Teresa of Avila vs. David Oakerhater

Today’s match-up between Teresa of Avila and David Oakerhater is Lent Madness at its confounding best. A 16th century Spanish mystic vs. a 19th century Native American deacon. How can you possibly compare these saintly apples and oranges? Well, that’s the challenge you’re confronted with on this second day of Lent Madness 2015 and you may as well get used to it.

Don’t forget, tomorrow is the one and only day there will be a Saturday Lent Madness battle. It’s a math thing. So Molly Brant will face off against Swithun. In case you were wondering about the timing, these match-ups are always posted at 8:00 am EST and the polls are open for 24 hours.

Remember to vote only once. The SEC is vigilant about multiple voting (Scott used to work for IBM so he can zap votes if necessary and Tim, well, he has two teenage sons so he has at-home tech support). Voter fraud is a sin. Don’t be cast into the outer darkness of Lent Madness where we guarantee there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth! And perhaps even public humiliation. If you will be casting multiple votes from a location because you’re at a school or other institution, just let us know in advance. Also, you’ll be glad to know that we keep Jimmy Carter on retainer to insure safe, honest, and open elections.

In yesterday’s battle, Brendan navigated his way to a comfortable victory against Gregory the Illuminator 61% to 39% and will face the winner of John Keble vs. Thecla in the Round of the Saintly Sixteen. It was an historic day at Lent Madness as voting totals were at an all-time high with 7,800 votes cast. We also shattered the previous record for website page views in a single day with 38,000. So, in a fleeting moment of humility, we thank you all.

For an updated bracket and links to past rounds, click the Bracket 2015 tab on the Lent Madness homepage. Bracket Czar Adam Thomas updates it every day for your clicking pleasure.

Oh, and if you can’t get enough of the Madness? Check out Scott’s interview with Fr. Benjamin Gildas on the podcast Priest Pulse. And tune in to hear Tim talking about Lent Madness on Boston Public Radio today at 12:20 pm (Live radio! Could be a train wreck!).

unnamedTeresa of Avila

Not many seven-year-olds run away to accept martyrdom among the Moors, but not many children grow up to become a Doctor of the Church, either. Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada, known as Teresa of Avila, was born in 1515 to a wealthy Spanish family.

When her mother died, she found solace in intense devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Like many young girls of her age, she was also passionate about romance novels and fashion. Fearful that her love of earthly things would condemn her soul to eternal hell, she sought redemption through education in an Augustinian convent.

In 1538 she began to suffer from a chronic illness that affected her for years. During her illness, she experienced visions and revelations. Upon her recovery, she entered a Carmelite convent where she fell into the lax convent life — social visits of wealthy patrons were better attended than prayers. Teresa recommitted herself to a life of prayer and began to experience visions and interior messages from God. Fearful that her visions might be of the devil, Teresa consulted with others in discernment. One priest told her no woman with a life so full of imperfections could receive divine messages.

Fortunately, Teresa received wiser insight and finally embraced her visions, which began to involve raptures and levitation. One of her raptures was the inspiration for Bernini’s (some would say scandalous) sculpture The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa. She wrote of the moment in her autobiography: “I saw…a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it.”

Teresa wrote of her mystical experiences in letters and other works, including The Way of Perfection and Interior Castle. In each, she detailed the mystical experience of interior prayer.

If Teresa had contributed nothing but her writings, she would have given the Church a gracious plenty. However, she was also a reformer for the Carmelite order. Her reformed order, often called discalced because they wore sandals or went barefoot, demanded dedicated prayer, devotion, and silence. Her reforms were not without controversy, but she persevered and founded seventeen reformed convents.

In Interior Castle, she wrote,“We can neither subtract from, nor add to, God, but we can subtract from, and add to, ourselves.”

Teresa’s life is a model of one who, through addition and subtraction, leaves us with a legacy of deep prayer, mysticism, and a shining example of dedication to God.

Collect for Teresa of Avila

O God, by your Holy Spirit you moved Teresa of Avila to manifest to your Church the way of perfection: Grant us, we pray, to be nourished by her excellent teaching, and enkindle within us a keen and unquenchable longing for true holiness; through Jesus Christ, the joy of loving hearts, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Laurie Brock

DPOphoto009David Oakerhater

David Pendleton Oakerhater was a Cheyenne Indian of Oklahoma, a warrior who fought for Native American rights and land against an encroaching American government. He also was a U.S. Army prisoner, an artist, an Episcopal deacon, and the first Native American saint in the Church.

Born in the 1840s in what is now Oklahoma, Oakerhater was raised in the Cheyenne traditions. He joined his tribe in conflicts and was captured and imprisoned in a Florida fort.

Conditions in the prison were difficult at best, but Oakerhater persevered and emerged as a leader of his friends. Eventually, circumstances improved. While in prison, Oakerhater and his companions received an education, learning English and art techniques. His works captured the eye of Alice Key Pendleton of Cincinnati, Ohio, and she became his benefactor.

During his incarceration, Oakerhater embraced Christianity. Sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York and with financial assistance from Mrs. Pendleton, he and three other prisoners traveled north to study the faith. He was baptized and confirmed in Syracuse, NewYork, in 1878, and took the name David Pendleton Oakerhater in honor of the Old Testament King David and his benefactress. Soon after his ordination to the diaconate in 1881, Oakerhater returned to his homeland in Oklahoma.

Oakerhater’s ministry blossomed in Oklahoma with the launching of schools and the founding of missions; this was often without the support of the Church and with resistance by the U.S. government. He was tireless in his ministry, never stopping until his death on August 31, 1931. He also continued in his art and is considered one of the founders of modern Native American art.

In 1985 Oakerhater was the first Native American to be included in Lesser Feasts and Fasts, the Episcopal Church’s book of saintly commemorations where he is honored on September 1. On that date in 1986, services at Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., were the first to honor him, with his descendants and delegations from Oklahoma invited to the celebration.

Oakerhater is depicted in many windows and churches. St. Paul’s Cathedral in Oklahoma City dedicated a chapel to the saint, replacing a window that had been destroyed in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The window has a reproduction of Oakerhater’s glyph signature, which loosely translates to Oakerhater’s Cheyenne name,“Making Medicine.”

Collect for David Oakerhater

O God of unsearchable wisdom and infinite mercy, you chose a captive warrior, David Oakerhater, to be your servant, and sent him to be a missionary to his own people, and to exercise the office of a deacon among them: Liberate us, who commemorate him today, from bondage to self, and empower us for service to you and to the neighbors you have given us; through Jesus Christ, the captain of our salvation; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Neva Rae Fox


Teresa of Avila vs. David Oakerhater

  • David Oakerhater (60%, 4,726 Votes)
  • Teresa of Avila (40%, 3,170 Votes)

Total Voters: 7,896

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209 Comments to "Teresa of Avila vs. David Oakerhater"

  1. Francis of Granby's Gravatar Francis of Granby
    February 20, 2015 - 8:08 am | Permalink

    Christ has no body but yours,
    No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
    Yours are the eyes with which he looks
    Compassion on this world,
    Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
    Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
    Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
    Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
    Christ has no body now but yours,
    No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
    Yours are the eyes with which he looks
    compassion on this world.
    Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

    St.Teresa of Avila

    • Another Peg's Gravatar Another Peg
      February 20, 2015 - 9:16 am | Permalink

      Thank you for posting this!

    • Mary Sier's Gravatar Mary Sier
      February 20, 2015 - 9:27 am | Permalink

      Francis of Granby, thank you for posting this writing of St. Teresa of Avila’s. It is something I will try to remember each day.

    • Mary Jane Ingalls Buchanan's Gravatar Mary Jane Ingalls Buchanan
      February 20, 2015 - 11:27 am | Permalink

      Wish I voted for St. Teresa of Avila. My personal default is “sensible”; not always the best choice. We soldier on….

    • JAMG's Gravatar JAMG
      February 20, 2015 - 12:03 pm | Permalink

      And Oakerhater did all those in his ministry.

    • Nancy T.'s Gravatar Nancy T.
      February 20, 2015 - 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Thank you. This will figure into my decision making.

    • February 20, 2015 - 12:58 pm | Permalink

      It was difficult to choose as both people are remarkable in their accomplishments.

    • TM's Gravatar TM
      February 20, 2015 - 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Because of works like these, which have had an impact on my life and faith, I couldn’t bring myself to vote against my favorite St. Teresa– excited as I was to learn about David Oakerhater.

