Thursday, July 27, 2017

One of Henry VIII's "Loose-Ends": Blessed Margaret Pole

Last summer, I participated in a blog-tour for Susan Higginbotham's Margaret Pole: The Countess in the Tower. I finally received my hard-cover review copy this week!

Higginbotham's popular biography fortunately eschews some the pitfalls of imagining what Pole thought, how she felt, etc. The author tells the story briskly, explaining family relationships, changing fortunes of power and influence--the whole up and down on Fortune's Wheel that noble families experienced toward the end of the Wars of the Roses and the Tudor Dynasty. Margaret Pole, since she was a Plantagenet of the House of York, was in the midst of these changes from her childhood, not as an active participant, but at the beginning, almost as a pawn. Higginbotham notes that young Margaret and her brother had no powerful men to protect them or to support their legitimate claim to the throne, even during Richard III's reign. She survives her family's fall and even her brother's imprisonment in the Tower by Henry VII because of that vulnerability. Henry VII marries her off to a trusted courtier, Richard Pole, and she and he settle down to serve the king and have babies.

I wish the book would have included family trees for the major players. It is well illustrated.

When Henry VIII comes to the throne, he restores the widowed Margaret to her family holdings and gives her the title Countess of Salisbury. Higginbotham describes the households and the personnel of Margaret's estates. I wish she could have reconstructed what a day at one of Margaret's estates was like--what did she do everyday to manage her household, etc.

Her story is interwoven with Katherine of Aragon's and Mary Tudor's and thus with the whole King's Great Matter. Higginbotham's retelling of this sad story is aided by her restraint, but sometimes by necessity, Margaret Pole fades to the background. The family connections become the focus, as again, Margaret did not actively oppose Henry VIII's destruction of his marriage and family, his campaign of terror against any who did oppose him: the Carthusians, Thomas More, John Fisher, and a few other brave souls, or even his religious changes. Her sons participated in some of the trials. I do appreciate Higginbotham's comment that Margaret Beaufort, Henry VIII's grandmother, would have been shocked and dismayed to see John Fisher, the holy and scholarly Bishop of Rochester, so horribly treated and executed.

On her own estates, Margaret maintained the status quo of Catholic life, holding off any "Protestant" ideas in the person of an Evangelical cleric, but she did not participate in any resistance against Henry VIII's changes to religious practice.

Higginbotham believes that Pole's sons were involved in the Exeter Conspiracy and did make statements about the king soon dying of his leg wound or the need to have a new monarch. Reginald Pole did place his mother and family in an incredibly dangerous position with his attack on Henry's Supremacy, citing him as another Nero and warning him about suffering Richard III's fate. But Margaret, in all her statements, knowing Henry VIII's power to make and unmake, was clear that she would not participate in any rebellion against the monarch who had restored her lands and title. She would not be a traitor. Those who questioned her recognized that she was formidable in her own defense. Higginbotham includes the chilling detail that Henry VIII, wanting to leave London with his fifth queen, Catherine Howard, on a progress to the North needed to take care of any loose-ends, and thus Margaret was beheaded by an incompetent headsman, suffering great violence and pain. Well, when you know that Henry will find out more about his fifth wife soon after that progress, you know that more loose-ends will have to be dealt with.

One issue I have with the book: I think that Higginbotham should have recognized the importance of Hazel Pierce's scholarly biography, Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury 1473-1541: Loyalty, Lineage and Leadership. She cites Pierce often enough and should have explained what makes her book distinctive to that earlier work. When I first saw this book announced by Amberley, the subtitle indicated a correction to a recent historical novel by Philippa Gregory, The King's Curseand the cover did not cut off the top of the figure representing Margaret. Perhaps when the book had that purpose its relevance and impact was greater. It is well-written and achieves the purpose of telling the story of Margaret Pole, offering another perspective on the multiple horrors of Henry VIII's reign, but it lacks a certain significance.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

