Archive for the ‘Saints of the 1950s’ Category

Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe and Jonathan Myrick Daniels (August 14)   Leave a comment

 

 

Above:  Kolbe and Daniels

Images in the Public Domain

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SAINT MAXIMILIAN KOLBE (JANUARY 7, 1894-AUGUST 14, 1941)

Polish Roman Catholic Priest, and Martyr, 1941

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JONATHAN MYRICK DANIELS (MARCH 20, 1939-AUGUST 20, 1965)

Episcopal Seminarian, and Martyr, 1965

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For Jesus Christ I am prepared to suffer still more.

–St. Maximilian Kolbe

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…in the only sense that really matters I am dead, and my life is hid with Christ in God.

–Jonathan Myrick Daniels, August 1965

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INTRODUCTION

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By coincidence, on separate calendars, the feasts of Jonathan Myrick Daniels and St. Maximilian Kolbe, martyrs from different times and places, yet with much in common, fall on the same day.  August 14 is the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe in the Roman Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), and much of the Anglican Communion.  The Lutheran calendars pair Kolbe with Kaj Munk (d. 1944), a Danish Lutheran minister, playwright, and martyr.  The Episcopal Church celebrates the life of Jonathan Myrick Daniels, a seminarian from New Hampshire who died in Alabama in 1965.  August 14 is the anniversary of his arrest in Lowndes County, Alabama, while picketing whites-only businesses.

Both saints had much in common.  Kolbe was a priest; Daniels was studying for the priesthood.  Each man acted out of his faith, informed by Jesus and St. Mary of Nazareth.  Each saint died resisting institutional racism–in Kolbe’s case, genocidal racism.  Each man died voluntarily so that another person might live.

Merging these feasts on my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days makes sense.

Before I proceed with biographies, some housekeeping is in order.  First, this post depends primarily on four books:

  1. Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1997);
  2. Taylor Branch, At Canaan’s Edge:  America in the King Years, 1965-68 (2006);
  3. Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010); and
  4. A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016).

Second, sometimes historians and biographers quote statements they consider execrable.  Paraphrasing such statements would not flesh out the description of circumstances and settings as well as quoting does.  In the Daniels section of this post I quote some execrable, racist, even profane statements.  I make no excuse for doing so, nor should I have to do so.  Any reader who does not know that I disapprove of those statements and the sentiments behind them should pay closer attention.

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SAINT MAXIMILIAN KOLBE

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Raymond Kolbe came from a devout family.  He, born at Zdunska Wola, Russian Empire, on January 7, 1894, was a son of Marianne Dabrowska and Julius Kolbe, weavers who worked at home.  Eventually Julius operated a religious bookstore and fought for Polish independence.  Russian authorities executed him as a traitor in 1914.  (Empires disapprove of wars of independence.)  In time Marianne became a Benedictine nun.  Alphonse, Raymond’s brother, became a priest.  Raymond was a wild child for a while.  In 1906, however, the twelve-year-old reported a vision of St. Mary of Nazareth.  In it she offered him the white crown of purity and the red crown of martyrdom.  He accepted both.

Raymond continued his studies.  He matriculated at the Franciscan junior seminary, Lwow, in 1907; there he was an attentive student of physics and mathematics.  He felt a call to military life, but the call of God was stronger.  On September 4, 1910, the sixteen-year-old Raymond Kolbe became a Franciscan novice and took the name Maximilian.  He made his first vows on September 5, 1911, and his final vows on November 1, 1914.  Meanwhile our saint studied philosophy at the Gregorian College, Rome (1912-1915).  Next Kolbe studied theology at the Collegio Serafico, Rome (1915-1919).  He, ordained a priest at Rome in April 1918, received his doctorate in theology on July 22, 1922.

Kolbe and six friends founded the Knights of Mary Immaculate on October 16, 1917, in Rome.  The Knights promoted devotion to St. Mary, the Mother of God, as well as evangelism.  Kolbe took this evangelism as far as India and Japan, founding monasteries, radio stations, newspapers, and a journal.  He did all this despite his consistently poor health; he suffered from tuberculosis occasionally.  Failing health forced our saint to focus on ministry in Poland, starting in 1936.

The invasion and partition of Poland in September 1939 made matters worse for Kolbe.  The Gestapo targeted the Roman Catholic Church, including the Knights of Mary Immaculate.  Nazis dispersed the order in Poland.  Monasteries of the order had sheltered Jews.  Kolbe became a prisoner of the Third Reich in February 1941.  He arrived at Auschwitz in May.

At Auschwitz Kolbe endured much.  He continued to suffer from tuberculosis, the labor was intentionally hard, and guards abused him.  Through it all our saint was a faithful priest, ministering to other prisoners, hearing their confessions, and conducting Masses.

