anniversary of his ordination.

Gloucester, born a slave, became the first ordained African-American Presbyterian minister.  He, born Jack in 1776, was a native of eastern Tennessee.  Jack was devout from a young age; he preached to other slaves.  He married Rhoda, with whom he had four children:  John, Jr.; Jeremiah; Stephen; and Mary.  Presbyterian minister Gideon Blackbury (1772-1838) purchased our saint then freed him in 1806.  Jack became John Gloucester.  Blackburn taught theology to Gloucester, who, in 1806-1807, became the first African-American student at Greeneville College (now Tusculum University, Tusculum, Tennessee).  Our saint, licensed to preach in 1807, traveled with Blackburn to Philadelphia that year.  Gloucester founded the First Colored (African, since 1966) Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, in 1807.  The Presbytery of Philadelphia sent our saint to Charleston, South Carolina, then recalled him in 1809.  Gloucester’s ordination occurred at Baker’s Creek Presbyterian Church, Maryville, Tennessee, on April 13, 1810.

Gloucester purchased the freedom of his wife and four children in 1810.  He brought them to Philadelphia, where he served as the pastor of the First Colored Presbyterian Church.  The couple had a fourth son, James, born in the City of Brotherly Love.

Gloucester died of pneumonia on May 2, 1822.  He was about 46 years old.

All four sons became Presbyterian ministers.  Three of them founded congregations.

Jeremiah Gloucester founded the Second Colored (later African) Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, an offshoot of First Colored Presbyterian Church., in 1824.

Stephen Gloucester (1802-1850) became a pioneer of the Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania.  The he withdrew from civil rights activism, after a white mob burned down the edifice of the Second Colored Presbyterian Church in 1842.  In 1844, he led a faction that withdrew from the Second Colored Presbyterian Church and formed the Central Colored Presbyterian Church.  This congregation changed its name to the Lombard Street Central Presbyterian Church.  It has become the Lombard Central Presbyterian Church.

James Gloucester moved to Brooklyn, New York, where he founded the Siloam Presbyterian Church in 1849.

The legacy of John Gloucester, Sr., has continued via many people, some of whom he mentored.

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O God, you raised up John Gloucester, Sr., the first ordained African-American Presbyterian minister.

Thank you for his legacy of faithful service to you in the face of systematic and ubiquitous racism.

May we, inspired by his example, resist societal, individual, and institutional bigotry

and proclaim the liberating Gospel of Jesus Christ to those you send to us and to those to whom you send us;

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

Ruth 1:9-18

Psalm 24

Galatians 3:23-29

Matthew 28:16-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 24, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MATTHIAS THE APOSTLE, MARTYR

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Feast of Francis Wayland (March 11)   Leave a comment

Above:  Francis Wayland, II

Image in the Public Domain

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FRANCIS WAYLAND, II (MARCH 11, 1796-SEPTEMBER 30, 1865)

U.S. Baptist Minister, Educator, and Social Reformer

Francis Wayland, II, comes to this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).

Francis Wayland, II, the leading antebellum U.S. Baptist intellectual, was a son of Sarah Moore (1770-1836) and Baptist minister Francis Wayland (1772-1847).  Our saint, born in New York, New York, on March 11, 1796, graduated from Union College, Schenectady, New York, in 1813.  During the next four years he studied medicine in Troy then in New York City, then theology at Andover Theological Seminary.  Our saint, unable to continue at Andover for financial reasons, returned to Union College as a tutor in 1817.  There he remained until 1821, when he accepted the offer to become the pastor of First Baptist Church, Boston, Massachusetts.   During the next five years Wayland earned his reputation as one of the country’s greatest preachers.  Two of his published sermons from these years were The Moral Dignity of the Missionary Enterprise (1823) and The Duties of the American Citizen (1825).  Then, in 1826 and 1827, Wayland taught natural philosophy at Union College.

Wayland married for the first time in the early 1820s; he wed Lucy Lane Lincoln (d. 1836).  They had two sons and one daughter–Francis, III (1826-1904), Emma (1828-1829), and Heman Lincoln (1830-1898).

Wayland was a progressive of his time.  He was an abolitionist and a proponent of temperance and prison reform.  True to his Baptist heritage, he insisted on the separation of church and state.  Our saint combined that principle with a classical notion of public virtue.  He was, therefore, able to speak of religious principles in general terms and how they played a role in society on one hand while reserving sermons for church gatherings.  Wayland spoke of a civil religion for public life and of Christianity from the pulpit.  He staunchly opposed the imposition of any form of Christianity or any other religion upon the population.  Accordingly, he linked freedom and economic freedom to public morality and intellectual attainment:

It is almost superfluous, however, to add, that a free constitution is of no value, unless the moral and intellectual character of a people be sufficiently elevated to avail itself of the advantages which it offers.

