Archive for the ‘Saints of 1860-1869’ Category

Feast of Paul Mazakute (May 12)   1 comment

Above:  Paul Mazakute, Circa 1870

Photographer = Stanley J. Morrow

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ds-09322

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PAUL MAZAKUTE (JUNE 1842-MAY 12, 1873)

First Sioux Episcopal Priest

As our saint wrote near the end of his life, he was the only member of his family to become a Christian.  He, born in Minnesota in June 1842, was a son of Maypiyakakapan (his father) and Wakakoyakewin (his mother).  Our saint, converted to Christianity in 1862, accepted baptism and became an Episcopalian and a catechist that year.  Furthermore, Mayakute remained with his people at Fort Snelling (in Minnesota) in 1862 then stayed with them in what is now South Dakota.

Mazakute married Margaret (Maggie) Panna Hoffman.  By Mazakute’s account, the couple had five children:

  1. Mark Hepanna (1864-1884/1885),
  2. Simon (1866-1884),
  3. Rebecca (b. 1868),
  4. Joshua (1871-1892), and
  5. David (b. 1873).

Our saint spent much time in the East in 1868 and 1869.  He, ordained a deacon in 1868, joined the ranks of priests in 1869.  Mazakute became the first Sioux ordained to the Anglican/Episcopal priesthood.  He was the second indigenous priest in The Episcopal Church; Enmegahbowh (1807/1813-1902), from the Ojibwa Nation, became the first indigenous priest in The Episcopal Church in 1867.  The first member of one of the First Nations ordained in the Anglican tradition was Sakachuwescum/Henry Budd (circa 1812-1875), a member of the Cree Nation in Canada, ordained to the priesthood in 1850.

Mazakute as a priest and a missionary, built three churches, baptized sixty-four people, and presided over four weddings in about four years.  He ministered at Yankton, White Swan, and Choteau Creek (all in what is now South Dakota) and at Santee, Nebraska.  Our saint damaged his health in doing so.  He, ill for the last year of and three months of his life, had weak lungs.  Mazakute, thirty years old, died at Santee on May 12, 1873.

Maggie remarried in 1876.  She married Benjamin Makoahomnikudan Whipple.  The couple had five children.  Maggie died in 1903.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 28, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JAMES SOLOMON RUSSELL, EPISCOPAL PRIEST, EDUCATOR, AND ADVOCATE FOR RACIAL EQUALITY

THE FEAST OF SAINT GUNTRAM OF BURGUNDY, KING

THE FEAST OF KATHARINE LEE BATES, U.S. EDUCATOR, POET, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF RICHARD CHEVENIX TRENCH, ANGLICAN ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN

THE FEAST OF SAINT TUTILO, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND COMPOSER

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Paul Mazakute,

whom your called to preach the Gospel to the Sioux.

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 Blessed Maria Catalina Troiani (May 6)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Maria Catalina Troiani 

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED MARIA CATALINA TROIANI (JANUARY 19, 1813-MAY 6, 1887)

Foundress of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Also known as Blessed Maria Teresa of Saint Rose

Blessed Maria Catalina Troiani, a missionary in Egypt, educated impoverished girls.

Our saint came from an Italian Roman Catholic family.  She born in Guiliano di Roma on January 19, 1813, was one of four children of Tommaso Troiani and Teresa Panici (Troiani).  Teresa died when Blessed Maria Catalina was six years old.

Our saint, inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, became a Francican tertiary.  On December 8, 1829, she made her vows as Sister Maria Teresa of Saint Rose, after St. Rose of Viterbo (1234-1252).  Blessed Maria Catalina spent much time educating girls.  On September 14, 1859, she, four other nuns, and Father Giuseppe Moden arrived in Cairo, Egypt, on a mission that had received person Papal approval.  They established a school for poor girls in that city.

From this undertaking arose the Third Order Franciscan Sisters of Cairo, official as of July 5, 1868.  The order later became the Franciscan Sisters of Cairo then the Franciscan Missionaries of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Our saint served as its first Mother Superior, until she died.

