Archive for the ‘Saints of 1810-1819’ Category

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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Feast of St. Vincent Pallotti (January 22)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Vincent Pallotti

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT VINCENT PALLOTTI (APRIL 21, 1795-JANUARY 22, 1850)

Founder of the Society and the Catholic Apostolate, the Union of Catholic Apostolate, and the Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate

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Remember that the Christian life is one of action, not of speech and daydreams.  Let there be few words and many deeds, and them be done well.

–St. Vincent Pallotti

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The love of Christ impels us.

–Motto of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (the Pallottines)

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Poverty is an unfortunate fixture in human societies.  The poor will always be with us because scarcity is an element of human economic systems.  This scarcity is artificial, and many people benefit from it.  Many more, however, suffer from it.  The common good would be better without artificial scarcity.

Caring for the poor has been an institutional Christian practice since the founding of Christianity.  (Read the Acts of the Apostles and certain Pauline epistles for evidence.)  St. Vincent Pallotti, born to Italian nobility in Rome on April 21, 1795, dedicated most of his life to helping the urban poor; he fit neatly into the best of Christian tradition.

Pallotti worked in Rome.  He, ordained to the priesthood on May 16, 1818, gave up a professorship to work with poor people in the Eternal City.  He founded schools and offered night classes, so that members of the working class could attend.  In 1835 he founded the Union of Catholic Apostolate and the Society of the Catholic Apostolate, to help the poor.  Pallotti earned his reputation as a living saint; he even risked death to minister to victims of an outbreak of cholera in Rome in 1837.  In our saint’s version of lived faith priests and lay people–brothers and priests, and eventually, sisters, too, (from 1838),

Pallotti made a liturgical-ecclesiastical contribution, also.  He encouraged Pallottines to observe the Octave of the Epiphany (January 6-13) in Eastern Rite Roman Catholic parishes, in solidarity with Eastern Orthodoxy.  [Note:  Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, cut the Octave of the Epiphany while preparing the first Book of Common Prayer in 1549.  The Roman Catholic Church cut the octave in 1955.] 

Pallottine’s generosity may have hastened his death.  On a cold and rainy night, our saint gave his cloak to a beggar, who had none.  Pallottine subsequently caught a severe cold and died.  He died on January 22, 1850, in Rome.  He was 54 years old.

The Church recognized Pallottine’s sanctity after he died.  Pope Pius XI declared him a Venerable in 1932.  Pope Pius XII beatified Pallotti in 1950.  Pope John XXIII canonized him in 1963.

The Pallottines continue the good work around the world.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 11, 2018 COMMON ERA

PROPER 14:  THE NINTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT GREGORY THAUMATURGUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF NEOCAESAREA; AND SAINT ALEXANDER OF COMANA, “THE CHARCOAL BURNER,” ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR AND BISHOP OF COMANA, PONTUS

THE FEAST OF SAINT EQUITIUS OF VALERA, BENEDICTINE ABBOT AND FOUNDER OF MONASTERIES

THE FEAST OF MATTHIAS LOY, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER, EDUCATOR, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR; AND CONRAD HERMANN LOUIS SCHUETTE, GERMAN-AMERICAN LUTHERAN MINISTER, EDUCATOR, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF MAURICE TORNAY, SWISS ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, MISSIONARY TO TIBET, AND MARTYR, 1949

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served, and to give his life for the life of the world.

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

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

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

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

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of Abby Kelley Foster and Stephen Symonds Foster (January 15)   Leave a comment

Above:  Liberty Farm, Worcester, Massachusetts

Image in the Public Domain

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STEPHEN SYMONDS FOSTER (NOVEMBER 17, 1809-SEPTEMBER 13, 1881)

husband of

ABBY KELLEY FOSTER (JANUARY 15, 1811-JANUARY 14, 1887)

Also known as Abby Kelly Foster

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U.S. QUAKER ABOLITIONISTS AND FEMINISTS

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I do not talk of woman’s rights, but of human rights, the rights of human beings.  I do not come to ask [for] them, but to demand them; not to get down on my knees and beg for them, but to claim them.

–Abby Kelley Foster, October 1850, at the first National Women’s Rights Convention, Worcester, Massachusetts

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In short, in the harangue of Abby, she simply demands that men and women should be treated as human beings, all alike….

The New York Herald, October 15, 1850, criticizing Abby Kelley Foster and her positions

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Abby Kelley Foster comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saint’s Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).  Stephen Symonds Foster joins her on the Ecumenical Calendar by virtue of being her husband and her fellow activist.  After all, one of my purposes in adding to the Ecumenical Calendar is to emphasize relationships and influences.

STEPHEN SYMONDS FOSTER

Stephen Symonds Foster, born in Canterbury, New Hampshire, became a radical, according to the standards of his time.  He, raised a Congregationalist, was a carpenter until the age of 22 years.  Foster decided to study to become a missionary, so he matriculated at Dartmouth College.  He eventually graduated, in 1838.  During his college years, Foster found a new direction in life and endured hardships.  He became an abolitionist.  He also went to jail for being in debt and spent time incarcerated with hardened, violent criminals.  This experience led to a movement that ended imprisonment for debt in New Hampshire.

