Archive for the ‘Saints of 1910-1919’ Category

Feast of St. David Galvan Bermudez (January 30)   3 comments

Above:  St. David Galván Bermúdez

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT DAVID GALVÁN BERMÚDEZ (JANUARY 29, 1881-JANUARY 30, 1915)

Mexican Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1915

Alternative feast day (as one of the Martyrs of the Mexican Revolution) = May 25

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

St. David was a native of Mexico.  He, born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, was the son of José Trinidad Galván and Mariana Bermúdez.  Mariana died when our saint was three years old.  José eventually married Victoriana Medina.  St. David grew up with his father, stepmother, and sisters.  Our saint, from an early age, worked in the family’s shoe shop.  St. David matriculated in the high school program at the local seminary when fourteen years old.  He still had some spiritual-behavioral issues to sort out, though.  St. David left the seminary in 1900 to return to the shoe store.  He reapplied to the seminary in 1902; he got back in a year later.  Our saint was serious; he had reformed.  And his frontal cortex had developed.

St. David, ordained a priest on May 20, 1909, embarked on a faithful ministry.  He helped the poor.  Our saint taught sociology, Latin, and natural law at the seminary in Guadalajara (-1914), until that school closed during the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920).  He founded a magazine, Voice of Breath, which he edited until 1912.  Our saint also served as a chaplain at a hospital and an orphanage (-1914).

Captain Enrique Vera, of the Mexican Army, was responsible for St. David’s death.  In 1914, Vera tried to force a young woman into marrying him.  She refused.  She was already married.  Vera made her life difficult.  The priest rescued the woman from Vera.  The captain ordered St. David arrested, but the priest quickly regained his freedom.  He had made a deadly enemy, though.

On January 30, 2015, in Guadalajara, the men’s paths converged again.  In the aftermath of a battle of the Mexican Revolution, St. David was tending to the wounded.  Vera recognized our saint, whom he ordered arrested.  Immediately, the captain ordered the priest executed for treason.  In his final hours, St. David ministered to and heard the confessions of his fellow prisoners.  Then he, aged 34 years, died in front of a firing squad.

Pope John Paul II declared our saint a Venerable (1992), a beatus (1992), and a full saint (2000).

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, 1878

THE FEAST OF SAINT FRANCIS BORGIA, “SECOND FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS;” SAINT PETER FAVER, APOSTLE OF GERMANY, AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS; SAINT ALPHONSUS RODRIGUEZ, SPANISH JESUIT LAY BROTHER; AND SAINT PETER CLAVER, “APOSTLE TO THE NEGROES”

THE FEAST OF LUCY JANE RIDER MEYER, NOVELIST, HYMN WRITER, MEDICAL DOCTOR, AND FOUNDER OF THE DEACONESS MOVEMENT IN THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH

THE FEAST OF SARAH MAPPS DOUGLASS, U.S. AFRICAN-AMERICAN QUAKER ABOLITIONIST, WRITER, PAINTER, AND LECTURER

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM CHATTERTON DIX, ENGLISH HYMN WRITER AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr Saint David Galván Bermúdez

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 12:2-12

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

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Feast of Lindsay Bartholomew Longacre (January 24)   Leave a comment

Above:  Lindsay Bartholomew Longacre

Image in the Public Domain

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LINDSAY BARTHOLOMEW LONGACRE (JANUARY 26, 1870-SEPTEMBER 16, 1952)

U.S. Methodist Minister, Biblical Scholar, and Hymn Tune Composer

Lindsay Bartholomew Longacre 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.  The companion volume to The Methodist Hymnal (1935) provides other material for this post.

Longacre, born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, on January 26, 1870, changed his career plans to become a minister.  Our saint was a son of Orleans Longacre, Sr. (1840-1920), and Rachel Bartholomew Longacre (1837-1937).  Lindsay graduated from Columbia University with a degree in mining engineering (1892).  However, another calling determined his future.  He graduated from Drew Theological Seminary (B.D., 1896).  Later that year, our saint became a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church.  He served as pastor of three congregations in the State of New York until 1910.  He married Arabella Hyland (d. 1937) in 1904.  Longacre continued his theological education at the University of Jena (1905-1906, 1910) and New York University (PhD., 1908).

Longacre was a professor of Old Testament at Iliff School of Theology, Denver, Colorado (1910-1942).  He doubled as a music critic for a local newspaper.

