Frank Henderson's Page on Liturgy and Medieval Women

Personal Information

Frank & Ruth Henderson

J. Frank Henderson

Last Updated: 16 July 1999

I was born on July 15, 1933, in Miami, Arizona, to Evelyn and Frank Henderson, and was married on December 28, 1961, in Washington, D.C., to Ruth McClintock. I have one brother.

Elementary school education was received in Miami, Morenci and Phoenix, Arizona; in Pasadena and Newport Beach, California; in Portland, Oregon; and in Fairbanks, Alaska. I began high school in Newport Beach, but did most of it in Phoenix.

At the University of Arizona I received a B.S. in chemistry in 1954 and a M.S. in biochemistry in 1956. I received my Ph.D. in oncology from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) in 1959, with a dissertation entitled "Characteristics of the Nutrition of Ascites Tumor Cells."

I have been fortunate enough to have three careers; in biochemistry and cancer research, in liturgy, and in medieval studies.

Biochemistry and Cancer Research

After working two years at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California, and serving three years as Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at George Washington University Medical School in Washington, D.C., I moved in 1963 to the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. There I was Associate Professor and Professor of Biochemistry and member of the Cancer Research unit until I took early retirement in 1989.

My research concerned the metabolism, mechanisms of action and mechanisms of resistance of anticancer drugs, especially purine antimetabolites; human inherited diseases of purine metabolism; and the comparative biochemistry of purines. This work led to the publication of more than 200 articles, literature reviews and abstracts, as well as the following books:

Regulation of Purine Biosynthesis
Washington DC: American Chemical Society (1972)

Cell ATP
Nucleotide Metabolism: An Introduction
by J. Frank Henderson and A. R. P. Paterson
New York: Academic Press (1973)
by William A. Bridger and J. Frank Henderson
New York: John Wiley & Sons (1983)  

In 1966 I received the Ayerst Award of the Canadian Biochemical Society, and in 1969 I was a co-recipient with W. N. Kelley, M. L. Greene, F. M. Rosenbloom and J. E. Seegmiller of an outstanding research award of the International Federation of Rheumatic Diseases.


A member of the North American Academy of Liturgy, the Canadian Liturgical Society, and Societas Liturgica, I now serve as editor of the Proceedings of the North American Academy of Liturgy.

I have served on the Liturgy Commission of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton, the National Council for Liturgy (Canada), the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (Advisory Committee, Subcommittee on Discriminatory Language, Subcommittee on Translations and Revisions), the Consultation on Common Texts, and the Board of Directors of the Liturgical Conference. I served as editor of the National Bulletin on Liturgy, a publication of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, for nine years.

I have taught a variety of courses in liturgy at Newman Theological College (Edmonton), St. Stephen's College (Edmonton) and St. Paul University (Ottawa), as well as various workshops and lectures. I continue to teach some summer courses.

Publications and research interests are provided elsewhere on this site.

In 1996 St. Stephen's College in Edmonton awarded me the degree of Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa) and in 1997 I received the Berakah Award of the North American Academy of Liturgy.

I am committed to the principle of full participation - hence full inclusion - of all in the liturgy and life of the church.

Medieval StudiesMedieval Studies

My career in medieval studies has been relatively short, spent mostly in libraries and with graduate students, and has given rise so far to only one publication. At the Medieval Studies Congress in Kalamazoo, Michigan, I have given several presentations, listed elsewhere.

A member of the American Benedictine Academy and the Canadian Society of Medievalists, I also serve on the editorial board of Magistra: A Journal of Women's Spirituality in History.

As a member of a small network of persons interested in Feminine Versions of the Rule of St. Benedict, I am collaborating in the continued study of these texts and in the production of modern English translations.

Women and Worship in the Middle AgesAnother project, for which I have been gathering material since 1987, is "Women and Worship in the Middle Ages."

Other Interests Other Interests

In addition to the interests already described, I appreciate classical music, enjoy exploring the Canadian Rockies, and gather several types of art. Two types of art from my own collection are exhibited here, pysanki or Ukrainian painted eggs, and Navajo weavings.

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