Monthly Archives: September 2016

IMG_4334.jpgReaders of The Living Church will be especially interested in the information that Ernest DeKoven Leffingwell, son of the Rev. C. W. Leffingwell, D.D. who was for many years editor of The Living Church, is making preparations to go into the Arctic Circle with the Baldwin-Ziegler Expedition. Mr. Leffingwell, Jr., was baptized by the late Dr. DeKoven twenty-six years ago, and is a graduate of Trinity College, Hartford, whee he took his bachelor’s degree in 1895, and made an enviable record as an athlete. Since that time he has taken post-graduate studies in the University of Chicago and is now considered a geodesist of front rank, and it is in this capacity that he is to travel with the Arctic expedition, on the recommendation of Prof. S. W. Stratton. He will also have charge of the magnetic observations and instruments. During the Spanish War Mr. Leffingwell was a seaman on the Oregon, and now ranks among the best rifle shots in Illinois, holding a commission as sharp-shooter. He is at present in Washington in the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Office in preparation for his polar work.

The Living Church, March 23, 1901, p. 737.


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A Christian Artist, by John A. Mack (1969)

“Welcome to the fellowship of educated men.”

That is the traditional greeting from the president of Harvard University as he opens the commencement exercises at the nation’s oldest college each June.

One of those who heard these words in June of 1968 was Allan Rohan Crite who, after fourteen years of taking extension courses, was about to receive the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Extension Courses from this great university of the world.

He started attending Harvard in 1954 taking extension courses in Natural Sciences. Through-out the years that followed his studies in Botany, Geology, Zoology and other classes that he would take in order to receive his degree brought him in constant contact with many of the regular members of the Harvard faculty. His work was so exacting and his effort so real that these same members of the faculty chose him to lead the 46 candidates for degrees in these courses in the academic procession at the commencement ceremonies.

Born fifty-nine years ago at Plainfield, N. J., his background over the years that followed justly placed him at the point in life where he could now proudly except this great honor.

He could proudly step to the head of this great procession knowing that his mother, Mrs. Annamae Crite, would share with him the feeling that here was proof that he, Allan Rohan Crite, was indeed an “Educated Man”.

To all those who know Mrs. Crite, there is a complete feeling that here is a “gentle woman” in every sense of the term. As proof of this is the manner and spirit of devotion which she has shown through-out her life towards the church and the work that she did to make it finer. Her “efforts as Church Schoolteacher, Altar Guild member, staff member of the Church Periodical, and others too numerous to mention, live as proof of her fine feeling towards the church and all it stands for.

These are extended only in a concentrated outline of, the work in the church performed by her only son, Allan, even at this minute.

Church history will have to look back many years to find one who has used his skills as an artist and writer to propagate the fundamental doctrines of the Episcopal faith as has this man. No one has emerged so graphically to portray the church’s concept of true catholicity and the role the Negro has played, and must be permitted to continue to play, if that catholicity is to become a reality. Few men can speak and have all men listen but Mr. Crite has that ability.

He was graduated in 1929 from Boston English High and continued his studies for seven years at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts. Afterwards he studied at the Painter’s Workshop and other art schools through-out the area striving to become an fine enough to express himself on canvas and in wood and steel the works that could be shown before all mankind in the Houses of God. This multi-talented artist has certainly achieved this goal.

His strong belief in the church was indeed one step towards his peak of serenity. He was confirmed in early years by Bishop Babcock at St. Bartholomew’s Church in Cambridge, Mass. and has served this church faithfully ever since. He has been a lay-reader since 1932, been a vestryman, an editor of the Parish paper, an advisor to the Young People’s Fellowship, helped to found the Young Adult Group. He served on the Parish Planning Committee and was active in the Every Member Campaign that the church conducted. But this was still not enough for this man to do. He found time to serve as representative on many parish and Diocese conferences and committees over the years in addition to his other duties.

Along the line he found time to write many books including “Were You There,” “Three Spirituals,” “All Glory” (Published by SSJE), along with at least two booklets, “A Christmas Meditation” and “Holy Week Meditation.”

But this was not enough for Allan Crite. He also has illustrated many fine stories such as Gardiner Day’s “Lord’s Prayer” and has the distinction of doing an illustration that is in the commentary of the 1940 church Hymnal.

To fill his time, already filled beyond that of the average human being, Mr. Crite is a member of the Fellowship of St. John (an association of lay people affiliated with SSJE), The Guild of Liturgical Art & Design, Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Member of the Liturgical Commission of the Diocese of Massachusetts, was a member of the Architectural Institute of America, and on and on and on.

Mr. Crite finds time to lecture before any group of people who are honestly interested in hearing what he has to say. He has lectured on art and its capacity for worship in both Roman and Anglican churches through-out this part of the country. Extending this ability still further, others who have been privileged to hear his lectures include The Institute of Modern Art, The Winchester Art Association, The Wellesley Conference, Seabury-Western Seminary, Berkeley Divinity School, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, and, informally, Episcopal Theological School at Harvard and General Theological Seminary in New York City. Those who have heard his seminars can have no doubt as to his versatility.