    • Cindy Coleman's Gravatar Cindy Coleman
      February 20, 2015 - 2:58 pm | Permalink

      One of my favorite prayers! TY for posting it.

    • Gail Renborg's Gravatar Gail Renborg
      February 20, 2015 - 3:11 pm | Permalink

      I will add this most beautiful reminder of our puspose on this earth to my daily meditations. Thank you for this post.

    • Barbara M.'s Gravatar Barbara M.
      February 20, 2015 - 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Thank you – I love this – thank you for sharing. I love thinking that Christ is using my body to continue doing his work! St. Teresa is my pick!

    • February 20, 2015 - 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for posting this prayer.

    • Wynne Osborne's Gravatar Wynne Osborne
      February 20, 2015 - 7:39 pm | Permalink

      What a lovely meditation. Thank you.

    • Tricia G's Gravatar Tricia G
      February 20, 2015 - 8:02 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for posting this. Reading the blog, I thought she might be a little too “out there” for me, but her prayer moved me in its beauty. I’m glad I’m voting for her.

    • Georgette's Gravatar Georgette
      February 20, 2015 - 9:12 pm | Permalink

      Very Beautiful … I will read over and over.

      Thank you.

    • Christine Teresa's Gravatar Christine Teresa
      February 20, 2015 - 10:06 pm | Permalink

      I just had to vote for my Confirmation Saint. When Confirmed, I was inspired by her mysticism, but today’s posting by Francis of Granby is a blessing by reminding me of Teresa’s practical, compassionate Christian life. I never can be reminded enough of her words – which tell me that we are Christ’s body on earth. If not us, – then who?

    • Millie Ericson's Gravatar Millie Ericson
      February 20, 2015 - 11:54 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for posting this! I love the anthem with these words. I’ve been humming it all day! We are in the midst of our Diocesan convention, will be electing a new Bishop tomorrow and our retiring Bishop basically gave this same message in is final sermon before the gathered Diocese! Just seems prophetic to me!

    • Elizabeth Eilers's Gravatar Elizabeth Eilers
      February 21, 2015 - 11:33 am | Permalink

      Both people are so worthy of our thoughts and prayers as intercessors this Lenten season, but the narratives of their lives and loves seem a little skewed. Thank you for the story of David Oakenhater, for now he is one of my favorites and will be remembered so for his love of his people and God. One must also consider, however, that Teresa of Avila also said “All that matters is that we love one another” in her Interior Castle. To that end, she wrote politically, avoiding the dangers of the very active Inquisition at that time while fostering community in her new reform experiment, called the Convent of San Jose, built just outside the castle walls of Avila, Spain. She give practical advice about how to nourish women in community among other tips regarding daily life. Mostly directed toward women of all walks of life, she also indicated with great humor, irony, and intellectual skill how men may also accompany women on their spiritual journeys, that is, with great compassion, knowledge, and tenderness. The political nature of her organizational skills are not often reviewed by the critics even though they must acknowledge Teresa’s need to avoid scrutiny from the Inquisition, and she must employ every means possible to do so. Teresa herself was a descendant of Jews who had been sought out by the Inquisition and punished in Toledo some years before she was born. She actively included women in the convent who were seeking a spiritual path guided by her reforming spirit, some of them of Jewish and Muslim descent. Her basic, loving humanity, so wise, so funny, and so inviting to the modern sensibilities are lost in our narratives that try to raise her above human struggle in the face of danger, as did our other episcopal Saint David did to great success!

  2. Glenis Elliott's Gravatar Glenis Elliott
    February 20, 2015 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    You are at it again!! SEC once again gives us tough choices. THANKS!!

  3. Denise's Gravatar Denise
    February 20, 2015 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    I loved reading David Oakerhater’s story. What an inspiration!

  4. Michele's Gravatar Michele
    February 20, 2015 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    Voted for Teresa. Anyone who could influence Bernini to sculpt that piece of art would win my vote anyday.

    • Patricia's Gravatar Patricia
      February 20, 2015 - 10:13 am | Permalink

      I’m with you, Michele!!! Teresa (and Bernini) get my vote.

    • Diane Kolb's Gravatar Diane Kolb
      February 20, 2015 - 11:19 am | Permalink


    • Cat's Gravatar Cat
      February 20, 2015 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

      SAME. Recognized the sculpture before I even read about her.

    • Christine Teresa's Gravatar Christine Teresa
      February 20, 2015 - 10:09 pm | Permalink

      YES. That incredible sculpture mesmerized me when just a young teen, – long before I ever heard Of St. Teresa of Avila

  5. Linda McConnell's Gravatar Linda McConnell
    February 20, 2015 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    How do we let you know if we’re voting from an institution or a home where devices are behind a router that will make it look like votes are coming from the same IP? My partner and I don’t want to be cast into the outer darkness, our teeth might not stand up to gnashing!

    • February 20, 2015 - 8:25 am | Permalink

      You’ll be okay. Just don’t cast 10 or 20 votes!

      • Linda McConnell's Gravatar Linda McConnell
        February 20, 2015 - 9:08 am | Permalink

        Thank you, kind sir!

      • Michele's Gravatar Michele
        February 20, 2015 - 12:05 pm | Permalink

        So I can cast my personal vote and the group vote from St. Joseph in Lakewood, CO from the same place. I’d love it to not have to go into the church today. Thanks

    • February 20, 2015 - 10:18 am | Permalink

      That’s a good question! I work at a church, and I am sure there are several of us (well, maybe three) who are voting. I may just have to make sure I vote from home.

  6. TJ's Gravatar TJ
    February 20, 2015 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    St. Theresa for me as reading some of her works helped me to better understand the ways in which I find it most natural to pray. That little insight revolutionized how I approach prayer, stopped me from thinking I was doing it wrong, and helped me to see that there was an entire tradition of prayer within the church that I had never examined.

  7. Grace Cangialosi's Gravatar Grace Cangialosi
    February 20, 2015 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    I attended that wonderful service at the National Cathedral. It was held during my first week of seminary at VTS, and I was blown away! Made me feel that I did, indeed, belong to the right church!

  8. Diane Wick's Gravatar Diane Wick
    February 20, 2015 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    Not sure why, but David Oakerhater’s story speaks to me. I like to see a Native American in such a positive light and would like to see some of the windows that have been made to honor him.

  9. Linda's Gravatar Linda
    February 20, 2015 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    I must vote for David as I am part Native American and was from the Episcopal Diocese of Central NY-glad they helped him! I like is Native name better than Oakerhater-didn’t he like Oak trees?

  10. Barbara Crafton's Gravatar Barbara Crafton
    February 20, 2015 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    As a spiritual director for decades, I have turned to Teresa for support many, many times. I have quoted her. Directees have benefitted from her wisdom, I know. So I surprised myself by voting for Oakerhater. I was moved by his courage and by his humility. Teresa will be fine…..

    • CarolGurioli's Gravatar CarolGurioli
      February 20, 2015 - 11:00 am | Permalink

      Ditto–I voted for “Making Medicine” too so that his story can reach more people. What an inspiration his story is for those in Kairos or other prison inistries.

    • Christine Teresa's Gravatar Christine Teresa
      February 20, 2015 - 10:26 pm | Permalink

      I am not so sure that ‘Teresa will be fine’. Judging from last year’s Lent Madness, this crowd likes to vote for the underdog. In LM, often, the “first” is last and the “last” winds up in first place, – which is kinda biblical now that i think about it. Also, now that I think about it, Teresa won’t mind one bit if she looses 🙂

  11. Sally's Gravatar Sally
    February 20, 2015 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    One of our favorite saints! And not just because so many of our family is from Oklahoma. David Pendleton Okarhater truly “transfigured” his life and by his life, transfigured others.

    • Brian Perkins's Gravatar Brian Perkins
      February 21, 2015 - 6:26 am | Permalink

      When you place David in the context of his times, his life is even more inspiring. A choice of the heart is made or can be made in every location and time no matter how harsh or difficult the setting. Embracing those who would tear your world down is a global, timeless test. With God’s help, all things are possible.

  12. Julia's Gravatar Julia
    February 20, 2015 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    Girl vs. boy!

  13. February 20, 2015 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    Another pearl: Teresa to God: “If this is the way you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few of them.” Talk about honest prayer…

  14. Grace Cangialosi's Gravatar Grace Cangialosi
    February 20, 2015 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    How do I find out who won yesterday??? I can’t find an update anywhere…….