Pope John Paul II declared our saint a Venerable in 1982 then beatified her in 1985.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 22, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF SAINT DEOGRATIAS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF CARTHAGE

THE FEAST OF EMMANUEL MOURNIER, PERSONALIST PHILOSOPHER

THE FEAST OF JAMES DE KOVEN, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HUGHES, BRITISH SOCIAL REFORMER AND MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM EDWARD HICKSON, ENGLISH MUSIC EDUCATOR AND SOCIAL REFORMER

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O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich:

Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we,

inspired by the example of your servant Blessed Maria Catalina Troiani,

may serve you with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come;

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.

Song of Songs 8:6-7

Psalm 34

Philippians 3:7-15

Luke 12:33-37 or 9:57-62

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 722

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Feast of Blessed Teresa Maria of the Cross (April 23)   1 comment

Above:  Blessed Teresa Maria of the Cross

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED TERESA MARIA OF THE CROSS (MARCH 2, 1846-APRIL 23, 1910)

Foundress of the Carmelite Sisters of Saint Teresa of Florence

Born Teresa Adelaide Cesina Manetti

Teresa Adelaide Cesina Manetti, born in Florence on March 2, 1846, learned piety at a young age.  She was a daughter of Salvatore Manetti and Rosa Bigagli (Manetti).  Salvatore died when our saint was three years old.  Teresa’s piety led her, eighteen years old, to organize a group of young women to live in common and to teach poor children.  She derived much inspiration from the writings of St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582).  Our saint became a Carmelite tertiary, as Teresa Maria of the Cross, on July 16, 1876.  She took her vows as a Discaled Carmelite on July 12, 1888.  She started Carnmelite-run schools in other Italian cities.  She did this work through spiritual doldrums and many slanders.  The work our saint began when she was eighteen years old culminated in 1904, when Pope Pius X approved the Carmelite Sisters of Saint Teresa of Florence.  Blessed Teresa Maria of the Cross, aged 64 years, died in Florence, Kingdom of Italy, on April 23, 1910.

The Roman Catholic Church recognized our saint formally.  Pope Paul VI declared her a Venerable in 1975.  Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1986.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 9, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF HARRIET TUBMAN, U.S. ABOLITIONIST

THE FEAST OF EMANUEL CRONENWETT, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT FRANCES OF ROME, FOUNDRESS OF THE COLLATINES

THE FEAST OF JOHANN PACHELBEL, GERMAN LUTHERAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT SOPHRONIUS OF JERUSALEM, ROMAN CATHOLIC PATRIARCH

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O God, by whose grace your servant Blessed Teresa Maria of the Cross,

kindled with the flame of your love,

became a burning and a shining light in your Church:

Grant that we we also may be aflame with the spirit of live 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 Mary C. Collins (April 19)   Leave a comment

Above:  Mary C. Collins

Image in the Public Domain

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MARY CLEMENTINE COLLINS (APRIL 18, 1846-MAY 25, 1920)

U.S. Congregationalist Missionary and Minister

Mary C. Collins 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).

Collins represented the best tradition of Christian missionary work among indigenous people; she served the Kingdom of God, not any earthly power.  Our saint defended her flock and opposed their oppression.

One may ask, “Of course, she did.  Why would she not have done so?”  I reply that the historical record contains many examples of “Christian” missionaries who really worked for the empires or countries, thereby aiding and abetting racism and cultural destruction.  I assert that this behavior contradicted the Golden Rule, a commandment Collins took seriously.

Mary Clementine Collins, born in Upper Alton, Illinois, on April 18, 1846, developed her interest in missionary work at an early age.  She, a daughter of Ephraim and Margaret Collins, grew up in Keokuk, Iowa.  A Sunday School teacher sparked our saint’s interest in becoming a missionary.  Collins, a graduate of Ripon College, Ripon, Wisconsin, applied to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.  That agency accepted her in 1875.  However, a lung condition prevented Collins from receiving approval to go to Melanesia, her first choice of destination.  Therefore, she went to work for the American Missionary Association and evangelized Lakota Sioux in the Dakota Territory then in South Dakota instead.