–Quoted in Mark A. Noll, America’s God:  From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln (New York:  Oxford University Press, 2002), 222

This faith-fueled commitment to improving public life led our saint to become a prominent pioneer in public education, as well as in the movement to found public libraries.  In 1830 Wayland became the first President of the American Institute of Instruction.  He was also active in planning school systems in Providence and throughout the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.  His gift (in 1851) to establish a public library in Wayland, Massachusetts, prompted an official, statewide effort to found more public libraries.

Wayland served as the President of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, from 1827 to 1855.  He expanded the curriculum, offering students options and making science a more prominent subject in the curriculum.  Our saint also presided over construction projects and the growth of the faculty and the student body.  He banned alcohol from dormitory rooms, too.  Wayland, a formidable figure, never imposed his faith on anyone, but he taught Bible studies and preached in the chapel.  He also taught, lecturing in ethics, psychology, and political economy.  Wayland wrote textbooks in philosophy, morals, and political economy, too.

Wayland remarried in the late 1830s; he wed Hepsibah Susan “Hepsy” Howard (1801-1872).  The couple had a son, Howard (1840-1874).

After the trustees of Brown University forced Wayland into retirement in 1855, he remained active in public life.  He pursued humanitarian/social reform causes, especially prison reform.  Our saint also served as the pastor of First Baptist Church, Providence, Rhode Island, in 1857 and 1858.

Wayland died in Providence, Rhode Island, on September 30, 1865.  He was 69 years old.

Unfortunately, we live in polarized times.  Polarization encourages disrespect for those with whom one disagrees.  At times this disrespect crosses the line into dehumanization.  The life of Francis Wayland, II, offers a vision of a way forward.

Wayland stood by his principles.  He did so while being respectful of his debating partners, though.  In his written debate over slavery with Richard Fuller of South Carolina, for example, our saint condemned the evils of slavery.  Wayland never judged Fuller, however.  Our saint was civil.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 19, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF SARGENT SHRIVER AND EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER, HUMANITARIANS

THE FEAST OF SAINTS DEICOLA AND GALL, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONKS; AND SAINT OTHMAR, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AT SAINT GALLEN

THE FEAST OF ELMER G. HOMRIGHAUSEN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, BIBLICAL SCHOLAR, AND PROFESSOR OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

THE FEAST OF HAROLD A. BOSLEY, UNITED METHODIST MINISTER AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF HENRY TWELLS, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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Lord Hod, 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

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Feast of Samuel Simon Schmucker (February 29)   Leave a comment

Above:  Samuel Simon Schmucker

Image in the Public Domain

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SAMUEL SIMON SCHMUCKER (FEBRUARY 28, 1799-JULY 26, 1873)

U.S. Lutheran Minister, Theologian, and Social Reformer

Samuel Simon Schumucker 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).

I recall, while growing up as a good United Methodist boy in rural southern Georgia, hearing people say,

There are Baptists then there are Baptists.

That principle applies to Lutherans, too; degrees of Lutheran confessionalism exist.  If one, for example, labels The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, despite its strong confessionalism and social and theological conservatism, as being too liberal, one has a selection of Lutheran denominations from which to select a church home.

Samuel Simon Schumucker changed throughout his life; he was human, after all.  Lutheranism within the United States of America also changed during his lifetime.  Schmucker effected much of that change, but other change made him, once a prominent leader, an increasingly marginal figure in many quarters.  Yet Schmucker’s legacy has remained relevant within and beyond Lutheranism in North America.

Schmucker came from a devout and large Lutheran family.  He, born in Hagerstown, Maryland, entered the world on February 28, 1779.  Our saint’s mother was Elizabeth Catherine Gross (1771-1820).  His father was the Reverend John George Schmucker (1771-1854), the President of the German Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania and Adjacent States (the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, for short) in 1820 and 1821.  Our saint was one of the best-educated young Lutheran ministers in the United States.  He had graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton Theological Seminary.  In 1820, when young Schmucker was preparing to assume pastoral duties in New Market, Virginia, he and his father helped to found the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States of America (the General Synod, in short).  The General Synod was the first national confederation of Lutheran synods in the United States.  Schmucker, who grew quickly into a leader of the General Synod, attended every convention through 1870.  At its founding, the General Synod encompassed almost all of the U.S. Lutheran Synods and the vast majority of U.S. Lutherans.  Within a few years, however, doctrinal disputes reduced the membership of the General Synod; the Ministerium of Pennsylvania defected in 1823.  (Then it rejoined in 1853 and departed again in 1867.)  Proposed union with the German Reformed Church caused another controversy in 1830.  Our saint saved the General Synod in 1823 and 1830.  Although some synods left the General Synod, others formed and affiliated with it over the years.

