Archive for the ‘Saints of 1890-1899’ Category

Feast of Blessed Ndoc Suma (April 22)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Ndoc Suma

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED NDOC SUMA (JULY 31, 1887-APRIL 22, 1958)

Albanian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1958

Blessed Ndoc Suma comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Suma, born in Nënphat, Lezhë, Albania, on July 31, 1887, was a subject of the Ottoman Empire until Albanian independence (1912).  he studied theology at Skrodrë, Albania, then at the Jesuit Collegium Canisianum, Innsbruck, Austria, Austria-Hungary.  Our saint returned to Albania, whwere he joined the ranks of priests in the Archdiocese of Skrodrë-Pult on September 21, 1911.

During the subsequent political changes and stages of his homeland, Suma served as a parish priest in seven towns.  After the fascist occupation ended in 1944, the communist government came to power.  That government cracked down on religion.  Albanian authorities arrested Suma while he was saying Mass in Laçu on December 8, 1946.  The charge was being a spy.

The verdict was guilty, of course.  Our saint, sentenced to thirty years in prison, as well as hard labor, was near death when freed on November 25, 1957.  He, aged seventy years, died in the village of Pistull on April 22, 1958.

Holy Mother Church has formally recognized Suma.  Pope Francis declared him a Venerable in 2016 then a beatus later that year.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 30, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT HONORIUS, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

THE FEAST OF MARY RAMABAI, PROPHETIC WITNESS AND EVANGELIST IN INDIA

THE FEAST OF RICHARD CHALLONER, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC SCHOLAR, RELIGIOUS WRITER, TRANSLATOR, CONTROVERSIALIST, PRIEST, AND TITULAR BISHOP OF DOBERUS

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Almighty God, who gave to your servant Blessed Ndoc Suma boldness

to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world,

and courage to die for this faith:

Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us,

and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ;

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

2 Esdras 2:42-48

Psalm 126 or 121

1 Peter 3:14-18, 22

Matthew 10:16-22

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 713

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Feast of Blessed Symforian Ducki (April 11)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Symforian Ducki

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED SYMFORIAN DUCKI (MAY 10, 1888-APRIL 11, 1942)

Polish Roman Catholic Friar and Martyr, 1942

Also known as Felix Ducki and Antonio Ducki

Alternative feast day (as one of the 108 Martyrs of World War II) = June 12

Blessed Symforian Ducki comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Felix Ducki was originally a subject of the Russian Empire.  He, born in Warsaw on May 10, 1888, was a son of Julian Ducki (a locksmith) and Marianna (Lenardt) Ducki.  Our saint joined the Franciscan Capuchins at Warsaw on January 3, 1918, during revolutionary times in Russia, as well as prior to the reestablishment of independent Poland.  His first monastic name was Antonio.  That name became Symforian on May 19, 1921.

Ducki lived and served mostly in Warsaw through 1941.  He, as a friar, collected funds for the poor.  Our saint served his brother friars as a cook.  Ducki, who made his final vows on May 22, 1925, led this holy life until the Third Reich intervened.

Agents of the Gestapo arrested the Franciscan Capuchin friars of Warsaw on June 27, 1941, and initially incarcerated them at Pawiak.  Ducki, sent to Auschwitz on September 23, 1941, spent the rest of his life performing hard labor.  He, aged 53 years, died on April 11, 1942.

Holy Mother Church has formally recognized our saint.  Pope John Paul II declared Ducki a Venerable in 1999 then a beatus later that year.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 26, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PAUL VI, BISHOP OF ROME

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK WILLIAM FABER, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN BRIGHT, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF JOHN BYROM, ANGLICAN THEN QUAKER POET AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH A. SITTLER, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND ECUMENIST

THE FEAST OF LANCELOT ANDREWES, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF CHICHESTER THEN OF ELY THEN OF WINCHESTER

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Almighty and everlasting God, who kindled the flame of your love

in the heart of your holy martyr Blessed Symforian Ducki:

Grant to us, your humble servants, a like faith and power of love,

that we who rejoice in his triumph may profit by his example;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Jeremiah 15:15-21

Psalm 124 or 31:1-5

1 Peter 4:12-19

Mark 8:34-38

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 715

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Feast of St. Gaetano Catanoso (April 4)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Gaetano Catanoso

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT GAETANO CATANOSO (FEBRUARY 14, 1879-APRIL 14, 1953)

Founder of the Congregation of the Daughters of Saint Veronica (the Missionaries of the Holy Face)

Alternative feast day = September 20

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The Holy Face is my life.  He is my strength.

