June 7: [The Pioneers of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, 1890]

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About this commemoration

The presence of Anglicans in Brazil is first recorded in the early nineteenth century and took the form of chaplaincies for English expatriates. It was not, however, until 1890 when missionary efforts among the Brazilian people began under the care of two Episcopal Church missionaries, Lucien Lee Kinsolving and James Watson Morris. They held the first service on Trinity Sunday 1890 in Porto Alegre. Within a year, three additional missionaries—William Cabell Brown, John Gaw Meem, and Mary Packard—arrived and joined the work. These five missionaries are the pioneers and considered the founders of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil.

In 1899, Kinsolving was made missionary bishop for the work in Brazil by the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church, and in 1907 the missionary district of Brazil was established by The General Convention. The number of parishes and institutions continued to increase. The bishops were raised up from among Episcopal Church missionaries who were serving in the missionary district. Fifty years after the work first began, in 1940, the first native Brazilian was elected to the episcopate, Athalício Theodoro Pithan.

By 1950, the work had increased to the point that the missionary district was too large and it was divided into three dioceses. This set the stage for the continued development of the church in Brazil, which eventually led to the formation of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil as an autonomous Province of the Anglican Communion in 1965. Complete financial independence from the Episcopal Church was completed by 1982, although the two churches continue to have strong bonds of affection and united mission efforts through companion diocese relationships and coordination at the church-wide level.


I  O God, who didst send thy Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: we bless thee for the missionaries from the Episcopal Church and those who first responded to their message, joining together to establish the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil; and we pray that we, like them, may be ready to preach Christ crucified and risen, and to encourage and support those who pioneer new missions in him; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

II  O God, who sent your Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: we bless you for the missionaries from the Episcopal Church and those who first responded to their message, joining together to establish the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil; and we pray that we, like them, may be ready to preach Christ crucified and risen, and to encourage and support those who pioneer new missions in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Psalm 125


2 Esdras 2:42–48

1 Peter 1:18–25

Luke 4:14–21

Preface of All Saints

From Holy, Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints © 2010 by The Church Pension Fund. Used by permission.Th


10 thoughts on “June 7: [The Pioneers of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, 1890]

  1. This commemoration is for Trial Use. All elements (Title, Collect, Lections, and Proper Preface) are new.

  2. Title: It seems to be the intent of many new entries in HWHMto include the founders of many provinces and religious communities.
    Sometimes they are named (as Ini Kopuria was yesterday) and sometimes they are not named (as in today’s commemoration). Which should be the norm? Naming the founders in the title, or not? For consistency sake it should be one or the other.

    Collect: This is the English equivalent of the name of the church in Brazil: Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil. But it’s actual name is: Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brazil.
    Call me (as Theodore Johnson suggested on June 5th regarding my colleauges) one of those with an ‘advanced theological and liturgical education at an arrogantly self-righteous, holier-than-thou seminary’ but I think that the collect should use the Portuguese and not an English equivalent.

  3. Could someone explain[remind me of] the use of brackets on 3 of the past 4 entries? Are these three special in some way that all the other new commemorations were not?

    Sorry if I missed a previous announcement of the purpose of the brackets.


  4. TThis is certainly worthwhile., The info is useful The collect appropriate.. The lessons seem fine, but I haven’t actually used them at a service. I think we should make it permanent.

  5. dewluca, the square brackets means that the commenoration is approved for trial use. The person(s) or event has been proposed for addition to the the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church. For example, during the first 10 days of June: Justin Martyr, Blandina and the Martyrs of Lyons, the Martyrs of Uganda, Boniface, Columba and Ephrem of Edessa are already part of the liturgical calendar. But John XXIII, Ini Kopuria, the Pioneers of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil and Roland Allen are proposed additions.

    I am completely at a loss when if comes to this proposed addition since if seems to address the founding of an Anglican church is Brazil which had ties to the United States. The founding of the church was not one event but a series of steps that took place over 80 plus years. The persons involved all seem to be white Episcopalians from the United States which had it share of colonial ambitions at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. Surely some local persons must have provided real leadership or the church would not have been successfully established. I do not have a sense of any special call among the persons mentioned but then there is little more than the names of the four men and a women mentioned. The ordination of the first native Brazilian bishop only mentions a name, Athalicio T. Pithan. I, as an ordinary Episcopalian, would relate to this much better if I knew about one of the men or the woman in some detail. The founding of another institution is not inspiring though perhaps knowing more about the spritual sparks which resulted in the church founding might make this proposed commemoration memorable. Surely Bishop Athalicio Theodor Pithan’s life must be interesting since he was probably was baptized Roman Catholic. Brazil is such an ethnically diverse country, there must have been many challenges in establishing the church. If this commemoration is to stay in the calendar, please give the “biography” some life.

