Archive for the ‘Saints of 1910-1919’ Category

Feast of Lucy Menzies (November 24)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of Scotland

Image in the Public Domain

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LUCY MENZIES (1882-1954)

Scottish Presbyterian then Anglican Scholar and Mystic

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All mystics from whatever century or country have a conviction of the supreme value of their inner experience of God.  Vision and love are one act in which all blessedness is found.  They find all natural lovely things moving towards the expression of the inexpressible.

–Lucy Menzies, in the introduction to The Revelations or The Flowing Light of the Godhead (1953)

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Lucy Menzies comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Scottish Episcopal Church.  Her feast day in that denomination is November 24.

Lucy Menzies was a daughter of Allan Menzies (1845-1916) and Mary Elizabeth Honey Menzies (d. 1916), both Presbyterians.  Allan, a minister, translated philosophical and theological books from German.  He married Mary Elizabeth, a minister’s daughter, in 1878.  Iona, the Holy Isle, was one of the Menzies family’s favorite vacation spots.  Allan, from 1889 the Professor of Biblical Criticism at St Andrews University, sent his daughters, May and Lucy, to finishing school in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1897.

Lucy became a scholar, predictably.  She made her publishing debut with General Foch at the Marne (1918), translated from French.  Subsequent original works included St. Columba of Iona (1920), A Book of Saints for the Young (1923), The Saints of Italy (1924), and Mirrors of the Holy (1928).  A translation of Abbé de Turville’s Letters of Direction on the Spiritual Life followed in 1939.  Lucy, a longtime friend of Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), had a hand in The Letters of Evelyn Underhill (1943), edited by Charles Williams (1886-1945).  Lucy’s last completed work was The Revelations or The Flowing Light of the Godhead, Translated from the Manuscript in the Library of the Monastery of Einsiedeln (1953).  This was a translation of writings of Mechthild of Magdeburg (1210?-1282/1285).

Lucy, confirmed into The Church of England in 1924, grew deeper in her faith by the help of Underhill, her de facto spiritual director.  Both women conducted spiritual retreats together, starting in the late 1920s.  Lucy served as the warden of the retreat house at Pleshey, Essex (1928-1938).  By 1938, our saint’s health and eyesight were failing, so she left Pleshey.

Above:  All Saints’ Church, St Andrews, Scotland

Image Source = Google Earth

Lucy returned to St Andrews and lived across from All Saints’ Church, where she worshiped.  She, awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by the University of St Andrews in June 1954, died later that year, before completing her biography of Underhill.

Lucy Menzies loved God with all her heart, soul, and mind.  She devoted her intellect to the glorification of God.  And our saint grew into a mystical expression of Christian faith generally alien to the Reformed tradition and much more at home within Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 27, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GEORGE WASHINGTON DOANE, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF NEW JERSEY; AND HIS SON, WILLIAM CROSWELL DOANE, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF ALBANY; HYMN WRITERS

THE FEAST OF SAINTS ANTONY AND THEODOSIUS OF KIEV, FOUNDERS OF RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MONASTICISM; SAINT BARLAAM OF KIEV, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX ABBOT; AND SAINT STEPHEN OF KIEV, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX ABBOT AND BISHOP

THE FEAST OF CHRISTINA ROSSETTI, ANGLICAN POET AND RELIGIOUS WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS REMACLUS OF MAASTRICHT, THEODORE OF MAASTRICT, LAMBERT OF MAASTRICHT, HUBERT OF MAASTRICHT AND LIEGE, AND FLORIBERT OF LIEGE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT LANDRADA OF MUNSTERBILSEN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBESS; AND SAINTS OTGER OF UTRECHT, PLECHELM OF GUELDERLAND, AND WIRO, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARIES

THE FEAST OF SAINT ZITA OF TUSCANY, WORKER OF CHARITY

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O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Lucy Menzies and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

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

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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Feast of Blessed Enrichetta Alfieri (November 23)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Enrichetta Alfieri

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED ENRICHETTA ALFIERI (FEBRUARY 23, 1891-NOVEMBER 23, 1951)

Italian Roman Catholic Nun and “Angel of San Vittore”

Born Maria Angela Domenica Alfieri

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

Maria Angela Domenica Alfieri came from an Italian family with four children.  Our saint, born in Borgo Vercelli, Italy, on February 23, 1891, grew up on a farm.  She knew as a child, though, that she had a vocation to religious life.  Alfieri’s parents delayed the commencement of this vocation until she was 20 years old.

Alfieri joined the Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne-Antide Thouret on December 20, 1911.  She eventually became a kindergarten teacher.  In 1917, however, the diagnosis of Pott’s Disease ended our saint’s teaching job.  The disease of the spine caused her saint pain and frequently immobilized her.  Alfieri’s superiors sent her on a pilgrimage to Lourdes in May 1922, but she left the grotto there not healed.  Officially and medically deemed incurable in February 1923, our saint recovered on February 25, 1923.  She reported hearing a voice say,

Get up.

Alfieri got up.  And she got back to work.  In late May 1923, Alfieri began her ministry at the prison of San Vittore.  This work continued for decades.  She became known as the “Mother of San Vittore” and the “Angel of San Vittori.”

During the Nazi occupation of Italy, the prison population changed to priests, nuns, Jews, and resistance fighters.  Our saint and other nuns, active in the resistance, became targets of the Nazis.  Alfieri, arrested and charged with espionage on September 23, 1944, spent 11 days in detention before Cardinal Archbishop of Milan Alfredo Ildefenso Schuster could arrange for her to transfer to Brescia.  The Cardinal also wrote his old ally, Benito Mussolini, and requested a pardon for the nun.

