Monthly Archives: October 2016

Rambles in Old College Towns (1917)

We were to have the rare distinction of eating at Mory’s, that haunt dear to generations of underclassmen; not, to be sure, in one of the general rooms on the ground floor, but upstairs, in the Governor’s Room, unseen if not unseeing. Before that hour we had time on our hands that should allow an opportunity to get some idea of the various campuses and the buildings that enclosed them or fronted on them.

“Let’s go through that splendid arch under Phelps Tower,” Sister demanded. “It is something like Princeton’s Tiger Gate, through Blair, except of course that it is so very different.”

The description seemed to me entirely logical at the time, though perhaps it may puzzle those who have never walked through either. […]

“At Mory’s you’ll hear about some of the undergrad clubs,” he told us. “The Hogans, extinct for the moment, but unforgotten and probably to be revived, the Whiffenpoofs, the Pundits. And then there’s the literary side, the men who edit the Lit., the Courant and the Record, not to speak of the Yale Daily. They are a big influence in the college life.”

We felt that, aside from information, it was distinctly time for Mory’s. Sightseeing in cloistered campuses and wind-fresh Bowls had had its effect. We were, in short, ravenous. And there, awaiting us, stood our host, before the quaint little wooden building that shelters the famous restaurant.

A narrow, boxed-in stairway led us to the second floor and the Governors’ Room, with its great round table and Windsor chairs, its Hogarth prints on the wainscoted walls, its cheerful little windows with the small panes of an older day. Here on the oaken board the covers were set, and here, smiling with entire good nature at this invasion of his castle by the forbidden sex, was Billy, the steward, making us feel at home and welcome on the spot.

The menu at Mory’s resembles those in English chophouses. It is simple, excellently cooked and abundant in its portions. Sister and I found them too big for us, and we are quite capable of holding our own after a morning’s exercise such as lay behind us. The specialty that morning was scrambled eggs with bacon, and it was real bacon, savoury of the smoke house, no flaccid imitation treated with what is imaginatively described as “liquid smoke.” Toast, too, and tea, and wonderful pie with cheese. Students who have haunted Mory’s will later on in life bitterly complain to distracted wives, wondering why they cannot have meals “like Mory’s used to make.” Perhaps this is the reason why women are not allowed in the delectable place. At any rate, no mother sending her son to Yale need worry for fear he won’t get meals as good as those he gets at home. So long as Mory’s endures, homecooking has a goal set for it.

Over our luncheon we heard talk of the famous undergraduate clubs that have met at Mory’s these many long years, and have made the name dear to Yale men the round world over. How dear was made evident not so many years ago when Mory’s, having had two bad years, and finding the neighbourhood where it had been since 1871 to be no longer satisfactory, almost decided to quit. An item to this effect was printed in a New York paper and ran broadcast over the country, reaching even into distant ports in China, India, Southern islands below the far horizon’s edge—and back, post haste, came letters of desperate appeal from Yale men. What? Close Mory’s? It was unthinkable.

Luckily Mory’s didn’t have to close. It found new quarters within easy range of the University, and moved up, body and soul. For not only was the spirit of the old place completely transferred to the new home, but the very window frames, the furniture, the bar, the ancient black door with its bright brass trimming that admits you from the street, all these came too. Wainscoting replaced paper, the trophies of fifty years took their accustomed places over the identical chimney pieces, and Yale settled back, content.

It was Louis Linder who made Mory’s what it is, taking it from Mrs. Moriarty as a popular place where town men came more often than college members, a place known for good food and good drink, but lacking the distinction he gave it. Louis Linder loved the undergraduates, and they loved him. He made the place their place. Gradually it became completely identified with them, and with the graduates who had known it in their own student days. Now it is only members, and there are fifteen thousand of them, 95 per cent identified with Yale, and their guests, who have the entree. Before Linder died he had formed plans to make an association that should take the management of Mory’s, but death came before the arrangements were completed. His idea has been carried out, however, and the place is run by a board of governors whose services are entirely voluntary.

But the business side of Mory’s, though immensely important, is not the side that fascinated either Sister or me. It was the human side, and what a human place it is!

The most famous of the clubs that make their headquarters at Mory’s are the Hogans, at present suppressed, but due some happy day to revive again. The Pundits, whose huge old brass flagon stands nobly on its shelf till it is filled with cider for their feasts. Cider is their drink, and scrambled eggs, sausage, hashed brown potatoes, apple pie and cheese their food. The Cup Men, limited to six, one being a Bones, three Keys and two St. Anthony men, who own the great pewter loving cup with its six handles, carved over with the names of the various members, among which are such as W. H. Vanderbilt, Harry Payne Whitney, Jim Gamble Rogers, all Cup Men in their day. A particular cup is served, made from a recipe brought from England by Truman Newberry, later Secretary of the Navy, which is called for under the name of “Velvet.” The sessions of the Cup Men are lively, and prolonged, it is whispered, beyond the midnight hour at which Mory’s is suppose to close—“But,” as Billy told us, with his tolerant smile, “you can’t get them out.”

Then there are the Whiffenpoofs, also at present under temporary eclipse, for the college authorities have a way of sudden suppression when wild spirits grow too wild. The Whiffenpoofs have somewhat evaded extinction by holding a series of burial parties in which they take a fond and formal farewell to life, only to repeat the performance next year. They come in costume and they sing—besides other things of a joyous nature, as well as a noisy one.

Perhaps they, more than any other of the clubs, led to Mory’s being given the nickname of The Quiet House. It is not much used nowadays, but once it was more common than its real name.

Billy went on a scouting tour as we sadly refrained from eating more pie, and returned to report that the last student had gone, and we might go down and “see the rest.”

So down the crooked stairs we went and into the first of the several small square or oblong rooms into which Mory’s divides. In the Seniors’ room was the round table known as the Seniors’ Table, at which no man not a Senior, or guest of a Senior, may sit. Round about the room are the usual oblong tables for other classmen.

The round table is beautifully carved with the initials of those who sit at it, year following year, till it is so completely covered that there is room for no more. In the centre of each table is the circle of the Cup Men, with their initials, or their names, and dates of their classes, and among the other signatures are those of distinguished guests—we made out, among the many, a W. B. Y., cut by Yeats when he was a guest there. When each of these round tables is quite full, it is taken off and hung against the wall in one of the rooms, and a splendid decoration these tables make, the dark wood gleaming richly under the carving that has been beautifully done.

There is a lot of practicing at the other tables before the actual work on the sacred circle itself.

And as we went from one room to another, more items kept coming from Billy—how the Brown Game was the great day of the Whiffenpoofs, and that their parties had a distinctly Johnsonian flavour. Mention too of the wonderful Green Cup, whose ingredients are a secret, handed down from steward to steward, that costs six dollars a quart and is as delectable as it is potent. How the Hogans each had a name, such as the Kid, naturally the biggest and the huskiest of the lot, the Plain Hogan, the Pop, the Burglar, Birdie and so on. When a Kid Hogan has a son who is his first born, that kid is to be an honourary member; but so far the eldest have been girls. In the meanwhile presents are accumulating for the youngster. We saw them hanging on the wall, tiny boxing gloves, a small pair of Chinese clogs, sent by a Hogan from that distant place, a wonderful striped shirt and attractively smart little knickers, with other tokens of yearning affection. But so far the cradle is empty.

