Community Action and Influence

George La Piana and Felix Frankfurter

Felix Frankfurter's Letter to George La Piana

Professor George La Piana, Morison Professor of Church History at Harvard Divinity School from 1926 to 1948, was born in Italy and ordained a Catholic priest in 1900. He came to the United States in 1913 and began teaching at Harvard in 1916. La Piana was a leading figure in the modernist controversy in the Roman Catholic Church in the early 20th century.

This correspondence to La Piana from Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter reveals the informal role of counseling between the friends and the intellectual connections between theology and jurisprudence. In the letter, Frankfurter asks La Piana for a summary of the historical progression of the social understanding of the word "sacrilege.

Jordan Neighborhood House, Suffolk, Virginia

Founded in 1897 as a Universalist mission, the Suffolk, Virginia, mission provided education and health care to the African American inhabitants of the area. It was renamed the Jordan Neighborhood House in 1939 in honor of Joseph Fletcher Jordan who served as minister from 1904 to 1929.

With the support of the Universalist Church of America and the Association of Universalist Women, Jordan Neighborhood House later offered counseling for mothers, pre-natal and infant health clinics, and music programs for teenagers.