Aside:  Schuster is Blessed Alfredo Ildefenso Schuster, on the Roman Catholic calendar.  I have no intention of adding him to this Ecumenical Calendar because of his overt fascism.  I know better than to expect perfection from human beings, but support for fascism–in this case, the Italian Fascist Party–gives me pause.  The prominence of Schuster’s fascist sympathies and his avid support for the Italian invasion of Ethiopia raise red flags in my mind.  

Alfieri returned to San Vittore prison in an official capacity in May 1945.  The new inmates were prisoners of war and former Axis jailers.  She continued to minister to inmates at San Vittore for most of her life.  Our saint fractured a femur.  She also developed a heart condition and came down with a liver problem.  She, aged 60 years, died on November 23, 1951.  Inmates paid their respects.

Pope Benedict XVI declared Alfieri a Venerable then beatified her in 2009.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 27, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GEORGE WASHINGTON DOANE, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF NEW JERSEY; AND HIS SON, WILLIAM CROSWELL DOANE, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF ALBANY; HYMN WRITERS

THE FEAST OF SAINTS ANTONY AND THEODOSIUS OF KIEV, FOUNDERS OF RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MONASTICISM; SAINT BARLAAM OF KIEV, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX ABBOT; AND SAINT STEPHEN OF KIEV, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX ABBOT AND BISHOP

THE FEAST OF CHRISTINA ROSSETTI, ANGLICAN POET AND RELIGIOUS WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS REMACLUS OF MAASTRICHT, THEODORE OF MAASTRICT, LAMBERT OF MAASTRICHT, HUBERT OF MAASTRICHT AND LIEGE, AND FLORIBERT OF LIEGE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT LANDRADA OF MUNSTERBILSEN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBESS; AND SAINTS OTGER OF UTRECHT, PLECHELM OF GUELDERLAND, AND WIRO, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARIES

THE FEAST OF SAINT ZITA OF TUSCANY, WORKER OF CHARITY

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O God, you have brought us near to an innumerable company of angels,

and to the spirits of just men made perfect:

Grant us during our earthly pilgrimage to abide in their fellowship,

and in our heavenly country to become partakers of their joy;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Wisdom 3:1-9

Psalm 34 or 34:15-22

Philippians 4:4-9

Luke 6:17-23

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 725

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Feast of Arthur Henry Mann (November 17)   Leave a comment

Above:  Arthur Henry Mann

Image in the Public Domain

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ARTHUR HENRY MANN (MAY 16, 1850-NOVEMBER 19, 1929)

Anglican Organist and Hymn Tune Composer

Arthur Henry Mann comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Methodist Hymnal (1966).  This post relies primarily on various hymnal companion volumes.

Mann, born in Norwich, England, on May 16, 1850, became a superb musician.  He, a boy chorister and an organist at the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, Norwich, was a prodigy.  Our saint, when eight years old, could play the full cathedral service on the organ.  After Mann’s voice changed, he ceased to be a chorister.  He remained an organist, though.  The graduate of New College, Oxford (B.Mus., 1874; D.Mus., 1882) served as organist at the following:

  1. St. Peter’s Church, Wolverhampton (1870-1871);
  2. St. Michael and All Angels’ Church, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton (1871-1875);
  3. Beverley Minster, Beverley (1875-1876);
  4. King’s College, Cambridge (1876-1910); and
  5. Cambridge University (1897f).

Mann, a choir director, as well as the music master of Ley’s School, Cambridge University, applied his musical talents in other ways, too.  Our saint, from 1871 a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, was the music editor of The Church of England Hymnal (1895).  Mann, a musicologist, collected early hymnals and was an expert on the music of George Frederick Handel (1685-1759).  Our saint put Handel’s manuscripts in order.  Mann also edited an edition of Spem in Alium, by Thomas Tallis (1505-1585).

Mann was also a composer.  He wrote music for voice and organ.  His most enduring compositions were probably hymn tunes, though.  These included the following:

  1. ANGEL’S STORY (frequently attached to “O Jesus, I Have Promised”),
  2. ARISTIDES,
  3. BENEDICTION,
  4. BERNO,
  5. CLAUDIUS,
  6. SILESIUS,
  7. THE NEW YEAR,
  8. VALOUR,
  9. WATERMOUTH, and
  10. WILTON.

Mann, aged 79 years, died in Cambridge, England, on November 19, 1929.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 26, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM COWPER, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ADELARD OF CORBIE, FRANKISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND ABBOT; AND HIS PROTÉGÉ, SAINT PASCHASIUS RADBERTUS, FRANKISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, AND THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF ROBERT HUNT, FIRST ANGLICAN CHAPLAIN AT JAMESTOWN, VIRGINIA

THE FEAST OF RUTH BYLLESBY, EPISCOPAL DEACONESS IN GEORGIA

THE FEAST OF SAINT STANISLAW KUBISTA, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1940; AND SAINT WLADYSLAW GORAL, POLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP AND MARTYR, 1945

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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 Arthur Henry Mann and all those

who with music have inspired 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 St. Guido Maria Conforti (November 5)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Guido Maria Conforti

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT GUIDO MARIA CONFORTI (MARCH 30, 1865-NOVEMBER 5, 1931)

Founder of the Xavierian Missionaries

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

Conforti, born in Casalora di Ravadese, Parma, Italy, on March 30, 1865, came from a large and devout Roman Catholic family.  Rinaldo Conforti and Antonia Adorni Conforti had ten children; our saint was the eighth.  Conforti, as a Catholic elementary school boy, visited the parish church nearly every day, to converse with the crucified Jesus.  Our saint perceived his vocation, which entailed leaving the farm, against his father’s wishes.

