Aug 27 – Gallaudet & Syle

Illumination - Gallaudet and Syle

Thomas Gallaudet, 1902
Henry Winter Syle, 1890
Priests
27 August

click here for books on or by Gallaudet and Syle


From the Satucket Library

Thomas GallaudetThomas Gallaudet was born in 1822, in Hartford, Connecticut. His mother, Sophia was deaf, and his father, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, was the founder of the West Hartford School for the deaf, which was the principal institution for the education of the deaf in America from 1806 to 1857 (the year of the founding of Gallaudet College in Washington, DC). The father had intended to become a priest, but had become an educator of the deaf instead. The son also intended to seek ordination, but was persuaded by his father to work for a while first as a teacher of the deaf. He did, and so met and married Miss Elizabeth Budd, who was deaf. He was ordained in 1851, and the next year established St. Ann’s Church in New York, especially for deaf persons, with services primarily in sign language. As a result of his work, congregations for the deaf were established in many cities. (Alternatively, some congregations that are mostly hearing will have someone standing near the front and signing the service for the benefit of deaf parishioners.) Gallaudet died 27 August 1902.

Photo of Henry Winter Syle
(Photo courtesy Episcopal Conference of the Deaf)

One of Gallaudet’s students and parishioners was Henry Winter Syle, deaf from an early age, who had attended Trinity College (Hartford, Conn), St John’s (Cambridge, England), and Yale. Gallaudet encouraged him to become  a priest, and in 1876 he became the first deaf person to be ordained  by the Episcopal Church in the United States. He established a  congregation for the deaf in 1888, and died 6 January 1890.

HW Syle signature

by James Kiefer

 

Aug 25 – Louis of France

Aug 25 - Louis of France

Louis IX
King of France + Christ-Follower
25 August 1270

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From the Satucket Lectionary
St. LouisLouis was born in 1214 and became King of France when twelve years old. His mother, the half-English Blanche of Castile, was regent during his minority, and an influence while she lived. In 1234 he married Margaret of Provence, sister of Eleanor the wife of Henry III of England (no, not the couple from A Lion in Winter–that was Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine: this is two generations later).

Louis worked for the political unification of France, yielding Limoge, Cahors, and Perigeux to Henry in exchange for Henry’s renunciation of all claims to Normandy, Anjou, Maine, Touraine, and Poitou (Treaty of Paris, 1259). He yielded French claims to Rousillon and Barcelona in exchange for the yielding of Spanish claims to Provence and Languedoc (Treaty of Corbeil, 1258). He largely eliminated the feuding and wars among French nobles and vassals that had ravaged France before his time. He protected vassals from oppression, and required their lords to fulfill their obligations. He reformed the system of taxation. He reformed the courts, so that every man in France, regardless of his station, had a far better chance of receiving justice than had previously been the case. He promoted the writing down of the law, so that it was clear what the laws were, and made major strides toward eliminating trial by combat in favor of trial by jury. (Trial by combat decided the guilt or innocence of the accused by a combat between the accused and the accuser, either personally or by proxy, with God being called on to uphold the right. Trial by ordeal required the accused to prove his innocence by, for example, walking across a bed of hot coals. Both were hold-overs from pre-Christian Frankish Law, and were vigorously denounced by many clergy, but took a long time to die out.) His reputation for integrity was such that foreign monarchs regularly asked him to arbitrate their disputes.

He founded a hospital for the poor, sick, and blind, known as the Quinze-Vingts (the Fifteen Score, originally for 300 inmates). His reign coincided with the great era of the building of Gothic cathedrals in France. Robert de Sorbon, the founder of the Sorbonne (University of Paris) was his confessor and his personal friend, and Thomas Aquinas was a frequent guest at his table. (Once, it is said, Thomas dropped out of the conversation, lost in thought, and then suddenly struck the table with his fist and exclaimed, “That is a decisive argument against the Manichees!” Louis at once called for writing materials, so that Thomas could record the argument before he had a chance to forget it.)

