Archive for the ‘Saints of the 1930s’ Category

Feast of Emma Francis (December 7)   Leave a comment

Above:  Flag of the United States Virgin Islands

Image in the Public Domain

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EMMA FRANCIS (DECEMBER 7, 1875-APRIL 8, 1945)

Lutheran Deaconess in the United States Virgin Islands and Harlem

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God is God.  He alone is All-wise.  On Him we must trust for the future although it appears dark to us.

–G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006), 389

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Emma Francis devoted her life to serving God and being a positive influence in society.  She, born on St. Kitts (in the West Indies) on December 7, 1875, was a daughter of Mary H. Francis and the Reverend Joseph Francis.  After a Moravian education on Antigua, our saint trained in Germany to become a missionary.  She was originally supposed to go to Africa, but the leaders of the missionary training school became concerned that white missionaries would discriminate against her.  So, in 1906, Frances began to train in Friendenshort to become a deaconess.  She, consecrated in 1907, transferred in 1908 to the Ebenezer Home for Girls, Frederikstad, St. Croix, Danish territory until 1917.  She taught in the orphanage for all but six years of the remainder of her life.

Frances spent 1921-1927 in Harlem, New York, New York.  In 1922 she became the first African-American deaconess in North American Lutheranism–in the United Lutheran Church in America (extant 1918-1962), a predecessor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  While in Harlem, she helped to found the Lutheran Church of the Transfiguration, now the Christ Center at Transfiguration.

Francis, a stickler about observing the Sabbath, worked well with at-risk youth for decades.  She also learned German and Spanish so she could expand her ministry.

Deaconess Emma Francis, 69 years old, died on April 8, 1945.

In 2019 the Queen Louise Home campus of Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands has a special unit for children and young adults with severe physical and developmental disabilities.  The name for that unit is the Sister Emma Cottage, appropriately.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 25, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT WILLIAM OF VERCELLI, ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMIT; AND SAINT JOHN OF MATERA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF SAINT DOMINGO HENARES DE ZAFIRA CUBERO, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF PHUNHAY, VIETNAM, AND MARTYR; SAINT PHANXICÔ DO VAN CHIEU, VIETNAMESE ROMAN CATHOLIC CATECHIST AND MARTYR; AND SAINT CLEMENTE IGNACIO DELGADO CEBRIÁN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP AND MARTYR IN VIETNAM

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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,

and rest to the weary,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior 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 St. Alexander Hotovitzky (December 4)   2 comments

Above:  Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Moscow, Russia, Prior to Its Demolition in 1931

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT ALEXANDER HOTOVITZKY (FEBRUARY 11, 1872-AUGUST 19, 1937)

Russian Orthodox Priest and Martyr, 1937

Orthodox Church in America feast day = December 4

Russian Orthodox Church feast day = August 7

St. Alexander Hotovitzky served God, followed Jesus, and received the crown of martyrdom.  He, born in Kremenetz, Russian Empire (now Ukraine), on February 11, 1872, was a son of archpriest Alexander Hotovitzky, Rector of the Volhynia Theological Seminary.  Our saint studied at that institution then at St. Petersburg Theological Seminary, earning his M.A. degree in 1895.

Then Hotovitzky’s time as a missionary in the United States began.  After time in Alaska, our saint became reader at the new St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, New York, New York.  He married Maria Scherbuhina, became a deacon, then finally joined the ranks of priests at February 25, 1896.  Bishop Nicholas ordained him at the diocesan cathedral in San Francisco, California.  As pastor of the St. Nicolas Orthodox Church, New York City, our saint ministered to immigrants and started congregations in various towns and cities, from Yonkers, New York, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He also helped to build the new St. Nicholas Cathedral (dedicated in 1902) in New York City.