Conforti matriculated at the seminary in Parma in November 1876.  Reading the works of St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552) inspired our saint to want to serve as a missionary.  Our saint applied unsuccessfully to join the Society of Jesus and the Society of Saint Francis de Sales.  The rector of the seminary was Blessed Andrea Carlo Ferrari (1850-1921), Conforti’s mentor.  Ferrari went on to serve as the Bishop of Guastilla (1890-1891), the Bishop of Como (1891-1894), and the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan (1894-1921).  Conforti, the Vice-Rector of the seminary under Ferrari, joined the ranks of priests on September 22, 1888, at Fontanellato.  He also taught at the seminary and, starting on March 7, 1896, served as the Vicar-General of the Diocese of Parma.

Conforti founded the Xavierian Missionaries on December 3, 1895.  Pope Leo XIII granted his approval in 1898.  The first Xavierian Missionaries arrived in China the following year.  Our saint served as the Archbishop of Ravenna from June 11, 1902, to November 1904.  After resigning from that post due to ill health, he became the Bishop Coadjutor of Parma and the Titular Archbishop of Stauropolis (1904-1907) then the Bishop of Parma (1907-1931).  He tended to his episcopal duties faithfully and traveled to China in 1928.  Our saint also influenced Maximum Illud (1919), Pope Benedict XV’s signal Apostolic Letter on foreign missions.

Conforti died in Parma on November 5, 1931.  He was 66 years old.

Holy Mother Church has formally recognized this saint.  Pope John Paul II declared Conforti a Venerable in 1992 the beatified him in 1996.  Pope Benedict XVI canonized our saint in 2011.

The Xavierian Missionaries continue their good work.  The website of the Xavierian Missionaries U.S.A. proclaims:

SHARING CHRIST ACROSS FAITHS AND CULTURES.

That ethos is consistent with the approach Conforti and Pope Benedict XV shared.  The Holy Father properly objected to mixing nationalism and Western ethnocentrism into missionary work, especially outside of the Western world.  He encouraged raising up local, indigenous people into leadership because the perception that Christianity and the Church were foreign and alien worked against successful evangelism.  The approach of Conforti and Pope Benedict XV was revolutionary at the time.  However, as time passed, it became mainstream.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 24, 2021 COMMON ERA

GENOCIDE REMEMBRANCE

THE FEAST OF SAINT EGBERT OF LINDISFARNE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK; AND SAINT ADALBERT OF EGMONT, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF SAINT FIDELIS OF SIGMARINGEN, CAPUCHIN FRIAR AND MARTYR, 1622

THE FEAST OF JOHANN WALTER, “FIRST CANTOR OF THE LUTHERAN CHURCH”

THE FEAST OF SAINT MELLITUS, BISHOP OF LONDON, AND ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

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

to call the Church to its tasks and renew its life

[such as your servant Saint Guido Maria Conforti].

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

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

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

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

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Feast of Eugene Carson Blake (November 5)   Leave a comment

Above:  My Copies of the Presbyterian Books of Confessions, from 1967, 1985, and 2007

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

The Book of Confessions (1967), of The United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.

The Book of Confessions (1985, 2007), of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

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EUGENE CARSON BLAKE (NOVEMBER 7, 1906-JULY 31, 1985)

U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Ecumenist, and Moral Critic

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Boasting about our heritage of freedom, we allied ourselves with some of the worst dictators all over the world, as long as they were, in our judgment, anti-communist.  We have justified all sorts of immoral political acts either because we thought they would weaken communism or (even a more immoral excuse) that since the communists were doing them, so must we….These, and other such actions, have been occasioned far more by fear of communism than by concern for justice.

–Eugene Carson Blake, quoted in G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006), 554

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Eugene Carson Blake comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via Cady and Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).

Blake came from Midwestern Presbyterian stock.  He, born in St. Louis, Missouri, on November 7, 1906, was a son of Lulu Blake and Orville Prescott Blake.  Our saint graduated from Princeton University with a degree in philosophy in 1928.  Then he taught the Bible, English, and philosophy at Forman Christian College, Lahore (then in India; now in Pakistan), for a year (1928-1929).  Next, Blake studied theology at New College, Edinburgh (1929-1930).  He matriculated at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1930 and graduated two years later.

Our saint, ordained in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (PCUSA) in 1932, embarked upon his ministerial career.  He was, in order:

  1. the assistant pastor (1932) then the senior pastor (1932-1935) of the Collegiate Church of St. Nicholas (Reformed Church in America), New York, New York;
  2. the senior pastor of the First Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), Albany, New York (1935-1940); and
  3. the senior pastor of the Pasadena Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), Pasadena, California (1940-1951).

Blake left parish ministry in 1951.  He served as the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (1951-1958).  As such, he helped to execute the merger of the PCUSA with The United Presbyterian Church of North America (UPCNA) to form The United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (UPCUSA) in 1958.  Then he served as the President of the Stated Clerk of the UPCUSA (1958-1966).

Above:  The Logo of the UPCUSA

Scanned by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

On the ecumenical front, Blake also served as the President of the National Council of Churches (1954-1957) then as the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (1966-1972).

Blake’s ecumenism led to the founding of the Consultation on Church Union (1962-2002), the predecessor of Churches Uniting in Christ (2002-).  In 1960, at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, San Francisco, California, he preached a famous sermon.  Our saint advocated for the merger of The UPCUSA (1958-1983), The Methodist Church (1939-1968), The Episcopal Church (1789-), and the United Church of Christ (1957-) into one denomination truly both Catholic and Reformed.

