Archive for the ‘Saints of 1950-1959’ Category

Feast of Healey Willan (February 20)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of Canada, 1965-Present

Image in the Public Domain

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JAMES HEALEY WILLAN (OCTOBER 12, 1880-FEBRUARY 16, 1968)

Canadian Anglican Organist and Composer

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A scholar with a musical background a thousand years deep.  One of the chief sources of his inspiration is Gregorian music….He is obviously well acquainted with the English school, and…the method and traditional music of the Eastern Church.

–Quoted in Armin Haeussler, The Story of Our Hymns:  The Handbook to the Hymnal of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (1952), 183

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(James) Healey Willan 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.

Willan was a son of James Burton Willan and Eleanor Healey Willan.  Our saint, born in London, England, on October 12, 1880, started his musical education when four years old.  He, a choirboy at St. Saviour’s Choir School when eight years old, went on to serve as organist and choirmaster of St. Saviour’s Church, St. Albans, from 1897 to 1900.  Our saint, steeped in Anglo-Catholic liturgical and musical traditions, served as the organist and choirmaster at Christ Church, Wanstead (1900-1903); then at St. John the Baptist Church, Kensington (1903-1913).  He married Gladys Ellen Hallin in 1905.  The couple had three sons and one daughter.

The Willan family moved to Canada in 1913.  He became the head of the theory department at the Toronto Conservatory of Music (1913-1920); the Vice President of that conservatory (1920-1936); the organist and choirmaster at the Anglican Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Toronto (1921-death).  Our saint received his doctorate in music from the University of Toronto in 1921.  He, the Director of Music at Hart House, the University of Toronto (1919-1925), served on the music faculty at that university (1937-1950).  Furthermore, Willan served as the President of the Authors and Composers Association of Canada (1933f).  He also became a Companion of the Order of Canada (1967).

YouTube offers some interesting and informative videos regarding Willan.  There is an interview (parts 1 and 2).  I also refer you, O reader, to a recording of our saint playing the organ at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene.  Furthermore, I recommend that you listen to recordings of some of his compositions:

  1. Piano Concerto in C Minor (1944);
  2. The Three Kings;
  3. Missa Brevis #2 in F Minor;
  4. Missa Brevis #5 in F Sharp Minor;
  5. Lo, in the Time Appointed;
  6. Rise Up, My Love;
  7. Hodie, Christus Natus Est; and
  8. Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue for Organ (1916).

Willan composed in a traditional style informed by his Anglo-Catholic roots, Tudor-era music, and German Romanticism.  His oeuvre encompassed about 800 compositions.  These included masses, motets, organ works, cantatas, symphonies, chamber music, and settings of poems.

Willan, aged 87 years, died in Toronto on February 16, 1968.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 19, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ELIZABETH OF HUNGARY, PRINCESS OF HUNGARY, AND HUMANITARIAN

THE FEAST OF ALICE NEVIN, U.S. GERMAN REFORMED LITURGIST AND COMPOSER OF HYMN TEXTS

THE FEAST OF ARTHUR HENRY MANN, ANGLICAN ORGANIST, CHOIR DIRECTOR, HYMNODIST, AND HYMN TUNE COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF JOHANN CHRISTIAN TILL, U.S. MORAVIAN ORGANIST, COMPOSER, AND PIANO BUILDER; AND HIS SON, JACOB CHRISTIAN TILL, U.S. MORAVIAN PIANO BUILDER

THE FEAST OF JOHANN HERMANN SCHEIN, GERMAN LUTHERAN COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAMUEL JOHN STONE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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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 Healey Willan and all those

who with music have filled us with desire and love for you;

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

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

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

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

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Feast of Edward Shippen Barnes (February 18)   Leave a comment

Above:  Edward Shippen Barnes

Image Source = hymntime.com

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EDWARD SHIPPEN BARNES (SEPTEMBER 14, 1887-FEBRUARY 14, 1958)

U.S. Presbyterian Organist, Composer, and Writer

Edward Shippen Barnes 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.

