Archive for the ‘James E. Walsh’ Tag

Feast of James A. Walsh, Thomas Price, and Mary Josephine Rogers (October 27)   Leave a comment

Above:  Maryknoll Logo

Image in the Public Domain

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

THOMAS FREDERICK PRICE (AUGUST 19, 1860-SEPTEMBER 12, 1919)

Cofounder of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

JAMES ANTHONY WALSH (FEBRUARY 24, 1867-APRIL 14, 1936)

Cofounder of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers

Cofounder of the Maryknoll Sisters of Saint Dominic

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

MARY JOSEPHINE ROGERS (OCTOBER 27, 1882-OCTOBER 9, 1955)

Foundress of the Maryknoll Sisters of Saint Dominic

Also known as Mother Mary Joseph Rogers

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

One of my goals in renovating this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days is to emphasize relationships and influences.  The biographies of these three saints, with their overlapping lives, are ideal for telling together.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

BEGINNINGS

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thomas Frederick Price was a man devoted to missionary work.  He, born in Wilmington, North Carolina, on August 14, 1860, grew up in a Roman Catholic family.  The prices experienced much hostility from many of their Protestant neighbors.  Our saint, who discerned his priestly vocation at an early age, studied at St. Charles Seminary, Catonsville, Maryland, from 1877 to 1881.  Then, from 1881 to 1886, he studied at St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore, Maryland.  On June 20, 1886, the date of Price’s priestly ordination in Wilmington, North Carolina, he became the first Roman Catholic priest native to that state.  He, at first a priest in the Asheville-Bern area, eventually undertook, with his bishop’s approval, a program of statewide evangelism.  Price began to publish and edit a magazine, The Truth, in 1897.  He also opened the Nazareth Orphanage in 1898.  Four years later Price opened the missionary training house at Nazareth.  From 1902 to 1909 he served as the spiritual director of the Regina Apostolorum.

James Anthony Walsh, named in G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006), also devoted his life to missionary work.  He, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on February 24, 1867, attended public schools then Boston College, Harvard College, and St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts.  He, ordained to the priesthood in Boston on May 20, 1892, served first as the curate of St. Patrick’s Church, Roxbury.  Starting in 1903, he was the diocesan Director of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith, with offices in Boston.  In 1907 Walsh founded a missionary magazine, The Field AfarMary Josephine “Mollie” Rogers worked for the magazine.

Rogers, also named in A Year with American Saints (2006), devoted most of her life to foreign missions.  She, born to an Irish Catholic family in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 27, 1882, attended public schools; the family was attempting to fit in with Boston society.  In 1901 she matriculated at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, where Roman Catholics were marginal.  At Smith College, as an undergraduate student, she became involved in the Student Volunteer Movement, with its focus on foreign missions.  Later, as a graduate student teaching zoology.  Rogers helped to start the Newman Club, founded as a Catholic missions club.  This effort brought her into contact with Father James A. Walsh, whom she met in his Boston office in December 1906.  Within two years she had abandoned her graduate program, gone to work in the offices of The Field Afar, and begun teaching in a local school.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

PRICE AND WALSH

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Price and Walsh had been working on the same proposal independently.  They had been writing about the need for a seminary to prepare American men to become foreign missionary priests.  Their meeting at the Eucharistic Congress, Montreal, Canada, in 1910 led to collaboration.  The following year they traveled to Rome, to ask Pope Pius X to approve their new order, the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, a.k.a. the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.  The Holy Father did approve, on June 29, 1911.  The site of the new seminary became Ossining, New York.  The first group of missionary priests, headed for China, was ready in 1918.  James E. Walsh (1891-1981) was one of those priests.  Price, fulfilling a dream to become a missionary, went to China as a missionary.  He, 59 years old, died of a burst appendix in Hong Kong on September 12, 1919.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

WALSH AND ROGERS

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Father James A. Walsh, the Maryknoll Superior General from 1911 to 1936, helped Rogers and other women become fully involved in foreign missions.  The women were auxiliary to the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, but were more effective in the Foreign Missions Sisters of Saint Dominic (now the Maryknoll Sisters of Saint Dominic), which Mollie Rogers and James A. Walsh founded on February 14, 1920.  Rogers led the order until her death, in 1955.  She founded the Maryknoll Contemplative Community in 1932.

James A. Walsh ended his days as Bishop Walsh.  On June 29, 1933, in Rome, he became the Titular Bishop of Siene.  He, aged 69 years, died on April 14, 1936.

Rogers, aware of the Presence of God, encouraged the sisters to cultivate that sense in their lives.  The goal, in her mind, was for the sisters to see each other as God saw them.  She understood the importance of justice in relationships.  The basis of such justice, she insisted, was loving, fearless honesty.

