Archive for the ‘Benedict Joseph Flaget’ Tag

Feast of Demetrius A. Gallitzin (December 22)   Leave a comment

Above:  Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin

Image Source = Baroness Pauline von Hügel, A Royal Son and Mother (1902)

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DEMETRIUS AUGUSTINE GALLITZIN (DECEMBER 22, 1770-MAY 6, 1840)

Russian-American Roman Catholic Priest

“The Apostle of the Alleghenies”

Born Dmitri Dmitrievich Galitzin

Also known as Augustine Smith

Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).

Prince Dmitri Dmitrievich Gallitzin, born in The Hague, the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, was the son of Prussian Countess Adelheid von Schmettau (1748-1806) and Prince Dmitri Alexeivich Galitzin (1728-1803), at the time, the Russian Imperial Ambassador to the Dutch Republic.  The ambassador was a nominal member of the Russian Orthodox Church.  The Countess was a nominal Roman Catholic.  Both parents were friends of François-Marie Arouet, ak.a. Voltaire (1694-1778) and followers of Denis Diderot (1713-1784).  Our saint grew up a nominal, baptized member of the Russian Orthodox Church, with no religious training.

Our saint, a member of the aristocracy, grew up among political and intellectual elites.  As a young child, he sat on the lap of Czarina Catherine II “the Great” (reigned 1762-1796), in The Hague.  His first language–the tongue of his home–was French.  One childhood friend was the future William I, King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg (reigned 1815-1840).

The Countess returned to the Roman Catholic Church in 1786.  She and those around her influenced her son, confirmed in Holy Mother Church (as Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin) on August 28, 1787.  This development greatly displeased the ambassador, who had planned a military career in Russia for our saint.  The father nearly sent the son back to Russia.  Gallitzin remained in Western Europe and briefly served as an aide-de-camp to the commander of Austrian forces in Brabant in 1792.  Later that year, for political reasons, the Austrian Army dismissed all foreigners from its ranks.

Gallitzin’s parents sent him to the New World; they intended for him to travel in the Western Hemisphere for two years.  Our saint departed Rotterdam on August 18, 1792, and arrived in Baltimore, Maryland, on October 28.  He disappointed his father again my matriculating at the Seminary of Saint Sulpice, Baltimore, on November 5, 1792.  The ambassador arranged for the son to receive a commission as a member of the palace guard in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  Gallitzin went AWOL from the Russian Imperial Army and remained in seminary.

Gallitzin, ordained a priest on March 18, 1795, became the first Roman Catholic priest to conduct all of his theological studies in the United States of America.  He served as a missionary in Maryland, Virginia (including what is now West Virginia), and Pennsylvania–mostly in Pennsylvania.  Gallitzin founded Loretto, Pennsylvania, the first Roman Catholic community with resident clergy in that part of that state, in 1799.  The congregation he founded became the Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel.  Saint Michael’s was the only Roman Catholic church between Saint Louis, Missouri, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for a few years.  Furthermore, ministry left Gallitzin deeply in debt for much of his life.  He paid off his debts before dying, however.  Our saint, a naturalized citizen of the United States (as Augustine Smith) since 1802, damaged his health by traveling in the Allegheny Mountains for years.  In so doing, he helped to build up the Roman Catholic Church in western Pennsylvania.

Somehow, Gallitzin found time to write defenses of Roman Catholicism, in response to attacks from Protestant ministers:

  1. A Defence of Catholic Principles, in a Letter to a Protestant Minister (1816); and
  2. Letter to a Protestant Friend, on the Holy Scriptures, or the Written Word of God (1820).

Gallitzin nearly became a bishop four times:

  1. He was on the short list for Bishop Coadjutor of Bardstown, Kentucky, under Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget (1763-1850).  That job went to John Baptist Mary David (1761-1841), Bishop Coadjutor of Bardstown (1819-1832) then Bishop of Bardstown (1832-1833).
  2. Our saint declined an offer to become the first Bishop of Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1821/1822.  The Church had carved the Diocese of Cincinnati from the Diocese of Bardstown in 1821.
  3. Gallitzin was also a candidate to become the first Bishop of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1827.  The Church created the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 1843, however.
  4. The Church created the Diocese of Detroit from the Diocese of Cincinnati in 1833.  Gallitzin declined the offer to become the first Bishop of Detroit.