–St. Gaetano Catanoso

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St. Gaetano Catanoso comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Catanoso came from a large, devout, and wealthy family of Chioro di San Lorenzo, Reggio Calabra, Italy.  He, born on February 14, 1879, was one of eight children of Antonio and Antonia Catanoso.  Our saint, who started his theological studies in October 1889, joined the ranks of priests on September 20, 1902, when he was twenty-three years old.

Catanoso spent most of his priestly career in parishes, with ministries in communities.  After spending 1902-1904 as a prefect of seminarians, our saint became a parish priest.  He encouraged priestly vocations, improved catechesis, revived Marian and Eucharistic devotions, encouraged the observance of liturgical feasts, and worked with other local priests to arrange for priests to hear confessions in each other’s parishes.  Catanoso also served as a spiritual director at a seminary (1922-1949) and hospitals (1922-1933).  Furthermore, he founded an orphanage for war orphans in 1943.  In 1935, our saint founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Saint Veronica (the Missionaries of the Holy Face) to work with the poor and to offer perpetual prayers.  The congregation received diocesan approval in 1958.

When Catanoso died, aged seventy-four years, on April 4, 1953, he was ill and blind.  He was also justifiably beloved.

Holy Mother Church has formally recognized Catanoso.  Pope John Paul II declared him a Venerable in 1990 then a beatus in 1997.  Pope Benedict XVI canonized our saint in 2005.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 24, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ANNA ELLISON BUTLER ALEXANDER, AFRICAN-AMERICAN EPISCOPAL DEACONESS IN GEORGIA, AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF HENRY HART MILMAN, ANGLICAN DEAN, TRANSLATOR, HISTORIAN, THEOLOGIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JUVENAL OF ALASKA, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MARTYR IN ALASKA, AND FIRST ORTHODOX MARTYR IN THE AMERICAS, 1796

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER THE ALEUT, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MARTYR IN SAN FRANCISCO, 1815

THE FEAST OF SAINT SILOUAN OF MOUNT ATHOS, EASTERN ORTHODOX MONK AND POET

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Lord God, your Son came among us to serve

and not to be served,

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

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom

the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-14

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of Carl F. Price (April 12)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Congregational Church of East Hampton (United Church of Christ), East Hampton, Connecticut

Image Source = Google Earth

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CARL FOWLER PRICE (MAY 16, 1881-APRIL 12, 1948)

U.S. Methodist Hymnologist and Composer

Carl F. Price comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via many hymnals.  Price also comes to my Ecumenical Calendar via his avocation, not his vocation.  Working in the insurance business is not wrong, of course.  However, I list Price as a hymnologist and a composer, not as an insurance broker.

Price was a life-long Methodist.  He belonged to the old Methodist Episcopal Church (1784-1939) then to The Methodist Church (1939-1968).  Our saint, a son of the Reverend Doctor J. Embry Price and Annie Bacon (Ware) Price, entered the world at New Brunswick, New Jersey, on May 16, 1881.  Our saint served as the organist and choirmaster at the Congregational Church of East Hampton, Connecticut (1899-1905).  He also graduated with an A. B. degree from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, in 1902.

Price, an insurance broker in New York City, was an active layman.  He served as the Secretary of the New York City Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church for thirty-four years, the Secretary of the National Board of the Epworth League for twelve years, the President of the Methodist Historical Society, and the President of the Methodist Social Union.

Beyond the denominational level, our saint helped to found the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada in 1922.  Then he served as its first president (1922-1926).

Price may have had so much time for work and his work and other activities because he was usually single.  Our saint married Leila Alberta Field (1877-1906) on April 25, 1905.  Price’s second wife was Flora Draper Treat (1883-1919), whom he married on June 19, 1913.  He did not remarry after Flora’s death.

Price wrote twelve books and more than a hundred articles, mostly about hymnology.  These included:

  1. Music and Hymnody of the Methodist Hymnal (1911);
  2. A Year of Hymn Stories:  A Primer of Hymnology (1914);
  3. Who’s Who in American Methodism (1916), as compiler and editor;
  4. One Hundred and One Hymn Stories (1923);
  5. Curiosities of the Hymnal (1926);
  6. More Hymn Stories (1929);
  7. “The Cosmopolitan Hymnal,” in Worship in Music (1929);
  8. Wesleyan’s First Century (1932);
  9. One Hundred and One Methodist Stories (1938);
  10. Translating Hymns for Other Tongues (1945); and
  11. Hymn Patterns (1947).