Barnes, born in Seabright, New Jersey, on September 14, 1887, was a son of Charles Wheeler Barnes and Elizabeth Shippen.  Our saint studied music at a young age.  He studied music from a young age.  He started organ studies at The Lawrenceville School, Lawrence Township, New Jersey.  At Yale University, Barnes studied organ and composition.  Horatio William Parker (1863-1919) taught him composition.  After graduating from Yale, our saint continued his studies at the Schola Cantorum, Paris, France.

Barnes, a member of the old Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., served as organist and choirmaster in Episcopal and Presbyterian congregations:

  1. Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, New York, New York (1911-1912);
  2. Rutgers Presbyterian Church, New York, New York (1913-1924), during which time he also served in the Naval Reserve (1918-1919);
  3. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1924-1938); and
  4. First Presbyterian Church, Santa Monica, California (1938-1954).

Barnes retired to Idyllwild, California, in 1954.  He donated a small organ to a local congregation and played that instrument in worship.

Barnes, married with four children, had a great interest in the musical education of children.  Therefore, he compiled and edited Bach for Beginners in Organ-Playing (1919).  Our saint also edited The Children’s Anthem Book:  Thirty-Six Anthems for Unison Voices with Piano or Organ Accompaniment (1922).

Barnes wrote and edited other texts, too.  He edited American Organ Monthly for years.  Our saint also wrote A Method of Organ Playing (1921).  Furthermore, he contributed texts to Handbook for the Hymnal (1935), the companion volume to his denomination’s The Hymnal (1933).

Barnes composed both sacred and secular music:

  1. Two organ symphonies,
  2. Twp organ suites,
  3. Fantasia for Organ and Choir,
  4. Two cantatas (The Comforter and Remember Now Thy Creator),
  5. Piano pieces,
  6. Vocal works,
  7. Anthems,
  8. Episcopal services, and
  9. Hymn tunes.

Barnes composed at least four hymn tunes:

  1. GLORIA,
  2. MERIEL,
  3. QUI TENET, and
  4. SAN VICENTE (for “Healer Divine, Who Walkest Still”).

Our saint also composed descants, arranged hymn tunes, and wrote the text of at least one hymn (“Keep Thou My Hands E’er Swift”).

Barnes, aged 70 years, died in Idyllwild, California, on February 14, 1958.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 17, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT HENRIETTE DELILLE, FOUNDER OF THE SISTERS OF THE HOLY FAMILY

THE FEAST OF SAINT HUGH OF LINCOLN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP AND ABBOT

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

thank you for those (especially Edward Shippen Barnes)

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 Pedro Casaldaliga (February 16)   1 comment

äAbove:  The Flag of Brazil

Image in the Public Domain

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PERE CASALDÀLIGA I PLA (FEBRUARY 16, 1928-AUGUST 8, 2020)

Roman Catholic Bishop of São Félix, Brazil

“Bishop to then Poor”

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If in doubt, side with the poor.

–One of Bishop Casaldàliga’s favorite sayings

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Bishop Pedro Casaldàliga comes to this, A GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES:  AN ECUMENICAL CALENDAR OF SAINTS’ DAYS AND HOLY DAYS, via Father João Bosco Burnier (1917-1976), one of his priests, and a martyr.

Our saint was a Catalan.  He, born in Balsareny, Catalonia, Spain, on February 16, 1928, grew up on the family’s cattle ranch.  He, ordained a priest in Barcelona on May 31, 1952, was also a Claretian.

The order sent Casaldàliga to Brazil in 1968.  There he remained, except for travels out of the country.  Our saint, appointed the Apostolic Administrator of the Territorial Prefecture of São Félix on April 27, 1970, became its bishop on August 27, 1971.  He served in this capacity until retiring on February 2, 2005.  Casaldàliga made powerful enemies.