Gallitzin, aged 69 years, died in Loretto, Pennsylvania, on May 6, 1840.

Our saint is on the road to eventual canonization, given that the Roman Catholic Church declared him a Servant of God in 2005.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 20, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ZACCHAEUS, PENITENT TAX COLLECTOR AND ROMAN COLLABORATOR

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of western Pennsylvania.

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 Gabriel Richard (October 15)   Leave a comment

Above:  Detroit in 1800

Image in the Public Domain

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GABRIEL JACQUES RICHARD (OCTOBER 15, 1767-SEPTEMBER 13, 1832)

French-American Roman Catholic Missionary Priest in Michigan

Father Gabriel Richard comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget (1763-1850), under whom he served.

Gabriel Jacques Richard was French.  He, born in La Ville de Saintes on October 15, 1767, matriculated at the theological seminary in Angers in 1784.  Ordained to the priesthood on October 15, 1790, our saint sailed for the United States of America in 1792.  He arrived in Baltimore, Maryland, and began to teach mathematics at St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore.

John Carroll (1735-1815), the Bishop of Baltimore (1789-1807) then the Archbishop of Baltimore (1807-1815), appointed Richard to perform missionary work in Michigan in 1798.  The 31-year-old priest arrived in Detroit on June 16, 1798 (the Feast of Corpus Christi), to begin serving at St. Anne’s Church as assistant priest.   He served as the parish’s pastor from 1802 to 1832.

Detroit was a small town in 1798; the population was about 1,200.  About half of that population was French-born.  Forests and a lack of good roads cut Detroit off from the rest of the world, by land.  The streets were muddy, there were no schools, and the main business was trading liquor for furs from Native Americans.

Richard set about improving the community.  He started schools that taught the “three R’s,” as well as dressmaking, sewing, and weaving.  He helped to organize relief efforts after the great fire of 1805.  Our saint appointed a town crier, who announced the news from the steps of St. Anne’s Church every Sunday.  The priest also posted news for the literate people every week.  Richard founded and published The Michigan Essay, the first newspaper in Michigan, in 1809.  The town crier had a greater audience than the newspaper.  Our saint also published many books, including The Child’s Spelling Book.

Richard accumulated a private library of 240 volumes.  Topics ranged from theology to science, and included navigation, surveying, teaching methods for the deaf and the mute, and mathematics.

About half of the population consisted of Protestants, who had no pastor of their own.  In 1807, Richard accepted their invitation to fill this vacancy.  He served as their pastor (while also serving at St. Anne’s Church) until 1816, when Presbyterian John Monteith (1788-1868) arrived.  Monteith went on to serve as the pastor of the First Protestant Society of Detroit (founded in 1818) then of the First Presbyterian Church, one of its successors.  Richard and Monteith, friends, worked together to improve education in Detroit.  They were two of the founders of the Catholepistemiad (1817-1832), forerunner of the University of Michigan.

Richard, under the authority of Bishop Flaget after the latter’s consecration, functioned as a missionary to local indigenous people.  He won their respect.  During the War of 1812, our saint was a prisoner of war of the British.  The priest, who ministered to indigenous allies of the British Empire, had sworn allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America.  Chief Tecumseh (c. 1768-1813) helped to secure Richard’s release.  The chief promised not to fight for the British unless they freed the priest.

Richard served a term (1823-1825) as the non-voting delegate of the Territory of Michigan (modern-day Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota) in the United States Congress.  Our saint, despite having no vote, helped to get the funds for the Detroit-Chicago road.