The Hogans were specially favoured at Mory’s, and they were dearly loved. Five or six only, they were the choicest spirits in the college. Food and drink was always free to them, and is to this day. Once a Hogan always a Hogan. They used to do clerical work for the restaurant in return for the “welcome home” they got there. The parties they gave are unforgotten, and they are spoken of in the places that knew them with reminiscent smiles.

We were shown a number of the champagne bottles emptied at the dinners of the different Hogan groups, each bottle signed with all the names, and the date. They stand on one of the chimneypiece shelves, a sturdy group, but Billy confessed that one of them, now and again, mysteriously vanished.

“They’re considerable of a souvenir,” he said.

On one wall, high against the ceiling, hung a scull. It was the stroke oar of those that won the great boat race of June 19, 1914, where only the fraction of a minute intervened between the Manners and losers.

“The Cup,” we were told, as we looked on its pewter splendour and noble proportions, “is never taken down unless one of the Cup Men is present. And when it is passed round the table, it must never be set down till empty.”

Among the prints and photographs on the wall we noted one of a stern-faced woman, in a circle of wild youths—youths who seemed to have looked on the cup longer than was good for them.

“That,” said Billy, “is Carrie Nation. You know she visited Yale, and the boys had great times with her. She was too busy looking at the camera to see what they were doing—and maybe they doctored the negative a bit.”

So there she stands, grim and stout, while behind her bottles and glasses are flourished, and at her feet the heads of the seated men droop in attitudes that suggest a vast lapse from sobriety.

We were even allowed to go into the bar, a small and cosy place, exquisitely fitted up with numerous shining instruments and glittering glasses, fountains for soft drinks, and bottles that held sterner stuff. “Everything’s close at hand,” as Billy expressed it.

All this is only a part of Mory’s and its many relations with the undergraduate body. But there was more of Yale for us to see, and we departed—reluctantly, as is probably the habit of those who go there.

—Hildegarde Hawthorne, Rambles in Old College Towns (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1917), pp. 130, 137-145.


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The Revised Canadian Prayer Book, by Father Palmer, S.S.J.E. (1960)



Archbishop Cranmer was a scholar. He was deeply read in the Fathers and was a liturgist, one of the first, who had studied all the available material of the time. He had been experimenting in revision of the Church Services especially of the choir offices long before he was called upon to head a committee “to prepare the first Prayer Book of Edward VI. The work of that committee was based on Cranmer’s long study of liturgies. How wide that study was is shown by the books in his library. How sound were the principles on which his committee worked are proved by the way in which their work has stood the test of use and time so that the greater part of it is still the backbone of our Prayer Books in the Anglican Communion. Subsequent revisions have each added something of value which has become permanent. Even the abortive revision of 1552 made changes which we have come to value and should now be unwilling to give up. Most of these we take for granted and are unaware that they originated in the revision of 1552. But one of the disadvantages of all the later revisions until recent times has been that they were carried out in a hurry, and in the heat of controversy. The revision of 1662 was the form of the Prayer Book used in the North American colonies. After the revolution it was revised for use in the United States. In Canada a very slight revision took place in 1918. Party spirit was keen, and it was not possible for the revisers to attempt the revision of the Communion Office. In 1943 the General Synod, the chief governing body of the Church, decided that the work of revision should again be taken in hand. A large Committee consisting of all the Bishops and about an equal number of priests and laymen was appointed. Out of this Committee a much smaller Central Sub-Committee was appointed to do the actual drafting and to bring suggested revisions before the large Committee about once a year. The Central Committee appointed small subcommittees to help with the drafting of individual services. These small groups were not confined to members of the Revision Committee but drew upon the wisdom and scholarship of the Church at large.

During the 1930s there grew up in more than one part of Canada personal friendships between men of different schools of thought in the Church. This led to mutual appreciation of different points of view, and to the melting away of suspicion and prejudice. It did not mean agreement on all points. The large Committee and also the Central Committee contained men of different points of view fairly representative of the Canadian Church. The Chairman was Bishop Hallam of Saskatoon, later an Assistant Bishop of Huron. He was a scholar of the Evangelical school, a real scholar, deeply read in those fields of theology which bear upon Liturgies. He was a great gentleman and a man of such wide sympathy that he could not be confined to any party. He was a very strong churchman who while not interested in matters of ceremonial would never tolerate any departure from the orthodox teaching of the Church whether on the Trinity or Incarnation, or on the Sacraments and Holy Orders. His saintly and calm attitude conveyed itself to the Committee over its first twelve years of work so that after his death this spirit was maintained during the rest of the sixteen years.

The rules by which the Committee worked were so strict as to make impossible the making of any change on a narrow majority. We had to attain a common mind before a change could be made, and in all very important matters we waited until we could make the change unanimously or at least nem con. A two-thirds majority was required in the Central Committee before a change could be proposed, and it had to stand up under a second consideration at a subsequent meeting. Only then could it be sent to the large Committee which would accept or reject it. Proposals rejected at earlier meetings were sometimes brought forward again at a later time and adopted. There was no adopting of compromises which satisfied neither side.

The meetings were carried out in an atmosphere of prayer. At our very important gatherings we would stay together for a week with daily Mattins and Eucharist early, then a morning of work, Litany or noonday prayers, an afternoon of work, Evensong, work in the evening and then Compline.

This enabled us to try out some of our proposals in actual use in worship.

We reported to General Synod at each of its sessions. We invited and received thousands of criticisms and suggestions all of which we considered. In 1955 we presented a full report in the form of a Draft Prayer Book. This was given general approval by the Synod and was returned to us for tidying up. Two questions had arisen in Synod, one on the Prayer of Consecration, the other on prayers for the departed. Many more letters were received. We went over our work again carefully. We made a small change in the Prayer of Consecration, but we retained all the prayers for the departed. They were all optional in any case. We rewrote the rubrics in plain English.

A second Draft Book was presented to General Synod in 1959. We had allowed two full days for its debate by this body of about 300. The spirit of worship surrounds our General Synods. Most of the members are at Mattins and Eucharist together each morning at 7. Archbishop Carrington, who was the Chairman of the large Committee since Bishop Hallam’s death, was acting Primate. He prepared the way for the consideration of the Prayer Book in a masterly Charge to the Synod on its first day. When the matter came up Bishop Clark of Edmonton, the chairman of the Central Committee presented the report and Draft Book in a brief but profound address. Before the matter could be debated, a member of Synod asked permission to move an amendment. It turned out to be a motion that we do not debate the Book but adopt it as it is presented, because the Synod is too large a body to deal with such detailed work, and we have confidence in the Committee, and have had the Book in our hands long enough to know its contents. Another member at once seconded this, and there was a roar of approval from the Synod which amounted to adoption of the Book by acclamation. It was with difficulty that the Committee persuaded the House to wait so that a few mistakes and misprints could be noted before the vote was put. It is doubtful whether any such large Synod of Anglicans has ever before adopted a revision of the Prayer Book with such unanimity.