The escape of a prisoner in July 1941 led to Kolbe’s martyrdom.  Policy held that, whenever a prisoner escaped, guards executed ten prisoners.  One of the ten prisoners selected to die that day was Francis Gajowniczek, who protested that he, a husband and a father, did not want to leave his family behind.  Kolbe volunteered to take Gajowniczek’s place.  After three weeks of starvation and dehydration, our saint died of an injection of carbolic acid.

The Church recognized Kolbe.  Pope Paul VI declared him a Venerable in 1969 then a Blessed in 1971.  Pope John Paul II canonized Kolbe as a martyr of charity in 1982.  Gajowniczek was present at the ceremony.

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JONATHAN MYRICK DANIELS

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The Episcopal Church added Jonathan Myrick Daniels to its calendar of saints in 1991.  The Church, in doing so, fast tracked him, for the usual waiting time has been at least fifty years or two generations after someone has died.  Other ecclesiastical recognitions of Daniels have occurred at Canterbury Cathedral, where he and Martin Luther King, Jr., are the only Americans recognized in the Chapel of Saints and Martyrs of Our Own Time, and at Washington National Cathedral, where he is one of the heroes in the Hall of Heroes.  His alma mater, Virginia Military Institute, has also honored him with the Daniels Courtyard and a plaque bearing a quote from his valedictory address of 1961:

I wish you the decency and the nobility of which you are capable.

For more than twenty years there has been an annual Jonathan Daniels and the Martyrs of Alabama Pilgrimage in Hayneville, Alabama, each August.  The tradition has been to begin at the Lowndes County courthouse, walk to the old jail and the store where Daniels died, and to conclude with Holy Eucharist in the courtroom in which a jury acquitted his murderer.

Daniels, a Yankee, died in Alabama.  He, born in Keene, New Hampshire, on March 20, 1939, was a child of language teacher Constance Weaver Daniels and obstetrician Philip Brock Daniels.  Our saint grew up a Congregationalist, but he converted to The Episcopal Church during high school.  He graduated first in his class from Virginia Military Institute in 1961 then pursued graduate studies in literature at Harvard University.  On Easter Sunday 1962, at the Church of the Advent, Boston, Daniels resolved to study for the priesthood.  He matriculated at the Episcopal Theological School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, the following year.  He was on track to graduate in 1966.  Then came the events at Selma, Alabama, in March 1965.

In March 1965 civil rights protests at Selma, Alabama, were prominent in the news.  Martin Luther King, Jr., made a televised appeal for people to travel to Selma to march for the right to vote.  At Evening Prayer at Cambridge the words of the Magnificat confirmed Daniels’s sense to calling to go to Selma.  He and ten other seminarians from Cambridge flew there on March 9, 1965.  Daniels thought he would remain for just a few days, but he changed his mind.  That was the first of three visits.

With permission Daniels took time off from seminary to work for civil rights in Alabama.  He and Judith Upham, another seminarian, returned to Selma late in March.  They, sponsored by the Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity, lived with African-American host families at the Carver Homes Apartments.  Daniels and Upham also took residents of these apartments to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Selma, integrating it, thereby causing much controversy.  On Palm Sunday one parishioner confronted the African Americans and called them

You goddamn scum.

County judge (and chief usher at St. Paul’s Church) Bernard Reynolds told Daniels and Upham that they were welcome at the parish, but that their

nigger trash

were not.  Daniels wrote,

There are moments when I’d like to get a high-powered rifle and take to the woods, but more and more I am beginning to feel that ultimately the revolution to which I am committed is the way of the cross.

Daniels, when asked on Easter Sunday 1965 why he was integrating St. Paul’s Church, explained,

We are trying to live the Gospel.

Reality dictated that the seminarians return to Cambridge to complete their academic work for the term.  They had tests to take and papers to submit.  Daniels, after completing those tasks, returned (sans Upham, who was fulfilling a seminary obligation) to Selma on July 8.  By then he was contemplating pursuing ordination to the Roman Catholic priesthood instead of the Episcopal priesthood.  In Selma Daniels had found a mentor, Father Maurice Ouellet, a pastor to African Americans.  Soon, however, Archbishop Thomas Toolen banished Ouellet to Vermont.  Daniels’s presence more than irritated Frank Matthews, the Rector of St. Paul’s Church, as well as Charles Carpenter, the Episcopal Bishop of Alabama.  Once Carpenter had had a reputation as being liberal (certainly by Alabama standards) on matters of race, but his public conduct during the Civil Rights Movement tarnished his reputation.  He had been one of the moderate white clergymen to whom King had addressed the seminal Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1963).  Carpenter’s public position during the Civil Rights Movement belied his private, pro-civil rights activities, which he kept very quiet for political reasons.  His public statements and activities mattered, though.  Regarding Daniels, Carpenter wrote to Matthews:

If he is hanging around causing trouble, I think I will just have to write his bishop and tell him to take him on back to Seminary.

