Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Bruno, Priest (died 1101), the Optional Memorial of Blessed Marie Rose Durocher, Virgin (died 1849), and the Remembrance of Servant of God Terence Cooke, Bishop (died 1983). And today is German-American Day.
Born in 1030 in Cologne, Germany, Saint Bruno was educated in Paris and Reims, France. Ordained about 1055, he taught theology, and one of his students later became Pope Blessed Urban II. From 1057 to 1075 he presided over the cathedral school at Rheims, eventually becoming the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Rheims. He criticized the worldliness he saw in his fellow clergy, and opposed Manasses, Archbishop of Rheims, because of his laxity and mismanagement. Following a vision he received of a secluded hermitage where he could spend his life becoming closer to God, he retired to a mountain near Chartreuse in Dauphiny in 1084 and with the help of Saint Hugh of Grenoble, he founded what became the first house of the Carthusian Order; he and his brothers supported themselves as manuscript copyists. He became an assistant to Pope Urban II (his former student) in 1090, and supported his efforts at reform. Retiring from public life, he and his companions built a hermitage at Torre, where, in 1095, the monastery of Saint Stephen was built. Bruno combined in the religious life the eremitical and the cenobitic; his learning is apparent from his scriptural commentaries. Canonized in 1693, he is the Patron Saint of monastic fraternities and of trade marks, of the religious order of the Carthusians, and of the Calabria region of Italy. We also honor Blessed Marie Rose Durocher, Virgin (died 1849). Born in 1811 in Saint Antoine-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada as Eulalie Durocher, the tenth of eleven children, she felt drawn to the religious life, but was turned away due to frail health. She became housekeeper to her brother Theophile, a priest at Beloeil. Because newly independent Canada still had a bit of the wild about it, its bishop (the whole country was a single diocese) had trouble getting European religious to emigrate, so he founded new communities. In 1843 he convinced Eulalie to help found the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary to serve as a teaching foundation, taking the name Marie Rose; she was joined by two other women, and the three formed the basis of the new congregation. Between February 1844 and October 1849 the Sisters established four convents (in Longueuil, Belœil, Saint Lin and Saint Timothée) employing 30 teachers and enrolling 448 pupils. The Sisters developed a course of study that provided equally for English and French pupils. Originally the Sisters had planned to teach only girls but their missionary requirements eventually forced them to teach boys in some provinces. Eventually the schools expanded to other parts of Canada, and to the United States, Lesotho, and South America. Mother Durocher was beatified in 1982; if you know of any miracles that can be attributed to her intercession, please contact the Vatican. Today we also honor Servant of God Terence Cook, Bishop (died 1983). Born in 1921 in New York City, New York, his parents were both from County Galway, Ireland, and named their son after Terence MacSwiney, the Lord Mayor of Cork who died on a hunger strike during the Irish War of Independence. His father also worked as a chauffeur and construction worker. At age five he and his family moved from Morningside Heights, Manhattan, to the northeast Bronx. Following his mother’s death in 1930, his aunt helped raise him and his older siblings. Cooke, after expressing an early interest in the priesthood, entered the minor seminary of the Archdiocese of New York in 1934. In 1940 he entered St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers. Cooke was ordained a priest by Archbishop Francis Spellman on December 1st, 1945. He then served as a chaplain for St. Agatha’s Home for Children until 1947, when he moved to Washington, D.C., to pursue his graduate studies in social work at The Catholic University of America, from which he obtained a Master of Social Work degree in 1949. After he returned to New York, Cooke was then assigned to serve as a curate at St. Athanasius Parish in the Bronx, while also teaching at Fordham University’s School of Social Service, until 1954, when he was appointed Executive Director of the Youth Division of Catholic Charities and procurator of St. Joseph’s Seminary. In 1957 he was appointed by Cardinal Spellman to be his secretary, a position in which he remained until 1965. Cooke was named a Privy Chamberlain of His Holiness on August 13th, 1957, and Vice-Chancellor for the Archdiocese in 1958, rising to full Chancellor in 1961. On September 15th, 1965, Cooke was appointed an auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York and titular bishop of Summa by Pope Paul VI. He received his episcopal consecration on the following December 13th from Spellman, with Archbishops Joseph Thomas McGucken and John Joseph Maguire serving as co-consecrators, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He selected as his episcopal motto: Fiat Voluntas Tua, meaning, “Thy Will Be Done” (Luke 1:38). Cooke played a prominent role in arranging Pope Paul’s visit to New York in October, and became Vicar General of the Archdiocese two days after his consecration, on December 15th, 1965. He was diagnosed with acute myelomonocytic leukemia, a form of cancer, that year as well. Following the death of Cardinal Spellman in December 1967, Cooke was named the seventh Archbishop of New York on March 2nd, 1968. Cooke’s appointment came as a surprise; likely contenders for the post included Fulton J. Sheen, a television personality and Bishop of Rochester; and Archbishop Maguire, who had been Spellman’s coadjutor but did not hold the right to succession. In addition to his duties in New York, he was named Vicar Apostolic for the U.S. Military on April 4th, and was installed in both positions at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. That same day, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, leading to a nationwide wave of riots in more than 100 cities. In response, Cooke went to Harlem to plead for racial peace and later attended