Longacre’s published works were:

  1. Elijah and Elisha and Their Part in the Politico-Religious Crisis in Israel in the Ninth Century B.C. (1908), his dissertation;
  2. The Riverdale Hymn Book (1912), as co-editor, with Ira Seymour Dodd;
  3. A Prophet of the Spirit:  A Sketch of the Character and Work of Jeremiah (First Edition, 1917; Second Edition, 1922);
  4. Amos, A Prophet of a New Order (1921);
  5. Deuteronomy, A Prophetic Lawbook (1924); and
  6. The Old Testament:  Its Form and Purpose (1945).

Longacre also composed hymn tunes.  These included:

  1. BEHOLD THE LAMB,
  2. BLAKE,
  3. COLORADO,
  4. DEEPER LIFE,
  5. FIRENZE,
  6. ILIFF,
  7. MY COUNTRY,
  8. NEW AMERICA,
  9. ORLEANS,
  10. THE RADIANT MORN,
  11. RIVERDALE, and
  12. WARREN.

Longacre retired in 1942.  He and second wife Florence Biggart Longacre (1886-1980) moved to New York, New York.  Our saint, aged 82 years, died there on September 16, 1952.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 7, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF BEYERS NAUDÉ, SOUTH AFRICAN DUTCH REFORMED MINISTER AND ANTI-APARTHEID ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF ELIE NAUD, HUGUENOT WITNESS TO THE FAITH

THE FEAST OF JANE LAURIE BORTHWICK AND SARAH BORTHWICK FINDLATER, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN TRANSLATORS OF HYMNS

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN DUCKETT AND RALPH CORBY, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS IN ENGLAND, 1644

THE FEAST OF SAINT KASSIANI THE HYMNOGRAPHER, BYZANTINE ABBESS, POET, COMPOSER, HYMN WRITER, AND DEFENDER OF ICONS

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

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Lindsay Bartholomew Longacre 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 Charles Winfred Douglas (January 19)   1 comment

Above:  Portrait of Charles Winfred Douglas

Scanned from The Hymnal 1940 Companion (1949), a volume dedicated to his “dear and honored memory”

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CHARLES WINFRED DOUGLAS (FEBRUARY 15, 1867-JANUARY 18, 1944)

Episcopal Priest, Liturgist, Musicologist, Linguist, Poet, Hymn Translator, and Arranger

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He [Douglas] began his career dedicated to the Praise of God.  He ended his life with the Praise of God on his mind and pen, and in his heart.

The Hymnal 1940 Companion (1949), 422

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Canon Charles Winfred Douglas comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via two hymnals and their companion volumes.  The hymnals are, in order of publication:

  1. The Hymnal (1941), of the old Evangelical and Reformed Church; and
  2. The Hymnal 1940 (1943), of The Episcopal Church.

Douglas was a native of the State of New York.  He, born in Oswego on February 15, 1867, was a son of Virgil Chittendon Douglas and Caroline Church Douglas.  While an undergraduate at Syracuse University, our saint worked as the assistant organist at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Syracuse.  Douglas, upon graduating with his B.Mus. degree (1891), served as an instructor in vocal music at Syracuse University.  Starting in 1892, our saint worked as the organist and choirmaster of the Church of Zion and St. Timothy, New York, New York.  In 1893, after graduating from St. Andrew’s Divinity School, Syracuse, Douglas joined the Sacred Order of Deacons.  He was the Curate of the Church of the Redeemer, New York, New York, for a few months.  Then our saint became seriously ill.  He went to the West to recover.

Douglas’s base of operations, for a time, was Colorado.  He undertook an outdoors lifestyle, due to lung trouble.  In September 1894, our saint became a minor canon at the Cathedral of St. John in the Wilderness, Denver.  Later, he moved to Evergreen.  There Douglas founded the Mission (now Church) of the Transfiguration.  The first service occurred on December 25, 1897.  In Colorado, our saint’s doctors included Mary Josepha Williams (d. March 9, 1938).  He married her in 1896.  The couple had a son, Frederic Huntington Douglas.  Our saint, who continued his theological education at St. Matthew’s Hall, Denver, became a priest in 1899.  He served at the Mission of the Transfiguration, in an associate capacity, until 1907.  While based in Colorado, Douglas traveled in and studied music in England, France, and Germany (1903-1904, 1905-1906).