Daniels, who made no secret of his disapproval of Carpenter, just as Carpenter made no secret of his disapproval of Daniels, called African Americans his friends.  He lived among them and marched with them.  In Hayneville, in August, he marched with a group of African-American parents.  They had applied, under a freedom-of-choice school integration program, for their children to attend Hayneville High School.  Authorities had rejected those applications.  So the parents marched in protest.  When some hostile white people asked Daniels why he was doing this, he replied,

I’m with my friends.

Daniels also emphasized with white segregationists, in his words,

absorbing their guilt as well and suffering the cost which they might not even know was there to be paid.

For Daniels racism was a sin and Christian ethics mandated civil rights.  Segregationists, not evil, needed to repent.

Police arrested a group of 30 protesters, including Daniels, Father Richard Morrisroe (a Roman Catholic priest from Chicago), and Ruby Sales (Daniels’s friend and a 17-year-old African American who had marched at Selma), at Fort Deposit, Alabama, on August 14, 1965.  The protesters had been picketing whites-only businesses.  For six days the prisoners endured substandard conditions.  They had no opportunities to shower, the food was inedible, and the toilets in the cells backed up routinely, spilling their contents onto the floors.  Release came on August 20, when the temperature was 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  There was no transportation back to Selma, so they had to walk.

Tom Coleman was a road construction supervisor and a part-time deputy sheriff in Lowndes County, Alabama.  He was standing inside Varner’s Cash Store when Daniels et al, thirsty and unarmed, approached.  Coleman told them,

The store is closed.  Get off this property or I’ll blow your goddamned heads off!

Then Coleman aimed for Sales.  Daniels, however, pushed her out of the way and took the bullet, dying immediately.  Next Coleman shot Father Morrisroe, wounding him seriously.  Then the shooter drove to the sheriff’s office, from which he called his son, a state trooper.  Coleman told his son and the son’s superior,

I just shot two preachers.  You better get on down here.

Morrisroe survived after a surgery that lasted for 11 hours.

President Lyndon Baines Johnson summoned federal forces to arrange for the delivery of Daniels’s corpse to New Hampshire, where the family held the funeral.  There was no memorial service for our saint at St. Paul’s Church, Selma; that was fine with Matthews and Carpenter.

Coleman went on trial for manslaughter, not murder, and got off, of course.  The bases of his defense were the state stand-your-ground law and the lie that Daniels and Morrisroe had carried weapons.  The all-white jury acquitted him in an hour and a half.

Sales has dedicated her life to human rights activism.  She, a graduate of the successor to Daniels’s seminary, founded The SpiritHouse Project, devoted to racial and social justice.

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CONCLUSION

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There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s brother or sister or friend or neighbor or a complete stranger.  A martyr is one who dies because of one’s faith.  A martyr, out of faith, might choose to offer his or her life so that another may life; that is one form of martyrdom.  The Roman Catholic Church calls it martyrdom of charity.

The process of drafting this post drained me emotionally.  As I sat at my desk in silence and wrote longhand in a composition book, I became sad and pensive.  Tears came to my eyes.  In a better world Kolbe and Daniels would not have had to suffer as they did.

The world is what it is, however.  Society is another word for people.  Society is what the consensus of people make it.  Society also influences value judgments.  By the power of God may enough people change society so that the decency and nobility of which people are capable will transform societies so that good individuals, such as Kolbe and Daniels were, will no longer have to suffer and die for being merely decent human beings.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 18, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ADOLPHUS NELSON, SWEDISH-AMERICAN LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHANN FRANCK, HEINRICH HELD, AND SIMON DACH, GERMAN LUTHERAN HYMN WRITERS

THE FEAST OF RICHARD MASSIE, HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM BINGHAM TAPPAN, U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, POET, AND HYMN WRITER

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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 servants Saint Maximilian Kolbe and Jonathan Myrick Daniels,

to work for justice among people and nations, to the glory of your name,

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

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

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of Lambert Beauduin (August 4)   Leave a comment

Above:  Lambert Beauduin

Image in the Public Domain

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LAMBERT BEAUDUIN (AUGUST 4, 1873-JANUARY 11, 1960)

Belgian Roman Catholic Priest and Pioneer of Liturgical Renewal

Octave Beauduin, born near Liêge, Belgium, on August 4, 1873, came from a wealthy, liberal, and devout family.  Every evening the family and servants gathered for devotions.  Beauduin, ordained a priest in 1897, carried that devout. progressive spirit into his adult life.  After teaching at a minor seminary for two years, our saint joined the Labor Chaplain movement in 1899.  He, as part of that movement, one controversial with much of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, ministered to industrial workers who might otherwise be alienated from the Church.

Eventually Beauduin left the Labor Chaplain movement for the Order of Saint Benedict, becoming Lambert in 1907.  At the monastery at Mount César our saint, influenced by the prior, Columba Marmion (1858-1923), developed a deep appreciation for the liturgy.