Death of Louis in Tunis, from an illuminated mauscript of the history of FranceHe fought in two Crusades, both of which were total failures. In 1248 he led an army to the island of Cyprus, and was there joined by 200 English knights. In 1249 they proceeded to Egypt and took the city of Damietta, but discipline broke down and Louis was unable to keep the soldiers from looting. Disease ravaged the camp, and in 1250 the army suffered a disastrous defeat at Mansurah and Louis himself was taken prisoner. His Arab captors were quick to recognize in him a mixture of military valor and personal holiness, and were accustomed to kneel when speaking to him. He and his handful of surviving companions were released on the surrender of Damietta and the payment of a large ransom. He sailed to Palestine, visited the few Holy Places that were accessible, and returned to France in 1254. In 1270 he joined another crusade, which landed in Tunis, where he immediately caught typhoid fever and died on 25 August. His biography, by a friend and comrade in arms, the Sieur Jean de Joinville, is available in English in Chronicles of the Crusades, Penguin Paperbacks.

by James Kiefer

 

Aug 24 – Saint Bartholomew

Aug 24 - Saint Bartholomew

Saint Bartholomew
Apostle
24 August NT

click here for books and othr items about Saint Bartholomew


From the Satucket Lectionary

The name “Bartholomew” appears in the New Testament only on lists of the names of the twelve apostles. This list normally is given as six pairs, and the third pair in each of the Synoptics is “Philip and Bartholomew” (M 10:3; P 3:18; L 6:14; but A 1:15).

John gives no list of the Twelve, but refers to more of them individually than the Synoptists. He does not name Bartholomew, but early in his account (John 1:43-50) he tells of the call to discipleship of a Nathaniel who is often supposed to be the same person. The reasoning is as follows: John’s Nathanael is introduced as one of the earliest followers of Jesus, and in terms which suggest that he became one of the Twelve. He is clearly not the same as Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Thomas, Judas Iscariot, Judas (not Iscariot, also called Lebbaeus or Thaddeus), all of whom John names separately. He is not Matthew, whose call is described differently (M 9:9). This leaves Bartholomew, James the son of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes. Of these, Bartholomew is the leading candidate for two reasons:
(1) “Bar-tholomew” is a patronymic, meaning “son of Tolmai (or Talmai).” It is therefore likely that he had another name. (A historical novel which may not be well researched informs me that a first-century Jew would be likely to use the patronymic instead of the forename as a mark of respect in speaking to a significantly older Jew.) “Nathanael son of Tolmai” seems more likely than “Nathanael also called James (or Simon).”
(2) Nathanael is introduced in John’s narrative as a friend of Philip. Since Bartholomew is paired with Philip on three of our four lists of Apostles, it seems likely that they were associated.

St. Bartholomew, by MichaelangeloWe have no certain information about Bartholomew’s later life. Some writers, including the historian Eusebius of Caesarea (now Har Qesari, 32:30 N 34:54 E, near Sedot Yam), say that he preached in India. The majority tradition, with varying details, is that Bartholomew preached in Armenia, and was finally skinned alive and beheaded to Albanus or Albanopolis (now Derbent, 42:03 N 48:18 E) on the Caspian Sea. His emblem in art is a flaying knife. The flayed Bartholomew can be seen in Michelangelo’s Sistine painting of the Last Judgement. He is holding his skin. The face on the skin is generally considered to be a self-portrait of Michelangelo.

by James Kiefer

 

Aug 20 – Bernard of Clairvaux

Aug 20 - Bernard of Clairvaux

Bernard
Abbot of Clairvaux
20 August 1153

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A Prayer

O God, by whose grace your servant Bernard of Clairvaux, kindled with the flame of your love, became a burning and a shining light in your Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and walk before you as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

 


From the Satucket Lectionary 

Bernard of Clairvaux, from an old manuscriptBernard, third son of a Burgundian nobleman, was born in 1090. His brothers were trained as soldiers, but Bernard from youth was destined for scholarship. One Christmas Eve as a child he had a dream about the infant Christ in the manger; and the memory of it, and consequent devotion to the mystery of the Word made flesh, remained with him throughout his life.