What sort of revision is that which the General Synod of Canada adopted so enthusiastically? The Preface to the Book says “The aim throughout has been to set forth an order which the people may use with understanding and which is agreeable with Holy Scripture and the usage of the primitive Church.” “When the Bishops, Clergy, and Laity of the Church in Canada assembled for the first General Synod in 1893, they made a Solemn Declaration of the faith in which they met together. It is in that faith that this Book of Common Prayer is offered to the Church, in the hope that those who use it may become more truly what they already are, the People of God, those who in Christ are the New Creation which finds its joy in adoration of the Creator and Redeemer of all.” Then follows the Solemn Declaration which says “We declare this Church to be … an integral portion of the One Body of Christ composed of Churches which, united under the one Divine Head and in the fellowship of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, hold the One Faith revealed in Holy Writ, and defined in the Creeds as maintained by the undivided primitive Church in the undisputed Oecumenical Councils; receive the same Canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as containing all things necessary to salvation; teach the same Word of God; partake of the same divinely ordained Sacraments, through the Ministry of the same Apostolic Orders; and worship one God and Father through the same Lord Jesus Christ, by the same Holy and Divine Spirit who is given to them that believe to guide them into all truth.”

Fr. McCausland, S.SJ.E. in an excellent pamphlet “A Plain Guide to the Revised Prayer Book,” sums matters up “The new book is not a museum piece to show our Anglican heritage, it is “THE NEW LIFE” . . . Above all the Breath of the Spirit of Love hovers over the whole book. Because we by-passed Mediaeval and Reformation controversies, because we were true to our documentary terms of reference, and because we had love for the Brethren, the Holy Spirit was enabled to pour forth upon the twentieth General Synod, the richness of His Grace and give us unity of purpose because we had unity of Faith an essential Practice THE LIVING WORD within THE LIVING LITURGY makes THE LIVING CHURCH.”

Cowley, Vol. XXXI, No. 1, 1960, pp. 11-14.

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Father Everett, S.S.J.E. (1959)

bookscancenter_30LIMITATIONS of space prevent any substantial printing in COWLEY of the tributes to the life and work of the late Father Everett, S.SJ.E. His death December 16, 1958, came as a deep personal loss to all the faithful he had ministered to throughout a Priesthood of 53 years. Members of the Guild of the Holy Ghost the Comforter, of which he had been Warden, were immediately notified by Father Williams, Superior of the Society. Their letters in response to his message were a true measure of the influence Fr. Everett exercised in their spiritual lives.

Harassed by wretched health most of his life, Fr. Everett had enjoyed a respite of two years or more before his final illness. The end came peacefully after a week in the hospital. This was a great consolation to his close friends who had seen him so many times racked by pain and brought to the portal of death. His constitutional infirmities set in when he was a school boy and continued with little surcease until he died. The physical fortitude and moral courage with which he faced his sufferings were not the least among the qualities that endeared him to his friends.

Fr. Everett was a native of Nashua, New Hampshire, born there Dec. 5, 1879. He was the son of Edward Hurlburt Everett and Eva Janet Lyons Everett. The family had been illustrious in the annals of the country since Revolutionary times. He was educated in the public schools of Nashua, at Holderness School, and Hobart College.

Until his nineteenth year he had never known what it was to pray, much less what it was to share in any other aspect of Christian life. He was converted while at Holderness. The knowledge and love of God, he wrote later, burst miraculously upon him one day while walking through the woods. The intimate knowledge and true love, thus acquired, never failed him from that day until his death. Nor did the knowledge and love of God’s creation, exemplified by his contemplative walk through the woods, ever fail him either. He surprised and delighted visitors to the Monastery at Cambridge with his skill in identifying trees, birds, and flowers in the vicinity.

Coincident with his love of nature ran his love of music. From his early school days he had been an accomplished organist, playing professionally in several parish churches and colleges before his entry into the Priesthood. The night before he was suddenly stricken with his fatal illness he sat in the Common Room of the Guest House and listened with rapt enjoyment to a recording of his favorite classic, Beethoven’s Ninth.

Fr. Everett’s theological degree, S.T.B., was taken at Philadelphia Divinity School in 1905. He was a classmate of Dr. Royden Keith Yerkes, the celebrated theologian and scholar, now with the Bishop McLaren Center in the Diocese of Chicago. The two remained fast friends throughout their Ministries. One of the finest of all the tributes to Fr. Everett received at Cambridge came from Dr. Yerkes.

Early in the course of his theological studies Father Everett developed an interest in Thomas a Kempis. He made the famous “Imitation” the basis of his systematic devotions for the remainder of his life. He acquired a library of rare editions in many languages, including a volume in seven tongues in parallel columns about an inch wide.

Father Everett was ordained to the Diaconate June 11, 1905 in Holy Trinity Church, Philadelphia, and to the Priesthood at Concord, New Hampshire, December 21 of the same year. He sang a Mass in the Monastery Chapel, Cambridge, on the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination to the Holy Priesthood.

It was in June, 1908, that Father Everett first came to the Society of St. John the Evangelist. In December he sailed for England to serve his Novitiate at Cowley, Oxford. Poor health forced him to withdraw in February of the following year. Most of the time before his return in 1944 was spent as assistant to the late Father Frederic W. Fitts at St. John’s, Roxbury Crossing. His curacy of 33 years in that historic parish was highly acclaimed by clergy and laity alike throughout the Diocese.

On Christmas morning, 1943, Father Everett’s wife, Amelia May, died suddenly. Shortly thereafter he applied for readmission to the Society. His Postulancy began May 1, 1944. He became a Novice the following August and took his life vows September 14, 1946.

Dr. Yerkes pays this tribute to his classmate: “He opened my eyes to the very existence of meditation and literally started me in the practice of what, after fifty-five years, I appreciate as the most valuable practice of any individual who wants to know God and worship Him.”

The Journal of St. John’s, Roxbury Crossing, carried this comment: “Some may think of Father Everett as a man of deep and wide knowledge, an authority on Thomas a Kempis, a skilled musician. But foremost in the minds of those who knew Father Everett at St. John’s there will be the memory of his pastoral work as he ministered in times of loneliness and sorrow, as he shared their joys, gave wise counsel and direction and example in Christian living, and of his sacrificial love in the service of Christ.”

Mrs. W. E. Weber, Jr., of Kingsport, Tenn., testifies to the extraordinary hold he had on members of the Guild of the Holy Ghost the Comforter. In a letter to Fr. Williams she wrote: “I never saw him but by a thousand tokens I know him, as I have known few people. He has taught me by means of letters, brief notes, clippings, verse, hymns, words underlined—a wealth of wisdom and loving help, poured out over the years to one whom he had never seen.”

It was this gift of Father Everett that enabled him to touch and quicken the hearts and souls of people who turned to him for help.

Rest eternal grant unto him, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him.

Cowley, Vol. XXX, No. 2, 1959, pp. 45-47.