King’s funeral. After the death of Robert F. Kennedy, he baptized Kennedy’s youngest child, Rory Kennedy. In 1969 Cooke delivered the benediction at the inauguration of President Richard Nixon. Cooke helped implement the reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the Archdiocese, and adopted a more conciliatory managerial style than his predecessor, Cardinal Spellman. Pope Paul VI created him Cardinal-Priest of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Rome (the traditional titular church of the New York archbishops starting in 1946) in the consistory of April 28th, 1969. At the time of his elevation, he was the second youngest member of the College of Cardinals after Alfred Bengsch, who was six months younger than Cooke. Cooke was theologically conservative but progressive in secular matters. During his tenure as archbishop, Cooke founded nine nursing homes; Birthright, which offers women alternatives to abortion; the Inner-City Scholarship Fund, which provides financial aid for inner-city Catholic schools; an Archdiocesan Housing Development Program, providing housing to New York’s disadvantaged; and the Catholic New York, the archdiocesan newspaper. In 1974 he went to the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he attended lectures on the Second Vatican Council given by his future successor, Edward Egan. His leukemia was deemed terminal in 1975. Cooke was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the conclaves of August and October 1978, which selected Popes John Paul I and John Paul II, respectively. In 1979 he received the Dalai Lama and Pope John Paul II at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. An anti-Communist, he opposed the majority of his fellow bishops when he spoke out against nuclear disarmament in 1982. He was an outspoken opponent of abortion, and once served as chairman of the Bishops’ Pro-life Committee. He was the founder of Courage International, a ministry that promotes chastity and support for gay and lesbian Catholics. Cooke supported the Cursillo Movement, Christian Family Movement, and Charismatic Renewal, and was instrumental in bringing the Missionaries of Charity to New York. During the 1983 St. Patrick’s Day Parade he remained inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral until the grand marshal, Michael Flannery, an outspoken supporter of the Irish Republican Army, had passed by. In late August 1983, Cooke revealed his illness to the public; he announced that he was expected to live for a few more months, but would not resign his post. He was on almost constant chemotherapy for the last five years of his life. In an open letter completed only days before his death, he wrote, “The gift of life, God’s special gift, is no less beautiful when it is accompanied by illness or weakness, hunger or poverty, mental or physical handicaps, loneliness or old age.” Cooke died from his battle with leukemia in his episcopal residence at age 62, and was interred in the crypt under the altar of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Soon after his death in 1983, a movement to canonize him as a saint began. In 1984, with the support of Cooke’s successor, Archbishop (and future cardinal) John Joseph O’Connor, the Cardinal Cooke Guild was established. On April 5th, 1984, President Ronald Reagan posthumously awarded Cooke the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1988 he was posthumously awarded the F. Sadlier Dinger Award by William H. Sadlier, Inc. for his outstanding contributions to the ministry of religious education in America. The late Reverend Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R., was the postulator for the cause while it was in its initial stages in New York. In 1992 the Congregation for the Causes of Saints officially designated Cooke as a Servant of God, a first step in the canonization process that leads to beatification and then canonization as a saint. On April 14th, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI was presented with the positio, the documentation on the cardinal’s life, work and virtues. The document was then given to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to be examined by theologians. If the document is approved, Cardinal Cooke, who is currently a Servant of God, will receive the title of Venerable, the second step leading to sainthood. If you know of any miracles that can be attributed to him, please contact the Vatican. And today is German-American Day.The holiday, which celebrates German American heritage, commemorates the date in 1683 when thirteen German families from Krefeld, near the Rhine, landed in Philadelphia. These families subsequently founded Germantown, Pennsylvania, the first German settlement in the original thirteen American colonies, and organized the first petition in the English colonies to abolish slavery in 1688. Originally known under the rubric of “German Day”, the holiday was celebrated for the first time in Philadelphia in 1883, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the settlers from Krefeld; and similar celebrations developed later in other parts of the country. The custom died out during World War I as a result of the anti-German sentiment that prevailed at the time (at that same time my great-great-grandfather somewhat Americanized his German surname), and was revived in 1983. My ancestry is approximately three-quarters Irish and one-quarter German, and I am proud of all aspects of my ancestry.
Last night Richard gathered up the trash and wheeled the trash bin out to the curb. I finished reading Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen, and started reading First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde.
When I woke up at 9:00 am, I posted to Facebook that today was German-American Day. I did my Book Devotional Reading; Richard called Matthew, who said that they had stopped for the night in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, as the baby was getting cranky, and that they would be in our town in a few hours. I ate my breakfast toast and read the morning paper, then I did my Book Review for this weblog and for my Goodreads and Facebook accounts for Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen. I then ordered my Christmas Cards online.
