Archive for the ‘G. Scott Cady’ Tag

Feast of Paul Hanly Furfey (June 30)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Vincent’s Chapel, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

Image Source = Google Earth

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PAUL HANLY FURFEY (JUNE 30, 1897-JUNE 8, 1992)

U.S. Roman Catholic Priest, Sociologist, and Social Radical

Apostle for Social Justice

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Men are not won over to our faith by logic but by seeing the Church in action.

–Paul Hanly Furfey

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Father Paul Hanly Furfey 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).

Furfey favored responding to social ills through a combination of collective and personal action.  He argued that the best collective action was faith-based, not secular and bourgeois.  Hence targets of his criticism included capitalism, Marxism, the New Deal, government interventionism, and Hull House.  Yet, later in life, he critiqued Liberation Theology from its left; it did not go far enough, he insisted.

Furfey was a priest and a sociologist.  He, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on June 30, 1896, studied in parochial schools in that city.  Then he studied at Boston College (A.B.).  Our saint continued his education at The Catholic University of America in 1917 and 1918.  A M.A. from St. Mary’s University, Baltimore, Maryland, followed.  Seminary followed.  Furfey, ordained in 1922, earned his Ph.D. in sociology from The Catholic University of America (1926) then studied medicine in Germany (1931-1932).  Early in his career, Furfey advocated for openly religious, scientific radicalism.  He was, therefore, critical of the New Deal while he affirmed the Catholic Worker Movement of Dorothy Day (1897-1980).  He also went on to associate himself with Personalism, the philosophy of Emmanuel Mournier (1905-1950).  Furthermore, Furfey rejected racism.  Our saint, who rote his doctoral dissertation on street gangs, taught sociology at The Catholic University of America.  He also helped to found Il Poverello (“the Poor One”), a settlement house, in Washington, D.C.  Il Poverello was a Roman Catholic counterpart to Hull House and Toynbee Hall.

Furfey, a recipient of many academic and ecclesiastical honors, was a leader in sociological discipline.  He led the Department of Sociology at The Catholic University of America, starting in the 1940s.  He also helmed the university’s Center for Research in Child Development.  Furthermore, our saint served as the President of the American Catholic Sociological Society.

Furfey became more radical as he aged.  Furfey, who had argued for obedience to the federal government during World War II, opposed the Vietnam War.  He helped to found the International Committee on Conscience on Vietnam in 1973.  His critique of the Great Society was that it was insufficient.  Wherever Furfey stood on an issue, he thought of the love of Christ, a revolutionary for the love of neighbors, as the role model.  Our saint was, as Nicholas Karl Rademacher called him in a his doctoral dissertation (2006) at The Catholic University of America, the “Apostle of Social Justice.”

Furfey, nearly 95 years old, died on June 8, 1992.

Looking up titles of Furfey’s books at Worldcat reveals the range of his output.  One finds titles about urban gangs, child development, morality, psychology, and the deaf, among other subjects.  Some titles are punchy.  How to Go to Hell (1937) sounds interesting, and The Respectable Murderers:  Social Evil and Christian Conscience (1966) is direct.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 21, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN DE CHARGÉ AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS OF TIBHIRINE, ALGERIA, 1996

THE FEAST OF SAINT EUGENE DE MAZENOD, BISHOP OF MARSEILLES, AND FOUNDER OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE MISSIONARIES, OBLATES OF MARY IMMACULATE

THE FEAST OF SAINT FRANZ JÄGGERSTÄTTER, AUSTRIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR AND MARTYR, 1943

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH ADDISON AND ALEXANDER POPE, ENGLISH POETS

THE FEAST OF SAINT MANUEL GÓMEZ GONZÁLEZ, SPANISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1924; AND SAINT ADILO DARONCH, BRAZILIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC ALTAR BOY AND MARTYR, 1924

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Lord 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,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-14

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of Clara Louise Maass (June 28)   Leave a comment

Above:  Stamp of Clara Louise Maass

Image in the Public Domain

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CLARA LOUISE MAASS (JUNE 28, 1876-AUGUST 24, 1901)

U.S. Lutheran Nurse and Martyr, 1901

A martyr is a person whose lived Christian faith led to death.  By this definition, Clara Louse Maass was a Christian martyr.