The General Synod was too liberal for many Lutherans in the United States in the 1800s.  This was especially ironic in the 1820s.  Our saint was relatively conservative; he advocated for an increased prominence of the Augsburg Confession (1530) in U.S. Lutheranism.  He also sought to purge all traces of Deism from U.S. Lutheranism.  Schmucker, like many Christians of his time, held an overly strict position on “worldly amusements;” the following entertainments (a few of them actually sinful), among others, were forbidden:

  1. Playing games of chance,
  2. Playing checkers,
  3. Playing chess,
  4. Casting dice,
  5. Playing cards,
  6. Listening to opera,
  7. Attending vocal performances in concert halls,
  8. Using tobacco,
  9. Consuming liquor, and
  10. Wearing fashionable clothing.

If Schmucker was too liberal, what was the standard of conservatism?  Perhaps his position that intellectual rigor was no threat to Christianity marked him as a liberal and an alleged heretic.  As time passed, so did his abolitionism, opposition to the U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848), and acceptance of Evolution.

Schmucker and his father recognized the need for a Lutheran seminary in the United States.  They helped to found Gettysburg Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in.  Schmucker, Sr., served as a trustee.  Our saint served on the faculty and as the President for nearly four decades.  The seminary gave rise to another institution, Pennsylvania College (now Gettysburg College) in 1832.

Schmucker wrote a textbook, Elements of Popular Theology, with Special Reference to the Doctrines of the Reformation, as Avowed Before the Diet at Augsburg, in MDXXX (1834).  This volume indicated our saint’s concept of orthodox Christianity.  He defined orthodox Christianity according to a common creedal core, which he defined as

fundamental doctrines of Scripture,

while eschewing overly specific creeds and allowing for disagreement in secondary matters.  Parts of some creeds were optional, Schmucker argued.  Orthodox Christianity, according to our saint, was Protestant yet did not include all Protestants.  Roman Catholics, Unitarians, Campbellites, Baptists, and Deists were not orthodox Christians, according to Schmucker.

Schmucker’s critics, starting in the 1830s, in particular, found more and more theological ammunition to use against him.  The General Synod permitted much theological latitude.  Our saint’s Eucharistic and Baptismal theology was closer to that of Calvinism than to that of Lutheranism.  (He did graduate from a Presbyterian seminary.)  He, influenced by the Second Great Awakening, was also a revivalist, to a point.  Puritanism and Pietism were prominent in his theology.  (Pietism had been part of a segment of Lutheran theology for some time by the 1800s.)  Schmucker’s “American Lutheranism” made him open to ecumenical relations with non-Lutherans he defined as orthodox.

This became evident by 1838, when Schmucker proposed church union–confederation, really–on what he called

the apostolic basis.

This plan offered six points of union:

  1. Variety in liturgy, polity, and discipline;
  2. Toleration of theological diversity within the ecclesiastical confederation;
  3. A common creed;
  4. Full communion and open communion within the ecumenical confederation;
  5. Cooperation in matters pertaining to “the common cause of Christianity;” and
  6. The Bible as the main textbook for religious and theological instruction.

Schmucker manifested other evidence of his liberalism as he aged and the General Synod became increasingly confessional and conservative, yet never sufficiently conservative, according to many U.S. Lutherans.  In 1855 our saint worked on the proposed American Rescension of the Augsburg Confession.  The controversial proposal, which most synods of the General Synod refused to accept, deleted the condemnations of non-Lutheran groups, removed mentions of baptismal regeneration, denied Consubstantiation, and argued that the Augsburg Confession (1530) contained errors.