Price (M.A., Wesleyan University, 1932) did more than write about hymnody; he contributed to it.  Our saint promoted an improved hymnody as he lectured and taught at Drew Theological Seminary, Madison, New Jersey (1929-1945).  Price also composed more than two hundred hymn tunes, including FERREE, MILBURN, and THE MORNING WATCH.  Furthermore, our saint wrote six anthems, three cantatas, and some piano pieces.  Price also composed a hymn text, “Our Fathers Raised These Walls to Crown.”

Price, aged sixty-six years, died in New York City on April 12, 1948.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 15, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA, SEPTEMBER 15, 1963

THE FEAST OF CHARLES EDWARD OAKLEY, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF GEORGE HENRY TRABERT, U.S. LUTHERAN MINIISTER, MISSIONARY, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR AND AUTHOR

THE FEAST OF JAMES CHISHOLM, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINTS PHILIBERT AND AICARDUS OF JUMIEGES, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS

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God of grace and glory,

you have given a rich variety of interests and talents to us;

thank you.

Thank you for those who have served you and helped their fellow human beings

in their daily lives habitually via their vocations yet most memorably their avocations,

and for those who do so.

May we, reminded of and encouraged

in our responsibilities to you and each other by their examples,

continue faithfully in the endeavors you assign us.

In the name of Jesus, who came to serve, not to be served.  Amen.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 38:24-34a

Psalm 33

Romans 14:7-8

Matthew 5:13-16

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 14, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM CROFT, ANGLICAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF JONATHAN MYRICK DANIELS, EPISCOPAL SEMINARIAN AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MAXIMILLIAN KOLBE, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR

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Feast of Blessed Mykolai Charnetskyi (April 2)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Mykolai Charnetskyi

Fair Use

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BLESSED MYKOLAI CHARNETSKYI (SEPTEMBER 14, 1884-APRIL 2, 1959)

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Titular Bishop of Lebed, and Martyr, 1959

Also known as Blessed Nicholas Charnetsky

Alternative feast day (as one of the Martyrs of Ukraine) = January 6

Alternative feast day (as one of the Martyrs Killed Under Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe) = June 27

Blessed Mykolai Charnetskyi comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Charnetskyi was originally a subject of the Russian Empire.  He, born in Semakivitsia, Ukraine, on September 14, 1884, came from a large family; Alexander and Parasceva Charnetskyi had nine children.  The family belonged to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, in communion with the Bishop of Rome.  Our saint, when eighteen years old, commenced his theological studies at the Ukrainian College, Rome.  He, ordained a priest in 1909, completed his doctorate in theology, in Rome, in 1910.

Charnetskyi lived during revolutionary and tumultuous times.  Empires fell, new countries came into existence, and borders shifted more than once.  He taught philosophy and dogmatic theology at the Seminary in Stanislavov (now Ivan-Frankivsk), Ukraine, as well as provided spiritual direction to students, from 1910 to 1919.

Yet Charnetskyi discerned a change in his vocation.  He became a Redemptorist novice in 1919 then made his first profession the following year.  From 1920 to 1926, our saint served as a teacher at a minor seminary as well as a parish priest.  The Redemptorist order opened a mission to Roman Catholic-Eastern Orthodox reconciliation in 1926.  Charnetskyi, as part of that mission, became the Apostolic Visitor in the Volhynia region of Poland (now Ukraine) that year.  In 1931, our saint received a more elevated title–Titular Bishop of Lebed.

World War II disrupted Chanetskyi’s work.  He fled to Lviv in 1939, after the Soviet invasion of eastern Poland.  Germany occupied the area of Lviv in 1941-1944.  Our saint taught at the Lviv Theological Academy from 1941 to 1945.

After World War II, the Soviet government persecuted the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.  The Soviet government arrested all bishops and turned church property over to the Russian Orthodox Church.  Agents of the NKVD arrested Charnetskyi, sixty years old, on April 11, 1945, on the charge of treason.  The verdict was guilty, of course.  Our saint spent the next eleven years suffering tortures and performing hard labor in thirty prisons.  Upon release in 1956, he seemed to be near death.  Our saint’s health was broken.

