Daily Update: Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Katharine Drexel

Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Katharine Drexel, Virgin (died 1955). Today is also the Half-Way Point of Lent.

Today’s Saint was born in 1858 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of the extremely wealthy railroad entrepreneurs and philanthropists Francis Anthony and Emma (Bouvier) Drexel. She was taught from an early age to use her wealth for the benefit of others; her parents even opened their home to the poor several days each week. Katharine’s older sister Elizabeth founded a Pennsylvania trade school for orphans; her younger sister founded a liberal arts and vocational school for poor blacks in Virginia. Katharine nursed her mother through a fatal three-year illness before setting out on her own when her mother died in 1883. Interested in the condition of Native Americans, during an audience in 1887, she asked Pope Leo XIII to send more missionaries to Wyoming for her friend, Bishop James O’Connor. The pope replied, “Why don’t you become a missionary?” She visited the Dakotas, met the Sioux chief, and began her systematic aid to Indian missions, eventually spending millions of the family fortune. She entered the novitiate of the Sisters of Mercy, and founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored, now known simply as the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1891. She was advised by Mother Frances Cabrini on getting the Order’s rule approved in Rome, and got the approval in 1913. By 1942 she had a system of black Catholic schools in 13 states, 40 mission centers, 23 rural schools, 50 Indian missions, and Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana, the first United States university for blacks, even though segregationists harassed her work. Following a heart attack, she spent her last twenty years in prayer and meditation, dying in 1955. She was canonized in 2000, and her shrine at the motherhouse of her order in Bensalem, Pennsylvania was declared a National Shrine in 2008. She is the Patron Saint of philanthropy and of racial justice. And as today is the Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent, today is the Half-Way Point of Lent.

I woke up at 9:00 am, did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and then ate my breakfast toast while reading the Thursday papers. I then did my Internet Devotional Reading.

Leaving the house at 10:00 am in my car, I headed to the LSU Campus in Baton Rouge, and to the annual Friends of the LSU Libraries Book Bazaar, where from 11:45 am to 1:00 pm I purchased $39.00 worth of used books and $1.00 worth of used CDs. I then headed back home, getting a late lunch via the McDonald’s drive through in Lobdell across the river. When I got back into town I went to the Hit-n-Run, where I purchased my Powerball and Louisiana Lotto lottery tickets for Saturday night’s drawing. At Wal-Mart I purchased bread and my salad supplies, and I got gas for my car at Valero.

When I got home at 3:30 pm Michelle had come by to check on her mail; she is leaving on Tuesday for Connecticut to see Matthew and Callie and my Kitten. Our LSU Women’s Basketball team was beaten by #13 Kentucky at the SEC Tournament in Jacksonville, Florida; it remains to be seen if our Lady Tigers get any further post-season play. And it appears that Richard, while I was out today, made some phone calls; he now wants us to drive from SouthWestCentral Louisiana on our three-week vacation in the fall to Denali, Alaska, and back. It is 4,191 miles to Denali from here, according to Google Maps, and he figures we could get up there in eight days, see Denali for five days, then drive home again. He says we should go before we get too old; I think if we are going to do Denali at all, the intelligent thing to do would be to fly to Alaska, rather than drive there. At 4:00 pm I made my lunch salads for tomorrow and Sunday, and at 4:30 pm I watched Jeopardy! I then came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update, and when I finish with the computer I will go join Richard in bed. Tonight our New Orleans Pelicans will be playing a home game with the San Antonio Spurs; I will record the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow is the First Friday of the month, dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is also the Optional Memorial of Saint Casimir, Prince (died 1484). Tomorrow is a Friday in Lent, so tomorrow is a Day of Abstinence from Meat. And it is also March 4th, which is a date, a command, and a marching band out of Portland, Oregon. We will be returning to work for the start of our work week. In the afternoon I will set myself to going through books. And our #7 ranked LSU Baseball team will be playing the first game of a three-game home series with Fordham tomorrow evening; I will post the score of the game in Saturday’s Daily Update.

