Archive for the ‘Saints of 1950-1959’ Category

Feast of Flannery O’Connor (March 26)   Leave a comment

Above:  Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Milledgeville, Georgia

Image Source = Google Earth

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

MARY FLANNERY O’CONNOR (MARCH 25, 1925-AUGUST 2, 1964)

U.S. Roman Catholic Writer

Flannery O’Connor 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).

O’Connor was a writer whose Roman Catholicism infused her work.  Our saint, born in Savannah, Georgia, on March 25, 1925, was daughter of Regina Cline (O’Connor) and Edward Francis O’Connor, a real estate agent.  In 1940 the family moved to Andalusia Farm, Milledgeville, Georgia.  Our saint’s father died of lupus the following year.  Young Flannery, a graduate of Peabody High School (1942) and Georgia State College for Women (1945), worked on student newspapers at both institutions.  Then she worked on her M.A. in journalism (1946-1947) at the University of Iowa.

O’Connor was ill for much of her life.  She, after having lived in New York and Connecticut for years, received her diagnosis of lupus in 1952.  Then our saint returned to Andalusia Farm that year.  She, aged 39 years, died in Milledgeville on August 2, 1964.

O’Connor found much time to write.  She attended Mass daily then read, wrote, and recuperated for the rest of the day.  Our saint wrote two novels and many short stories.  She also wrote essays and reviews for the Diocese of Savannah-Atlanta (until 1956), the Diocese of Atlanta (1956-1962), and the Archdiocese of Atlanta (1962f).  She, as a Roman Catholic in the Bible Belt, was something of an outcast in much of her society.

O’Connor, a Thomist, infused her fiction with the sense of God being present in the world, which seldom reflects divine love and goodness.  Many of her characters were horrifying and grotesque, mired in spiritual darkness.  Yet, our saint wrote, the promises of God remained relevant.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 27, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JEROME, PAULA OF ROME, EUSTOCHIUM, BLAESILLA, MARCELLA, AND LEA OF ROME

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANGELA MERICI, FOUNDRESS OF THE COMPANY OF SAINT URSULA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CAROLINA SANTOCANALE, FOUNDRESS OF THE CAPUCHIN SISTERS OF THE IMMUACULATE CONCEPTION OF LOURDES

THE FEAST OF CASPAR NEUMANN, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF PIERRE BATIFFOL, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, HISTORIAN, AND THEOLOGIAN

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring [Flannery O’Connor]

and all who with words have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinithians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 728

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of Umphrey Lee (March 21)   Leave a comment

Above:  Central Campus Quadrangle, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, about a Century Ago

Image in the Public Domain

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

UMPHREY LEE, SR. (MARCH 23, 1893-JUNE 23, 1958)

U.S. Methodist Minister and President of Southern Methodist University

Umphrey Lee, Sr., comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Interpreter’s Bible, for which he was one of the Consulting Editors at the end of his life.

Lee, a Methodist minister’s son, became a Methodist minister.  Our saint, born in Oakland City, Indiana, on March 23, 1893, was a son of Esther Davis (Lee) (1862-1949) and the Reverend Josephus Lee (1851-1926), a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church.  The family moved to Texas in 1909.  Young Umphrey studied at Daniel Baker College, Brownwood, Tennessee (1910-1912), then at Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, from which he graduated with his B.A. degree in 1914.  Theological studies at the new Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, founded in 1911, followed.  He graduated with his Master of Divinity degree in 1916.  Then our saint joined the ranks of the clergy.

Lee spent most of his life as an academic, a husband, and a father, with some time as a parish minister.  In December 2017 he married Mary Margaret Williams (1892-1961).  The couple had a son, Umphrey Lee, Jr., who became an English professor.  Our saint established the Wesley Bible Chair at the University of Texas, Austin, in 1919.  After a brief stint as a pastor in Ennis, Texas (1922-1923), Lee served as the senior minister of Highland Park Methodist Church, Dallas (founded in 1916, on the campus of Southern Methodist University), from 1923 to 1936.  He presided over the construction of a magnificent Gothic edifice for the congregation.  Our saint also taught homiletics at Southern Methodist University and earned his Ph.D. (1931) from Columbia University.  The title of his dissertation was “The Historical Backgrounds of Early Methodist Enthusiasm.”  In 1936-1938 Lee served as the Dean of the School of Religion, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.  Then he returned to Southern Methodist University (SMU), to remain for the rest of his life.