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

Our saint’s work was an expression of her Christian faith.  She was the first of nine children of German Lutheran immigrants Robert and Hedwig Maass.  Clara, born in East Orange, New Jersey, on June 28, 1876, studied at the Christina Trefz Training School for Nurses, Newark German Hospital, Newark, New Jersey, from 1893 to 1895.  After graduating, she became a private-duty nurse at that hospital.  Our saint, the head nurse at the Newark German Hospital at the age of 21 years, volunteered for service in the U.S. Army during the Spanish-American War (1898).  The Army stationed our saint in Jacksonville, Florida; Savannah, Georgia; and Santiago, Cuba.  Then the Army discharged Maass in February 1899.

Later that year, Maass returned to Army service.  She arrived in the Philippines in November 1899.  The following October, our saint answered the request of Dr. Carlos Juan Finlay, sanitary officer in Havana, Cuba.  He posited that mosquito bites spread yellow fever.  (He was correct.)  Maass volunteered for mosquito bites.  The first mosquito bit her in June 1901.  Maass came down with a mild case of yellow fever.  After she recovered, our saint volunteered for a second bite on August 14, 1901.  She died ten years later.  Maass was 25 years old.

Our saint’s death was crucial.  The resulting outcry terminated human experimentation in that medical research project.  Her sacrifice was not in vain; it helped accelerate the pace of research that saved the lives of many people.

Medical professionals frequently risk their lives for the sake of saving lives.  I draft this post during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, a time during which news stories of dedicated doctors and nurses are plentiful.  Also, some people are volunteering to become test subjects for possible vaccines.  They are risking their lives, too.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 20, 2020 COMMON ERA

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 MARIÁ ANGÉLICA PÉREZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN

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

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Gracious Lord, in every age you have sent men and women

who have given their lives for the message of your love.

Inspire us with the memory of those martyrs for the Gospel

[like your servant Clara Louise Maass]

whose faithfulness led them in the way of the cross,

and give us courage to bear full witness with

our lives to your Son’s victory over sin and death;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Ezekiel 20:40-42

Psalm 5

Revelation 6:9-11

Mark 8:34-38

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

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Feast of Mark Hopkins (June 14)   Leave a comment

Above:  Mark Hopkins Stamp

Image in the Public Domain

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MARK HOPKINS (FEBRUARY 4, 1802-JUNE 17, 1887)

U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Theologian, Educator, and Physician

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The ideal college is Mark Hopkins on one end of a log and a student on the other.

–James Abram Garfield (November 19, 1831-September 19, 1881), President of the United States of America (March 4-September 19, 1881)

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Mark Hopkins 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).

Hopkins came from a devout Congregationalist family, which shaped his destiny.  He, a son of Archibald Hopkins (1766-1839) and Mary Curtis Hopkins (1772-1868), debuted in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, on February 4, 1802.  A great-uncle was Samuel Hopkins (1721-1803), a prominent Congregationalist minister, theologian, and abolitionist.  Our saint, who graduated from Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1824, worked as a tutor at Williams College (1825-1827) prior to matriculating at Berkshire Medical College, Pittsfield, Massachusetts (Class of 1830).  The our saint returned to Williams College as Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy (1830-1887).  He also served as the president of the college (1836-1872).  Hopkins, a skilled practitioner of the Socratic Method, became an ordained minister in 1833.  He chose to remain at Williams College; our saint declined a host of offers from churches, universities, colleges, and seminaries elsewhere.  Hopkins also found time to serve as the President of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions from 1857 to 1887.

Hopkins married Mary Hubbell (1813-1898).  The couple had ten children.

Hopkins produced a range of published works of theology.  His theology anticipated Charles Darwin‘s On the Origin of Species (1859), which was unoriginal.  (Ask Alfred Russel Wallace.)  Our saint’s On the Argument from Nature for the Divine Existence (1833), rooted in Aristolelian philosophy and the theology of Jonathan Edwards (1703-1768), argued that evolution is a driving force within nature and is consistent with the existence of God.