Douglas was a fine musician and musicologist.  He, a resident canon at Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin (1907-1911), then an honorary canon there, was an expert on plainsong.  He even served as the President of the American Plainsong Society.  Our saint was also a Fellow and the Chairman of the Department of Music of the American Ecclesiological Society.  Furthermore, he taught at the Summer School of Church Music, Cambridge and Wellesley, Massachusetts (1915-1924).  Nashotah House awarded Douglas a honorary degree in music (1916).  He collaborated with Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) on Songs of the Church (1920).  Douglas and Rachmaninov helped to popularize music of the Russian Orthodox Church in the United States.  Our saint also worked with Kurt Schinder (1882-1935) on Twelve Old Spanish Motets (1913-1919).

Douglas’s other published works, as author, editor, music editor, composer, or arranger, included:

  1. Cantica Eucharistica:  Choral Devotions to the Blessed Sacrament (1910);
  2. Mission Hymnal (1913);
  3. Ordinary and Canon of the Mass (1913);
  4. The Canticles at Evensong (1915);
  5. The Order of Matins (1916);
  6. The Psalms of David (1917);
  7. The Hymnal 1916 (1919);
  8. The St. Dunstan’s Psalter (1923);
  9. The Ceremonial Noted (1923);
  10. The Choral Service (1927);
  11. The American Psalter (1929);
  12. The American Missal (1931);
  13. The Monastic Diurnal (1932);
  14. The American Plainsong Psalter (1932);
  15. The St. Dunstan’s Kyrial (1933);
  16. The Midnight Mass, and Other Poems (1933);
  17. Selected Hymns and Carols (1936), with its Brief Commentary (1936);
  18. Church Music in History and Practice:  Studies in the Praise of God (1937);
  19. A Missionary Service Book (1937);
  20. The Chorales from the Organ Works of Brahms (1939-1944);
  21. Magnificat (1940); and
  22. The Hymnal 1940 (1943).

Douglas had a relationship to the Community of Saint Mary, which Harriet Starr Cannon (1823-1896) founded in 1865.  He was the director of music to the community at Peekskill, New York (1906-1944) and the chaplain to the western province, based in Kenosha, Wisconsin (1934-1944).

Douglas served in the The Episcopal Church in other capacities, too.  He was a trustee of Nashotah House.  Our saint’s legacy (as a hymn translator, a hymn tune arranger, and a hymn tune composer) enriches the denomination’s hymnals, starting with The Hymnal 1916 (1919), continuing in The Hymnal 1940 (1943), and persisting with The Hymnal 1982 (1985).

Colorado was home.  Douglas, a collector of an expert in indigenous American art, became an honorary canon at the Cathedral of St. John the Wilderness, Denver, in 1934.  Three years later, our saint returned to the Mission of the Transfiguration, Evergreen, as its vicar.  He served through 1943.  He also served as the program annotator of and sat on the governing board of the Denver Symphony Orchestra from 1937 to 1941.  Douglas, widowed in 1938, married Anne Woodward on March 27, 1940.

Douglas’s final projects were The Hymnal 1940 (1943) and The Hymnal 1940 Companion (1949).  Anne worked with him on the companion volume.  At the end of his life, our saint was reviewing corrections for The Hymnal 1940 (1943).  He and Anne were in Santa Rosa, California, working with Father Arthur W. Farlander on the companion volume on January 18, 1944.  There, Douglas, aged 76 years, died.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 4, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF PAUL JONES, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF UTAH, AND PEACE ACTIVIST; AND HIS COLLEAGUE, JOHN NEVIN SAYRE, EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND PEACE ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT BIRINUS OF DORCHESTER, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF DORCHESTER, AND THE “APOSTLE OF WESSEX”

THE FEAST OF E. F. SCHUMACHER, GERMAN-BRITISH ECONOMIST AND SOCIAL CRITIC

THE FEAST OF SAINT GORAZD OF PRAGUE, ORTHODOX BISHOP OF MORAVIA AND SILESIA, METROPOLITAN OF THE CZECH LANDS AND SLOVAKIA, HIERARCH OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA, AND MARTYR, 1942

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM MCKANE, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

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

thank you for those (especially Charles Winfred Douglas)

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 Timothy Richard Matthews (January 16)   Leave a comment

Above:  Timothy Richard Matthews

Image in the Public Domain

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TIMOTHY RICHARD MATTHEWS (NOVEMBER 4, 1826-JANUARY 5, 1910)

Anglican Priest, Organist, and Hymn Writer

Timothy Richard Matthews 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.