This was controversial.  (What was not controversial?)  From 1909 to 1921 Beauduin was at the center of the Belgian liturgical movement.  He argued against individualism, secularism, the neglect of prayer, and other ills, classifying them as explanations for the neglect of liturgy as the center of Christian piety.  This was the crux of Liturgy, the Life of the Church (1914; English-language translation, 1926).  He favored, among other things, High Masses, Vespers and Compline as parish services, and the participation of all present at Masses.

Beauduin was also a student of Eastern Christianity.  He, from 1921 a professor of theology at the Pontifical Atheneum of Sant’Anselmo, Rome, opened a biritual monastery at Amay in 1926.  That year he began to publish Irénikon, a journal of studies of Eastern Christianity.  All this was, of course, controversial, as was his openness to dialogue with Anglicans.

Thus, from 1931 to 1951, Beuduin was in involuntary exile from Belgium.  He served as the chaplain to two French convents, influenced Virgil Michel (1890-1938), helped to found the Centre de Pastorale Liturgique in Paris in 1943, and, the following year, renewed a friendship with Angelo Roncalli, the future Pope St. John XXIII (1881-1963).

Beauduin returned to Belgium in 1951.  He settled at the monastery he had founded, relocated to Chevetogne.  There, after years of suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, our saint died on January 11, 1960.  He was 86 years old.

Much of what Beauduin recommended became reality.  Nevertheless, the necessity of heeding his sage counsel, especially in ways churches have not followed it, remains.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 12, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF EDWIN PAXTON HOOD, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, PHILANTHROPIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN DAVID JAESCHKE, GERMAN MORAVIAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER; AND HIS GRANDSON, HENRI MARC VOLDEMAR VOULLAIRE, MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND MINISTER

THE FEAST OF ENMEGAHBOWN, EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND MISSIONARY TO THE OJIBWA NATION

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH DACRE CARLYLE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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Within the hour, while seeking a good proper for liturgists in official volumes from various denominations, I found no such thing.  So I wrote a prayer and selected the readings.

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

thank you for those (especially Lambert Beauduin.)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

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

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

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Feast of Blessed Marcel Denis (July 31)   Leave a comment

Above:  Laos, 1971

Scanned from Hammond Contemporary World Atlas–New Census Edition (1971)

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BLESSED MARCEL DENIS (JULY 8, 1919-JULY 31, 1961)

French Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr in Laos, 1961

Blessed Marcel Denis, born in Alençon, Orne, France, on July 8, 1919, was a missionary priest and a martyr.  He joined the Paris Foreign Missions Society in 1942.  Denis, ordained a priest on April 22, 1945, went to Laos the following year.  His first assignment was in Dong Makba and its environs.  In 1954, however, the order transferred Denis to Khammouane; his base of operations was at Maha Prom.  Our saint labored faithfully to convert people; he loved them and cared about their needs, as the local lepers affirmed.  Denis eventually succeeded in his evangelistic efforts.

Denis, like many other missionaries, remained in an area while in great danger.  In 1961 communist guerrillas invaded the region where our saint worked.  He stayed long enough to become a prisoner for several months then a martyr in the forest at Kham Hè, Nhommalath, Khammouan, Laos, on July 31, 1961.  He was 42 years old.

Pope Francis declared Denis a Venerable in 2015 then a Blessed the following year.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 12, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF EDWIN PAXTON HOOD, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, PHILANTHROPIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN DAVID JAESCHKE, GERMAN MORAVIAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER; AND HIS GRANDSON, HENRI MARC VOLDEMAR VOULLAIRE, MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND MINISTER

THE FEAST OF ENMEGAHBOWN, EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND MISSIONARY TO THE OJIBWA NATION

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH DACRE CARLYLE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr

Blessed Marcel Denis triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death:

Grant us, who now remember him in thanksgiving,

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

that we may receive with him the crown of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:1-12

Psalm 116 or 116:1-8

Revelation 7:13-17

Luke 12:2-12

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

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Feast of Clarence Jordan (July 30)   1 comment

Above:  Part of Southwest Georgia, 1945

Scanned from Monarch Atlas of the World (1945), 41

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CLARENCE LEONARD JORDAN (JULY 29, 1912-OCTOBER 29, 1969)

Southern Baptist Minister and Witness for Civil Rights

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He took the Bible seriously.

–United Methodist Minister James Howell of Charlotte, North Carolina, on Clarence Jordan, 2012

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Deeds reveal creeds.  Orthodoxy is right doctrine.  Orthopraxy is correct practice.  The first necessarily leads to the second.  Such as one thinks, one is.

Clarence Jordan (pronounced JER-dun) came from rural western Georgia.  He, born in Talbotton, Georgia, on July 29, 1912, was a son of James Weaver Jordan and Maude Josey.  While growing up our saint wondered how church-going Christians could support Jim Crow laws.  He studied Agriculture at The University of Georgia, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 1933.  While at UGA Jordan edited the Georgia Agriculturalist and served as the state president of the Baptist Student Union.  In 1933 our saint also matriculated at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky (Th.M., 1936; Ph.D., 1939).  He, ordained in 1934, served as a pastor of several rural congregations while pursuing degrees.  In July 1936 Jordan married Florence Kroeger (d. 1987) of Louisville; the couple had four children.