Rogers, aged 72 years, died on October 9, 1955.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Maryknoll Fathers, Brothers, and Sisters have taken the Gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 17, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE SIXTEENTH DAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON, ABOLITIONIST AND FEMINIST; AND MARIA STEWART, ABOLITIONIST, FEMINIST, AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF EGLANTYNE JEBB AND DOROTHY BUXTON, FOUNDERS OF SAVE THE CHILDREN

THE FEAST OF FRANK MASON NORTH, U.S. METHODIST MINISTER

THE FEAST OF MARY CORNELIA BISHOP GATES, U.S. DUTCH REFORMED HYMN WRITER

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Everlasting God, you have sent your messengers to carry the good news of Christ into the world;

grant that we who commemorate James A. Walsh, Thomas Price, and Mary Josephine “Mollie” Rogers

may know the hope of the gospel in the our hearts and show forth its light in all our ways;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 49:1-6

Psalm 67 or 96

Acts 16:6-10

Matthew 9:25-38

–Adapted from A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989), 682-683

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of James E. Walsh (April 30)   1 comment

Above:  Father Walsh, 1918

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

JAMES EDWARD WALSH (APRIL 30, 1891-JULY 29, 1981)

Roman Catholic Missionary Bishop in China, and Political Prisoner

Also known as Wha Lee Son, Chinese for “Pillar of Truth”

Bishop James Edward Walsh spent about twelve years of a twenty-year sentence in a Chinese prison for Christ.  After a year and a half of daily interrogations, Chinese officials got Walsh to confess to being what he was not–a spy.  He was, however, guilty of being a Western missionary; that was his actual offense, in the eyes of Chinese Communist officialdom.

Walsh, born in Cumberland, Maryland, on April 30, 1891, came from a devout Roman Catholic family.  He, the second of nine children of William E. Walsh and Mary Concannon Walsh, was a mischievous parochial school student who grew up to become a missionary priest.  Our saint, after spending two years working as a timekeeper in a steel mill, found spiritual fulfillment at age 21 by accepting his vocation to the priesthood.  The family supported his decision enthusiastically.

Walsh’s vocation was to be a missionary priest.  In 1912 he joined the new Maryknoll Fathers, properly the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, and began to prepare for the priesthood.  On December 7, 1915, our saint became the second Maryknoll priest.  Not quite three years later, on September 8, 1918, Walsh and a few other priests sailed for Kwong Tung, China.  There he remained until 1936.  After about a year our saint became the Maryknoll Superior in China.  On May 22, 1927, Walsh, or as many Chinese Roman Catholics called him, Wha Lee Son (“Pillar of Truth”), became a bishop, assigned to the Vicariate of Kongmoon.  He told his missioners:

I am the least among you.  Look upon me as your servant.  I am made bishop chiefly to help you.  If my help takes the form of direction, I hope you will realize it is intended to help you just the same.  But I think we understand each other; we are a happy family.

From 1936 to 1946 Walsh served as the second Superior General of the Maryknoll order.  During those years our saint, back at Maryknoll headquarters at Ossining, New York, supervised the beginning of Maryknoll missions in Africa and Latin America.

Then Walsh returned to China, where he remained until 1970.  Until 1951, when the People’s Republic (an oxymoron) closed it, he led the Catholic Central Bureau (in Shanghai), which coordinated all Roman Catholic missions in the nation-state.  Life became more complicated for all Western missionaries in China after the establishment of the People’s Republic in 1949.  Communist hostility to missionaries was one issue; official Chinese hostility to Westerners (especially considering the history of China during the build up to 1949) was another factor.  The central government harassed Western missionaries and pressured them to leave.  Walsh became the last one to go, at the age of 79.  For years he refused to go, despite the harassment, including surveillance.  Before his arrest and incarceration he said:

To put up with a little inconvenience at my age is nothing.  Besides, I am a little sick and tired of being pushed around on account of my religion.

Authorities arrested Walsh on October 18, 1958.  The verdict was never is doubt.  The sentence was 20 years.  He served about 12 of those, studying a Chinese dictionary and praying the rosary.  This, our saint understood, was as much of a witness to Christ as he could make at that time.  Walsh, who was fond of the Chinese people, managed to survive his incarceration without nursing resentment; he was actually quite forgiving.  During those years his only non-Chinese visitor was a brother, William C. Walsh, the Attorney General of Maryland from 1938 to 1945.  In a diplomatic gesture building up President Richard Nixon’s trip to China in 1972, the People’s Republic freed Walsh on July 10, 1970.  On that day he walked into freedom and Hong Kong.

After an audience with Pope Paul VI at the Vatican, Walsh returned to Maryknoll headquarters at Ossining, New York.  There he was a revered figure and a humble and prayerful man who insisted that he had done nothing worthy of any special recognition.  Walsh stated that he had simply been a servant of Christ and a missionary priest who had done his job faithfully.  Missionaries, he said, should remain with the people to whom God had sent them as long as that is possible.  He was not the first missionary to suffer for following that ethic.  Indeed, others, including some whom Walsh knew, had died doing so.  And Walsh was not the last Christian missionary to suffer for remaining with the people to whom God had sent him.

Walsh died, aged 90 years, of natural causes on July 29, 1981.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 25, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JAMES BAR-ZEBEDEE, APOSTLE AND MARTYR

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

God of grace and glory, we praise you for your servant James Edward Walsh,

who made the good news known in China, and who spent time in prison for doing so.

Raise up, we pray, in every country, heralds of the gospel,

so that the world may know the immeasurable riches of your love,

and be drawn to worship you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Isaiah 62:1-7

Psalm 48

Romans 10:11-17

Luke 24:44-53

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++