Bernard had good prospects of success as a secular scholar, but he began to believe that he was called to the monastic life, and after a period of prayer for guidance, he decided at age 22 to enter the monastery of Citeaux (Latin Cistercium, appearing on modern maps as Corcelles-les-Citeaux, , an offshoot of the Benedictines which had adopted a much stricter rule than theirs, and became the founding house of the Cistercian (Trappist) order. (Actually, the Trappists are a reformed (i.e. stricter) offshoot of the Cistercians, who are a stricter offshoot of the Benedictines.) He persuaded four of his brothers, one uncle, and 26 other men to join him. They were the first novices that Citeaux had had for several years. After three years, the abbot ordered Bernard to take twelve monks and found a new house at La Ferte. The first year was one of great hardship. They had no stores and lived chiefly on roots and barley bread. Bernard imposed such severe discipline that his monks became discouraged, but he realized his error and became more lenient. The reputation of the monastery, known as Clairvaux (48:09 N 4:47 E), spread across Europe. Many new monks joined it, and many persons wrote letters or came in person to seek spiritual advice. By the time of his death, 60 new monasteries of the Cistercian order were established under his direction.

For four years after 1130 Bernard was deeply involved with a disputed papal election, championing the claims of Innocent II against his rival Anacletus II. He travelled throughout France, Germany, and Italy mustering support for his candidate (and, it should be added, preaching sermons denouncing injustices done to Jews), and returned from one of these journeys with Peter Bernard of Paganelli as a postulant for the monastery. The future Pope Eugenius III spent the next year stoking the monastery fires. Years later, Bernard wrote a major treatise of advice to Eugenius on the spiritual temptations of spiritual power.

The papal election was not the only dispute in which Bernard became involved. He was highly critical of Peter Abelard, one of the most brilliant theologians of the day (see 21 April). Bernard believed that Abelard was too rationalistic in his approach, and failed to allow sufficiently for the element of mystery in the faith. When Abelard rejected some of the ways of stating Christian doctrines to which Bernard was accustomed, Bernard concluded, perhaps too hastily, that this was equivalent to rejecting the doctrine itself. A conference was scheduled at Sens, where Abelard’s views were to be examined, but soon after it began Abelard decided that he was not about to get a fair hearing, announced that he was appealing to Rome, and left. He set out for Rome and got as far as Cluny, where he stopped. Peter the Venerable, the abbot (see 30 April), was a friend of both Abelard and Bernard, and managed to reconcile them before they died.

Bernard of ClairvauxOne of Bernard’s most influential acts, for better or worse, was his preaching of the Second Crusade. The First Crusade had given the Christian forces control of a few areas in Palestine, including the city of Edessa. When Moslem forces captured Edessa, now called Urfa and located in eastern Turkey) in 1144, King Louis VII of France (not to be confused with St. Louis IX, also a Crusader, but more than a century later) was eager to launch a crusade to retake Edessa and prevent a Moslem recapture of Jerusalem. He asked Bernard for help, and Bernard refused. He then asked the Pope to order Bernard to preach a Crusade. The pope gave the order, and Bernard preached, with spectacular results. Whole villages were emptied of able-bodied males as Bernard preached and his listeners vowed on the spot to head for Palestine and defend the Sacred Shrines with their lives.

The preaching of the Crusade had an ugly side-effect. In the Rhineland, a monk named Raoul wandered about telling crowds that if they were going to fight for the faith, the logical first step was to kill the Jews who were near at hand. There were anti-Jewish riots in Mainz, (in the Rhineland), where the archbishop sheltered the Jews, or many of them, in his palace, and sent an urgent message to Bernard to come before both he and they were killed. Bernard came. He called Raoul arrogant and without authority, a preacher of mad and heretical doctrines, a liar and a murderer. Then he got nasty. Raoul sneaked off the scene, and the riots were over. From that day to this, Bernard has been remembered among Rhineland Jews and their descendants as an outstanding example of a “righteous Gentile,” and many of them (e.g. Bernard Baruch) bear his name.