Hotovitzky returned to the Russian Empire in 1914.  He served first in mainly Lutheran Helsinki, Finland, in 1914-1917.  In August 1917 our saint became assistant pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Moscow.  He worked closely with St. Tikhon of Moscow (1865-1925), who had been the Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska (1898-1905) then the Archbishop of the Aleutians and North America (1905-1907), prior to returning to Russia. St. Tikhon became the Patriarch of Moscow in late 1917.  Hotovitzky played an active role in administering the Diocese of Moscow.

Hotovitzky kept the faith under Bolshevik rule.  He helped to found the Christ the Saviour Cathedral, to maintain the church.  He also became a prisoner twice (in 1920 and 1921) for conducting religious education in 1922, when the state, on the pretense of helping the poor, confiscated icons and sacred vessels.  The cathedral and the Russian Orthodox Church, in fact, had been doing much to help the poor and continued to do so.  As the state executed many Russian Orthodox clergymen, our saint faced charges in 1922; he allegedly sought to regain church lands and property the state had confiscated, and had supposedly tried to overthrow the government.  Hotovitzky, sentenced to a decade of incarceration on December 13, 1922, served a term that ended in October 1923.

The persecution continued.  Hotovitzky, arrested on September 24, 1924, spent three years in exile in the Turuhan region.  After returning from exile, Hotovitzky assisted the future Patriarch Sergius I.  During the 1930s our saint served at the Church of the Deposition of the Robe, Moscow, until his final arrest, in 1937.

Hotovitzky has been an official saint since December 4, 1994.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 24, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr, Saint Alexander Hotovitzky,

triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death:

Grant to 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 (Eccelesiasticus) 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 (2020), 714

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Feast of Sophie Koulomzin (December 3)   2 comments

Above:  Russian Orthodox Cross

Image in the Public Domain

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SOPHIE SCHIDLOVSKY KOULOMZIN (DECEMBER 3, 1903-SEPTEMBER 29, 2000)

Russian-American Orthodox Christian Educator

Sophie Koulomzin served God most effectively in Christian education.

Our saint, born Sophie Schidlovsky in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire, on December 3, 1903, knew the life of a Russian elite and the life of struggling émigré.  Her father, Sergei Schidlovsky, was the last vice president of the old Duma.  The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 forced the family to flee, ultimately to Paris.  Sophie studied (on scholarships) at the University of Berlin then at Columbia University, New York, New York, from which she earned her M.A. in Religious Education in 1926.  She became the first woman from the Eastern Orthodox tradition to earn that degree there.

Our saint, back in Paris, put her degree to work.  She taught émigré children and edited My First Book about the Orthodox Faith and My Second Book about the Orthodox Faith.  She also worked with St. Maria Skobtsova (1891-1945), a nun who sheltered Jews during the German occupation and died for doing so.

Sophie Schidlovsky became Sophie Koulomzin in 1932, when she married engineer Nikita Koulomzin.  The couple had three daughters and one nun.

The family resided in the United States, starting in 1949, when they settled in Nyack, New York.  Sophie taught in her parish and joined the Metropolitan Council Church School Committee.  She encouraged Orthodox jurisdictions in the United States to cooperate and to conduct Christian education of the young in English–to leave the Old World psychologically and emotionally.  In 1957 she helped to create the ecumenical Orthodox Christian Education Commission, in which she was prominent.

NOTE:  I have read histories of immigrant, minority denominations–Lutheran and Reformed, mainly–in the United States.  Regardless of the denomination, some patterns have been consistent.  The denominations have, most strongly at first, functioned as means of preserving a culture and handing it down from one generation to the next.  This has restricted the appeal of the denomination to a particular ethnicity for a long time.  Meanwhile, cultural and linguistic transitions have occurred as the first-generation immigrants have died and the generations born in the United States have begun to assimilate.  This transition has been psychologically difficult for many of those who left the Old World only physically.  During these long transitions these immigrant denominations have lost many younger, culturally-assimilated members.  As English has become the dominant or only language in a particular denomination, mergers have occurred.