Schmucker was also a liturgist.  He, as the head of the General Synod’s Committee on Liturgy of 1866, in lieu of the Liturgy of 1856.  The Provisional Liturgy of 1866 influenced the Washington Service (1876), which, in turn, presaged the Common Service (1888).  The Liturgy of 1856 was noteworthy for reintroducing The Apostles’ Creed (complete with “the holy Catholic Church”) to corporate worship.  A greater influence on the Common Service was the Reverend Beale Melanchton Schmucker (1827-1888), the more conservative, formalistic, and confessional son of our saint.  Beale, whose liturgical sensibilities were evident in the Ministerium of Pennsylvania’s Liturgy for Use in the Evangelical Lutheran Church (1860) and the General Council’s Church Book for the Use of Evangelical Lutheran Congregations (1868), was one of the greatest experts on liturgy and liturgical development.  He was, according to accounts, a walking encyclopedia on the subjects.  He was one of the main reasons the General Council had a stronger liturgical  tradition than the General Synod.

Schmucker lived long enough to witness the General Synod divide twice.  The General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Confederate States of America organized in 1863.  This organization became the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America in 1866 then the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the South in 1876.  Ten years later, with the addition of the Tennessee Synod, the Southern General Synod became the United Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the South.  The General Synod (1820) suffered another schism in 1867, when the General Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America came into existence.  The merger that created The United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA) in 1918 repaired the schisms of 1863 and 1867.  The General Synod (1820) moved to the right as the General Council moved to the left.  The two confederations moved toward each other.

Schmucker married three times and outlived his first two wives.  He married Eleanora Geiger (1799-1823) in 1821.  Wife number two was Mary Catharine Steenbergen (1808-1848).  Our saint’s third wife was Heisther (Esther), who died in 1882.  Schmucker fathered at least four children.

Schmucker, aged 84 years, died in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on July 26, 1873.

I, as an Episcopalian, am creedal, not confessional.  I also accept science and oppose all forms of slavery.  Anglican collegiality is one of the defining characteristics of my faith.  Therefore, I find much to admire about Schmucker.  I also recognize points of strong disagreement with him.  Yet, whenever I ponder denominational full communion agreements, such as the one the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and The Episcopal Church share, I think Schmucker would approve.

Alex Haley advised,

Find the good and praise it.

I praise the good in the legacy of Samuel Simon Schmucker.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 9, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT DENIS, BISHOP OF PARIS, AND HIS COMPANIONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 250

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN LEONARDI, FOUNDER OF THE CLERKS REGULAR OF THE MOTHER OF GOD OF LUCCA; AND SAINT JOSEPH CALASANCTIUS, FOUNDER OF THE CLERKS REGULAR OF RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS

THE FEAST OF ROBERT GROSSETESTE, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC SCHOLAR, PHILOSOPHER, AND BISHOP OF LINCOLN

THE FEAST OF WILFRED THOMASON GRENFELL, MEDICAL MISSIONARY TO NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

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Almighty God, we praise you for your servant Samuel Simon Schmucker,

through whom you have called the church to its tasks and renewed its life.

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 reign,

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

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

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of Mary Lyon (February 29)   1 comment

Above:  Mary Lyon

Image in the Public Domain

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MARY MASON LYON (FEBRUARY 28, 1797-MARCH 5, 1849)

U.S. Congregationalist Feminist and Educator

Mary Lyon 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).

Ideas that have become mainstream used to be revolutionary.  Consider, O reader, gender roles, especially those proscribed for women in the United States of America.  Astute students of women’s history know of Republican Motherhood and Separate Spheres.

Republican Motherhood was the idea that women were supposed to be mothers of the republic.  Their job was supposedly to raise good citizens, not to seek and hold public office or have careers, much less to vote.  Women could respectably lobby office holders, but not exercise power.  Men and women moved in Separate Spheres.  Education reinforced the subordinate roles of women; the curricula for male and female students differed.

Mary Lyon challenged this.  She, raised a Baptist, debuted in Buckland, Massachusetts, on February 28, 1797.  She, the sixth of eight children, grew up in a poor family on a farm.  Our saint’s father died when she was five years old.  Lyon mastered the essential skills of daily survival on a farm.  She was also inquisitive beyond the knowledge of social norms dictated for women; Lyon found geology fascinating.  She made time for studies.  Lyon found a mentor, Congregationalist minister Joseph Emerson, one of her teachers.  He, unlike many other men of the time and place, treated women as intelligent people.  Under his influence, she became a Congregationalist.

Lyon, a teacher at various schools, affirmed the right of girls and women to equal formal education (including college) with boys and men.  She linked this cause to the Great Commission, for she argued that well-educated women were better evangelists than poorly-educated women were.  Our saint proved instrumental in founding Wheaton Female Seminary (now College), Wheaton, Massachusetts, in 1835.  That school was the first one in the United States to offer female students a curriculum equal to that for male students.  Lyon founded Mount Holyoke Female Seminary (now College), South Hadley, Massachusetts, which opened on November 9, 1837.  She, having raised funds for the institution, served as its first principal for more than a decade.