    • February 20, 2015 - 8:30 am | Permalink

      The results were listed in the post you just read. Also you can go back to yesterday’s post (scroll down on the website) or click the Bracket 2015 tab on the website for updated results.

  15. Christina+'s Gravatar Christina+
    February 20, 2015 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    How dare you make me choose between two of my favorite saints! As a spiritual director, I love Teresa and her passion and process toward God, but as a minister among the Native people of South Dakota, I had to choose David for his inspiring work of integrating his faith as a Native person!

  16. Sally Maurer's Gravatar Sally Maurer
    February 20, 2015 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    A deacon must vote for the deacon

    • Kathleen Stafford's Gravatar Kathleen Stafford
      February 20, 2015 - 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Go for it, Sally. Like Dad, the good priest, says (usually when cleaning the church) – once a Deacon, always a Deacon! Had to vote for the Deacon myself.

  17. Jim Bimbi's Gravatar Jim Bimbi
    February 20, 2015 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    Teresa was remarkable person,building on what others had begun. But I vote for the Native American, David Pendleton Oakerhater, who labored far from the centers of power and prestige.

  18. William Osborne's Gravatar William Osborne
    February 20, 2015 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    Having been educated in OK, I was moved by David’ story. I, like others, would like to see the window & chapel in OKC.

    • Catherine Schiesz's Gravatar Catherine Schiesz
      February 20, 2015 - 9:33 am | Permalink

      you can google it – I just did

  19. Dorothy's Gravatar Dorothy
    February 20, 2015 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    I voted for David what an inspiration to all people. His dedication to his faith in God .

  20. Susan sica's Gravatar Susan sica
    February 20, 2015 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    1. Correct St Teresa’s last name: Cepeda, not Cependa
    2. Did you have to make this choice so difficult?
    3. Not only does Teresa, my namesake, get my vote but I also nominate her as Lent Madness Patron Saint, it is she who advised: “God save us from sullen saints!”

    • Elizabeth Byrd's Gravatar Elizabeth Byrd
      February 20, 2015 - 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Good idea!

  21. Francis of Granby's Gravatar Francis of Granby
    February 20, 2015 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    Just to be perfectly clear: one vote per person, right? (As opposed to an individual voting from each of his/her devices.)

  22. Francis of Granby's Gravatar Francis of Granby
    February 20, 2015 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    And each individual in a household gets his/her own vote?

    • February 20, 2015 - 8:43 am | Permalink

      Unless you’re the “Old woman who lived in a shoe,” yes.

      • Francis of Granby's Gravatar Francis of Granby
        February 20, 2015 - 8:59 am | Permalink

        I am not.

  23. Tyler's Gravatar Tyler
    February 20, 2015 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    Oakerhater it is (what a cool name). I always feel an affinty to Native American topics. Here in Colorado we observed the 50th anniversary of the the Sand Creek Massacre last year, which unfortnately was led by a Methodist pastor. While it’s important to recognize and accept responsibilty for past atrocities, it’s also good to be reminded of the uplifting stories about the Church and Native Americans like Oakerhater’s.

    • Lynn's Gravatar Lynn
      February 20, 2015 - 9:37 am | Permalink

      Tyler, make the 150th, not 50th. 🙂 I have always been moved by the plight of Black Kettle and his peaceful band of Cheyenne. I can now add David Oakerhater to those (Native American or otherwise) who inspire me.

    • Carol Ann Webb's Gravatar Carol Ann Webb
      February 20, 2015 - 10:40 am | Permalink

      I’ve been to the site of the Sand Creek Massacre… it is a sacred place.

  24. Ralegh's Gravatar Ralegh
    February 20, 2015 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    USA! USA! USA! Go Oakerhater (it is an unfortunate last name).

    • Carol Ann Webb's Gravatar Carol Ann Webb
      February 20, 2015 - 10:46 am | Permalink

      O-kuh-ha-tuh is one of his Cheyenne names, which means Sun Dancer. Oakerhater is likely an Anglicized verson of that name.

      • February 20, 2015 - 1:04 pm | Permalink

        Carol Ann, thank you for this! I hadn’t heard it before.

      • Travis Baldwin's Gravatar Travis Baldwin
        February 20, 2015 - 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Carol! How appropriate for this saint! Thinking … son dancer (Lord of the Dance)

      • jane's Gravatar jane
        February 20, 2015 - 5:47 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for this info. I couldn’t imagine a Native American with an antipathy to trees. Both of his Cheyenne names are so very appropriate. Theresa is inspirational, but I guess I am more in tune with a pragmatist than a mystic.

  25. Deb's Gravatar Deb
    February 20, 2015 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    I love St. Teresa’s poem, quoted above, which my church choir has sung multiple times. I hadn’t heard of David Oakhater before, and while I’m impressed with his story I had to vote for one of my favorites. Looking already like I’m going to be 0 for 2 this Lent Madness.

  26. Diane's Gravatar Diane
    February 20, 2015 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    I don’t think the ferrets played fair pairing very old and modern saints like this. (You did use the ferrets again, didn’t you?)
    The dynamic isn’t equal when people can cite events from the recent life that rouse sympathy and admiration. The events from hundreds of years ago may not even be remembered exactly and certainly don’t have the same immediacy.
    It seems to me that the ferrets are skewing the results.

  27. Tara Soughers's Gravatar Tara Soughers
    February 20, 2015 - 8:52 am | Permalink

    Since Teresa was both the subject of my dissertation and my companion while I was writing it, I have to vote for Teresa. By the way, if you are looking for a description of her ecstasy, I would suggest looking in her Life, not in the The Way of Perfection.

  28. Cindy Lufkin's Gravatar Cindy Lufkin
    February 20, 2015 - 8:55 am | Permalink

    Although I haven’t read her works, I have a quote from Teresa posted on my fridge, so I can see it daily:

    Let nothing trouble you.
    Let nothing scare you.
    All is fleeting.
    God alone is unchanging.
    Everything obtains.
    Who possesses God
    Nothing wants.
    God alone suffices.

    Sounds like good advice in this age of terrorism & disasters.

    I also go barefoot most of the time, in the interest of simplicity, as Teresa did, or sandals (do flip flops count?) in public buildings… and lately I’ve added Thinsulate boots outside (I think even Teresa would’ve done the same had she lived in this time & northern clime).

    But it was tough to vote against David, who worked with Harriet Bedell (who should’ve won the Golden Halo last year… well, at least deserved her runner-up-dom).

    • Cindy Lufkin's Gravatar Cindy Lufkin
      February 20, 2015 - 8:57 am | Permalink

      BTW: I vote from my own laptop using my church’s IP – I don’t think anyone else from church votes on the office computers, but I don’t know if it’s IP or machine that counts toward multiple-ness. (Like how if I can’t find the right word, I just invent one?)

  29. amy's Gravatar amy
    February 20, 2015 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    My understanding of schools for first people were that they stripped children of their cultural identity, removed them from their families, and denied them their heritage.

    Your history of the deacon says he received an education. What? His family didn’t educate him? Or it wasn’t a good one?

    Are we perpetuating cultural genocide by honoring his becoming one of us? Or perhaps he managed his POW status, his cultural heritage, and his love of Jesus in a unique and saintly way? I need more information.

    • Solange De Santis's Gravatar Solange De Santis
      February 20, 2015 - 9:15 am | Permalink

      As a journalist, I covered the native residential schools issue in Canada for eight years. Every native person I met, including those deeply committed to their Christian faith, struggled in some way to reconcile their native, cultural spirituality with their Christianity. The photo of David Oakerhater with short hair in a suit and tie can be read several ways. There is more to his story than the one provided from the church’s viewpoint. Out of respect, I voted for David Oakerhater.

      • Kathleen McCleskey's Gravatar Kathleen McCleskey
        February 20, 2015 - 10:00 am | Permalink

        Solange, thank you for sharing this – this is exactly why I have a hard time voting for David. Having taught counseling students about the atrocities towards Native Peoples, including boarding schools, it is harder for me to reconcile mission work with peoples who were treated so horribly and who had been so disempowered. As much as I respect David, and believe his faith was sincere, I can’t quite bring myself to vote for him.

        • Cindy Lufkin's Gravatar Cindy Lufkin
          February 20, 2015 - 11:37 am | Permalink

          Even ‘Holy Women, Holy Men’ doesn’t make clear whether or not he was a Native American himself – as our discernment group figured out.

