James De Koven was a priest, an educator, and an advocate for “ritualism” in Anglo-Catholicism. We celebrate his feast day today. Born in Connecticut in 1831, educated at Columbia and General Theological Seminary, he was ordained a deacon in 1854 and began his career as a rector at St. John Chrysostom Church and teacher at Nashotah House, both in Wisconsin. Nashotah’s mission is formation of persons for ministry in the Catholic tradition, for the Episcopal Church. Ordained a priest in Wisconsin, he became known for his advocacy of ritualism. In the 19th century, the issue caused bitter arguments in the church. The arguments for and against ritualism were long and contentious on both sides. Those in favor felt that use of incense, vestments and candles encouraged belief in the real presence of God in the Eucharist, based on the best worship practices. Those against believed it encouraged idolatry, and was “fussy” and “gaudy” and impeded, rather than encouraged, than plain worship. Unlike some fellow priests in England, De Koven was never prosecuted for his views. But the faction against ritualism was strong enough to prevent him from being ordained as a bishop, although he was nominated four times by four different dioceses. In 1859, he was named warden of Racine College where he spent the rest of his life. He died in 1879. Now known as the DeKoven Center, a conference center operated by the Community of St. Mary, he is buried on its grounds.