Trinity Hungarian Mission with Fr. Edwin Smith and Bishop Campbell Gray and Communicants 1920s1 2019-07-19T19:27:39-07:00 John David Beatty 85388be94808daa88b6f1a0c89beb70cd0fac252 32716 1 Trinity Hungarian Mission with Fr. Edwin Smith and Bishop Campbell Gray plain 2019-07-19T19:27:40-07:00 John David Beatty 85388be94808daa88b6f1a0c89beb70cd0fac252
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Church of the Holy Trinity, South Bend
In 1911, after Bishop John Hazen White had left Michigan City and moved to South Bend, he began to take an interest in the inclusion of immigrant groups within the Episcopal Church who were not traditionally part of the Anglican Communion. A group of Hungarian immigrants approached him about being included in the diocese, and after consulting with the Standing Committee, the bishop consented to their request. A former Catholic priest, the Rev. Victor von Kubinyi, a Hungarian count and godson of the Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria, applied for ordination as an Episcopalian. White delayed action for nine months to test Kubinyi's resolve before admitting him to the priesthood. Afterward, in 1913, 84 Hungarian families signed a petition to organize an Episcopal mission, which was immediately organized as the Trinity Hungarian Mission. Church minutes would be kept in Hungarian through 1948. The parish opened with 350 members, and White confirmed a class of 28 in the first year. Kubinyi requested permission to translate the 1892 prayerbook into Hungarian, and the Rev. John MacKenzie of Howe Military School and William Leonard, Bishop of Ohio, offered financial help. Kubinyi helped organize a variety of parish groups and assisted parishioners in becoming citizens.
The congregation met initially in a National Guard Armory building until Kubinyi raised the funds to erect a prefabricated church structure made by the Mershon and Morley Company of Saginaw, Michigan. The building, located at West Colfax Avenue and Elm Street, was dedicated by Bishop White on Christmas Eve, 1914. The congregation remained poor, however, and Bishop White supplied it with candlesticks, vestments, and a chalice. Many of the congregation were without jobs and had no money to support either the church or themselves. During the severe winter of 1914-15, Mary May White of St. James, South Bend, helped raise money for food, while a wealthy philanthropist in Indianapolis donated money for Christmas gifts for the children. The church building later caught fire.
Against the backdrop of this hardscrabble beginning, fissures developed by 1918 between White and Kubinyi, and the priest resigned. Kubinyi then denounced the ministry of the Episcopal Church in a public document, leaving some members understandably demoralized. White wrote to the Rev. Edwin E. Smith, asking that he take charge of the mission. A bachelor and late vocational priest, Smith maintained the services of the church ably into the 1920s. He organized large dinner-dances with Hungarian food as local fundraisers. He could not speak Hungarian, so the services were led in English with the hymns in Hungarian.
In 1938, Bishop Campbell Gray appointed the Rev. Harold G. Kappes as the new vicar. Although not a Hungarian, Kappes worked hard to learn the language, and he inaugurated a Grape Harvest Festival, which included dances in traditional dress. The church building had fallen into disrepair by this date and was condemned by the city. A new building campaign was launched in 1940, but post-war inflation left only enough to build a church edifice without a rectory or parish hall. Ground was broken for the new building at the corner of Prast Boulevard and North Olive Street on 11 July 1948, and in October, the cornerstone was laid by Bishop Mallett after the congregation had marched ceremonially from the old church. The building has an A-frame design, inspired by the abbey church at Three Rivers, Michigan, where Kappes had studied for his vocation. The new building was dedicated at Easter, 1950.
In 1955, for unknown reasons, Bishop Mallett removed Kappes abruptly as vicar. He was replaced by the Rev. James Halfhil, who served until 1961 when he was forced to resign for reasons of health. His successor, the Rev. James Moore, served until 1968 when he left after domestic issues. The Rev. William Hibbert arrived and had a successful ministry, during which he worked with youth and chartered a Boy Scouts troop, earning him recognition for his efforts from the Presiding Bishop. In 1970, the mission was admitted formally as a parish and the following year was renamed the Church of the Holy Trinity. Hibbert served until 1984 before leaving for Indianapolis. The Rev. Bradley McCormick served as interim rector until the election of the Rev. Jack Bliven in 1985. Lay ministry expanded and new windows were installed before Bliven was forced to resign on account of poor health in 1989. He died a year later.