Jordan could have taught on the college level or been minister of a large church, but he chose instead to found (with Martin and Mabel England) the Koinonia Farm south of Americus, Georgia, in Sumter County, in 1942.  Southwestern Georgia has long been a reactionary place (I know; I used to live there.), so Koinonia Farm was especially radical in its setting.  The model for the farm came from the Acts of the Apostles; there was a common treasury.  Jordan and company practiced radical egalitarianism and lived in a racially integrated community.  They were also pacifistic.  Jordan considered racism, discrimination, and economic injustice sinful.  He was truly a counter-cultural figure.  The farm became a target for violence, ostracism, and economic boycotts.  Were they communists?  No.  Were they patriotic?  Yes.  They took the Bible seriously.

The presence of a mixed-race group at a church in Americus, Georgia, was controversial into at least the 1970s.  In 1973, for example, the deacons of First Baptist Church voted to bar African Americans from joining the congregation.  Fellowship Baptist Church formed in protest.  (It is still one of the more liberal congregations in town.)  One time in the 1960s the senior pastor of First Baptist Church visited Koinonia Farm and invited the people there to attend that night’s revival service.  They accepted the invitation.  Soon First Baptist Church was looking for a new senior minister.  Meanwhile, across the street, at First Methodist Church, men clad in their Sunday best kept African Americans from attending Sunday morning services.  They turned away Jordan and a group from Koinonia.

In 1968 Koinonia Farm reorganized as Koinonia Partners.

Jordan, a sought-after speaker on the liberal lecture circuit, as well as a friend of Dorothy Day and Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote the Cotton Patch Versions of New Testament books.  Thus Jerusalem became Atlanta, Nazareth became Valdosta, et cetera.  Jordan was writing another Cotton Patch Version on October 29, 1969, when he died of a heart attack at Koinonia Partners.  He was 57 years old.

Habitat for Humanity, founded by Millard Fuller (1935-2009) and Linda Fuller, is part of the continuing legacy of Clarence Jordan’s radical experiment in Christian community.  (The Fullers were two of the Koinonia Partners.)

Koinonia continues, fortunately.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 11, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BARNABAS THE APOSTLE, COWORKER OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE

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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 Clarence Jordan,

to work for justice among people and nations,

to the glory of your name, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

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

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of William Reed Huntington and William Reed Huntington (July 27)   Leave a comment

Above:  Huntington Family Tree

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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WILLIAM REED HUNTINGTON (SEPTEMBER 20, 1838-JULY 26, 1909)

Episcopal Priest and Renewer of the Church

grandfather of

WILLIAM REED HUNTINGTON (1907-FEBRUARY 18, 1990)

U.S. Architect and Quaker Peace Activist

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INTRODUCTION

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One of the occasional happy accidents of writing hagiographies is starting with one saint and learning about another one.

July 27, in The Episcopal Church, is the Feast of William Reed Huntington (1838-1909).  The official collect for the occasion is:

O Lord our God, we thank you for instilling in the heart of your servant William Reed Huntington a fervent love for your Church and its mission in the world; and we pray that, with unflagging faith in your promises, we may make known to all people your blessed gift of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 489

The assigned readings for the feast in that volume are Job 22:21-28, Psalm 133, Ephesians 1:3-10, and John 17:20-26.

To that commemoration I add this saint’s grandson William Reed Huntington (1907-1990), a Quaker peace activist.

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THE EPISCOPAL PRIEST

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William Reed Huntington was a pioneer and an influential priest in The Episcopal Church.  Our saint, born in Lowell, Massachusetts, on September 20, 1838, was a son of Elisha Huntington (1796-1865) and Hannah Hinckley Freeman (1800-1859).  He, an 1859 graduate of Harvard College, taught chemistry at Harvard in 1859-1860, before studying for the Episcopal priesthood.  Huntington, ordained in 1862, was the Rector of All Saints Church, Worcester, Massachusetts (1862-1883) then Grace Church, New York, New York (1883f).

Huntington was active in denominational affairs in various capacities.  He attended the General Conventions of 1871-1907 as a member of the House of Deputies.  In 1871 Huntington made the first motion for the Church to investigate creating the order of deaconesses.  Evangelical opposition contributed greatly to the 18-year-long delay in establishing that order in The Episcopal Church.  Our saint also prompted the adoption of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral (1888), with roots in The Church-Idea:  An Essay Towards Unity (1870).  At the General Convention of 1880 Huntington made the motion that led eventually to The Book of Common Prayer (1892), a volume he helped to edit.  One of our saint’s liturgical revisions was making the Feast of the Transfiguration (August 6) a holy day in The Episcopal Church.  Huntington also composed the collect for the occasion:

O God, who on the mount didst reveal to chosen witnesses thine only-begotten wonderfully transfigured in raiment white and glistening; Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may be permitted to behold the King in his beauty,who with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end.

