Adult Ed: Oh, When the SAINTS Go Marching In


Six sessions, Wednesday, September 16th through October 21st at 7:30 PM in the Library AND one more session on October 28th at 6:30 PM in Cowans Hall.


Since the earliest centuries of the Church, Christians have remembered, honored, and emulated heroes of the faith. The church commemorates and celebrates apostles and evangelists, martyrs and mystics, great teachers, thinkers and preachers, and all sorts of people who dedicated their lives to compassion, the spread of the Gospel and prayer.

In September, Roman Catholics will welcome the Pope to the United States. During his visit he will perform an ancient ritual to “canonize” Fra Junipero Serra, placing him on the Roman Catholic calendar of saints. Serra, who is buried at Mission Carmel, was the founder of the California missions and leader of the Franciscan missionaries in the late eighteenth century.

The Episcopal Church, other Anglican churches, and the Orthodox Church also maintain calendars of commemorations.

We will start September 16 with “Saints 101”. Why do we remember the saints? How do we know somebody “really” was a saint? What is the history of the Calendar of Saints? How and why do the various church’s calendars differ? What difference does it all make?

Over the next five Wednesdays we will explore the lives and legacies of a number of saints; ancient, medieval and modern.


We will end the series with an intergenerational workshop, during which adults, youth and children will share a light meal, and then prepare Sanctuary decorations for the Feast of All Saints, Sunday November 1.

Artwork acknowledgments: The cover art in the image accompanying this post includes icons of St. Anthony (left) and Theotokos (right), which is the Greek title of Mary, often translated as “God-bearer”, courtesy of Kristin Munday. The center image is of a stained-glass window depicting Father Junipero Serra located in the Basilica Parish at Mission Dolores, San Francisco.

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