Archive for the ‘Phillips Brooks’ Tag

Feast of Vida Dutton Scudder (October 10)   Leave a comment

Above:  Vida Dutton Scudder

Image in the Public Domain

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JULIA VIDA DUTTON SCUDDER (DECEMBER 15, 1861-OCTOBER 9, 1954)

Episcopal Professor, Author, Christian Socialist, and Social Reformer

Alternative feast day = October 9

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INTRODUCTION

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(Julia) Vida Dutton Scudder comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Episcopal Church.  Just as The Episcopal Church has two calendars of saints, it has two feast days for Scudder.  Her feast day in Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018 is October 9.  On the side calendar of saints (dating to 2009), however, Scudder’s feast day is October 10.  Therefore, Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010) and A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016) list her feast day as October 10.   G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006) also includes a brief biography of Scudder.

The Scudders were a family of U.S. Congregationalist missionaries in India.  David Coit Scudder (d. 1862) and Harriet Louise (Dutton) Scudder (d. 1920) welcomed Julia Vida Dutton Scudder into the world at Madurai, India, on December 15, 1861.  After David died, mother and daughter moved to Boston, Massachusetts.  Our saint grew up a Congregationalist.  However, she and her mother converted to the Anglo-Catholic wing of The Episcopal Church under the spiritual guidance of Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), the Rector of Trinity Church, Boston, the author of “Away in a Manger” (1868), and the Bishop of Bishop of Massachusetts (1891-1893).

Our saint’s life had several defining characteristics:

  1. Contemplative Christian spirituality,
  2. A commitment to literary scholarship,
  3. Relationships of different sorts with women,
  4. A commitment to radical social justice, and
  5. The courage of her moral convictions.

She became more revolutionary as she aged.

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LITERARY SCHOLAR AND SOCIAL REFORMER

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Scudder’s main field of academic study was literature.  She studied English literature at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts (B.A., 1884).  Then our saint spent 1885-1886 at Oxford University as one of the first two female graduate students there.  Clara French (1863-1888) was the other one of the first two female graduate students at Oxford University.  She and Scudder were classmates at Oxford.  While in England, Scudder developed an interest in the settlement house movement and became a Christian Socialist.  Then, in 1887, our saint joined the faculty of Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts.  She, promoted to Associate Professor (1892) and full Professor (1910), retired in 1927.

Scudder’s literary publications during 1887-1927 included:

  1. Poems by George McDonald, L.L D., Selected V.D.S. and C. F. (1887), as editor;
  2. Macauley’s Essay of Lord Clive (1889), as editor;
  3. Prometheus Unbound:  A Lyrical Drama by Percy Blythe Shelley (1892), as editor;
  4. The Dramatic Action and Motive of King John:  An Essay, by Clara French (1892), as author of the Memorial Sketch;
  5. The Life of the Spirit in the Modern English Poets (1895);
  6. An Introduction to the Study of English Literature (1901);
  7. A Listener in Babylon, Being a Series of Imaginary Conversations Held at the Close of the Last Century (1903);
  8. Shorter English Poems from the College Entrance Requirements in English (1912), as editor;
  9. English Poems from the College Entrance Requirements in English (1915), as editor; and
  10. Le Morte d’Arthur of Sir Thomas Malory:  A Study of the Book and Its Sources (1921).

Scudder worked hard at academia and social justice, just as she nurtured her spiritual life.  In 1887, she, Clara French, and Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929) were three of the founder of the College Settlements Association (CSA).  The following year, our saint joined both the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross (an Episcopalian, female order devoted to intercessory prayer) and the Society of Christian Socialists.  In 1893, Scudder and Emily Greene Balch (1867-1961) founded the CSA’s Denison House in Boston.  At Denison House, wealthy, college-educated women provided social services to their impoverished immigrant neighbors, and priests helped too.  Scudder served as the main administrator, with some interruptions, until 1913.  Our saint studied modern Italian and French literature in Italy and France (1894-1896) and spent two years (1901-1903) recuperating in Italy after a breakdown.  Back in the United States of America, Scudder helped to organize the Women’s Trade Union League in 1903.  In 1911, our saint founded the Episcopal Church Socialist League and joined the Socialist Party.  The following year, Scudder supported the striking workers at Lawrence, Massachusetts.  Conservative backlash threatened her teaching position, but Wellesley College refused to fire our saint.

