Dcn. Star continued in this faithfulness of following God’s call first begun by the House’s founders. On Thursday morning, March 13, the community of Nashotah House gathered in the Chapel of Saint Mary the Virgin to sing the Burial Office for the Reverend Deacon Terry Star. The celebrant for the office was the Reverend Thomas Buchan, PhD, Associate Professor of Church History, assisted by the Reverend Deacon Richard Moseley, and other student servers and musicians. Deacon Star’s parents, Woodrow and Charlotte, and two of his brothers joined the community for the office, as we commended our brother to God.
His eulogy will be delivered in May by the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts-Schori when she visits the campus. Deacon Star served with the Presiding Bishop on the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church.
V. Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord.
R. And may light perpetual shine upon him.
V. May he rest in peace.
V. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
The history of Nashotah House Theological Seminary has a rich and detailed history among the oral tradition of the Lakota and Dakota Sioux tribes. In August 2012, Terry left Standing Rock, North Dakota to attend Nashotah House where he was seeking his licentiate in theology.
Dcn. Star had many memories of early founder, James Lloyd Breck (1818 – 1876), a priest, educator and missionary of the Episcopal Church. In Dcn. Star’s oral tradition, Breck who ministered to the Indians of the Plains, was known in their language as the ‘Man in the Cassock.’
Mr. Breck was born in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. He attended high school at the Flushing Institute, founded by William Augustus Muhlenberg, who inspired him to resolve at the age of sixteen to devote himself to missionary activity. He received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1838 and a B.D. from the General Theological Seminary in 1841.
In 1842, by then a deacon in the Episcopal Church, he went to the frontier of Wisconsin with two classmates, under the direction of Bishop Jackson Kemper, to found Nashotah House, intended as a monastic community, a seminary, and a center for theological work. It continues today as a seminary. One-hundred-seventy years later, a member of the Lakota tribe Terry Star, a deacon in the Episcopal Church, answered God’s call to attend as a seminarian.
In 1850 Breck moved to Minnesota where he founded schools for boys and girls such as Breck School in Golden Valley, Minnesota, and the Seabury Divinity School at Faribault, Minnesota. He also began mission work among the Ojibwa.On June 23, 1850, on top of Grandad Bluff, Breck celebrated the first Episcopal Eucharist in the La Crosse area. In 1867 he moved to Benicia, California to build another two institutions. Breck was known as “The Apostle of the Wilderness.”
Breck died in Benicia in 1876. He was buried beneath the altar of the church he served as rector but later his body was removed and reinterred on the grounds of Nashotah House in Nashotah, Wisconsin. Breck is commemorated on April 2 on the Episcopal calendar of saints.
In a letter dated, April 2, 1850, Breck wrote:
The students boarding with us are all theological. They are Chiefly young men, sons of the farmers, and all communicants of the Church. Our students, like ourselves, are poor, but not the less worthy for all that. They seek the Ministry, but are unable to attain it without aid. We have a house; for this we pay no rent; it belongs to the Church, and so do we. We have land. They work four hours a day for their board and washing, and we give them their education without cost. Thus their clothing is their only expense, and to enable them to purchase this, we give them six weeks vacation during the harvest, when they can earn the highest wages.
Brother Adams and myself work four hours, except when we Are teaching or doing Missionary labor. We must all work for our board. That is the only way in which they will feel it their duty to labor and to study, and the only way in which our people will feel their duty to the Church, and to ourselves as clergy of the same.
We rise at 5am, Matins at 6. The Morning Service of the Church at 9. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the Litany at 12. On Thursdays, the Holy Eucharist at the same hour of 12. The Evening service of the Church at 3, and Family Prayer or Vespers at 6:30 or 7pm. Our students labor between 7 and 9 in the morning, and 1 and 3 in the afternoon.
Dcn. Terry is survived by his parents, Charlotte and Woodrow Star Jr., Pendleton, Ore.; one daughter, Kayrose; one son, Preston; three sisters, Melissa (Marlon) Mason, New Town, Elizabeth Star, and Alyssa (Jamarr) Breazeale; all of Pendleton, Ore.; five brothers, Woodrow Star III, Eagle Butte, S.D., Richard (Leilani) Star, Jesse Star, Carlisle Star, all of Pendleton, and Brandon (Angela) Mauai, Fort Yates; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Terry was preceded in death by his grandparents, Richard (Lillian Iron Bull) Martinez, Theresa Eagle, and Woodrow Star Sr.; four aunts; and two uncles.
The faculty of the House has decided to confer Deacon Terry Star a licentiate in theology posthumously. It will be conferred at Nashotah House’s graduation on May 22, 2014.
Teach thy Church, O Lord, we pray, to value and support Pioneering and courageous missionaries, whom you call, as you called your servant James Lloyd Breck, to preach and teach, and plant your Church in new regions; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
excerpts from Project Canterbury
The Life of the Reverend James Lloyd Breck, D.D.
Chiefly from Letters Written by Himself
Compiled by Charles Breck, D.D.
New York: E. & J. B. Young, 1883
Photo: The Rev. James Lloyd Breck (right) with Enmegahbowh (The Rev. John Johnson) (left) and Isaac Manitowab (center).