Nevertheless, Charnetskyi rallied.  He spent the rest of this life ministering to the underground Ukrainian Greek Catholic community.  Our saint, aged seventy-four years, died in Lviv, Ukraine, on April 2, 1959.

Holy Mother Church has formally recognized our saint.  Pope John Paul II declared him a Venerable in 2001.  Later that year, the same Supreme Pontiff made our saint one of the beati.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 14, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE HOLY CROSS

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power

your holy martyr Blessed Mykolai Charnetskyi

triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death:

Grant us, who now remember him in thanksgiving,

to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world,

that we may receive with him the crown of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:1-12

Psalm 116 or 116:1-8

Revelation 7:13-17

Luke 2:2-12

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 714

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Feast of Peter Lutkin (March 27)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of The Episcopal Church

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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PETER CHRISTIAN LUTKIN (JR.) (MARCH 27, 1858-DECEMBER 27, 1931)

Episcopal Composer, Liturgist, and Music Educator

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Dean Lutkin’s attitude to music was that of a high priest in the temple of a divine revealing art.  He considered himself a steward of the mysteries of God and communicated to his pupils that high sense of a spiritual vocation which alone gives dignity and nobility to life.

–The Right Reverend George Craig Stewart, Bishop of Chicago, on Peter Lutkin; quoted in Robert Guy McCutchan, Our Hymnody:  A Manual to The Methodist Church, 2nd. ed. (1937), 167

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Peter Lutkin comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via a plethora of hymnals.

Peter Christian Lutkin (Jr.), born in Thompsonville, Wisconsin, on March 27, 1858, came from a Danish-American family.  The family moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1869.  Shortly thereafter, both parents–Peter Christian Lutkin (Sr.) and Hannah (Olivarious) Lutkin–died.

Our young saint made his way to fulfilling his potential with the help of many people, some of them related to him.  Lutkin attended public schools in Chicago as well as the choir school at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul.  At the age of 14 years, he became the first boy contralto soloist in the Midwest.  Lutkin worked as an instructor in piano at Northwestern University, which lacked a music department, in 1879-1881.  He spent 1881-1884 studying music in Europe; a group of Chicago musicians had raised the funds to make those studies possible.

Lutkin, back in Chicago, made the most of his talents.  He held overlapping portfolios:

  1. Organist and choirmaster, St. Clement’s Episcopal Church (1884-1891);
  2. Director of the Department of Theory, the American Conservatory of Music (1885-1895);
  3. Organist and choirmaster, St. James’s Episcopal Church (1891-1896);
  4. Founder and first Dean of the School of Music, Northwestern University (1896-1928);
  5. Musical Editor, The Methodist Hymnal (1905);
  6. Founder and Director of the North Shore Festivals (1908-1930);
  7. President, the Music Teachers’ National Association (1911, 1920); and
  8. Musical Editor, The (Episcopal) Hymnal 1916 (1918).

Our saint, a pioneer in college music education in the United States and a champion of choral a cappella music, also helped to found the American Guild of Organists in 1896.  Syracuse University awarded Lutkin the Mus.D. degree in 1900.

Lutkin composed canticles, anthems, hymn tunes, and instrumental works.  His hymn tunes included LANIER, THEODORE, PATTEN, and CARMAN.  Perhaps his most anthem was The Lord Bless You and Keep You.

Lutkin, aged 73 years, died in Evanston, Illinois, on December 27, 1931.  His widow was Nancy Leiah Carmen Lutkin (1861-1949), whom he married on October 27, 1885.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 1, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT DIONYSIUS EXIGUUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND REFORMER OF THE CALENDAR

THE FEAST OF DAVID PENDLETON OAKERHATER, CHEYENNE WARRIOR, CHIEF, HOLY MAN, AND EPISCOPAL DEACON AND MISSIONARY IN OKLAHOMA

THE FEAST OF SAINT FIACRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMIT

THE FEAST OF FRANÇOIS MAURIAC, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC NOVELIST, CHRISTIAN HUMANIST, AND SOCIAL CRITIC

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

thank you for those (especially Peter Lutkin)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

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

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

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

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

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Feast of Josef Rheinberger (March 17)   1 comment

Above:  Josef Rheinberger

Image in the Public Domain

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JOSEF GABRIEL RHEINBERGER (MARCH 17, 1839-NOVEMBER 25, 1901)

Germanic Roman Catholic Composer

Josef Rheinberger comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via his sacred music.