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The Society of the Precious Blood (1961)


WHEN a Christian is alone by his bed praying for the Church, the world and his friends, he believes that Church, world and friends are helped by what he is doing. When Christians leave the world to enter the sacred enclosure of a church, and then and there offer the Holy Sacrifice, they believe that the world outside the church doors and the whole state of Christ’s Church beyond the parish boundaries benefit from what they do. In both cases, there is no obvious connection between the act and its results. It is, perhaps, no different in principle to believe that the life of JESUS Christ had results beyond Palestine and after the first century. By prayer and worship, we enter into that mystery by which Christ’s life flows outward in space and onward in time. So our prayer and worship share in the universal effectiveness of Christ’s life. The individual and the congregation pray as members of Christ’s Mystical Body, and that particular prayer and worship rush into the invisible but real bonds by which Christ connects all the members of His Body; the focus and center of Christian life, the individual person and the parish congregation, always looking out beyond their bounds to the universal territory of Christ’s Body; our small and rather commonplace actions travelling faster than light through the invisible network of Christ’s Mystical Body. The Ascended Christ embraces the whole creation.

It is the same principle that justifies the “usefulness” of Religious Communities: their offering overflows in the Church and into the world the Church inhabits. Of all Communities, the Enclosed or Contemplative is the most concrete expression of the fact that prayer and worship are the source of the Church’s vitality and effectiveness. And just as the private prayer of the individual is something he does not easily talk about, going into his closet before the Father Who sees in secret, so the Community of contemplative prayer is hedged about with secrecy and modesty. Love and humility are uneasy when their names come up in conversation. So involved in penitence and reparation, the Enclosed Community prefers to stand afar off in the Temple of Christ’s Mystical Body and say, “God, be merciful to me a sinner.” In the Enclosed Communities of His Mystical Body, Christ once again withdraws to a desert place to pray, once again lives His obscure Nazareth years of preparation.

Before the Reformation, Burnham Abbey in Berkshire was the home of a Community of Augustinian Canonesses, and it had been since April 18, 1266. It was dissolved in 1539 in reign of “that most rapacious monarch,” Henry VIII (as a sign in Glastonbury parish church calls him), and there was not much reason to believe it would ever be the home of nuns again. And as was the way with deserted abbeys, little of it was left standing as the years passed: just the chapter house, the sacristy, and various walls. But on April 18, 1916, the first Mass since the Reformation was said at the Abbey for nuns following a rule derived from that of S. Augustine and dedicated to the Precious Blood of our Lord. Once again in this place the redeeming grace of the Ascended Christ poured into a Community of Religious, and from their glad and receptive hearts overflowed into the Body of Christ, the Church.

There, are several intriguing coincidences connected with the re-establishment of the Religious Life at Burnham, the latest of which is the dedication of the chapel of the branch house in South Africa on the same day as the nuns were expelled in 1539 — but one hardly knows what to make of such things. And there is no doubt that the rich, strong and holy personality of the Mother Foundress had a great deal to do with the formation and development of the Community. Yet an outsider only gets hints of that and waits for a biography written by those who have actually come under Mother Millicent’s influence. What we do know of the history of this modern Anglican Community is helpful, and one can recognize in it the guidance of Providence. For the Society of the Precious Blood is not the result of academic and theoretical planning, neither in its beginnings as a Religious Community of the mixed type, or in its evolution into the contemplative type.

Millicent Taylor went to live in Birmingham. She was told that S. Jude’s Church needed a parish worker, and so she applied. She had done such work before, at Walthamstow and with the Wantage Sisters at Reading. But here, other than the usual things, Miss Taylor found herself in charge of an Evening Club for factory girls, for S. Jude’s parish was full of slums and concerned itself with ministering to the people who lived in them. While doing this work, she decided she must live by a rule; she did not intend to found a community. But after two years she had decided to begin a community for working in parishes and among the poor. It was so often the case with Anglican Communities: work crying to be done and a community is formed to do it. But, as has also been found, stability cannot be grounded in the work: it must be grounded in the Religious Life. This was certainly the direction the Society of the Precious Blood was headed. From the first, the Society was very poor and very austere and observed ascetical practices characteristic of enclosed communities. “In those early days prayer came first with us”, Mother Millicent observes, and though she and her first Sister “came into Religion armed with S. Teresa’s Way of Perfection” (which first turned her thoughts to Religion), it is clear that they needed a great deal of training in the way of prayer. The Community’s first real introduction to the subject came from Father Andrew who conducted a retreat for them in 1908. At the same time he suggested that they needed a novitiate at some distance from the parish, and the next year a farm house at King’s Heath in the Arden Forest was bought.

Prior to this move, the Community was immersed in parish duties and in the difficult handling of the factory girls who lived and worked under appalling conditions. The Sisters were up at 5:30 a.m. and the girls’ club functioned after work from 7:00-10:00 p.m. The physical strain must have been immense, but no greater than the mental and spiritual strain of learning to interpret rightly the “ill-mannered” habits of these girls. Mother Millicent has told a few stories of these days (in the booklet, “The Early Days of the S.P.B.”) that endear us to the work. But it was work soon to be given up. One Sister was left in the parish, but the rest went to the farm house at King’s Heath, and there the contemplative vocation began to assert itself.

They certainly didn’t have it any easier at King’s Heath. They were terribly poor and terribly isolated. When a priest did not come to the house for Mass, they walked two miles to the nearest church, and in the very worst weather. Yet, in a way, it was this “isolation, the silence, the quiet hours of prayer, the monotony and regularity” that was developing in the Community that spirit God wanted, so that when Mother Millicent, in 1910, visited the Benedictine nuns of Mailing Abbey, she “found in it much in common with our own spirit and way of life,” even though she had no plans to enclose her Society. The lessons they were all. learning were “waiting on the will of God” and “trusting only in God’s care and protection.” They were well-taught at King’s Heath.

In 1912 the idea of forming an enclosed community was definitely considered, but the Warden waited a year to give his permission. Then in 1914 the Society moved to Hendon to run a retreat house. There they grew in numbers and in the contemplative spirit and decided they must relinquish the retreat work and concentrate on community life in a more adequate home. Burnham Abbey was for sale. Most communities found it too small, but for the Society of the Precious Blood it seemed just right in many ways, one of which was “the irresistible atmosphere of calm quiet peace that surrounded it”, but another, one suspects, was the more indefinable atmosphere exuded by a holy place, long prayed in, then deserted, ruined and waiting. A friend of the Society bought it for them, and the Community moved there in April 1916. The Sisters are reticent about the great trials and “many desperate happenings” that awaited them, but by the Jubilee in 1930 they could look upon them as being in the past and stability as being reasonably attained.

After a long succession of S. Luke’s Days, Mother Millicent Mary of the Will of God, by a miraculous renewal of strength in her old age, celebrated her last S. Luke’s Day in 1955—it was the Golden Jubilee. At the end of that long day of festivity she remarked, “Wasn’t it kind of God to give me such a happy day.” She died January 19, 1956. Almost immediately the Society found itself branching out into new life, for in September 1956 the Chapter decided to begin a new foundation at Masite in Basutoland, South Africa. In May 1957 the Mother Superior and five Sisters left for what has now become the Priory of Our Lady Mother of Mercy.