Richard nearly became the first Bishop of Detroit.  He had excommunicated a parishioner.  The excommunication had damaged the man’s business, so he sued our saint.  The court sided with the businessman and fined the priest $1,117 (between $31,000 and $35,000 in 2021 currency).  The priest could not pay the fine.  Our saint was, therefore, an involuntary guest in the sheriff’s home until some parishioners arranged for Richard’s release.  Our saint, chosen to be the first Bishop of Detroit before news of the legal matter reached Rome, remained a priest.  The first Bishop of Detroit assumed office in 1833, after Richard had died.

Cholera swept through Detroit in 1832.  Our saint ministered to victims until he contracted the disease.  He, aged 64 years, died on September 13, 1832.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 29, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTIC AND RELIGIOUS

THE FEAST OF SAINTS BOSA OF YORK, JOHN OF BEVERLEY, WILFRID THE YOUNGER, AND ACCA OF HEXHAM, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS

THE FEAST OF JAMES EDWARD WALSH, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY BISHOP AND POLITICAL PRISONER IN CHINA

THE FEAST OF SIMON B. PARKER, UNITED METHODIST BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF TIMOTHY REES, WELSH ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER AND BISHOP OF LLANDAFF

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Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people,

we thank you for your servant Father Gabriel Richard,

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 full stature of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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

Psalm 84

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

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

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

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Feast of Benedict Joseph Flaget (November 7)   5 comments

Above:  Benedict Joseph Flaget

Image in the Public Domain

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BENEDICT JOSEPH FLAGET (NOVEMBER 7, 1763-FEBRUARY 11, 1850)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Bardstown then of Louisville, Kentucky

Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).

Flaget was French.  He, born at Contournat, near Billom, Auvergne, on November 7, 1763, became an orphan when two years old.  Our saint and his two brothers grew up in the household of an uncle (Canon Benoît Flaget) and an aunt at Billom.  At the age of seventeen years, our saint matriculated at the Sulpician seminary in Clermont.

Flaget became a priest.  He, ordained on All Saints’ Day, 1783, at Issy, taught for years.  Our saint taught theology at Nantes for two years then did the same at Angers.  The anti-clericalism of the French Revolution led to the closing of the seminary at Angers.  Flaget, after returning briefly to Billom in 1791, sailed for the United States of America in January 1792.  He sailed with Étienne (Stephen) Theodore Badin (1768-1853), then a subdeacon, but destined to become the first Roman Catholic priest ordained in the United States of America, on May 25, 1793.  Flaget also sailed with Jean-Baptiste-Marie (John Baptist Mary) David (1761-1841), whom he had recruited to the seminary.

The three future missionaries landed in Baltimore, Maryland, on March 29, 1792.  They proceeded to study English and prepare for their tasks in the New World.  John Carroll (1735-1815), the Bishop of Baltimore (1789-1808) then the Archbishop of Baltimore (1808-1815), assigned Flaget to minister to indigenous people at Fort Vincennes, Northwest Territory (now Indiana).  Our saint arrived on December 21, 1792.  Recalled after two years, he taught at Georgetown College (now University) until 1798.  Then, transferred to Havana, Cuba, in 1798, Flaget eventually returned to Baltimore, in the company of twenty-three students.

Pope Pius VII created the Diocese of Bardstown, Kentucky (out of the Archdiocese of Baltimore), and appointed Flaget the first bishop thereof on April 8, 1808.  Flaget, back in France, initially refused.  Yet he accepted the appointment.  Our saint returned to the United States of America in 1810.  He sailed with friend and colleague Father Simon William Bruté (1779-1839), later the first Bishop of Vincennes.  Another passenger on that vessel was Subdeacon Guy Ignatius Chabrat (1787-1868).  Flaget, consecrated by Archbishop John Carroll in Baltimore on November 4, 1810, arrived in Bardstown on June 9, 1811.