The Rev. Paul Bradshaw served as interim until the Rev. Tina Velthuizen was called as rector in 1991. She was the first female priest to serve in the diocese and arrived as a result of the parishioners petitioning Bishop Gray specifically for a woman priest. Gray had initially said he would only approve a woman priest if she were raised up in the diocese, but he decided to change that policy and approved Velthuizen, who came from the Diocese of Western Michigan. A few parishioners left the parish on her arrival, but many returned and accepted her ministry after getting to know her. She would prove a popular priest. During her rectorate, the parish created a community garden. After suffering from a long illness, she announced her retirement in 2014.
The parish was last led by the Rev. Terri Bays, who also served the diocese as Missioner for Transitions and Governance. In September 2022, the parish voted to close.
Victor Alexander von Kubinyi, 1913-1918
Edwin Ellsworth Smith, 1919-1939
Harold George Kappes, 1939-1956
James Halphill, 1956-1960
Reginald Mallett II, 1961-1963
James G. Greer, 1963-1968
William Chattin Hibbert, 1968-1984
J. Bradley McCormick, 1984
Jack C. Bliven, 1984-1989
Paul Bradshaw, 1990
Teunis "Tina" Velthuizen, 1991-2014
Terri Bays, 2014-2022
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Campbell Gray, Second Bishop
Campbell Gray, the second bishop of the Diocese of Northern Indiana, was elected Bishop Coadjutor in January 1925 before Bishop White's death, and consecrated on 1 May 1925 at Trinity Episcopal Church, Fort Wayne. The principal consecrators were all Anglo-Catholics: Reginald H. Weller of Fond du Lac, Edward Fawcett of Quincy, and William W. Webb of Milwaukee. A grainy newsreel of the event shows a series of bishops in copes and miters marching into the church in a scene that would likely have shocked Episcopalians in many other dioceses. Gray's tenure is best remembered for the significant liturgical turn toward Anglo-Catholicism that had germinated during his predecessor's episcopate and would last until nearly the end of the twentieth century.
Gray was born in Bolivar, Tennessee, on 6 January 1879, the son of the Rev. William Crane Gray and Fannie Campbell (Bowers). His family had long affiliations with the Episcopal Church, being collateral descendants of Bishop John Croes, the first Bishop of New Jersey. William Crane Gray, a native of Lambertville, New Jersey, had moved to Tennessee as a boy of ten, when his father, Dr. Joseph R. Gray, established a medical practice in Clarksville. William Crane had studied at Kenyon College, was ordained a priest in 1860, and served as chaplain of a Tennessee regiment in the Civil War. Afterward he had served churches in Bolivar and Nashville, including a 20-year rectorate at the Church of the Advent in Nashville. In 1892, William was elected bishop of the Missionary Jurisdiction of South Florida, during which time he became a pioneer in bringing the Episcopal Church to many small, under-served populations when Florida had seen little development.
A story that was often told about the elder Gray involved him missionary outreach to the Seminole tribe. As a gift, the bishop presented the chief with several gallons of ice cream. In the warm weather, the ice cream melted, and the chief is said to have complained that it was just like every gift from the white man, "it turns to nothing." The younger Gray often shared the story with a sense of humor.
Campbell Gray's ideological path toward Anglo-Catholicism is less well documented or discernible from extant records, but he was clearly a different churchman from his father. He graduated from the University of the South at Sewanee in 1901 and from General Theological Seminary in New York City in 1904 - and neither institution was strongly Anglo-Catholic. However, after he had become bishop, he obtained an honorary doctorate from Nashotah House in 1925, where his predisposition toward the Catholic Revival was solidified. For such Anglo-Catholic priests, returning the church to the rich and colorful liturgical heritage before the Reformation was preferred over what they perceived, according to Robert Center, as "the drab, colorless liturgy foisted off on the Church by eighteenth century latitudinarianism." Gray had clearly developed a taste for ceremonial liturgy apart and distinct from what his father had practiced.
Ordained to the priesthood by his father at the Cathedral of St. Luke, Orlando, Florida, in 1905, Gray married Virginia Neil Morgan of Nashville a few months later. He immediately went to work for his father in the missionary district of South Florida, spending nine years before being called as vicar of St. Augustine's Church, Rhinelander, Wisconsin. He had arrived by train, wearing a straw hat, with his wife, three children, and their African-American maid from the Bahamas. His time there, where Nashotah House had a strong theological effect, may have influenced his liturgical tastes. From there he moved to Peoria, Illinois, to become rector of St. Paul's Church, a position that won him notice from Northern Indiana.
