General Convention accepted resolutions from six dioceses to include El Camino Real’s saints in the Episcopal liturgical calendar. The memory of the Rev. Peter Williams Cassey, his wife Annie Besant Cassey and her mother, Henrietta Lockwood were adopted into the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church last Friday in Salt Lake City. Peter was the first person of color ordained West of the Mississippi River at Trinity Church, San Jose in 1866. He and his wife, Annie and her mother, Henrietta Lockwood founded St.Philip’s School for Colored Children in 1862 and Phoenixonian Hall, the first secondary school for black students in California in 1866. Henrietta, a nurse, was the first black medical professional in Santa Clara County. She and Annie are buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, San Jose and a new headstone is being prepared for their graves. The resolution which was passed included over 30 names, many of them women to bring gender parity to our calendar of saints. This set in motion a process to prepare and publish an expanded set of feast days with collects, readings and biographies of these heroes of faith. “A Great Cloud of Witnesses” will be published for the next General Convention in three years. However, the collect and readings for Peter, Annie and Henrietta annually are distributed from Trinity Cathedral prior to their feast days.

Read More about The Cassey Family.