John Adams, Old St. Mary’s, Psalms, Gervais, and Huger

(Oops. I first titled this Sam Adams, rather than John Adams, et. al. Must have had beer on the brain. Sam and John were second cousins.)

This post is a bit off the beaten path but is about stuff I have run across recently that might be of special interest to a group of mature Catholic men. 

I just finished the incredible biography of John Adams by David McCullough, and that after reading about our nation’s  early years through the eyes of Hamilton, Jefferson, Burr, etc. Two passages in particular in the McCullough book seemed of interest to the MPG. First is a visit by Adams and Washington to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Philadelphia in 1776. It is still there, now known as “Old St. Mary’s,” and you will find Adams and Washington mentioned on their current website. Here is a screen shot of a Kindle page from McCullough’s biography with Adams’s description of the visit. Of course he understood all the Latin.

Also, in the McCullough book is Adams’s testimony about his love of the Psalms. It seemed meaningful to me considering our focus on Psalms in Morning Prayer. I sometimes find myself just mouthing the words without considering the deep meanings, history, context, and beauty. Here, in another screen shot from the Kindle book, are Adams’s words, expressed after his long retirement from public service. (He lived to age 90 and died on the same day as Jefferson, July 4, 1826.)

And, on a lighter note, here are a couple of pertinent clips from today’s The State about two contemporaries of Adams, John Lewis Gervais and Isaac Huger.

This story just made me think how ironic it would be if The Basilica of St. Peter had been built at the corner of Gervais and Huger instead of at the corner of Assembly and Taylor.

Check out the Adams biography. It is an incredible look at our founding fathers and the issues and problems they faced. And, I’m putting Old St. Mary’s on my want list for Mass attendance on some future visit to Philadelphia.

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