Collins spent 1875-1910 among the Lakota Sioux.  Her time among them coincided with some of the tribe’s most difficult years at the hands of the federal government and American settlers.  She mastered the language, obtained high status within the tribe, and practiced medicine.  Collins also became a close friend of Sitting Bull in 1885.  Our saint spoke out on behalf of the Lakota Sioux, who suffered at the hands of ranchers, railroad companies, and the federal government.  She opposed residential schools, part of a plan to destroy the Lakota Sioux culture.  Our saint, ordained in 1899, supervised eight staffers, four churches, three meeting houses, and two chapels.

Collins, who never married, retired in 1910, due to failing health.  She returned to Keokuk, Iowa, and moved in with a sister.  Our saint, aged 74 years, died on May 25, 1920.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 3, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT KATHARINE DREXEL, FOUNDRESS OF THE SISTERS OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

THE FEAST OF SAINTS ANTONIO FRANCESCO, JOHANNES LAURENTIUS WEISS, AND MICHELE PRO FASOLI, FRANSCAN MISSIONARY PRIESTS AND MARTYRS IN ETHIOPIA, 1716

THE FEAST OF SAINT GERVINUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF HENRY ELIAS FRIES, U.S. MORAVIAN INDUSTRIALIST; AND HIS WIFE, ROSA ELVIRA FRIES, U.S. MORAVIAN MUSICIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT TERESA EUSTOCHIO VERZERI, FOUNDRESS OF THE INSTITUTE OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS

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God of grace and glory, we praise you for your servant Mary C. Collins,

who made the good news known among the Lakota Sioux.

Raise up, we pray, in every country, heralds of the gospel,

so that the world may know the immeasurable riches of your love,

and be drawn to worship you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Isaiah 62:1-7

Psalm 48

Romans 10:11-17

Luke 24:44-53

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 59

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Feast of Peter Williams Cassey and Annie Besant Cassey (April 16)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of The Episcopal Church

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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PETER WILLIAMS CASSEY (OCTOBER 13, 1831-APRIL 16, 1917)

African-American Episcopal Deacon

First African-American ordained in The Episcopal Church in the western United States, 1866

Husband of

ANNIE BESANT CASSEY (DIED SEPTEMBER 5, 1875)

African-American Episcopal Educator

The Episcopal Church added the Casseys to Lesser Feasts and Fasts in 2018.

That source lists Peter Williams Cassey as a priest.  This contradicts other sources, which insist that he was a perpetual deacon.  To confuse the point, some of my sources contradict themselves, claiming that Cassey never became a priest the referring to him as a priest.  I feel confident in writing of him as a deacon, for the website of St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church, St. Augustine, Florida, refers to Cassey as “Father” (a title usually reserved for a male priest) and as “deacon-in-charge.”  My critique of the profile of the Casseys in Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018 is that it is misleading in referring to Peter Williams Cassey as a priest and that the wording in other places is inexact and confusing.

Peter Williams Cassey, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on October 13, 1831, came from a family of abolitionists.  His grandfather was the Reverend Peter Williams, Jr., an abolitionist, the first African-American Episcopal priest in New York, and the first Rector (1826-1840) of St. Philip’s Church, Harlem, New York, New York.  Our saint’s parents were Joseph and Amy Cassey, prominent and wealthy members of their community, as well as abolitionists.  They gave their son opportunities for a fine, classical education.  He accepted those opportunities and made the most of them; he became fluent in Greek, Hebrew, and Latin.

Cassey spent 1853-1881 in California.  After he arrived in San Francisco, he chose to work as a barber.  Our saint was also active in civil life; he helped to organize an association to protect African Americans and other people of color in that racist society.  He moved to San Jose in the late 1850s.  There he helped to free slaves and taught African-American children, excluded from public schools.