  6. I agree with S. Sauter’s comments – while this is interesting in a kind of dry way, I’d like more information about how the church in Brazil functions in an ethnically and socially diverse setting, dominated by the Roman church.

  7. There are other commemorations having elements in common with this one, and there are very good things about this commemoration, as well as the collect, to be appreciated. (I haven’t gotten to the readings yet.) To me, the focus on a movement (a whole church and its history over a long period) rather than a significant focus on people (what we have here is as sketchy as it can get) raises a question, and calls for a judgment, about whether it fits the following two guidelines adopted for HWHM:

    1. Historicity: Christianity is a radically historical religion, so in almost every instance it is not theological realities or spiritual movements but exemplary witness to the Gospel of Christ in lives actually lived that is commemorated in the Calendar.
    2. Christian Discipleship: The death of the saints, precious in God’s sight, is the ultimate witness to the power of the Resurrection. What is being commemorated, therefore, is the completion in death of a particular Christian’s living out of the promises of baptism. …

    I’m sharing the question and holding off on my usual excessiveness, but S. Sauter’s comment expresses very well the kinds of issues I see with it. (Thank you for putting flesh on the bones, Suzanne.)

  8. This commemoration (as written, at least) belongs in the forthcoming companion volume to HWHM, HP2 (Holy Provinces, Holy Programs).
    The fact that the first five missionaries were all “white Episcopalians from the United States which had it share of colonial ambitions at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries” does not mean they were mere tools of American imperialism and unworthy of celebration. The Brazilians certainly don’t think so, as their own website says “These five people are considered to be the true founders of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil” (http://www.ieab.org.br/ieab/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19).
    From the very beginning of their ministry, the five North Americans worked with and through their first converts. They established both English- and Portugese-speaking congregations. Three years after their first Eucharist on June 1, 1890, George Peterkin (1st Bishop of West Virginia) made a pastoral visit. He not only confirmed 128 people but also ordained four Brazilians as deacons.
    Even before he was made bishop in 1899, Kinsolving had established “a small theological school” to support the growth of the church. By the time he retired in 1928, there were five self-supporting parishes with 23 Brazilian clergy assisted by missionaries from the US, England, and Japan.
    Brown served 23 years in Brazil (and concurrently as Bishop of Puerto Rico from 1904) before being called back to Virginia to serve as its Bishop Coadjutor (1914) and subsequently its 7th Bishop (1919). In Brazil, he translated the BCP into Portugese, collaborated on a translation of the Bible, and led the working group whose efforts led to the establishment of Brazil’s first full-fledged seminary in 1903. In Virginia, he is remembered as the founder of the Church School system.
    Financial pressures forced Kinsolving to close the seminary in 1909, but he later recalled Morris to establish a new one, which lasted until 1933. For more on the convoluted history of theological education in Brazil see http://www.anglicantheologicalreview.org/static/pdf/articles/calvani_90.2.pdf
    My recommendation is to keep the feast but scrap the write-up. Instead, pick either Kinsolving or Brown (the best documented of the five) and tell Brazil’s story through his biography (“X and his companions, founders of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil”).

  9. The proposed title is too long: I suggest “Anglican Pioneers in Brazil”.

    Line 4, third paragraph: add “in 1965” after “led”.

    Lines 5-6, third paragraph: delete “in 1965”, assuming my recommendation to move the date earlier in the sentence is accepted.

  10. I did not mean to imply that the white Episcopalians from the United States who were instrumental in the
    foundation of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil were instruments of American imperialism, but the
    history as now written does not provide us with the necessary information about native Brazilian involvement
    in the formation of the church to disprove a suspicion which arises just because of the period when the foundation occured, the years of and immediately following the Spanish-American War. Because of real life schedules, I had read ahead to Roland Allen and the very sort of “devolution” church formation which he so roundly condemned seemed to be the pattern of formation of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil. I needed Steve Lusk to fill in a
    bit of the missing information which made sense of the church formation by persons truly dedicated to the spread of the Gospel even if what is a very Roman Catholic country. And the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil truly
    would not have flourished if the local people had to taken the church to heart and committed money and time and talent to the building of a new church.

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