–Quoted in James Thayer Addison, The Episcopal Church in the United States, 1789-1931 (1951), 227

Huntington also perceived no conflict between good science and good religion, especially in the context of debates over Evolution, which he affirmed.  In 1875 he told the Church Congress:

…the theologians must learn to look upon the naturalists as their allies rather than their antagonists….Truth is truth, however, and whencesoever obtained, and we can never have occasion to be either afraid of it or unthankful for it.

–Quoted in Addison, 249

Huntington, aged 70 years, died at Nahant, Massachusetts, on July 26, 1909.  His lifespan barely overlapped with that of the next saint, his grandson.

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THE QUAKER PEACE ACTIVIST

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The Huntington family produced some distinguished contributors to society.  In the generation of the first saint’s grandchildren, for example, were a state assemblyman (Prescott Butler Huntington, 1905-1988), a monsignor (Christopher Huntington, 1918-2007),  and a Quaker peace activist.

William Reed Huntington (1907-1990), a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Virginia, was an architect by profession.  He was also a Quaker and a peace activist long active in the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).  During World War II he directed a camp for conscientious objectors at Big Flats, New York.  After the war he was a co-commissioner of relief efforts for the AFSC in Europe.  In 1958 Huntington and other Quakers, the crew of the Golden Rule, sailed the vessel to the site of a U.S. nuclear weapons test at an island in the Pacific Ocean; their intention was to disrupt the test.  Caesar’s loyal men, in the name of law and order, obeyed their lord and master, sending the noble, non-violent resisters, who served Christ, the Prince of Peace, their lord and master, instead, to jail for 60 days.  In 1961-1963, during the Algerian War for Independence, our saint was the director of refugee assistance in Algeria and Tunisia.  Then, from 1963 to 1970, he was the representative of the AFSC to the United Nations.  Later Huntington directed the Quaker program at the U.N.

Huntington retired as an architect in 1982.  He died in Norwich, Vermont, on February 18, 1990.  He was 83 years old.

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CONCLUSION

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The William Reed Huntingtons were great men who made their positive marks on human events.  Both of them earned places on my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 10, 2018 COMMON ERA

PROPER 5:  THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES OF NISIBIS, BISHOP; AND SAINT EPHREM OF EDESSA, “THE HARP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT”

THE FEAST OF SAINTS GETULIUS, AMANTIUS, CAERAELIS, AND PRIMITIVUS, MARTYRS AT TIVOLI, 12O; AND SAINT SYMPHOROSA OF TIVOLI, MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT LANDERICUS OF PARIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF THOR MARTIN JOHNSON, U.S. MORAVIAN CONDUCTOR AND MUSIC DIRECTOR

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Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made us one with your saints in heaven and on earth:

Grant that in our earthly pilgrimage we may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer,

and know ourselves to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy.

We ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, in whom all our intercessions are acceptable through the Spirit,

and who lives and reigns for ever and ever.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 2:7-11

Psalm 1

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Matthew 25:1-13

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 726

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Feast of J. B. Phillips (July 21)   Leave a comment

Above:  J. B. Phillips

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHN BERTRAM PHILLIPS (SEPTEMBER 16, 1906-JULY 21, 1982)

Anglican Priest, Theologian, and Bible Translator

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The trouble with many people today is that they have not found a God big enough for modern needs.

–J. B. Phillips, in Your God is Too Small (1961), 7

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If we are to help in the development of Christian citizens for the future it is imperative that we teach the New Testament as containing spiritual essentials for modern living.

–J. B. Phillips, from the Preface to the Student Edition (1959) of The New Testament in Modern English (1958)

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John Bertram Phillips, born in Barnes, Surrey, England, on September 16, 1906, struggled with mental distress (including depression) throughout his life and left a legacy of faith that continues to influence people positively.  Our saint’s father instilled a sense of inadequacy in young J. B.; nothing J. B. did was good enough for the old man.  Our saint did much that was impressive; he, for example, graduated from Emmanuel College, London, with honors in English and Classics.  He was briefly a schoolmaster before becoming a priest in The Church of England in 1930.  Phillips served four parishes, but his enduring influence came via writing.

Phillips translated the New Testament and part of the Old Testament.  He started in London, in 1941, translating some of the epistles while sitting in a bomb shelter.  Younger members of the parish found the Authorized (King James) Version unintelligible.  Phillips, having found the alternative translations inadequate for those young people, began to translate the New Testament (beginning with epistles) for members of the flock of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Lee, London.  In that project he benefited from feedback from parishioners and friend C. S. Lewis.  Also essential to the work of translation was Vera (died in December 2005, aged 94 years), whom J. B. married in 1939.  She was, in his words, his “finest critic.”  Phillips published the New Testament in phases (1947-1957) then released the revised translation in The New Testament in Modern English (1958).  Four Prophets, containing Amos, Hosea, First Isaiah, and Micah, followed in 1963.  The second edition of The New Testament in Modern England debuted in 1972.