Peter Williams Cassey was half of a team; the other half was Annie Besant (Cassey), his wife.  She also came from a prominent African-American family.  The couple had a daughter, Amy (baptized on April 12, 1863).  They adopted another daughter, Emma Louise (baptized on November 26, 1864).  The couple became charter members of Trinity Episcopal Church, San Jose, in 1862.  Trinity Church had an African-American mission, St. Philip’s Church, with St. Philip’s Academy attached to it.  St. Philip’s Academy operated for a decade, from the early 1860s to the early 1870s.  It educated children of color (African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American), excluded from public schools.  The Casseys lived on the grounds and kept the Academy running.

William Ingram Kip, the first Episcopal Bishop of California, ordained Peter to the diaconate on August 13, 1866.  This was the first ordination of an African American in The Episcopal Church in the western United States.

While Annie kept St. Phiip’s Academy, San Jose, running, into the early 1870s, Bishop Kip assigned Peter to found and lead Christ Mission, for people of color, in San Francisco, at the beginning of the decade.  Peter divided his time between San Francisco and San Jose until 1875.  Financial difficulties and a relatively transient congregation forced St. Philip’s Academy to close in the early 1870s.  Annie died on November 5, 1875.  Afterward, Peter, Amy (14), Emma, and Henrietta Lockwood (Annie’s grandmother) moved to Alumeda.

Christ Mission, San Francisco, was the forerunner of the present Christ Episcopal Church Sei Ko Kai (Japanese-American) and the present St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church (African-American).

Cassey left California in 1881.  Although he never became a priest, he held the title of rector in four churches and two dioceses.  Our saint was the Rector of St. Cyprian’s Church, New Bern,  North Carolina, from 1881 to 1884.  He was also the first African-American rector in the state.  Then he served in the Diocese of Florida.  Cassey was the Rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Fernandina (1884-1897); St. Philip’s Church, Jacksonville (1897-1900); and St. Cyprian’s Church, St. Augustine (1900-1917).

Cassey, aged 85 years, died on April 16, 1917.  Edwin Gardner Weed, the Bishop of Florida, eulogized him:

…no other clergyman in the diocese came close to the theological maturity and scholarship that Peter Williams Cassey exhibited in his ministry and teachings.  We should be proud of these great souls that helped lay the foundations of this diocese.

Think, O reader, about how many lives Peter Williams Cassey and Annie Besant Cassey improved.  Then think about how many lives those people improved, and how many lives those people improved, et cetera.  The Casseys’ legacy continues.

I also approve of The Episcopal Church formally recognizing both Casseys.  I think of what Father Joseph Warrilow, the subject of Father Joe:  The Man Who Saved My Soul (2004) told Tony Hendra:  the Roman Catholic Church should canonize more married couples.  The Episcopal Church does not canonize people, in the sense of formally attaching “St.” to front of their names.  It does, however, add them to one calendar or another, or perhaps to both.  (I admit that my denomination having two calendars of saints–Lesser Feasts and Fasts and A Great Cloud of Witnesses–confuses me.  I recall when we had just one, Lesser Feasts and Fasts.)  I find that, when I write posts for this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, plans for a post frequently expand by following relationships.  Why not?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 1, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANNA OF OXENHALL AND HER FAITHFUL DESCENDANTS, SAINTS WENNA THE QUEEN, NON, SAMSON OF DOL, CYBI, AND DAVID OF WALES

THE FEAST OF EDWIN HODDER, ENGLISH BIOGRAPHER, DEVOTIONAL WRITER, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF GEORGE WISHART, SCOTTISH CALVINIST REFORMER AND MARTYR, 1546; AND WALTER MILNE, SCOTTISH PROTESTANT MARTYR, 1558

THE FEAST OF JEAN-PIERRE DE CAUSSADE, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT ROGER LEFORT, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF BOURGES

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God of justice and mercy, who sent your Son to preach, to teach, and to give hope to those in need:

We remember before you this day your servants Peter Williams Cassey and Annie Besant Cassey,

who, in the face of slavery and discrimination,

sought to give the blessings of education and a spiritual haven for those pushed to the margins.