Matthews was an Anglican priest and a church musician.  Our saint, born in Colmworth (near Bedford), England, on November 4, 1826, was a son of the Rector of Colmworth.  Young Timothy graduated from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (A.B., 1853).  Matthews, ordained that year, took on two positions.  Our saint became the private tutor to the Reverend Lord Wriothesley Russell, a canon of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.  That year, Matthews also became the Curate of St. Mary’s, Nottingham (-1859).  While at Nottingham, he founded the Working Men’s Institute.

While tutoring Russell’s family, Matthews met Sir George Job Elvey (1816-1893).  Our saint became one of Elvey’s organ students.  The two men also became lifelong friends.  Matthews’s musical talents extended to composition.  He composed settings of Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer.  He also wrote and edited books:

  1. Tunes for Holy Worship (1859),
  2. The Village-Church Tune-Book (1859),
  3. Congregational Melodies (1862),
  4. Hymn Tunes (1867),
  5. North Coates Supplemental Tune Book (1878), and
  6. The Village Organist (1877).

Furthermore, our saint composed at least one hymn (“The Sanctuary of My Soul“) and more than 100 hymn tunes.

Matthews served as the Rector of North Coates, Lincolnshire (1859-1907).  Then he, a widower, retired and moved into the vicarage at Tetney, where his eldest son was in residence as the vicar.

Our saint, aged 83 years, died at Tetney, Lincolnshire, on January 5, 1910.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 2, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF NEW GUINEA, 1942 AND 1943

THE FEAST OF DAVID CHARLES, WELSH CALVINISTIC METHODIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF DIANNA ORTIZ, U.S. ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN AND ANTI-TORTURE ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT WILLIAM OF ROSKILDE, ENGLISH-DANISH ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF ROSKILDE

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

thank you for those (especially Timothy Richard Matthews)

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 Blessed Juana Maria Condesa Lluch (January 16)   2 comments

Above:  The Flag of Valencia, Spain

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED JUANA MARÍA CONDESA LLUCH (MARCH 30, 1862-JANUARY 16, 1916)

Founder of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Immaculate Conception, Protectress of Workers

Blessed Juana María Condesa Lluch comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Sainits’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Blessed Juana, born in Valencia, Spain, on March 30, 1862, came from a wealthy and devout family with a strong sense of social responsibility.  Our saint grew up with a healthy prayer life and a desire to help the poor.

Blessed Juana focused on helping the exploited, dehumanized industrial workers and their children.  These families, most of whom had moved from the countryside and into cities, faced daunting challenges.  Wages were low, work days were long, suitable housing was scarce, and factories were death traps.  Our saint, at the tender age of 18 years, discerned her vocation to found a religious order committed to helping exploited workers and their children.  Ecclesiastical doubts regarding Blessed Juana’s youth delayed her work until 1884.  That year, she opened a shelter for industrial workers and their children, and began to provide spiritual formation programs.  A few months later, our saint opened a school for children of factory workers.  Other young women joined her in this work.  The foundations of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Immaculate Conception, Protectress of Workers (formally founded in 1892) were coming together.  The sisters made their first vows in 1895 and their perpetual professions in 1911.

Blessed Juana and her sisters performed their good and necessary works.  She, who aspired to become the “handmaid of the Lord,” encouraged the sisters to live in complete confidence in God, and to live the Beatitudes.

Blessed Juana–Mother Juana–died in Valencia, Spain, on January 16, 1916.  She was 54 years old.

Pope John Paul II declared our saint a Venerable in 1997 then beatified her in 2003.

Sadly, the exploitation of workers–for the purpose of maximizing profits–continues.  Therefore, the need for the type of work in which the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Immaculate Conception, Protectress of Workers, persists.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 1, 2021 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, AND 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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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served,

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

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom

the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

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

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

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of Edward Bunnett (January 16)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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EDWARD BUNNETT (JUNE 26, 1834-JANUARY 5, 1923)

Anglican Organist and Composer

Edward Bunnett 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.