Lee was an integral part of Southern Methodist University.  He, as the President (1939-1954), guided SMU through part of the Great Depression and through World War II and the postwar increase in enrollment.  Our saint, as the head of a major research university, affirmed the value of a liberal arts education and refused to let SMU issue “production line” degrees.  He had a heart attack in 1953.  This prompted his resignation the following year.  The trustees kept Lee around by creating a new title, Chancellor, for him to fill.  Our saint, scheduled to retire in July 1958, died in University Park, Texas, on June 23, 1958.  He was 65 years old.

Lee’s published works included:

  1. Jesus the Pioneer; and Other Sermons (1925);
  2. The Lord’s Horseman:  John Wesley the Man (1928);
  3. The Life of Christ:  A Brief Outline for Students (1929);
  4. The Bible and Business (1930);
  5. The Historical Backgrounds of Early Methodist Enthusiasm (1931);
  6. John Wesley and Modern Religion (1936);
  7. The Preacher and the Modern Mind (1938);
  8. Partial credit in The Liberal Arts College Today (1940);
  9. The Historic Church and Modern Pacifism (1943);
  10. One of the lectures in Christian Bases of World Order:  The Merrick Lectures for 1943 (1943);
  11. Address (1946);
  12. Render Unto the People (1946);
  13. A portion of An Informed Church and Other Messages from the Methodist Hour (1947);
  14. A Short History of Methodism (1956), with William Warren Sweet;
  15. Our Father and Us (1958);
  16. For the Rising Generation:  A Sketch of the Methodist Heritage in Higher Education (1958);
  17. Our Fathers and Us:  The Heritage of the Methodists (1958); and
  18. Numerous articles and book reviews.

Umphrey Lee, Sr., combined faith and intellect, in continuity with the best of Christian tradition.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 23, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN THE ALMSGIVER, PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA

THE FEAST OF CHARLES KINGSLEY, ANGLICAN PRIEST, NOVELIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF EDWARD GRUBB, ENGLISH QUAKER, AUTHOR, SOCIAL REFORMER, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF PHILLIPS BROOKS, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF MASSACHUSETTS, AND HYMN WRITER

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Umphrey Lee, Sr., 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

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of John S. Stamm (March 21)   1 comment

Above:  Bishop John S. Stamm, 1939

Image Source = Raymond M. Veh, Thumbnail Sketches of Evangelical Bishops (1939)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

JOHN SAMUEL STAMM (MARCH 23, 1878-MARCH 5, 1956)

Bishop of the The Evangelical Church then the Evangelical United Brethren Church 

Bishop John S. Stamm comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Interpreter’s Bible, for which he wrote the introduction to and the exegesis of Galatians for Volume X (1953).

Stamm belonged to an Arminian tradition.  The Church of the United Brethren in Christ (1800-1946) and the Evangelical Association (1816-1922) began as German-speaking counterparts to the English-speaking Methodist movement.  The ironically-named United Evangelical Church (1891-1922) reunited with the Evangelical Association, from which it had broken away, to create The Evangelical Church (1922-1946).  The Church of the United Brethren in Christ merged with The Evangelical Church to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church (1946-1968).  This denomination merged with the reunited Methodist Church (1939-1968) to create The United Methodist Church.

John Samuel Stamm was a son of Swiss immigrants.  His parents were Hans (George) Stamm (1854-1918) and Anna Maria (Mary) Stamm (1854-1950).  Our saint, born in Alida, Kansas, on March 23, 1878, grew up in the Evangelical Association.  The first two decades of his life were not conducive to education; he had completed five grades before his twentieth birthday.  Stamm, who had a conversion experience at age 18, matriculated at North Central College, Napierville, Illinois, in 1898.  The college, like many similar institutions at the time, had a preparatory academy attached to it.  Our saint started at the academy before moving on to the postsecondary program.  In 1909, at the age of 31 years, he completed his undergraduate degree.  The following year, he graduated from Evangelical Theological Seminary, attached to North Central College.  Then he earned his M.A. degree from The University of Chicago.

Stamm, a minister, spent most of his career above the congregational level.  He served in churches in Missouri (Bloomington and Glasgow) and Illinois (Manhattan, Downers Grove, and Oak Park) before becoming a professor at Evangelical Theological Seminary (1918-1926).  Then he became a bishop in 1926.  Stamm worked first out of Kansas City, Missouri (1926-1934), then Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (1934f).  Along the way, he fell in love with Priscilla Marie Wahl (d. 1955).  He wed her in Manhattan, Illinois, on March 9, 1912.

