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101 Since there was no land as yet available for Our Lady and her “Descending Dove of Peace” in New Harmony in 1953, I decided to search elsewhere, as far as our nation’s capital. In Houston I had recently met the Reverend Francis Sayre Jr., dean of Washington National Cathedral. Impressed with his warmth and intelligence , I felt he would understand my views on war and peace. Since he was the grandson of Woodrow Wilson, who had fought for his belief that there would never be another war after establishing the League of Nations , surely Dean Sayre would be my ally in bringing the “Dove of Peace” to Washington. I had even ventured to express to him my conviction that it is powerful men in the capitals of nations who start wars, not men in small country towns. Perhaps Lipchitz’s sculptural ambassadress for peace was needed more in Washington, D.C., than in New Harmony, Indiana. Dean Sayre was receptive to my offer to place Notre Dame de Liesse with her “Dove of Peace” on the cathedral’s grounds, and he invited Lipchitz ChaptER 11 Sir George MacLeod 102 New Harmony, indiana and me to Washington. He envisioned an appropriate site outside Bethlehem Chapel, though he warned us that the cathedral’s trustees would have the final say. As the dean had feared, the trustees refused my offer, and he shared my disappointment.2 Ironically, James Sheldon’s will funded a heroic statue of George Washington , which was accepted later by the cathedral. The work by Herbert Haseltine, who created the sculpture of the race­horse Man o’ War, seemed to celebrate the father of our country on ­horse­back as “first in war.” We as a nation seem to have forgotten that our found­ ers also deemed Washington to be “first in peace.” When we remember that the Korean and Vietnam Wars followed after the installation of the statue in 1959, one could say that my wounded “Dove of Peace” had been trampled by the hooves of that unwilling, misnamed “war­ horse.” There was small comfort in comparing myself to Cassandra, whose prophecies from the walls of Troy­were rejected by the Trojan people. My disappointment over not having a habitation for Descent of the Holy Spirit endured. A panacea finally came in the late summer of 1954 at Ste. Anne’s when I met again a friend since the early 1950s, who was lecturing in Ontario.3 I told her about the rejection of Our Lady and her “Dove of Peace” in Washington, D.C., laying bare my hurt. Dr. Gladys Falshaw advised me to take a week in New York City at a convent school. The Reverend Mother Ruth, a biracial nun originally from Harlem who studied in Canada to escape prejudice, had founded a religious order for AnglicanEpiscopal women, the Community of the Holy Spirit. Initially, Reverend Mother Ruth and two sisters had received a calling to take the Word of God to remote parts of Canada, which explained their description as “bush nuns.” She received a second call to establish a school in New York City and in 1950, together with Sister Edith Margaret, founded St. Hilda’s, close to Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary. Trusting the logic that often resides under the surface of the improbable , I decided to take Dr. Falshaw’s advice. Washington’s rejection of Lipchitz ’s emissary of goodwill had left me feeling empty and unequal to the fulfillment of the mission I had undertaken. I saw myself as no more than the handle of a fork, its prongs badly bent and incapable of serving either my family or the always-endangered cause of peace. Sir George MacLeod 103 I told Janie I would be away for an unworldly week at St. Hilda’s House convent and asked Emma Lafanet not to forward mail or telephone messages . Carrying a tote bag of bare essentials, I hailed a taxi and asked its driver to take me to West 113th Street. I knocked several times before one of the resident nuns opened the somber door of the narrow brownstone ­ house where her fellow teachers both lived and taught. There was a similar brownstone next door that­ housed classrooms for older students and, if I remember correctly, the chapel. Sister Catherine’s face was a network of fine wrinkles, campaign ribbons from her mission work in En­ gland. The broad smile with which she welcomed me, however, returned youth and...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780253016638
Related ISBN
9780253016249
MARC Record
OCLC
903357020
Pages
400
Launched on MUSE
2015-03-20
Language
English
Open Access
No
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