    • Anne's Gravatar Anne
      February 20, 2015 - 10:49 am | Permalink

      check out Wikepedia. good place to start. These are tough choices but am not sure it makes sense to judge a Christian as less because they came to belief in ways we don’t approve. Does this make a life of love and service less?

      • amy's Gravatar amy
        February 20, 2015 - 10:50 pm | Permalink

        I found this website to be much more complete and compelling than the Wikipedia article. It brings tears to my heart.

        • Anne's Gravatar Anne
          February 20, 2015 - 11:31 pm | Permalink

          thanks so much. great site. downloaded it and will read whole thing as time permits. Someone did a lot of work to draw this history together. Makes me even happier to have voted for David. Yes. tears. and pride.

    • Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
      February 20, 2015 - 8:40 pm | Permalink

      The bio simply says he “received an education.” It didn’t say “received a real education” or “a true education”. There are many kinds of education. David received one from his parents, one from his captors, one from his daily life. And all contributed to make him a leader and a saint.

    • Dacid Smith's Gravatar Dacid Smith
      February 20, 2015 - 10:31 pm | Permalink

      In one the few letters that we have from David includes this passage:

      “Men, you know me. You remember me when I led you out to war. I went first, and what I told you was true. Now I have been away to the East, and I have learned about another captain, the Lord Jesus Christ, and he is my leader. He goes first, and all he tells me is true. I come back to my people to tell you to go with me now in this new road, a war that makes all for peace and where we never have only victory…”

      The di0cean office lost track of the Whirl Wind Mission until the sixties, when the mission requested a bishop to confirm several people. His work long survived him. Whirl Wind is still today a viral witness to the Cheyenne.

  30. Joyce's Gravatar Joyce
    February 20, 2015 - 8:58 am | Permalink

    I retired from a career in the Army; those who imprisoned David.
    I grew up in Florida – not far from where he was imprisoned.
    I can relate to the reality of his situation far better than the story of Teresa.
    I am so grateful that he is commemorated in the calendar and liturgy of the Episcopal Church.

  31. Francis of Granby's Gravatar Francis of Granby
    February 20, 2015 - 8:58 am | Permalink

    Ste. Thérèse de Lisieux = The Little Flower
    Sta. Teresa de Avila = The Big Flower

  32. Emily Correll's Gravatar Emily Correll
    February 20, 2015 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    I heard a story, which may be apocryphal that St. Teresa was frying fish for her convent when she had a vision. Supposedly she said something like “This is a wonderful vision, but I have to keep frying these fish so that my sisters can eat.” I love the idea of practicality merged with mysticism.

  33. Daniel Nieciecki's Gravatar Daniel Nieciecki
    February 20, 2015 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    Teresa of Avila’s mystical writings can inspire us across the centuries with their description of powerful, passionate, and overwhelming spiritual experience, a communion with the Divine that annihilates the self and leaves one more fully alive afterward. That, together with being a woman – a wealthy noble woman but a woman nonetheless – who made significant reforms and contributions to the world despite the patriarchal forces aligned against her make Teresa the obvious choice for me.

  34. Michael Stone's Gravatar Michael Stone
    February 20, 2015 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    Oakerhater is the anglicised form of his Cheyenne name which is translated as Making Medicine.

    • Carol Ann Webb's Gravatar Carol Ann Webb
      February 20, 2015 - 10:53 am | Permalink

      Making Medicine,” the name the military assigned him upon his arrest, is a non-literal English translation of his Cheyenne name, Sun Dancer (O-kuh-ha-tuh).

  35. Gloria Rousseau's Gravatar Gloria Rousseau
    February 20, 2015 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    An American Indian who put on that suit for God…Saint David gets my vote!

  36. Laurie's Gravatar Laurie
    February 20, 2015 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    How sad that the biography of Oakerhater did not (clearly) include the name(s?) he used for his first 30 years. As a child he was known as Noksowist (“Bear Going Straight”). Oakerhater is probably a variation of his Cheyenne name, Okuh hatuh, means “sun dancer”. (He may have been the youngest man to complete the sun dance ritual.)

    Yay Wikipedia!

  37. NJ's Gravatar NJ
    February 20, 2015 - 9:13 am | Permalink

    I appreciated learning about both. In every Lent Madness there should be some relative unknowns, and David was new to me. Teresa is so well known, so I voted for him.

  38. Molly Reingruber's Gravatar Molly Reingruber
    February 20, 2015 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    As much as I like Oakerhater, I have to vote with Teresa today. She has been an important companion for me.

  39. Liette Michaud's Gravatar Liette Michaud
    February 20, 2015 - 9:15 am | Permalink

    In the interest of equity, given some of the comments, I would have preferred a choice between David Oakerhater and Kateri Tekakwitha.

  40. February 20, 2015 - 9:15 am | Permalink

    I think Teresa would have voted for David.

  41. Catherine Schiesz's Gravatar Catherine Schiesz
    February 20, 2015 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    I’m a huge fan of Teresa, but gotta vote for fellow deacon. GO David!

  42. Gary Goldacker's Gravatar Gary Goldacker
    February 20, 2015 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    Oakerhater because he is the saint of my birthday. And I’d like to have the mug on my shelf!

  43. February 20, 2015 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    How can it not be Teresa? I’m a big Interior Castle fan!

  44. Edna Buday's Gravatar Edna Buday
    February 20, 2015 - 9:30 am | Permalink

    And on the second day–another tough choice! I like both ‘apples and oranges’. Will have to think about this and vote a little later.

  45. Mike Fox's Gravatar Mike Fox
    February 20, 2015 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    I have to vote for St. Teresa. I studied Zen Buddhism for years and almost converted. It was St. Teresa, along with John of the Cross and Meister Eckhart, who showed me the Via Negativa that enabled me to bring Buddhist and Vedanta philosophies into my Christian practice. And of the three, St. Teresa is by far the most accessible. I was truly inspired by David Oakerhater’s story, and I would have voted for him over almost anyone else. But I owe St. Teresa so much – the least I can do is vote for her!

  46. Phil Matthews's Gravatar Phil Matthews
    February 20, 2015 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    Tough one. The mysticism of Teresa and her wonderful life and story is compelling. But David is an example of how in our country we can do God’s work. His American story and example in life today made me vote for him. But I had to think and reflect on it. I want to learn more about both.

  47. Alec Clement's Gravatar Alec Clement
    February 20, 2015 - 9:39 am | Permalink

    A saint who lived in my lifetime!! I love St Theresa but the struggles of David Warmed my heart

  48. Carol Kangas's Gravatar Carol Kangas
    February 20, 2015 - 9:43 am | Permalink

    In honor of our companions in ministry in the Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala, many of them members of the Maya people who are also fighting for the rights of indigenous peoples

  49. Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
    February 20, 2015 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    Arrgh. This is too difficult a choice for so early in the draw. I have to vote for Teresa as she is my favorite saint of all, but also am inspired by the story of David Oakerhater. Can I use a wild card vote here or something? Would it be a sin to vote twice? Doesnt that fly in the face of Lent? Not making this easy for us, SEC!

  50. Lorna Williams's Gravatar Lorna Williams
    February 20, 2015 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    I’m a Carmelite at heart; I had to go with St. Teresa.

  51. lucia's Gravatar lucia
    February 20, 2015 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    Love all the quotes by Teresa that some of you posted. I now want to read her writings. Thank you LentMadness!

  52. alynn's Gravatar alynn
    February 20, 2015 - 9:52 am | Permalink

    Last year I felt drawn for sometime to John of the Cross -( I think I was going through a Dark Night of the Soul type of thing)

    On reading a bit of his biography , I found that he was very close to Teresa and she actually was the one that sent him to a couple of his orders. it seems that he always managed to rub people the wrong way and on several occasions she received letters back from the order asking things like – “and why did you put him here?”
    Teresa always wrote such gracious letters back finding such loving ways to actually say “wake up and smell the coffee , you nitwits , irritating qualities aside, this truely is a remarkable man of God “.
    She would have made a wonderful celebrity blogger for Lent Madness.

    I vote for Teresa

  53. Tom Van Brunt's Gravatar Tom Van Brunt
    February 20, 2015 - 9:52 am | Permalink

    I join with Bernini in offering love to Teresa.

  54. February 20, 2015 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    My own choice this year is to follow the madness, make my choice each day, and write a brief poem in honor of my personal choice for the day (you can see them all at my blog poemsperday.com). I don’t say that they’ll all be good… more under the psalmists rubric of “make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” Here’s today’s for David Oakerhater.