May we strive in our own lives to be fearless in the face of injustice

and to work for blessings that will touch those whom the world does not count of value;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives forever and ever.  Amen.

Proverbs 22:1-12

Psalm 112

Matthew 5:13-16

Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, 236

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Feast of Lucy Craft Laney (April 15)   1 comment

Above:  Kindergarten, Haines Normal and Industrial Institute, Augusta, Georgia, 1899

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-132449 (b&w film copy neg.)

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LUCY CRAFT LANEY (APRIL 13, 1854-OCTOBER 24, 1933)

African-American Presbyterian Educator and Civil Rights Activist

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

Our saint was a daughter of former slaves.  David Laney, a carpenter, was a Presbyterian minister.  In 1838, slaves who had been members of First Presbyterian Church, Macon, Georgia, became part of the African chapel, the origin of Washington Avenue Presbyterian Church.  Laney was a “leader,” functioning as a minister, of this congregation.  His ordination in 1866 made his ministerial status official.  He, having purchased his freedom in the 1830s, married Louisa, whose freedom he also purchased.  The couple had ten children.  Number seven was Lucy Craft Laney, born in Macon on April 13, 1854.

Presbyterian denominational history can be very confusing, even for those initiated into the mysteries of mergers and schisms.  I, having studied these matters closely, write authoritatively about them.  In the case of Lucy Craft Laney, I conclude that she belonged to the following denominations, in order:

  1. the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (Old School), until December 1861; then
  2. the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America (December 1861-December 1865), which changed its name to the Presbyterian Church in the United States in December 1865.

Our saint’s family taught her the value of education.  She learned to read and write by the age of four years.  When she was twelve years old, Laney translated difficult passages of Julius Caesar’s Commentaries on the Gallic Wars from Latin.  Her formal education came courtesy of the American Missionary Association, which founded schools for African Americans in the former Confederacy.  She attended Lewis High School, Macon, from 1865 to 1869.  After graduating, she matriculated at Atlanta University.  Ironically, she could not formally study the classics there because of her gender; Laney objected.  Our saint, who graduated in 1873, had her credentials as a teacher.

Laney spent a decade teaching in other people’s schools.  She taught in Macon, Savannah, Milledgeville, and Augusta.  Then, in 1883, she founded what became Haines Normal and Industrial Institute in Augusta.  The first “campus” was the basement of Christ Presbyterian Church, Augusta.  This African-American congregation, formed in October 1882, had separated from First Presbyterian Church, Augusta.

Laney served as principal from 1883 to 1933.  The school became Haines Normal and Industrial Institute because one Francine Haines donated $10,000 ($282,862.94, adjusted for inflation, as of the day I am typing this sentence) in 1886.  The State of Georgia chartered the school that year.  The Haines Institute, which moved to its new campus on Gwinnett Street (now Laney-Walker Boulevard) grew to 34 teachers and 900 students by 1912.  The school offered sewing classes, the first African-American kindergarten in Augusta, the first African-American nursing school in Augusta, orchestral concerts and other cultural events, and a college preparatory program.  Laney taught Latin.  Many graduates matriculated at respected Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  Novelist Frank Yerby (1916-1991), a native of Augusta, was an alumnus of the Haines Institute; he attended the school toward the end of Laney’s life.  Another famous person connected to the Haines Institute was Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955), who taught there for a year then moved on to make her mark elsewhere.

Laney was active in the struggle for civil rights.  She, a friend of luminaries such as W. E. B. DuBois (1868-1963), Langston Hughes (1902-1967), and Madam C. J. Walker/Sarah Breedlove (1867-1919), was active in the National Association of Colored Women and the Interracial Commission.  She also helped to organize the Augusta Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.) in 1918.  Furthermore, Laney helped to integrate the work of the Augusta branches of the Young Men’s Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.) and the Young Women’s Christian Association (Y.W.C.A.).