Today many worshippers find that the Book of Common Prayer and The Bible are void of meaning. Not so with Allan Rohan Crite, a man who lives as though he knows the true meaning of the Word. With a high flourish of the brush he turns phrases into the shapes of life and gives form to things unknown, a lasting habitat in the minds of the worshippers, preserving for all people the vigors of the scene which gave them first being. There is hardly a thing of art in the church that people will not view without the thought that Mr. Crite has been a part of that creative fulfillment that they sense.

Surely such a feeling must prevail as millions of people pass his works in such places as the Duncan Philips Gallery, the Addison Gallery of America, the Fitchburg Museum, and note his work that “Brings Christ to the World”.

Speaking of the man, the Reverend Kenneth de P. Hughes once said, “I have known Allan Crite for years and have never heard him complain. A profound satisfaction is his in seeking first the kingdom of God through the medium God has revealed to him. But it is one of the severest castigations of our social order that it is so little given to the cultivation of things cultural that men like him, who have so much to offer, must of necessity be preoccupied with ‘the things which the Gentiles seek’—the wherewithal of food and clothes and shelter—and have to spend their major time in a tawdry scramble for bare necessities. In a Christian society a man like Allan Rohan Crite should have the economic freedom to devote his full time to the propagation of the faith and teachings of the Church in the expression of his versatility in such mediums as oils, water colors, metals, block prints, and brush drawing as well as other forms.

Here we find the field in which he is most widely known, Allan Rohan Crite—The Artist. He is known through-out the world for his fine murals in such places as Grace Church, Vineyard Haven, Mass., St. Luke’s Church, Scituate, Mass., St. Augustine’s Church, Brooklyn, N. Y., (destroyed by fire), The Convent of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, Detroit, Mich., and many other Roman and Anglican churches throughout the world.

The Stations of the Cross in metal, a work of art conceived and brought to their beautiful fruition by Mr. Crite are on view in churches and museums all over the country. The Stations hung in the Holy Ghost Chapel at the Monastery of SSJE at Cambridge are an example of the fine work done by this man. His work along these lines are so fine that they were chosen to be in the Shrine of, the Immaculate Conception in Washington. Others can be found in churches and museums from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Coast and from Virginia to the Canadian Border.

When—you enter into the History of Liturgical Vestments, Iconography or Ecclesiastical Art, you again find yourself in a field where Mr. Crite is indeed an authority among authorities. He claims not to be a real knowledgeable person along these lines but he has been known to answer questions that both the Roman and Anglican Church authorities have presented to him in time of doubt. Allan Rohan Crite; man, worker, one among many, but above all, a man of God who walks in His way.

—From Cowley, September, 1969, pp. 54-60.

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Kenneth Abbott Viall SSJE, 1893-1974

bookscancenter_17The Right Reverend Kenneth Abbott Viall, SSJE, Retired Assistant Bishop of Tokyo, died in Japan on January 3, 1974. At the time of his death, the Bishop was Provincial Superior of the Japanese Province of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Kenneth Abbot Viall was born December 19, 1893, first child and only son of Frederick Clarence Viall and Edith Laura (Robbins) Viall. Following graduation from Lynn public schools and Lynn Classical High School in 1911, he entered Harvard College where he received his A.B. in 1915. He next entered General Theological Seminary in New York and received his B.D. in 1919. Feeling the need for still more education, he received his M.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1920 and his E.dM. in 1921. He received an honorary S.T.D. from General Seminary, New York, in May 1949.

During the years when he was obtaining his education, he taught at Donaldson School, Ilchester, Maryland, in 1918-1919, served as Curate at Mt. Calvary Church, Baltimore, from 1913-1919, and entered the Society of St. John the Evangelist in July 1919. He was ordained Deacon on 21 April 1918 in St. Stephen’s Lynn, Massachusetts and ordained Priest on 7 January 1919 in St. John’s, Boston.

He was professed in the Society on his birthdate (19 December) 1923 and assigned to the House of the Society in Korea. He was soon reassigned, however, to the house in San Francisco, in January 1924. During his stay in California, he served in the Church of the Advent, San Francisco from 1924-1935 and as Chaplain to Episcopalians at San Quentin Prison from 1924-1934.

Assigned to the house of the Society in Japan in 1934, he arrived there on 28 January 1935 and became Provincial Superior of the Japanese Province in October 1938. His stay in Japan was interrupted in May 1940, when he returned to the United States on furlough. He was at the Mother House from 1940-1947 as Novice Master and Assistant Superior. During August-October 1948, he made a visitation to the Japanese Province and was appointed representative of the National Council of the Episcopal Church to Nippon Seikokai in January 1947, arriving in Japan again in May 1947.