  1. He opposed the Brazilian military dictatorship, which committed violations of human rights of civilians.  That government censored him.
  2. He confronted large agricultural corporations for cooperating with the military dictatorship and operating a modern form of the slaver trade.
  3. He advocated for the rights of the poor and indigenous people.  This advocacy incurred the wrath of logging corporations, mining corporations, agricultural corporations, and land-grabbers.  Casaldàliga received death threats and the attention of more than one hitman, even after he retired.
  4. In 1972, he founded the Conselho Indigenista Missionário within the Brazilian Roman Catholic Church, to support the rights of indigenous peoples.
  5. He favored liberation theology.  This position placed Casaldàliga on the bad side of Pope John Paul II and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI).  The bishop defied Rome when he refused to sign a prepared statement acknowledging his alleged errors.
  6. He criticized the Roman Catholic Church from within for, among other errors, marginalizing women, opposing liberation theology, and being overly centralized.
  7. He made other churchmen look bad by voluntarily living in poverty, in community.

Casaldàliga, in retirement, served as a priest.  He also had a favorable relationship with Pope Francis.  The bishop, who suffered from Parkinson’s Disease, died in Batatais, São Paolo, on August 8, 2020.  He was 92 years old.

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Lord Christ, who pronounced the poor to be blessed heirs of the Kingdom of God,

thank you for the faithful life and legacy of your servant, Bishop Pedro Casaldàliga,

who lived the Gospel in his advocacy on behalf of the poor and indigenous peoples.

May the spirit of courageous defense of the marginalized and oppressed ever be strong within your Church.

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

Deuteronomy 24:10-15

Psalm 10

Revelation 18:9-24

Luke 6:20-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 15, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN AMOS COMENIUS, FATHER OF MODERN EDUCATION

THE FEAST OF GUSTAF AULEN AND HIS PROTÉGÉ AND COLLEAGUE, ANDERS NYGREN, SWEDISH LUTHERAN BISHOPS AND THEOLOGIANS

THE FEAST OF JANE MONTGOMERY CAMPBELL, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER AND MUSIC EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF JOHANN GOTTLOB KLEMM, INSTRUMENT MAKER; DAVID TANNENBERG, SR., GERMAN-AMERICAN MORAVIAN ORGAN BUILDER; JOHANN PHILIP BACHMANN, GERMAN-AMERICAN MORAVIAN INSTRUMENT MAKER; JOSEPH FERDINAND BULITSCHEK, BOHEMIAN-AMERICAN ORGAN BUILDER; AND TOBIAS FRIEDRICH, GERMAN MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND MUSICIAN

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES KEPLER, GERMAN LUTHERAN ASTRONOMER AND MATHEMATICIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH PIGNATELLI, RESTORER OF THE JESUITS

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Feast of Julius H. Horstmann (February 10)   Leave a comment

Above:  Julius H. Horstmann

Image Cropped from the 1955 Year Book of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (1954), 57

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JULIUS HENRY HORSTMANN (MARCH 16, 1869-FEBRUARY 13, 1954)

U.S. Prussian Evangelical Minister and Hymn Translator

Also known as Julius Hermann Edward Horstmann

The Reverend Julius Henry Horstmann comes to this, A GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES:  AN ECUMENICAL CALENDAR OF SAINTS’ DAYS AND HOLY DAYS, via The Hymnal (1941), of the old Evangelical and Reformed Church.

In 1817, King Frederick William III of Prussia (reigned 1797-1840) merged the Lutheran and Reformed denominations in his realm.  Thus, in Prussian terms, “Evangelical” simply meant Protestant.  The Evangelical Synod of North America (1872-1934), with its organizational roots in the New World dating to 1840, was the North American counterpart to the Prussian union church.  The ESNA merged with the (German) Reformed Church in the United States to form the Evangelical and Reformed Church in 1934.

The legacy of the Evangelical and Reformed Church continues as the liturgical wing of the United Church of Christ.

