Lent Madness: Brigid of Kildare vs. Egeria

March 31, 2015 Comments Off on Lent Madness: Brigid of Kildare vs. Egeria

Lent Madness 2015Francis trounced Molly Brant on Lent Madness site, running away with 71% of the vote. On the St. Luke’s site, Francis was the overwhelming winner, winning a whopping 91% of the vote.

This match up is Brigid of Kildare vs. Egeria. Winner of this will face off Francis of Assisi for a shot at the Golden Halo!

Remember: vote at Lent Madness here AND ALSO below the saint bios here so we see how the readers of the St. Luke in the Fields blog compare! Results of this match up will be reported the next day.

Bridget_Kildare2-240x300Brigid of Kildare

I fear I must trouble you with a story.

I was ordained to the diaconate on February 1. I learned that it was St. Brigid’s day when I was filling out the form for my ordination certificate, but I didn’t think much of this — merely that she sounded Irish or something, which might please my grandmother.

During the service, several things went awry. Not so badly as to spoil the day (it was glorious) but just as to be disorienting. So when it came time for the bishop to lay hands on our heads, I guess he was a mite flustered. He put his hands on my head (I came first, alphabetically), and said the prayer of ordination, ending with “By the power vested in me, I now ordain you a bishop….
no, wait….
a priest…..
no, wait….
Look, I’m just going to start all over again.”

Everyone got a good chuckle, and he took a breath and finally ordained me to the correct order of ministry. Thank the good Lord.

Afterwards, at the reception, my presenting priest commented to me that this was a really appropriate occurrence for Brigid’s day. I looked at her blankly, and she smiled, and told me to do some research.

Sure enough, I discovered that Brigid has much to commend her, even besides her penchant for microbrewing before it was popular. Her leadership, her wisdom, her generosity, her tenacity in what she knew was right (she marched across Ireland and back!) are rare and valuable indeed...Read more here.

egeria-2 (1)Egeria

Holy Week, as observed through liturgy, changes a person. From the shouting, singing frenzy of Palm Sunday, to the poignant movements of Maundy Thursday, and the descent into the darkness, to the bleak desolation of Good Friday, to the expectant waiting and watching of the Vigil, which finally explodes into sunlight and the joy of Easter. One week captures all human emotion and wraps it in prayer.

Jerusalem, too, changes a person. There is a saying you hear when you visit on pilgrimage: “Go to Jerusalem for a week, you write a novel. Stay for two — you cannot write even a sentence.” It’s a comment on the difficulties of conveying the depth of the experience, the complexities of people, the intensity of faith in this place. The heat of Jerusalem dries up your words.

Egeria, however, held onto her words. She not only held onto her words, she gifted us with words that would echo down the centuries and affect each and every one of us.

When she went on pilgrimage, she wasn’t content with a surface view of the things she saw. She asked questions, she took notes, she recorded everything, she sent her observations back home so everyone there could share her joy...Read more here.

Lent Madness: Francis of Assisi vs. Molly Brant

March 30, 2015 Comments Off on Lent Madness: Francis of Assisi vs. Molly Brant

Lent Madness 2015Egeria eeked out a win 51% over Frederick Douglass’s 49% on Lent Madness site. On the St. Luke’s site, Egeria was the overwhelming winner, winning 87% of the vote.

Here we are at the Faithful Four. This match up is Francis of Assisi vs. Molly Brant.

Remember: vote at Lent Madness here AND ALSO below the saint bios here so we see how the readers of the St. Luke in the Fields blog compare! Results of this match up will be reported the next day.

St.-Francis-with-the-animals-300x213Francis of Assisi

Our church garden is well-used holy space by all of God’s creation. One afternoon in October, members of our church gather with our companion animals and ask God’s blessing on these precious beings of God who share their lives with us.

Over the years, more and more neighbors of many faiths join us, and what began as a small gathering has grown into a lively and sacred time filled with the chorus of barks and meows. Our St. Francis statue, nestled in a corner of the church garden, stands in witness to this holy gathering, reminding us of the man who saw God fully visible in every aspect of holy Creation.

Francis, for his many gifts to the Christian faith, is likely most well-known as the namesake of the Blessing of Animals. I suspect Francis, who spent his life responding to the great generosity of God in all he encountered, would probably offer he was just stating the obvious: that God is present in all that surrounds and sustains us and of course we should offer thanks and prayers.

Francis’ most well-known prayer which he actually wrote, Canticle of Brother Sun, is a song to God who has so deeply entered creation that everything is connected in mystical union. Francis saw everything in creation related to one another and deserving of honor and love. The words remind us that no part of creation is too small or too great, too insignificant or too vast, to stand separate from each other. Brother Sun and Sister Moon are honored. Sister Water, Brother Fire, and Sister Mother Earth are all part of the unity of God. Even Sister Death, “from whom no living man can escape” is praised as part of God’s creative experience...Read more here.

mbrant-bio-portraitbMolly Brant

The first time I read Molly Brant’s history, I was immediately struck by her ability to navigate between two vastly different cultures and political systems. As one historian said, she was a “bridge between two worlds.” In the midst of our currently fractured political system, Brant’s life illustrates that there is another way — perhaps not a perfect way — but a means nonetheless of how people of differing cultural and political systems can strive to co-exist in times of uncertainty. Molly’s faithfulness to her Christian faith and her Mohawk family shaped her commitment to harmonious relations even amidst a war that sought to attain the allegiances of Native American tribes no matter the cost to tribal culture and way of life.