In January 1949, he resigned as representative to the National Council to become Warden of the Central Theological College of Nippon Seikokai. He was consecrated Assistant Bishop of Tokyo on 25 April, 1949, retiring upon the consecration of Bishop Goto on 6 November 1959.

Since 1959, Bishop Viall ministered to the spiritual needs of Americans in the Grant Heights, Tachikawa and Misawa areas of Japan. He is survived by his sisters Ruth Haslett and Doris Viall and neice Jacqueline Haslett of Duxbury, Massachusetts. Interment will be at St. Michael’s Monastery, Oyama, Tochigi Ken, Japan.

—From Cowley, January, 1974, pp. 55-56.

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Raymond Thomas McDonald SSJE 1894-1973

bookscancenter_12As you looked at him, Father McDonald might have reminded you of one of those early Celtic monks: tall, spare, rugged, with fine, clear features and piercing blue eyes, which could yet be so gentle, or so twinkling with humor. He was immensely strong, and in early days he could bend a large iron nail with his bare hands, or tear a pack of cards in two. Even in his last days in the hospital, the grip of his hand was firm. He loved to walk, with a long, swinging stride, and in early days most of his visiting our hospitals and homes was done that way.

Poverty for him was fundamental: it was a vow he had taken and he kept it to the utmost. He never imposed it on others to such an extreme, but he wanted to be the poorest of the poor—and so he was. People would give him new shirts, new habits, new coats—but he would just hang them up and retrieve some old, frayed, ragged things which others had discarded. As one man who was very fond of him used to say, “he never enjoys any new clothes until the moths have a chance at them!”

Perhaps that love of poverty and the poor was one reason why his years in Korea were so happy. He and Father Morse, S.S.J.E. lived there in complete poverty, just like the native people whom he loved to visit in their little houses with mud floors, kneeling beside the sick or the dying right on the floor with them. Those simple years were some of the happiest in his life.

Like those early monks, and like St. Francis of Assisi whom he loved, his heart went out to all of God’s creation, all living things. Beauty touched him deeply: the beauty of God’s world—flowers, trees, mountains, the sea, the meadows. It pained him to see a lovely stretch of land being ploughed up and readied for a supermarket or a new gas station, or trees cut down for some new super highway. Children and animals were all dear to him, and they responded instinctively to his love.

One of his great joys was the Camp children at St. Margaret’s, South Duxbury, when he was Chaplain there, during some summers. He was so simple, so childlike himself, that he could enter into their fun and play. Once, at their private beach, he told them solemnly that he could stand on one finger. “Oh no, Father,” they cried, “You can’t do that!” “Oh yes I can,” he answered, “Now watch very carefully; give me plenty of room.” As they stood there with eyes popping, forming a circle around him, Father carefully put one finger on the sand, leaned over, and put his foot on the finger, amid squeals of “Oh Faa-ther!” from the delighted children.

Another of his greatest joys was his many, many years as Chaplain of St. Monica’s Home. Thursday afternoons, with the little Service, and then his visits with the patients, especially the very sick in their rooms, was a highlight of the week for him over the years. He loved them one and all, he prayed for them; many of them he buried. The love they all gave him was an immense happiness for him.

He was devoted to animals—all dogs, big, small, thoroughbreds and mutts, and perhaps even more to cats. “Dogs demand your affection,” he used to say, “but cats never ask for it—they just give you their affection;” they always did, to him! One of the small joys which brightened his last days in the Monastery, was the newly acquired kitten, which became his special friend. When later, the kitten grew to cathood and became over-adventurous, it got out on Memorial Drive once too often and was killed by a car but by then Father was in the hospital and fortunately never knew about it.

And then Father was so like the Cure of Ars, who was one of the Saints he used to invoke, every day. Here again was that utter simplicity, that extreme poverty, and also that gift of intuition which made him see into peoples’ souls—often far more than they realized! Like the Cure, he would spend hours in the Confessional, guiding, enlightening, cautioning, comforting, urging souls forward on their earthly pilgrimage. All the vocations to the Priesthood and to Religious Orders that he fostered; those that he guided, and sustained, and comforted and saved, on the steep ascent, are known only to God. His patience with souls was incredible. By nature he was nervous, high-strung, prone to be irritable. It annoyed him to be stopped by a red light, or to be held up in traffic. But with souls his patience was unbelievable. So it was, in his calls on the sick and the lonely. He was never bored or irritated by their complaints about trivialities—their little aches and pains, their little spats with their families or their neighbors. Usually one had to drag him away from such visits, as he was so afraid of being unkind. Even with those who perhaps did something of which he disapproved, he would always say, “We mustn’t be nasty to them; we must be loving.” He was always ready to help the lonely, the unloved, those that others considered disagreeable, and cranky. “You must see Our Lord in them all,” he used to say, and he would joke with them, make some puns, as he loved to do—get them laughing. Some people, of course, thought all that was “corny.” But it wasn’t. Father was not at all naive, though he may have appeared so. “If you can make people laugh, even by a silly joke,” he used to say, “you have helped them; you have lifted them out of themselves; you have stopped their thinking about themselves: that is what is important.”