The Diocese of Bardstown was initially vast.  However, as time passed, the Church carved other dioceses out of it.  In 1811, the Diocese of Bardstown included the original Northwest Territory (1787), Kentucky, and Tennessee.  The new diocese was a daunting mission field.  In 1811, after a long and difficult overland journey, Flaget and his entourage arrived in Bardstown.  Shortly after arriving, the new bishop wrote in his journal:

In entering the town, I devoted myself to to all the guardian angels who reside therein, and I prayed to God, with all my heart, to make me an instrument of His glory in this new Diocese.  O my dear brother, have compassion on me, overloaded with so heavy a burden, and pray fervently to God that he would vouchsafe to lighten it.

–Quoted in Cady and Webber. A Year with American Saints (2006), 574

Above:  The Basilica of St. Joseph, Bardstown, Kentucky

Image Source = Google Earth

Flaget was an effective and energetic missionary bishop.  He founded a seminary and parishes.  Construction of his first cathedral, the Basilica of St. Joseph, Bardstown, finished in 1823.  Chabrat became one of Flaget’s missionary priests.  Flaget ordained him, the first Roman Catholic priest ordained west of the Allegheny Mountains, on Christmas Day, 1811.  Flaget also helped to select most of the Roman Catholic bishops consecrated in the United States of America in the 1810-1830s.  John Baptist Mary David (1761-1841), the Bishop Coadjutor of Bardstown (1819-1832), succeeded as the Bishop of Bardstown when Flaget retired, in 1832.  Our saint’s age and health were catching up with him.

David served as the Bishop of Bardstown for less than a year (1832-1833).  Whatever and however great his virtues were, the majority of priests and lay people wanted Flaget back.  Therefore, David resigned and Flaget returned.  Our saint’s second tenure lasted from 1833 to 1850.  His next Bishop Coadjutor was Chabrat, consecrated on July 20, 1834.  By then, the diocese spanned only Kentucky and Tennessee.  Flaget and Chabrat continued to found institutions, build up the diocese, and lay the foundations for future dioceses.  And Flaget traveled in France and Italy (1835-1839).  In his absence, the Diocese of Bardstown became the Diocese of Louisville in 1837.  Chabrat, who had taken over most of the administrative work of the diocese, was going blind.  Therefore, he resigned in 1847 and returned to France.  Flaget needed a new Bishop Coadjutor.

Flaget’s third Bishop Coadjutor was Martin John Spalding, a priest in the diocese.  Spalding was a fine choice, for he was already one of the main administrators of the Diocese of Louisville.  Spalding was the effectively the Bishop of Louisville, starting in 1848, for the aged Flaget all-but officially retired while retaining the title “Bishop of Louisville.”

Flaget, aged 86 years, died in Louisville, Kentucky, on February 11, 1850.

His tomb is in the basement of the Cathedral of the Assumption, Louisville.

Spalding served (officially) as the Bishop of Louisville from 1850 to 1864.  He, appointed the Archbishop of Baltimore (1864-1872), was an uncle of John Lancaster Spalding (1840-1816), the Bishop of Peoria (1877-1908).

Flaget, by the grace of God, functioned as an instrument of divine glory.

May you, O reader, do the same in your context.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 28, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JAROSLAV VAJDA, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER, HYMN TRANSLATOR, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOZEF CEBULA, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1941

THE FEAST OF SAINT PAMPHILIUS OF SULMONA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF ALMSGIVER

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER CHANEL, PROTOMARTYR OF OCEANIA, 1841

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM STRINGFELLOW, EPISCOPAL ATTORNEY, THEOLOGIAN, AND SOCIAL ACTIVIST

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Almighty God, whose will it is to be glorified in your saints,

and who raised up your servant Benedict Joseph Flaget to be a light in the world:

Shine, we pray, in our hearts, that we also in our generation may show forth your praise,

who called us out of darkness into your marvelous light;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Isaiah 49:1-6

Psalm 98 or 98:1-4

Acts 17:22-31

Matthew 28:16-20

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 717

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Feast of Stephen Theodore Badin (July 21)   1 comment

Above:  Stephen Theodore Badin

Image in the Public Domain

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ÉTIENNE THÉODORE BADIN (JULY 17, 1768-APRIL 21, 1853)

First Roman Catholic Priest Ordained in the United States of America

Roman Catholic Missionary in Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan

Étienne Théodore Badin/Stephen Theodore Badin comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year With American Saints (2006).