After assuming office, Gray made clear his preference that the Holy Eucharist be celebrated every week in each parish. He added, "The ceremonial which accompanies the Holy Eucharist may be simple, moderate, or very elaborate...Your Bishop would like to meet you half way. Diocesan functions will have the full ceremonial. When the Bishop visits your parish, he will conform to your usage." In spite of this sense of adaptability, nearly every parish and mission became full ceremonial within a few years, bringing Northern Indiana into conformity with other so-called "biretta-belt" dioceses that bordered Lake Michigan, but making it out of step with the rest of the national Church. An increasingly wide ideological gulf would come to separate Northern Indiana from its sister diocese, Indianapolis.
A few years later, Gray would defend his churchmanship this way: "The need for the world today is Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God. Human souls will not be won to him be a weak explaining away of his Godhead ...Men today need, and when we see into their minds we find that they desire, a strong, definite, and fearless presentation of the Faith...There is but one way to draw men unto Christ, and that is to lift Him up. When, therefore, we obey His command and insist upon centering our whole religious life upon the Sacrifice of the Altar, there will almost always be a repetition of what took place in the hour of His agony." In other words, the centerpiece of all worship was the Holy Eucharist, but only the confirmed could receive it.
If the roaring Twenties were a time of economic adventurism, the increasing wealth of many did not translate into greater stewardship for the Diocese. When the national Church had announced the Nation Wide Campaign in 1924 to raise apportioned money from every diocese for missionary work, Northern Indiana had lagged far behind other dioceses. Of the $30,000 apportioned, only $7,000 was paid. The diocese had remained poor, and the bishop had no staff. Gray accepted a proposal that the diocese appoint an archdeacon among the clergy who could help him with some administrative duties, and in 1924 the Rev. Howard R. White filled that office. Gray also began the launch of a diocesan newspaper that had not been published for over a decade.
The new bishop was most concerned about finding a new permanent cathedral in the wake of the loss of Michigan City. The diocese purchased for him a home at 710 Lincolnway in Mishawaka, centrally-located near South Bend. Accordingly, he designated Mishawaka as his see city and St. Paul's as the new pro-cathedral. The parish purchased adjoining land for a new cathedral's construction, and architects, Ralph Adams Cram and Frank Ferguson, devised plans for a towering building with a pleasing Gothic Revival style that was still in vogue. The new cathedral would grace the banks of the St. Joseph River and face Cedar Street, though there was hardly enough land at the site for the structure. Even with other diocesan funds falling short, Gray pressed forward with raising money for the structure.
The lanky new bishop pleased many with his sense of humor and pastoral demeanor, a contrast from his more austere predecessor. A brief biographical sketch described him as possessing "the Franciscan hallmark of serene and saintly piety." Many recalled his genuine warmth that was devoid of White's prickly temper. One woman recalled him entering a room for a church meeting singing "The Old Gray Mare Ain't What She Used to Be" and receiving a warm welcome. He made his rounds of visitations in a Model T Ford, which he nicknamed the Lizzie, but his dress, even on these visits was the cope and miter in contrast to White's rochet and chimere. The Eucharist was usually chanted. Genuflecting, bowing to the processional cross, and crossing oneself became commonplace in most parishes, and many parishioners withheld eating breakfast on Sunday mornings until receiving communion. Some parishes installed confessionals and encouraged the sacrament of penance. Incense at worship was also introduced in some parishes, especially on high holy days. Girls wore chapel veils when presenting themselves for confirmation.
The onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s shelved forever any plans for building a cathedral in Mishawaka. Northern Indiana was especially hard-hit as many parishes struggled to remain open and support their rectors. Only a few paid their diocesan assessments in 1931. Bonds held in the diocesan endowment funds had defaulted on interest payments, while other funds in the endowment were used for regular operating costs. Gray refused to take a salary except what he received as a rector. The office of archdeacon was abolished and publication of the diocesan newspaper again suspended. The diocese wrestled with what to do with those parishes in arrears with respect to the diocesan convention, and at length Gray and other leaders decided to seat them with voice but no vote.