The Bishop of Basutoland had invited them, and Fr. James, an African priest, had gathered eight African postulants who had prayed and waited for the Sisters to come. So had the local congregation prayed, one of whom said when the first novice was clothed, “I am quite ready to go now when the Lord wants me. We have prayed so long for a Community to come here and now I have seen it with my own eyes”. It is, of course, amazing to observe the faith of the congregation and of the Bishop in longing for an Enclosed Community. In a diocese where so much active mission work is needed, it would have been easy to expect another sort of community. But in the sermon preached at the dedication of the chapel at Masite, the Bishop plainly reveals what such a Community means. First, the Community is a place where the offering of worship is continually made, that offering of the Whole Christ, Head and Members: so mankind’s chief duty is done and the Church strengthened and built up.   Second, the Community is a witness to the “claim of God upon man’s total obedience.” The Community creates and shows forth; it is the word of witness that proclaims and judges, and the word of silence that works secretly like leaven in the Body of Christ that is in the world.

The racial problem has its ascertainable causes, economic, political, social. But it has another aspect, dark, puzzling, and irrational. This is the place of spiritual combat where mythological language alone can describe the struggle of love to subdue hatred. And it is in this place that the enclosed convent sets up the camp of love. The ideal of the Society in Africa is clearly stated by Mother Mary St. Agnes: “We are not just an English community to which Africans aspire to belong: we believe we are called to be a multiracial community to which Africans can make their own particular contribution according to the grace God has given them”.

Of course, to read the reports of the Sisters at Masite is to know it is all another world: not only English and contemplative, but African as well! Novices carrying pots of things on their heads with all that grace: “Stand up, stand up for JESUS” sung at a Clothing during Vespers from the Roman Breviary; a jug of the cow’s milk laid at the Bambino’s feet in the Crib; and the cow’s name, Ludmila, way down there; the delicious incongruity of the local witch doctor making the Sisters a present of £2 and three pumpkins at the dedication of the chapel.

Clearly, the English Sisters found it another world, even though they had studied the language, Sesotho, and the culture long before they got there. “We are still ignorant of what they really think,” wrote one, referring to the postulants. The Sisters could hardly be accused of having closed minds or being set in English ways; rather they were content to wait for African ways to reveal themselves. The excerpts from the Sisters’ letters, published in the Society’s magazine Sitio, show this reticence to judge, coupled with constant enquiry and most spontaneous ability to appreciate the goodness of others no matter how foreign the ways it may express itself. They immediately incorporated Sesotho prayers and hymn tunes into the liturgy and built a nice chapel of local stone in an appropriate style. The Religious spirit is so adaptable, or ought to be, bring forth from the Sisters what can only be called Christian childlikeness in receiving gifts from an outstation congregation of grass brooms, a colored clay pot, and five lively hens, with the comment, “they are such a generous people.” Then out into the fields to work the crops and gather cow manure alongside the native postulants in unaffected and eloquent equality, a witness to the charity of Christ that caused much comment in the village. The Sisters intend to live on what they raise. It is a real poverty, but nothing new to the Society which, in Africa, is only drawing on its earliest experiences: “our Community started with the poor and for the poor, and to begin again with Christ’s poor in such poverty and obscurity draws us strongly.”

Masite is a very young foundation still, and one does not know whether the native postulants will survive; several have found they had no vocation and others have come instead. Yet South Africa is so often brought to our attention, especially as Anglicans, that we might hope to God for the growth and stability of the Society of the Precious Blood in Basutoland. For then will the fire of adoration burn in that darkness and the voice of intercession be heard day and night. The Society aims at uninterrupted intercession, and that is now the practice at Burnham.

The dedication of the Society to the Precious Blood is rich in meaning. One significance is the reconciliation of mankind, as a Sister writes:

This is our vision—Africans and Europeans pleading the Precious Blood together “to break down the middle wall of partition … by the Blood of Christ . . . That He may make in Himself of twain one new man, reconciling both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby” (Eph. 2:14-16). Surely that is the answer to the problem of apartheid.

This reconciliation is furthered by prayer, among other things. The Sisters in Masite are, perhaps, in as “useless” a state as our Lord nailed to the Cross. So from their enclosure, as from the Cross, rises up the prayer of intercession, “Father, forgive them,” a perfect prayer with which to combat apartheid.

But another significance of the dedication to the Precious Blood, and’ one dear to the Sisters, is the generosity which is symbolized by the freely flowing blood of the Cross. The Sisters enter into Christ’s heavenly work of intercession by the offering of themselves to the Divine Will; that is Gethsemane’s sweat of blood that leads to the prayer, “Not my will but Thine.” It is the generosity with which this self-offering is made that keeps it from being something masochistic and transforms it into something liberating and joyful. “I will very gladly spend and be spent for you” (2 Cor. 12:15) is the Society’s motto.

It is hard to write about a life so secret and so shy, as the inmost reality of all love is secret and shy. How helpful is the letter written from the sister of one of the African postulants who had asked the Sisters to pray that her son would write to her:

Beloved Sister,

Will you thank the Sisters of the Precious Blood of JESUS for me, because I had a letter from my son and £3, and he says he wants to give me £3 every month, and at Christmas he will come to repair his father’s grave. I thank you, the Sisters of the Precious Blood of our Lord, very much. May God have mercy on you, may He bless you, and may He cause the light of His countenance to shine upon you, that we, being people who do not know the power of prayer, may come to know it through you. I am very glad because the Son of God has found a place where He can lay His Head, with you, the Religious of the Precious Blood. Oh, remember me before the Lord always.

Cowley, Vol. XXXII, No. 2, pp. 44-52.

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New Stirrings in the Danish Church, by C. J. de Catanzaro (1961)

FOR some time past Anglicans have been aware of a Catholic movement in the Church of Sweden and a courageous struggle not only to preserve the rather considerable Catholic survivals within that Church, but also to revive what has been long neglected and forgotten. That a similar movement should have been launched in the sister church of Denmark will surprise many, even those who have had knowledge of that church and contacts with it.

The Danish Church is, in many respects, in a similar position as that of Sweden. Both churches are not only established, but State-dominated; a condition which is aggravated in Denmark by the absence of even that limited self-government which the Swedish Church enjoys. In both countries more than nine-tenths of the population adheres to the State Church and pays the special church tax; in neither is more than a small percentage, perhaps one person out of twenty, active in the Church’s life and worship. The extent of State control was shown in 1947, when the Danish government authorized the ordination of women, a step recently followed in Sweden as well as Norway. In neither country was this desired by the Church, nor has opposition been sufficient to prevent such ordinations on the part of compliant prelates.

Despite the loss of the apostolic succession in 1536, Denmark has hitherto exemplified a very conservative type of Lutheranism. In the externals of worship tradition has been remarkably tenacious, with crucifixes and chasubles, candles, chanting of the service, and the sign of the cross, remaining the norm, and the Sunday morning service commonly findings its climax in communion. The actual liturgy, however, has suffered severely, not least from eighteenth century rationalism, retaining a bare outline of the pre-Reformation Mass, which suffices both for morning and evening services.