The Consultation on Church Union included ten denominations in 1967:

  1. the African Methodist Episcopal Church,
  2. the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church,
  3. the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ),
  4. the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church,
  5. The Episcopal Church,
  6. the Evangelical United Brethren Church (merged into The United Methodist Church, 1968),
  7. The Methodist Church (merged into The United Methodist Church, 1968),
  8. the Presbyterian Church in the United States (merged into the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 1983),
  9. the United Church of Christ, and
  10. The United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (merged into the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 1983).

The successor organization, Churches Uniting in Christ, consciously confronts racism.  The members are:

  1. the African Methodist Episcopal Church,
  2. the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church,
  3. the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ),
  4. the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church,
  5. The Episcopal Church,
  6. the International Council of Community Churches,
  7. the Moravian Church in America,
  8. the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.),
  9. the United Church of Christ, and
  10. The United Methodist Church.

That anti-racism is consistent with our saint’s legacy.

Blake was active in the Civil Rights Movement.  On July 4, 1963, he went to jail for trying to integrate the Gwynn Oak Amusement Park, Baltimore, Maryland.  The following month, he was prominent at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which he had helped to organize.  Our saint was one of speakers at that great event.  And, at the World Council of Churches (1966-1972), Blake led a global anti-racism program.

Blake’s opposition to the Vietnam War earned the ire of two Presidents of the United States of America.  He became persona non grata with Lyndon Baines Johnson (in office 1963-1969).  Richard Nixon (in office 1969-1974) had a list of 576 enemies, subject to official harassment, such as tax audits and F.B.I. investigations.  “Enemies” included actor Paul Newman (1925-2008), journalists Daniel Schorr (1916-2010) and Mary McGrory (1918-2019), and U.S. Representatives John Conyers (1929-2019) and Ron Dellums (1935-2018).  That list also included Blake.  Newman described being on Nixon’s enemies list as a great honor.  Schorr, whom the F.B.I. investigated, spoke to Nixon at a social occasion years after Nixon left office.  The journalist referred to that investigation.  The former President, apparently not apologetic and repentant, replied:

I damn near hired you once.

Blake was in very good company on Nixon’s list of enemies.

Blake also helped to make the United Presbyterian Book of Confessions and Confession of 1967 possible.  The first edition of The Book of Confessions debuted in 1967.  The emphasis on reconciliation in Christ in the Confession of 1967 was consistent with our saint’s work.

In Jesus Christ God was reconciling the world to himself.  He is the eternal Son of the Father, who became man and lived among us to fulfill the work of reconciliation.  He is present in the church by the power of the Holy Spirit to continue and complete his mission.  This work of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is the foundation of all confessional statements about God, man, and the world.  Therefore the church calls men to be reconciled to God and to one another.

–From the Confession of 1967, quoted in The Book of Confessions (1967), 9.07

In retirement, Blake worked for Bread for the World.  Feeding starving people was consistent with decreasing poverty, another social justice issue and long-time cause of our saint.  He had worked on economic and social development at the World Council of Churches, too.

Blake, aged 78 yeas, died in Stamford, Connecticut, on July 31, 1985.  By then The United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. and the Presbyterian Church in the United States had merged to form the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), in 1983.

Blake got more right than wrong–a daunting task and a great accomplishment.

I am an ecumenist.  Denominational structures exist because of human nature.  We in the Universal Church should, of course, strive to reduce the number of denominations via well-reasoned and feasible mergers.  And, when organic union is not feasible, perhaps cooperation is.  So be it.

I am also an Episcopalian.  I have definite Roman Catholic tendencies.  What passes for corporate worship in most of Protestantism leaves me uninspired.  I want to ask:

Do you call this a proper liturgy?

My denominational Plan B is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), in full communion with The Episcopal Church.  This is a good fit, given the historical relations between Anglicanism and Lutheranism.

Blake’s proposed United Presbyterian Church-United Church of Christ-Methodist Church-Episcopal Church union was not feasible.  For example, in 1993, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) published its most recent Book of Common Worship.  It was a vast improvement over The Worshipbook–Services (1970), incorporated into The Worshipbook–Services and Hymns (1972).  Many Presbyterians objected to the new Book of Common Worship.  It was too Episcopalian, they said.

A denomination has a character.  Some denominations are better fits with other denominations than with others.

Blake issued his proposal at a different time.  Most Christian denominations in the United States of America were growing in membership, for example.  Also, The Episcopal Church had yet to bear the full fruits of liturgical renewal in 1960.  Nevertheless, his vision for a more united institutional church has become more relevant when, in the United States of America and the rest of the Western world, “none” has become the fastest-growing religious affiliation.

Sadly, Blake’s foci on reducing poverty and racism are more germane than ever.  Related to them is another one of his favorite themes.  We need reconciliation with each other and God more than ever.  Reconciliation is difficult to achieve when mutually hostile camps cannot even agree on what constitutes objective reality.

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Loving and righteous God, who transcends all religious denominations,

we thank you for the faithful ministry, social witness, and legacy of your servant, Eugene Carson Blake.

May we also seek to bring the world closer to the high calling of the fully-realized Kingdom of God,

and embrace our brother and sister Christians in other denominations;

for your glory and for the common good.

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

Leviticus 19:9-18

Psalm 133

1 Corinthians 1:10-17

John 17:20-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 24, 2021 COMMON ERA

GENOCIDE REMEMBRANCE

THE FEAST OF SAINT EGBERT OF LINDISFARNE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK; AND SAINT ADALBERT OF EGMONT, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF SAINT FIDELIS OF SIGMARINGEN, CAPUCHIN FRIAR AND MARTYR, 1622

THE FEAST OF JOHANN WALTER, “FIRST CANTOR OF THE LUTHERAN CHURCH”

THE FEAST OF SAINT MELLITUS, BISHOP OF LONDON, AND ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

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Feast of St. Ivan Kochurov (October 31)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Ivan Kochurov, 1900

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT IVAN ALEXANDROVICH KOCHUROV

(JULY 17, 1871-OCTOBER 31, 1917, JULIAN CALENDAR)

(JULY 29, 1871-NOVEMBER 13, 1917, GREGORIAN CALENDAR)

Russian Orthodox Priest and Martyr, 1917

Alternative feast day = Sunday Nearest to January 25 (Feast of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia)

St. Ivan Alexandreivich Kochurov comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Orthodox Church in America.