Stamm was active on the Conference level of his denomination.  He was, at different times, the President of the Sunday School Board, the Chairman on the Commission on Policy and Program, and the Missionary Secretary of the Young People’s Alliance.

Stamm was active on the denominational level, beyond his duties as a bishop.  He was the President of the Evangelical School of Theology, Reading, Pennsylvania (1934-1941).  As of 1939, our saint also led the denominational Board of Publication, the Superannuation Fund, the Church Extension board, the Christian Social Action committee, and the Commission on Church Federation and Union.  Stamm was, therefore, deeply involved in the 1946 merger that formed the Evangelical United Brethren Church.

Stamm, the author of Evangelism and Christian Experience, was also an ecumenist.  He served as the President of the Pennsylvania Council of Churches (1945-1949), the Federal Council of Churches (1948-1950).  Furthermore, Stamm helped to found the World Council of Churches (1948) and sat on its Central Committee (1948-1954).  If that were not enough, he also helped to create the Revised Standard Version (1946, 1952) of the Bible.

Stamm received more degrees later in life.  These were:

  1. Doctor of Divinity (1927), Evangelical Theological Seminary;
  2. Doctor of Laws (1936), Albright College;
  3. Doctor of Humane Letters (1949), North Central College; and
  4. Doctor of Sacred Theology (1951), Dickinson College.

In 1950, at the age of 72 years, Stamm retired from episcopal ministry.  He remained active in other capacities for years.  Our saint died on Kansas City, Missouri, on March 5, 1956, at the age of 77 years.  The cause of death was pneumonia, after a pelvic fracture.

Bishop John S. Stamm got a late start to his ministry, but he did much once he got underway.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 22, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN JULIAN, ANGLICAN PRIEST, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMNOLOGIST

THE FEAST OF ALEXANDER MEN, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1990

THE FEAST OF LADISLAO BATTHÁNY-STRATTMANN, AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PHYSICIAN AND PHILANTHROPIST

THE FEAST OF LOUISE CECILIA FLEMING, AFRICAN-AMERICAN BAPTIST MISSIONARY AND PHYSICIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT VINCENT PALLOTTI, FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY FOR THE CATHOLIC APOSTOLATE, THE UNION OF CATHOLIC APOSTOLATE, AND THE SISTERS OF THE CATHOLIC APOSTOLATE

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servant John Samuel Stamm,

who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock;

and we pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life,

we may by grace grow into the full stature of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978). 38

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of Thomas Wyatt Turner (March 16)   1 comment

Above:  Thomas Wyatt Turner, 1901

Image in the Public Domain

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

THOMAS WYATT TURNER (MARCH 16, 1877-APRIL 21, 1978)

U.S. Roman Catholic Scientist, Educator, and Civil Rights Activist

Founder of Federated Colored Catholics

Thomas Wyatt Turner 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).

Turner, an African-American, became a fine and a pioneering scientist, a great educator, and a civil rights activist.  Our saint, born in Hughesville, Maryland, on March 16, 1877, was a son of sharecroppers and former slaves, Eli Turner and Linnie Gross (Turner).  The family was Roman Catholic.  At an early age our saint encountered racism in the Church.  Given that local Roman Catholic parochial schools did not admit African Americans, Turner attended an Episcopal school, St. Mary’s Parochial and Industrial School, from which he graduated in 1894.

Turner earned degrees through his doctorate, and began to teach.  He graduated from Howard University (A.B., 1901) then spent a brief stint as a graduate student at the Catholic University of America in 1901.  In 1901 and 1902 our saint taught science and mathematics at the Tuskegee Institute.  Then, from 1902 to 1910, Turner taught biology at Colored High and Training School, Baltimore, Maryland.  Meanwhile, he earned his A.M. degree from Howard University (1905).  Our saint taught high school in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1910 and 1911.  Then he taught biology again at Colored High and Training School, Baltimore, in 1911 and 1912.  From 1913 to 1924 Turner was Professor of Applied Biology and Nature Study at Teachers’ College, Howard University.  During his sabbatical (1920-1921) he completed work on his Ph.D. in Plant Physiology, Plant Pathology, and Pomology from Cornell University (1921).  He was the first African American to earn and receive a doctorate from Cornell University, and in botany from any institution in the the United States.  The title of his dissertation was “Studies of the Mechanism of the Physiological Effects of Certain Mineral Salts in Altering the Ratio of Top Growth to Root Growth in Seed Plants.”  At the time the Catholic University of America refused to admit African Americans to doctoral programs.  Otherwise, he would have worked on his Ph.D. there.

