Your Vocation is the Padded Cell!

His funeral Mass was celebrated the morning of August 25th at St. Malachy's. Present were delegations from Actors' Equity, the Lambs Club, the Friars Club, the Jewish Actors Guild, the Democratic Party, the Georgetown University Alumni Association, and the Catholic Actors Guild. The New York Times observed:

Many once-familiar faces of the Broadway 90's could be seen in the church. There were also chorus girls, burlesque and vaudeville performers who had entered the church—sometimes referred to as the "actors' church"—on the way to their rehearsals.

The guild (now sadly defunct) belongs to a unique period in America's Catholic history; one that saw, as historian Charles Morris writes, a "proliferation of ‘parallel' Catholic organizations of every variety": bar associations, medical societies, academic and literary organizations. The result, he notes, was an era in which Catholicism was "as much a culture as a religion." In their own way, Wilton Lackaye and the actors gathering at the Astor Hotel in 1914 played a significant role in helping create that culture. It needs only willing Catholics, working in their varied fields, to make it so again.

1/4/2011 5:00:00 AM