Horstmann, born in Napierville, Illinois, on March 16, 1869, spent most of his life in the Evangelical Synod of North America.  His father, Henry Horstmann, was the treasurer of the ESNA’s North Illinois District from 1874 to 1888.  After studying at Northwestern College (now North Central College), Napierville, our saint studied at Elmhurst College (now Elmhurst University), Elmhurst, Illinois.  Studies at Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, followed.

The Reverend Julius H. Horstmann, ordained on December 13, 1891, ministered in congregations in Indiana and Texas before becoming a denominational journalist.  He edited The Evangelical Herald (1906-1935) then served as Associate Editor of The Messenger (1936-1939).

Horstmann also wrote at least two books:

  1. The Will of God (1925), and
  2. Through Four Centuries:  The Story of the Beginnings of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (1938), with Herbert Werbecke.

Horstmann also translated hymns:

  1. “God of Might, We Praise Thy Name” (1908), a setting of the German Te Deum by Ignaz Franz (1719-1790);
  2. “The Work is Thine, O Christ Our Lord;” and
  3. “Wait on God, and Trust Him.”

Horstmann, who retired in 1939, died in Mount Vernon, Illinois, on February 13, 1954.  He was 84 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 14, 2021 COMMON ERA

PROPER 28:  THE TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAMUEL SEABURY, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF CONNECTICUT, AND PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIA LUIZA MERKERT, CO-FOUNDER OF THE SISTERS OF SAINT ELIZABETH

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICHOLAS TAVELIC AND HIS COMPANIONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 1391

THE FEAST OF PETER WOLLE, U.S. MORAVIAN BISHOP, ORGANIST, AND COMPOSER; THEODORE FRANCES WOLLE, U.S. MORAVIAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER; AND JOHN FREDERICK “J. FRED.” WOLLE, U.S. MORAVIAN ORGANIST, COMPOSER, AND CHOIR DIRECTOR

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Julius H. Horstmann and others, who have translated hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

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

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

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

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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

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Feast of Blessed Maria Esperanza de Jesus (February 8)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Maria Esperanza de Jesus

Image in the Public Domain

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MARIA JOSEFA ALHAMA Y VALERA (SEPTEMBER 30, 1893-FEBRUARY 8, 1983)

Founder of the Handmaids of Merciful Love and the Sons of Merciful Love

Also known as Blessed Esperanza de Jesus

Blessed Maria Esperanza de Jesus comes to this, A GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES:  AN ECUMENICAL CALENDAR OF SAINTS’ DAYS AND HOLY DAYS, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Maria Josefa, born in Santomera, Murcia, Spain, on September 30, 1893, came from a devout, peasant family.  She was the first of nine children.  Our saint’s father was an agricultural worker.  Her mother was a housewife.  Maria Josefa, educated by nuns, joined the Daughters of Calvary, as Sister Esperanza de Jesus (Hope of Jesus) when 21 years old.

Our saint, devoted to the Merciful Love of Jesus, founded two orders.  She founded the Handmaids of Merciful Love in Madrid, Spain, on December 24, 1930.  Their mission was to care for the sick, the elderly, orphans, and poor children, and to educate the latter two.  She, based in Rome from 1926 to 1951, then at Collevalenza, Perugia, Italy, starting in 1951, founded the corresponding male order, the Sons of Merciful Love, in Collevalenza in 1951.

Our saint oversaw the construction of the Sanctuary of Merciful Love, at Collevalenza, completed in 1959.  Pope John Paul II visited the church and our saint in 1982.  He recognized the church as a minor basilica.

Our saint, aged 89 years, died in Collevalenza on February 8, 1983.

The Church has formally recognized Valera.  Pope John Paul II declared her a Venerable in 2002.  Pope Frances beatified her in 2014.