St. Ivan Alexandreivich Kochurov, son of a priest (Alexander Kochurov), became a priest, too.  Our saint, born in Bigil’dino Surky, Ryazan Governate, Russian Empire, on July 13, 1871, studied at the Ryazin Seminary then at the Saint Petersburg Theological Academy.  He, graduating in 1895, became a deacon and married Alexandra Chernyshova.  Then, on August 27, 1895, he joined the ranks of priests.

Kochurov, who wanted to serve as a missionary priest in the United States of America, got his wish.  In 1895, he became the first permanent priest of St. Vladimir’s Church, Chicago, Illinois, founded in 1892.  Our saint supervised the construction of the building, started in 1902 and consecrated the following year.  St. Tikhon of Moscow (1865-1925), then the Bishop of the Aleutians and North America, consecrated the new structure.  Kochurov, who founded and helped to found other Russian Orthodox congregations in the Chicago area, as well as New York and Oklahoma.

St. Vladimir’s Church has become Holy Trinity Cathedral, of the Orthodox Church in America.

Above:  The “Fond du Lac Circus,” 1900

Image in the Public Domain

Kochurov is standing, third from the right.

Sts. Ivan and Tikhon participated in an innocuous and ecumenical matter that became a scandal in Evangelical Episcopalian circles.  Charles Chapman Grafton (1830-1912), the Episcopal Bishop of Fond du Lac (1889-1912), was an Anglo-Catholic interested in Old Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.  He invited Bishops of the Polish National Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church to join with other Episcopal bishops in consecrating Reginald Heber Weller (1857-1935) as the Bishop Coadjutor of Fond du Lac.  (Weller served as the Bishop of Fond du Lac from 1912 to 1933.)  The site of so many bishops in copes and mitres prompted many Evangelical Episcopalians to clutch their pearls and scream “dirty sassafras,”, so to speak.

Kochurov remained in the United States of America until 1907.  He and St. Alexis Toth (1854-1909) worked together to found a mutual aid society for recent Russian immigrants.  Kochurov also translated Russian religious texts into English.  Our saint, promoted to Archpriest in 1906, helped to organize the first Russian Orthodox All-American Council, Mayfield, Pennsylvania (1907).

Above:  The Flag of the Russian Empire

Image in the Public Domain

The Kochurov family returned to the Russian Empire in 1907.  He taught the catechism in schools in Narva, Estonia, until 1916.  Then our saint, transferred to Tsarskoe Selo, outside St. Petersburg) in 1916, preached at St. Catherine’s Cathedral.

On October 31, 1917 (Old Style)/November 13, 1917 (New Style), Bolsheviks arrested Kochurov, 46 years old.  They took him outside of Tsarskoe Selo and shot him, making him the first Russian Orthodox martyr under the Bolshevik rule.  His “crime” was being a priest.

The Russian Orthodox Church glorified (canonized) Kochurov in 1994.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 24, 2021 COMMON ERA

GENOCIDE REMEMBRANCE

THE FEAST OF SAINT EGBERT OF LINDISFARNE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK; AND SAINT ADALBERT OF EGMONT, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF SAINT FIDELIS OF SIGMARINGEN, CAPUCHIN FRIAR AND MARTYR, 1622

THE FEAST OF JOHANN WALTER, “FIRST CANTOR OF THE LUTHERAN CHURCH”

THE FEAST OF SAINT MELLITUS, BISHOP OF LONDON, AND ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

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

in the heart of your holy martyr Saint Ivan Kochurov:

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 Eric Norelius (October 25)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Logo of the Augustana Synod

Image in the Public Domain

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ERIC NORELIUS (OCTOBER 26, 1833-MARCH 15, 1916)

Swedish-American Lutheran Minister

Eric Norelius 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).

Norelius grew up in The Church of Sweden.  He, born in Hassela, Sweden, on October 26, 1833, was steeped in Lutheranism.  When our saint arrived in New York Harbor on October 31, 1850, he found other Swedish immigrants, mostly Methodists.  When Norelius arrived in Chicago, Illinois, he found a Swedish Episcopalian congregation.  After graduating from Capital University, Columbus, Ohio (1855), Norelius began his Lutheran ministerial career.

In September 1855, Eric Norelius and Inga Peterson Norelius, newlyweds, arrived in Red Wing, Minnesota.  Our saint became the pastor of two churches, one in Red Wing and the other one in Vasa.  The Swedish Lutheran congregations were poor, so the Noreliuses had to leave, for financial reasons, in 1858.   Before they did, however, our saint had founded twelve congregations.

Norelius remained active in ecclesiastical affairs.  Our saint became a journalist.  He had founded a Swedish-language newspaper, the Minnesota Posten, in November 1857.  He assumed the editorship of the Hemlandet, a Swedish-language newspaper which absorbed the Minnesota Posten, in January 1859.  Norelius helped to found the Augustana Synod (originally for Norwegian and Swedish immigrants) in June 1860.  He served as a traveling missionary to Swedes living west of Minneapolis, starting in October 1860.

Norelius returned to the Red Wing-Vasa area, as pastor, in 1861.  He founded a school, the origin of Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota, in 1862.  Our saint also founded the Vasa Children’s Home in 1865.  This was the genesis of Lutheran Social Services  of Minnesota.