Scudder’s published works of a political-economic-spiritual nature from 1887 to 1912 included:

  1. An Introduction to the Writings of John Ruskin (1890);
  2. The Witness of Denial (1895);
  3. Social Ideals in English Letters (1898);
  4. Saint Catherine of Siena as Seen in Her Letters (1905);
  5. The Disciple of a Saint, Being the Imaginary Biography of Raniero di Landoccio dei Pagliaresi (1907); and
  6. Socialism and Character (1912);

1913-1927 constituted a distinct phase of Scudder’s life.  In 1913, she resigned from the settlement house in Boston.  Our saint and her mother, Harriet, moved to Wellesley.  Harriet died seven years later.  Scudder, who had supported U.S. entry into World War I in 1917, changed her mind.  She founded the Church League for Industrial Democracy (1919), joined the Fellowship of Reconciliation (1923), and became a pacifist (1930s).  And, from 1919 until our death, our saint was the de facto wife of novelist Florence Converse (1871-1967).

Scudder’s published works of a political-economic-spiritual nature from 1913 to 1927 included:

  1. Jesus and Politics:  An Essay Towards the Ideal, by Howard B. Shepheard (1915), as author of the Introduction;
  2. The Church and the Hour:  Papers of a Socialist Churchwoman (1918);
  3. Social Teachings of the Church Year:  Lectures Delivered at the Cambridge Conferences 1918 (1921);
  4. The Journal and Other Writings by John Woolman (1922), as editor; and
  5. Brother John:  A Tale of the First Franciscans (1927).

Scudder’s retirement was also a productive time for her.  She became one of the foremost scholars of the Franciscans.  Our saint served as the first Dean of the Summer School of Christian Ethics, Wellesley College, in 1930.  And she wrote her autobiography, On Journey (1937).  This was one of thirteen books Scudder wrote during the final phase of her life.  Two of these books were:

  1. The Franciscan Adventure:  A Study in the First Hundred Years of the Order of St. Francis of Assisi (1931), and
  2. The Privilege of the Age:  Essays Secular and Spiritual (1939).

Scudder, aged 94 years, died in Wellesley, Massachusetts, on October 9, 1954.

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A WOMAN OF PRAYER

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Scudder understood the importance and efficacy of prayer.  She wrote:

If prayer is the deep secret creative force that Jesus tells us it is, we should be very busy with it.

Our saint also wrote:

There is one sure way of directly helping on the kingdom of God.  That way is prayer.  Social intercession may be the mightiest force in the world.

She also understood that, as my father taught me, people need to “put feet to” their prayers–that there are times to pray and there are times to act.  Scudder put feet to her prayers, too.

Prayer is a crucial.  Yet it must never function as a cop-out or an excuse for necessary and proper inaction.  Politicians’ “thoughts and prayers” after a natural disaster, mass shooting, et cetera, may or may not function as a cop-out or an excuse for inaction.  If I can act to feed someone, for example, I should.  If, however, I merely my thoughts and prayers in such a circumstance, I commit a sin of omission.  Likewise, politicians who merely offer their thoughts and prayers when they can and should change policy take the easy way out.

Prayer may or may not change the circumstances of other people for whom one intercedes.  Yet prayer should change the pray-er and lead to constructive actions.

Vida Dutton Scudder did not use payer as a cop-out or an excuse for inaction.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 7, 2021 COMMON ERA

WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEK

THE FEAST OF SAINT TIKHON OF MOSCOW, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX PATRIARCH

THE FEAST OF SAINT GEORGE THE YOUNGER, GREEK ORTHODOX BISHOP OF MITYLENE

THE FEAST OF JAY THOMAS STOCKING, U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS MONTFORD SCOTT, EDMUND GENNINGS, HENRY WALPOLE, AND THEIR FELLOW MARTYRS, 1591 AND 1595

THE FEAST OF RANDALL DAVIDSON, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

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Most gracious God, you have sent your beloved Son

to preach peace to those who are far off and those who are near:

Raise up in your Church witnesses who,

after the example of your servant Vida Dutton Scudder,

stand firm in proclaiming the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ,

who lives and reigns with you, now and for ever.  Amen.  