Hopkins, Renaissance man and Christian apologist, died in Williamstown, Massachusetts, on June 17, 1887.  He was 85 years old.

Hopkins, as an educator, intrigues me.  I have much experience in postsecondary education.  I have been around long enough to witness changes in the student body.  Nothing is new under the sun, of course.  However, I recognize that some negative patterns have become more prominent lately.  Increasingly, students do not know how to take notes and/or do not want to take their own notes.  No, more pupils expect their professors and instructors to give them notes, preferably in the form of overly verbose and poorly-designed PowerPoint slides.  Attention spans have become shorter.  Socrates did not need billboards and PowerPoint slides.  Neither did Mark Hopkins.  He had what he needed.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 6, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANNA ROSA GATTORNO, FOUNDRESS OF THE INSTITUTE OF THE DAUGHTERS OF SAINT ANNE, MOTHER OF MARY IMMACULATE

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALEXIS TOTH, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX PRIEST AND DEFENDER OF ORTHODOXY IN AMERICA

THE FEAST OF CLARENCE DICKINSON, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIA CATALINA TROIANI, FOUNDRESS OF THE FRANCISCAN MISSIONARIES OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY

THE FEAST OF SAINTS WILLIBALD OF EICHSTATT AND LULLUS OF MAINZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT WALBURGA OF HEIDENHELM, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBESS; SAINTS PETRONAX OF MONTE CASSINO, WINNEBALD OF HEIDENHELM, WIGBERT OF FRITZLAR, AND STURMIUS OF FULDA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS; AND SAINT SEBALDUS OF VINCENZA, ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMIT AND MISSIONARY

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

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Mark Hopkins 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 Francis J. Uplegger (June 14)   2 comments

Above:  Grace Lutheran Church, San Carlos, Arizona

Image Source = Google Earth

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FRANCIS JOSEPH THEODORE UPLEGGER (OCTOBER 29, 1867-JUNE 16, 1964)

German-American Lutheran Minister and Missionary; “Old Man Missionary”

Also known as Franz John Theo Uplegger

Francis J. Uplegger 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).

Uplegger, born in Rostok (now in the Federal Republic of Germany) on October 29, 1867, spent most of his life in the United States of America.  He arrived in the United States in August 1886 and naturalized in 1895.  Our saint, who settled in St. Louis, Missouri, in the 1880s, graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary and became an ordained minister in the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States (GELSMOOS), now The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS).  Uplegger served as the pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Hermansfort, Wisconsin, starting in 1891.  Afterward, he held positions in Denmark and the German Empire.  From 1916 to 1919, he served as the principal of Milwaukee Lutheran High School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The two sponsors of the high school were the Missouri Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Other States (extant 1892-1919).

Above:  Grace Lutheran Church, San Carlos, Arizona

Image Source = Google Earth

Uplegger married Emma Plass (1866-1925) on August 20, 1891.  The couple had four children–Alfred Martin Johannes (1892-1984), Johanna Magdalena (1896-1983), Gertrude (1898-1991), and Dorothea (1902-1986).  Alfred, an ordained minister, became a missionary attached to the Wisconsin Synod’s mission (established in 1893) to the San Carlos Apache Nation in 1917.  He invited his father to join him.  Our saint accepted the invitation and remained on the reservation until June 19, 1964.  He spent the rest of his life ministering under the auspices of the merged Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Wisconsin and Other States, which renamed itself the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod in 1959.  The mission became more of a family effort when Johanna and her husband, Heinrich “Henry” Edward Frank Rosin, joined the team.

Above:  Grace Lutheran Church, San Carlos, Arizona

Image Source = Google Earth

Our saint fond his niche, for the glory of God, on the reservation.  He already knew German, English, Norwegian, French, Greek, and Hebrew.  He added Apache to that list.  In 1930-1931, Uplegger helped the tribe to draft its constitution.  Furthermore, our saint translated the liturgy, the catechism, and much of the Bible into Apache.  He also composed Apache hymns and wrote a four-volume Apache-English dictionary.  “Old Man Missionary,” as he became known, retired in 1961.  That year, the tribe formally adopted him.  Alfred continued to minister on the reservation.  He retired in 1977.

