Today is the Third Sunday of Easter (Alleluia!), known as Jubilate Sunday. Today is also the Optional Memorial of Saint Pius V, Pope (died 1572). Today is the Anniversary of the Territory of Orleans becoming the State of Louisiana in 1812, and tonight is Walpurgisnacht (which has nothing to do with Pius V, or with the State of Louisiana). Today is also the Third day of the First weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Jubilate Sunday is the Third Sunday after Easter. It is called this because in the liturgy of the Catholic Church the first line of the introit for this day’s mass is “Jubilate Deo omnis terra” (“Shout with joy to God, all the earth”) from Psalm 66 (65). In the liturgy for this and the two following Sundays, the Church continues her song of rejoicing in the Resurrection. Throughout the whole of Paschaltide both Office and Mass are expressive of Easter joy, Alleluia! being added to every antiphon, responsory, and versicle, and repeated several times in the Introits and other parts of the Mass. Today’s Saint was born to impoverished Italian nobility in 1504 at Bosco, Lombardy, Italy as Antonio Ghislieri, and received an excellent training in piety and holiness, including a scholastic education from a Dominican friar; he joined the Order himself in 1518, taking the name Michele. After studies in Bologna he was ordained in 1528 and became a professor of theology in Pavia for sixteen years. He served as master of novices and as prior of several Dominican houses, working for stricter adherence to the Order’s Rule. Appointed Inquisitor in Como, after several years of inquisitorial missions he was appointed commissary general of the Roman Inquisition in 1551. In 1556 he was consecrated Bishop of Nepi e Sutri against his will. Created cardinal in 1557, he became Grand Inquisitor in 1558, was part of the conclave that elected Pope Pius IV in 1559, and was himself elected Pope in 1566. He immediately faced the task of enacting the reforms of the Council of Trent (1545-1563). New seminaries were opened, and a new breviary, new missal, and new catechism were published; foundations were established to spread the Faith and preserve the doctrine of the Church. Pius spent much time personally working with the needy. He built hospitals and used the papal treasury to care for the poor. He faced many difficulties in the public forum, both in the implementation of the Tridentine reforms and in interaction with other heads of state. At the time of his death he was working on a Christian European alliance to break the power of the Islamic states; he did live long enough to hear the news of the Battle of Lepanto (1571), and to institute the new feastday of Our Lady of Victory to commemorate the victory. Turning to secular matters, on this date in 1812 Louisiana became the Eighteenth State of the United States. La Louisiane (named for Louis XIV of France) became a colony of the Kingdom of France in 1682 and passed to Spain in 1763. Local colonial government was based upon parishes, as the local ecclesiastical division (French: paroisse; Spanish: parroquia). The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 had brought into the United States some 828,000 square miles of territory, stretching from the Gulf of Mexico from the west bank of the Mississippi River to what is now Minnesota, and stretching east to what is now Montana and into what is now Canada. In 1804 the Territory of Orleans became that part of the Purchase south of the 33rd Parallel (basically, the current Arkansas-Louisiana border), and again not including the land east of the Mississippi River, which was part of the Spanish territory of West Florida, with William C. C. Claiborne appointed as the Territorial Governor. The Organic Act of 1804, passed on March 26th for October 1st implementation, also created the United States District Court for the District of Orleans, the only time Congress has ever provided a territory with a United States district court equal in its authority and jurisdiction to those of the states. On April 10th, 1805, the territorial legislative council divided the Territory of Orleans into twelve counties. The borders of these counties were poorly defined, but they roughly coincided with the French and Spanish colonial parishes, and hence used the same names. On March 31st, 1807, the territorial legislature created nineteen civil parishes without abolishing the old counties (which term continued to exist until 1845). In 1811 a constitutional convention was held to prepare for Louisiana’s admission into the Union. This organized the state into seven judicial districts, each consisting of groups of parishes. The Florida Parishes east of the Mississippi River were annexed into the Territory of Orleans on April 14th, 1812, and soon afterwards the Territory of Orleans became the State of Louisiana on April 30th, 1812, with William C. C. Claiborne as the first Governor. In 1816 the first official map of the state used the term “parish” instead of “county”; since then the official term for Louisiana’s primary civil divisions has been parishes. Final adjustments to the borders of the State were not completed until about 1819, when the western boundary with Spanish Texas was fully defined with the Adams–Onís Treaty. (I live in the Parish of St. Landry; created in 1805, it was named for the St. Landry Catholic Church in Opelousas, which in turn was named for the Bishop of Paris in 650. The parish at one time was the largest one in Louisiana, but over time six other parishes were carved out of the parish.) Today is also Walpurgisnacht, when in German lore the witches meet on the Broken, the highest of the Harz Mountains of north central Germany, to hold their revels. The current festival is, in most countries that celebrate it, named after the English missionary Saint Walpurga (ca. 710–778). As Walpurga was canonized on the first of May (ca. 870), she became associated with May Day, especially in the Finnish and Swedish calendars, and the eve of May Day, traditionally celebrated with dancing, came to be known as Walpurgisnacht (“Walpurga’s night”). A scene in Goethe’s Faust Part One is called “Walpurgisnacht”, and a scene in Faust Part Two is called “Classical Walpurgisnacht”. The last chapter of book five in Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain is also called “Walpurgisnacht”. In some parts of northern coastal regions of Germany the custom of lighting huge fires is still kept alive to celebrate the coming of May. (The same kind of festival was held in the British Isles and called Beltane, but the only ones who celebrate Beltane now are neo-pagans.) Today is also the Third Day of the First Weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Today’s schedule highlights Walter Mouton & the Scott Playboys, Dr. John and the Gris-Gris Krewe, Elle King, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, George Benson, Lorde, and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, but unless you clone yourself, you cannot see and hear them all, because with twelve music stages, some acts are on at the same time as other acts. The music starts at about 11:00 am each day and continues until 7:00 pm, if everything goes according to schedule.