Bunnett served God via music.  our saint, born in Shipdham, Norfolk, England, on June 26, 1834, became a chorister at the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Cathedral, Norwich, when he was eight years old.  When our saint was fifteen years old, he began to study the organ under the tutelage of Dr. Zechariah Buck (1798-1877), organist at Norwich Cathedral (1819-1877).  Bunnett, the assistant organist at Norwich Cathedral (1855-1877), also had a fine singing voice.  In 1849, he performed Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s “Lift Thine Eyes” with opera star Jenny Lind (1820-1887), the “Swedish Nightingale.”  Our saint continued his formal studies at Cambridge, earning a Mus.B. (1857) and Mus.D. (1869).  In 1870, he became a Fellow of the College of Organists.

Bunnett, renowned for his virtuosity, taught, performed, and composed.  He became the organist of St. Peter Mancraft Church, Norwich, in 1877.  As the borough organist (1880f), our saint performed in well-attended concerts.  He also conducted the Norwich Musical Union for 21 years and performed in local musical festivals for more than 20 years.  Bunnett taught many organists, too.  His compositions included works for the organ, liturgical music and at least 21 hymn tunes and Christmas carols.

Links to YouTube videos of some of Bunnett’s compositions follow:

  1. Allegro moderato in G Major,
  2. Concluding Voluntary, and
  3. KIRBY BEDON.

Our saint, aged 88 years, died in Norwich on January 5, 1923.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 30, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICODEMUS, DISCIPLE OF JESUS

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

thank you for those (especially Edward Bunnett)

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 Blessed Nikolaus Gross (January 15)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Nikolaus Gross

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED NIKOLAUS GROSS (SEPTEMBER 30, 1898-JANUARY 23, 1945)

German Roman Catholic Opponent of Nazism, and Martyr, 1945

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

Gross, born in Niederwenigern, German Empire, on September 30, 1898, gave his life in the cause of opposing institutionalized injustice.  Our saint’s father was a miner.  Gross was also a miner (1915-1920).  Then he left the mines yet remained active in union politics.  Our saint, a member of the Christian Mineworkers’ Trade Union (1917f) and Saint Anthony’s Miners’ Association (1918f), had been taking night classes before quitting mining.  His post-mining activities included:

  1. Serving as the secretary of the Christian Mineworkers’ Trade Union (1920-1921);
  2. Serving as the assistant editor of that union’s newspaper (1921-1922);
  3. Serving as a union secretarial worker in Waldenburg, Lower Silesia (1922), in Zwickau (1922-1924) then in Bottrop (1924-1926);
  4. Serving as the assistant editor of the newspaper of the Catholic Workers’ Movement (1927-1929); and
  5. Serving as the general editor of that publication (1929f).

In the meantime, the misnamed National Socialist Party, or the Nazi Party, was rising.  It was actually fascist, not socialist.  Gross, in his editorial capacity, opposed the Nazis.  The Nazi-controlled government banned his newspaper for three weeks in 1933, for another short period of time in early 1935, and permanently in November 1938.  After the permanent banning, the publication continued illegally.

The assassination plot against Adolf Hitler failed on July 20, 1944.  In the wake of that event, Nazi authorities arrested Gross, who had not been involved in the conspiracy.  Our saint, apprehended on August 12, 1944, went to trial on the charge of treason.  The verdict was guilty, of course.  The sentence, imposed on January 15, 1945, was death.  Eight days later, he died by hanging.  Our saint was 46 years old.  Nazi authorities had the corpse cremated and the cremains scattered at a sewage plant.

Survivors included our saint’s wife, Elisabeth Koch (1901-1971), whom he married on May 24, 1923, and six of the couple’s seven children.  Four or five of those children survived to witness Pope John Paul II declare their father a Venerable then a Blessed in 2001.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 30, 2021 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 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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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr Blessed Nikolaus Gross

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 12:2-12

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

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Feast of John Marinus Versteeg (January 15)   Leave a comment

Above:  Logos of The Methodist Church (1939-1968) and The United Methodist Church (1968-)

Photograph by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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JOHN MARINUS VERSTEEG (SEPTEMBER 9, 1888-JANUARY 14, 1977)

U.S. Methodist Minister and Hymn Writer

John Marinus Versteeg 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.

Versteeg was a native of The Netherlands.  He, born in Den Heller on September 9, 1888, was a son of Anna Petronella Ollman Versteeg and the Reverend Dir Oren Versteeg.  The family immigrated in 1900, and our saint became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1909.