As for the Crusade, things went wrong from the start. The various rulers leading the movement were distrustful of one another and not disposed to work together. Of the soldiers who set out (contemporary estimates vary from 100,000 to 1,500,000), most died of disease and starvation before reaching their goal, and most of the remainder were killed or captured soon after their arrival. The impact on Bernard was devastating, and so was the impact on Europe. In 1153, Bernard journeyed to reconcile the warring provinces Metz and Lorraine. He persuaded them to peace and to an agreement drawn up under his mediation, and then, in failing health, returned home to die.

If Bernard in controversy was fierce and not always fair, it was partly because he was a man of intense feeling and dedication, quick to respond to any real or supposed threat to what he held sacred. It is his devotional writings, not his polemical ones, that are still read today. Among the hymns attributed to him are the Latin originals of “O Sacred Head, sore  wounded,” “Jesus, the very thought of Thee,” “O Jesus, joy of loving hearts,” “Wide open are Thy hands (to pay with more than gold the awful debt of guilt and sin, forever and of old–see the Lutheran Book of Worship et alibi),” and “O Jesus, King most wonderful.” His sermons on the Song of Songs, treated as an allegory of the love of Christ, are his best-known long work.

by James Kiefer

 

 

Aug 18 – William Porcher DuBose

Aug 18 - William Porcher DuBose

William Porcher DuBose
Priest + Theologian
18 August 1918

click here for books on or by William Porcher DuBose


A Prayer

Almighty God, who gave to your servant William Porcher DuBose special gifts of grace to understand the Scriptures and to teach the truth as it is in Christ Jesus: Grant that by this teaching we may know you, the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.


From the Satucket Lectionary

William DuboseWilliam Porcher DuBose is a serious candidate for the title of “greatest theologian that the Episcopal Church in the USA has produced.” He was born in South Carolina in 1836, and attended the Military College of South Carolina (now the Citadel) in Charleston , and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He served as a chaplain in the Confederate Army, and after the War of 1861-1865 served as a parish priest. In 1871 he became a professor at the University of the South (an Episcopal institution) in Sewanee, Tennessee, became Dean of the School of Theology in 1894, retired in 1908, and died in 1918. He was fluent in Greek, and well-read both in Greek philosophy and in the early Christian fathers. Among his numerous books, the best known are The Soteriology of the New Testament, The Gospel in the Gospels, and The Reason of Life. (Soter is the Greek word for “Savior”, and soteriology is the branch of theology that deals with such questions as, “What does it mean to say that Christ saves us?” “How does his death and resurrection do us any good?” “How are the benefits of Christ’s work applied to the individual?” and so on.) A quote from one of his articles follows:

God has placed forever before our eyes, not the image but the very Person of the Spiritual Man. We have not to ascend into Heaven to bring Him down, nor to descend into the abyss to bring Him up, for He is with us, and near us, and in us. We have only to confess with our mouths that He is Lord, and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead–and raised us in Him– and we shall live.

W P DuBose signature

A good introduction to his work is A DuBose Reader, ed. Donald Armentrout (1984, University of the South Press, Sewanee, Tennessee) 0-918-769-06-X, paperback 256 pp. (out of print but available used)
[Others are: William Porcher DuBose : Selected Writings (Sources of American Spirituality), Jon Alexander, ed., 1988, Paulist Press, ISBN 0809104024 (out of print but available used) and The Theology of William Porcher DuBose, Robert Slocum, Univ. of South Carolina Press, 2000.
The reader with access to a large library might also want to read The Ecumenical Councils.

by James Kiefer

[Note: clicking on the links for the books above will take you to Amazon.com, where you may purchase them if you like. Additional books by DuBose are available online from the Internet Archive.]

