Preface of a Saint (3)
[Common of a Prophetic Witness]
[For Social Service]
[For Prophetic Witness in Society]
PRAYER (traditional language)
Merciful God, who didst raise up thy servant Frances Joseph Gaudet to be a champion of the oppressed: Grant that we, encouraged by her example, may advocate for all who are denied the fullness of life to which thou hast called all thy children; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
PRAYER (contemporary language)
Merciful God, who raised up your servant Frances Joseph Gaudet to be a champion of the oppressed: Grant that we, encouraged by her example, may advocate for all who are denied the fullness of life to which you have called all your children; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
This commemoration appears in Lesser Feasts & Fasts 2018 with revised lessons and collects.
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Last updated: 31 October 2020
EDUCATOR AND PRISON
(30 December 1934)
Frances Joseph-Gaudet (1861- December 1934), prison reform worker and
educator, was born in a log cabin in Holmesville, Mississippi of African
American and Native American descent. She was raised by her grandparents.
Later she went to live with a brother in New Orleans where she attended
school and Straight College. Widowed early, she dedicated her life to
prison reform. Beginning in 1894 she held prayer meetings, wrote letters,
delivered messages, and secured clothing for black prisoners, and later
for white prisoners as well. Her dedication to prisoners and prison reform
won her the respect of prison officials, city authorities, the governor,
and the Prison Reform Association. A delegate to the Women’s Christian
Temperance Union international convention in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1900,
she worked for the reform of young blacks arrested for misdemeanor or
vagrancy. Joseph-Gaudet was the first woman to support juvenile offenders
in Louisiana, and her efforts helped found the juvenile court. She eventually
purchased a farm and founded the Gaudet Normal and Industrial School.
The school, which eventually expanded to 105 acres and numerous buildings,
also served as a boarding school for children with working mothers. Joseph-Gaudet
served as principal of the school until 1921 when she donated the school
to the Episcopal Church of Lousiana. Though the school closed in 1950,
the Gaudet Episcopal Home opened in the same location four years later
to serve African American children ages four to sixteen. The endowment
fund currently supports St. Luke’s Community Center on North Dorgenois
Street, where a hall honors Frances Joseph-Gaudet.
from the Episcopal Women's History Project