Turner was active in scientific and academic life.  He worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture off-and-on, on the side.  Our saint served as the Acting Dean of Teachers’ College, Howard University.  From 1924 to 1945 Turner was Professor and Head of the Unit of Natural Sciences at Hampton Institute, Hampton, Virginia.  He also founded the Virginia Conference of Science Teachers in 1931 and served as its first president.  Furthermore, our saint studied science education in historically African-American colleges and universities in 1943.  Turner, in retirement, was a visiting professor at Texas State University for Negroes, Houston, Texas, in 1949 and 1950.  He was active in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society for Horticultural Science for many years.

Turner married twice.  In 1907 he wed Laura Miller (d. 1934).  His second wife, whom he married in 1936, was Louise Wright.  Our saint had no children.

Turner confronted racism in the Church and in society.  In 1909 he he became a charter member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.).  He founded the Committee Against the Extension of Race Prejudice in the Church in 1917.  This organization was a forerunner of Federated Colored Catholics in 1925.  Our saint served as its president until his ouster by the board in 1932.  He had objected to the organization’s transformation into the National Catholic Federation for the Promotion of Better Race Relations.  The renamed organization divided, resulting in the formation of the second Federated Colored Catholics.  Turned resigned as its president in 1934.  This organization existed until 1958.

Turner reported various examples and patterns of racism in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States of America.  They included:

  1. Having to sit at the back of a church building during Mass;
  2. Priests’ hesitation to recommend African-American men to bishops for consideration for holy orders;
  3. Bishops’ hesitation to send African-American men to seminary;
  4. Racism in parochial schools and Catholic colleges and universities;
  5. The insistence that African Americans use side entrances of church buildings;
  6. Priests hearing the confessions of white parishioners first; and
  7. Priests administering communion to white parishioners first.

Turner ran unsuccessfully for the city council of Hampton, Virginia, in 1948.

The Catholic University of America awarded an honorary doctorate to Turner in 1976, when he was 99 years old.

Turner, aged 101 years, died in Washington, D.C., on April 21, 1978.

To condemn those who, out of racism, erected and/or maintained barriers in the way of Turner and other African Americans is easy and correct.  To stop there is insufficient, however.  We, individually and collectively, in our minds and in our institutions, may not be as morally superior as we may imagine ourselves to be.  We, individually, also harbor discriminatory prejudices and function as cogs in institutions that segregate and exclude unjustly.  We, individually and collectively, have a moral obligation to confront these examples and patterns of injustice.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 22, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN JULIAN, ANGLICAN PRIEST, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMNOLOGIST

THE FEAST OF ALEXANDER MEN, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1990

THE FEAST OF LADISLAO BATTHÁNY-STRATTMANN, AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PHYSICIAN AND PHILANTHROPIST

THE FEAST OF LOUISE CECILIA FLEMING, AFRICAN-AMERICAN BAPTIST MISSIONARY AND PHYSICIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT VINCENT PALLOTTI, FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY FOR THE CATHOLIC APOSTOLATE, THE UNION OF CATHOLIC APOSTOLATE, AND THE SISTERS OF THE CATHOLIC APOSTOLATE

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Holy and righteous God, you created us in your image.

Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression.

Help us [like your servant Thomas Wyatt Turner] to use our freedom

to bring justice among people and nations, to the glory of your name;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-14

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

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

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of Fred B. Craddock (March 8)   Leave a comment

Above:  Cherry Log Christian Church, Cherry Log, Georgia

Image Source = Google Earth

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FRED BRENNING CRADDOCK, JR. (APRIL 30, 1928-MARCH 6, 2015)

U.S. Disciples of Christ Minister, Biblical Scholar, and Renowned Preacher

++++++++++

The question is not whether the church is dying, but whether it is giving its life for the world.

–Fred B. Craddock

++++++++++

Fred B. Craddock was one of the most influential preachers in the United States of America.  He, the author of volumes of sermons as well as books about preaching (including Preaching, 1985), was a popular preacher at conferences of his denomination, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and a much sought-after lecturer at theological seminaries of various denominations.  In 1996 Baylor University named Craddock one of the twelve most influential preachers in the country.  In 2010 Preaching magazine, founded in 1985, ranked the twenty-five most influential preachers in the United States from 1985 to 2010.  Craddock occupied the sixteenth ranking.