St. James Priory and the Dudley Family

In honor of the Feast of St. James the Greater, some words about the Cluniac Priory of St. James in the West Midlands founded by Gervase Paganell in honor of St. Thomas of Canterbury, according to Gervase's father's wishes. Paganell was the First Lord Dudley, but he rebelled against Henry II during the Great Revolt of Henry's sons in 1173-74 and never returned to his castle after Henry had it destroyed. This website for the Friends of Dudley Castle describes how the Cluniac monks took over the role of the feudal lord in the nearby community:

For 50 years the barons stayed away from Dudley and the Prior of St James took on the responsibility of running the town's civil and religious life. Gervase had just founded the Borough (town) and being new it was a little unsteady in its development. The Prior being a scholarly man helped it to get through these early problems. As every market town had at least one annual fair he got permission to hold one in Dudley on July 15th. This was St James Day, the Apostle that the Priory was dedicated to. Close to where the fountain stands today, stocks were built. These were a wooden contraption in which to lock up people who were not law-abiding. Just to remind the market people God was always watching them a stone cross stood next to the stocks.

Thanks to this help the town began to grow and prosper but it was in other ways that the Priory helped with the town's growth. Medieval society was not one in which much thought was given to protecting peoples welfare. The church began to take on this role. The monks built a hospital (on the west range of the cloister, next to the great west door). In those days hospitals were not only for the sick. One role it took was a place where travellers could have a bed for the night and a meal, (normally free of charge). Another was a place where old people could retire, (they would help pay for this by handing over their property to the monks). But of course there was a place for the sick and a monk (like Brother Cadmon in the fictional stories) was a herbalist who made medicines. Given the knowledge at the time many of these people were terminal cases and a small part of the building was reserved for the dying. It was a small, quiet room with paintings on the walls of the various saints who would protect the person on his/her entering the next world.



Please read the rest there. The ruins are of course picturesque, and this news story describes how an app can help visitors understand the background of Priory Park, in which they are situated. Yes, there's an app for that; more information about Priory Park here.

When the Priory was suppressed by Henry VIII, John Dudley, later the Duke of Northumberland received the buildings and land. When was executed in 1553, the Priory buildings fell into disrepair.

Image credit for Priory Ruins.

St. James the Greater, pray for us!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Tyndale, More, and Venomous Words

The Pathway, a publication of the Missouri Baptist Convention, is running a series of stories commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. In this post, the focus is on William Tyndale and Thomas More:

In 1529, the year before Tyndale printed the Pentateuch, Thomas More—an English lawyer who was on the king’s council and who would soon be named Lord Chancellor of England—wrote a lengthy dialogue attacking evangelical heretics like Luther and Tyndale. Soon Tyndale responded with a brief answer to More’s dialogue. And, again, More replied with a Confutation of Tyndale’s Answer, a work that trudged along for half a million venomous words.

Ironically, Tyndale may have considered More, the famous author of The Utopia, a friend of reform little more than a decade earlier. Indeed, he seems betrayed by More’s attacks. But, although he was friendly with famous Christian humanists and was no particular lover of the pope, More always believed that the hierarchical Roman church was the only guarantor of truth and order in the world. If the church falls, the world will collapse into chaos. Thus, the church must be defended vehemently.

It is no wonder then that some—though not all—historians have argued that More himself employed Henry Phillips, who betrayed Tyndale to his death. In October 1536, after being imprisoned for more than a year, Tyndale—a martyr for Reformation truths—was strangled and then burned at the stake.

But by the time of Tyndale’s death, More had been dead for a year—a Catholic martyr beheaded by the authority of King Henry VIII.


I'm glad to see the author clear More of employing Henry Phillips. But he needed to make it clear: If Tyndale had been imprisoned for more than a year by October 1536, that means the betrayal took place in 1535: Thomas More had been in the Tower of London since April of 1534 and had been out of office since 1532.

The author also doesn't give the full context of the exchange of publications between More and Tyndale: although Ben Hawkins refers to More's "half a million venomous words" in his Confutation of Tyndale’s Answer, he does not describe the venom of Tyndale's response to the Dialogue—some of those 500,000 venomous words may indeed be Tyndale’s, because More took each argument in Tyndale’s 1531 An Answer to Thomas More’s Dialogue and answered it point by point.