Versteeg became a Methodist minister.  He served in three successive denominations, due to mergers:  the Methodist Episcopal Church (-1939), The Methodist Church (1939-1968), and The United Methodist Church (1968f).  Our saint, ordained a deacon in 1915, graduated from Drew University, Madison, New Jersey (Bachelor of Divinity, 1916).  Versteeg joined the ranks of elders in 1917.  He wrote The Modern Meaning of Church Membership (1919).

Versteeg was pastor of West Side Methodist Episcopal Church, Jersey City, New Jersey (1920-1921).  During this time, he married Edna Catherine Ames on June 18, 1921.  The couple had four children:  Sherwood, Elaine, Robert, and Virgil.

Our saint served as the pastor of Drew Methodist Episcopal (now United Methodists) Church, Port Jervis, New York (1922-1925).  During these years, Versteeg wrote and published three books:

  1. The Deeper Meaning of Stewardship (1923),
  2. Christ and the Problems of Youth (1924), and
  3. Christianity at Work (1925).

Versteeg was pastor of Roseville Methodist Episcopal  Church (now Roseville St. Paul’s United Methodist Church), Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania (1929-1931).  During this time, he wrote Perpetuating Pentecost (1930).  Our saint also received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania (1931).

Versteeg’s longest tenure was at Walnut Hills-Avondale Methodist Episcopal/Methodist Church, Cincinnati, Ohio (1932-1945).  Our saint was productive during these years.  He wrote three books:

  1. Save Money! (1939),
  2. Our Protestant Convictions (1941), and
  3. When Christ Controls:  Stewardship Messages (1943).

Stewardship was Versteeg’s favorite topic about which to write.  He also wrote a hymn, though.  In 1926, our saint wrote a hymn for Psalm Sunday.  This text was “Does Thy Soul Leap Up Within Thee?” (The Hymnal, 1941, #139).

While in Cincinnati, Versteeg did much more.

  1. He served as the president of the Greater Cincinnati Writers’ League (1942-1944).
  2. He was the president of the Council of Churches in Greater Cincinnati (1941-1944).
  3. He founded the Cincinnati School of Religion.
  4. He chaired the Social Service Commission of the Ohio Annual Conference (1943-1944).
  5. He sat on the regional War Labor Board (1943-1945).
  6. He was a lecturer in Biblical Literature at the University of Cincinnati (1943-1944).
  7. He took a seat on the denominational Executive Committee of the Commission on Church Union (1944-1956).
  8. He was a delegate to the General Conference (1940).

Furthermore, Versteeg received more academic honors.  Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio, awarded him the Doctor of Divinity degree in 1942.  Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, granted our saint the Doctor of Sacred Theology degree in 1945.

Versteeg served as the District Superintendent of the Lima District, based in Lima, Ohio, from 1945 to 1951.  During these years, he remained active in other denominational capacities.

  1. He was a delegate to the General Conferences of 1948.
  2. He chaired the denominational Commission on Social Action (1948f).

Also, Union College, Schenectady, New York, awarded our saint the Doctor of Letters degree in 1946.

Versteeg served as the pastor of First Methodist (now United Methodist) Church, Athens, Ohio (1951-1957).  By 1952, he doubled as a lecturer for the denominational Board of Ministerial Training.  He was also a delegate to the General Conference of 1952.

Versteeg was the Director of Libraries at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Delaware,  Ohio (1957-1960).  Then he retired.

Versteeg served in other capacities, too.  He was a delegate to more than one World Methodist Conference.  He also belonged to the American Society of Church History.  This historical interest manifested itself in a book, Methodism:  Ohio Area (1812-1962) (1962).

Our saint, aged 88 years, died on January 14, 1977.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 29, 2021 COMMON ERA

PROPER 17:  THE FOURTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF THE BEHEADING OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST

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O God, our heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant John Marinus Versteeg,

to be a pastor in your Church and to feed your flesh:

Give abundantly to all pastors the gifts of your Holy Spirit,

that they may minister in your household as true servants of Christ

and stewards of your divine mysteries;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84 or 84:7-11

Ephesians 3:14-21

Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 719

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Feast of Blessed Maria Dolores Rodriguez Sopena y Ortega (January 10)   2 comments

Above:  Blessed María Dolores Rodríguez Sopeña y Ortega

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED MARÍA DOLORES RODRÍGUEZ SOPEÑA Y ORTEGA

(DECEMBER 30, 1848-JANUARY 10, 1918)