Phillips was (and remains) a target of much criticism by fundamentalists.  He did, after all, reject the theory of verbal inspiration of the Bible and denounce total depravity, for example.  Furthermore, his classic work, Your God is Too Small (1961), summarized various inadequate God concepts, ranging from Resident Policeman to Grand Old Man to Pale Galilean, beloved of many who disliked his theology anyway.

Milder criticisms from other quarters have focused on our saint’s tendency to paraphrase when translating.  Yet, as Phillips wrote, sometimes a literal translation did not convey the meaning of a story set in one culture to readers from a different culture.  For example, Phillips wrote, the familiar

Blessed are the poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3)

was literally, from the Greek,

Blessed are the beggars in spirit.

This carried one connotation in Roman-occupied Judea, where there was no sizable middle class, the gap between rich and poor was great, and beggars were therefore common.  Yet how would

Blessed are the beggars in spirit

sound to citizens of the post-World War II British welfare state?  Phillips translated that verse:

How happy are those who who know their need for God, for the kingdom of Heaven is theirs!

Phillips, who spent his final decades focusing on writing, was able to continue mainly because of Vera.  He wrote honestly of his struggles, went to counseling, and helped others, but sometimes depression still afflicted him.  With Vera’s help our saint kept writing.  After he died, aged 75 years, at Swanage, Dorset, England, on July 21, 1982, she helped to prepare his remaining works for publication.

Phillips has long been a positive influence in my spiritual development.  Your God is Too Small has continued to challenge me to lay aside childish God concepts, idols.  His translations have helped me in Bible studies, for he avoided familiar wording that masked meanings and captured the essence via paraphrases.  For example, Phillips wrote

makes a man common

in lieu of the familiar

defiles a man.

In so doing he conveyed the essence of ritual purity laws; defilement was ubiquitous, and purity set one apart from the masses of the great unwashed.

Modern English is a moving target, of course, so certain passages of the Phillips New Testament is probably unintelligible to many young people in the English-speaking world outside England in 2018.  Some English cultural references might confuse many readers from elsewhere.  For example, O reader, consider the meaning of “common” in the English context, with the commons and The Book of Common Prayer.  Yet this is not a problem education and reading cannot correct.  Besides, the Phillips New Testament, when compared to and contrasted with more recent modern English translations, is decidedly stately and eloquent–a positive description.

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Loving God of timeless truth, we thank you for your servant J. B. Phillips,

who, through his mental struggles, glorified you and made your word intelligible to many.

May we who profess to follow you glorify you in our contexts,

bring others to saving faith in you,

and deepen the faith of many who are already in the fold.

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

Nehemiah 7:73b-8:12

Psalm 16

1 Corinthians 13

Matthew 28:16-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 9, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT COLUMBA OF IONA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY AND ABBOT

THE FEAST OF SAINT GIOVANNI MARIA BOCCARDO, FOUNDER OF THE POOR SISTERS OF SAINT CAJETAN/GAETANO; AND HIS BROTHER, SAINT LUIGI BOCCARDO, “APOSTLE OF MERCIFUL LOVE”

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSÉ DE ANCHIETA, APOSTLE OF BRAZIL AND FATHER OF BRAZILIAN NATIONAL LITERATURE

THE FEAST OF THOMAS JOSEPH POTTER, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, POET, AND HYMN WRITER

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Feast of John Hines (July 19)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of The Episcopal Church

Photograph by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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JOHN ELBRIDGE HINES (OCTOBER 10, 1910-JULY 19, 1997)

Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church

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Justice is the corporate face of love.

John Hines, 1981

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John Elbridge Hines will probably receive his pledge on The Episcopal Church’s calendar eventually.  The appendix to A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016) lists him as one of those

people worthy of commemoration who do not qualify under the “reasonable passage of time” guideline.

–Page A3

That makes sense as a denominational policy.  Nevertheless, more than a reasonable amount of time has passed for inclusion on my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

John Elbridge Hines was a prophet, in the highest sense of that word.  He, born in Seneca, South Carolina, on October 10, 1910, graduated from The University of the South then from Virginia Theological Seminary.  Our saint, ordained during the Great Depression, served in the Diocese of Missouri for a few years, during which he imbibed deeply of Social Christianity.  He also married Helen Orwig (1910-1996).  The couple had five children.  As the Rector of St. Paul’s Church, Augusta, Georgia, from 1937 to 1941, Hines was an outspoken critic of racial segregation.  Our saint’s final parish (from 1941 to 1945) was Christ Church, Houston, Texas.