    2.20.2015 [David Oakerhater]

    a captured warrior
    your heart was
    captured by

    serving, caring,
    helping, you
    raised your

    may we hear
    and learn
    to follow.
    Friday after Ash Wednesday

    • A Different Jennifer's Gravatar A Different Jennifer
      February 21, 2015 - 12:23 am | Permalink

      What a wonderful Lenten discipline. I hope you’ll continue to post them in comments too, please?

  55. Diane's Gravatar Diane
    February 20, 2015 - 9:57 am | Permalink

    Maple Anglican, where are you?
    We need you.

  56. Skye and Hope's Gravatar Skye and Hope
    February 20, 2015 - 9:58 am | Permalink

    Mom is away running some races this weekend (in Florida and it is freezing)! She is absolutely sure that Skye and Hope are completely in Teresa’s camp!

  57. Mary W. Cox's Gravatar Mary W. Cox
    February 20, 2015 - 9:58 am | Permalink

    In addition to all St. Teresa’s inspiring mystical writings, one story (perhaps apocryphal) of her intimacy with God that has always appealed to me is this one: She was riding from the convent on some errand of mercy in filthy weather when her horse’s saddle slipped, dumping her in a mud puddle, unhurt, but extremely wet and annoyed. “Is this how you treat your friends?” she yelled at Jesus, and the Lord replied, “Yes.” “Well, no wonder you don’t have many of them!” Teresa shot back. Only in a confident and deeply loving relationship can such an exchange take place without offense. Today’s haiku for St. Teresa:

    Teresa had great
    conversations with Jesus–
    and even talked back.

  58. Annie's Gravatar Annie
    February 20, 2015 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    Why do you have to make this so difficult? Anyway after much thought and teeth gnashing I voted for St. Teresa. Her writings that everyone posted really spoke to me and that made the difference.

  59. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    February 20, 2015 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    St. Teresa of Avila is a long-time inspiration, example, and companion of mine, to whom I was introduced in the very early 70’s by my spiritual director/pastor, Evelyn Newman. Encountering her again is inspiring me to spend some time re-reading her writings. She loves God so passionately, yet relates to God with good common sense and humor–bringing all of herself to encounters with the divine Mystery. Thank you for bringing her back to my attention just when I needed her. Of course she has my vote!

  60. Mariana Bauman's Gravatar Mariana Bauman
    February 20, 2015 - 10:01 am | Permalink

    Teresa is a giant among saints of renown but David worked at and with his faith for so long and with so little support that I had to vote for him. Teresa will be fine (thanks Barbara Crafton!) David need the PR!

  61. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    February 20, 2015 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    As a historian of women, I would emphasize just how remarkable Teresa was. And that a woman, who did not/ could not attend university was recognized as a Doctor of the Church! But even more remarkable – and still rare today – was her ability to move from mystical Union with God to practical action. We tend to assume that mysticism and organizational genius are at odds, but in Teresa they are not.

    • Pamela's Gravatar Pamela
      February 20, 2015 - 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Wonderful insight, Susan. Thank you!

  62. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    February 20, 2015 - 10:12 am | Permalink

    St. Teresa of Avila. She speaks to me, and I admire her. What a gal! Gotta love a mystic!

  63. Kay Richardson's Gravatar Kay Richardson
    February 20, 2015 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    Teresa of Avila, although I admire both. That Bernini statue is NOT a good representation of her; it eroticizes her in a rather vulgar manner. She was down to earth and even funny. One of my favorite quotes from her is, “May God preserve us from gloomy saints!”

  64. Sally Duernberger's Gravatar Sally Duernberger
    February 20, 2015 - 10:14 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for Okerhater. With his benefactor, Pendelton, from Cininnati (I grew up in Hamilton,OH) and my now living in Dallas, TX, it was a geographical thing. Also in honor of saintly deacons.

  65. Katrina's Gravatar Katrina
    February 20, 2015 - 10:19 am | Permalink

    Voting for Teresa of Avila for the simple reason that my DOK chapter is Teresa of Avila.

  66. Melanie Barbarito's Gravatar Melanie Barbarito
    February 20, 2015 - 10:24 am | Permalink

    I continue my usual trend of voting with the minority.

    • Anne's Gravatar Anne
      February 20, 2015 - 11:33 pm | Permalink

      me too. lost in the first round so from now on it is all conviction, fun, and just sheer cussedness.

  67. Cricket (not) of Avila's Gravatar Cricket (not) of Avila
    February 20, 2015 - 10:31 am | Permalink

    David, yes OK, OK. Amazing and great.

    But Teresa? Underdog? Woman told “you don’t know what you’re talking about” and “you aren’t worthy of holy visions”??? And she hung in there all the same?
    She gets my vote.
    Especially for inspiring others to great art, like David Ogden’s anthem
    “Christ has no body now but yours” Awesome.

    • sue's Gravatar sue
      February 21, 2015 - 10:27 am | Permalink

      Thank you so much for this! I just love it!

  68. Ginny Berkey's Gravatar Ginny Berkey
    February 20, 2015 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    Wow! Second day and the challenge of choosing only one is spiritually a huge undertaking. As always I wonder if this continues who around us now will be one of the choices?

  69. David P's Gravatar David P
    February 20, 2015 - 10:39 am | Permalink

    Just when I was ready to banish Oklahoma, they produce a truly fine saint worthy of my vote. I guess I will have to forgo my Texas disdain for Oklahoma for lent.

  70. Beverly Dame's Gravatar Beverly Dame
    February 20, 2015 - 10:43 am | Permalink

    Oops. I know I’m subscribed but am not receiving your daily email ballot. Help!

    • Miss J.'s Gravatar Miss J.
      February 20, 2015 - 9:23 pm | Permalink

      Have you looked in your bulk mail/spam/junk mail folders?

  71. David Crosson's Gravatar David Crosson
    February 20, 2015 - 10:50 am | Permalink

    Teresa would have had to have walked a long way, since the Moors had been driven out of Avila for over 150 years. Could she have made it to Granada?

    • Carol's Gravatar Carol
      February 20, 2015 - 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Well she was just eight years old and time/distance isn’t a big thing at that age.

  72. shawn crawford's Gravatar shawn crawford
    February 20, 2015 - 10:53 am | Permalink

    I am struck by Theresa’s experience of rejecting the upper material society and returning to her interior life……got my vote!

  73. Cheryle's Gravatar Cheryle
    February 20, 2015 - 10:57 am | Permalink

    Very hard to not vote for Oakerhater. His story is certainly compelling and I do try to always support our Native American brothers and sisters.

    However, I have been a devotee of St. Theresa since I sat at “her” table when I made Cursillo in 1976. I must honor that long-standing commitment, despite the fact that she’s almost certain to taste the bitter pill of defeat in this bracket. ::sigh:: Besides, anyone who eschews shoes gets my vote every time!

  74. Michael Bullock's Gravatar Michael Bullock
    February 20, 2015 - 11:01 am | Permalink

    The compelling item for me about Oakerhater is conveyed by the story that found 4 Episcopalians living in the “oil wilds” of Oklahoma in the mid-1950’s. With no institutional support available, they placed an ad in the local newspaper, saying that they would be gathering on Sunday to read MP and invited the public (especially isolated Episcopalians) to join them. When Sunday came, the white quartet was joined by a small number of native people, who were the remaining folks whom Oakerhater had catechized nearly three decades ago. Oakerhater was abandoned in his ministry both by the government and the church. Still his life and ministry bore quiet fruit.

    • Ann Garvin's Gravatar Ann Garvin
      February 20, 2015 - 1:12 pm | Permalink

      What a beautiful story! I’m glad I gave my vote to David O. Thanks

      • Dorothy's Gravatar Dorothy
        February 20, 2015 - 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for sharing your story. I am was also deeply touch by what he had done with his life. I don’t understand why he is a lesser saint. I didn’t realize that there is a class distinction. I though we are all equal in the eyes of God! I voted for David

  75. john miller's Gravatar john miller
    February 20, 2015 - 11:07 am | Permalink

    David Oakerhater of course. Rising from the evil intentions so many Americans had toward the “savages.” Not only that, but he worked tirelessly for the Gospel. His sainthood is recognition that all are children of God.

  76. Adam Naff's Gravatar Adam Naff
    February 20, 2015 - 11:08 am | Permalink

    As a lifelong Oklahoman and Episcopalian, I had heard the name David Oakerhater but didn’t really know anything about him until today. I have to vote for my fellow Oklahoman.