In his Reformation Divided, Eamon Duffy looks at the Confutation and notes the effort and detail with which More labored on this work. As this reviewer sums up Duffy's effort to explain More's effort:

Duffy takes for his study perhaps the chief offender among More’s works, his voluminous Confutation of Tyndale’s Answer (1531), a work five times longer than the book it purported to confute. Critics, Duffy remarks, have found the Confutation a “shapeless, repetitious and boring work whose immense bulk and inflamed rhetoric reflects the collapse of More’s control over his material, and hence his failure as artist, persuader and polemicist.” Even C. S. Lewis deemed it “the longest, the harshest, and the dullest” of all More’s controversial writings.4 Duffy, however, successfully counters the perception that More’s religious polemics were failures even as literary works. More was adapting learned literary debate for a vernacular readership. Some of the vast bulk of his compositions results from his decision to quote his opponents at length so that it could be evident that he was not misrepresenting their arguments. More claimed, in fact, that Tyndale’s Answer could be reproduced in its entirety simply by leaving out More’s own responses in the Confutation. “One test of the value of any literary innovation,” Duffy points out, “is whether or not the form is adopted by other serious writers.” The form More introduced was indeed to have “a decisive influence” on the shape of religious controversies in the next generation of both Catholic and Protestant polemicists, as the works of William Rastell, Thomas Harding, and John Jewel attest.

I've submitted a review of Reformation Divided to another publication and will let you know when it's in print!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Newman's Omaha Connection


Father Juan Velez kindly sent me a review copy of his new book, Holiness in a Secular Age: The Witness of Cardinal Newman, published by Scepter. I'm about two-thirds through the book, which serves as an excellent introduction to Newman's life, projects, and works, exploring his educational projects especially--not the just The Idea of a University, but the practical experience Newman had teaching and administering education at Oxford, in Dublin, and at the Oratory School.

In the course of describing Blessed John Henry Newman's affinity for friendship, Father Velez mentions the first Bishop of Omaha, Nebraska, James O'Connor, whom he met at the Propaganda Fide in Rome while studying for the priesthood. I wondered why an American bishop would be studying in Rome, but then discovered with a little research that Bishop O'Connor was born in Ireland, came to the United States, studied at St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia, and then went to the Propaganda College in Rome, where he was ordained in 1848. Then he became the first bishop of the Diocese of Omaha:

Bishop James O’Connor was appointed to replace Bishop O’Gorman in 1876. In 1880, the Dakotas were separated and the Diocese of Sioux Falls was established. Montana was dropped three years later. In 1885, the Diocese of Omaha, consisting of Nebraska and Wyoming, was established.

During Bishop O’Connor’s administration, many of Omaha’s older parishes were founded and the Franciscan Fathers arrived in the area.

After the Creighton family gave Bishop O’Connor the college they had endowed, Creighton University was entrusted to the Society of Jesus in 1878.

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, then Father O'Connor returned to the United States after ordination:

The following year he was appointed rector of St. Michael's Seminary, Pittsburgh, and in 1862 rector of St. Charles's Seminary, Overbrook, Pennsylvania. In 1872 he was appointed pastor of St. Dominic's Church, Holmesburg, Pennsylvania. In 1876 he was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Nebraska, and on 20 August of the same year he was consecrated titular Bishop of Dibona by Bishop Ryan of St. Louis. During his episcopate the vicariate developed with wonderful rapidity. The construction of the Union Pacific Railway in 1867, and more especially the extension of the Burlington Railway in the seventies and eighties, opened up Nebraska to colonists, and white settlers began to pour in from the Eastern states. It became the duty of the new vicar to provide for the growing needs of the faithful, and the yearly statistics of the vicariate show how successful were his labours. 

When he was consecrated " titular Bishop of Dibona", that was like a holding place designating a mission territory where no established diocese yet exists. It would be fascinating to read some of the letters between Newman and Bishop O'Connor! I don't have ready access to those letters, but I wonder if they corresponded about issues of university education, since Bishop O'Conner was involved in the establishment of Creighton University.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Catholic Branch of the Ingalls Family


From ChurchPop:

Edith Florence Ingalls is mentioned only in passing by her nickname, Dolly, in The Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She was only a baby in the chapter entitled “Christmas.” But that’s a thrill enough for this great-great-grandchild of hers! But what’s even more amazing is the story of how that branch of the Ingalls family converted to Catholicism, which gave me my Catholic faith.