I have a mixed opinion about this.  I do not consider myself ethnic; I descend mainly from Anglo-Saxons who moved to North America in the 1600s.  I have a sprinkling of other cultures–French (Huguenot, to be precise), German, and Cherokee, for example–in my family tree.  Furthermore, people stop me occasionally and ask if I am Greek or Italian.  As I was writing, I do not consider myself ethnic, especially in the United States.  However, I like many of the old Danish and Swedish Lutheran hymns that have fallen out of favor with Lutheran hymnal committees since cultural assimilation and denominational mergers.  Different cultures add to the collective life of the United States; variety is indeed the spice of life.  Members of different cultures can learn much from each other.

Koulomzin taught future priests and bishops at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, New York, form 1956 to 1970, when she retired.  The seminary awarded her an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree as she entered retirement.

In the 1990s our saint was active in efforts related to the Christian education of children in the former Soviet Union, as the Russian Orthodox Church emerged from decades of persecution.  Patriarch of Moscow Alexis II awarded her the Order of Saint Olga in 1999.

Koulomzin, a member of what became the Orthodox Church in America in 1970, lived to the age of 96 years.  She died on September 29, 2000.

Christian education is one of the elements of parish life that many adherents take lightly, unfortunately.  The life and work of Sophie Koulomzin should remind us of the importance of Christian education–certainly, for children, but also for adults.

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Loving God, in whom we find the path to salvation and shalom,

we thank you for the life and work of Sophie Koulomzin in Christian education.

May we take Christian education seriously, deepen our faith, and lead others on the right paths,

for your glory and the common good.  In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Nehemiah 8:1-12

Psalm 119:105-112

Acts 8:26-40

Matthew 13:1-17

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 23, 2019 COMMON ERA

PROPER 7:  THE SECOND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF JOHN JOHNS, PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF HEINRICH GOTTLOB GUTTER, GERMAN-AMERICAN INSTRUMENT MAKER, REPAIRMAN, AND MERCHANT

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICETAS OF REMESIANA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF WILHELM HEINRICH WAUER, GERMAN MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND MUSICIAN

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Feast of Albert George Butzer (November 28)   7 comments

Above:  Westminster Presbyterian Church, Buffalo, New York

Image in the Public Domain

Photographer = Fortunate4now

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ALBERT GEORGE BUTZER, SR. (JULY 19, 1893-NOVEMBER 28, 1967)

U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Educator

The Reverend Doctor Albert George Butzer, Sr., comes to this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Interpreter’s Bible, Volume II (1953), for which he wrote the profound and sometimes humorous exposition on the Book of Hebrews.

What strange names are listed in this passage!  Elizur the son of Shedeur, Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai, etc.  These names and others are all Greek to us, or more precisely, Hebrew.  The Exeg. reminds us, however, that almost every one of these names in the Hebrew embodies some reference to God….Though the name of God may not be in our names, we can make our names stand for God.

–143-144, 147

At the height of church attendance in the United States, Butzer wrote:

Is it not one of our deepest needs to put the church back again at the center of the community’s life?  But it will avail little to do that unless the church itself puts God at the center of its own life, unless the church will be again be the church, the tent of meeting, “the Dwelling of the Presence” (1:30 Moffatt), the one place where men can be sure to meet God, not only the God of Israel but “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Cor. 11:31).

–149, 152

One wonders what he would write in the age during which “none” is the fastest-growing religious affiliation, atheism and antitheism are chic, and many people claim to be “spiritual but not religious” without any hint of irony.

Butzer, a child of Louis Butzer and Minnie Betz Butzer, became a great minister.  He entered the world in Buffalo, New York, on July 19, 1893.  Our saint graduated from Northwestern College, Napierville, Illinois, in 1915, then matriculated at the Evangelical Theological Seminary, Napierville, that year.  He studied at the seminary until 1917.  In 1918 and 1919 Butzer was a chaplain in the U.S. Army.  After the war, he attended Union Theological Seminary, from which he graduated in 1920.  In subsequent years our saint received two Doctor of Divinity degrees (from Middlebury College and Hamilton College) and a Doctor of Laws degree (from McMaster University).