Norelius led above the parish level, too.  He served as the President of the Augustana Synod’s Minnesota Conference (1870f).  Then our saint was the President of the Augustana Synod (1874-1881, 1899-1911).  Norelius also wrote and edited.  His published works included The History of the Swedish Lutheran Congregations and the Swedish Americans (two volumes, 1890).  Norelius edited ecclesiastical publications (1870-1882, 1899-1909), too.

Norelius, aged 82 years, died in Vasa, Minnesota, on March 15, 1916.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 23, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF TOYOHIKO KAGAWA, RENEWER OF SOCIETY AND PROPHETIC WITNESS IN JAPAN

THE FEAST OF JAKOB BÖHME, GERMAN LUTHERAN MYSTIC

THE FEAST OF MARTIN RINCKART, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT TERESA MARIA OF THE CROSS, FOUNDRESS OF THE CARMELITE SISTERS OF SAINT TERESA OF FLORENCE

THE FEAST OF WALTER RUSSELL BOWIE, EPISCOPAL PRIEST, SEMINARY PROFESSOR, AND HYMN WRITER

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

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

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

whose voices will give strength to your Church and proclaim

the reality of your kingdom;  through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

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

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Feast of Blessed Alicja Maria Jadwiga Kotowska (November 11)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Alicja Maria Jadwiga Kotowska

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED ALICJA MARIA JADWIGA KOTOWSKA (NOVEMBER 20, 1899-NOVEMBER 11, 1939)

Polish Roman Catholic Nun and Martyr, 1939

Born Maria Jadwiga Kotowska

June 12 = Feast of the 108 (Polish) Martyrs of World War II

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

Maria Jadwiga Kotowska grew up a subject of the Russian Empire.  She, born in Warsaw on November 20, 1889, was the third of seven children of Jan Kotowski and Zofia (Barka) Kotowska.  The family was devout and Roman Catholic, and Jan was an organist.  Nuns in Warsaw educated our saint.

With the restoration of Polish independence in 1919, Kotowska, a nursing student, served her new country proudly.  During the Polish-Soviet War (1919-1921), Soviet forces approached Warsaw in 1920.  She, as a Red Cross nurse, went to the front lines.

Kotowska joined the Congregation of the Sisters of the Resurrection of Our Lord (the Resurrection Sisters) at Kety, near Bielsko, in 1922.  She had met some Resurrection Sisters while she was in nursing school.  Our saint, during her third year of nursing school, became Sister Alicja.  She made her first vows in 1924, returned to Warsaw, studied mathematics and natural sciences at the university, made her perpetual vows (1928), and defended her Master’s thesis in chemistry (1929).

Kotowska worked as a teacher and a nurse for most of the rest of her life.  She taught chemistry in Zoliborz, was a school nurse, and eventually ran the school.  In 1934, Kotowska became the director of a girls’ boarding school in Wejherowo.  She did this well, and won recognition for doing so.

After the Soviet-German partition of Poland (1939), Kotowska found herself in the German zone.  The Nazis closed the school at Wejherowo.  Agents of the Gestapo arrested our saint and took her to the prison in town.  The following November 11, Nazis shot many prisoners, including our saint.  In nine days, she would have been forty days old.

Pope John Paul II declared Kotowska a Venerable then beatified her in 1999.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 22, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GENE BRITTON, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF DONALD S. ARMENTROUT, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER AND SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF HADEWIJCH OF BRABERT, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTIC

THE FEAST OF KATHE KOLLWITZ, GERMAN LUTHERAN ARTIST AND PACIFIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT VITALIS OF GAZA, MONK, HERMIT, AND MARTYR, CIRCA 625

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power

your holy martyr Blessed Alicja Maria Jadwiga Kotowska

triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death:

Grant us, who now remember her in thanksgiving,

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

that we may receive with her 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 12:2-12

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

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Feast of Vida Dutton Scudder (October 10)   Leave a comment

Above:  Vida Dutton Scudder

Image in the Public Domain

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JULIA VIDA DUTTON SCUDDER (DECEMBER 15, 1861-OCTOBER 9, 1954)

Episcopal Professor, Author, Christian Socialist, and Social Reformer

Alternative feast day = October 9

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INTRODUCTION

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(Julia) Vida Dutton Scudder comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Episcopal Church.  Just as The Episcopal Church has two calendars of saints, it has two feast days for Scudder.  Her feast day in Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018 is October 9.  On the side calendar of saints (dating to 2009), however, Scudder’s feast day is October 10.  Therefore, Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010) and A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016) list her feast day as October 10.   G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006) also includes a brief biography of Scudder.

The Scudders were a family of U.S. Congregationalist missionaries in India.  David Coit Scudder (d. 1862) and Harriet Louise (Dutton) Scudder (d. 1920) welcomed Julia Vida Dutton Scudder into the world at Madurai, India, on December 15, 1861.  After David died, mother and daughter moved to Boston, Massachusetts.  Our saint grew up a Congregationalist.  However, she and her mother converted to the Anglo-Catholic wing of The Episcopal Church under the spiritual guidance of Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), the Rector of Trinity Church, Boston, the author of “Away in a Manger” (1868), and the Bishop of Bishop of Massachusetts (1891-1893).

Our saint’s life had several defining characteristics:

  1. Contemplative Christian spirituality,
  2. A commitment to literary scholarship,
  3. Relationships of different sorts with women,
  4. A commitment to radical social justice, and
  5. The courage of her moral convictions.

She became more revolutionary as she aged.