Fred Brenning Craddock, Jr., was a native of Appalachia.  He, born in Humbolt, Tennessee, on April 30, 1928, was one of the offspring of Fred Brenning Craddock, Sr., and Ethel Craddock. After graduating from Johnson Bible College, Kimberlin Heights, Tennessee, in 1950, our saint maried Nettie Dungan in the middle of that year.  The couple, whom our saint’s death did part, had two children, John and Laura.  Craddock, who graduated from Phillips Theological Seminary, Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1953, became a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  He served in congregations in Tennessee and Oklahoma, earned his doctorate from Vanderbilt University (1964), studied at Tübingen and Yale, and, starting in 1964, taught at Phillips Theological Seminary.  Then, from 1979 to 1992, he was a professor of homiletics at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Decatur, Georgia.  The Craddocks, in retirement, returned to Appalachia.  In 1996, in Cherry Log (down the road from Blue Ridge, Georgia), our saint began to preach at what became Cherry Log Christian Church the following year.  He served as that congregation’s founding pastor from 1997 to 2003.

Craddock wrote commentaries on the Bible. He wrote the volumes on Luke (1990) and Philippians (2011) for the Interpretation series of books.  He also wrote the volume on 1 Peter, 2 Peter, and Jude (1995) for the Westminster Bible Companion series.  Our saint, who contributed to expository commentaries on the Common Lectionary and the Revised Common Lectionary, also cowrote The New Interpreter’s Bible New Testament Survey (2006) and wrote the introduction to and the commentary and reflections on Hebrews for Volume XII (1998) of The New Interpreter’s Bible.

Fred and Nettie Craddock, seeking to contribute to their corner of the world in yet another way, founded the Craddock Center, Cherry Log, in 2001.  Children, our saint and his wife insisted, needed books and music as well as food and shelter.  The Craddock Center has offered educational and cultural programs for children and families in nine counties in Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina for 19 years.

Our saint, who suffered from Parkinson’s Disease during his final years, died in Blue Ridge, Georgia, on March 6, 2015.  He was 86 years old.

In one of the songs from Cotton Patch Gospel (1982) Harry Chapin wrote:

Now if a man tried

to take his time on Earth

and prove before he died

what one man’s life could be worth,

well, I wonder what would happen to this world?

Fred B. Craddock lived that question.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 18, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE CONFESSION OF SAINT PETER THE APOSTLE

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

God of grace and might, we praise you for your saint Fred B. Craddock,

to whom you gave gifts to make the good news known.

Raise up, we pray, in every country, heralds and evangelists of your kingdom,

so that the world may know the immeasurable riches of our Savior, 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

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of Marian Anderson (February 29)   3 comments

Above:  Marian Anderson Performing at the Lincoln Memorial, 1939

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

MARIAN ANDERSON FISHER (FEBRUARY 27, 1897-APRIL 8, 1993)

African-American Singer and Civil Rights Activist

Marian Anderson 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).

Anderson grew up in a devout Christian home.  She, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on February 27, 1897, was one of three daughters of Annie Delilah Rucker (1874-1964) and John Berkeley Anderson (c. 1872-1910).  Annie, who did not have a college degree, had taught in Virginia.  She could not teach in Pennsylvania, however; a state law barred African Americans (yet not whites) without a college degree from teaching.  So Annie took care of children for a living.  John sold coal and ice at the Reading Terminal in Philadelphia.  Eventually, he added another source of revenue–selling liquor.  The Andersons were active in Union Baptist Church, South Philadelphia.  All three daughters sang.  Our saint joined the church’s junior choir when she was six years old.  She joined the People’s Chorus in the city four years later.  Marian performed solos in both choirs.

Church and family helped Anderson achieve her potential.  Her father died when she was 12 years old.  Annie and the three daughters moved in with John’s parents.  In 1912 our saint graduated from Stanton Grammar School, but her family could not afford to send her to high school and to take music lessons.  Anderson’s church eventually paid for her to take music lessons and to attend South Philadelphia High School.  Our saint graduated in 1921.

