Who is Fr. James Huntington?

O loving God, by thy grace thy servant James Huntington gathered a community dedicated to love and discipline and devotion to the holy Cross of our Savior Jesus Christ: Send thy blessing upon all who proclaim Christ crucified, and move the hearts of many to look unto him and be saved; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. – Collect from Holy Women, Holy Men

Fr. James Huntington, OHC was the founder of the first permanent American Episcopal monastic community, the Order of the Holy Cross. Born in Boston in 1854, Fr. Huntington was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood in the Diocese of Central New York after studies at Harvard University and St. Andrew’s Divinity School. Huntington felt a call to the religious life and considered joining the Society of St. John the Evangelist but resolved to found a specifically American community. He made his life profession on November 25,1884 and founded what ultimately became known as the Order of the Holy Cross.

Alongside his commitment to the religious life, Huntington became deeply involved in the struggle for social justice, particularly in the nascent labor movement: he was a member of the Knights of Labor and a founder of the Church Association for the Advancement of the Interests of Labor. As such, Huntington seemed a reasonable choice — albeit a decidedly (and perhaps immodestly) aspirational one — for a nom de plume.


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