 

 

 

Aug 17 – Johnson, Cutler, & Chandler

Aug 17 - Johnson, Cutler, & Chandler

Samuel Johnson, 1772
Timothy Cutler, 1765
Thomas Bradbury Chandler, 1790
Priests
17 August

Click here for books about or by Johnson, Cutler, and Chandler


 

From the Satucket Lectionary 

Samuel JohnsonThe Reverend Doctor Samuel Johnson (14 October 1696 – 6 January 1772) was a clergyman, educator, and philosopher in colonial British North America. He was a major proponent of both Anglicanism and the philosophy of George Berkeley in the colonies, and served as the first president of King’s College (the predecessor to today’s Columbia University).

Born in Guilford, Connecticut, he graduated from Yale College in 1716. Johnson first became Congregationalist minister of a church in West Haven, but influenced by the writings of John Locke and Isaac Newton, he and a group of other Collegiate School graduates began to express doubt in the legitimacy of their Congregational ordination. As a result, Johnson left the colony in order to seek ordination in the Church of England. Upon his return to Connecticut, he opened the first Anglican church in the colony at Stratford in 1724 and strenuously polemicized, under the auspices of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, against both the Congregationalists of New England and the new evangelical outburst occasioned by popular preacher George Whitefield and the Great Awakening he unleashed.

He remained in Stratford until 1754, when the vestrymen of the Anglican Trinity Church in New York City considered him the logical choice to serve as after the first president of King’s College. Though reluctant to leave his family in Connecticut, Johnson ultimately took up the post, assisting in behind-the-scenes maneuverings to ensure the college would be explicitly Anglican, rather than nonsectarian. In the early years of the institution, Johnson was the sole instructor, primarily teaching classics and philosophy. Owing to his fear of smallpox, Johnson was frequently absent from the city, and increasingly shared his teaching responsibilities. When his wife died of smallpox, Johnson began to seek a means to leave his post. In 1763 he returned to his ministry at Stratford, where he died.

Johnson was among the few colonial Americans whose cultural and intellectual achievements garnered notice in Great Britain. He was a friend of and often corresponded with the Irish philosopher George Berkeley, and became the chief promoter of his philosophy of immaterialism in colonial America. In 1731 Johnson published his Elementa Philosophica (Eng. Compendium of Logic and Metaphysics), and in 1746 his Ethica (Eng. System of Morality).

(more at Wikipedia)

Timothy Cutler
Rev. Timothy Cutler

Timothy Cutler (May 31, 1684 – August 17, 1765) was an American Episcopal clergyman and rector of Yale College. Cutler was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, graduated from Harvard College, and on January 11, 1709/10, having come from Massachusetts to Connecticut with the recommendation of being “one of the best preachers both colonies afforded”, he was ordained pastor of the Congregational Church in Stratford. Cutler served his parish acceptably until March 1718/19 when, conditions at Yale College calling imperatively for a resident rector, he undertook that office at the request of the trustees. The new rectorship opened auspiciously and an era of prosperity seemed at hand when, on September 13, 1722, the rector, with Tutor Daniel Browne and several Congregational clergymen, met with the trustees, declared themselves doubtful of the validity of their ordination, and asked advice with regard to entering the Church of England. On October 17, the trustees voted to “excuse the Rev. Mr. Cutler from all further services as Rector of Yale College”.

After a visit to London, where he was ordained, with Samuel Johnson, by the Bishop of Norwich in March 1723, Cutler became rector of the newly formed Christ Church, Boston (more familiarly known as Old North Church). Here he remained until his death, one of the leading Episcopal clergymen of New England, full of polemic spirit, venerated for his learning, but too haughty in manner to be popular. He never ceased to urge the appointment of a bishop for the American colonies. With the exception of four sermons, two preached before the Connecticut General Assembly, May 9, 1717, and Oct. 18, 1719, he left no published works.