Many Danish churchmen, though alarmed at the religious apathy of most of their countrymen, are content that things should remain as they are within the Church. For them a rich tradition of hymnody, borne by writers such as Thomas Kingo in the seventeenth century, Hans Adolf Brorson in the eighteenth, and Nicolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig in the nineteenth century, amply supplies the deficiencies of the liturgy. For the devout Dane his hymn book is as important for his devotional life as the Prayer Book for an Anglican.   Others, however, disquieted at the growing secularization of life in Denmark, have begun to wonder how long the Church will be safe at the hands of the secular State. A growing ecumenical awareness is opening minds to the possibility of learning from their fellow-Christians elsewhere.

Accordingly, during the past generation, there has in some circles taken place a rediscovery of the Church’s ancient tradition. Some of it has been inspired by Anglican contacts, some by contacts with Eastern Orthodoxy or awareness of new movements in the Roman Church in France and Germany. More direct influences have been the German “Hochkirchliche Bewegung”, and not least the movement in the Swedish Church. The divine office, disused since the sixteenth century, has been revived, partly based on the Swedish models, but drawing no little inspiration from Anglican office books such as “Hours of Prayer” and “Prime and Hours,” the tentative experiments of some thirty years bearing fruit this year in the publication of a complete Danish breviary, “Dansk Tidebog,” with forms for the complete cycle of eight offices. In this work “Theologisk Oratorium,” a society of clergy and theological students, have played a leading part. The “Hojmesse,” “high mass,” as the morning service still is called, has not been neglected, and enrichment has quietly been carried out, to which the official restoration of the occasional use of the Nicene Creed and that of the Kyrie and Gloria in a couple of cathedrals has given encouragement.

This liturgical interest, however, has proved to be merely the symptom of deeper and more theological stirrings. Those desirous of a Catholic restoration saw in the ordination of women in 1948 and subsequent years a danger signal, and began to rally. This resulted a couple of years ago in the appearance of a quarterly, “Re-formatio”, under the editorship of Pastor Per Dolmer of Laurbjerg, and in a meeting of clergy in the spring of 1960 at Virring in Jutland, where the incumbent, Pastor Borge Barsoe, has been a notable pioneer in liturgical renewal.

A larger meeting of both clergy and laity from all over Denmark, held September 3-5 last year, may be held to have launched the movement in earnest, and probably will be succeeded by a series of such meetings. It was held at the parish church of Risskov, a suburb of Aarhus, the principal city of Jutland, with nearly a hundred participants, including members of two religious communities of women founded within recent years. Through the kindness of Danish friends the author was able to attend.

Liturgical worship occupied a prominent place and sounded the keynote of the meetings.   Each day began with a sung Mass, with sermon and with general communion, celebrated according to a considerably enriched rite, and the offices of None, Vespers, and Compline were sung later in the day. On the first morning the Mass was of the Annunciation of Our Lady, with the preacher stressing the Incarnation as the basic fact of the Church’s life and worship. At the Sunday mass, celebrated with deacon and sub-deacon, the preacher presented the healing of the deaf-mute as God’s restoration to man of the power to hear God’s word and to offer Him praise. On the Monday morning the theme of the Mass was the Unity of the Church, the preacher stressing the Church’s mission as the continuation of the mission of God Incarnate from the womb of the Blessed Virgin. Provision was made for the sacrament of Penance, in accordance with older Lutheran tradition.

The fare of the afternoon and evening meetings was solid theology, with papers on “the Need for a Theology of Creation”, “the Mass — the Church’s Service”, “the Universal Priesthood of Christians”, and “the Catholicity of the Danish Church — Presupposition and Obligation”. The papers and the discussion showed clearly a strongly-felt need for the reassertion of Catholic faith and life in the Danish Church, as well as a conviction that this was implied, at least in principle, in the Confessio Augustana and other formularies of the Danish Church.

On the final day the clergy of the area were invited to hear the case of the movement and to state their reactions. Here some strong criticisms were voiced, directed against the stress on grace as being divine power as well as divine favour, and on the visible Church, no less than smaller matters such as the use of the term “Catholic” and the revival of ancient ceremonies, as being un-Lutheran, and were answered with patience and charity.

A movement has thus made its appearance, which may well be of great importance for the future of the Danish church. It is bound to face external difficulties, such, as hostility and attempts at repression. Of the internal difficulties it would seem that, sooner or later, the need will have to be faced for a restoration of Catholic orders. Those who believe in their call to exercise a Catholic ministry will not be able to rest content with rationalizations such as the theory that a true priesthood was continued despite the lapse of a true episcopacy. Here is a movement which Anglican Catholics would do well to watch with prayerful interest and active encouragement.

—Cowley, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 135-137.

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The Last Sixty Years, by the Rev. H. Ellsworth Chandlee (1961)

“I SOLEMNLY declare that today we definitely secede from the Church of Rome, and renounce allegiance to the Vatican, and . . . proclaim ourselves members of a Christian, Catholic, and Independent Church.” With the proclamation containing these words made by the distinguished Filipino patriot Isabelo de los Reyes, Sr. before a large convention in Manila on August 2, 1902, the history of the service of the Philippine Independent Church to the Filipino people began.

The establishment of a national Catholic Church in the Philippines was part of the struggle for Filipino independence which took place at the turn of the century and was the culmination of a devoted effort on the part of Filipino Churchmen to secure much needed reforms in the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines. It was not until it became entirely evident that no action for reform on the part of the papacy was to be forthcoming that the Filipino Churchmen broke their allegiance to the Roman Church. In the days before the breach of communion, Gregorio Aglipay had been the leader in a national council of Filipino clergy which had met and drawn up a provisional constitution so that the spiritual needs of the Filipinos might be met under the exigencies of revolution. Aglipay had become the beloved spiritual leader of the people in their struggle for freedom, and he was unanimously chosen to be the first Supreme Bishop of the new Independent Church, and prevailed upon to accept election despite his own misgivings.

Under the Spanish regime no Filipino had ever been appointed to a position of responsibility in the Church, nor had any Filipino been made a Bishop. Therefore at the outset the Church faced the problem of the continuation of Apostolic Succession. Because the urgent needs of the times seemed to demand it, and because apostolic consecration seemed impossible to obtain, Aglipay was consecrated by the laying on of hands of priests, and thus the Apostolic Succession was lost. Agjipay recognized full well the deficiency in orders and made every effort to secure valid Orders, seeking to negotiate with the American Episcopal Church and with the Old Catholics. But the unsettled conditions of the period and confusion in understanding prevented his requests being met. It was the clearly stated intention of the new Church to remain steadfastly Catholic in doctrine, discipline, and worship, and to reform the Church of superstition and abuses.   Further, the new Church was to be a truly national Church, administered by Filipinos. The proclamation of the Independent Church was received with great enthusiasm, and it is estimated that over three million Filipinos joined the movement.

Among those who were deeply interested in the Independent Church was Wm. H. Taft. The leaders of the Church responded to his friendship, and under Taft’s influence, the teachings of unitarianism were brought to bear upon Aglipay and several of the Independiente leaders. Unitarian doctrines began to be reflected in the statements of these leaders. The Oficio Divino printed in Spain and adopted as an official book of the Church in 1906, was a reformed liturgy, strongly unitarian in tone, denying several important catholic teachings, while adhering closely to the external forms of catholic services. Unitarianism never infiltrated deeply into the thought of the Church, however, and remained a surface influence, the rank and file of the clergy and people remaining orthodox in belief.