Edith grew up to marry Heil Nelson Bingham and together they raised 6 children in Oakes, ND. Although not a Catholic family, they chose to send all their daughters to the Catholic school in town. Something must have struck Edith’s husband about the Catholic faith because eventually he converted to the Catholic Church, but Edith resisted. They were married for 38 years before he passed on.

Twenty years after his passing and as her time drew near, Heil appeared to her in a dream telling her, “Edith, you need to make up your mind.” The next morning she requested a priest. The family thought she must mean a minister, but Edith refused to see him and sent him away insisting that she wanted to see a Catholic priest. A priest was fetched and she received her sacraments, passing away the next day.


Edith was Laura Ingalls' cousin; her father was Peter Riley Ingalls, Charles Philip Ingalls's brother. This is a fascinating family account of conversion. Please read the rest there as the author describes how Heil and Edith's daughters became Catholic and married Irishmen, handing down the Catholic faith to future generations.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

An Ordination in Dachau

During the English Recusant period the missionary priests had travelled to Rome, Reims, Douai, or Vallidolid for their seminary training and ordination. We know that some of the martyrs joined the Jesuit order or expressed the hopes of becoming Jesuits after they were arrested and imprisoned. Francis Phillips writes in The Catholic Herald about a secret ordination in Dachau, where 2,759 priests and seminarians were imprisoned (and 1,034 died) between 1938 and 1945. Karl Leisner had been sent there because he made a disparaging comment about Hitler:

On 14 December 1941, he was moved to Dachau and assigned to the priests’ block. Under the harsh conditions of the camp his TB worsened and his hopes of being ordained a priest seemed unachievable. Then, as Providence would have it, Bishop Gabriel Piguet of Clermont-Ferrand arrived in Dachau as a fellow-prisoner on 6 September 1944 – and only a bishop is authorised to confer the sacrament of ordination. This was duly requested for Leisner by a Belgian priest, Fr de Coninck.

Bishop Piguet agreed, on condition that the ordination was authorised by the bishop with whom Leisner was affiliated and also that of the Archbishop of Munich, as Dachau was in his diocese. These authorisations were obtained clandestinely through the good offices of a young woman, Josefa Imma Mack (she was later to become a nun). She used to visit the plant shop at the edge of the compound at Dachau, where flowers and food grown by the prisoners was sold to the public, and where she was able to communicate with priest-prisoners assigned to work there.

She smuggled in the necessary letters of approval, along with the holy oil, a stole and the ritual books. The ordination, on 17 December 1944, took place in the chapel in Block 26 in great secrecy. Zeller records that the ceremony “made a lasting impression on the priests who were present.” The Bishop’s violet cassock was made from fabric from stocks pillaged by the Germans; the mitre was made by Fr Albert Durand, the only British priest at Dachau. Several hundred clergymen supported the young deacon, who wore an alb over his striped prison clothes.

Please read the rest there. Phillips reviewed the book from which this story is taken here. The Priest Barracks: Dachau, 1938-1945 by Guillaume Zeller is published by Ignatius Press. Pope Saint John Paul II beatified Leisner on 23 June 1996.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Church and State in Colonial British America

The Eerdman's blog offers an excerpt from Mark A. Noll's book The Old Religion in a New World about the development of religious freedom in the colonies before the American Revolution:

Before the mid-eighteenth century, church and state were bound together more closely in New England (with the exception of Rhode Island) and the Chesapeake colonies of Virginia and Maryland (along with South Carolina) than they were in England at the same time. As part of the settlement of William and Mary as British monarchs in 1689, Parliament passed “An Act for exempting their Majesties Protestant subjects, dissenting from the Church of England, from the penalties of certain laws.” This Act guaranteed freedom of worship to Trinitarian Protestant Nonconformists, even as it reaffirmed existing laws prohibiting the dissenters’ entrance to the universities, membership in Parliament, or service as officers in the army and navy. (Roman Catholics and Unitarian Protestants continued to suffer harsher disabilities.) The New England and Chesapeake colonies acknowledged this Act of Toleration, but in practice they restrained New England’s non-Puritans and the Chesapeake’s non-Anglicans more closely than non-Anglicans were restrained in England.