(more at Wikipedia)

Thomas Bradbury Chandler (26 April, 1726 – 17 June, 1790) was an Anglican clergyman serving in New Jersey – 43 years as rector of St. John’s, Elizabeth. He was a pupil of Samuel Johnson (see above) and was involved in the promotion of the Church of England in America prior to the Revolution; his major work is An Appeal to the Public, in behalf of the Church of England in America. Like Samuel Johnson, he was a strong opponent of evangelical fervor, such as that expressed by George Whitefield. A strong Loyalist, he fled to England in 1775, but returned to the U. S. in 1785.

(more at famousamericans.net)

 

Aug 14 – Jonathan Daniels

Illumination - Jonathan Daniels

Jonathan Myrick Daniels
Seminarian + Martyr
14 August 1965

click here for books on Jonathan Myrick Daniels


From the Satucket Lectionary Jonathan Myrick Daniels was born in Keene, New Hampshire in 1939, one of two offspring of a Congregationalist physician. When in high school, he had a bad fall which put him in the hospital for about a month. It was a time of reflection. Soon after, he joined the Episcopal Church and also began to take his studies seriously, and to consider the possibility of entering the priesthood. After high school, he enrolled at Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in Lexington, Virginia , where at first he seemed a misfit, but managed to stick it out, and was elected Valedictorian of his graduating class. During his sophomore year at VMI, however, he began to experience uncertainties about his religious faith and his vocation to the priesthood that continued for several years, and were probably influenced by the death of his father and the prolonged illness of his younger sister Emily. In the fall of 1961 he entered Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near Boston, to study English literature, and in the spring of 1962, while attending Easter services at the Church of the Advent in Boston, he underwent a conversion experience and renewal of grace. Soon after, he made a definite decision to study for the priesthood, and after a year of work to repair the family finances, he enrolled at Episcopal  Theological Seminary in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the fall of 1963, expecting to graduate in the spring of 1966. In March 1965 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, asked students and others to join him in Selma, Alabama, for a march to the state capital in Montgomery demonstrating support for his civil rights program. News of the request reached the campus of ETS on Monday 8 March (my sources are a bit confused on the chronology of that week, but I think this is correct), and during Evening Prayer at the chapel, Jon Daniels decided that he ought to go. Later he wrote:

“My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” I had come to Evening Prayer as usual that evening, and as usual I was singing the Magnificat with the special love and reverence I have always felt for Mary’s glad song. “He hath showed strength with his arm.” As the lovely hymn of the God-bearer continued, I found myself peculiarly alert, suddenly straining toward the decisive, luminous, Spirit-filled “moment” that would, in retrospect, remind me of others–particularly one at Easter three years ago. Then it came. “He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things.” I knew then that I must go to Selma. The Virgin’s song was to grow more and more dear in the weeks ahead.

Jonathan Daniels & kids

He and others left on Thursday for Selma, intending to stay only that weekend; but he and a friend missed the bus back, and began to reflect on how an in-and-out visit like theirs looked to those living in Selma, and decided that they must stay longer. They went home to request permission to spend the rest of the term in Selma, studying on their own and returning to take their examinations. In Selma, many proposed marches were blocked by rows of policemen. Jon describes one such meeting (ellipses not marked).

