Archive for the ‘James Lloyd Breck’ Tag

Feast of James Lloyd Breck (April 2)   Leave a comment

James Lloyd Breck

Above:  James Lloyd Breck

Image in the Public Domain

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JAMES LLOYD BRECK (JUNE 27, 1818-APRIL 2, 1876)

“The Apostle of the Wilderness”

James Lloyd Breck did more to expand the Church in  34 years than did most church members do in more time than that.

Breck was a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The fourth of six children of George Breck (1785-1869) and Catherine Douce Israel Breck (1789-1864) attended the Flushing Institute, which William Augustus Muhlenberg (1796-1877) had founded.  At that school the sixteen-year-old Breck resolved to become a missionary.  Our saint continued his studies at the University of Pennsylvania (B.A., 1838), and the General Theological Seminary, New York (1838-1841).

Breck, a deacon when 1842 dawned, became a priest by the end of the year.  The newly-minted clergyman went west to Wisconsin, where he, with three former classmates from seminary, founded Nashotah House as a monastic community, missions headquarters, and seminary.

After a few years Breck left for a new mission field–Minnesota.  There he served as a military chaplain, founded congregations and schools, and started missionary work among the Ojibwa and the Chippewa, laying the foundations for the education of indigenous priests.  On August 11, 1855, Breck married Jane Maria Mills (1823-1862), a teacher among the Ojibwa.  They had two children–William Augustus Muhlenberg Breck (1856-1920), who became an Episcopal priest, and Charles Renwick Breck (born in 1858).  His congregation at Faribault, Minnesota, became the Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour, the first cathedral in The Episcopal Church.  At Faribault our saint founded Seabury Divinity Hall, now part of the Bexley-Seabury Federation.  In 1864 Breck married his second wife, Sarah E. Styles (1819-1877).

Breck’s final mission field was California, where he and a group of missionaries arrived in 1867.  Our saint settled in Benicia, founded five parishes, and established two schools.  He died at Benicia on April 2, 1876, after an illness about a week in duration.

Archive.org offers two biographies of Breck:

  1. The Life of James Lloyd Breck, D.D., Chiefly from Letters Written by Himself (1883), compiled by his older brother, Charles Breck, D.D. (1816-1891); and
  2. An Apostle of the Wilderness:  James Lloyd Breck, D.D., His Missions and His Schools (1903), by Theodore I. Holcombe.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 17, 2015 COMMON ERA

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

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

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Teach your Church, O Lord, we pray, to value and support

pioneering and courageous missionaries, whom you call,

as you called your servant James Lloyd Breck,

to preach, and teach, and plant your Church on new frontiers;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns

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

Joshua 24:14-18

Psalm 145:1-7

1 Corinthians 3:4-11

Mark 4:26-32

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 303

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