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LITERARY SCHOLAR AND SOCIAL REFORMER

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Scudder’s main field of academic study was literature.  She studied English literature at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts (B.A., 1884).  Then our saint spent 1885-1886 at Oxford University as one of the first two female graduate students there.  Clara French (1863-1888) was the other one of the first two female graduate students at Oxford University.  She and Scudder were classmates at Oxford.  While in England, Scudder developed an interest in the settlement house movement and became a Christian Socialist.  Then, in 1887, our saint joined the faculty of Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts.  She, promoted to Associate Professor (1892) and full Professor (1910), retired in 1927.

Scudder’s literary publications during 1887-1927 included:

  1. Poems by George McDonald, L.L D., Selected V.D.S. and C. F. (1887), as editor;
  2. Macauley’s Essay of Lord Clive (1889), as editor;
  3. Prometheus Unbound:  A Lyrical Drama by Percy Blythe Shelley (1892), as editor;
  4. The Dramatic Action and Motive of King John:  An Essay, by Clara French (1892), as author of the Memorial Sketch;
  5. The Life of the Spirit in the Modern English Poets (1895);
  6. An Introduction to the Study of English Literature (1901);
  7. A Listener in Babylon, Being a Series of Imaginary Conversations Held at the Close of the Last Century (1903);
  8. Shorter English Poems from the College Entrance Requirements in English (1912), as editor;
  9. English Poems from the College Entrance Requirements in English (1915), as editor; and
  10. Le Morte d’Arthur of Sir Thomas Malory:  A Study of the Book and Its Sources (1921).

Scudder worked hard at academia and social justice, just as she nurtured her spiritual life.  In 1887, she, Clara French, and Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929) were three of the founder of the College Settlements Association (CSA).  The following year, our saint joined both the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross (an Episcopalian, female order devoted to intercessory prayer) and the Society of Christian Socialists.  In 1893, Scudder and Emily Greene Balch (1867-1961) founded the CSA’s Denison House in Boston.  At Denison House, wealthy, college-educated women provided social services to their impoverished immigrant neighbors, and priests helped too.  Scudder served as the main administrator, with some interruptions, until 1913.  Our saint studied modern Italian and French literature in Italy and France (1894-1896) and spent two years (1901-1903) recuperating in Italy after a breakdown.  Back in the United States of America, Scudder helped to organize the Women’s Trade Union League in 1903.  In 1911, our saint founded the Episcopal Church Socialist League and joined the Socialist Party.  The following year, Scudder supported the striking workers at Lawrence, Massachusetts.  Conservative backlash threatened her teaching position, but Wellesley College refused to fire our saint.

Scudder’s published works of a political-economic-spiritual nature from 1887 to 1912 included:

  1. An Introduction to the Writings of John Ruskin (1890);
  2. The Witness of Denial (1895);
  3. Social Ideals in English Letters (1898);
  4. Saint Catherine of Siena as Seen in Her Letters (1905);
  5. The Disciple of a Saint, Being the Imaginary Biography of Raniero di Landoccio dei Pagliaresi (1907); and
  6. Socialism and Character (1912);

1913-1927 constituted a distinct phase of Scudder’s life.  In 1913, she resigned from the settlement house in Boston.  Our saint and her mother, Harriet, moved to Wellesley.  Harriet died seven years later.  Scudder, who had supported U.S. entry into World War I in 1917, changed her mind.  She founded the Church League for Industrial Democracy (1919), joined the Fellowship of Reconciliation (1923), and became a pacifist (1930s).  And, from 1919 until our death, our saint was the de facto wife of novelist Florence Converse (1871-1967).

Scudder’s published works of a political-economic-spiritual nature from 1913 to 1927 included:

  1. Jesus and Politics:  An Essay Towards the Ideal, by Howard B. Shepheard (1915), as author of the Introduction;
  2. The Church and the Hour:  Papers of a Socialist Churchwoman (1918);
  3. Social Teachings of the Church Year:  Lectures Delivered at the Cambridge Conferences 1918 (1921);
  4. The Journal and Other Writings by John Woolman (1922), as editor; and
  5. Brother John:  A Tale of the First Franciscans (1927).

Scudder’s retirement was also a productive time for her.  She became one of the foremost scholars of the Franciscans.  Our saint served as the first Dean of the Summer School of Christian Ethics, Wellesley College, in 1930.  And she wrote her autobiography, On Journey (1937).  This was one of thirteen books Scudder wrote during the final phase of her life.  Two of these books were:

  1. The Franciscan Adventure:  A Study in the First Hundred Years of the Order of St. Francis of Assisi (1931), and
  2. The Privilege of the Age:  Essays Secular and Spiritual (1939).

Scudder, aged 94 years, died in Wellesley, Massachusetts, on October 9, 1954.

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A WOMAN OF PRAYER

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Scudder understood the importance and efficacy of prayer.  She wrote:

If prayer is the deep secret creative force that Jesus tells us it is, we should be very busy with it.

Our saint also wrote:

There is one sure way of directly helping on the kingdom of God.  That way is prayer.  Social intercession may be the mightiest force in the world.

She also understood that, as my father taught me, people need to “put feet to” their prayers–that there are times to pray and there are times to act.  Scudder put feet to her prayers, too.

Prayer is a crucial.  Yet it must never function as a cop-out or an excuse for necessary and proper inaction.  Politicians’ “thoughts and prayers” after a natural disaster, mass shooting, et cetera, may or may not function as a cop-out or an excuse for inaction.  If I can act to feed someone, for example, I should.  If, however, I merely my thoughts and prayers in such a circumstance, I commit a sin of omission.  Likewise, politicians who merely offer their thoughts and prayers when they can and should change policy take the easy way out.

Prayer may or may not change the circumstances of other people for whom one intercedes.  Yet prayer should change the pray-er and lead to constructive actions.