  77. Tom's Gravatar Tom
    February 20, 2015 - 11:09 am | Permalink

    Teresa of Avila’s heart is miraculously incorrupt. You can see where the arrow pierced her heart.

  78. Bonnie Thacker Lloyd's Gravatar Bonnie Thacker Lloyd
    February 20, 2015 - 11:13 am | Permalink

    Loved the story of St. Theresa–she is such an inspiration. But as a deacon—must vote for the deacon!

  79. Diane Cook's Gravatar Diane Cook
    February 20, 2015 - 11:13 am | Permalink

    What a tough choice! I was ready to vote for Teresa until I read the compelling story of David. What to do? What to do? I guess I will keep reading and vote later.

  80. Mike & Lucy's Gravatar Mike & Lucy
    February 20, 2015 - 11:13 am | Permalink

    How do we vote for both? We don’t want to leave either of them behind…………..

  81. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    February 20, 2015 - 11:19 am | Permalink

    The comments convinced me today. I am voting for Teresa. I haven’t read her writings. Can anyone recommend a good place to start?

  82. Carolyn Fishwick's Gravatar Carolyn Fishwick
    February 20, 2015 - 11:19 am | Permalink

    This prayer of St Teresa has helped me through the toughest of times and is the best advice on change management I have come across for anyone inspired to work for reform and development in their communities:
    Let nothing disturb thee
    Nothing affright thee
    All things are passing
    God never changeth
    Patient endurance
    Attaineth to all things
    Who God possesseth
    In nothing is wanting
    Alone God sufficeth

  83. February 20, 2015 - 11:27 am | Permalink

    I love Teresa…however David is an overlooked Saint, deacon, first nation, and North American….

  84. Patsy's Gravatar Patsy
    February 20, 2015 - 11:29 am | Permalink

    On the occasion of the dedication [of the Oakerhater chapel and window], the Very Rev. George Back, cathedral Dean, said: “We write into our cathedral walls a new history. In doing so we raise up a new love story in the midst of many old stories of abuse and disrespect suffered by American Indians”. I have a miniscule amount of Native American blood and have always admired David Oakerhater’s ministry to his people. I love Teresa too. This bracket is going to be a tough one. Let’s all remember to “be kindly affectionate one to another.” The ferrets were Spirit-led.

  85. Melody's Gravatar Melody
    February 20, 2015 - 11:35 am | Permalink

    I was inspired by the write up of Teresa of Avila so much that I went on Amazon to purchase Interior Castles…. there are so many versions of that book… hope I choose the most helpful one.

    Couldn’t bring myself to vote for a guy with “hater” in his name, who was a warrior. Color me pacifist.

  86. Jen E. Ochsner's Gravatar Jen E. Ochsner
    February 20, 2015 - 11:36 am | Permalink

    The Diocese of CNY is my home diocese………..a friend who was like a sister lived in Oklahoma with a Convent of discalced sisters behind her farm…….with memorable connections to both it made for another difficult choice. Both worked hard in and for the faith but I think I have to vote for David Oakerhater who embraced Christianity and used his newly found faith and talent for the benefit of his people.

  87. February 20, 2015 - 11:59 am | Permalink

    Both are beautiful but David won my heart. Now I have to find more about him. I hope I can find some of his art work. The Native Americans have always been important to me.

  88. Margaret Moran's Gravatar Margaret Moran
    February 20, 2015 - 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I was confused by the two Teresas, so found the Sun Dancer to be a sterling choice.
    But I love the poem.

  89. Teresa's Gravatar Teresa
    February 20, 2015 - 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Teresa of Avila all the way but then again I am way biased!

  90. Alison Bentley's Gravatar Alison Bentley
    February 20, 2015 - 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Had to be St. Teresa of Avila as I did my Cursillo at her table!!!

  91. carolyn bronz's Gravatar carolyn bronz
    February 20, 2015 - 1:03 pm | Permalink

    I think the church could use more Native American wisdom and way more inclusiveness of all the ways to worship the Creator of all, that’s why I voted for David.

  92. February 20, 2015 - 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Such a tough choice today! I love, love, love Teresa of Avila! But learning about David Oakerhater and the work that he did prompted me to vote for him. I hope Teresa can forgive me–it was such a heart-wrenching choice.

  93. Anthony's Gravatar Anthony
    February 20, 2015 - 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I think I will vote for Oakerhater, because being Canadian, and caring deeply about indigeinious issues, we need his light now more than ever.

  94. Karen Moore's Gravatar Karen Moore
    February 20, 2015 - 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I love Theresa and was all set to vote for her until I read David’s story. In solidarity with the natives of this land, I had to vote for David.

  95. Diane Carroll's Gravatar Diane Carroll
    February 20, 2015 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

    How could you not vote for Teresa, a doctor of the church, a mystic and a person who understood the world. One of my favorite poems from her reminds me not to take myself so seriously:
    How did those priests ever get so serious and preach all that gloom
    I don’t think God tickled them yet.
    Beloved — hurry.

  96. Karen Johnson's Gravatar Karen Johnson
    February 20, 2015 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Haven’t we seen David Oakerhater before? Are we recycling saints? Not that there is anything wrong with that, but have we really recycled through all the saintly choices?

    • Adam Naff's Gravatar Adam Naff
      February 20, 2015 - 2:51 pm | Permalink

      By my count there are seven saints in this year’s bracket that have been on previous brackets. Including both of today’s candidates.

    • Another Peg's Gravatar Another Peg
      February 20, 2015 - 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Saints are allowed to come back and try again–after a seemly interval that at the moment escapes me. I think it’s a good thing, since the Lent Madness community is growing and changing. New people are meeting these contenders for the first time. And veterans get to stump for them again. And while I’m speaking up on behalf of the ferrets and the SEC, I note that the Celebrity Bloggers have limited space and also have to marshall their information carefully, in the hope that their saint will advance and there will be enough cool stories left to put in the next blog.

  97. Craig Ewing's Gravatar Craig Ewing
    February 20, 2015 - 1:22 pm | Permalink

    As significant a contribution as St. Teresa made to the Church, it’s difficult to consider that it may have all started with pre-teen hormonal angst and then seemed to stayed there. I’m going with David, who started out as a warrior but converted to Christianity as an adult.

  98. Peggy Blanchard's Gravatar Peggy Blanchard
    February 20, 2015 - 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Okay, I’m trying to be fair–last year I voted for Deacon Oakerhater, and I do believe him to be important to the awareness of the American church. As a woman I also believe Teresa’s example and teaching are vital to the whole Church. So since I voted for him last year, I’m voting for her this year. Clearly, deep theological reasoning!

  99. Deborah DeManno's Gravatar Deborah DeManno
    February 20, 2015 - 1:26 pm | Permalink

    A very tough call and I switched my vote before clicking submit. Looking online at the Oakeehater window in St. Paul’s Cathedral, OKC, I was struck that both saints are recalled in stunning artwork. I have stood before Bernini’s Teresa. I have Native ancestors from Oklahoma. Sigh. I voted for Teresa because it looks like I will have a future chance to vote for David.

  100. Jen Tarling's Gravatar Jen Tarling
    February 20, 2015 - 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Teresa of Avila primarily because as I read up on Oakerhater, he was instrumental in the proliferation of the missionary boarding schools for Indians, where they were stripped of their culture as a way to force their integration into our country’s mainstream. There was much abuse and an enormous loss of cultural identity for Native Americans during this movement, which extended well into the middle of the 20th century. Just can’t go there with my one wild, precious vote.

    • February 20, 2015 - 3:31 pm | Permalink

      I voted for Teresa also. It isn’t only being instrumental in the proliferation of the missionary boarding school for Indians, etc. but the Episcopal Church – as have others – have chosen their ‘minority’ saints carefully. My great-grandfather was an Episcopal priest and overlapped David. He did lots of work – from the Oklahoma/Texas area – earned a doctorate in Theology in 1906, ordained in 1907. He was very involved in civil rights. Married a White Woman – he was a Black Foot Indian – and watched while credit for his work was given to the bishop of Texas. That was common back then. The African American or Native American’s work was attributed to the Bishop under who they served. The ‘minority’ who was held up and made a ‘saint’ was always the minority who served the continuation of the racist, sexist culture. Those Native Americans – not many but they existed who were ordained Episcopal priests and worked hard for the Church and to throw open windows and doors for others to pass through were treated abominably and carefully not recognized for their work. We also must not forget that Teresa of Avila was a woman and that was not an easy path to walk in the Catholic Church.