Badin was French.  He, born in Orléans on July 17, 1768, studied at Montaigu College, Paris, then, starting in 1789, at the Sulpician seminary, Orléans.  Our saint, subdeacon when the revolutionary government closed the seminary in 1791, departed France before the end of the year.  In November, he sailed from Bordeaux in the company of Benedict Joseph Flaget (1763-1850) and John Baptist Mary David (1761-1841).  The three Frenchmen arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on March 26, 1792.  John Carroll (1735-1815), the Bishop (1789-1808) then Archbishop (1808-1815) of Baltimore, welcomed them in Baltimore two days later.  Badin had slightly more than a year of theological education left to complete.  After he did, Carroll ordained him to the priesthood on May 25, 1793.  This was the first ordination of a Roman Catholic priest in the United States of America.

Father Badin embarked on a long ministry.  His first appointment was to Georgetown.  During those few months, our saint improved his command of English.  Then he and one Father Barrières walked from western Pennsylvania and across Kentucky.  They found Roman Catholics, heard confessions, reconciled penitents, and said Masses.  Father Barrières left for New Orleans in April 1794.  Until the spring of 1819, Badin tended to his mission field (Kentucky) faithfully.  He did much to build what became the Diocese of Bardstown, Kentucky, in 1808.  Starting in July 1806, Father Charles Nerinckx joined the Kentucky mission.  Benedict Joseph Flaget, on Badin’s recommendation, served as the Bishop of Bardstown, Kentucky, in 1808-1832 and 1833-1841, then as the Bishop of Louisville, Kentucky, in 1841-1850.  David was the Bishop Coadjutor of Bardstown in 1819-1832 then the Bishop of Bardstown in 1832-1833.  Badin frequently accompanied Bishop Flaget on journeys within the diocese.

Badin returned to France in the spring of 1819.  He served as a parish priest in Millaney and Marreilly-en-Gault, about 40 miles from Orléans, starting in 1820.  Badin helped to provide funding and furniture for the Kentucky missions.

Badin, back in the United States of America in 1828, returned to the mission field.  He spent a year in Michigan, followed by a year in Kentucky.  Our saint ministered among the Pottawattomie Indians at the St. Joseph River, Indiana, until 1836.  After spending 1836-1837 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Badin served as the Vicar-General of the Diocese of Bardstown (1837f).  Our saint also continued to visit missions.  When the see transferred to Louisville in 1841, so did Badin.  Our saint celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of this ordination to the priesthood in Lexington, Kentucky, on May 25, 1843.  From September 1846 to the winter of 1848, Badin ministered at Bourbonnais Grove, Illinois, in the Diocese of Chicago.  Then our saint retired.

Badin spent his retirement in episcopal households.  Until 1850, he was part of the household of Martin John Spalding (1810-1872), the Bishop of Louisville, Kentucky (1848-1850).  Spalding’s famous and illustrious nephew was John Lancaster Spalding (1840-1916), the Bishop of Peoria (1877-1908) and one of the founders of the Catholic University of America.  In 1850, Badin joined the household of John Baptist Purcell (1800-1883), the Bishop (1833-1850) then Archbishop (1850-1883) of Cincinnati.

Badin died in Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 21, 1853.  He was 84 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 7, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS RALPH MILNER, ROGER DICKINSON, AND LAWRENCE HUMPHREY, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 1591

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS FLORENTINE HAGEN, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT HEDDA OF WESSEX, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF LEO SOWERBY, EPISCOPAL COMPOSER AND “DEAN OF CHURCH MUSIC”

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HELMORE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND ARRANGER AND COMPOSER OF HYMN TUNES

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Stephen Theodore Badin,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of

Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan.

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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