Instead of becoming a missionary, Foster became an activist.  The three social causes for which he worked were feminism, temperance, and the abolition of slavery.  After graduating from Dartmouth College, he studied at Union Theological Seminary, New York, New York, in 1838-1839.  He left that institution because the leadership forbade him from hosting abolitionist meetings.  Our saint even rejected the offer of a scholarship in exchange for his silence regarding slavery.  Foster’s abolitionist activism led to his expulsion from the Congregational Church in 1841 and to a physical attack in Portland, Maine, the following year.  Our saint was outspoken in his criticism of religion that justified slavery.  He expressed himself in both writing and on the lecture circuit of the American Anti-Slavery Society.

ABBY KELLEY FOSTER

Abby Kelley was also making the rounds on the anti-slavery lecture circuit.

Kelley, born in Pelham, Massachusetts, on January 15, 1811, became a radical, also.  She came from a rigid, conservative society with gender norms–separate spheres.  Women did not address mixed-gender audiences.  Schools were not coeducational.  Women’s suffrage was out of the question.  The Quakers, her denomination, had a mixed record regarding opposition to slavery, but they were more progressive than many other Christian bodies.  Abby, a teacher, joined the Female Anti-Slavery Society at Lynn in 1837.  The following year, she began to lecture.  Eventually, she became a full-time lecturer.  Kelley made the connection between the rights of women and those of African Americans, many of whom were slaves.  To insist on the rights of one group while ignoring the rights of the other was wrong, she understood.  This was a minority position within the abolitionist movement in the United States.

THE FOSTERS

Abby Kelley married Stephen Symonds Foster in 1845.  Their marriage was, of course, unconventional.  They were a team of activists.  The Fosters purchased an estate, “Liberty Farm,” in 1847; their home became a station of the Underground Railroad.  After Abby gave birth to a daughter, Paulina Wright “Alla” Foster, in 1847, husband and wife took turns traveling on the lecture circuit, so that one parent would stay home with Alla.  More often that not, Stephen was a stay-at-home father.

Abby made her mark on the United States.  She helped to organize the first National Women’s Rights Convention at Worcester, Massachusetts, in late 1850, and spoke at it.  In 1854 she became the chief fundraiser for the American Anti-American Society.  After the Civil War, she advocated for the ratification of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.  In 1868 she helped to organize the New England Women Suffrage Association.

The Fosters made their protest against the lack of women’s suffrage where they lived by refusing to pay taxes.  Their justification was the revolutionary cry,

No taxation without representation.

The local government sold Liberty Farm for unpaid taxes in 1874.  A sympathetic neighbor purchased the farm then sold it back to the Fosters.  This pattern repeated until both Abby and Stephen died.

Stephen, aged 73 years, died on September 13, 1881.

Abby, aged 75 years, died on January 14, 1887.

IN RETROSPECT

From my vantage point in the United States in 2019, the once-radical and marginal ideas becoming mainstream are mostly hateful and exclusionary.  They tend to be ideas such as white nationalism and Anti-Semitism, and frequently result in violence or other forms of abuse.  The radical and marginal ideas the Fosters espoused fall into a different category:  inclusion.  As the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta says,

DRAW THE CIRCLE WIDE.

The Fosters, ahead of their time, helped to create a better future.

May their ethic of recognizing the image of God, or as their Quaker theology put it well–the inner light–in others then acting accordingly inspire us to do the same.

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Loving God, who has implanted your image and inner light inside all people,

we thank you for the lives and legacies of your servants,

Abby Kelley Foster and Stephen Symonds Foster,

who affirmed the inherent human dignity in those whom

society defined as non-citizens or as second-class citizens.

May we, in our times and places, affirm the image of God in all human beings and treat them accordingly,

so that a moral revolution of values may lead people to define all your children as insiders.

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

Genesis 1:27

Psalm 97

Galatians 3:23-29

Luke 10:29-37

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 5, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALFRED TENNYSON, ENGLISH POET

THE FEAST OF ADAM OF SAINT VICTOR, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ALBRECHT DÜRER, MATTHIAS GRÜNEWALD, AND LUCAS CRANACH THE ELDER, RENAISSANCE ARTISTS

THE FEAST OF GEORGE FREDERICK ROOT, POET AND COMPOSER

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Feast of Elizabeth Prout and Venerable Ignatius Spencer (January 10)   1 comment

Above:  The Union Jack

Images in the Public Domain

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VENERABLE IGNATIUS SPENCER (DECEMBER 21, 1799-OCTOBER 1, 1864)

Anglican then Roman Catholic Priest, and Apostle of Ecumenical Prayer

Born George Spencer

Also known as Father Ignatius of Saint Paul

mentor of

ELIZABETH PROUT (SEPTEMBER 2, 1820-JANUARY 11, 1864)

Foundress of the Cross and Passion

Also known as Mother Mary Joseph of Jesus

The Roman Catholic Church is in the process of eventually canonizing Prout and Spencer.  Holy Mother Church has her procedures, which take much time.  So be it.  On this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, I canonize them and place their commemorations on the same date. One cannot properly tell the story of one of these saints without recounting the story of the other one.

