first_img Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY By Joseph La FollettePosted Jul 9, 2015 People Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Tags Obituary, Rector Pittsburgh, PA Rector Smithfield, NC Rector Hopkinsville, KY [Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande] The Rev. Melvin Walker La Follette was born in Evansville, Indiana, in on September 7, 1930. He lived all of his childhood in Ridgeville, Indiana. His father, Melvin Lester La Follette, was an electrician for the local telephone company who lost his job during the Great Depression. Because of this, his mother, Genevieve Farr La Follette, found employment as the first grade teacher at the Grant County Elementary School. For many years, her guidance shaped young Melvin.After graduating high school in 1948, he then served his summers in U.S. Forestry Service. He became frustrated with his mother when she refused to grant him permission to join an elite band of men known as the smoke jumpers. He had to compromise with her and remain part of the ground crew. He assisted in the Mann Gulch Montana fire of 1948 where 13 smoke jumpers suffered a terrible tragedy. He reconciled with mother shortly after that event.The same year he was accepted to Purdue University until the Korean war broke out, and he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a member of the medical corps. He served in a recovery ward for men wounded overseas.After leaving the Navy, he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Washington. He then returned to graduate school where he attended the University of Iowa’s Writing Project. He received a Master’s Degree in Literature and Creative Writing. It was there that he was instructed by the poet John Berryman, who became an important influence in his decision to become a professional writer.To support his writing, he accepted a position at the University of British Columbia. There he was sought out by Dylan Thomas, a fellow poet, to be his guide in the Columbian Rockies. La Follette continued writing short stories and poems that appeared in Poetry Magazine, the Beloit Poetry Review. Dame Marianne Moore encouraged his modernist style, although some critics disliked his adherence to formal styles like the sonnet and the ballad, but he himself considered his work surrealistic because most of his poetry had deeper dreamlike imagery mingled with adherence to traditional writing styles. He believed that poets should not abandon tradition just for the sake of modernity.In 1957, he accepted a teaching position at the Oregon State University. It was there that he courted and married Alice Louise Simpson  in 1958, with whom he shared 26 years of marriage.He then moved to San Jose, California, where he continued writing poetry and co-founded a small short-lived publishing company, The Spensarian Press.While an instructor at San Jose State University, he attended The University of California doctoral program. There he made a close personal friendship with fellow poet Allen Ginsburg. He enjoyed listening to beatnik poetry on occasion, but La Follette preferred a formal style of verse for his own writing. He was also dismayed by the abuse of drugs that was passed off as part of the creative process. For this he penned Elegy To A Beatnik, a precautionary poem in free verse.In 1962, his son Stephen was born. At that same time, he felt a tremendous calling from God to do more for his fellow man. After being examined and accepted by a committee led by Bishop James Pike, he left the University of California without receiving his doctorate, vacated his seat at San Jose State University, and moved his growing family to New Haven, Connecticut.To support himself during seminary, he taught undergraduate courses at Yale and also worked as a hotel clerk. He also continued writing poetry and prose, although the majority of his time was spent studying in seminary. While at seminary, a second child Joseph was born in 1964.After being ordained a deacon in 1966 and later a priest in 1967, he was assigned as a curate at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Auburn, New York. His duties included a prison ministry, and chaplaincy at the local hospital.During most of his adult life, he was a member of the civil rights movement and worked to end discrimination against minorities. He joined in many anti-war and civil rights marches in Washington, D.C., while still a seminarian.He then returned to California where he accepted a position as associate rector of St. Francis Episcopal Church in San Jose. While participating in his duties, he came across ancient manuscript that had an intriguing story of a heroic enchanted wolf. He decided to write an adaptation, which he worked on whenever his creative juices were flowing.In 1971, he accepted the challenge of turning a storefront mission into a full-fledged church. He became the vicar of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Santa Rosa, California.  