Racism proved to be a professional obstacle for Anderson in the United States.  She, rejected from the Philadelphia Music Academy because of her skin color, studied music privately.  In 1925 our saint won a contest in New York Philharmonic sponsored.  The prize was a concert, at which she performed with the orchestra.  The date of that concert was August 26, 1925.  Anderson continued to study music privately.  She performed at Carnegie Hall for the first time in 1928.  Our saint’s career outside her native country was more successful than in the United States.  In 1937 she was in Princeton, New Jersey, to perform in Princeton, New Jersey.  When a hotel turned Anderson away because of her race, Professor Albert Einstein invited her to be his guest.  This was not the last time Anderson spent time with the Einstein family.

Perhaps Anderson’s most famous concert was her performance at the Lincoln Memorial, in 1939.  The Daughters of the American Revolution had denied our saint the opportunity to sing at Constitution Hall, Washington, D.C.  First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt arranged for a larger, better venue instead.  Anderson finally sang at Constitution Hall in 1943.

Anderson was a trailblazer.  She performed the role of Ulrica in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City.  In so doing, our saint became the first African American to perform for that opera company.  The intensely patriotic vocalist, who entertained military personnel during World War II and the Korean War, also performed at President Dwight Eisenhower’s second inauguration (1957) and President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration (1961).  Eisenhower appointed Anderson to the United Nations Human Rights Committee (1958f).  Furthermore, our saint, active in the Civil Rights Movement, received a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963.

Anderson married architect Orpheus H. Fisher (1900-1986) on July 17, 1943.  She thereby became the stepmother of Fisher’s son, James.  Our saint, who lived on a farm near Danbury, Connecticut, from 1940 to 1992, retired on April 10, 1965, the date of her last performance at Carnegie Hall.

Anderson moved to Portland, Oregon, to reside with her nephew, James DePriest, a conductor in 1992.  She died in that city on April 8, 1993.  Our saint was 96 years old.

Anderson had a simple, non-judgmental faith she learned from her mother.  She trusted in God without condemning people whose theology differed from hers.  God, as our saint understood God, was loving and providential.

Marian Anderson’s life spanned decades of much cultural and legal change, especially regarding matters of race.  She helped to create some of that change; our saint did her part to leave the world and the United States of America better than they had been.  Events of the last few years have proven (as if anyone needed evidence) that any talk of the “death of racism” is ridiculous.

The work of fighting racism has fallen to those of us who still have pulses.  May we do our parts, so that those who follow us chronologically will have less work to do in this arena than they would otherwise.

I remember the casual racism around which I grew up.  My parents raised me to reject racism, but many people around me had a different attitude.  Seldom did any of these racists–classmates or some of my father’s parishioners, usually–bother to use code words in lieu of slurs.  I recall know that this language and the bias behind it were wrong.  Yet I also know that some of that racism rubbed off on me, as if by osmosis.  Some thoughts I know to be immoral occur sometimes.  Only God and I know when this happens, for I never express these thoughts.  No, I confess them to God and seek forgiveness.  I entertain the better angels of my nature.

The beginning of resisting racism in society, an institution, a community, et cetera, is choosing not to cave into it as it manifests withing oneself, unless one is a rare person who lacks any trace of racism.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 7, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILHELM WEXELS, NORWEGIAN LUTHERAN MINISTER, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR; HIS NIECE, MARIE WEXELSEN, NORWEGIAN LUTHERAN NOVELIST AND HYMN WRITER; LUDWIG LINDEMAN, NORWEGIAN LUTHERAN ORGANIST AND MUSICOLOGIST; AND MAGNUS LANDSTAD, NORWEGIAN LUTHERAN MINISTER, FOLKLORIST, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMNAL EDITOR

THE FEAST OF BRADFORD TORREY, U.S. ORNITHOLOGIST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHANN GOTTFRIED WEBER, GERMAN MORAVIAN MUSICIAN, COMPOSER, AND MINISTER

THE FEAST OF JOHN WOOLMAN, QUAKER ABOLITIONIST

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Holy and righteous God, you created us in your image.

Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression.

Help us, like your servant Marian Anderson,

to work for justice among people and nations,

to the glory of your name, through Jesus Chris, 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

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of Fred Rogers (February 28)   Leave a comment

Above:  Fred Rogers, July 9, 2002

Image in the Public Domain

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FRED MCFEELY ROGERS (MARCH 20, 1928-FEBRUARY 27, 2003)

U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

…but kindness is like a garden of blessings….