Our saint died on the reservation on June 19, 1964.  He was 96 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 5, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHARLES WILLIAM SCHAEFFER, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER, HISTORIAN, THEOLOGIAN, AND LITURGIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT CATERINA CITTADINI, FOUNDRESS OF THE URUSLINE SISTERS OF SOMASCO

THE FEAST OF SAINT EDMUND IGNATIUS RICE, FOUNDER OF THE INSTITUTE OF THE BROTHERS OF THE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS OF IRELAND AND THE CONGREGATION OF PRESENTATION BROTHERS

THE FEAST OF FRIEDRICH VON HÜGEL, ROMAN CATHOLIC INDEPENDENT SCHOLAR AND PHILOSOPHER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS HONORATUS OF ARLES AND HILARY OF ARLES, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; AND SAINTS VENANTIUS OF MODON AND CAPRASIUS OF LERINS, ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMITS

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Francis J. Uplegger,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the San Carlos Apache Nation.

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 Frank Laubach (June 14)   Leave a comment

Above:  Frank Laubach Stamp

Image in the Public Domain

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FRANK CHARLES LAUBACH (SEPTEMBER 2, 1884-JUNE 11, 1970)

U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Missionary

“Apostle of Literacy” and “Apostle to the Illiterates”

Frank Laubach 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).

Laubach devised and propagated the Laubach Method of teaching literacy.  He taught 100 million people all over the world how to read in 313 languages.  Literacy was an evangelistic tool for Laubach.  It was also a way to improve their lives and the lives of others.

Laubach was a minister and a missionary.  He, born in Boston, Massachusetts, on September 2, 1884, graduated from Princeton University (1909), Union Theological Seminary (1913), and Columbia University (Ph.D., 1915).  He married Effa Emaline Seely, a nurse, in 1912.  The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions sent the couple to the Philippines in 1915.  For about six years, the Laubachs ministered on Mindanao.  Then, in 1921, our saint joined the faculty of a theological seminary in Manila.  Laubach returned to missionary work among Muslims on Mindanao in 1929.  At this time, he began to use the Laubach Method (entailing graphics, words, and syllables) to teach people to read their language.  Related to the Laubach Method was the principle of “each one teach one.”  Literacy increased greatly.

Starting in 1935, Laubach took his method global.  He, an at-large missionary for the Federal (1945-1950) then the National (1950-1955) Councils of Churches, retired in 1955.  Then our saint kept going.  He founded Laubach Literacy, Inc. (global) in 1955, followed by Laubach Literacy Action (for the U.S.A.) in 1968.

Laubach, author of 56 books (including devotional works) died in Syracuse, New York, on June 11, 1970.  He was 85 years old.

Laubach, like his Puritan forebears, understood the importance of literacy and education.  The Puritans manifested some terrible excesses, including practicing theocracy, outlawing Christmas, exiling religious dissidents, executing Quakers, and, while under the influence of hallucinogenic bread molds, setting scores by executing people falsely accused of being witches.  Nevertheless, when the Puritans were right, they were right.  They knew, for example, that for one to read the Bible, one must be literate.  Literacy education, therefore, is an effective evangelistic tool.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 4, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CEFERINO JIMENEZ MALLA, SPANISH ROMANI MARTYR, 1936

THE FEAST OF ANGUS DUN, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF WASHINGTON, AND ECUMENIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT BASIL MARTYSZ, POLISH ORTHODOX PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1945

THE FEAST OF SAINT JEAN-MARTIN MOYË, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, MISSIONARY IN CHINA, AND FOUNDER OF THE SISTERS OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE AND THE CHRISTIAN VIRGINS

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN HOUGHTON, ROBERT LAWRENCE, AUGUSTINE WEBSTER, HUMPHREY MIDDLEMORE, WILLIAM EXMEW, AND SEBASTIAN NEWDIGATE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 1535

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Frank Laubach,

whom you called to preach the Gospel throughout the world, as he increased rates of literacy.