Lyon, aged 52 years, died of natural causes in South Hadley, on March 5, 1849.

Her influence has continued.

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Living God, whose image all people bear, we thank you for the life and legacy of your servant Mary Mason Lyon,

who rejected social norms that mandated a curriculum that reinforced the subordinate roles of women in the United States of America.

May we, as a society and as individuals, cease to hold back segments of our society

from achieving their potential, and therefore, from holding our society back.

May we do this for your glory and for the common good.

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

Genesis 1:26-27

Psalm 100

Galatians 3:23-29

Luke 10:38-42

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 8, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ERIK ROUTLEY, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST HYMNODIST

THE FEAST OF ABRAHAM RITTER, U.S. MORAVIAN MERCHANT, HISTORIAN, MUSICIAN, AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF RICHARD WHATELY, ANGLICAN ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN, IRELAND

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM DWIGHT PORTER BLISS, EPISCOPAL PRIEST; AND RICHARD THEODORE ELY; ECONOMISTS

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Feast of Joseph Badger, Sr. (February 28)   1 comment

Above:  Joseph Badger, Sr.

Image in the Public Domain

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JOSEPH BADGER, SR. (FEBRUARY 28, 1757-APRIL 5, 1846)

U.S. Congregationalist and Presbyterian Minister

First Missionary to the Western Reserve

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There are false teachers now, who hold and preach a doctrine of falling from grace; for a final apostasy, after the renewing of the Holy Spirit; and perish in their sins.  There are many who profess to be Christians, who fall away from their profession, but not from grace.  But to return to the subject.  Let anyone read with an honest, unprejudiced mind the seventh chapter of Romans from the ninth verse to the end; he will see that St. Paul did not teach the doctrine of perfectionism.  There must be a great deal of twisting and perverting from the most obvious meaning of words and phrases to make scriptures referred to above, speak subversive to their true meaning.

–Joseph Badger, Sr., A Memoir of Joseph Badger (1853); quoted in G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006), 331

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Joseph Badger, Sr., was, obviously, a Calvinist, not an Arminian.

The Western Reserve is in northeastern Ohio.  The Reserve’s nearly 3.3 million acres are south of Lake Erie and west of Pennsylvania.  The southern border is a line south of Youngstown, Akron, and Willard.  This area occupies land one part of the land claim of Connecticut.

Joseph Badger, Sr., once a weaver, became a minister and a missionary.  He, born Wilbraham, Massachusetts, on February 28, 1757, was a son of Henry Badger and Mary Langdon.  Our saint served in the Continental Army during the U.S. War for Independence.  In 1781 he matriculated at Yale College, to prepare for ordained ministry.  Badger graduated in 1785.  While at Yale, Badger married Lois Noble, in 1784.  The couple had six children:  Lucius, Joseph Jr., Henry, Sarah, Juliana, and Lucia.  Badger taught in Waterbury, Connecticut, in 1785-1786.  Our saint, whom the (Congregationalist) New Haven Association licensed to preach in 1786, served as a pastor in Northbury (now Plymouth), Connecticut, for a few months in 1786-1787.  Badger, ordained in Blandford, Massachusetts, on October 24, 1787, was a pastor there until October 1800.

When the Badgers left New England, they went to the Western Reserve of Ohio; our saint was the first missionary to the region.  He labored for God for about 36 years.  In 1801, when the Congregationalist-Presbyterian (Presbygationalist, actually) Plan of Union to evangelize the frontier went into effect, Badger became a Presbyterian minister, despite retaining his preference for Congregationalism.  He and his family lived in frontier conditions as he founded churches, some Congregationalist and others Presbyterian.  Our saint also founded schools.  Furthermore, Badger served as a brigade chaplain and as a guide for General William Henry Harrison during the War of 1812.

Lois Noble died in 1818.  Badger remarried the following year; he wedded Abigail Ely.

Badger finally retired in 1836, at the age of 79 years; his heath was failing.  Our saint, aged 89 years, died in Perrysburg, Ohio, on April 5, 1846.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 4, 2019 COMMON ERA

 THE FEAST OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI, FOUNDER OF THE ORDER OF FRIARS MINOR

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM SCARLETT, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF MISSOURI, AND ADVOCATE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Joseph Badger, Sr.,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of the Western Reserve.