Just as I was finishing ordering my Christmas Cards, Matthew and Callie and the baby and the cats arrived; unfortunately, the cats were not at all happy about Bobby Brown (nor he about them). They visited for an hour; Richard brought out Matt’s old toy truck, and I brought out the children’s books I had purchased at the Lafayette Public Library Fall Book Sale, then Matthew, Callie, and the baby went over to her mother’s house. I left the house on my own at 12:00 pm, with my first stop being to eat Chinese for lunch at Peking, where I started reading Forensics: True Crime Scene Investigations by Zakaria Erzinçlioğlu. I then went to Wal-Mart, where I got my salad supplies, bread, and some Gorilla Tape (black). At the Valero I purchased my Powerball and Louisiana Lotto lottery tickets for Saturday night’s drawing. I called Richard to see if he wanted me to pick up some boudin; he said no, and said that he was going to put the extra litter box, food, and water in the guest room, and put Matthew and Callie’s cats in there.
Arriving home at about 1:30 pm, I made my lunch salads for Saturday and Sunday. By 2:45 pm we had gotten Archie and Maxwell in the guest room; I stuck my nose in and was met by two sets of low ambulance noises, one from under the bed. (It’s still a good idea to have the cats here, though; there will be too much traffic going in and out of Callie’s mom’s house.) I continued reading Forensics: True Crime Scene Investigations by Zakaria Erzinçlioğlu, and Richard went to bed at 4:00 pm, after we got the news that the College Football Game scheduled on Saturday afternoon between our LSU Tigers and the #18 Florida Gators in Gainesville, Florida, has been canceled; it is perhaps more accurate to say “postponed”, but there is no word yet on when and where the game will be played. So it looks like our next game will be with the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles on October 15th. I then watched Jeopardy!, then came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update. And then I will read a bit in First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde before going to sleep.
Tomorrow is the First Friday of the month, dedicated to devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. Richard and I will return to the casino for the start of our work week, and I will bring my red dealer shirt to exchange at Uniforms after work. On my breaks I will start reading A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay for my Third Tuesday Book Club. After lunch we will either go over to Callie’s mom’s house, or the kids will come over here.
Our Parting Quote this Thursday afternoon comes to us from Marian Seldes, American actress. Born in 1928 in Manhattan, New York City, New York, her mother was a socialite and her father was a journalist, author, and editor. Her uncle was journalist George Seldes, and her maternal aunt was Marian Wells Hall, a prominent interior decorator. She and her brother grew up in a creative environment, studying acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse. Seldes made her Broadway theatre debut in 1948 in a production of Medea. Her television debut was in 1950, playing Emily Brontë in the television movie My Sister Emily, and her movie debut was in The Light in the Forest (1958). At some point she married, had a daughter, and divorced in 1961. In the mid-1960s, Seldes recorded five albums for Folkways Records of famous works of literature. In 1967 she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for A Delicate Balance. Seldes was a member of the drama faculty of The Juilliard School from 1967 to 1991. Her students included Christopher Reeve, Robin Williams, Kelsey Grammer, Kevin Kline, William Hurt, Patti LuPone, Val Kilmer, and Kevin Spacey. She was nominated in 1971 for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for Father’s Day, and won the 1971 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance for the same play. Between 1974 and 1982, she appeared in 179 episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater. She was nominated for a Tony Award in 1978 for Best Featured Actress in a Play for Iran Levin’s Deathtrap; Seldes appeared in every one of the 1,809 Broadway performances, a feat that earned her a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records as “most durable actress.” In 1983 she won the Outer Circle Critics Award for Best Actress in a Play for Painting Churches. Seldes was nominated the 1998 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for Ivanov. The next year she was nominated for the 1999 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play and the 1999 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for Ring Round the Moon. Seldes was married to screenwriter / playwright Garson Kanin in 1990. In 1992 she appeared on an episode of Murphy Brown as Brown’s eccentric Aunt Brooke. Her husband died in 1999. In 2001 she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for The Butterfly Collection, and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play for The Play About the Baby. In 2002 Seldes began teaching at Fordham University, Lincoln Center. Seldes was also well known for her readings of short stories in the “Selected Shorts” series hosted by Isaiah Sheffer at New York City’s Symphony Space. She was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for 2003’s Dinner at Eight, and in 2005 was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams. In December 2008, for their annual birthday celebration to “The Master”, The Noël Coward Society invited Seldes as the guest celebrity to lay flowers in front of Coward’s statue at New York’s Gershwin Theatre, thereby commemorating the 109th birthday of Sir Noël. Seldes was the recipient of a 2010 Antoinette Perry (“Tony”) Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2012 she played a knife-wielding socialite Mabel Billingsly in the film adaptation of Wendy Mass’s popular children’s book Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, written and directed by Tamar Halpern (died 2014): “All I’ve done is live my life in the theater and loved it. If you can get an award for being happy, that’s what I’ve got.”