Someone who drove him over a period of years always said, “You can tip your hat to Father McDonald: it is never the prominent or the rich that he goes to visit; it is always the poorest and the most needy ones he goes after.”

Like the Curé d’Ars, too,—and so many of the saints,—Father had a kind of “sixth sense,” a sort of ESP, which was very startling. On one occasion he dropped in to call on an older woman he visited frequently in a Nursing Home. When he came out, the man who was driving him said Father seemed very disturbed and distressed. “Did anything go wrong, Father?” the driver asked, “you seem troubled.” Father didn’t answer, so the driver persisted. “Father, what is the matter? Tell me and maybe I can help.” “Well,” said Father, “that woman is going to die very soon, today, and I did not have the Sacraments with me.” “We’ll go right back to the Monastery and get them,” the driver said. Father’s face lit up and back they went. Father got the necessary things, they flew back to the Home and Father anointed the patient, prepared her, and gave her the Sacrament. She was fully conscious and said to him, “Father, I can’t thank you enough!” In less than an hour she became completely unconscious and died shortly afterwards.

Another time, when Father was about to leave on his annual holiday, a friend who had been going with him to call on an elderly patient in another Nursing Home said to him, “Father, Miss F. is failing fast. If anything happens to her while you are away, whom shall I call to take over and attend to her?” Father replied, “You won’t have to call anyone; she will live until I get back.” And so she did, dying just a week after his return. That sort of thing happened time and time again.

Of course the centre of Father’s life was the daily Eucharist, the Divine Office and his prayer. Daily Mass was his joy and his strength. He loved the Sung Masses and Liturgy, and he was gifted with a very lovely voice. When the Trial Liturgies were introduced, he found them very difficult. “They certainly were inspired when they named it the “Trial Liturgy,” he used to say, with a twinkle and a smile, “That’s just what it is!” But he did his level best to comply and to follow, hard as it was for him.

Prayer was his life—and his life was the expression of his prayer. Father Hanlon, S.S.J.E. used to say, years ago, that it was amazing that anyone of such a highly active temperament, who had to be up and doing, could kneel upright, absolutely motionless for an hour every day for his private prayer, and often again during the course of the day, especially when they had a Retreat. It was very difficult even in the latter days before his last trip to the hospital, to make him sit down for his prayer instead of kneeling. And in his prayer, Father was completely and wholly absorbed, lost to all around him. He never talked about it or discussed it: it was the well of life for him.

At night, in the quiet of his cell, between twelve and one, or one and two, he would kneel and say some of his intercessions. “It is always nice and quiet then,” he would say, “and I can think about them without interruption.” Oh the numberless souls for whom he prayed! He had two small notebooks literally filled to capacity with the names of those he remembered before God, the living and the dead, day and night.

His devotion to our Lord’s holy Mother was deep and constant: his two lovely little pamphlets about her show us something about that. He never left the Monastery without stopping at her Shrine in the Chapel for a prayer; he never returned to the Monastery without going there first. “Mary has presented Jesus to us,” he tells us in his little booklet “Benedicta Tu,”: and has shown us how to keep Him ever and always in our hearts.” That was what he always strove to do.

Father was no plaster saint; no exotic stained-glass window saint. He was very human, very warm, very simple: full of fun, quick of wit, with a wonderful smile for everyone. His generosity was immense—everything given to him he gave away if he possibly could. And if he could pick a few flowers, or find some odd-colored pencil on the sidewalk which he could give to somebody, he was overjoyed.

He believed firmly that every Christian—and above all, the Priest and the Religious—should aim at being an “Alter Christus,” another Christ. That was his whole life. For him the Gospel was everything: his spiritual nourishment, his guide, his personal rule. Like St. Therese of Lisieux, he could say—and often did—“I find in the Gospel all I need.”

Life was not always “one grand sweet song” for Father; rather, it was the Way of the Cross, lived simply and undramatically. There were many great joys in his life, and many, many small ones: the years in Korea, in Brooklyn, in San Francisco and Boston; happy visits with some members of his family each fall; and the deep affection of his host of friends everywhere. But there were also many trials, many little and big disappointments and problems, and in the last years, his illnesses. Yet none of them ever destroyed his fundamental peace of soul, his deep joy, his wit and his smile, because basically “God was the strength of (his) heart and (his) portion forever.”

Though naturally sensitive and rather shy, he could be adamant when he considered that a matter of principle was involved. Obviously that did not always make life serene and smooth for him. As someone has said:

Saints are very difficult
For lesser souls to bear . . .

We are so apt to be irked by the steadfast example of holy ones because our own weaknesses stand out by contrast, and so our mediocrity rebels. That is a part of the Way of the Cross which all the saints have traversed in the steps of their Lord and Master.