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Many non-Christians–especially non-believers–think of Christianity as a judgmental, legalistic faith.  This is a misunderstanding of Christianity, as it is, at its best.  However, many professing Christians are judgmental and legalistic.  They are what they falsely accuse Jews of being–legalistic, with works-based righteousness.

Blessed Maria Esperanza de Jesus correctly focused on divine merciful love–that which loves unconditionally and seeks to attract all people.  Grace is free, not cheap; ask the Hebrew prophets, Jesus, and the martyrs.  Grace calls for faithful response.

Legalism is a misguided attempt to respond faithfully to God.  Legalism is a sibling of the quest for certainty.  That quest is idolatrous; it replaces faith in God with certainty.

May we–you, O reader, and I–lean all the way into God’s merciful love and trust in it.  May we be neither legalistic nor judgmental. May we respond faithfully to God.

God of merciful love, thank you for the faithful life and legacy

of your servant, Blessed Maria Esperanza de Jesus.

May our lives also be beacons of your merciful love,

for your glory and the benefit of others.

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

Leviticus 19:1-4, 9-18, 32-37

Psalm 23

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Luke 10:25-37

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 10, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT LEO I “THE GREAT,” BISHOP OF ROME

THE FEAST OF LOTT CARY, AFRICAN-AMERICAN BAPTIST MINISTER AND MISSIONARY TO LIBERIA; AND MELVILLE B. COX, U.S. METHODIST MINISTER AND MISSIONARY TO LIBERIA

THE FEAST OF ODETTE PRÉVOST, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN, AND MARTYR IN ALGERIA, 1995

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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 Bob Keeshan (January 24)   2 comments

Above:  Bob Keeshan as Captain Kangaroo

Image in the Public Domain

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ROBERT JAMES KEESHAN (JUNE 27, 1927-JANUARY 23, 2004)

Captain Kangaroo

Bob Keeshan comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via historical accounts and my childhood.

Keeshan came from an Irish-American Roman Catholic family.  He, born in Lynbrook, New York, on June 27, 1927, was a son of Margaret Frances Conroy Keeshan (d. 1943) and grocery store manager Joseph Keeshan.  Our saint, who graduated from high school in June 1945, served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve (1945-1946).  Afterward, he worked at the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and commenced prelaw studies at Cornell University.  After a few years, Keeshan switched his major to education.  He graduated in 1951.  The previous year, he married Anne Jeanne Laurie (d. 1996), a receptionist at the American Broadcasting Company (ABC),  The couple raised three children.

Keeshan worked on children’s shows before Captain Kangaroo.  He made his broadcasting debut on the Triple B Ranch, a radio program, in 1947.  The following year, our saint originated the role of Clarabell the Clown on The Howdy Doody Show.  He left that role in 1952.  Our saint portrayed Corny the Clown on Time for Fun (1953-1955), a morning television program in New York City.  He also selected the cartoons to broadcast.  Violent and racially-insensitive cartoons did not make the cut.  Our saint also created Tinker’s Workshop (1954-1955), a program for preschoolers.  He played the Tinker, a grandfather figure.

Keeshan portrayed Captain Kangaroo from October 1955 to December 1984.  He wore a coat with large pockets, hence the character’s name.  Our saint aimed the show at children six to eight years old.  He presented a gentle program that introduced children, as well as many adults, to music, literature, and science.  Characters included Mr. Moose, Bunny Rabbit, Grandfather Clock, and Mr. Green Jeans.

Keeshan advocated for issues affecting children.  He opposed tobacco companies sponsoring children’s activities.  Our saint, like his peer and friend Fred Rogers (1928-2003), understood human development, especially the importance of the first few years.  Therefore, Keeshan worked to provide daycare programs to businesses (1987f), criticized violence in video games, and condemned cartoons that were advertisements for toys in the 1980s.

Our saint, who received awards for his work in children’s broadcasting, died at home in Windsor, Vermont, on January 23, 2004.  He was 76 years old.

When Bob Keeshan spoke out regarding values, his life backed up his words.

