16 February 2023

Praying in Ordinary Time
with USPG: 16 February 2023

Bishop Charles Todd Quintard … opposed racism in the church and in the Confederate states

Patrick Comerford

These weeks, between the end of Epiphany and Ash Wednesday, are known as Ordinary Time. We are in a time of preparation for Lent, which in turn is a preparation for Holy Week and Easter.

Before today becomes a busy day, I am taking some time for prayer and reflection early this morning.

In these days of Ordinary Time before Ash Wednesday next week (22 February), I am reflecting in these ways each morning:

1, reflecting on a saint or interesting person in the life of the Church;

2, one of the lectionary readings of the day;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary, ‘Pray with the World Church.’

The calendar of the Episcopal Church in the US today remembers Bishop Charles Todd Quintard (1824-1898), a physician and Bishop of Tennessee.

Charles Todd Quintard was born in Stamfort, Connecticut, on 22 December 1824, a son of Dr Isaac Quintard who was descended from Huguenots.

Quintard studied medicine in New York University, becoming an MD in 1847. He was a physician in Athens, Georgia, and a parishioner at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, from 1848 to 1851. He moved to Memphis, Tennessee, to teach at Memphis Medical College. With the support of James Hervey Otey, the Bishop of Tennessee, he studied for ordination, and he was ordained deacon on 1 January 1855 and priest on 6 January 1856.

Like Bishop Otey, Quintard was of the Southern branch of the old High Church or Hobartian group of Episcopalians. He identified with the Oxford Movement, and was deeply moved by the writings of Tractarians such as John Keble, Edward Pusey and John Henry Newman.

He was briefly the Rector of Calvary Church, Memphis (1856-1857), and then the Rector of the Church of the Advent, Nashville (1857). In 1864, he organised Saint Luke’s Church in Atlanta.

Although he opposed slavery, and despite his initial pro-Union stance, he was a surgeon and a chaplain in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, when he compiled the Confederate Soldiers’ Pocket Manual of Devotions (1863) and Balm for the Weary and the Wounded (1864).

Quintard succeeded James Hervey Otey as Bishop of Tennessee in October 1865. His consecration as the South’s first post-war bishop was viewed as a sign of healing within the Episcopal Church.

He built up the Diocese of Tennessee and the University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee, where he founded the School of Theology.

Quintard believed that his mission was to make the Episcopal Church in Tennessee ‘a refuge for all – the lame, halt and blind as well as the rich.’ He opposed all barriers, from racially-segregated congregations to pew rentals, he established programmes to help poor people and helped to found Hoffman Hall, Fisk University, Nashville, as a seminary for African Americans.

Quintard received honorary doctorates from Columbia College (Doctor of Divinity, 1866) and Cambridge (Doctor of Laws, 1867). He was in Meridian, Georgia, for health reasons when he died on 16 February 1898. He was 73 years old.

Bishop Charles Todd Quintard rebuilt Sewanee, the University of the South, which is owned by 28 Southern dioceses, including Tennessee, after the Civil War

Mark 8: 27-33 (NRSVA):

27 Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’ 28 And they answered him, ‘John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’ 29 He asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.’ 30 And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’

USPG Prayer Diary:

The theme in the USPG Prayer Diary this week is ‘Bray Day.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday by Jo Sadgrove, USPG’s Research and Learning Advisor, who shared the challenges of uncovering USPG’s archives.

The USPG Prayer Diary today invites us to pray in these words:

We pray for all who seek to educate and inform. May our places of learning be open to all, offering new pathways and new vision.

The Collect:

Mighty God, we bless your Name for the example of your bishop Charles Todd Quintard, who persevered to reconcile the divisions among the people of his time: Grant, we pray, that your Church may ever be one, that it may be a refuge for all, for the honour of your Name; through Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Yesterday’s Reflection

Continued Tomorrow

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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