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 David Low Dodge (June 14)   Leave a comment

Above:  Flag of New York, 1778-1901

Image in the Public Domain

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DAVID LOW DODGE, III (JUNE 14, 1774-APRIL 23, 1852)

U.S. Presbyterian Businessman and Pacifist

David Low Dodge, III, 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).

Dodge, a businessman, retired so he could devote himself to good works full-time.  He, a son of David Low Dodge, Jr. (1742-1807), and Mary Stuart Dodge (1735-1816), debuted in Pomfret (now Brooklyn), Connecticut, on June 14, 1774.  He grew up on a farm.  Our saint married Sarah Cleveland (1780-1862), daughter of a minister, on June 7, 1798.  The couple had seven children.  Dodge was briefly a teacher before he became a merchant of dry goods in Hartford, Connecticut.  Eventually, he moved to New York, New York, in 1807.  For the next two decades, Dodge made much money.  He owned the first textile factory in Connecticut.  He also had a hand in the insurance, timber, land management, iron mining, and coal mining businesses, as well as the Erie Railroad.  Our saint retired in 1827.

Dodge had begun his religious-societal work long prior to retirement.  He had written and published a tract, The Mediator’s Kingdom Not of This World; But Spiritual, Heavenly, and Divine, in 1809.  According to our saint, all was was contrary to Christianity.  He had his reasons for making this argument:

The death of his half-brothers William and Jesse during the U.S. War for Independence had been devastating to the family.

Dodge affirmed the Biblical commandment not to repay evil with evil.

He took proper offense at the negative economic consequences of war on the poorest members of society.  Dodge had helped to found the New York Peace Society in 1815; he had also served as its president.  In 1828, when that organization merged into the American Peace Society, Dodge became the president of the new body.  He vacated the presidency in 1836 yet remained active in the society for the rest of his life.

Dodge, a founder of the New York Bible Society (1809; later the International Bible Society, now Biblica) and the New York Tract Society (1825), died in New York City on April 23, 1852.  He was 77 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 3, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF CAROLINE CHISHOLM, ENGLISH HUMANITARIAN AND SOCIAL REFORMER

THE FEAST OF ELIAS BOUDINOT, IV, U.S. STATESMAN, PHILANTHROPIST, AND WITNESS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIE-LÉONIE PARADIS, FOUNDRESS OF THE LITTLE SISTERS OF THE HOLY FAMILY

THE FEAST OF SAINTS MAURA AND TIMOTHY OF ANTINOE, MARTYRS, 286

THE FEAST OF SAINT TOMASSO ACERBIS, CAPUCHIN FRIAR

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Almighty God, whose prophets taught us righteousness in the care of your poor:

By the guidance of your Holy Spirit,

grant that we may do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in your sight;

through Jesus Christ, our Judge and Redeemer, who lives and reigns

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

Isaiah 55:11-56:1

Psalm 2:1-2, 10-12

Acts 14:14-17, 21-23

Mark 4:21-29

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 736

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Feast of Elias Benjamin Sanford (June 13)   Leave a comment

Above:  Flag of Connecticut

Image in the Public Domain

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ELIAS BENJAMIN SANFORD (JUNE 6, 1843-JULY 3, 1932)

U.S. Methodist then Congregationalist Minister and Ecumenist

Elias Benjamin Sanford 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).

Sanford was simultaneously of his time and ahead of it.  He transformed his time.

