FROM FATHER PACE: THEN & NOW
The Saint Mary's AIDS Walk has been a major outreach effort of this parish for many years. The Team has begun its fundraising efforts in preparation for this year's Walk, which will take place on the Day of Pentecost, May 20, 2018. You may read more about the Walk, the Team, and its efforts below, in the paragraph entitled "AIDS Walk 2018." We invite you to view a video on YouTube, in which Team members speak about their commitment to this effort. We also encourage you to visit the Team's AIDS Walk webpage, where you can join the Team or make a donation. By doing so, you are adding your voice to the voices of our Team members; and, for this week's newsletter, we've asked Father Jim Pace to add his voice as well. In his article, he talks about his experiences-as a priest and as a nurse-working with people with AIDS. We are grateful to him for agreeing to do so and for his ongoing support.
It was different back then when AIDS first appeared on the scene. Many of the readers of this newsletter know that I am proud to say that I am a registered nurse with forty years' experience. In the very beginning of the AIDS epidemic, we didn't even have a name for what we were seeing: severe immunosuppression, "spots" to the chest, and pneumocystis pneumonia in young men, most of whom were gay. I was working on an oncology floor at the time, and so we got the first wave-so-called "anomaly" patients-because administration didn't know where else to send them. They looked like "chemo" patients: low red cells, few platelets, and virtually no white cells (which the body uses to fight infections). I worked on a thirty-two-bed oncology unit with two licensed practical nurses (LPNs) at night. The two LPNs refused to care for anyone with AIDS. On days and evenings, it wasn't much better; nurses would agree to care for an AIDS patient only if he was an "innocent victim"-someone who had become infected because they'd received a tainted blood transfusion and not because of "the sin" of homosexual sex between men. Back then, I often heard the following: "guilty victims" deserved what they got; it was their fault! Dietary trays were left outside the patient's door, because workers were afraid to enter the room because they were afraid of contagion. Healthcare workers routinely wore masks and gloves while working with these patients, and it was all very scary. We knew so little. But I saw the fear in my patients' faces, and I fell in love with them all.
Some other memories from that time: As a hospice chaplain, I was the only chaplain who would go "into East Nashville" and visit the "AIDS patients" in their homes (that was the all-too-common, standard term back then, usually uttered with distaste). But, when I visited those homes, I discovered what true love was really all about: partners caring for the love of their lives. And life was short when one had AIDS-less than a year. And, almost always, it was the two-funeral syndrome for me, the chaplain: the family funeral where we were told that the young son had died of a blood disease, or better yet, cancer. Those were "acceptable" diagnoses, causes of death that invited sympathy. But then there was the second funeral in the gay community where the truth was bitter, but it was real. And then along came AZT. We now know that we were overdosing our patients on AZT back then. We were actually causing anemias, but we didn't realize it. The short-term benefits (a few more months of life) outweighed the side effects of which we were not aware. As a nurse-practitioner student, I was fortunate to precept with a NP who supervised one of the first protease inhibitor drug clinical trials. The drug was referred to as a number then. The name Ritonavir would soon follow. It was a wonder drug; not only did it reduce the viral load over sustained amounts of time, it even allowed some regrowth of white cells. Patients got stronger. And then there were HIV cocktails (two-drug combinations), and later three-drug combinations. But it wasn't all good: twelve to eighteen pills a day over three to four dosing cycles caused terrible gastric upset, diarrhea, and fatigue. Sometimes the pill burden was worse than the burden of the illness itself. But so much has changed in the last thirty years. Now we have so many regimens that are patient- and dose-friendly. We have PrEP ("pre-exposure prophylaxis") and PEP ("post-exposure prophylaxis"). Many HIV-positive people go for long periods during which their viral load is undetectable. We have superior drug algorithms to prevent opportunistic infections, better community support, and extended and extensive resources. We now have infectious-disease specialists and devoted caregivers, who work with patients openly, enthusiastically, and without fear. There is early detection, and there are immediate and evidence-based protocols with sustained effects.