If the history of New England and Chesapeake colonies explains much of the intermingling of church and state that remained in the American states of 1791, where, then, did advanced notions about the separation of church and state, as embodied in the First Amendment, come from? Part of the answer is contained in the history of these vigorous establishments themselves. Such lonely voices as Roger Williams’s and momentary outbursts of toleration like the Maryland Act of 1649 did point, however feebly at the time, to what would follow. More direct support for non-traditional relations between church and state appeared in the colonies founded after the Restoration of Charles II in 1660.

Please read the rest there. If you are interested, the book from which this excerpt is taken is available for free digital download:

During July, Eerdmans is pleased to offer The Old Religion in a New World as Logos Bible Software’s Free Book of the Month. Grab your Logos digital copy before this special offer expires.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

William Bonde, RIP


William Bonde, a Bridgettine monk of Syon Abbey died on July 18, 1530. English Catholics like Bonde and other Bridgettines (Richard Whitford and John Fewterer), and Thomas More were writing works in the vernacular to defend and explain Catholic Church teaching. Bonde wrote “The Pylgrimage of Perfection” in 1526 and “The Directory of Conscience” in 1527. He was buried in the chapel of Syon Abbey--which, according to this blog was about as wide as Salisbury Cathedral--but his resting place is unknown because Syon Abbey was suppressed in 1538 and its buildings destroyed.

This monograph from Oxford University Press describes the efforts of the Bridgettines to defend and reform the Catholic Church:

This book investigates how Syon Abbey responded to the religious turbulence of the 1520s and 1530s. It examines the eleven books three brothers - William Bonde, John Fewterer and Richard Whitford - had printed during this period and argues that the Bridgettines used vernacular printing to engage with religious and political developments that threatened their understanding of orthodox faith. Through these works - and their some twenty-six editions - the Abbey presented itself as part of the vanguard of the Church, fighting heterodoxy with a three-fold commitment to reformed spiritual leadership, vernacular theology and the spiritual education of the laity. It used its printed books to to augment inferior parochial instruction; bolster orthodox faith and contradict evangelical argument; resist Henry VIII's desire for ecclesiastical supremacy; and defend the monastic way of life.

The book has three principal aims. First, to continue the debate about the nature of late medieval Catholicism by directing attention to one community that publicly proclaimed a very specific Catholic identity. Second, to highlight the shifting nature of that identity, which developed continuously in response to evangelicalism. Third, to emphasise the importance and impact of conservative vernacular theology in this period.


Reforming Printing makes a strong contribution to our understanding of the Bridgettine community of Syon Abbey, and more generally the monastic and Catholic response to the developments that culminated in Henry VIII's break with Rome. It sheds new light upon the religious climate of the 1520s and 30s and will be of considerable interest to literary scholars and historians of the English Reformation, especially those working on early modern religious writing.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

James Hope-Scott and Henry Manning

While I'm at the Spiritual Life Center today here in Wichita to present on "St. Thomas More: Conscience and Martyrdom" and "Blessed John Henry Newman: Conscience and Conversion", it's appropriate that I mention two contemporaries of Blessed John Henry Newman who were born on July 15.

Henry Manning was born on July 15 in 1808, James Hope (he added the -Scott later) in 1812.

Henry Cardinal Manning, the second Archbishop of Westminster, is one of the famous converts who became Catholic through the influence of Newman in the Oxford Movement. He and Newman had a rather contentious relationship during their Catholic years. The story of his conversion is told in David Newsome's The Parting of Friends: The Wilberforces and Henry Manning.