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Living God, whose image each human being bears,

we thank you for the faith, life, and legacy of Bob Keeshan, Captain Kangaroo.

May the gentleness he embodied thrive in societies,

and may education enrich children culturally and intellectually.

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

Proverbs 4:1-9

Psalm 78:1-4

Ephesians 6:1-4

Matthew 19:13-15

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 6, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHARLES FOX, ANGLICAN MISSIONARY IN MELANESIA

THE FEAST OF AARON ROBARTS WOLFE, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ALLEN CRITE, ARTIST

THE FEAST OF HANNAH MORE, ANGLICAN POET, PLAYWRIGHT, RELIGIOUS WRITER, AND PHILANTHROPIST

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH GOMER AND MARY GOMER, U.S. UNITED BRETHREN MISSIONARIES IN SIERRA LEONE

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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 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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Feast of Henry Irving Louttit, Jr. (December 31)   10 comments

Above:  The Flag of The Episcopal Church

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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HENRY IRVING LOUTTIT, JR. (JUNE 13, 1938-DECEMBER 31, 2020)

Episcopal Bishop of Georgia

Bishop Henry Irving Loutttit, Jr., comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via my ecclesiastical past.  Within Anglicanism, history makes saints.  I, having known Bishop Louttit, attest that he was a saint.

This post is personal.  Know, therefore, O reader, that I have chosen to refer to this saint on a first-name basis–as Henry.

Henry was a model of Anglican collegiality.  In the last two decades, “Anglican,” in the United States of America, has assumed a Donatistic connotation in my mind.  Henry’s Anglicanism was a big tent, however.  He, to my right in many respects, offered an ecclesiastical setting that made room for heretics such as me.

Henry Irving Louttit, Jr., born in West Palm Beach, Florida, on June 13, 1938, was a scion of The Episcopal Church.  Henry’s mother was Amy Cleckler Louttit.  His father was Henry Irving Louttit, Sr. (1903-1984), then a priest in the Diocese of South Florida.  Henry, Sr., went on to serve as the Suffragan Bishop of South Florida (1945-1948), the Bishop Coadjutor of South Florida (1948-1951), and the Bishop of South Florida (1951-1969).  In 1969, the Diocese of South Florida broke up into the Dioceses of Southeast Florida, Southwest Florida, and Central Florida.  Henry, Sr., served as the first Bishop of Central Florida (1969-1970) before retiring.

The Louttit family belonged to the Anglo-Catholic wing of The Episcopal Church.  In 2005, Henry recalled:

…we knew that we were right, even though we were not the majority in the Episcopal Church.  There was a fortress mentality that caused us to suspect that everything the national Episcopal Church did was intended to undercut the truths that we held dear.  Most of the young priests who influenced me as a teenager believed that the greater part of the Episcopal Church was heretical–were outside of God’s communion.

The family was progressive on racial justice issues.  The Ku Klux Klan once burned a cross on the front lawn of the family home in Winter Park, Florida.

Henry had a fine Episcopal education.  He studied at Christ School, a boarding school in Arden, North Carolina.  He graduated with honors from The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, too.  Our saint made an unusual choice of seminary, given his Anglo-Catholic heritage; he matriculated at Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, Virginia.  In 2005, Henry recalled:

For them anything that Roman Catholics did or said was wrong….In my world, if Rome did it, it was right.  In their world, if Rome did it, it must be wrong.

Henry married Jayne “Jan” Northway Arledge on June 14, 1962.  The couple eventually had three daughters.

While a seminarian, Henry served at St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C.  It had become the first racially-integrated Episcopal church in the District of Columbia in the 1950s.

Henry, having graduated from VTS in June 1963, embarked on his ministerial career.  His father ordained him a deacon that month.  Our saint became a priest on June 25, 1964.  He served in three congregations in the Diocese of Georgia:

  1. Trinity Episcopal Church, Statesboro (-1967);
  2. Christ Episcopal Church, Valdosta (1967-1994); and
  3. St. James’ Episcopal Church, Quitman (1970-1974).