Unfortunately, this position was plagued with obstacles, but despite these he was true to his word and secured land and financing for the growing parish.He tried to include an Hispanic congregation and seriously learned Spanish to start a ministry. Unfortunately, his diocesan leadership didn’t see eye to eye with him. He then considered a position in Ecuador, but he could not convince Alice to leave the United States.Meanwhile, after years of reworking his manuscript, he found to his dismay that his literary agent could not get any publishers interested in his unique manuscript. He was offered many writing jobs, but he was an artist and turned them down.At the same time, he had a falling out with his bishop and left active ministry in 1978 ,but not before finalizing plans to build the church.Being a talented educator, he secured a dream job at Chapman University as a PACE professor for the U.S. Navy. While instructing sailors aboard ship, he traveled the Pacific and Indian oceans. Although he was not active duty he was awarded an expeditionary medal for his work on the USS Midway during the Iran Hostage Crisis. He recounted that Iranian fighter planes tested the ship’s defenses, and at one point a rescue operation failed when it was shot down over Iran.In the 1983, he left his teaching job at Chapman University to be closer to his elderly father in Roswell, New Mexico, while he finalized his divorce to his wife, Alice. She finally had had enough of his absenteeism and when he offered to once again settle down, she recanted until she discovered it meant moving to the Philippines.While in Roswell he began attending St. Stephen’s, he began to rediscover his love of the ministry. The people of that parish gave him encouragement to seek another position in the Episcopal Church.Soon after he took a job at University of Texas at El Paso and began helping out in the Hispanic ministry at the Pro-Cathedral of St. Clement. He was offered the opportunity to fill in for his friend Father William Muniz.For Father Mel, the community that he served, the distances he had to travel, and the tremendous obstacles that he faced were all fair game.In 1984, he was installed as canon of the Trans Pecos. With that he became the circuit-riding priest of the Rio Grande. He enjoyed serving at St. Paul’s of Marfa, St. James of Alpine, and he especially enjoyed the parish of Saint John’s in Terlingua Ranch. He felt at home whether in an air conditioned parish hall or a tiny chapel crammed with sweating but happy people waving their paperback Prayer Books to keep cool.He also worked with the Diocese of Northern Mexico and provided opportunities to seminarians from Monterey to assist in Vacation Bible School. He held VBS in Ojinaga, Palomas, Lajitas and Boquillas Del Carmen.Every Christmas he provided a fiesta for the children of each and every parish, which included gift bags of fresh fruits and nuts, toys, household goods, clothing and a piñata hand stuffed by himself. When his white truck came down the road during Christmas time, there was a dash to the mission. He would get home early in the morning and then do it again.For a while he even rode a horse to some out of the way places, although he preferred riding in a rowboat. He had a growing ministry that had the rhythm of a living poem.Starting in 1985, he compiled a collection of poems titled, Tales From The Indian Ocean, about life on a ship during the Iran Conflict. Once again, he encountered friends lost under tragic circumstances and sought to preserve a part of their memory in poems.In 1988, he purchased a small travel agency in Presidio. He hoped to grow the business into a pathway for active retirement. But to his dismay, the way people book vacations was rapidly changing.In 1990, Texas A&M named him rural minister of the year. He was interviewed in many news articles and was the subject of two episodes of the Texas Country Reporter.In 1992, he tried to expand his role to rural development and helped a group of local farmers try to make a dairy goat cooperative. Father Mel was completely heartbroken when young shepherd Esequiel Hernandez was shot by U.S. Marines while tending goats. He traveled to Washington, D.C. one last time to demand justice.In 1998, weakness from the early stages of heart disease and arthritis prevented him from a more active role so the cooperative was dissolved.He retired to his trailer on a small tract of land. Some of his hobbies included poultry husbandry, bird-watching and horticulture. He continued to travel throughout the Caribbean in a small sailboat and second class train in South America.He continued part time in the ministry mainly serving the parish of St. Joseph and St. Mary in Lajitas, Texas.In later years he spent a significant amount of time writing an historical novel set in the era of the Republic of Texas. He insisted on finishing his book with a feverish pace because he knew he had congestive heart disease. Just weeks after finishing his manuscript, he called the paramedics when he no longer could tolerate his untreated condition.He passed away on July 4, 2015, in Odessa, Texas, of heart failure. He is survived by his brother James (Ruth), sons Stephen and Joseph (Erica), and seven grandchildren, Christopher, Christin, Jacob, Jason, Josiah, Leila and Leslie.A requiem remembrance will be held July 23 at Santa Inez Church in Terlingua, Texas. Diocese of the Rio Grande Bishop Michael Vono will officiate. Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Featured Jobs & Calls Rector Shreveport, LA In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Youth Minister Lorton, VA Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Submit a Job Listing Rector Knoxville, TN Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Rector Bath, NC Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA RIP: Mel La Follette Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Collierville, TN Curate Diocese of Nebraska center_img Associate Rector Columbus, GA Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Rector Tampa, FL Rector Albany, NY Director of Music Morristown, NJ Submit a Press Release An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Press Release Service This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Rector Martinsville, VA Featured Events Rector Belleville, IL Submit an Event Listing Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Rector Washington, DC The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS last_img read more

first_imgWhatsApp Donal Ryan names Limerick Ladies Football team for League opener Advertisement Roisin Upton excited by “hockey talent coming through” in Limerick Facebook Email Print Linkedin WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORcenter_img Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live TAGSKeeping Limerick PostedlimerickLimerick Post Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash LimerickNewsLimerick on the up, says Housing, Local Government and Heritage MinisterBy Meghann Scully – December 15, 2020 152 REPRO FREEMinister for Housing, Local Government & Heritage Darragh O’Brien ( Centre) declared his All-Ireland hurling final neutrality in Limerick today as he was presented with the county jersey by Mayor of the City and County Michael Collins ( left) and David Conway (right) CEO Limerick 2030, during a visit to the Opera Site – the biggest single commercial property programme investment in the city and largest ever outside the capital. The Limerick Twenty Thirty DAC site, on which work officially commenced last month, is fully funded and will have the capacity for up to 3,000 employees across a 450,000 sq ft campus in the heart of the city. Up to 500 people involved in construction at peak on the site. Limerick Twenty Thirty is a special purpose vehicle established by Limerick City and County Council in 2016 to stimulate economic and social development by building out and promoting strategic disused sites in Limerick. Pic Arthur EllisMINISTER for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien, TD, has said that the Opera Site and wider Limerick Twenty Thirty programme will be transformational for city, county and region.Speaking during a visit to the Opera Site, which is being developed by Limerick Twenty Thirty for Limerick City and County Council, at the weekend, Minister O’Brien said that there is a very positive perception also emerging nationally regarding what is happening in Limerick.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “I’m absolutely delighted to be here today to see the Opera Site in person. I’ve had some excellent briefings from the (Limerick Twenty Thirty) team over the last couple of months.“But to see it physically and the potential of this but, more importantly, to see the work starting, the fruition of the initial investments and the support that the state has given to Limerick Twenty Thirty and to Limerick City and County, it’s fantastic.“The potential for Limerick with the development of this site and indeed others that have been identified by Limerick Twenty Thirty is absolutely immense. This will be transformative.”The Minister’s visit to the site comes just two weeks after commencement of demolition and enabling works on the site by John Sisk & Son.  The Opera Site is the biggest single commercial property programme investment in Limerick and the largest ever outside the capital.The project will be developed over a six-year work programme. When fully developed, the 1.62hectare site will have the capacity for up to 3,000 employees.  Up to 500 people will be involved in construction at peak on the €200m project, which is fully funded.Minister O’Brien – who was welcomed at the site by Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Michael Collins, Limerick City and County Council CEO Pat Daly and Limerick Twenty Thirty CEO David Conway – said that cities are crucially important for regions. The Opera Site, he said, will be a massive driver for economic development, inward investment and job creation.He continued: “I was actually saying to colleagues today here in my visit in Limerick that the perception of Limerick outside of the city and county is so positive. Limerick has a feel that things are happening and that things are really going to take off.“Putting a company like Limerick Twenty Thirty in place is an example to others about how we can lead projects like this forward.  The local authority here in Limerick has led by example and has actually got involved when many others wouldn’t.” Previous articleUniversity Concert Hall (UCH) is delighted to announce a new four-part concert series AwakeningNext articleLISTEN: Byrnes not finished yet as Limerick “will try for more as a team” Meghann Scully Twitter Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live last_img read more