  101. February 20, 2015 - 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Had to vote for David Oakerhater. The GOEs in 1989 asked about him in a coffee hour question [do they still have those?] I got it wrong as I had no idea who he was! Now, of course, I do and am proud to cast my vote for Deacon David.

  102. George Alfred's Gravatar George Alfred
    February 20, 2015 - 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Awesome thread today beautiful people. Even Saints have issues. Teresa wasn’t too crazy about Protestants. And not to diminsh the attrocity that is the U.S.A.’s legagacy regarding the indigenous populations, but David may have found something so attractive in Christ that he sacrificed some of the former things. As do we all…

  103. Deacon Georgia's Gravatar Deacon Georgia
    February 20, 2015 - 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I was brokenhearted when I first learned that Teresa would be going up against David. The SEC can correct me on this but I believe he was in the 2013 edition of LentMadness and did not move forward. However, as great as Teresa has been and is, David has won my heart and vote for taking his transformation in God back to his people. He is also a great example of how we as a church must renew our commitment to our indigenous brothers and sisters. And yes, a deacon must vote for a deacon.

  104. February 20, 2015 - 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Who or What is “Maple Anglican”?

    • Rich's Gravatar Rich
      February 20, 2015 - 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Maple Anglican is a Canadian (hence the reference to the maple (leaf)) undercover individual that creates the connection to the afterlife for Lent Madness.

  105. Suzanne's Gravatar Suzanne
    February 20, 2015 - 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Both are so compelling… Went with Teresa, though, for the insight and inspiration her writings still provide.

  106. Peggy Floyd's Gravatar Peggy Floyd
    February 20, 2015 - 1:55 pm | Permalink

    My heart chose swiftly, David O.

  107. Fiona Haworth's Gravatar Fiona Haworth
    February 20, 2015 - 2:02 pm | Permalink

    So many, many good reasons to vote for Teresa, not least the quotes. I have always loved, ‘Is this how you treat your friends?’ However I cast my vote for David, in solidarity with all those whom the church still excludes unless they conform.

  108. Madamesenora's Gravatar Madamesenora
    February 20, 2015 - 2:05 pm | Permalink

    We hear a lot about “Renaissance Men.” Santa Teresa de Avila was a true Renaissance Woman whose work is studied still and whose advice is still heeded by believers and non-believers alike. It is almost unfair to pair her in a contest such as this – she is “hors concours.”

  109. Rich's Gravatar Rich
    February 20, 2015 - 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Had to vote for DPO – Theresa’s devotion, passion and leadership made her stand out but the singular nature of Oakerhater’s achievements in a system not set up to truly embrace his calling puts him out ahead.

  110. Donald Lowery's Gravatar Donald Lowery
    February 20, 2015 - 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I wanted to vote for both of them. Theresa of Avila was a remarkable woman and an remarkable human being. I love the way her visions sublimated her sexuality into her spirituality. I have even driven past Avila in Spain twice, but sadly did not have time to stop.
    The two greatest atrocities in American History were the enslavement of Africans and the brutal dispossession of the Native Americans. How amazing that he could triumph in the face of such adversity as a stalwart servant of Jesus Christ! And, on my father’s side of the family, along with the Irish I was bragging about yesterday, there is Native American lineage as well. So, its David Okerhater.

  111. Linda Watson-Lorde's Gravatar Linda Watson-Lorde
    February 20, 2015 - 2:34 pm | Permalink

    as a fellow Episcopalian…..Well done David.

  112. Linda Watson-Lorde's Gravatar Linda Watson-Lorde
    February 20, 2015 - 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Good fight….all for our Christ..

  113. February 20, 2015 - 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I believe the children are our future

  114. Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
    February 20, 2015 - 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday, the receptionist at the doctor’s office wore a name tag: Gregory.
    Naturally, I had to talk to him about Gregory, the Illuminator. And Brendan, the Navigator. And the Lent Madness bracket. Perhaps Gregory, the receptionist, joined in the Madness.
    I recently read some Indian captivity stories (Olive Oatman; Emma Kelly). David Oakerhater’s tribe was NOT involved. The contrast between the Native American and the White cultures in the 1800’s , makes David Oakerhater’s conversion to Christianity even more remarkable.

  115. Sister Teresa Irene's Gravatar Sister Teresa Irene
    February 20, 2015 - 3:52 pm | Permalink

    As a member of Episcopal Carmel of Saint Teresa I am honored to vote for out Holy Mother Teresa. HOWEVER,,,,what a choice. If he had been up against anyone other than Teresa I would have voted for David….what an amazing and holy man.

  116. Pamela's Gravatar Pamela
    February 20, 2015 - 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Rambling personal story follows: I grew up Roman Catholic and, rather inconveniently, felt a call to priesthood at the age of 7. I didn’t take it seriously until college, at which time my relationship with my church became intensely difficult. For the longest time I thought that being anything other than RC meant leaving The Church altogether. I was in a despairing mood when someone first introduced me to Teresa of Avila. He said, “You’ll like her. She was really smart–and a pain in the neck.” Along with the influence of Our Lady of Guadalupe (not eligible for these brackets, I hope!), Teresa gave me the hope and courage I needed to persevere. Not just her writings, and not just her story–she did it. I realize that voting for her in this contest is not much of a way to repay her, but it is one small thing I can do. So, Teresa it is.

  117. Barbara from St. Barnabas's Gravatar Barbara from St. Barnabas
    February 20, 2015 - 4:16 pm | Permalink

    “May today there be peace within.
    May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
    May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
    May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
    May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
    Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
    It is there for each and every one of us.”
    ― Teresa of Ávila

    “It is love alone that gives worth to all things.”
    ― Teresa of Ávila


  118. Matthew's Gravatar Matthew
    February 20, 2015 - 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Oakerhater. I rarely hear about Native Americans in the ministry, and this story was amazing.

  119. Kathy Hanson's Gravatar Kathy Hanson
    February 20, 2015 - 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for posting the picture of Bernini’s sculpture of St. Teresa nestled in the Church of S. Maria della Vittoria in Rome. Although Rome has many treasures, that piece is so incredibly emotional and inspiring.

    • Bonnee's Gravatar Bonnee
      February 20, 2015 - 8:15 pm | Permalink

      When we saw the Bernini sculpture in Rome, we had to insert a coin in a special box to turn on illumination. Stunning and memorable experience. Despite that, Oakerhater got my vote.

  120. Carol Virginia's Gravatar Carol Virginia
    February 20, 2015 - 5:25 pm | Permalink

    David means beloved. He was, as were his devotion and dedication. He gets my vote and Teresa, my admiration.

  121. Millie Ericson's Gravatar Millie Ericson
    February 20, 2015 - 5:25 pm | Permalink

    I’m loving the comments today and very disturbed that I can’t reply to them in my iPhone as I have in the past! Can this be corrected?

  122. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    February 20, 2015 - 5:37 pm | Permalink

    David got my vote earlier today, but for anyone still agonizing over the choice, an article marking Teresa’s 500th birthday year may add to your deliberating in trying to decide a vote, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/11411751/On-her-500th-anniversary-what-is-Teresas-big-idea.html

  123. Robert Corey's Gravatar Robert Corey
    February 20, 2015 - 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I don’t care much for mystics. I was reading a story of DPO’s dream shield, and the mystic character of his pre-Christian life. Whether he remained a mystic I can’t discover. I think, instead, he kept it real. I’d like to see some of his art — the work of his own hands — in later rounds. I’m surprised at ToS’s fizzle. She speaks platitudes, which have been freely quoted. I kinda like the witty ones. But if God’s gonna reach out and tickle me, I think it will more likely be with DPO’s fingers. That he was instrumental in Harriett Bedell’s formation process from 1907 to 1914 in the Whirlwind Mission… That’s the pickle on the saintburger.

    • Robert Corey's Gravatar Robert Corey
      February 20, 2015 - 6:05 pm | Permalink

      That’s ToA — not CoS, er ToS — saint dyslexia.

      • A Different Jennifer's Gravatar A Different Jennifer
        February 21, 2015 - 12:31 am | Permalink

        …”the pickle on the saintburger”??!?
        (love it).