Founder of the Centers of Instruction, the Association of the Sodality of the Virgin Mary, the Ladies of the Catechetical Institute, the Association of the Apostolic Laymen/the Sopeña Lay Movement, the Works of the Doctrines/the Center for the Workers, and the Social and Cultural Work Sopeña/the Sopeña Catechetical Institute

Blessed María Dolores Rodríguez Sopeña y Ortega comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Blessed María came from a devout Spanish family.  She, born in Velez Rubio on December 30, 1848, was the fourth of seven children of Nicolasa Ortega Salomon and Tomas Rodríguez Sopeña.  He worked as the administrator of the Marqueses de Velez farms before getting a job as a magistrate in 1866.

Blessed María spent most of her life helping the less fortunate.  She, not caring about status and materialism, valued “the least of these.”  In Almeria, where her father was the judge (1866-1869), our saint, who had poor eyesight, helped her sisters, afflicted with typhoid fever.  She also ministered to a leper.  In 1869, Tomas transferred to Puerto Rico and took a son with him.  The rest of the family moved to Madrid.  Blessed María commenced catechetical work with women in prison, patents in the Princess Hospital, and pupils in Sunday Schools.

The family reunited in Puerto Rico in 1872.  There, Blessed María, 24 years old, tried to join the Sisters of Charity the following year.  Her poor eyesight prevented our saint from joining that order.  Blessed María, therefore, struck out on her own.  She began to work in impoverished neighborhoods and founded the Centers for Instruction.  The curriculum consisted of the catechism and general instruction.  Medical assistance was also available.  Blessed María also founded the Association of the Sodality of the Virgin Mary, members of which staffed the Centers for Instruction.

After Nicolasa died in 1877, the family returned to Madrid later that year. Blessed María spent the next six years taking care of her father and tending to the less fortunate.  Then Tomas died in 1883.  Our saint, struggling to find her vocation, joined a Salesian convent in 1883.  Ten days later, she left it.  The contemplative life did not fit our saint.

Blessed María vocation was social work, especially with women.  She formalized community centers for this social work as part of a new organization, Works of the Doctrines, in 1885.  Eventually, this organization took the name “Center for the Workers.”

In Madrid, in 1892, Blessed María founded the Association of the Apostolic Laymen (now the Sopeña Lay Movement).  The work of this order expanded into eight neighborhoods in Madrid the following year.

Our saint expanded her apostolic work across Spain in 1896.  She founded the Ladies of the Catechetical Institute in Toledo in 1901.  The following year, Blessed María founded the Social and Cultural Work Sopeña (now the Sopeña Catechetical Institute.  She became this order’s Superior General in 1910.

The Sopeña Catechetical Institute expanded into the Americas in 1917.

Blessed María, aged 69 years, died in Madrid on January 10, 1918.

Pope John Paul II declared our saint a Venerable in 1992 then beatified her in 2003.

Blessed María’s institutional legacy continues via the Sopeña Catechetical Institute and the Sopeña Lay Movement.

Consider two words, O reader.  Those words are orthodoxy and orthopraxy.  Orthodoxy is right belief.  Orthopraxy is right practice.  The two are properly like two sides of a coin.  One is like what one does, and as one thinks, one does and is.  When I consider elements of conventional Christian orthodoxy in the past and the present, I find a mixed bag of healthy spirituality and spiritual creepy crawlies.  I, as a student of history, know from primary sources that many Americans defended racially-defined, chattel slavery by quoting the Bible, for example.  I also recall reading such arguments recycled, well into the twentieth century, to justify Jim Crow.  I know, from the words of those who made these arguments, that these were matters, partially, of scriptural authority for those advocates.

The standard to follow is love–not vague love, not puppy love, not make-people-feel-good-for-now love.  The standard to follow is love.  Love builds up people.  Love is tangible.  Love is selfless.  Love hurts sometimes, too.  Love is willing to accompany a beloved one through hell.

Blessed María loved “the least of these.”  In doing so, she demonstrated her love of Jesus.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 28, 2021 COMMON ERA

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 EDMOND L. BUDRY, SWISS REFORMED, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF LAURA S. COPERHAVER, 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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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served,

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

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom

the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

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

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

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of Thomas Curtis Clark (January 9)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Logo of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Fair Use

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THOMAS CURTIS CLARK (JANUARY 8, 1877-DECEMBER 7, 1953)

U.S. Disciples of Christ Evangelist, Poet, and Hymn Writer

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Our faith is in the Christ who walks

With men today, in street and mart;

The constant friend who thinks and talks

With those who seek him with the heart.