Rheinberger, born in Liechtenstein on March 17, 1839, was a musical prodigy.  He worked as the parish organist in Vaduz when seven years old.  A year later, our saint became a composer.  Rheinberger’s father, the treasurer for Prince Aloys III of Liechtenstein (r. 1836-1858), nurtured this talent.  Yet the father remained reluctant until 1851 to permit his son to become a professional musician.  Rheinberger began to study at the conservatory in Munich.

Upon graduating, Rheinberger joined the piano and composition faculty at the conservatory in Munch.  After the dissolution of that institution, our saint became a vocal coach and an accompanist at the Court Theater.  He resigned in 1867, and married a former pupil, the poet and socialite Franziska “Fanny” von Hoffnaass.  She became one of her husband’s librettists.  Rheinberger, appointed the court conductor in Munich in 1877, eventually joined the faculty of the second Munich conservatory, while retaining duties as court conductor.  Horatio William Parker (1863-1919) was one of Rheinberger’s students at the conservatory from 1882 to 1885.  Franciska died after a long illness on December 31, 1892.  Our saint’s failing health forced his resignation as court conductor two years later.

Rheinberger composed many works.  These included twelve Masses, a Requiem, a Stabat Mater, two concerti, twenty sonatas, and thirty-six solo pieces for the organ, plus choral works, symphonies, operas, and chamber music.

One can easily listen to many of our saint’s compositions on YouTube.

Rheinberger, aged 62 years, died in Munich, German Empire, on November 25, 1901.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 31, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICODEMUS, DISCIPLE OF JESUS

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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 Josef Rheinberger

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 Julius Ewald Kockritz (March 29)   1 comment

Above:  The Logo of the Evangelical Synod of North America

Image Source = The Yearbook and Almanac of the Evangelical and Reformed Church 1938 (1939), 2

Available at archive.org

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JULIUS EWALD KOCKRITZ (JANUARY 3, 1876-MARCH 28, 1931)

German Evangelical Minister, Hymn Writer, and Christian Educator

Also known as Ewald Kockritz

Julius Ewald Kockritz comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Hymnal (1941), of the old Evangelical and Reformed Church.

In this context, “Evangelical” means Protestant–specifically, the union of the Prussian Lutheran and Reformed traditions.

Kockritz was a minister in the old Evangelical Synod of North America (ESNA), founded by Prussian immigrants to the United States.  The ESNA (1877-1934) had organizational roots dating to 1840.  The founders of the ESNA’s American predecessors, in the old country, had belonged to the Prussian Union of Churches (1817-2003), the result of the marriage of the Lutheran and Reformed churches that King Frederick William III (1770-1740; r. 1797-1840) had forced.  The heritage of the ESNA passed first to the old Evangelical and Reformed Church (a union with the old German Reformed Church in the United States) then to the United Church of Christ (a union with the old Congregational Christian Churches).

Kockritz, born in Napoleonville, Louisiana, on January 3, 1876, came from a large family.  He was one of ten children of Herman Kockritz and Emma (Winkler) Kockritz.  Our saint, who grew up in Henderson, Kentucky, went to work as the private secretary to John Young Brown (1835-1904), the Governor of Kentucky (1891-1895) in 1892.  Three years later, Kockritz left that position.  He worked for a grain company, as a newspaper reporter, and as a telegram operator for several years before deciding to become a minister in the ESNA.  He matriculated at Eden Theological Seminary in 1898.

Kockritz graduated in 1901 and embarked on his life’s work.  The newly ordained minister married Clare Elizabeth Hartmann (1879-1955) on November 6, 1901.  The couple had five children, three of whom survived our saint.  Kockritz’s first pastorate was in Clarington, Ohio (1901-1905).

Kockritz served at St. Luke’s Evangelical Church, Cincinnati, Ohio (1905-1910).  During this tenure, he began to edit Sunday School publications for the ESNA, a role he filled through 1915.

Kockritz served at Salem Evangelical Church (now United Church of Christ), New Orleans, Louisiana (1910-1917); then at Bethel Evangelical Church (now United Church of Christ), Evansville, Indiana (1917-1931).  Denominational roles during these years included:

  1. service on the Board of Religious Education (1913-1929), with a tenure as the Chairman;
  2. service on the War Welfare Commission (1917-1918);
  3. service translating the ESNA constitution into English;
  4. service writing a brief history of the ESNA;
  5. service as the ESNA Moderator (1929); and
  6. service as the ESNA General Secretary (1930-1931).