Our Parting Quote on this Thursday afternoon comes to us from from M. Stanton Evans, American journalist, author and educator. Born as Medford Stanton Evans in 1934 in Kingsville, Texas, his father was Medford Bryan Evans, an author, college professor at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and official of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, and his mother was the classics scholar Josephine Stanton Evans. He grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Evans graduated in 1955 magna cum laude from Yale University, Phi Beta Kappa, with a Bachelor of Arts in English. As an undergraduate, he was an editor for the Yale Daily News, and read One Is a Crowd by Frank Chodorov. He then did graduate work in Economics at New York University under Ludwig von Mises.Upon graduation, Evans became assistant editor of The Freeman, where Chodorov was editor. The following year he joined the staff of William F. Buckley’s fledgling National Review (where he served as associate editor from 1960 to 1973), and became managing editor of Human Events, where he remained a contributing editor for the rest of his life. In 1959 Evans became head editorial writer of The Indianapolis News, rising to editor the following year (at age 26 he was the nation’s youngest editor of a metropolitan daily newspaper), a position he held until 1974. Evans was present at Great Elm, the family home of Buckley in Sharon, Connecticut, at the founding of Young Americans for Freedom, where, on September 11th, 1960, he drafted YAF’s charter, the Sharon Statement. Some conservatives still revere this document as a concise statement of their principles. Evans became a proponent of National Review co-editor Frank Meyer’s “fusionism”, a political philosophy reconciling the traditionalist and libertarian tendencies of the conservative movement. He argued that freedom and virtue are not antagonistic, but complementary. He was one of the first conservatives to denounce President Richard M. Nixon, just a year into his first term, co-writing a January 1970 American Conservative Union (ACU) report condemning his record. Under Evans’ leadership, the ACU issued a July 1971 statement concluding, “the American Conservative Union has resolved to suspend our support of the Administration.” In 1971 he became a commentator for the CBS Television and Radio Networks. From 1971 to 1977 Evans served as chairman of the ACU, which in June 1975  called upon former Governor Ronald Reagan of California to challenge incumbent Gerald R. Ford, Jr., for the 1976 Republican presidential nomination. In 1974 he became a nationally columnist for The Los Angeles Times syndicate. In 1977 he founded the National Journalism Center, where he served as director until 2002. In 1980 he became an adjunct professor of journalism at Troy University in Troy, Alabama,where he held the Buchanan Chair of Journalism. That same year he became a commentator for National Public Radio, the Voice of America, Radio America and WGMS in Washington, D.C. From 1981 to 2002 he was publisher of Consumers’ Research magazine. In June 1982 Evans and others met with President Reagan, warning him about White House staff who thought they could make a deal with the Democratic Congress. (Reagan subsequently made such a deal, in which for each $1 in higher taxes Congress promised $3 in spending cuts; Reagan delivered the tax hike, but Congress reneged, actually increasing spending.) He founded the Education and Research Institute. In 1996 he wrote The Theme Is Freedom: Religion, Politics, and the American Tradition. He served as president of the Philadelphia Society, a member of the Council for National Policy, the advisory board of Young Americans for Freedom, and a trustee of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), and was a member of the Board of Advisers of the National Tax Limitation Committee. Evans was awarded honorary doctorates from Syracuse University, John Marshall Law School, Grove City College and Francisco Marroquín University. He was a winner of two Freedom Foundation awards for editorial writing and the National Headliners Club Award for “consistently outstanding editorial pages.” Evans was also awarded the Heartland Institute’s Heartland Freedom Prize, the Media Research Center’s William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence, Accuracy in Media’s Reed Irvine award for excellence in journalism, the American Spectators Barbara Olson Award for Excellence & Independence in Journalism, the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs’ John M. Ashbrook Award, the ISI’s Regnery Award for Distinguished Institutional Service and four Freedoms Foundation George Washington medals. Troy University’s Hall School of Journalism hosts an annual M. Stanton Evans symposium named in his honor, as is the M. Stanton Evans Alumni Award (died 2015): “The idea that there is some sort of huge conflict between religious values and liberty is a misstatement of the whole problem. The two are inseparable. … [I]f there are no moral axioms, why should there be any freedom? The conservative believes that ours is a God-centered, and therefore an ordered, universe; that man’s purpose is to shape his life to the patterns of order proceeding from the Divine center of life; and that, in seeking this objective, man is hampered by a fallible intellect and vagrant will. Properly construed, this view is not only compatible with a due regard for human freedom, but demands it.”

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