Henry nearly became a bishop at least twice before winning election as Bishop of Georgia.

  1. Henry was a candidate for Bishop Coadjutor of Georgia in 1983.  Henry was a relatively liberal candidate; he favored the ordination of women.  Harry Woolston Shipps (1926-1916) won that election on a pledge not to ordain women.  Shipps went on to serve as the Bishop Coadjutor (1984-1985) then the Bishop of Georgia (1985-1994).  Before Shipps retired, he ordained women.
  2. Henry was also a candidate for Suffragan Bishop of Ohio in 1994.  Kenneth Lester Price, Jr., won that election and served, starting that year.

Henry won election as Bishop of Georgia in late 1994.  His consecration occurred in the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Savannah, on January 21, 1995.

Henry was my priest (1993-1994) then my bishop (1995-2005).  Many people knew him longer and better than I did.  I wish I had known him better than I did.

Henry was, among other descriptions:

  1. Beloved,
  2. Pastoral,
  3. Down-to-earth, and
  4. Realistic.

Henry had a healthy sense of humor about himself.  On his last Sunday at Christ Christ, Valdosta (October 30, 1994), Henry noted the proximity of that day to Halloween.  He also recalled that his installation as rector had occurred on April Fool’s Day, 1967.

In the early 2000s, I was a member of another parish in another town in the Diocese of Georgia.  One Sunday, when Henry made his episcopal visit, he diplomatically broke bad news:  He had spoken to recent former rectors of that parish.  Not one missed the parish.  This was an evaluation the congregation needed to hear.

Henry was, like most people, I suppose, a mix of progressivism and conservatism.

  1. Henry was a relative liberal in the Diocese of Georgia, especially with regard to The Book of Common Prayer (1979) and the ordination of women.  His metaphorical fingerprints were all over the “new Prayer Book;” he was part of its creation.  And one daughter became a priest.  In the House of Bishops, Henry voted to insist on the ordination of women in all dioceses.
  2. Henry, however, was relatively conservative regarding homosexuality.  His voting record on this issue in the House of Bishops moderated the longer he served as a bishop, however.  That relative conservatism helped in his effort to maintain diocesan unity in the early 2000s.  He was not entirely successful, though; no Bishop of Georgia could have been.  Henry strove to maintain the big tent.  Some, however, chose to leave that tent and form breakaway congregations.

Henry, as Bishop of Georgia, presided over a rural, far-flung diocese.  He worked on solutions regarding ministry in that context.  Henry also encouraged the vocational diaconate, founded missions and revitalized congregations.

Henry (Doctor of Divinity, Virginia Theological Seminary, 1993) was also a hagiographer.  He wrote Saints of Georgia (1998, 1999, 2004), a mix of national and diocesan saints.  One of these saints–Deaconess Anna Ellison Butler Alexander (1865?-1947)–eventually received denominational recognition.  The Episcopal Church added her to A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016) then to Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018.  Presiding Bishop Michael Curry visited her old church, Good Shepherd, Pennick, in January 2018.

I departed for the Diocese of Atlanta in August 2005.  Before I did, however, I asked Henry to recommend a parish to attend in Athens.  He advised me to join St. Gregory the Great Church.  He was correct.

Henry retired on January 23, 2010.  He remained in Savannah for years.  Eventually, though, he and Jan moved to Tallahassee, Florida, to be close to a daughter.

Henry, aged 82 years, died in Tallahassee on December 23, 2020.  He was a gentleman, a scholar, and a prince of the church.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 24, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BARTHOLOMEW THE APOSTLE, MARTYR

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Heavenly Father, Shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servant Henry Irving Louttit, Jr.,

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 your grace grow into the stature and fullness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ;

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

Ezekiel 34:11-16

Psalm 23

1 Peter 5:1-4

John 21:15-17

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 718

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