In Evansville our saint found time to serve on the local Interracial Commission and on the Board of Trustees of the Protestant Deaconess Hospital.

Kockritz wrote three hymns included in The Evangelical Hymnal (1917):

  1. In Thy Service, Lord of Mercy;
  2. Lord, I Would Praise Thee; and
  3. As Fades the Daylight Splendor.

Kockritz, aged 55 years, died in Evansville, Indiana, on March 28, 1931.  One of his hymns summarized our saint’s life:

In Thy service, Lord of mercy,

We would find our chief delight;

Show us then some place to labor

In Thy kingdom, Lord of light.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 30, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JEANNE JUGAN, FOUNDER OF THE LITTLE SISTERS OF THE POOR

THE FEAST OF CARLTON C. BUCK, U.S. DISCIPLES OF CHRIST MINISTER, MUSICIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF EDMOND L. BUDRY, SWISS REFORMED MINISTER, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF GERALD KENNEDY, U.S. METHODIST BISHOP AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN LEARY, U.S. ROMAN CATHOLIC SOCIAL ACTIVIST AND ADVOCATE FOR THE POOR AND MARGINALIZED

THE FEAST OF KARL OTTO EBERHARDT, GERMAN MORAVIAN ORGANIST, MUSIC EDUCATOR, AND COMPOSER

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Julius Ewald Kockritz and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Feast of Rudolph A. John (March 26)   1 comment

Above:  Rudolph A. John

Image Source = Yearbook and Almanac of the Evangelical and Reformed Church 1939 (1938), 42

Available at archive.org

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RUDOLPH A. JOHN (JR.) (MARCH 26, 1859-JULY 17, 1938)

German Evangelical Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator

Rudolph A. John comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Hymnal (1941), of the old Evangelical and Reformed Church.

Our saint grew up in the old Evangelical Synod of North America (ESNA).  In this context, “Evangelical” meant “Protestant”–Lutheran-Reformed, specifically.  Prussian immigrants–members of the merged Lutheran-Reformed church there–created a counterpart in the United States of America.  Our saint’s father was the Reverend Rudolph A. John (Sr.), who served at St. Peter’s Evangelical Church, Washington, Missouri.  Later, John (Sr.) taught at Eden Theological Seminary.  Our saint, born at Washington, Missouri, on March 26, 1859, was also a son of Christine (Kopf) John.  Our saint had a brother, Samuel A. John, who grew up to become a prominent minister and an expert in Sunday School work in the ESNA.

John (Jr.) joined the ranks of ESNA ministers, too.  He studied at Washington University then at Eden Theological Seminary.  Our saint, ordained on June 26, 1878, embarked on his life’s work, first at a cluster of mission churches in southern Illinois.  Next, he served at Immanuel Evangelical Church (now United Church of Christ), Sedalia, Missouri.  During this time, John was the Secretary of the ESNA’s West Missouri District.  A tenure at St. John’s Evangelical Church (now United Church of Christ), Richmond, Virginia (-1886) followed.  Prior to 1886, our saint edited Christliche Kinderzeitung, a Sunday School paper for intermediates and youth.  He also married Emilie (W.) John and started a family.  The couple had a daughter (who survived our saint) and a son (who predeceased our saint).

John spent four decades at St. Paul’s Evangelical Church (now United Church of Christ), Chicago, Illinois, starting in 1886.  After retiring, he held the title Pastor Emeritus.  Our saint, during his time in Chicago, served a term as the President of the ESNA’s North Illinois District.  He also founded St. Paul’s Church Home, for elderly people.  In retirement, John served as its superintendent.

John found time to compose poems, write hymns, and translate other hymns from German.  He wrote hymns in both English and German.  The Hymnal (1941), of the old Evangelical and Reformed Church, a successor to the ESNA, included three of our saint’s translations:

  1. I Will Sing the Praise of Love Unbounded,
  2. I Will Ever Sing Thy Praises, and
  3. Take Thou My Hand and Lead Me.

John, aged 79 years, died in Richmond, Virginia, on July 17, 1938.  Survivors included his widow and daughter.