–Thomas Curtis Clark, from Hymn #545, The Worshipbook:  Services and Hymns (1972)

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Thomas Curtis Clark 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.

Clark, born in Vincennes, Indiana, on January 8, 1877, wrote more than sixty hymns.  His mother was Emma Rose Jennings Clark.  Our saint’s father was the Reverend Thomas Jefferson Clark, a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  Clark studied at Indiana University, Bloomington (A.B., 1899), then at The University of Chicago (1901-1902).

Our saint suffered a nervous breakdown in Chicago in 1902.  He moved to Bloomington, where his father was a minister.  During this time of physical, emotional, and spiritual frailty, Clark wrote his first poems and hymns.  One of these texts was a hymn, “God is Not Far from Any One of Us” (1903).

God is not far from any one of us;

The wildflower by the wayside speaks His love;

Each blithesome bird bears tidings from abovef;

Sunshine and shower His tender mercies prove,

And men know not His voice!

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God is not from any one of us;

He speaks to us in every glad sunrise;

His glory floods us from the noonday skies;

The stars declare His love when daylight dies,

And men know not His voice!

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God is not far from any one of us;

He watches o’er His children day and night;

On every darkened soul He sheds this light;

Each burdened heart He cheers, and lends His might

To all who know His voice.

–Hymn #78, The Hymnal (1941)

Clark worked in a few jobs before he found his calling.  He taught high school in Washington, Indiana.  Then our saint became a singing evangelist.  He also worked in the piano business.

Clark’s calling was religious publishing.  He was an assistant editor of church school literature at the Christian Board of Publication, St. Louis, Missouri (1906-1911).  Our saint was also the poetry editor of The Christian Century (1912-1948), the editor of The Christian Century Quarterly (1919f), and a member of the editorial staff of The Christian Century Pulpit (1929f).

Clark married Hazel Davis in June 1910.  The couple remained married for the rest of our saint’s life.  In writing, he described Hazel as

the most devoted Christian I know.

Of Clark’s hymns, few have survived in current denominational hymnals in the age of “seven-eleven songs.”  Once upon a time, however, these texts were more popular.  Our saint wrote far more than seven words a congregation sang eleven times.  One text, “Thou Father of Us All” (1942), was one of three award winners in a Hymn Society of America contest in 1943.  (The words are under copyright, according to hymnary.org.)  x

Clark wrote, edited, and compiled books.  They included:

  1. Poems and Songs (1909);
  2. Friendly Town (1917);
  3. Love Off to the War, and Other Poems (1918);
  4. Lincoln, and Others (1923);
  5. A Child’s Thought of God (1927), with Esther A. Gillespie;
  6. The New Patriotism:  Poems of World Brotherhood (1927);
  7. Quotable Poems:  An Anthology of Modern Verse, Volume I (1928), with Esther A. Gillespie;
  8. Poems of Justice (1929);
  9. The Master of Men:  Quotable Poems about Jesus (1930);
  10. Poems for Special Dats and Occasions (1930);
  11. It Shall Not Be Again (1931);
  12. The Golden Book of Faith (1931);
  13. Quotable Poems:  An Anthology of Modern Verse, Volume II (1931);
  14. Abraham Lincoln:  Thirty Poems (1934);
  15. One Hundred Poems of Peace:  An Anthology (1934);
  16. Home Roads and Far Horizons–Songs and Sonnets (1935);
  17. The Golden Book of Religious Verse (1937);
  18. 1000 Quotable Poems:  An Anthology of Modern Verse (1937), with Esther A. Gillespie;
  19. Fifty Lincoln Poems (1939);
  20. Poems for Life (1941);
  21. God’s Dreams:  Poems (1943);
  22. Poems for the Great Days (1948);
  23. Today is Mine:  A Manual of Devotion (1950);
  24. Christ in Poetry:  An Anthology (1952); and
  25. The Golden Book of Immortality:  A Treasury of Testimony (1954), with Hazel Davis Clark.

Our saint, aged 76 years, died on December 7, 1953.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 27, 2021 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 GEORGE THOMAS COSTER, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINSTER, HYMN WRITER, AND HUMANITARIAN

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

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Thomas Curtis Clark 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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