Before going to sleep last night I continued reading The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot by Jonathan Witt and Jay W. Richards. Our Our #11 LSU Tigers won their third Away College Baseball game of their series with the Alabama Crimson Tide by the score of 4 to 3; our #11 LSU Tigers (30-15, 13-8) will next begin a three-game Home College Baseball series with the #21 South Carolina Gamecocks (25-16, 10-10) on Friday, May 5th. Our #18 LSU Lady Tigers won their second Home College Softball game with the the Missouri Lady Tigers by the score of 3 to 1, but lost the third game by the score of 1 to 3; our #18 LSU Lady Tigers (37-15, 11-10) will play their final Regular Season games as they begin a three-game Away College Softball series with the South Carolina Lady Gamecocks (29-21, 5-14) on Friday, May 5th.
When I woke up to get ready for work I posted to Facebook that today was the Anniversary of Louisiana Statehood in 1812. I did my Book Devotional Reading and brought in the flag I had put out yesterday (by the way, the candidate that was elected Judge was not the one I voted for). I also put our town’s Sunday paper (which is normally delivered on Saturday night, and normally lives where it’s tossed in the front yard until we get home on Sundays) under cover by the back door. When we left for work, it was clear, but we could see the weather coming in from the west as we drove west, with nearly constant huge lightning flashes. I did my Internet Devotional Reading, and we drove into the very bad thunderstorm; Richard passed a car being driven by a drunk driver, who went into the ditch after Richard passed him. (We were running later than usual to get to work, due to me waking up later than usual, and could not turn around to see if he needed help. Our co-workers who traveled the same road after us said that they saw him in the ditch, and that a cop car was there.) When we got to the casino we found that the air conditioning had gone out, and that the casino floor was much warmer than usual, which lasted for our whole shift. Today was the last day of the current two-week pay period; when we clocked in, Richard was on a Blackjack table, then became the Relief Dealer for Macau Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow, then became the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat, Macau Mini Baccarat, and Pai Gow, with the second Three Card Poker table added to his string during his last rotation. I was the Relief Dealer for Macau Mini Baccarat and the second Pai Gow table; when the second Pai Gow table closed, I was the dealer on Mini Baccarat. The electricity at the casino kept flickering off and on while the very bad thunderstorm was going on, but the weather had passed on by about 7:00 am. On my breaks I continued reading 13 Things that Don’t Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time by Michael Brooks via Kindle on my tablet.
On our way home I continued reading 13 Things that Don’t Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time by Michael Brooks via Kindle on my tablet, and Richard stopped at a barbecue place in town to pick up a sausage poboy for his lunch. When we got home our electricity was out, but it came back on about then minutes after we got home. I ate my lunch salad and read the Sunday papers, then came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update; when I am done with this Daily Update I will post to Facebook that tonight is Walpurgisnacht, and I will continue reading 50 Ideas You Really Need to Know: Religion by Peter Stanford before going to sleep.
Tomorrow is the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, May Day, and International Workers Day. Tomorrow we will work our eight hours at the casino, and it will be the first day of the new two-week pay period; on my breaks I will continue reading 13 Things that Don’t Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time by Michael Brooks via Kindle on my tablet. When we get home from work I will make my lunch salads for Monday and Tuesday and eat my Monday salad, then I will occupy myself until 4:30 pm, when I will watch Jeopardy!