The final verse of our saint’s translation (1912) of a hymn (form 1757) by Gerhard Tersteegen constitues a fitting epitaph for John:

While life shall last, I’ll sing the glory

Of Christ the Saviour and His love;

With angel hosts I’ll tell the story

Of Christ, in Zion’s home above;

God’s love is mine, death cannot sever

Me from that heart that loves forever.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 28, 2022 COMMON ERA

PROPER 17:   THE TWELFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT AMBROSE OF MILAN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP; SAINT MONICA OF HIPPO, MOTHER OF SAINT AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO; AND SAINT AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF HIPPO REGIUS

THE FEAST OF DENIS WORTMAN, U.S. DUTCH REFORMED MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF GEORGE THOMAS COSTER, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, HYMN WRITER, AND HUMANITARIAN

THE FEAST OF LAURA S. COPENHAVER, U.S. LUTHERAN HYMN WRITER AND MISSIONARY LEADER

THE FEAST OF SAINT MOSES THE BLACK, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, AND MARTYR

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Rudolph A. John and others, who have composed and translated hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Feast of William Henry Sheppard, Lucy Gantt Sheppard, and Samuel Lapsley (March 8)   1 comment

Above:  The Flag of the Congo Free State and Belgian Congo

Image in the Public Domain

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WILLIAM HENRY SHEPPARD, JR. (MARCH 8, 1865-NOVEMBER 25, 1927)

LUCY GANTT SHEPPARD (1867-MAY 27, 1955)

SAMUEL N. LAPSLEY (APRIL 14, 1866-MARCH 26, 1892)

Southern Presbyterian Missionaries to the Congo

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INTRODUCTION

When one surveys the names of presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), one notices that most names are geographical or historical-cultural.  In Georgia, where I live, for example, the PC(USA) has five presbyteries.  The Flint River Presbytery–named for the Flint River–is in the southwestern part of the state.  The Savannah Presbytery is to the east of the Flint River Presbytery.  The Presbytery of Greater Atlanta requires no explanation for its name.  Northwest of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta sits the Cherokee Presbytery, named after the tribe that used to live there.  The Northeast Georgia Presbytery is the other presbytery in the state.

Next door, in Alabama, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has three presbyteries–South Alabama, the Sheppards and Lapsley, and North Alabama.

The Presbytery of the Sheppards and Lapsley?  Why not?  I will explain in this post.

I have already added two other missionaries to the Congo to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy DaysLouise Cecilia Fleming (1862-1899) was a medical missionary.  Althea Brown Edmiston (1875-1937) served with the Sheppards.

BEGINNINGS

William Henry Sheppard, Jr., entered the world at Waynesboro, Virginia, on March 8, 1865.  His father, William Henry Sheppard, Sr., was a barber.  Our saint’s mother, Fannie Francis Martin Sheppard, was a maid and a free person of color.  Young William attended local schools worked as a stable hand for a white family.  Eventually, he moved to Staunton, Virginia, where he lived with his aunt and worked for a white dentist, S. Homer Henkel.

William matriculated at the Hampton Normal and Industrial School (now Hampton University), Hampton, Virginia, in 1880.  There he studied under Booker T. Washington and, with the help of chaplain Hollis B. Frissel, founded a mission in the poor African-American community in nearby Slabtown.

Our saint, having graduated from Hampton in 1883, matriculated at the Tuscaloosa Theological Institute (now Stillman College), Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  There he met Lucy Gantt, a student at Talladega College.  The couple became engaged to marry in 1886, the year Lucy graduated.  William (Class of 1884) worked in a church in Montgomery through 1887.

The engagement was long.  In the meantime, the old (Southern) Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS) ordained William in 1887.  He spent two years as pastor of Zion Presbyterian Church, Atlanta.  His dream, however, was to serve as a missionary in Africa.  The PCUS policy regarding African-American missionaries required sending a white missionary as a supervisor.

The corresponding white missionary was Samuel N. Lapsley, commissioned with William in 1889.  While the two missionaries departed for the Congo Free State, Lucy taught school.  She also sang with the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee.

Lapsley entered the world at Selma, Alabama, on April 14, 1866.  He grew up in the First Presbyterian Church in that city; Lapsley, Sr., was a judge in Selma, as well as an elder in First Presbyterian Church, and eventually the Moderator of the PCUS General Assembly.  Lapsley, Sr., had built a church for African Americans in Vine Hill.  Samuel served as the Sunday School superintendent of that African-American congregation.  He also played the piano and organ there.  Samuel, a graduate of The University of Alabama, turned down a promising academic career to become a minister.  While a student at McCormick Theological Seminary, he applied for the new PCUS mission field in the Congo, opened in 1889.  The field was open, but the laborers were few.