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

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Feast of James Nicholas Joubert and Mary Elizabeth Lange (February 5)   Leave a comment

Above:  Baltimore (1837)

Image Creators = Moses Swett and Philip Haas

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-pga-04182

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JACQUES MARIE HECTOR NICOLAS JOUBERT DE LA MURAILLE (SEPTEMBER 6, 1777-1843)

French-American Roman Catholic Priest

worked with

MARIE ELIZABETH LANGE (1784?-FEBRUARY 3, 1882)

Haitian-American Roman Catholic Nun

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FOUNDERS OF THE OBLATE SISTERS OF PROVIDENCE

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Mary Elizabeth Lange 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).  James Nicholas Joubert joins Lange and shares a feast day with her because they founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence in 1829.  The Roman Catholic Church is considering taking Lange through steps that may culminate in canonization.  I choose, however, not to wait for Holy Mother Church to act.

Jacques Marie Hector Nicolas Joubert de la Muraille was one of the priests who proved invaluable in making Lange’s accomplishments possible.  He, born to Suzanne Claire Cathering Guimbaut and attorney Jean Joseph Marie Joubert in Saint Jean d’Angely, France, on September 6, 1777, worked as a soldier then as a tax agent.  The Napoleonic government assigned Joubert to Saint-Dominigue (now Haiti).  The tax agent fled in 1803, during the Haitian Revolution.  He arrived first in Cuba then immigrated to the United States.  Joubert matriculated at St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore, Maryland, in 1805.  He, ordained a priest five years later, joined the Society of Saint-Sulpice and taught geology and French at the seminary.  Starting in 1827, our saint taught the catechism (in French) to Haitian-American children at the Lower Chapel of the seminary.  He met Mary Elizabeth Lange at the Lower Chapel.

Marie Elizabeth Lange obeyed her calling from God.  She, born into a well-to-do Haitian family in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, circa 1784, received a fine education.  Lange immigrated to the United States in the early 1800s.  She, having settled in Baltimore by 1813, recognized the need for more schools for free African Americans in the city.  Church-run schools existed yet did not meet all needs collectively.  Furthermore, no public schools for African Americans existed.  Lange opened a school for Haitian immigrant youth in her home.  Marie Balas helped our saint teach the otherwise underserved population.

James Whitfield, the Archbishop of Baltimore, asked Father Joubert to open a girls’ school.  The priest recruited Lange and Balas.  Joubert also learned of the vocations of Lange, Balas, and two other African-American women to religious life.  Given the lack of any order to accept them, the women became the first members of a new order, which Joubert and Lange founded.  The Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first order for African-American women in the Roman Catholic Church, came into existence on July 2, 1829, with four sisters.  Lange became Sister (later Mother) Mary and served as the first Superior General.  The order, which received papal approval in 1831, operated St. Frances Academy, Baltimore.  As time passed, the Sisters grew in numbers and in social services, such as classes for women, career and vocational training, and homes for orphans and widows.  In 1832, Sisters (including Lange) risked their lives to minister to victims of an outbreak of cholera in the city.  This work required financing, of course.  Joubert, Lange, and the other Sisters raised funds.

Archbishop Samuel Eccleston (in office 1834-1851, succeeding Whitfield) attempted to disband the new religious order.  Regarding the Oblate Sisters of Providence, he asked,

What’s the use?

After Father Joubert died in 1843, the position of spiritual director of the order remained vacant for years.  Finally, in 1847, Father Thaddeus Anwander persuaded Eccleston to appoint him to fill the vacancy, and the fortunes and prospects of the Sisters improved.

Lange, the mistress of novices (1850-1860), laid down her burdens on February 3, 1882.

The Oblate Sisters of Providence minister in the United States and Costa Rica.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 11, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PAPHNUTIUS THE GREAT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF UPPER THEBAID

THE FEAST OF ANNE HOULDITCH, ANGLICAN NOVELIST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN STAINER AND WALTER GALPIN ALCOCK, ANGLICAN CHURCH ORGANISTS AND COMPOSERS

THE FEAST OF SAINT PATIENS OF LYONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP

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O God, by whose grace your servants James Nicholas Joubert and Mary Elizabeth Lange,

kindled with the flame of your love, became burning and shining lights in your Church:

Grant that we may also be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline,

and walk before you as children of light;

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

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Acts 2:42-47a

Psalm 133 or 34:1-8 or 119:161-168

2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Matthew 6:24-33

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 723

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