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The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers Charles Henry Brent, Bishop of the Philippines, and of Western New York, 1929.

In 1902 a ship entered the Port of Manila bearing the American Governor, William Howard Taft, and the Missionary Bishop of the Philippines, Charles Henry Brent. Bishop Brent arrived with all the trappings and prestige of the new American establishment. However, he soon demonstrated that he was going to resist the temptations that ruined many protestant missions. He refused to waste time criticizing Roman Catholicism, the religion of most of the Filipinos, or to conduct a "chapel of ease" for the rich and comfortable American Episcopalians in Manila. He determined, instead, to go to the thousands of non-Christians on the islands and also to see that the American rule in the islands was responsible and ethical.

Bishop Brent founded several schools and an excellent charity hospital in Manila. He became a key opponent of the deadly opium trade in the islands. He conducted a successful mission to the sophisticated Chinese of Manila and converted the pagan and uncivilized Igorots of Luzon. He dared to venture, unarmed, into the territory of the hostile Moros of the Sulu Archipelago, among whom he initiated a Christian mission. By 1917 his health was broken, and he accepted election to the Diocese of Western New York, where he became an important leader in the new ecumenical movement. Everywhere he had served as a bold witness to Christ's love for "all sorts and conditions of men."

Help us to lay aside our own comfort for the good of all your people, O God. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

Heavenly Father, whose Son prayed that we all might be one: Deliver us from arrogance and prejudice, and give us wisdom and forbearance, that, following your servant Charles Henry Brent, we may be united in one family with all who confess the Name of your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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