Laney died in Augusta on October 24, 1933.  “Miss Lucy” was 79 years old.

Haines Normal and Industrial Institute closed in 1949.  Laney High School replaced it.  Sadly, not one of the buildings of the Haines Institute has survived the ravages of time and political decisions.

Gwinnett Street, which borders the campus of Christ Presbyterian Church and the site of the former Haines Institute, has become Laney-Walker Boulevard.  Dr. Charles T. Walker was one of the founders of Atlanta University.

In 1974, Governor Jimmy Carter unveiled the first three portraits of African Americans in the state capitol.  The three honorees were Bishop Henry McNeal Turner (1834-1915); Martin Luther King, Jr. (1939-1968), and Lucy Craft Laney.

The Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History and Conference Center, Augusta, opened in 1991.

Fortunately, the indirect and intergenerational influence of Lucy Craft Laney has continued to grow.

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Everlasting God, you teach us that your ways frequently conflict with many of our societal norms.

We thank you for the life and legacy of your servant, Lucy Craft Laney.

May we, inspired by her example, resist social injustice and

testify with our lives to the image of God present in all people.

May we, empowered by the Holy Spirit, transform our societies,

changing our societal norms so that they will more closely resemble your ways,

for your glory and the benefit of all people.

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

Proverbs 2:1-5

Psalm 25:1-10

Galatians 3:23-29

Matthew 5:13-16

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 28, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THOMAS BINNEY, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, LITURGIST, AND “ARCHBISHOP OF NONCONFORMITY”

THE FEAST OF ANNA JULIA HAYWOOD COOPER AND ELIZABETH EVELYN WRIGHT, AFRICAN-AMERICAN EDUCATORS

THE FEAST OF FRED ROGERS, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HOST OF MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH BADGER, SR., U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST AND PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER; FIRST MISSIONARY TO THE WESTERN RESERVE

THE FEAST OF PEDRO ARRUPE, ADVOCATE FOR THE POOR AND MARGINALIZED, AND SUPERIOR GENERAL OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS

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Feast of George Augustus Selwyn (April 11)   4 comments

Above:  George Augustus Selwyn

Image in the Public Domain

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GEORGE AUGUSTUS SELWYN (APRIL 5, 1809-APRIL 11, 1878)

Anglican Bishop of New Zealand, Primate of New Zealand, and Bishop of Lichfield; Missionary

Bishop George Augustus Selwyn comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Church of England, The Episcopal Church, The Anglican Church of Canada, the Scottish Episcopal Church, and The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

Selwyn was English.  He, born in London on April 5, 1809, studied at Eton then at St. John’s College, Cambridge.  Selwyn, a fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge, became an Anglican deacon in 1833 then a priest the following year.  Our saint, simultaneously a curate at Windsor and a tutor at Eton, married Sarah Richardson (d. 1907) in 1839.  During a time of political and societal upheaval, Selwyn advocated for the autonomy of The Church of England and for ecclesiastical responsibilities in society.  He spent much of his time working in education.

Selwyn became the first Bishop of New Zealand in October 1841, after his brother William had declined the offer.  Our saint arrived in New Zealand in 1842.  He organized the Anglican Church in New Zealand and Melanesia, as well as the Church Missionary Society work in Melanesia.  He founded schools, especially for the Maori.  One of these institutions was St. John’s School, which ultimately settled in Auckland, New Zealand.  Our saint also established ministries to miners, homeless people, and itinerant workers.  Furthermore, Selwyn forged the constitution of the Anglican Church in his missionary realm.  He modeled the ecclesiastical constitution after the constitutions of The Episcopal Church and the Scottish Episcopal Church.  The constitution Selwyn crafted created a synod with three houses–bishops, clergy, and laity.  The empowerment of the laity was crucial.