Butzer was a Presbyterian minister.  He served first in the old Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (-1958) then in its immediate successor, The United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.  During the fundamentalist-modernist controversy in the PCUSA in the 1920s, our saint sided with the modernists.  He served as pastor of just two congregations in forty-one years of active ministry.  The first congregation was West Side Presbyterian Church, Ridgewood, New Jersey, from 1921 to 1932.  The other congregation was Westminster Presbyterian Church, Buffalo New York, from 1932 to 1962, when he retired.  At Westminster Butzer made sure the church had new stained glass windows and fine organ music.

Consistent with what he wrote in 1953, Butzer was active in the community.  He taught at two local private schools–Buffalo Seminary and the Nichols School.  He also sat on the Buffalo City Planning Board and the Executive Committee of the Community Chest of Buffalo.

Butzer was also a family man.  On September 6, 1921, the young Presbyterian minister married Katharine Coe.  The couple had three children:

  1. Albert Butzer, Jr.;
  2. Clayton Coe Butzer; and
  3. Marjorie Betty Butzer.

Our saint, 74 years old, died in Buffalo on November 28, 1967.

Much of the sacredness of life is evident in its mundane details.  Consider, O reader, the importance of teaching students, counseling parishioners, raising a family, tending to a marriage, maintaining the quality of church music, and building up one’s community.  God is present in the details.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 7, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT DOMITIAN OF HUY, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP

THE FEAST OF HARRIET STARR CANNON, FOUNDRESS OF THE COMMUNITY OF SAINT MARY

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH ARMITAGE ROBINSON, ANGLICAN DEAN, SCHOLAR, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ROSA VENERINI, FOUNDRESS OF THE VENERINI SISTERS; MENTOR OF SAINT LUCIA FILIPPINI, FOUNDRESS OF THE RELIGIOUS TEACHERS FILIPPINI

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Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servant Albert George Butzer, Sr.,

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

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

we may by your grace attain our full maturity in Christ;

through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  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 Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of H. Baxter Liebler (November 26)   Leave a comment

Above:  Episcopal Flag

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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HAROLD BAXTER LIEBER (NOVEMBER 26, 1889-NOVEMBER 21, 1982)

Episcopal Priest and Missionary to the Navajo Nation

H. Baxter Liebler comes to this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).

The Brooklyn-born Liebler spent nearly half of his long life ministering to members of the Navajo nation in Utah.

Liebler, born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 26, 1889, was a son of Mildred Walther Liebler and theater producer Theodore Liebler.  Our saint became a businessman then a second-career priest.  He married his first wife, Frances F. Marks (d. 1978) in 1913.  Liebler, ordained to the priesthood in 1978, served first as Curate of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, New York, New York.  In 1918 he founded St. Saviour’s Church, Old Greenwich, Connecticut.  In 1942 Liebler was the Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Riverside, Connecticut, when he was on vacation in southwestern Utah.  He noticed the poverty of the Navajo there; they lacked even schools and clinics.  He had had a fascination with Native Americans since childhood.  The combination of factors led to Liebler becoming a missionary.

Liebler did something about that poverty; he returned the following year and remained for the rest of his life.  Our saint founded St. Christopher’s Mission, Bluff, Utah, as well as a school and a clinic.  He respected the Navajo culture, mastered the language, and integrated Navajo prayers and tunes into the liturgy.  He rejected culturally destructive assimilation, by which many folkways and languages have gone extinct, and many indigenous people have fallen into a host of severe woes and ills.  Liebler was glad when the State of Utah assumed responsibility for the school and the clinic, for he preferred to focus on evangelism.  He excelled in that; he baptized about 2,000 Navajos.

