November 25, 2005

James Otis Sargent Huntington

Category: Communion of Saints — Micah @ 12:00 am

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Good day, and welcome to Communion of Saints from I’m your host, Micah Jackson. Today is November 25th, 2005: the Feast of Blessed James Huntington.

During the course of your life have you ever been a member of a team that really worked? Not just one that managed to complete the tasks at hand, but one where all the members really understood each other, and could communicate just by a look. Those kinds of teams are not easy to build, but they are worth the effort, since they are a joy to be a part of, and can achieve things that would otherwise be impossible.

This is the kind of group that James Huntington wanted to be a part of. One day in the early 1880s, while at prayer during a retreat, he received a call to join a monastic community. He considered the orders that were open to him, but decided in the end that the work he wanted to do would need a new kind of order, one that was uniquely American.

Huntington and two friends bonded together to begin their work. They began their work among very poor immigrants alongside the Sisters of St. John Baptist on the Lower East Side of New York City. But the heavy pace of work and worship took their toll on the little band. Eventually, only James Huntington remained, but remain he did, committed to his social work, and his sense of vocation.

Rather than abandon his hope for a new monastic order for America, or decide that he might have misunderstood God’s message to him, he stuck to his practice of daily worship and daily work. Eventually, God sent other men to join James Huntington as members of the Order of the Holy Cross. The Order exists to this day, and remains strong, with several houses throughout the country.

Huntington must have been comforted by the words of today’s selection from John’s Gospel. It must have strengthened him to persevere in his vocation when he heard Jesus say, “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.” (John 6:34-38) As you live out God’s call to you, I encourage you to pray that God will send you excellent companions in your work, just as James Huntington did.

Let us pray: O loving God, by your grace your servant James Huntington gathered a community dedicated to love and discipline and devotion to the Holy Cross of our Savior Jesus Christ: Send your blessing on all who proclaim Christ crucified, and move the hearts of many to look upon him and be saved; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Thank you for listening to Communion of Saints. Please join us on November 28th at for the feast of Kamehameha and Emma of Hawaii. I’m Micah Jackson. May God be with you.

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