Once upon a time, in the United States of America, anti-Roman Catholicism was a dominant characteristic of Protestantism.  (It remains a dominant characteristic of fundamentalism and much of evangelicalism.  The mainline has repented of its anti-Roman Catholicism.  For example, the United Church of Christ, with Puritan/Congregationalist heritage, has become a haven for married former Roman Catholic priests seeking a way to continue in ordained ministry.)  This bias was the mirror image of a negative Roman Catholic attitude toward other branches of Christianity prior to the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II), when the rest of we Christians, whether Protestant, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, or Oriental Orthodox, formally became “separated brethren.”  This was a declaration that echoed Pope Leo XIII (d. 1903).  Not all American Protestants were anti-Roman Catholic, just as not all American Roman Catholics thought that non-Roman Catholic Christians were bound for damnation.  Nevertheless, these hardline attitudes were baked into religious cultures.  In 1928, when the Democratic Party nominated Governor Alfred Smith for the presidency, Smith’s Roman Catholicism became a political issue.  During the primary season of 1960, when Senator John F. Kennedy campaigned for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, his Roman Catholicism became a political issue.  George L. Ford, Executive Director of the National Association of Evangelicals, wrote a pamphlet, A Roman Catholic President:  How Free from Church Control?  (I own a copy of this pamphlet.)

Above:  The Cover of the Pamphlet

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Sanford’s life and ministry played out in the culture of anti-Roman Catholic Protestantism.

That summary is objectively accurate.  Know, O reader, that I refuse to condone religious bigotry.  I come from a Protestant background, mainly United Methodism in the rural South.  I, an Episcopalian, consider myself an Anglican, not a Protestant.  To be precise, I describe myself as an Anglican-Lutheran-Catholic, for “Anglican” and “Episcopalian” cover a great range of theological ground.  I affirm Transubstantiation, all seven sacraments, and the 73 book-canon of scripture.  How can I be a Protestant?  I am too Protestant to be a Roman Catholic and too Roman Catholic to be a Protestant.  And, as anyone who follows, this, my Ecumenical Calendar, should know, names of many Roman Catholics, whether Venerables, Beati, fully canonized, or not formally recognized, are present here.  To paraphrase what Martin Luther may or may not have said at the Diet of Worms (1521), I will do no other.

Above:  The Former First United Methodist Church, Thomaston, Connecticut

Structure erected in 1866

Congregation seemingly closed in 2018

Image Source = Google Earth

Sanford was originally a Methodist.  He, born in Westbrook, Connecticut, on June 6, 1843, graduated from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut (B.A., 1865).  Our saint served as a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church (extant 1784-1939) in Thomaston, Connecticut, from 1865 to 1867.  Then he became a Congregationalist.  Our saint spent the first half of 1868 traveling in Europe.

Above:  The United Church of Christ in Cornwall, Cornwall, Connecticut

Structure erected in 1842

Image Source = Google Earth

Sanford, back in the United States, served as a Congregationalist minister in rural Connecticut.  He also studied at Yale.  Our saint’s first parish in his new denomination was First Congregational Church, Cornwall, Connecticut (1868-1872).  For the next decade, he supplied in Northfield and Thomaston, Connecticut.  Sanford’s final pastorate was the First Congregational Church in Westbrook, Connecticut (1882-1894).

Above:  First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Westbrook, Connecticut

Image in the Public Domain

Sanford made the transition to ecumenical Protestant work.  He, the Editor of Church Union magazine since 1873, served as the Secretary of the Open and Institutional Church League (founded in 1894, from 1895 to 1900), committed to opening church buildings for social service.  In that same vein, our saint served as the General Secretary of the National Federation of Churches and Christian Workers from 1900 to 1908.  Sanford generally opposed the organic union of denominations on the grounds that mergers brought branches of Protestantism closer to “submission to Rome.”  In context, Sanford’s Protestant ecumenism was a way of resisting Roman Catholicism.  He helped to found the Federal Council of Churches (1908-1950), a forerunner of the National Council of Churches (1950-).  Our saint served as corresponding secretary (1908-1913) then as a honorary secretary (1913-1932) of the Federal Council of Churches.

Sanford, 89 years old, died in Middlefield, Connecticut, on July 3, 1932.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 1, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS PHILIP AND JAMES, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS

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Lord Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd, thank you for tending to us, members of your flock.

May we, rejoicing in your work of breaking down barriers,

recognize each other as sheep of your flock, and therefore, work together, for your glory.

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

Isaiah 49:1-6

Psalm 95

1 Corinthians 1:10-17

John 17:20-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 25, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARK THE EVANGELIST, MARTYR, 68

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