Hines was a bishop most of his life.  From 1945 to 1955 he was the Bishop Coadjutor of Texas; then he was the Bishop of Texas for another nine years.  In Texas Hines helped to found the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the West, in Austin, in 1953.  He also integrated schools.  Then, in 1965, at the age of 54 years, Hines became the Presiding Bishop of the denomination.

Change was in the air, and much of that change was morally correct yet no less jarring and offensive to many.  Civil rights for African Americans were difficult for many white Americans to accept, for racism ran deeply.  Likewise, feminism was challenging patriarchy, which also ran deeply.  The Episcopal Church, long known as “the Republican Party at prayer,” was engaging the winds of change.  Many of the leaders were liberal–pro-civil rights, pro-equal rights for women.  Elements of the church resisted these changes, however.  Hines, with his social conscience fully engaged with regard to race, gender, and economics, had to contend with much strong opposition within The Episcopal Church.  He built on the legacies of his two immediate predecessors–Henry Knox Sherrill (1947-1958) and Arthur Lichtenberger (1958-1964).

Much of what was revolutionary in 1965-1974 became mainstream subsequently.  The new Presiding Bishop marched at Selma, Alabama, in 1965; that was a controversial decision.  In 1971 Hines led a campaign to divest from South Africa, a proposition that aroused much opposition in much of U.S. Right Wing as late as the early 1990s.  In the 1980s, when President Ronald Reagan, who told Archbishop Desmond Tutu that the dark-skinned majority of South Africa would have to wait for their rights, Reagan opposed divestment.  Yet, according to Tutu, divestment was crucial to ending Apartheid.  Hines also favored expanding roles for women in the church–including as lectors, as delegates to the General Convention, and as deacons, priests, and bishops.  He retired in 1974, just as the dispute over the ordination of women as priests became more of an issue.  Also, there were no female bishops in The Episcopal Church or the wider Anglican Communion until 1989.  for a few years after that the election and consecration of a female bishop was a major story in the ecclesiastical press.  As of 2018, however, it has become routine.  Hines also presided over the early stages of liturgical revision, early steps toward The Book of Common Prayer (1979), a volume objectionable to many conservatives at the time, as now.  Some of them found all or much of this change so offensive that they committed schism from The Episcopal Church.  Then many of them committed schism from each other, hence the confusing organizational mess that is Continuing Anglicanism in the United States.  Many of the allegedly theologically pure were apparently purer than others of their number.  Donatism ran amok and became cannibalistic.  (I, an ecclesiastical geek, have a long attention span and a tendency to pay attention to minor details, but even I find divisions in Continuing Anglicanism confusing.  Most of the divisions are over minor theological points, actually.  Collegiality, one of the great traditions of Anglicanism, is in short supply.)

Hines, invoking hindsight, was honest about the lofty goals and mixed legacy of the General Convention Special Program (GCSP), created in 1967.  The GCSP awarded grants, with the purpose of fostering racial justice, economic justice, and self-determination.  One of the conditions for a grant was not to advocate for violence.  The initial lack (in 1967-1970) of veto power by the local bishop was an especially controversial point.  In 1970 the establishment of that veto power, with a mechanism for overriding it, meant that no grants led to embarrassing headlines, as during the first three years of the program.  The GCSP, cut back in 1973, did not survive the 1970s.  After 1973, however, funding for work among Hispanics and Native Americans increased.  Nevertheless, the damage from 1967-1970 was done.  Many people had left The Episcopal Church in protest, and many parishes and some dioceses had, for a few years, withheld funding from the national church.

Hines, who understood that the institutional quest for justice was important than complacent, oblivious tranquility and internal reconciliation, retired three years early, in 1974.  He and Helen moved to North Carolina before relocating to Texas in 1993.  She, aged 85 years, died on May 17, 1996.  Our saint, aged 86 years, died in Austin on July 19, 1997.

The legacy of John Elbridge Hines should remind us of the moral necessity of applying Christian principles to pressing social issues, of creating justice, and of recognizing our individual, collective, and institutional complicity in injustice.  His legacy should also remind us that strong opposition to confronting injustice exists even within the church, and that doing the right thing will often come at a high cost.  We must still do the right thing, though.  The legacy of Bishop Hines should teach us these lessons.  Whether it does is up to us.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 20, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE DAY OF PENTECOST, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALCUIN OF YORK, ABBOT OF TOURS

THE FEAST OF SAINTS COLUMBA OF RIETI AND OSANNA ANDREASI, DOMINICAN MYSTICS

THE FEAST OF JOHN ELIOT, “THE APOSTLE TO THE INDIANS”

THE FEAST OF SAINT ROSE HAWTHORNE LATHROP, FOUNDRESS OF THE DOMINICAN SISTERS OF HAWTHORNE

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Almighty God, we praise you for your servant John Elbridge Hines,

through whom you have called the church to its tasks and renewed its life.

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

whose voices will give strength to your church and proclaim the reality of your reign,

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

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

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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