Other grave problems met the Independent Church. A supreme court decision in 1906 meant the loss to the Roman Church of all the Independent Church buildings and properties. There was a staggering shortage of trained clergy. The membership of the Church was largely drawn from the less wealthy, and financial problems were many. The Church was subjected to virulent and never-ceasing antagonistic propaganda and to proselytization by both the Roman Church and the Protestant denominations. The Church lacked schools and other institutions. She suffered grievously during the Japanese occupation, in large part because of her dedication to Filipino freedom, and counts many martyrs during the terrible days of invasion.

A new era of progress and reconstruction dawned with the election of Mons. Isabelo de los Reyes, Jr. as Supreme Bishop in 1946.’ Immediately upon taking office, with the support of an overwhelming majority of the clergy and people, he undertook a broad program of reconstruction and reform, and his enthusiasm soon became contagious. Everywhere renewed zeal and advance became evident. A revision of the constitution and canons was carried out, and a soundly orthodox declaration of faith was issued, removing any possible doctrinal ambiguity. Efforts were made to bring the Independent Church out of her isolation into the mainstream of the life of the universal Church. Chief among these was the petition to the American Church for the bestowal of Apostolic Succession. The petition was granted, and on April 7, 1948,   in   St.   Luke’s,   Pro-Cathedral in Manila,   Bishops   de los Reyes, Aguilar, and Bayaca of the Independent Church were consecrated, Bishop Binsted of the Philippine Episcopal Church acting as Consecrator; Bishop Wilner, the Suffragan of the Philippine Episcopal Church and Bishop Kennedy of Honolulu were the Co-consecrators. The three Bishops consecrated at this Service proceeded to regularize the Orders in the Independent Church. It was asked that candidates of the Independent Church be trained at St. Andrew’s Seminary, and today more than half of the men enrolled in the Seminary are Independientes.

Unfortunately a small number of bishops and clergy refused to accept the policies of advance, and a dispute over administrative matters developed, which cost the Church much in patience and in litigation in the courts until it was finally settled by a decision of the Supreme Court in 1955. Most of the dissidents have been reconciled to the Church. Recently the Independent Church carried out a painstaking and thorough revision of its liturgy, and a new Missal and Ritual are now in process of printing. This revised liturgy carefully preserves the best traditions of the Independent Church, and also draws freely upon the Book of Common Prayer.

At the last meeting of the Supreme Council of Bishops and of the Asamblea Magna of the Independent Church a historic step was taken. The Independent Church has petitioned the American Episcopal Church to enter into a concordat of intercommunion, based upon the concordat made some years ago between the Anglican Churches and the Old Catholic Churches. If this concordat can be entered into, a significant step both in ecumenical relations and in the whole future work of the Church in the Philippines will have become a reality, and there is a deepening sense among Filipino Churchmen of the promptings of the Holy Spirit in this new opportunity for unity and the advance of Christ’s Church in this part of the world. Today, the Independent Catholic Church of the Philippines is more than two million strong, steadily seeking to renew her zeal and to overcome her weaknesses and deficiencies and to do God’s work boldly and faithfully, bearing witness to the faith, life, and worship of the Catholic Church independent of Rome, a truly Filipino national Church.

Editor’s Note: The resolution proposing this concordat was passed by the unanimous vote of General Convention in the recent meeting at Detroit.

Cowley, Vol. XXXI, No. 4, pp. 132-134

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John Hamilton Cowper Johnson, Priest, S.S.J.E. (1960)

ON the second of June, 1877, there was born at the parsonage in Pulloxhill, Bedfordshire, England to the Reverend William Cowper Johnson and his wife Emily Barham, a son. He was baptized John Hamilton Cowper. The Johnsons belonged to a network of clerical families of the Diocese of Norwich. One of the best known forebears was Johnny Johnson the loyal friend and guardian of the poet Cowper. Another forebear was the famous John Donne, Dean of St. Paul’s, London, and Poet (1571-1631.) While Hamilton, as he was called in the family, was still very young, the family moved back into the Diocese of Norwich. The parishes of Welborne and Yaxham had been in the family for several generations. Johnny Johnson had built the very large Rectory at Yaxham when he was caring for the mentally unbalanced poet Cowper. It was in this house that the young Johnsons, four brothers, grew up. Their parents were first cousins. Mrs. Johnson’s father had been Rector of the nearby parish of Welbourne. This parish was afterwards united with Yaxham under one priest. Hamilton’s first recollections were of the Norfolk countryside, of the ancient city and cathedral of Norwich, and of seaside places such as Sherringham, where relatives were the local incumbents of the churches. He was sent, like all sons of gentlemen in those days, to private preparatory schools. These were terribly rough, and the sensitive and rather delicate boy had nothing but memories of bullying, cold, hunger, and loneliness in them. No wonder that he seemed not to be of a scholarly bent. It was decided that when he had reached his teens he should go to London and live in lodgings at Heme Hill while he learned to be a telegraph operator. He was sent to Malta in 1894 to pursue that work. His recollections of Malta were his happiest ones. The bright sun, warmth, romantic surroundings, pleased him. He made friends with the Anglican Chaplain and it was through him that his mind began to turn to the sacred ministry as his vocation. He had been confirmed in 1892 while in London at St. Paul’s Cathedral by Bishop Frederick Temple. In Malta he saw something of the local Catholicism, but only from the outside. He heard the singing and saw the processions and was attracted by the ceremonial. Through family connections he was able to enter New College, Oxford, where he was graduated in 1902, after which he went to Cuddesdon Theological College for a year in divinity. He was ordained Deacon in 1903 by Bishop Edward Talbot in Southwark Cathedral with the title of Wimbledon parish and Priest in 1904, by the same Bishop. Remington Rocksborough Smith, afterwards Bishop of Algoma in Canada, was the incumbent. There was what would now be considered a large staff of clergy who cared for several churches in the town. At Oxford Hamilton had come under the influence of the Rev. Stuckey Coles, where he had also seen something of the Cowley Fathers. So in 1906 he went to the Mission House to try his vocation in the Society of St. John the Evangelist. The Father Founder, Richard Meux Benson, was still alive. Father Hollings was the Novice Master. Father Burton, afterwards Bishop of Nassau, was also in the Novitiate at the same time.