James Hope-Scott, on the other hand, was a most faithful friend and defender of Newman. He was a barrister and represented Newman during the Achilli trial. More on his life from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

third son of the Honourable Sir Alexander Hope, G.C.B., who was fourth son of John, second Earl of Hopetoun, a Scottish title dating from 1703. His mother was third and youngest daughter of George Brown of Ellerton, Roxburghshire. During early childhood his home was the Military College at Sandhurst, where his father was in command. Afterwards he went abroad with his parents, staying in succession at Dresden, Lausanne, and Florence, and thus gaining a mastery of the German, French, and Italian tongues. In 1825 he entered Eton, whence, in 1828, he matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford. After a visit to Paris in 1829 he went into residence at Oxford the same year. The degree of B.A. he took in 1832, coming out in the fourth class in literis humanioribus. Next year he was elected a Fellow of Merton. In 1835 he gave up his intention of entering the ministry of the Established Church, and began to study law under conveyancers, his call to the bar at the Inner Temple taking place in 1838. Meanwhile, in the latter year he graduated B.C.L. at Oxford, proceeding D.C.L. in 1843. In 1838, after publishing anonymously in pamphlet form a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, he saw through the press Gladstone's work entitled "The State considered in its Relations with the Church". Next year he and Roundell Palmer (the future Earl of Selborne) projected "The History of Colleges". In 1840, at Newman's request, Hope wrote in "The British Critic", a review, later published separately, of Ward's translation of "The Statutes of Magdalen College, Oxon." The same year, as junior counsel for the capitular bodies petitioning against the Ecclesiastical Duties and Revenues Bill, he delivered the remarkably able speech which moved Brougham to exclaim, "That young man's fortune is made." In 1840, moreover, he was appointed Chancellor of the Diocese of Salisbury, which post he held until 1845. About the same time he took part in the foundation of Glenalmond College, in Perthshire, for the education of the Scottish Episcopal youth. In 1840-41 he spent some eight months in Italy, Rome included, in company with his close friend Edward Louth Badeley. On his return he became, with Newman, one of the foremost promoters of the Tractarian movement at Oxford. His next publication was a pamphlet against the establishment of the Anglo-Prussian Protestant See of Jerusalem, of which a second edition appeared in 1842. In 1849 and 1850 there came the Gorham trial and judgment, and in the latter year the agitation against the so-called "Papal Aggression". These events finally determined him upon the course of joining the Catholic Church, into which, together with Archdeacon Manning, he was received in London in 1851 by the Jesuit Father Brownhill.

In 1852 he managed Newman's defence in the libel action brought against him by Achilli, and in 1855 he conducted the negotiations which ended in Newman's accepting the rectorship of the Catholic University of Ireland. As to Hope's professional work, within a few years of his call he devoted himself wholly to parliamentary practice, in which his success and emoluments became prodigious. This was the palmy period of railway construction, and eventually he became standing counsel to almost every railway in the realm. In 1849 he was appointed Q.C., with a patent of precedence.

How he came to change his name:

His first wife, whom he married in 1847, was Charlotte Harriet Jane Lockhart, only daughter of John Gibson Lockhart and granddaughter of Sir Walter Scott. She soon followed her husband into the Catholic Church. A year later he became tenant of Abbotsford to his brother-in-law, and on the latter's death, in 1853, its possessor in right of his wife, thereupon assuming the name of Hope-Scott. Not long afterwards he added a new wing to Sir Walter's mansion. In 1855 he bought the Highland estate of Dorlin, whereupon he built a new house, selling the whole to Lord Howard of Glosson in 1871. In 1858 he had to mourn the loss of his wife, who died in childbed, the newborn child dying shortly after, and Walter Michael, his infant son and heir, before the close of the year. His second wife, whom he wedded in 1861, was Lady Victoria Alexandrina Fitzalan- Howard, eldest daughter of the fourteenth Duke of Norfolk, of whose children Hope-Scott had been left guardian. In 1867 he had the honour of a visit from Queen Victoria at Abbotsford, and in the same year he bought a villa at Hy√®res, in Provence. Like her predecessor, his second wife died in childbed in 1870, after giving birth to James Fitzalan Hope, now (1909) M.P. Hope- Scott never overcame the grief and shock entailed by this last bereavement. He now withdrew from his profession, surviving his dead wife but little more than two years, and dying in 1873. His funeral sermon was preached by his old and intimate friend Cardinal Newman in the same Jesuit church of Farm Street in which, two and twenty years back, Hope-Scott had made his submission to the Catholic Church. His charities and benefactions were wellnigh boundless. It is reckoned that from 1860 onwards he spent £40,000 in hidden charity. Among his innumerable good works, he built at a cost of £10,000 the Catholic church at Galashiels, near Abbotsford, and he was the chief benefactor of St. Margaret's Convent, at Edinburgh, wherein he lies buried.