We have years of AIDS Walks to thank for making significant contributions to these miracles in care, prevention, detection, early interventions, and treatment. We have indeed come a long way. But it's not over. It's not over. There is still much more to do. More people to help. There is still stigma. There is still homophobia, racism, and prejudice. There is still rejection. There are still social, economic, gender, racial, ethnic, and age disparities. The only way to eliminate these continuing barriers to humane and accessible care is to continue to fund those champions who have taken us so far. Let's not give up. Let's never lose hope. Let's continue to give, and work, and pray, and support. Because each one of us makes a difference when we do those things. The Saint Mary's community, and its AIDS Walk Team, thank you for your continued support. -James Conlin Pace
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Alex, Dick, Mary, Dora, Marilouise, Rami, Sam, Stephanie, Dennis, Bob, Abe, Randy, Barbara, Burt, Mike, Kathleen, Marissa, Kyle, Greta, Carlos, Jerry, Eleanor, Karen, Eugenia, May, Heidi, Takeem, Amarylis, David, and Sandy; for Horace, Gaylord, Louis, and Edgar, priests; and for all the benefactors and friends of this parish.
GRANT THEM PEACE . . . April 29: 1900 George Lehn; 1920 Ellen Lundi Chapman; 1935 Clara Nulle; 1939 Emily Hayward Capron Jacocks.
THE FRIDAYS OF THE EASTER SEASON are not observed by acts of discipline and self-denial.
ANNUAL MEETING OF THE PARISH . . . The Annual Meeting of the Parish will take place on Sunday, May 6, following the Solemn Mass and May Crowning. Reports are due in the parish office no later than Thursday, April 26, at 5:00 PM. At the meeting, nominations of delegates to Diocesan Convention will be received for election by the Board of Trustees.
AIDS WALK 2018 . . . Saint Mary's team is off to a splendid start this year. Saint Mary's has participated in the AIDS Walk for many years, and, once again, the team is determined to raise the greatest amount of money that we can for services and support to people with AIDS or who are HIV+. In just over a week, we have raised $33,955.00 from 78 friends and supporters, and we will soon add to that total $855.00, half of the Maundy Thursday collection, which was pledged to the AIDS Walk Team. Our goal is $55,000.00 and the support of all the friends and members of Saint Mary's. We invite you to join our team and raise money with us, or simply to make a donation to the determined Saint Mary's AIDS Walk Team. When you join or contribute by clicking here, you can view our very fine and inspiring video in which the members of the Saint Mary's Team talk about why they walk and why they are committed to this effort. You can also direct your questions to Father Jay Smith or to co-leaders MaryJane Boland and Clark Mitchell.
STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN: WE NEED YOUR HELP!
. . . Our annual Stewardship Campaign officially takes place between October and the last Sunday in November. However, in some sense, the Campaign never really ends, since financial situations change during the course of the year. In addition, visitors, friends, and new members often hear about the Campaign and decide to make a financial commitment to the parish in the New Year. So, our Campaign continues. There is still time to make a pledge for 2018! In order to make a pledge, please fill out a pledge card and mail it to 145 West Forty-sixth Street, New York, NY 10036; place your pledge card in the collection basket at Mass; or make a pledge online. We are grateful to all those who continue to support the parish and its ministries so generously.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Sunday, April 29, Fifth Sunday of Easter, Adult Forum 1:00 PM, Saint Joseph's Hall, Mr. J. Chester Johnson discusses his book Auden, the Psalms, and Me, and his role in preparing the translation of the Psalter in the Book of Common Prayer 1979. Note the later time, 1:00 PM, and the location: Saint Joseph's Hall . . . Tuesday, May 1, Saint Philip and Saint James, Apostles, Mass 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Friday, May 4, 6:30 PM, Centering Prayer Group, Atrium, Parish Hall, Second Floor . . . Sunday, May 6, May Crowning and Annual Meeting of the Congregation.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Father Jay Smith and Father Matt Jacobson will be away from the parish attending the diocesan priests' conference from Monday, April 30, through Wednesday, May 2. Father Smith will return to the office on Thursday, May 3 . . . On Wednesday, May 2, 2009, the Reverend Rebecca Weiner Tompkins was ordained deacon. Happy Anniversary, Rebecca! . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 171.
