Saintly Shenanigans

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Ok, I Goofed — there is another Celtic Saint (VS the First Anglican Woman Priest) February 26, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — revwaf @ 5:30 pm

How quickly we come to rely on new forms of technology and how grumpy we (well, I…) become when something we couldn’t have imagined a mere few years ago suddenly, temporarily, becomes unavailable. I am speakig of WiFi in airplanes. All the recent fligts I have taken have offered that capability. So, I thought logically, I will have a good 5+ hours in a plane yesterday en route to the CEEP conference in San Diego and I can then finish up and post my musings on the Battle of the Martin Luthers as well as getting a jump start on today’s Chad vs Florence Li Tim-Oi. “Is there WiFi on this fligh?” I asked the flight attendant after bording. Imagine my outrage (“What!!!??” spoken inwardly) that there was none. What kind of a retrograde airline is that! (And yet the idea of getting on to the internet at 35,000 feet airborne would have been unimaginable jut a few short years ago. Heck – the idea of the internet was unthinkable earlie in my own lifetime!). So I didn’t post (or even vote — gasp!) yesterday, but I see that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. won in what the Lent Madness people describe as a brutal battle. Even they admitted yesterday’s match-up was, I believe their word of choice was “diabolical”). Today passions will, hopefully, be less inflamed.

Chad of Lichfield: yes, yes, I now realize — Hilda was not the only Celtic saint in this year’s Madness. Chad is a 7th century sort of guy, which qualifes him. Since his story is really complex, mirroring the political intrigues of the day among the various kingdoms that make up the current UK, I refer you directly to the Lent Madness site for a better depiction. He was a 7th century monk and ultimately became Bishop of the Northumbrians, Mercians, and Lindsey People (great names, right?). If you do go to the LM site for better info about Chad I’m sure you’ll see more than a few references to voting and hanging chads…

Florence Li Tim-Oi: her nickname could be Rev’d Rosie the Riveter. Why? Well, as you may recall, during World War II when men were off fighting, women took over jobs that before (and after, for a long time…) were considered “men’s work.” But since there were no men to do it women stepped in as lumberjacks, factory workers, professional softball players, and, in the case of Florence and the Potuguese colony of Macau — priests.

In those days (1930’s) women were allowed be ordained as “deaconesses.” Florence was among them. When war came in the ’40’s, Macau filled up with Chinese refugees. A need was identified: there were not enouh priests to celebrate the Eucharist, so the local bishop, Ronald Hall, consulted with several theologians and found no objection to ordaining Florence priest.

Aftr the war when word got out that a woman had been ordained, in order to calm the ensuing storm, Florence Li Tim-Oi relinquished her license to officiate, but never renounced her vows. She continued her work as a lay minister, ultimately moving to Canada in the early 80’s where once again she could take up her priestly vocation. She died in the early 90’s, living long enough to see women’s ordination accepted in much of the wider Anglican Cmommunion.

Musings: I gotta go with Florence Tim-Oi this go-around. While I love me some Celts this one comes under the “no-brainer” heading for me personally. I love it, now, when I tell young girls “when I was your age girls couldn’t even be acolytes,” seeing their eyes get wide as saucers in disbelief because they don’t ever remember a time when all 7 sacraments were not open to all of humanity, regardless of gender. And how proud I am that the Episcopal Church has now said all 7 sacraments are available to all humanity regardless of sexual orientation as well. The Holy Spirit continues to nudge us, push us, forward. Some day we will fully understand what it means that we are all created in the imgage of God.

To vote go here, and remember to scroll to the bottom of the page, click the circle next to your saint of choice and then click “vote.”

Sorry, no pictures today ;-(


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