“As sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich; as having nothing and yet possessing all things” . . . how perfectly St. Paul’s description of the early apostles fits Father McDonald! And how good it is to think now of the joy he has surely entered: that eternal peace of God which is his sure reward: “Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors and their works do follow them.”

—From Cowley, October, 1973, pp. 29-34.

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Order of the Double Dragon

The Emperor of China recently conferred upon Dr. Eli B. Landis, at one time resident physician of the Lancaster County Hospital and Insane Asylum, the Order of the Double Dragon, for services rendered during the war between China and Japan. Dr. Landis was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1888 and was one of the brightest men of his class.—American Medico-surgical Bulletin, Volume 9, (May 30, 1896), p. 761.

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DR. E. B. LANDIS (1897)

Dr. E. B. Landis, a corresponding member of the University Archaeological Association and a valued contributor to the Museum, died at Chemulfo, Korea, on the 16th of April last after three weeks’ illness. Dr. Landis graduated in Medicine Department of the University of Pennsylvania in the class of 1889, and went to Korea in 1890. He at once undertook to collect archaeological specimens for the Museum, and in the following year transmitted a valuable series of objects from graves in Song-Do. Important collections were subsequently made by him, and at the time of his death he was editing a catalogue of his Korean coins which he had presented, for publication in the Bulletin. Dr. Landis contributed numerous papers to scientific journals on Korean customs. During the war between China and Japan he rendered eminent services to the Chinese sick and wounded, for which he received a decoration from the Chinese government. His early death is a loss not only to his friends, but to the science to which he was devoted.

Bulletin of the Free Museum of Science and Art of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1897), p. 211.

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Dr. E. B. Landis (1898)

By the death of Dr. Landis, at Chemulpo, Corea, we have lost a member in the prime of life and just when he was beginning to give us the results of years of hard work, and to be known as an authority on the languages of and matters connected with Corea.

Eli Barr Landis was born in Lancaster, Pa., America, and was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, where he took his degree in medicine. After being some time Assistant Physician at the lunatic asylum of Lancaster, he moved to Philadelphia, and soon after that, feeling anxious to devote himself to missionary work, he joined the mission of the Church of England in Corea as a medical missionary, engaging in 1890 to serve there for five years. From the day of his landing till his death he gave himself up to his medical work and to studying the Chinese and Corean languages and the people of the country, their history, customs, beliefs, and lines of thought; realizing, what is too often not thought of, that the first step in missionary work is to get to understand all about the people whom one wishes to influence. With this in view he lived in a small native house as a Corean, without any European surroundings save his books. Having a remarkable talent for languages, a keen delight in all sorts of antiquarian research, and a simple pleasant manner with the people, he succeeded in becoming proficient in the Corean vernacular, a good Chinese scholar, and a trusted friend of the natives, so that he acquired a large stock of information about the country, especially in the way of history, folklore, and demonology. Bishop Corfe writes: “The industry with which he attacked Chinese literature and Corean colloquial, the kindliness of his manner to Coreans, enabled him to be the most remarkable as he was the most hardworking, versatile, and successful member of the mission staff. His income never exceeded £90, which was all I could give him, and with which he was always quite content, managing (I know not how) to save money from it to support a Corean lad, whom he adopted as his son, and to buy himself books which always illustrated his love of antiquarian learning. He was much attracted to Corean folklore, and wrote papers thereon. His knowledge of Chinese script promised to be phenomenal; I never knew a man who in so short a time managed to acquire so many characters.” Another witness of his life says “he loved the people, and they are not easy to love, and he acquired a knowledge of the people such as had been rarely, if ever, equalled by anyone in Corea.”

Shortly before his death Dr. Landis sent to the Royal Asiatic Society a valuable communication, “Biographical Notes of Ancient Corea,” containing notices of the Rulers of Corea from B.C. 2365 to A.D. 925, i.e., the Sin La, the Ko Kou Rye, the Paik Chyei, and the Ka Rak Kouk Dynasties. Unfortunately room could not be found for the paper at the present time in the Journal, but it is one which well shows the author’s great diligence and scholarship. This is not the place to speak of Dr. Landis’ work as a medical man or missionary, but it may be mentioned that the services he rendered to the sick and wounded during the Chino-Japan War were conspicuous, and were recognized by the Governments of both nations, and the Emperor of China conferred on him the Order of the Double Dragon.

The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (London: Royal Asiatic Society, 1898), pp. 919-920.

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Father Morse Turns 80, by Joe Nerbonne (1972)

The Rev. Walter P. Morse, SSJE, veteran China missionary, celebrated his 80th birthday Friday, June 16, with a Holy Communion Service at St. John’s Cathedral on Hoping East Road, Taipei.

The venerable Father was assisted in the Friday evening service by Bishop James Pong who delivered a sermon in honor of the octogenarian’s 19th birthday on Taiwan.