More about him at Abbotsford here.

At his funeral, Newman praised him for his "tender conscience", his generosity, his talents and gifts as a barrister and advocate, and then concluded:

O happy soul, who hast loved neither the world nor the things of the world apart from God! Happy soul, who, amid the world's toil, hast chosen the one thing needful, that better part which can never be taken away! Happy soul, who, being the counsellor and guide, the stay, the light and joy, the benefactor of so many, yet hast ever depended simply, as a little child, on the grace of thy God and the merits and strength of thy Redeemer! Happy soul, who hast so thrown thyself into the views and interests of other men, so prosecuted their ends, and associated thyself in their labours, as never to forget still that there is one Holy Catholic Roman Church, one Fold of Christ and Ark of salvation, and never to neglect her ordinances or to trifle with her word! Happy soul, who, as we believe, by thy continual almsdeeds, offerings, and bounties, hast blotted out such remains of daily recurring sin and infirmity as the sacraments have not reached! Happy soul, who, by thy assiduous preparation for death, and the long penance of sickness, weariness, and delay, has, as we trust, discharged the debt that lay against thee, and art already passing from penal purification to the light and liberty of heaven above!

And so farewell, but not farewell for ever, dear James Robert Hope Scott! He is gone from us, but only gone before us. It is for us to look forward, not backward. We shall meet him again, if we are worthy, in "Mount Sion, and the heavenly Jerusalem," in "the company of many thousands of angels, the Church of the first-born who are written in the heavens," with "God, the Judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, and Jesus, the Mediator of the New Testament, and the blood which speaketh better things than that of Abel."

Thursday, July 13, 2017

On the Son Rise Morning Show with Matt Swaim

Matt Swaim--back on the Son Rise Morning Show temporarily to help with hosting duties while Anna Mitchell is on maternity leave--and I will talk about Servant of God Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, aka Mother Mary Alphonsa. We'll talk about 7:50 a.m. Eastern/6:50 a.m. Central.

I wrote about Nathaniel Hawthorne's youngest child for the blog roll at the National Catholic Register. Part of her story how she and her husband became Catholics but then had to separate:

Rose Hawthorne’s conversion to Catholicism in 1891 shocked the family. Her father had died in 1864 and her mother moved the family to Dresden, Germany, where Rose met George Parsons Lathrop. Because of Franco-Prussian War, Sophia moved again, back to England. There she died in 1871; Rose and George were married later that year in an Anglican Church over the objections of her brother and sister; they thought it was too soon after their mother’s death and that Rose was too young and vulnerable to marry.

They had a troubled marriage; he abused alcohol and their only child Francis died of diphtheria in 1881. George edited The Atlantic Monthly and Rose wrote poetry. They lived in New London, Connecticut and took instruction from a Paulist, Father Alfred Young, and were received into the Church. Like many new converts, they were filled with zeal and worked for the Church together on several projects, including the Catholic Summer School Movement and a history of the Visitation Convent in Georgetown.

In 1895, Rose and George took the extraordinary step of asking the Catholic Church for a permanent separation—not an annulment of their marriage—because of George’s instability and alcoholism which endangered Rose. Neither would be free to marry until the other died so they demonstrated their belief in the indissolubility of marriage and in the Sacrament of Matrimony even as they separated. George died of cirrhosis of the liver three years later.

Years ago I read Sorrow Built a Bridge by Katherine Burton, herself a convert to Catholicism. As I recall, reading this biography was like reading a novel. It was an excellent portrayal.