Naturally, many debates have circled around Molly’s Loyalist leanings. However, one must remember that history is often on the side of the winner. Were we to step into Molly’s shoes, our view and esteem of her might be a bit different.

Indeed, Molly’s life causes us to examine our own interpretations, leanings, and motivations and how they impact others.

Ultimately, Molly’s goal was to preserve the cultural vitality and independence...Read more here.

Lent Madness: Frederick Douglass vs. Egeria

March 27, 2015 Comments Off on Lent Madness: Frederick Douglass vs. Egeria

Lent Madness 2015Molly Brant defeated Bernard Mizeki 59% to 41% Lent Madness site. On the St. Luke’s site, Molly Brant swept the floor with Bernard Mizeki, winning 83% of the vote.

The next match up is Frederick Douglass vs. Egeria.

Remember: vote at Lent Madness here AND ALSO below the saint bios here so we see how the readers of the St. Luke in the Fields blog compare! Results of this match up will be reported the next day.

Cedar-Hill-300x199Frederick Douglass

Every tourist to Washington, D.C., visits the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and Capitol Building. Such sights are classic but they’re so…pedestrian. If you want a bird’s eye view of the city and an opportunity to imagine a day in the life of one of North America’s greatest embodiments of faithfulness, wisdom, and activism, head south to Cedar Hill, Frederick Douglass’ historic and beautifully restored property in Washington’s Anacostia neighborhood. There you’ll have a chance to walk his expertly manicured lawn, which Douglass tended and on which he lifted weights each morning.

Yes, my friends, Douglass was a fitness buff and a naturalist who tended to his body and garden with great affection and detail.
Indeed, he was a well-rounded man long before “well-rounded” became a buzzword on college applications...Read more here.


Egeria, kindly recollect, was a Spanish nun who travelled to Palestine, Turkey, and Greece from 381-384 CE, and wrote letters home describing her adventures. As befits one of the first Pioneers of PenPals, Spain issued a stamp for her in 1984.

Somewhat confusingly, there is also a tropical aquarium plant named for her. Because
every trip around the bowl is a pilgrimage for a goldfish who can only remember 30 seconds worth of stuff!

Once she returned home, however, I feel confident in asserting that Egeria had a garment similar to this to notify people of her travels. Egeria is invoked as an authority by the custodian Franciscans who live in and care fore the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and they invite you...Read more here.

Lent Madness: Bernard Mizeki vs. Molly Brant

March 26, 2015 Comments Off on Lent Madness: Bernard Mizeki vs. Molly Brant

Lent Madness 2015Brigid of Kildare prevailed against Kamehameha IV, 55% to 45%  Lent Madness site. On the St. Luke’s site, not surprisingly Brigid also rocked the house with 78% of the vote.

The next match up is Bernard Mizeki vs. Molly Brant.

Remember: vote at Lent Madness here AND ALSO below the saint bios here so we see how the readers of the St. Luke in the Fields blog compare! Results of this match up will be reported the next day.

mug-150x150Bernard Mizeki

While not as plentiful as, say, Francis or Brigid saintly kitsch, those seeking South African martyr Bernard Mizeki items are not left completely bereft. If you too want to inspire thousands of people to love God and the Gospel get your Bernard M
izeki t-shirts and mug — find either in this fashionable design.

Although Bernard was known to be sensitive to the ways of the local Spirit religion, he once angered local religious leaders when he carved crosses into some trees sacred to their ancestral spirits....Read more here.

440px-Joseph_Brant_by_Gilbert_Stuart_1786-238x300Molly Brant

Long before Sheryl Sandberg wrote Lean In and got the internet all abuzz, Molly Brant was already leaning in.

Long before networking became a skill at which extroverts excelled and introverts avoided, Molly Brant was already establishing connections and making deals.

Long before people turned to HGTV andArchitectural Digest for design inspiration, Molly Brant was already wowing British and French nobility.

…And long before Route 5S became an often-traveled highway in upstate New York, Molly Brant was walking and riding its dusty paths as a business leader and a mediator.....Read more here.

Lent Madness: Juan Diego vs. Frederick Douglass

March 17, 2015 § 1 Comment

Lent Madness 2015Molly Brant eked out a victory on the Lent Madness site winning 51%. But on the St. Luke’s site, Cuthbert won 54% to 46%.

The next match up in the Saintly Sixteen is Juan Diego vs. Frederick Douglass.

Remember: vote at Lent Madness here AND ALSO below the saint bios here so we see how the readers of the St. Luke in the Fields blog compare! Results of this match up will be reported the next day.

unnamed-227x300Juan Diego

Juan Diego, raised according to the Aztec pagan religion, showed an unusual and mystical sense of life even prior to hearing the Gospel from missionaries. It is said that before the famous apparition of the Virgin Mary, Juan Diego was a virtuous man who led such an exemplary life that people often asked him to intercede for them in prayer.