In his sermon, Bishop Pong said in part: “Father Morse has had a very rich and varied life. After attending high school in Milwaukee and Racine College in Wisconsin, he worked in a bank and in a Wall Street brokerage firm. During World War I he joined the army and became a sergeant-major. [Father Morse was a lay novice of the Society when he joined the army, and retained that status during the war. Ed.] In 1917, at 25, he decided to enter the ministry and at 30 took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience for the rest of his life as a Cowley Father of the Society of St. John the Evangelist. He is now third oldest Cowley Father in the world, and less than two months ago when I dropped in to visit the SSJE House in London, all the Cowley Fathers there asked about Father Morse and wanted me to give him their warmest regards.”

Following 15 years of missionary work in Korea and Japan, Father Morse went to China in 1937 where he served in Shanghai, Wuhu, Hankow, Ichang, Shasi, Kumming, and Kalimpong on the Tibetan border.

“During the Sino-Japanese War,” Bishop Pong continued, “he did much in Shanghai in the Episcopal Mission to provide , shelter, food and protection for Chinese left homeless by the fighting; in Wuhu’ he continued his refugee relief work; in Hankow, he cared for 5,000 refugees; in Ichang, he showed great courage by successfully preventing the Japanese soldiers from, entering the mission compound. He has lived and served the Chinese people for so long that he knows their needs and feelings inside out.

“After the occupation of mainland China by the Communists, Father Morse shifted, in 1953, to Taiwan. He began work here along the banks of the Tamsui River and for five years provided food for the old and refugee pedicab boys from the mainland.”

When a series of typhoons wiped out that base of operations Father Morse set up a soup kitchen in a courtyard of a Taoist temple in Taipei to feed the hungry and clothe the cold. No strings to accepting the Christian Faith were attached.

Father Morse, himself said: “We just offer up a prayer of thanksgiving to God for our food before we eat it and let it go at that.”

Bishop Pong concluded by saying: “In our text for tonight, the Shunammite woman whose dead child the prophet Elisha restored to life, said to her husband that Elisha was a holy man of God who continually passed their way. We can say the same of Father Morse who both looks and acts like a holy man of God and who continually passes our way. Some of his colleagues and friends may think that we are giving him this party for his 80th birthday because we are afraid that he would not live to his 90th birthday. But our text says that the holy man of God continually passes our way. We pray that God will grant Father Morse many, many more happy returns of the day so that we shall have a holy man continually passing our way.”

—From Cowley, 1972, pp. 35-37.

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Michael Yoshio Haratani S.S.J.E. (1965)

harataniBY THE unexpected and sudden death of Father Michael Yoshio Haratani on the morning of Sunday, December 20, 1964, the Society of St. John the Evangelist lost a great lover of souls and a good missionary.

Father Haratani was born on December 8, 1918, at Oakland, California, as the eldest child of Soichi and Shigeko Haratani. When he was ten years old, he and his brother and sister were sent to Japan because of their asthma and for a Japanese education. They were looked after by their uncle, who lived some fifty miles west of Hiroshima. He told once how difficult it was at first to learn to use the Japanese language. In California his parents had used Japanese at home, and the children understood most of it, but would answer in English. When he got to Japan it was necessary to be able to use Japanese fluently, so a Buddhist bonze (priest) was engaged to teach him Japanese at the local temple. After a while the lessons grew tiresome for the young boy, so he gave in to temptation, and instead of going to the class he played baseball with the other boys in the neighborhood. The Bonze wondered what had become of his pupil, and inquired at the uncle’s house whether Yoshio were ill. After that the lessons were conducted at home.

He entered St. Paul’s Jr. College in Tokyo in 1938. While he was a student he was drafted into the Japanese Army. In 1945 his regiment was stationed at Hiroshima. Providentially on the day that the atomic bomb exploded over that city he had taken a small detachment of men on an errand outside the city. It may have been that he also had special leave to go to call on his uncle. On hearing that Hiroshima was destroyed by a terrific bomb, he hurried back to find most terrible conditions. Many of his comrades had been killed, and the rest were in great agony. While he was nursing his friends he was exposed to atomic radiation, and suffered from terrific internal disorders. He was hospitalized for several months. The war was over. Then he was discharged from the army and the hospital.

During his illness and suffering his thoughts turned towards the love and peace of the Christian religion. He returned to St. Paul’s University to finish his education, and was graduated in 1947. He earnestly sought God, and experienced a great change in his—life which he called his own conversion, though he never talked much about himself. He came to St. Michael’s Monastery, Oyama, in the spring of 1948, seeking admission, and became a postulant in the Society of St. John the Evangelist.