GEORGE (IGNATIUS) SPENCER

Image in the Public Domain

George Spencer came from a wealthy, prominent, and Anglican family.  He, born in London on December 21, 1799, was a son of Lady Lavinia Bingham and George Spencer, the Second Earl Spencer, the First Lord of the Admiralty.  Our saint, well-educated, studied at Eton and at Trinity College, Cambridge.  In 1819, when Spencer toured Europe with his parents, he did not find Roman Catholicism impressive.  Our saint, ordained to the diaconate of The Church of England in 1822 then to the priesthood two years later, was an attentive priest at Bringham for six years, until 1830.  Then he resigned to convert to Roman Catholicism.

Spencer, as an Anglican priest, became interested in patristics, which he read closely.  Ambrose Phillipps De Lisle (1809-1878), who had converted to Roman Catholicism in 1823, proved instrumental in Spencer’s conversion, as did various Roman Catholic priests.

Spencer spent 1830-1832 in Rome, where he studied for the Roman Catholic priesthood.  His mentor in the Eternal City was Blessed Dominic Barberi (1792-1849), the Apostle to England.  Barberi went on to be crucial in the conversion of John Henry Newman (1801-1890), scheduled to become a full saint in October 2019, in 1845.  Spencer, ordained a deacon then a priest in 1832, returned to England that year.  His duties over time ranged from being a parish priest to being a chaplain to seminarians, but he eventually became a well-traveled and popular preacher instead.

In 1838 Spencer founded the Crusade of Prayer for the Conversion of England.  This project aroused opposition within the Roman Catholic Church and outside it, as hoped to convert England back to Holy Mother Church.  This work filled much of Spencer’s time for the rest of his life; even after he joined the Passionists in 1847 and became Father Ignatius of Saint Paul.  Spencer worked very hard and maintained a rigorous schedule.

ELIZABETH PROUT

Image in the Public Domain

Elizabeth Prout also grew up an Anglican.  She, born to an Anglican mother and a lapsed Roman Catholic father, entered the world at Coleham, Shrewsbury, on September 2, 1820.  Her parents initially opposed her conversion to Roman Catholicism (by the hand of Blessed Dominic Barberi) in her early twenties.  Later, however, her parents converted, also.

Prout found a spiritual mentor, Father Gaudentius Rossi (1817-1891).  With his encouragement, she joined the Sisters of the Holy Infant in Northampton, in 1848.  When the order proved to be a bad fit for her, he invited Prout to teach in the school attached to his parish, St. Chad’s, Manchester.  She accepted.  Our saint worked with poor people in that industrial setting.  Prout organized a small, informal, community of women to work among the industrial poor of Manchester.  With Rossi’s help, that community became the Institute of the Holy Family on November 21, 1852.  Prout became Mother Mary Joseph of Jesus.  The sisters were poor, too, as they focused on helping impoverished women.

PROUT AND SPENCER

The sisters, who relocated to Sutton, St. Helens, in 1855, did have patrons, tough.  They needed patrons if they were to operate schools, such as the one at Sutton, and to help the poor.  One of these patrons was Father Ignatius Spencer, who took over from Rossi, transferred to the United States in 1855.  Spencer helped Prout reform the Institute of the Holy Family along Passionist lines.  In 1863 he took the new rule (replacing the old rule, which Rossi had written) of the order to Rome and secured the approval of Pope Pius IX.  Prout, who overworked herself and whose health was failing, became the first Mother General.

Prout, who taught in or founded nine schools, died, aged 43 years, on January 11, 1864.

The order became the Sisters of the Cross and Passion in 1874.

Spencer, who worked himself to death, did not survive the year, either.  On October 1, 1864, after returning from a mission trip to Scotland, he was Carstains when he had a heart attack, fell into a ditch.  There he died alone.  He was 64 years old.

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Loving God, we thank you for the holy lives of your servants,

Elizabeth Prout and Venerable Ignatius Spencer.

May we, inspired by their examples,

dedicate our lives to glorifying you and improving the lives of the less fortunate.

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

Leviticus 19:9-18

Luke 1:46-55

Acts 6:1-7

Matthew 28:16-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 2, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GEORG WEISSEL, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ANNA BERNADINE DOROTHY HOPPE, U.S. LUTHERAN HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN GOTTFRIED GEBHARD, GERMAN MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND MUSIC EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF JULIAN EYMARD, FOUNDER OF THE PRIESTS OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT, THE SERVANTS OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT, AND THE PRIESTS’ EUCHARISTIC LEAGUE; AND ORGANIZER OF THE CONFRATERNITY OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

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