IN THE CONGO

Above:  Congo Free State

Image in the Public Domain

Sheppard and Lapsley arrived in the Congo on May 10, 1890.  They arrived at their chosen site–Luebo–on April 22.  The American Presbyterian Congo Mission had begun.  Lapsley handled financial and diplomatic matters.  Sheppard learned local languages, preached, hunted for food, and negotiated with local leaders.  Lapsley, only 25 years old, died of fever in Leopoldville on March 26, 1892.

The First Presbyterian Church of Selma raised funds for the S. N. Lapsley, a steamer, completed at Richmond, Virginia, in June 1900.  This vessel arrived at the American Presbyterian Congo Mission in July 1901.  Unfortunately, it sank on November 16, 1903.  However, the second S. N. Lapsley, also a steamer, built in Scotland and dedicated on December 15, 1906, served the mission for a quarter of a century.

William, on furlough in the United States in 1893, married Lucy, then teaching in Birmingham, Alabama.  Lucy joined her husband as a missionary in the Congo; they served until 1910.  Lucy opened the first school in the Presbyterian mission at Ibanche and founded the mission’s first women’s society.  She also proved invaluable in the publication of a hymnal, the first book printed in the Tshiluba dialect.  Furthermore, Lucy directed the mission’s choir.

During a period when Lucy had returned to the United States, William began a series of extramarital affairs.  This matter returned to haunt him after he completed his missionary service.

Above:  The Congo Free State, 1905

Image in the Public Domain

William courageously helped to expose the brutality of the Congo Free State, the private colony of King Leopold II of Belgium.  The penalty for a man who failed to meet his quota in rubber sap collection was the severing of his right hand.  Official discouragement of agriculture led to mass starvation.  William, accepting the suggestion of fellow missionary William Morrison that he investigate one incident, photographed partially dismembered bodies, 81 severed hands, and human flesh cooking over a fire while a raider from the Zappo-Zaps boasted.  (That tribe committed atrocities on behalf of rubber companies.)  William’s article, with photographs, appeared in Morrison’s missionary newspaper, the Kasai Herald, in January 1908.  The Kasai Rubber Company sued the two missionaries for libel.  With charges against Morrison dropped, William went on trial.  Equipped with witnesses and the support of the William Howard Taft Administration, our saint won.  The Belgian parliament took control of the Congo.

William also explored the terrain in the Congo.  His adventures earned him the nickname “the Black Livingstone.”

BACK IN THE UNITED STATES

William, suffering from Malaria, returned to the United States in 1910.  The PCUS, citing affairs, suspended him for fifteen months and revoked his missionary appointment.  William founded Grace Presbyterian Church, Louisville, Kentucky, in 1912.  He served as its pastor until 1927.

The Sheppards also collected African art; they were some of the first African Americans to do so.  Their collection has become the property of the Hampton University Museum.

Willam Henry Sheppard, Jr., aged 62 years, died in Louisville, Kentucky, on November 25, 1927.

Lucy Gantt Sheppard, aged 88 years, died in Louisville on May 27, 1955, after a long illness.  Survivors included two children, Wilhemina Sheppard Brown and Max Sheppard.

William’s epitaph is,

He lived for others.

That epitaph also applies to Samuel N. Lapsley and to Lucy.

CONCLUSION

The Presbytery of the Sheppards and Lapsley bears a good and an honorable name.    This name indicates lives devoted to the service of Christ–specifically, to people, for the glory of God.  That is a standard worth emulating.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 27, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THOMAS GALLAUDET AND HENRY WINTER SYLE, EPISCOPAL PRIESTS AND EDUCATORS OF THE DEAF

THE FEAST OF SAINT AMADEUS OF CLERMONT, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK; AND HIS SON, SAINT AMADEUS OF LAUSANNE, FRENCH-SWISS ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT DOMINIC BARBERI, ROMAN CATHOLIC APOSTLE TO ENGLAND

THE FEAST OF HENRIETTE LUISE VON HAYN, GERMAN MORAVIAN HYMN WRITER

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servants

William Henry Sheppard, Jr.;

Lucy Gantt Sheppard; and

Samuel N. Lapsley;

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of the Congo.

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 forever.  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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