After a week-long, rain-soaked vigil, we still stood face to face with the Selma police. I stood, for a change, in the front rank, ankle-deep in an enormous puddle. To my immediate right were high school students, for the most part, and further to the right were a swarm of clergymen. My end of the line surged forward at one point, led by a militant Episcopal priest whose temper (as usual) was at combustion-point. Thus I found myself only inches from a young policeman. The air crackled with tension and open hostility. Emma Jean, a sophomore in the Negro high school, called my name from behind. I reached back for her hand to bring her up to the front rank, but she did not see. Again she asked me to come back. My determination had become infectiously savage, and I insisted that she come forward–I would not retreat! Again I reached for her hand and pulled her forward. The young policeman spoke: “You’re dragging her through the puddle. You ought to be ashamed for treating a girl like that.” Flushing–I had forgotten the puddle–I snarled something at him about whose-fault-it-really-was, that managed to be both defensive and self-righteous. We matched baleful glances and then both looked away. And then came a moment of shattering internal quiet, in which I felt shame, indeed, and a kind of reluctant love for the young policeman. I apologized to Emma Jean. And then it occurred to me to apologize to him and to thank him. Though he looked away in contempt–I was not altogether sure I blamed him–I had received a blessing I would not forget. Before long the kids were singing, “I love —.” One of my friends asked [the young policeman] for his name. His name was Charlie. When we sang for him, he blushed and then smiled in a truly sacramental mixture of embarrassment and pleasure and shyness. Soon the young policeman looked relaxed, we all lit cigarettes (in a couple of instances, from a common match, and small groups of kids and policemen clustered to joke or talk cautiously about the situation. It was thus a shock later to look across the rank at the clergymen and their opposites, who glared across a still unbroken “Wall” in what appeared to be silent hatred. Had I been freely arranging the order for Evening Prayer that night, I think I might have followed the General Confession directly with the General Thanksgiving–or perhaps the Te Deum.

Jon devoted many of his Sundays in Selma to bringing small groups of Negroes, mostly high school students, to church with him in an effort to integrate the local Episcopal church. They were seated but scowled at. Many parishioners openly resented their presence, and put their pastor squarely in the middle. (He was integrationist enough to risk his job by accommodating Jon’s group as far as he did, but not integrationist enough to satisfy Jon.) In May, Jon went back to ETS to take examinations and complete other requirements, and in July he returned to Alabama, where he helped to produce a listing of local, state, and federal agencies and other resources legally available to persons in need of assistance. On Friday 13 August Jon and others went to the town of Fort Deposit to join in picketing three local businesses. On Saturday they were arrested and held in the county jail in Hayneville for six days until they were bailed out. (They had agreed that none would accept bail until there was bail money for all.) After their release on Friday 20 August, four of them undertook to enter a local shop, and were met at the door by a man with a shotgun who told them to leave or be shot. After a brief confrontation, he aimed the gun at a young girl in the party, and Jon pushed her out of the way and took the blast of the shotgun himself. (Whether he stepped between her and the shotgun is not clear.) He was killed instantly. Not long before his death he wrote:

I lost fear in the black belt when I began to know in my bones and sinews that I had been truly baptized into the Lord’s death and Resurrection, that in the only sense that really matters I am already dead, and my life is hid with Christ in God. I began to lose self-righteousness when I discovered the extent to which my behavior was motivated by worldly desires and by the self-seeking messianism of Yankee deliverance! The point is simply, of course, that one’s motives are usually mixed, and one had better know it. As Judy and I said the daily offices day by day, we became more and more aware of the living reality of the invisible “communion of saints”–of the beloved comunity in Cambridge who were saying the offices too, of the ones gathered around a near-distant throne in heaven–who blend with theirs our faltering songs of prayer and praise. With them, with black men and white men, with all of life, in Him Whose Name is above all the names that the races and nations shout, whose Name is Itself the Song Which fulfils and “ends” all songs, we are indelibly, unspeakably ONE.

(NOTE: Much of Alabama has brick-red clayey soil. The region where the soil is black loam is called “the black belt.” The term has no racial referent, although Yankees often assume that it does.) (NOTE: Because Bernard of Clairvaux is remembered on 20 August,  Jonathan Daniels is remembered on the day of his arrest, 14 August.) SOURCE: The Jon Daniels Story, ed. William J Schneider (Morehouse, 1992 ; ISBN: 0819215864 – out of print but should be available used) (orig. publ. 1967)

by James Kiefer

[Note: I highly recommend Outside Agitator: Jon Daniels and the Civil Rights Movement in Alabamaby Charles W. Eagles (Univ of Alabama Pr., 2000; ISBN: 081731069X). A documentary about him may be vuewed online here.] Clicking on the links for these two books will take you to Amazon.com, where you can purchase the book if you like.