Selwyn’s ministry overlapped with that of John Coleridge Patteson (1827-1871).  Selwyn created the first missionary system in Melanesia.  Indigenous youth spent summers at St. John’s School then returned to their communities as Christian influences.  Patteson, who arrived in 1855, inherited this system.  Patteson, whom Selwyn had consecrated the first Bishop of Melanesia on February 24, 1861, found that conducting missionary work directly in indigenous languages was more effective.

Selwyn oversaw the expansion of the Anglican Church in New Zealand and Melanesia.  As the church expanded, the number of dioceses increased.  He went from being the Bishop of New Zealand to the Primate of New Zealand yet still based in Auckland.

Selwyn was, compared to many colonists, radically progressive regarding indigenous people.  He respected the dignity of the Maori and pled with colonists to treat them justly.  Many colonists ignored these pleas, however.  Maori uprisings resulted during the 1860s.  Selwyn’s position cost him the support of many settlers.  On the other hand, the bishop served as a Royal Army chaplain.  This cost him much Maori support.

Selwyn was, according to purist standards of 2020, defective; he was, to some extent, a cultural imperialist.  Yet, as I wrote in the previous paragraph, he was radically progressive, according to the standards of his time.

Without justifying the unjustifiable, I ask, why not focus on the positive?

The orthodoxy of cultural anthropology teaches that two opposite fallacies exist.  One is ethnocentrism, the idea that the observer’s culture sets the standards by which to evaluate all other cultures.  Ethnocentrism leads one to ignore faults in one’s culture and virtues in other cultures.  The other fallacy is cultural relativism, or the absence of standards.  Cultural relativism leads one to turn a blind eye to offenses against human dignity in the name of respecting diversity.  The truth is in the middle, of course.  Standards do exist, and every culture falls short of them in some ways.  Furthermore, members of different cultures can learn from each other.

Selwyn was somewhere in the middle, between ethnocentrism and cultural relativism.

Selwyn served as the Bishop of Lichfield, in England, from 1868 to 1878.  He reluctantly accepted that offer at the Lambeth Conference of 1867.

Selwyn died in Lichfield on April 11, 1878.  He was 69 years old.

The Church of the Province of New Zealand reorganized in 1992.  It became The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

The reorganized church respects cultural differences and has three primates.

The Anglican Church of Melanesia became a separate province of the Anglican Communion in 1975.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 20, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF HENRI DE LUCAC, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, CARDINAL, AND THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF CHARLES SHELDON, U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, AUTHOR, CHRISTIAN SOCIALIST, AND SOCIAL GOSPEL THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF GREGORIO ALLEGRI, ITALIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, COMPOSER, AND SINGER; AND HIS BROTHER, DOMENICO ALLEGRI, ITALIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC COMPOSER AND SINGER

THE FEAST OF SAINT STANISLAWA RODZINSKA, POLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN AND MARTYR, 1945

THE FEAST OF SAINT WULFRIC OF HASELBURY, ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMIT

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Almighty God, you called George Augustus Selwyn

to be bishop of the church in New Zealand

and to lay a firm foundation for its life;

grant that, building on his labours

and encouraged by his gifts of heart, hand, and mind,

we too may extend your kingdom,

in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.

or

Jesus, Jewish Saviour, served by George, the English bishop in Aotearoa,

give us grace to build on his foundations.  Amen.

Isaiah 49:1-6, 13

Psalm 16 or 126

1 Corinthians 3:7-13

John 4:31-38

–The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

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Almighty God, hear our prayers and supplications

as we remember your servant George Augustus Selwyn

and enrich your Church in every land with the manifold gifts of service,

that by constant witness and selfless devotion we may share with one another,

and with all the world, the immeasurable wealth of your salvation;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

1 Corinthians 12:4-13

Psalm 96:1-7

Matthew 10:7-16

–The Anglican Church of Canada

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant George Augustus Selwyn,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of New Zealand and Melanesia,

and to lay a firm foundation for the growth of your Church in many nations.

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.

Genesis 12:1-4

Ephesians 2:11-18

Psalm 28:7-11

Matthew 10:7-16

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 323

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