He proved himself worthy of his vocation, and read theology with the Fathers. On January 29, 1952, Bishop Okubo, the Diocesan of North Kanto, ordained Brother Michael, as he had been, to the Diaconate. At Mass on May 1st, the feast of St. Philip and St. James, Fr. Dale, then the Provincial Superior, received his first vows as a religious. Early in August he went to America for his final training before ordination to the Priesthood and Life Profession in the Society. He was ordained to the Priesthood on February 22, 1953, by Bishop Burton, S.S.J.E., acting for the Bishop of North Kanto, in the Church of St. John the Evangelist, Bowdoin Street, Boston. He made his profession under life vows on May 13th of that same year. During the remainder of his time in America he visited many places and made many friends, especially in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Honolulu. He spent a month at St. Francis’ Church, Chicago, then under the care of the Society, and another month in Honolulu, later in the year, where he was temporarily in charge of the Japanese Congregation at the Church of the Good Samaritan.

Fr. Haratani returned to Japan on December 13, 1953, but the sudden change of climate from Hawaii to the Japanese winter brought on a severe attack of asthma, and he was hospitalized for some time, not being able to return to the Monastery until the last week of March. Later that year, because of Fr. Sakurai’s impending year abroad, he was put in charge of the Church of the Transfiguration at Nikko. Cold weather in the fall of 1955 brought on more trouble with asthma, and he was made the “Home Father”, with occasional Sunday duties at St. Alban’s Church, Tochigi, where he was designated as Assistant, and took services once or twice a month to let Bp. Okubo be free for making visitations. During this time he found a suitable medicine which helped to prevent further severe attacks of asthma. At the Monastery he served as Guest Master, and handled the Publications department until 1963, when he was assigned part-time to St. John’s House in Tokyo. On January 15, 1962, with the consent of the Father Provincial, Bp. Okubo appointed him to be Priest-in-Charge of St. Michael’s Church in the town of Oyama, where he did a great piece of work. He rebuilt the church building, which was beyond simple repairs, built up the congregation, established a mission in the industrial district, had office hours one day a week, and did many things for the children and young people.

In the Spring of 1963, when Fr. Koizumi returned from America and Bp. Viall went on a year’s furlough, Fr. Haratani was assigned to St. John’s House on the outskirts of Tokyo for weekdays, returning to Oyama each weekend for his duties at St. Michael’s Church. At the same time he was asked to be Sub-warden for the Sisters of the Community of Nazareth. So it worked out that he came to Tokyo from Oyama each Monday, did some calling at hospitals, or at Rikkyo University, or among his many friends, and arrived at St. John’s House sometime in the afternoon or evening. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent at St. John’s House, where he was a much appreciated addition to the community life. Each Thursday morning after breakfast he went to the Nazareth Convent where he had conferences with the Sisters, and taught a class in Christian Doctrine to the Novitiate. Friday morning after Mass and breakfast at the Convent he would return to Oyama to be with the Brethren at St. Michael’s Monastery. Thus his missionary work was spread over a wide area, and he served not only to fill out the community life of both houses of the S.S.J.E. in Japan, but also to be an important link between them.

In September, 1964, at the request of Fr. Kimura, Provincial Superior of our Society and Warden of the Community of Divine Charity, he left Tokyo for Barisal, East Pakistan, to visit a Sister of Divine Charity who is helping with the maternity work of the Oxford Mission Sisters of the Epiphany, and to have a conference with the Reverend Mother of the Oxford Mission Sisters on the further help of the Japanese Sisters. During the trip he wrote enthusiastically and often to the Father Provincial and friends about his experiences! On his way back he stopped at Calcutta, Rangoon, Bankok, Cambodia, Saigon, and Hong Kong. In some of these places he already had friends with whom he stayed for short visits. In each place he made new friends. Then he went to Taipei, in Taiwan, where he had a delightful time with Father Morse, S.S.J.E., for two weeks. He had his busiest time in Okinawa, because he was the first Cowley Father who had ever visited there. He went there to see the Sisters of Nazareth as their Sub-warden, but he was in constant demand for preaching, talking, and conducting Quiet Days. He was even asked to assist at the examination of ordinands. He was very tired when he got back to Tokyo on November 30th.

After a week’s rest at St. John’s House he became as active as ever. However, probably from the change of climate, he had an attack of asthma on Sunday, December 6, when he was visiting St. Alban’s Church, Tochigi. He rested for a week at the Bishop’s house, and got well more quickly than usual. The next week he took Fr. Jones, who was visiting Japan from Dacca, East Pakistan, to Oyama and then to Haruna to see the Sisters of Divine Charity. He left Fr. Jones at Haruna and returned to St. John’s House, Tokyo, for two more days, looking extremely well, in spite of cold, rainy weather. He instructed children at Tochigi on Saturday afternoon, the 19th, and then came back to the Monastery at Oyama, as he was intending to say Mass and preach at St. Michael’s Church the next morning. The fatal attack came to him that morning, and his heart failed before the doctor could reach him. He passed away in his own cell at 8:25 A.M.

Fr. Haratani was a very lovely and pleasant person, and everyone who had known him liked him very much. He made friends easily every place that he went. People of all ages felt at ease with him. He was a man of activity, and wonderfully good with children and young people. He had a special sympathy with the sick. Nobody can take his place, but the members of our Society must carry on his work.