Gray worked to buoy the spirits of the diocesan family, even if the news every year seemed more grim. One of the most notable actions was the creation of the Howe Conference. The conference had its roots in the Summer Conference that Bishop White had begun at his cottage at Lake Wawasee in 1915. He had successfully launched it in a rare partnership with the Diocese of Indianapolis, but by 1929, Bishop Joseph Francis had pulled out of the event. In 1933, the leaders of Howe School offered the campus for a summer conference, and Gray at once saw it as an opportunity for offering spiritual nourishment and recreation as well as a means of bringing the diocese together in fellowship. Again, a co-sponsorship with Indianapolis was attempted with the bishops of each diocese alternating as conference president and chaplain. However, by 1935, Indianapolis discontinued its involvement. Nevertheless, between 50 and 100 high school students and adults from Northern Indiana enrolled, and Gray made tuition assistance available. By 1937, with the financial picture beginning to improve, he had named the Rev. J. McNeal Wheatley of Trinity Fort Wayne as the new archdeacon and tasked him with organizing the conference.
Gray faced a variety of administrative challenges brought on by the Depression, particularly with respect to the parishes in the Calumet region near Chicago on the western side of the diocese. White had promoted the establishment of missions in several industrialized areas, but they had proven difficult to sustain in the long term. In 1939, in an attempt to remedy the problem, Gray invited two Benedictine monks, Dom Paul Severance and Dom Leo Patterson, to take charge of three missions: St. Andrew's Valparaiso, St. Stephen's Hobart, and St. Augustine's Gary. They had received training at Nashdom Abbey, an English Benedictine house, that had hoped to establish a Benedictine presence in the United States. As unmarried monks they required only small salaries for subsistence and free housing. Taking up residence in a house in Valparaiso during Easter Week, they converted the dining room into a chapel and received donations of furniture for the other rooms. They named their residence St. Gregory's House, and here they prayed the daily office. Gray was invited to become the first Episcopal Visitor in 1941. Soon afterward Patterson left and was replaced by Dom Francis Hilary Bacon, a noted artist. Eventually, the order would move to Three Rivers, Michigan and founded St. Gregory's Priory.
The outbreak of World War II put further strain on the diocese just as the hardship of the Great Depression had begin to wane. Many men and women from across the diocese served their country in the armed services while several priests became Army chaplains. The parish house of Trinity Fort Wayne became outfitted as a civilian hospital by the Red Cross for the Emergency War Board. Its rector, Father J. McNeal Wheatley, paid regular visits to Baer Field, the local airport, to conduct services for visiting troops. In La Porte, the construction of the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant brought thousands of workers into the La Porte area and housed them in trainer courts. The Rev. George J. Childs, rector of St. Paul's in La Porte, attempted to reach out to them, opening the parish to worker families on Sunday afternoons and attempting to raise money for a missionary. However the effort received no interest from the workers, nor did the Home Mission Board of the national Church see fit to give the idea adequate funding, even though it did assign a missionary jurisdiction to the area.
For Gray, the early 1940s proved too taxing for his health. His daughter, Virginia, died after a surgical operation, and his son, Francis, daughter-in-law Jane, and grandson Francis Jr. were all taken prisoner by the Japanese in the Philippines. In 1943, Gray had surgery, which was followed by a bout of influenza and pneumonia. He recovered sufficiently to preside at the Annual Council on 3 May 1944, but less than two weeks later he suffered a heart attack and died on 16 May 1944. The diocese was stunned by the loss, especially as his health had seemed to be improving. The dual blows of the Depression and World War II had proven too much of a strain. He was well remembered a generation afterward for his kind pastoral presence and for the Catholic liturgical tradition he had instilled.
Robert J. Center, Our Heritage: A History of the First Seventy-five Years of the Diocese of Northern Indiana (South Bend: Dioceseof Northern Indiana, 1973), 18-31.
Order of Service for the Consecration of the Rev. Campbell Gray .... 1 May 1925
Rev. Edwin Ellsworth Smith
The Rev. Edwin E. Smith was born in Warsaw, Indiana, on 26 February 1863 to uncertain parents. His educational background is unknown, but he married Nellie V. White, daughter of Dr. William White, on 14 June 1893 in Grant County, Indiana. In 1900, he was a traveling salesman, and ten years later he worked as a cutter in a shirt factory in South Bend. As a devout churchman and lay reader, he became acquainted with Bishop John Hazen White, who recruited him in September 1918 for ordination, specifically to fill the pulpit of the Holy Trinity Hungarian Mission in South Bend left vacant by the abrupt departure of the Rev. Victor von Kubinye. Smith accepted the post and proved himself a faithful priest, guiding the mission successfully until his retirement in November 1938. He also briefly had charge of St. John's, Bristol, from 1920 to 1921. He died in South Bend on 18 December 1945.