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by Thomas J. Steele,John Baptist Lamy

Noted scholar, student of New Mexican culture, and teacher Father Tom Steele has tracked down all the existing manuscript sermons of Jean Baptiste Lamy (1814-88), the first bishop of Santa Fe and the model for the title character of Willa Cather's novel Death Comes for the Archbishop. Lamy has been the subject of devotion, rumor, and attack for over a hundred years. In this new book Steele selects important and characteristic sermons and uses them to decipher the real Lamy, public and private. This book builds on previous scholarly work about Lamy, including Paul Horgan's Lamy of Santa Fe, and presents new information and insight based on Lamy's own writings. A fully searchable CD-ROM (for both PC and MAC) of Lamy's complete sermons in English and Spanish is also available.
Download Archbishop Lamy: In His Own Words epub
ISBN: 1890689106
ISBN13: 978-1890689100
Category: Bibles
Subcategory: Ministry & Evangelism
Author: Thomas J. Steele,John Baptist Lamy
Language: English
Publisher: Lpd Pr (August 1, 2000)
Pages: 269 pages
ePUB size: 1106 kb
FB2 size: 1960 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 163
Other Formats: rtf doc txt lit

After a trip to Bishop's Lodge in the spring, I became fascinated with the real history of Archbishop Lamy and the pioneering times when he lived. It is unfortunate that Lamy's chapel and living quarters near Tesuque are in need of upkeep, but the treasures inside are still worth the visit. I'm so glad I was able to find such a well-researched, translated, and documented book. Being able to read the words that the Archbishop spoke in homily to the people he served 150 years ago provides an added dimension to history. The book begins with a chronology of Lamy's life and a comparison of Willa Cather's fictional character, Latour, to the real Archbishop. It continues with a psychological profile and spirituality before continuing with a selection of sermons in both Spanish and English. Rather than being some old-style preaching, his homilies are relevant to modern times and would keep me awake in a warm church in August. The book ends with an appendix of the sermons in liturgical-calendar order. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys all aspects of the history of the Southwest. Many thanks to the author, Fr. Thomas Steele, for his work in preserving this history.
This is a very important book. Thomas Steele, S.J. deserves high praise for collecting so many of Archbishop Lamy's sermons. Preaching was a different endeavour back in the 19th century. It is impressive to see a preacher so rooted in scripture. His usage of scripture would not be approved of in today's Catholic seminaries, but Lamy shows himself to be a preacher who was rooted in the word of God.

Archbishop Lamy, like most American bishops before and after him was no theologian. Steele bring this point out quite well. Lamy never claimed to be one. Lamy was very French, and very much a product of French Catholic formation. His spirituality, despite having spent most of his life in the United States, was very French and Steele brings this out quite well. Berulle and others of the French school of spirituality influenced Lamy deeply. Lamy was, I believe, a product of French Sulpician formation and his spirituality and preaching reflects those influences.

Archbishop Lamy's arrival in Santa Fe was essentially a clash between two very different cultures. Catholics in America were often treated quite harshly. In many ways, they were and are different from their Protestant neighbours. Lamy very much wanted the Church to be respectable, and the Penitentes and other Spanish devotional practices did not help in that quest. Catholicism appeared very strange to the Americans, both in its French and Irish forms. The Spanish spirituality is very, very different from the spirituality favoured by the French, the Irish, and Germans. Lamy favoured all things French quite naturally. In a city that is predominantly Spanish, he left a French Romanesque cathedral. While he no doubt loved the people that he served, he remained a Frenchman at heart. To Lamy, what was proper and what a church should look like was something French. Steele brings these points out nicely.

I have some reservations about the book as well. It is marred by its editor's unfortunate Jungian tendencies. In the footnotes and elsewhere in the book, Steele talks about tapping into Jungian archetypes and such like. I do not know that Jung's psychology and Catholicism can ever be reconciled. I seriously doubt that they can be.

He also tries to run the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) on Lamy. Many of the religious orders in the United States have gone for the MBTI in a big way. Some, have even used it to teach those in formation how they are supposed to pray. The MBTI is in some ways a new astrology. Persons of one type don't get along with persons of another. Person born under one sign don't get along well with persons born under another.

Despite these flaws, it is a book well worth owning for those more interested in learning about New Mexico's first bishop.