Vida Dutton Scudder did not use payer as a cop-out or an excuse for inaction.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 7, 2021 COMMON ERA

WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEK

THE FEAST OF SAINT TIKHON OF MOSCOW, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX PATRIARCH

THE FEAST OF SAINT GEORGE THE YOUNGER, GREEK ORTHODOX BISHOP OF MITYLENE

THE FEAST OF JAY THOMAS STOCKING, U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS MONTFORD SCOTT, EDMUND GENNINGS, HENRY WALPOLE, AND THEIR FELLOW MARTYRS, 1591 AND 1595

THE FEAST OF RANDALL DAVIDSON, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

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Most gracious God, you have sent your beloved Son

to preach peace to those who are far off and those who are near:

Raise up in your Church witnesses who,

after the example of your servant Vida Dutton Scudder,

stand firm in proclaiming the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ,

who lives and reigns with you, now and for ever.  Amen.  

Isaiah 11:1-10

Psalm 25:1-14

Romans 12:1-2, 14-21

John 6:37-51

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010); A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016); Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018

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Feast of H. H. Rowley (October 4)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Dedication from John Gray, I & II Kings:  A Commentary, Second Edition (1970)

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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HAROLD HENRY ROWLEY (MARCH 24, 1890-OCTOBER 4, 1969)

English Baptist Minister and Biblical Scholar

H. H. Rowley comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via Biblical scholarship.

Rowley was one of the most influential British Biblical scholars of the twentieth century.  He, born in Leicester, England, on March 24, 1890, was the fifth of six children.  Our saint’s father was Richard Rowley, a foreman finisher in a shoe factory.  Our saint’s mother was Emma Saunt Rowley.  The family attended Melbourne Hall, a Baptist chapel.  This stage of Rowley’s life proved to be foundational for the the rest of his life, spiritually.  In particular, our saint developed interests in practical holiness, as well as in missionary work in China.

Rowley received a fine education.  He studied at Wyggeston School, Leicester.  Our saint was simultaneously a student at University College, London (B.D., 1912), and Bristol Baptist College (B.A., 1913).  Rowley, awarded a Baptist Union scholarship in 1913, would have studied in Germany (as that scholarship usually entailed), but World War I prevented him from doing so.  Therefore, our saint matriculated at Mansfield College, Oxford.  He studied under G. Buchanan Gray, and received the Houghton Syraic Prize in 1915.

Rowley spent 1915-1929 in ministry.  He was a chaplain (under the auspices of the Y.M.C.A.) to troops in Egypt in 1915-1916.  Ill health forced our saint to return to England, though.  He served as the pastor of Baptist-Congregational Church in Wells, Somerset, from 1916 to 1922.  Then Rowley was a missionary in China (under the auspices of the Baptist Missionary Society) from 1922 to 1929.  During this time, he taught Old Testament at Shangtung Christian University.

Rowley, back in Britain, dedicated himself full-time to academia.  He worked simultaneously as a Tutor in the Old Testament at the Baptist College of South Wales, Cardiff, Wales, and as an Assistant Lecturer in Biblical Languages, University College, Cardiff, Wales, from 1930 to 1935.  Then Rowley was the Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at the University College of North Wales, Bangor (1935-1945).  From there our saint went on to become the Chair of Semitic Languages and Literatures (1945-1949) at the University of Manchester.  His title from 1949 to his retirement in 1959 was Professor of Hebrew Language and Literature.

Rowley the scholar imposed high and rigorous academic standards upon himself, his students, and his colleagues.  He was a meticulous fact-checker and proofreader.  Rowley was a natural choice to serve as the editor of the Journal of Semitic Studies (1956-1960), as well as the Secretary (1946-1960) and President (1950) of the Society of Old Testament Research.  Our saint’s books spanned topics from archaeology to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Rowley retired to Stroud, Gloucestershire.  He, aged 79 years, died there on October 4, 1969.

Certain themes recurred in Rowley’s writings.  He, a friend and colleague of William F. Albright (1891-1971), understood archaeology to be an invaluable tool for Biblical scholarship.  Related to this point was another one; our saint kept his facts straight and his chronologies in order.  He understood what Karen Armstrong did when she wrote, in A History of God (1993):

…fundamentalism is antihistorical.

–xx

For Rowley, history was central to Christian faith.  He also insisted on reading the history of the Bible through the eyes of faith.  Rowley, who found this balance, regarded fundamentalist attacks on Biblical scholarship dimly.  Rowley the bibliophile and bookworm, kept a meticulous card index.  He did not check his brain at the church doors.  Predictably, Rowley was too liberal for some people and too conservative for others.  Yet he refrained from an error ubiquitous on both the left and the right of Biblical scholarship; he did not make up anything.  Our saint’s historical and factual exactitude led him to lay aside aspects of his theological heritage.  He wound up arguing, for example, that election, in the Bible, is collective, not individual.

Rowley was an intellectual who expressed his love of God partially via his use of his intellect.  Our saint contributed much to Biblical scholarship.  His influence has remained in the work of subsequent scholars.  The Church has been better off because of this.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 6, 2021 COMMON ERA

TUESDAY IN EASTER WEEK

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF CARTHAGE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR, 413

THE FEAST OF BENJAMIN HALL KENNEDY, GREEK AND LATIN SCHOLAR, BIBLE TRANSLATOR, AND ANGLICAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF DANIEL G. C. WU, CHINESE-AMERICAN EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF EMIL BRUNNER, SWISS REFORMED THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF MILNER BALL, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, LAW PROFESSOR, WITNESS FOR CIVIL RIGHTS, AND HUMANITARIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT NOKTER BALBULUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

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O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [H. H. Rowley and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

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

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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