Father Powell, S.S.J.E. Superior in Boston visited England a few years after Fr. Johnson’s profession in 1909, and he suggested to the Father Superior General, Father Bull, that Father Johnson be assigned to the Mission House in Boston which was at that time a branch house of Cowley. So in 1916 Father Johnson settled down to a long ministry at St. John’s Church, Bowdoin Street. His most fruitful work was done with individuals. He spent many hours in the old Church into which all sorts and conditions of men, women, and children wandered. He would make friends with them, and many were brought to Baptism, Confirmation, and Confession. The Old Howard Theatre, a not very reputable place of entertainment, was only a couple of blocks away. Those who performed there often lodged in the grubby houses in the neighborhood of Bowdoin Street. Two women tightrope dancers came to the church one day seeking one of the Fathers. They had been brought up as Mennonites, and so had not been baptized in infancy. A friend of these sisters had said one day “Aren’t you scared of being killed when you are not even Baptized?” They had accordingly gone to the minister of the Tremont Baptist Temple seeking Baptism. They were highly insulted at his insisting that they must give up their profession. Mrs. Delmonico, the woman who kept the lodging house where they were staying, said to them “Go over to the Fathers on Bowdoin Street. They won’t treat you like that.” As a result Fr. Johnson brought these women into the Church in which they became very devout communicants. They gave us their itinerary, and we looked up the addresses of churches in the places where they performed, so that they could go to church each Sunday. That is just one example of Father Johnson’s ministry. There were families and children on and around Bowdoin Street who were devoted to him, and he to them. He was nervous about preaching from notes only. He hesitated a good deal for words. At one time, when Fr. Powell was away in England we got Fr. Johnson to write out short sermons and to read them. They were gems of devotion and of lovely English. The congregation appreciated them. Unfortunately he was teased out of keeping it up. He was always an ardent Latin scholar. He loved the Latin classics. His devotional life was built up upon the Latin Collects. He never tired of finding in them that primitive evangelical teaching about the one great sacrament and mystery of our holy religion. By 1941 he was no longer able to carry on his ministry at the Mission House, and he moved to the Monastery at Cambridge where he was a joy and help to the Fathers and Brothers, and where he heard the Confessions of many priests and layfolk who sought him out there.

Father Johnson was a great believer in reading good novels. He found that they kept him in touch with ordinary and extraordinary people. Through them he was better able to understand the difficulties of those who came to him for counsel. His. acquaintance was not limited to the simple folk around Bowdoin Street. He was a close friend of Ralph Adams Cram the architect and of his family, and went with them in 1921 on a journey to Spain, acting as ,their chaplain. Prof. Chandler Post of Harvard and Thomas Whittemore, who restored the famous mosaics at Sancta Sophia, Istanbul, were close friends, who valued Father Johnson’s advice, not only on spiritual, but on scholarly matters. He carried on a long correspondence with Rose Macaulay the novelist, and was the means of bringing her back into the religion of the Church.

He had his foibles. He really seemed to enjoy worrying about practical matters. He was devoted to the Monastery cat, and could never settle down for the night until he was sure that spoiled animal was in and fed. He greatly disliked having a number of the Brethren away from home especially if they were in a car. He was sure they would all be killed! He had no use for either the modern pronunciation of Latin as used in schools, or of the Roman “chees and shaws”. He pronounced Latin in the old-fashioned English way, just as though it were English. He could not believe that anyone could appreciate Latin poetry unless he used this method.

Father Johnson gladly gave his time and attention to individuals. His counsel was always sound and based on his praying and thinking upon the Mystery of our Holy Religion.

“Then doth the Cross of Christ work fruitfully
Within our hearts, when we love harmlessly
That cross’s pictures much, and with more care
That Cross’s children, which our Crosses are.”

John Donne, Divine Poems, “the Cross.”

Cowley, Vol. XXXII, No. 3.

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Was born at Easton, Pa.; son of Benjamin and Ann Elizabeth (Yard) Oberly. His ancestors came from Berne, Switzerland, in 1735, and settled in Northampton county, Pa. He was graduated from Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., B.A., 1865, M.A., 1868, D.D., 1899, and studied in the Berkeley Divinity School, Middletown, Conn. He was curate of the Church of the Nativity, South Bethlehem, Pa., 1867; of Trinity Church, New York, 1868-69; rector of Holy Cross Church, Warrensburgh, N.Y., 1869-73; Grace church, Cherry Valley, N. Y., 1873-74; of Trinity Church, West Troy, N.Y., 1874-79, and of Christ Church, Elizabeth, N.J., since 1879. Dr. Oberly was a member of the Standing committee of the Diocese of New Jersey, 1892-1906; deputy to the General Convention, 1901, 1904, and 1910. He is author of a series of Lessons on the Church Catechism; a Volume, The Testimony of the Prayer Book to the Continuity of the Church; numerous essays and published sermons and contributions to magazines and newspapers. He is a member of the American Church Union, the Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches Union, the Executive Committee of the Church Congress, the Commission on Christian Unity of General Convention, the Corporation for the Relief of Widows and Orphans of Clergymen of New Jersey, the Charity Organization Society, and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children of Elizabeth, N.J. He is a member of the Catholic Clerical Union of New York city, and the Psi Upsilon Club of New York city. Dr. Oberly married in New York City, October 2, 1871, Jane Averell Laidley, and of that union there were three children, all now deceased.

Distinguished Successful Americans of Our Day (Chicago: Successful Americans, 1911), p. 268.

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Death of Dr. H. H. Oberly (1914)

The Rev. Henry Harrison Oberly, D.D., rector of Christ church, Elizabeth, New Jersey, for almost thirty-five years, passed peacefully away at the rectory on the morning of March 19 after a six weeks’ illness. Though not in good health since midsummer, no alarm had been felt until less than two weeks before his end came. His long rectorate has made his parish represent in an unusual degree the strong, loyal Churchmanship of its rector. It is now one of the largest parishes in the diocese. As speaker and writer he has often been able to bring forward clear and convincing solutions of controversies and discussions of policy which have made him a valuable member of committees and conventions. He served for many years on the Standing Committee, and was deputy to General Convention in 1901, 1904 and 1910. He has also taken a prominent part in local and secular affairs, particularly in helping to abolish race-track gambling and more recently in the work of the Charity Organization Society, in which he held responsible offices.

Dr. Oberly was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, in 1841. He was prepared for college at Racine by the Rev. Dr. James De Koven, and graduated from Trinity College in 1865 and from Berkeley Divinity School in 1867. He was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Williams and served for a short time as curate at the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and for two years at Trinity church, New York City. He was advanced to the priesthood in 1869 by Bishop Horatio Potter. He was made rector of Christ church, Elizabeth, New Jersey, in June, 1879. The degree of Doctor in Divinity was conferred by Trinity College in 1899. Dr. and Mrs. Oberly were on board the Cunard steamship “Slavonia” in 1909 which was wrecked on a small island of the Azores, from which the passengers were rescued after much peril and hardship by steamers summoned by wireless messages.

The funeral services were held at Christ church on March 21. At 10:30 the church was crowded with a congregation which represented the municipal government, civic organizations, the parish and diocese. The Burial Office was said by the Rev. L. E. Hubbard of St. John’s church, the Rev. W. S. Baer of Trinity church, Elizabeth, and the Rev. E. P. Little. At the Communion service which followed, the celebrant was the Rev. E. Briggs Nash, of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, whose early ministry was spent as curate under Dr. Oberly in Christ church. The Epistle was read by the Rev. J. S. Miller of Newark, and the Gospel by the Rev. A. B. Baker, D.D., of Princeton, president of the Standing Committee. The interment was made privately in Evergreen Cemetery later in the day.

The Churchman, March 28, 1914, p. 408.

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