Isaiah 11:1-10

Psalm 25:1-14

Romans 12:1-2, 14-21

John 6:37-51

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010); A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016); Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018

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Feast of Phillips Brooks (January 23)   3 comments

phillips-brooks

Above:  Phillips Brooks

Image in the Public Domain

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PHILLIPS BROOKS (DECEMBER 13, 1835-JANUARY 23, 1893)

Episcopal Bishop of Massachusetts

Phillips Brooks was one of the most prominent preachers in the United States.

Brooks, born at Boston, Massachusetts, on December 13, 1835, came from a family descended from Puritan divines.  A Unitarian minister baptized our saint, but his spiritual formation occurred in The Episcopal Church after his mother converted.  Brooks, educated at Boston Latin School and Harvard University (A.B., 1855), taught at the former for a few years.  Our saint, recognizing the fact that he was a failure as a teacher, matriculated at Virginia Theological Seminary.  Brooks, ordained in 1859, served at the Church of the Advent, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, until 1862, when he became the Rector of Holy Trinity Church in that city.  While in the City of Brotherly Love our saint supported the Union cause during the Civil War.  On December 24, 1865, during a sabbatical, Brooks attended a service at the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, Palestine, the Ottoman Empire.  Three years later, he wrote the great Christmas carol “Away in a Manger.”

Brooks, who became a prominent national preacher after offering a prayer at Harvard University during a ceremony for Harvard men who died in the service of the United States during the Civil War, became the Rector of Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts, in 1868.  The lifelong bachelor with a magnetic personality preached Christ boldly in the Unitarian stronghold of Boston.  His reputation spread far and wide; he preached in front of Queen Victoria during a visit to England and received a D.D. degree from Oxford University in 1885.

Brooks became the Bishop of Massachusetts in 1891.  His tenure was brief, for he died suddenly, aged 57 years, on January 23, 1893.  One girl, upon hearing of our saint’s death, commented that the angels must be happy.

One can read many of his sermons at archive.org.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 23, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN KENNETH PFOHL, SR., U.S. MORAVIAN BISHOP; HIS WIFE, HARRIET ELIZABETH “BESSIE” WHITTINGTON PFOHL, U.S. MORAVIAN MUSICIAN; AND THEIR SON, JAMES CHRISTIAN PFOHL, SR., U.S. MORAVIAN MUSICIAN

THE FEAST OF CASPAR FRIEDRICH NACHTENHOFER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MUSICIAN, LITURGIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT CLEMENT OF ROME, BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT COLUMBAN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

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O everlasting God, you revealed truth to your servant Phillips Brooks,

and so formed and molded his mind and heart that he was able to mediate that truth with grace and  power:

Grant, we pray, that all whom you call to preach the Gospel may steep themselves in your Word,

and conform their lives to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord,

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

1 Samuel 3:1-10

Psalm 63:1-8

Ephesians 4:11-16

Matthew 9:35-38

A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016)

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Feast of Eliza Scudder (September 27)   1 comment

1000px-Flag_of_Massachusetts.svg

Above:  The Flag of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Image in the Public Domain

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ELIZA SCUDDER (NOVEMBER 14, 1821-SEPTEMBER 27, 1896)

U.S. Unitarian then Episcopalian Hymn Writer

Eliza Scudder, whose Hymns and Sonnets (1880) I found at archive.org, was born at Boston, Massachusetts.  Her father, a businessman, died when she was a baby.  Our saint, who had poor eyesight throughout her life, lived with family.  Usually she dwelt with her older sister.  Later in life health issues required Scudder to alternate between living in the North and residing in the South, according to the weather.  This forced separation, although seasonal, distressed our saint.  The two sisters died two hours (at Weston, Massachusetts) on the same day, September 27, 1896.

Scudder, a skilled writer, wrote hymns, some of which her uncle, the Unitarian minister Edmund Hamilton Sears (1810-1876), author of “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” published.  Late in life, however, our saint, influenced by Phillips Brooks, author of “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” abandoned Unitarianism and became an Episcopalian.  She died an associate of the Sisterhood of Saint Margaret.

I have added some of Scudder’s hymns to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 10, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BENEDICT OF ARIANE, RESTORER OF WESTERN MONASTICISM; AND SAINT ARDO, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF HENRY WILLIAMS BAKER, ANGLICAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF PHILIP ARMES, ANGLICAN CHURCH ORGANIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT SCHOLASTICA, ABBESS AT PLOMBARIOLA

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Eliza Scudder and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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