Liebler remained active in retirement (1962-1982).  He moved to Oljato and founded the St. Mary-of-the-Moonlight Mission, as well as the Hat Creek Retreat Center.  Our saint, a widower, also remarried.  His second wife was Joan Warburton Eskell (1915-2009).  He died in Oljato on November 21, 1982, five days prior to what would have been his ninety-third birthday.

One legacy of Liebler’s work is The Episcopal Church’s Navajoland Area Mission (a.k.a. the Episcopal Church in Navajoland), carved out of the Dioceses of Arizona, Utah, and the Rio Grande (encompassing New Mexico and much of western Texas) in 1977.  Navajoland has three regions and nine congregations in 2019.  Bishop David Bailey emphasizes ordaining indigenous priests and deacons as the mission area nears the presumptive election of its fourth indigenous bishop.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 23, 2019 COMMON ERA

TUESDAY IN EASTER WEEK

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

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

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

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant H. Baxter Liebler,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the Navajo people.

Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom,

that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ;

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

Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 96 or 96:1-7

Acts 1:1-9

Luke 10:1-9

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 716

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Feast of Theodore P. Ferris (November 26)   Leave a comment

Above:  Trinity Episcopal Church, Boston, Massachusetts

Image Source = Library of Congress

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THEODORE PARKER FERRIS (DECEMBER 23, 1908-NOVEMBER 26, 1972)

Episcopal Priest and Author

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Preaching on the Ascension encounters certain obstacles which may in turn be used as opportunities.  The first obstacle is the resistance of the average layman to Christian doctrine.  In spite of the rising tide of “neo-orthodoxy” among the clergy, there are still a great many laymen who are interested in Christianity as a way of life, but are not at all interested in its framework of faith.  They believe that they can keep the Christian standards of moral conduct and give up the Christian articles of faith.  The Ascension, being one of those articles, does not concern them.  They want to know the things Jesus said, not the the things that were said about him….

A doctrine begins with a significant event from which people draw a general conclusion.  Just as people cannot escape the impact of events, so they cannot escape drawing conclusions  which attempt to explain the experience, relate it to the rest of experience, and communicate it to future generations by expressing it in an intelligible form.

–Theodore P. Ferris, in The Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. 9 (Nashville, TN:  Abingdon Press, 1954), 24-25

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Theodore P. Ferris comes to this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the ninth volume (1954) of The Interpreter’s Bible, for which he wrote the exposition on the Acts of the Apostles.

Ferris, a priest, taught preaching in seminaries.  He, born to Walter Andrew Ferris and Eva Parker (Ferris) in Port Chester, New York, on December 23, 1908, graduated from Harvard University in 1929 then from the General Theological Seminary in 1933.  He became a deacon in 1933 then a priest the following year.  Our saint served in three congregations in thirty-nine years.  He was:

  1. Assistant Rector, Grace Episcopal Church, New York, New York (1933-1937), doubling as a tutor a the General Theological Seminary;
  2. Rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Baltimore, Maryland (1937-1942); and
  3. Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Boston, Massachusetts (1942-1972), doubling as adjunct instructor of homiletics at the Episcopal Theological School, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1943-1964).

Ferris, a bachelor, also found time to write.  Aside from his work for The Interpreter’s Bible, his published works included:

  1. This Created World (1944),
  2. When I Became a Man (1957),
  3. The New Life (1961),
  4. Book of Prayer for Every Man (1962),
  5. What Jesus Did (1963), and
  6. The Image of God (1965).

Ferris, a trustee of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, left a fine legacy in other ways.  He, a recipient of at least six honorary doctorates, served as a delegate to the first Assembly of the World Council of Churches in 1948.  He also composed the hymn tune “Weymouth” (1941) for The Hymnal 1940 (1943).

