1999 The Evelyn Underhill Association Newsletter

November 1999


Evelyn Underhill: Guidance for Modern Seekers

by Kathy Staudt

The annual Day of Reflection in honor of Evelyn Underhill was held at Washington National Cathedral on June 12, 1999. This year’s theme was “Evelyn Underhill: A guide for modern seekers.” Underhill’s writing career shows her as a modern thinker trying to make sense of Christian mysticism in the context of modern, popular spiritualities. Her writings, especially the meditations on peace done late in her life, provided the background of the gathering on June 12, which was, as always, primarily a day for prayer and quiet. We offered a choice of two kinds of programs. For those desiring to learn more about Underhill’s life and writings, Faye Campbell led a lively discussion group at the Deanery. For those seeking a day of quiet and meditation, Kathy Staudt offered … Read more

1998 The Evelyn Underhill Association Newsletter

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November 1998


On Pilgrimage with Underhill

by Dana Greene

There is a special kind of learning that comes from walking where another walked, and reconstructing the reflections of a person in a particular place. For Evelyn Underhill, Italy was a place that ignited her love of God. It was through the aesthetic, through beauty, that she came to God. And it was in Italy that this happened. As she wrote, Italy was “the holy Land of Europe, a place medicinal to the soul.” It was there that she said she came into “a sort of gradual unconscious growing into an understanding of things.” Her travel journals and sketches from her many Italian tours, carried out when she was a young woman, were published posthumously as Shrines and Cities of Italy and FranceRead more

1997 The Evelyn Underhill Association Newsletter

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November 1997


Seventh Annual Quiet Day: “Shaping a Spiritual Life”

“The final test of holiness is not seeming very different from other people, but being used to make other people very different; becoming the parent of new life.” — Evelyn Underhill

Underhill’s life was dedicated to helping each person shape a life of holiness, of adoration of God for the sake of the world.

This year, our annual Quiet Day, held on the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral, took up this theme, “Shaping a Faithful Life.” Through discussion, presentations, reflection, and prayer, participants explored how Underhill helped others craft a disciplined and attentive life, and the sources of her inspiration for this work.

Presenters examined the influence of Benedict, Ignatius, and De Caussade on her thinking. A workshop on the life … Read more

1996 The Evelyn Underhill Association Newsletter

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November 1996


Annual Evelyn Underhill Day of Reflection

On Saturday, June 15, 1996, the fifty-fifth anniversary of the death of Evelyn Underhill in London, The Evelyn Underhill Association and the Washington Cathedral sponsored the sixth annual day of prayerful reflection, both to commemorate the life and work of this great woman and through prayer and discussion to grow in understanding to Christian life. This year the day focused on the meaning and purpose of the church. Underhill’s long and difficult embracing of the church gives her words added importance:

So, because we believe in the holy and life-giving spirit who becomes articulate in the prophets, telling us their vision of God, we also believe, which is often far more difficult, the voice of the traditional Church. The Church witnesses with the world

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1995 The Evelyn Underhill Association Newsletter

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November 1995


Coming Home to Pleshey A Memoir

by Kathleen Staudt

Evelyn Underhill recalls how her first experience of a conducted retreat at Pleshey retreat house in 1922 transformed her attitude toward church and vocation, and began the process of clarifying her own calling. She writes to Baron von Hugel of the satisfactions of the daily regime of communion and four services a day, and reflects that “the whole house seemed soaked in love and prayer.” With that description in my memory, I made a two-day retreat to Pleshey last April.

And so I found myself, late on a Saturday afternoon, at the railway station in the distinctly unromantic London suburb of Chelmsford, being met by a tall, soft-spoken man in a worn tweed jacket! He introduced himself as Bruce Hollamsby, the … Read more

1994 The Evelyn Underhill Association Newsletter

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November 1994



The EUA held its annual Day of Reflection at the Washington National Cathedral in the beautiful College of Preachers. The theme was “Evelyn Underhill and Spiritual Direction.” Leadership for the day was provided by Milo Coerper, Dana Greene, Lin Ludy, and Kathleen Staudt. Presentations, prayer, quiet, Eucharist and sharing gave form to this Day dedicated to the memory of Evelyn Underhill. The 1995 Day of Reflection will be held Saturday, June 17. Contact the Cathedral for further details.


Dr. John Casteel, a devoted reader of Evelyn Underhill, died in October 1993. He was ninety years old. Underhill was one of his principal spiritual guides over his long life and fruitful vocation as minister, teacher, author and spiritual friend of many. He will be greatly missed.… Read more

1993 The Evelyn Underhill Association Newsletter

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November 1993



Kathleen Henderson Staudt*

A modern reader coming to Theophanies is bound to be put off by the Edwardian conventionality of rhythm and music and by the tendentiousness of those poems on explicitly spiritual—especially neo-platonic—themes. But buried among these unsatisfactory efforts are flashes of genuine and original insights, where we see Underhill testing and using her gift for imaging, in homely terms, what she perceived as the presence and pull of God’s love in the world.

For example, the poem entitled “In the Train” constrasts the ardor and excitement of her own vision with the blindness of those around her. Beginning “O Train full of blind eyes, rushing through the world,” it goes on to sketch out in … Read more

1992 The Evelyn Underhill Association Newsletter

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Grace Adolphsen Brame

When people study history there are always several questions which seem important to be considered. How do the times affect individuals, and how do individuals affect their times? Secondly, what are the birth pangs of outstanding events in history, and how does that pain actually contribute to the positive or negative results? Lastly, are the events unifying or divisive? All these questions may be asked about individuals, or of groups, or of a society.

Evelyn Underhill, born in 1875 during the reign of Pius IX, is a fascinating bridge between the Protestant and Catholic approaches to worship and theology in that she was essentially a Vatican II person, a breath of … Read more

1991 The Evelyn Underhill Association Newsletter

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In this, the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Evelyn Underhill, we urge you to celebrate her life and work in whatever way your circumstances allow.

The celebration has already begun: In March 1990 several hundred person gathered for  a four day symposium on Underhill sponsored by the Washington National Cathedral and organized by Carole Crumley. Events included lectures by Dana Greene, Annice Callahan and A. M. Allchin; a panel discussion by Milo Coerper, Grace Brame, Dolores Leckey, Leonid Kishkovsky, and William Spofford; Compline addresses by Lin Ludy, Rev. David Trickett, Mary Xavier Kirby; a day of retreat with A. M. Allchin; Evensong; a short course of directed study on the works of Underhill; a tour of the Cathedral given by Richard Feller and an English Tea in its Tower.

Upcoming … Read more