  124. Missy Kelly's Gravatar Missy Kelly
    February 20, 2015 - 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Thanks for this fun Lenten activity. I loved the YouTube “Christ has no body now but yours”. St.Teresa worked and taught tirelessly by acts of love.”Love calls forth love”.
    I admire her ability to abandon herself totally to God’s love. In her heaven and earth, palpable reality, and the supernatural were in perfect balance.She lives on in encouraging us to draw closer to Christ to an ever deeper love, and so my ONE vote goes to her♡

  125. Shay Shay's Gravatar Shay Shay
    February 20, 2015 - 7:39 pm | Permalink

    My heart aches for the suffering of Native Americans/First People. Perhaps because I have a few drops of their blood in my veins. I have always been a proponent of women’s rights, because I am a woman and have experienced discrimination due to my gender. But I voted for David because he had to labor without the support of his church. That would have killed the faith of many, but he continued on. Both are so very worthy. Shame on you for making this such a difficult choice.

  126. CJ's Gravatar CJ
    February 20, 2015 - 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Grace Church Syracuse NY is the national shrine to David Oakerhater. Check out the webpage to see his window.

  127. Joan A. Reyes's Gravatar Joan A. Reyes
    February 20, 2015 - 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Hey! Where’s the love for Teresita de Avila???? Olé, Tere!

  128. Mark Willems's Gravatar Mark Willems
    February 20, 2015 - 8:57 pm | Permalink

    A few pointers for newbie “Lent Maniacs.”
    1. Whatever your criteria are for choosing which saint to vote for, you will find yourself sorely tempted to throw them out the window at some time. (The criteria, not the saints)
    2. Celtic, contemplative, contemporary – none of these should ever be the exclusive factor for choosing one saint over another. Read the bios and the comments. Do a little “homework.”
    3. Before you vote ask your self “How well will this holy person do in the round of saintly Kitsch?” This round has marked the end of the aspirations of many a contender.
    4. Keep at it. Do not let disappointment in the early rounds discourage you from seeing it through to the end.

  129. Pat's Gravatar Pat
    February 20, 2015 - 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Cricket (not) of Avila for the beautiful moment of prayer

  130. Miss J.'s Gravatar Miss J.
    February 20, 2015 - 9:41 pm | Permalink

    A few years back I heard a wonderful sermon in the Chapel at Kanuga, preached by the local Diocesan Bishop, about David Pendleton Oakerhater on DPO’s feast day. I’m part Irish (part of why I voted for Brendan the Navigator yesterday), and I’m also part Cherokee, which is one of the reasons I’m voting for the Deacon over the Doctor today.

    Another reason I voted for BtN yesterday is that I have just finished reading an excellent work of literary non-fiction entitled “Moby Duck” by Donovan Hohn. I highly recommend it, even if you have voted for Gregory the Illuminator or Teresa of Avila.

  131. Lisa's Gravatar Lisa
    February 20, 2015 - 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Go David Oakerhater…..and the Diocese of Central New York!!

  132. Carmen's Gravatar Carmen
    February 20, 2015 - 10:41 pm | Permalink

    While I too am a Carmelite at heart (and in name!) and I loved my time as a tourist and pilgrim in Teresa’s country, and I admire her deeply, I am a great proponent of Canada’s indigenous peoples in the Anglican church. Having recently participated in a 3-day Anti-Racism consultation to help us deconstruct racism in the church, we celebrated the diversity in our congregations that have members from all over the world who have arrived as immigrants, temporary foreign workers, international students, refugees, and Black Nova Scotians that we learned more about in a recent CBC-TV mini-series called “The Book of Negroes” who arrived from the US during the 18th and early 19th Centuries and are descended from freed slaves. We enjoyed the Native Clergy we met there who do great work as priests, deacons and lay ministers, often in a Native language such as Cree in cities and remote villages all over Canada. So my vote today goes to David Oakerhater.

  133. Diane Norton's Gravatar Diane Norton
    February 20, 2015 - 11:02 pm | Permalink

    I voted for David Pendleton Oakenhater, born in the 1840s in Oklahoma.

    Baptized and confirmed in Syracuse, New York in 1878 when he chose his name, leaves me wondering what was his name as a young boy growing up, a Cheyenne Indian in the heartland of America.

  134. Whirlwind Mission Church's Gravatar Whirlwind Mission Church
    February 20, 2015 - 11:03 pm | Permalink

    I am a member of the Whirlwind Mission in Watonga, OK. We are a Native American based mission…. David Pendleton’s original mission. Our members mostly consist of Cheyenne & Arapaho peoples along with other intertribal peoples. The word Oakerhater in Cheyenne means “Making Medicine.” It was his Cheyenne name. My grandfather’s family are descendants of this great man. Haho!

    • A Different Jennifer's Gravatar A Different Jennifer
      February 21, 2015 - 12:27 am | Permalink

      Well how cool is that. Thank you for posting. Wonderful to know about the continuing Mission — and all your relations!

  135. February 20, 2015 - 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Teresa of Avila!

    I went to Spain for a work conference some years ago, & decided to spend a day in Avila since it was nearby. In preparation, I read an excellent biography of her by Rowan Williams, and also read some of her own writings.

    Boy, was I surprised to find such a strong, witty, *interesting* woman! Such a far cry from the generic “nun who had visions” image I’d previously had.

    Although she is called a mystic, I would really call her a theologian. It’s been observed (I forget by who) that it often seems as if “mystic” is the only form of spiritual/theological expertise that is acceptable for women. Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, Catherine of Siena, Hildegard of Bingen: all four women Doctors of the Church are categorized as mystics, but were so much more than that!

    Teresa was a leading force in the Catholic Reformation. She wrote letters to the king of Spain giving him advice! She founded and led communities of religious women. And this is a great recent article on her from NCR:
    St. Teresa of Avila’s survival guide for Catholic women.

    I brought home two souvenirs of Teresa from Avila. One is a medal with a stylized picture, showing her holding a quill, pausing in thought/prayer while writing, and inspired by the Holy Spirit. The other is a keyring with a small color painting of her, holding a cross in one hand and a rosary in the other. This cross and this rosary she always brought with her as she founded a new convent, and I saw them in the museum at her birthplace.

    Thanks to everyone who has posted quotes from her! I’d never seen some of them & loved them all.

  136. chaplain Tom Chapman's Gravatar chaplain Tom Chapman
    February 20, 2015 - 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Tain’t fair guys Both of the remarkable individuals were great friends of Jesus and in their own way have continued to challenge and nuture us on our own faith walk. I still am mentored by Saint Teresa however.

  137. Conny Santana's Gravatar Conny Santana
    February 21, 2015 - 1:29 am | Permalink

    I know you are trying to keep the votes legit, that is one vote per person. I possibly voted two times yesterday. The first time I even put in a comment but didn’t see the comment and assumed it was being reviewed. Later that evening I was curious to see how the vote was going and was surprised to see my chance to vote still open so I thought my vote didn’t go through. Well the same thing happened today and I knew my morning vote did take. So…unless we are just going to hope people will vote only once…the issue of one vote per soul is still going to be problematic. Just saying, you know, ’cause I’m from Hawaii.

  138. February 21, 2015 - 1:42 am | Permalink

    I believe the children are our future.

  139. Audrey's Gravatar Audrey
    February 21, 2015 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    I found the information provided on Teresa of Avila was insufficient to give a full view of her life and ministry, and in fact I learnt much more about her as a theologian just from reading the comments of other readers! So if you like me, didn’t know about her before, the information provided here would not have taken you very far, which is a shame. On the other hand, David Oakerhater’s life was fairly well spelt out. Is it possible to have some deeper analysis of the lives of the saints?

    • February 21, 2015 - 9:04 am | Permalink

      The SEC doesn’t mention it in the instructions, but I’ve always found it well to read the comments before I vote, for exactly this reason. 🙂

      As was mentioned somewhere above, the initial round deliberately doesn’t include all the available information about each saint, because we learn more about them as they progress through the rounds. I expect there’s a word limit, too, and that it’s up to the judgment of each biographer as to what, beyond the very basic biographical facts, will persuade voters in *this* round, while still leaving enough goodies to persuade voters in later rounds.

      Personally I wouldn’t have spent so much wordcount on the description of her “ecstasy”, but I can understand the reasoning that sexy visions+sculpture would be a draw.

  140. Marcia Inman's Gravatar Marcia Inman
    February 21, 2015 - 7:49 pm | Permalink

    St. Oakerhater was a surprise to me, and a double surprise when I discovered his art and the location of the Whirlwind Mission near Watonga, OK where we have family ties. Thank you, Neva, for the provocative biography and the incentive to visit the sites where this remarkable man accomplished so much. It must be serendipity — I followed Harriet Bedell to the very last in 2014!

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