As the fires of Walpurgisnacht flare into the night later this Jubilate Sunday (Alleluia!) day, our Parting Quote comes to us from Daniel Berrigan, American activist priest. Born in 1921 in Virginia, Minnesota, his mother was of German descent, and his father was a second-generation Irish Catholic and active trade union member. The fifth of six sons, his youngest brother was fellow peace activist and former priest Philip Berrigan (1923 – 2002). The family moved to Syracuse, New York in 1927. Upon graduating from high school in 1939 he joined the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). In 1946 Berrigan earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Andrew-on-Hudson, a Jesuit seminary in Hyde Park, New York, taught at St. Peter’s Preparatory School in Jersey City from 1946 to 1949, and in 1952 he was ordained to the priesthood and received a master’s degree from Woodstock College in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1954 Berrigan was assigned to teach theology at the Jesuit Brooklyn Preparatory School; the next year his brother Philip was ordained a priest of the Society of St. Joseph, better known as the Josephite Fathers. In 1957 he was appointed professor of New Testament studies at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. The same year, he won the Lamont Prize for his book of poems, Time Without Number. He developed a reputation as a religious radical, working actively against poverty and on changing the relationship between priests and lay people. While at Le Moyne, he founded its International House, and while on sabbatical in 1963 Berrigan traveled to Paris and met French Jesuits who criticized the social and political conditions in Indochina. Taking inspiration from this, he and his brother Philip founded the Catholic Peace Fellowship, a group which organized protests against in the war in Vietnam. From 1966 to 1970, Berrigan was the assistant director of the Cornell University United Religious Work (CURW), the umbrella organization for all religious groups on campus, including the Cornell Newman Club (later the Cornell Catholic Community), eventually becoming the group’s pastor. Berrigan at one time or another held faculty positions or ran programs at Union Seminary, Loyola University in New Orleans, Columbia, Cornell, and Yale. His longest tenure was at Fordham (a Jesuit university located in the Bronx), where he even served as their poet-in-residence, for a brief time. Berrigan, his brother Philip, and Trappist monk Thomas Merton founded an interfaith coalition against the Vietnam War, and wrote letters to major newspapers arguing for an end to the war. In 1967 Berrigan witnessed the public outcry that followed from the arrest of his brother Philip for pouring blood on draft records as part of the Baltimore Four. Philip was sentenced to six years in prison for defacing government property. Berrigan traveled to Hanoi with Howard Zinn during the Tet Offensive in January 1968 to “receive” three American airmen, the first American POWs released by the North Vietnamese since the United States bombing of that nation had begun. Later that year he signed the Writers and Editors War Tax Protest pledge, vowing to refuse to make tax payments in protest of the Vietnam War; he was also interviewed in the anti-Vietnam War documentary film In the Year of the Pig, and later that year became involved in radical non-violent protest. Berrigan and his brother Philip, along with seven other Catholic protesters, used homemade napalm to destroy 378 draft files in the parking lot of the Catonsville, Maryland, draft board on May 17th, 1968. Berrigan was arrested and sentenced to three years in prison, but went into hiding with the help of fellow radicals prior to imprisonment. While on the run, Berrigan was interviewed for Lee Lockwood’s documentary The Holy Outlaw. The FBI apprehended him at the home of William Stringfellow and sent him to prison. Philip married in 1970 while still a priest; that same year Berrigan was interviewed by National Educational Television for The Holy Outlaw, a documentary which aired in September 1970. The Berrigan brothers were featured on the cover of Time Magazine on January 25th, 1971. He was released from prison in 1972. It is frequently claimed that “the radical priest” in Paul Simon’s 1972 song “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” refers to or was inspired by Berrigan. Since 1975, he had lived on the Upper West Side in New York at the West Side Jesuit Community. On September 9th, 1980, Berrigan, his brother Philip, and six others (the “Plowshares Eight”) began the Plowshares Movement. They trespassed onto the General Electric nuclear missile facility in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, where they damaged nuclear warhead nose cones and poured blood onto documents and files. They were arrested and charged with over ten different felony and misdemeanor counts. On April 10th, 1990, after ten years of appeals, Berrigan’s group was re-sentenced and paroled for up to 23 and 1/2 months in consideration of time already served in prison. Their legal battle was re-created in Emile de Antonio’s 1982 film In the King of Prussia, which starred Martin Sheen and featured appearances by the Plowshares Eight as themselves. Berrigan appeared briefly in the 1986 Roland Joffé film The Mission, which starred Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons. In 1987 he wrote To Dwell in Peace: An Autobiography. Berrigan published Sorrow Built a Bridge: Friendship and AIDS reflecting on his experiences ministering to AIDS patients through the Supportive Care Program at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in 1989. Berrigan endorsed a consistent life ethic, a morality based on a holistic reverence for life. As a member of the Rochester, New York-area consistent life ethic advocacy group Faith and Resistance Community, he protested via civil disobedience against abortion at a new Planned Parenthood clinic in 1991. Although much of his later work was devoted to assisting AIDS patients in New York City, Berrigan still held to his activist roots throughout his life. He maintained his opposition to American interventions abroad, from Central America in the 1980s, through the Gulf War in 1991, the Kosovo War, the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He was also an anti-abortion activist and opponent of capital punishment, a contributing editor of Sojourners, and a supporter of the Occupy movement. Berrigan began teaching poetry at Fordham through the Peace and Justice Studies program in 1998. His brother Philip died in 2002. Lynne Sachs’s 2003 documentary film Investigation of a Flame was about the Berrigan brothers and the Catonsville Nine. The Berrigans were noted among other social justice activists in Exploring a Great Spiritual Practice: Fasting by Carole Garibaldi Rogers (2004). Berrigan was interviewed about his life and activism for Generation on Fire: Voices of Protest from the 1960s, an Oral History (2006) by Jeff Kisseloff, from the University Press of Kentucky. The character of Father Corrigan in the novel Let The Great World Spin (2009, by Colum McCann), was inspired by the life of Berrigan. The Berrigan brothers were referenced in the novel The Man Without a Shadow (2016) by Joyce Carol Oates (died 2016): “You just have to do what you know is right.”