On December 9, 1531, Juan Diego experienced that apparition in which he asked the Virgin her name. She responded in his native language of Nahuatl, “Tlecuatlecupe,” which means “the one who crushes the head of the serpent” (side note: the serpent was a very important symbol in Aztec religion! Coincidence?!?) “Tlecuatlecupe” when correctly pronounced, sounds very similar to “Guadalupe.”Read more here.

Douglass-at-work-207x300Frederick Douglass

Throughout Frederick Douglass’ life, literature and Holy Scripture remained an ever-present force. After his escape from slavery, Douglass, who was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, renamed himself after a character in Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake. His sense of mission was inspired by the prophetic words of Old Testament Scripture.

Regarding the Civil War, Douglass wrote, “Civil war was not a mere strife for territory and dominion, but a contest of civilization against barbarism.” After the Civil War, Douglass brought attention to the rise of lynchings in the Deep South and the ongoing racism that prevented the economic and social advancement of African Americans. He was also an outspoken advocate for female suffrage. Hours before his death Douglass stood alongside suffragist Susan B. Anthony and Methodist minister and physician Anna Howard Shaw as they rallied for women’s voting rights. Regarding the matter, Douglass once wrote in his newspaper The North Star, “Right is of no Sex — Truth is of no Color. God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren.”Read more here.

Lent Madness: Cuthbert vs. Molly Brant

March 16, 2015 Comments Off on Lent Madness: Cuthbert vs. Molly Brant

Lent Madness 2015Kamehameha ran off with the votes, 61% to David Oakerhater’s 39% on the Lent Madness site. But on the St. Luke’s site, David Oakerhater eeked out a win 54% to 46%.

The next match up in the Saintly Sixteen is Cuthbert vs. Molly Brant.

Remember: vote at Lent Madness here AND ALSO below the saint bios here so we see how the readers of the St. Luke in the Fields blog compare! Results of this match up will be reported the next day.


Perhaps the most beautiful thing that is said of Saint Cuthbert is, “Cuthbert sought to follow Christ.” In this he is like many of the saints but his pattern of life was uniquely Christ-like in ways that shine forth through the centuries. No fewer than 22 lives of Cuthbert were written in the Middle Ages and his Christ-focused living is an example to all Christians.

In a Kingdom awash in both great violence and wealth, Cuthbert’s counter-cultural simplicity and kindness were a source of powerful spiritual inspiration. Stories were long told of the miracles of his life but also of enduring import were stories of his very human kindness. Upon his death, his legend grew and a significant cult emerged around his memory and relics..Read more here.

8fdb5086-619a-4ea0-b146-995510eff36c-250x300Molly Brant

Even as a young child, Molly Brant exhibited a gift for leadership. In 1754, at the age of 18, Molly traveled with her stepfather and other Mohawk leaders to Philadelphia to contest the fraudulent sale of Native territory. It was there, historians believe, that Molly got her first taste in the art of negotiation and compromise.

Molly continued to put these skills to use when she became a wife, mother (to 8 children!), and tribal leader. She frequently led the Bureau of Indian Affairs on behalf of her common-law husband Sir William Johnson when he was away. Although Molly received an education from Christian missionaries and was a devout Anglican, she retained a respectful devotion to many Mohawk customs, which allowed her to serve as a consensus-builder between two nations..Read more here.

Lent Madness: Swithun vs. Molly Brant

February 21, 2015 § 1 Comment

Lent Madness 2012

Interesting results in from yesterday! On the Lent Madness site, a complete upset with David Oakerhater capturing 60% to Teresa of Avila’s 40%. St. Luke’s reflected perhaps a more expected response of Teresa of Avila taking 64% to David Oakerhater taking only 36%. And this is why we compare, folks.

Today’s match up is between Swithun vs. Molly Brant. It’s the ONLY Saturday match up, so enjoy!

Remember: vote at Lent Madness here AND ALSO below the saint bios here so we see how the readers of the St. Luke in the Fields blog compare! Results of this match up will be reported the next day.


Saint Swithun, often humorously referenced as the patron of the generic country church “in the field” or “in the swamp,” was an actual Anglo-Saxon bishop and was enshrined at Winchester Cathedral. He is revered for posthumous miracle working and is believed to hold sway over the weather, especially the rain. According to tradition, the weather on his feast day of July 15 continues for forty days. And Californians, take note: Saint Swithun can also be prayed to for the relief of drought.…Read more here.




Molmbrant-bio-portraitbly Brant (Konwatsijayenni “Someone Lends Her a Flower”)

Molly Brant was born in 1736 along the Mohawk River in present-day central New York. In an age when women, much less Native American women, rarely had a voice in public discourse, Molly Brant became a well-regarded Mohawk leader, helping to promote peaceful relations between the Iroquois nation and the British government during the Revolutionary War era. A dedicated Anglican, she came to be known by the Church as the “Witness to the Faith Among the Mohawks.”…..Read more here.




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