–Sirach 40:17a, The New Revised Standard Version (1989)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Fred Rogers comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via his deep Christian piety and great decency.

For years, off and on, hosts of FOX and Friends have taken Rogers behind the woodshed verbally, as clips easily available on YouTube prove.  These television personalities have asked if he was

RUINING KIDS

for telling young people,

You’re special because you’re you.

These hosts have also accused Rogers of being

This evil, evil man….

As any historian knows, consider the source.  That source’s foolishness is obvious to anyone who knows what evil is.  When I think of evil people, my mind turns immediately to genocidal dictators:  Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot.  Personalities at FOX and Friends think of kindly hosts of children’s shows, apparently.

But kindness is a paradise in its blessings….

–Ecclesiasticus 40:17a, The Revised English Bible (1989)

Fred Rogers was a  paragon of gentleness and mere goodness.  Fred McNeely Rogers knew about childhood struggles firsthand.  He, son of Nancy Rogers and businessman James Rogers, debuted in LaTrobe, Pennsylvania, on March 20, 1928.  Our saint, as a youth, was overweight, shy, and a frequent target for bullies.  The introvert, played with puppets and stuffed animals at home.  He came out of his shell and slimmed down eventually.

Our saint made a career in television, mostly for children.  After graduating from Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida, with a degree in music composition, in 1951, Rogers worked for NBC in New York, New York, for two years.  He worked behind the cameras on positive programming.  In 1952 Rogers married Sara Joanne Byrd, a former classmate at Rollins College, and a fine pianist.  The couple raised two children and remained married until our saint died, in 2003.

But goodness, like eternity, will never be cut off….

–Wisdom of Ben Sira 40:17a, The New American Bible–Revised Edition (2011)

Rogers made the transition to children’s programming in 1953, when he went to work behind the cameras at WQED, a public television station in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He developed The Children’s Corner.  Our saint also studied child psychology and development at the University of Pittsburgh, where he met Margaret McFarland, a psychologist.  They collaborated professionally for decades.  Furthermore, Rogers studied at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.  He became an ordained minister in The United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. in 1963.  Rogers served as a pastor in a congregation; television was his main ministry.  Writing books for children was another ministry.

Rogers worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in Toronto from 1963 to 1967.  He made his debut as a host on MisteRogers (1963-1967).  Our saint also worked on Butternut Square from 1964 to 1967.  Many characters on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood started during this period.

You made this day special just by being yourself.

–Fred Rogers

Rogers, back in Pittsburgh, produced and starred in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (1968-1975, 1979-2001), for which he also composed most of the music.  He created 895 episodes rerun frequently.  The series focused on the moral, psychological, and emotional development of children.  Themes included tolerance and self-worth.  Topics included assassination (in 1968), divorce, civil rights, the death of a pet, and starting school.  Rogers affirmed that life is not cheap, that is a great wonder and something to affirm and celebrate.  He also said that television programs should make that point.

You know, you don’t have to look like everybody else to be acceptable and to feel acceptable.

–Fred Rogers

Rogers also made other television appearances, usually as himself.  In 1978, on hiatus from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, our saint hosted the 20 episodes of Old Friend…New Friends, an interview series for adults.  He also portrayed the Reverend Thomas in an episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman in 1996.

Rogers produced the final episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in December 2000.  Then he retired.  That retirement was brief, due to our saint’s failing health.  Rogers, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002, died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on February 27, 2003.  In less than a month, he would have been 75 years old.

Fred Rogers was a good neighbor to everyone.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Loving God, in whom all goodness dwells and in whom is Heaven,

we thank you for the life, legacy, and faith of your servant, Fred Rogers,

a vehicle and conduit of your love for all people.

May your love define our lives and inform our work,

for the benefit of others and for your glory;

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

Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-13a

Psalm 15

1 Corinthians 13

Matthew 18:1-5

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 6, 2019 COMMON ERA

PROPER 22:  THE SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF GEORGE EDWARD LYNCH COTTON, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF CALCUTTA

THE FEAST OF HEINRICH ALBERT, GERMAN LUTHERAN COMPOSER AND POET

THE FEAST OF JOHN ERNEST BODE, ANGLICAN PRIEST, POET, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM TYNDALE, ENGLISH REFORMER, BIBLE TRANSLATOR, AND MARTYR, 1536; AND MILES COVERDALE, ENGLISH REFORMER, BIBLE TRANSLATOR, AND BISHOP OF EXETER

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++