SACRED SITES OPEN HOUSE . . . For the first time, Saint Mary's will be participating in the New York Landmarks Conservancy Annual Sacred Sites Open House Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6, 2018. This year's theme is "Sacred Sounds and Settings." Houses of worship will focus on music and artistic performance. The schedule here at Saint Mary's is as follows:
Saturday, May 5
1:00 PM: Organ Demonstration by Dr. David Hurd, organist and music director
3:00 PM: Organ Demonstration by Dr. David Hurd
4:00 PM: Docent-guided tour of the church
Sunday, May 6
8:30 AM: Sung Matins
11:00 AM: Solemn Mass with choir and organ. The Mass setting is Missa Octavi Toni by Orlando di Lasso (c. 1530-1594). The motet will be Exultate Deo by Domenico Scarlatti (1660-1725)
3:00 PM Docent-guided tour of the church
4:00 PM: Organ Demonstration by Dr. David Hurd
5:00 PM: Evensong and Benediction
We are grateful to David Hurd, Marie Rosseels, Chris Howatt, Mary Robison, and Brendon Hunter for encouraging us to participate in the Open House and for making it possible for us to do so.
CHRISTIAN FORMATION . . . On Sunday, April 29, at 1:00 PM in Saint Joseph's Hall (note time and location), poet Chester Johnson will discuss his new book, Auden, the Psalms and Me, and the translation of the psalms used in the Book of Common Prayer 1979 . . . On Sunday, May 6, the day on which the Annual Meeting of the Congregation will take place, the Adult Forum will not meet . . . On May 13 and 20, at 10:00 AM in Saint Benedict's Study, Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins will teach a two-part series The Dove Descending: bird, fire, wind, water, cloud, light, and other depictions of the Holy Spirit in readings from scripture and beyond (primarily poetry). This is a two-Sunday survey of symbol and significance, ending on the Day of Pentecost . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class met for the last time on April 25 to discuss the Passion Narrative in the Gospel of Mark. The group will gather on Wednesday, May 23, for its annual end-of-year dinner. Classes will resume in the fall.
ABOUT THE MUSIC . . . The choral setting of the Mass on Sunday morning is Mass in the Dorian Mode by Herbert Howells (1892-1983). This posthumously published work was the first of Howells's compositions to receive a professional London performance when it was sung at Mass in Westminster Cathedral in November 1912 under the direction of Sir Richard Terry, just six months after Howells became a student at the Royal College of Music. Over the next four years, Howells composed several more pieces in Latin for the liturgy at Westminster Cathedral, all of which soon slipped into obscurity, and none of which was published in Howells's lifetime. Fortunately, these remarkable earlier pieces have now been published and are taking their place among Howells's many later, better known, and much beloved settings for Anglican services. Howells's Dorian Mass is clearly a product of the resurgence of Renaissance polyphony which the papal Motu proprio of 1903 had encouraged, and which Dr. Terry's work at Westminster Cathedral had anticipated. Almost a decade later Ralph Vaughan Williams's Mass in G minor (1921) would similarly reflect the inspiration and influence of Renaissance church music in early twentieth-century England.
In the collect for this Sunday, the Fifth Sunday of Easter, we pray to "so perfectly know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life," anticipating the Gospel reading (John 14) in which our Lord reveals himself to be the way, truth, and life. The beloved English priest and poet George Herbert (1593-1633) offered his reflection and prayer to Jesus as the way, truth, and life in "The Call" (The Temple, 1633). Of the many musical settings Herbert's prayer-poem has inspired, the setting from Five Mystical Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)-distilled into many modern hymnals-is surely the best known. (See 487 in The Hymnal 1982.) David Hurd's four-voice choral setting of "The Call," sung as the motet during the administration of Communion, was commissioned in honor of the Rev. Dr. William Greenlaw and Mrs. Jane Greenlaw in 2008, shortly before Father Greenlaw's retirement as rector of Holy Apostles Church, Chelsea, Manhattan.