Ferris, aged 63 years, died in Boston, Massachusetts, on November 26, 1972.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2019 COMMON ERA

HOLY SATURDAY

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN, MINISTER, LITURGIST, AND “PASTOR OF THE REFORMATION”

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 CHRISTIAN X, KING OF DENMARK; AND HIS BROTHER, HAAKON VII, KING OF NORWAY

THE FEAST OF MARION MACDONALD KELLERAN, EPISCOPAL SEMINARY PROFESSOR AND LAY LEADER

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

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Theodore Parker Ferris 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 James Otis Sargent Huntington (November 25)   Leave a comment

Above:  James Otis Sargent Huntington

Image in the Public Domain

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JAMES OTIS SARGENT HUNTINGTON (JULY 23, 1854-JUNE 28, 1935)

Founder of the Order of the Holy Cross

James Otis Sargent Huntington comes to this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Episcopal Church.

Huntington, born a Unitarian and raised an Episcopalian, worked among “the least of these.”  His mother was Hannah Diane Sargent (Huntington).  Our saint’s father was Frederick Dan Huntington (1819-1904), who taught moral ethics at Harvard.  By July 23, 1854, the date of our saint’s birth, the Reverend Huntington was the pastor of a Unitarian church in Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts.  The elder Huntington converted to The Episcopal Church in 1855.  He rose through the ranks of Episcopal clergy quickly; he served as the first Bishop of Central New York from 1859 to 1904.  Our saint graduated from Harvard then from St. Andrew’s Divinity School, Syracuse, New York.  His father ordained him to the diaconate (1878) then the priesthood (1880).

Huntington’s ministry entailed working with marginalized people.  He, assistant at Calvary Mission, Syracuse (1875-1881), served at Holy Cross Mission, New York, New York from 1881 to 1889.  In New York City he ministered to working class immigrants on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  When our saint discerned his vocation to monastic life, he began to consider how to fulfill that call.  On November 25, 1884, in the Chapel of the Sisters of St. John the Baptist, New York, New York, Huntington made his vows as a monk of the new Order of the Holy Cross.  The vow of celibacy was especially controversial in some quarters of The Episcopal Church.  He led that order in 1884-1888, 1897-1907, 1915-1918, and 1921-1930.

Huntington, like many other Anglo-Catholics, combined social progressiveness with liturgical conservatism.  The high church liturgy added much beauty to the otherwise bleak lives of many to whom he and his fellow monks ministered.  Our saint, active in the Knights of Labor (founded in 1869), founded a mission in Liberia, the Kent School (in Kent, Connecticut, in 1906), and St. Andrew’s School (in Sewanee, Tennessee, in 1905).

Huntington died at the mother house in West Park, New York, on June 28, 1935.  He was 80 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 19, 2019 COMMON ERA

GOOD FRIDAY

THE FEAST OF SAINTS MURIN OF FAHAN, LASERIAN OF LEIGHLIN, GOBAN OF PICARDIE, FOILLAN OF FOSSES, AND ULTAN OF PERONNE, ABBOTS; AND FURSEY OF PERONNE AND BLITHARIUS OF SEGANNE, MONKS

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALPHEGE, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT EMMA OF LESUM, BENEFACTOR

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS PETRI SWEDISH LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN, HISTORIAN, LITURGIST, MINISTER, HYMN WRITER, HYMN TRANSLATOR, AND “FATHER OF SWEDISH LITERATURE;” AND HIS BROTHER, LAURENTIUS PETRI, SWEDISH LUTHERAN ARCHBISHOP OF UPPSALA, BIBLE TRANSLATOR, AND “FATHER OF SWEDISH HYMNODY”

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O loving God, by your grace your servant James Huntington gathered a community

dedicated to love and discipline and devotion to the holy Cross of our Savior Jesus Christ:

Send your blessing on all who proclaim Christ crucified,

and move the hearts of many to look upon him and be saved;

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

Nehemiah 5:1-12

Psalm 119:161-168

Galatians 6:14-18

John 6:34-38

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 703

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