His funeral was held in the Monastery Chapel at Oyama on December 23rd. Bishop Okubo officiated at the Burial Office, assisted by Diocesan Clergy of North Kanto and the Brethren of the Society. Fr. Haratani’s mother, brother, and sister, and two other representatives of the family were there with many of his friends. The Chapel was completely filled. His body is resting in the Monastery cemetery.

—From Cowley, Spring, 1965, pp. 36-39.

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Our Lady of Kangwha, by Joan Rutt (1972)


There are two stories behind the ikon of Our Lady photographed above. We were taking a day off to explore Kangwha Island which was the first part of Korea where the Anglican mission had any considerable success. The first place we visited was the church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Kangwha town, built by Mark Napier Trollope and consecrated in 1900. This must be one of the oldest and is certainly one of the most beautiful Christian church buildings in Korea. The ikon of Our Lady was not in its accustomed place above the centre of the sanctuary screen, and after a search it was found in a corner of the sacristy. It was dusty and tarnished almost unrecognisable: the parish priest, Father Paul Im, gladly gave us permission to take it home with us, for it needed more attention to restore it than could be given then and there. We mended its broken frame and polished and repaired its brass-work—cleaned the ikon itself and gave it a new cloth backing as the original one was in holes. Jo Roberts provided lacquer to preserve the polish on the brass and gold paint for the frame. There is nothing aesthetically remarkable about this particular ikon. Similar ones were made by the thousand in nineteenth-century Russia. But by the time we had finished it had a radiance which pleased us, and we felt that Our Lady was pleased too. In Orthodox theology the ikon is a vehicle of grace, a meeting-place between the pilgrim believers and the saints in glory and we had a sense of this while the Kangwha ikon was with us. We were able to send it back home exactly a month after we found it. Aesthetically remarkable it is not, but this ikon has a history which makes it remarkable for the Korean church. It was brought here by Dr. Eli Barr Landis who came to Korea with Bishop Corfe when he first landed at Chemulp’o (Inch’on) in 1890. The ‘little doctor’ is one of the saintly heroes of the first days of the Mission and the ikon is precious because it was his. Dr. Landis died in Chemulp’o aged only thirty-two on April 16th 1898 and Mark Trollope enshrined his ikon in the new church in Kangwha Town some twenty miles away. It seems worthwhile to take this opportunity to recall Dr. Landis’s work in Korea and his short life of hidden holiness.

He was born at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, into a Mennonite family that had emigrated in the seventeenth century, probably from Holland to avoid religious persecution. He did his medical studies at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and there came in touch with the Society of St. John the Evangelist at St. Clement’s church. He was converted, baptised and confirmed there and it was Father Benson himself who first suggested that Dr. Landis should join the new mission of the Church of England to Korea. Bishop Corfe was very anxious that medical work should begin immediately. He had decided, as far as direct evangelism was concerned to impose a rule of six years silence on the original members of the mission; but by means of hospitals and dispensaries he hoped to go ahead directly and teach the Koreans that God loves their bodies as well as their souls . . . ‘we are trying to bring them to Christ by teaching them how sacred is that body which will by and by be baptized and made a member of the great Body of Christ . . .’

So as soon as they arrived Bishop Corfe began a series of journeys to set the work going in Seoul and elsewhere and Dr. Landis settled in Chemulp’o to treat the patients who came to him in great numbers and to learn the language. In this he rapidly made progress which others thought phenomenal. Even before he left America he was puzzling out all he could about the Chinese and Korean languages from a cyclopaedia in the Cowley Fathers’ House in Boston. At Christmas 1895 as he left for his only furlough he said his greatest pleasure would be his next sight of Chemulp’o. He was back by early May 1896, anxious for the welfare of the orphan boys who lived with him, one of whom he had adopted. For their sake and in order to further his Korean studies, he moved in 1897 to a house in the Korean area of the town, away from the English parsonage and the European settlement. This probably precipitated his death for the site was unhealthy and the water-supply unsafe.

Equipped with fluent Korean and a good knowledge of Chinese characters he explored many curious by-paths of Korean life and literature. Buddhism, geomancy, nature and devil-worship, native medicine, proverbs, social customs and national history is the list in Mark Trollope’s memoir of him. He collected the rhymes he heard children using and published a paper on them in the Journal of American Folklore. He produced twenty articles on different topics between 1895 and his death. He learned bookbinding, he taught English to Japanese. There seems no end to his activity and enthusiasm. Was it wasted?

The memoir concludes: ‘those who believe in the communion of saints will know that his beneficient activity . . . differs from what it was here only in being infinitely more prevailing and more intense. The discipline and training … are bearing fruit in another world . . .’

We can be sure that his prayers for Korea in 1972 are joined with Our Lady’s own.

—Cowley, 1972, pp. 59-61.

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