The organ voluntaries at the Solemn Mass are two Praeludien, both in the key of G Major, by leading organ composers associated with the German High Baroque period. The prelude is by Nicolaus Bruhns who was born at Schwabstedt. Having received his early training from his father, a pupil of Franz Tunder and organist in Husum, he went to Lübeck in 1681 to study with Tunder's successor at the Marienkirche, Dieterich Buxtehude. During his short life, Bruhns established for himself the reputations of a virtuoso of both keyboard and stringed instruments. He is said to have been skilled in playing trios with two voices on the violin and the third on the pedals of the organ. Bruhns' five extant organ compositions are works of spontaneity and imagination. The Praeludium in G is a particularly extroverted piece which features an unusual fugue of six voices, two of which are played on the pedals. The postlude is by Dieterich Buxtehude (1637-1707), Danish by birth, and generally recognized as the most important organ composer in the generation before J. S. Bach. Most of Buxtehude's organ works are thought to date from his earlier years at the Marienkirche in Lübeck, where he served as organist from 1668 until his death. Buxtehude's Praeludium in G is one of his most restrained works in the genre. Rather than being cast in the usual multi-sectional format, this piece consists of two well-defined sections: a free opening section and a stately fugue with brief closing coda. -David Hurd
CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Saturday, May 19, 2018, 8:00 PM, New York Repertory Orchestra. Music by Bach, Raff, Poulenc, and Rachmaninov. Admission is free. A donation of $15.00 is suggested and much appreciated.
OUTREACH VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY . . . The United Service Organizations, Inc. (USO) supports America's military service members and their families by connecting them to family, home and country. The USO of Metropolitan New York is seeking volunteers to serve at the their centers at the Port Authority Bus Terminal; Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn; Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark, New Jersey; and JFK International Airport, Jamaica, NY. From the USO flyer, "Service members and families visit USO centers nearly seven million times each year, and 30,000 USO volunteers donate nearly two million hours of service at two hundred USO centers around the world. By volunteering at a USO center, you can help to express America's gratitude for the service and sacrifices made by our troops and their families. Volunteers are the heart and soul of the USO and are needed at our centers daily to greet service members and their families as they prepare to deploy, are waiting for a loved one, or just need a place to rest." Visit the USO website for more information or to volunteer.
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY'S. . . We continue to receive nonperishable food items for our outreach partner, Saint Clement's Food Pantry. Please place those items in the basket near the ushers' table at the Forty-sixth Street entrance to the church . . . Donations and volunteers are needed for our next Drop-in Days on May 23, June 27, and July 11, and for the many requests for assistance between Drop-in Days . . . Please contact Sister Monica Clare, if you would like to volunteer for this important ministry or if you would like to make a donation.
LOOKING AHEAD . . . Wednesday, May 9, Eve of Ascension Day, Evensong 6:00 PM . . . Thursday, May 10, Ascension Day, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Noonday Office 12:00 PM, Sung Mass 12:30 PM, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM . . . Sunday, May 20, The Day of Pentecost . . . Sunday, May 27, Trinity Sunday . . . Monday, May 28, Memorial Day . . . Thursday, May 31, The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
AT THE GALLERIES . . . At the Morgan Museum and Library, 220-230 Madison Avenue, between Thirty-sixth and Thirty-seventh Streets, Tuesday, May 22, 6:30 PM, Tickets: $15; $10 for members; free for students with a valid ID, The Written World: The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, Civilization, a lecture by Martin Puchner. From the museum website, "Stories play a central role at the Morgan. From ancient Near Eastern seals and tablets and Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts to printed books and bindings and literary and historical manuscripts, our collections comprise a unique and dynamic record of civilization as well as an incomparable repository of ideas. To inaugurate an annual lecture to celebrate the Morgan's collections, we invite you to join Martin Puchner, Byron and Anita Wien Professor of Drama and of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University-and author of The Written World-as he leads us on a journey through time and around the globe to reveal the powerful role stories and literature have played in creating the world we have today."