The Angelus



Chicago was the first great city I ever lived in.  I still remember the date I arrived, September 19, 1976.  I was 22 and entering graduate school.  Chicago was a very different city then in many ways than it is now.  The first Mayor Daley was still in office.  The economic growth of the 1980s and 1990s that brought about a renaissance of urban America was in the future.  As part of the orientation for students at the University of Chicago, we learned about the dangers of the city and about the campus security phones located at the intersection of all the streets near the university.  It was a different time.  But I loved it.

Chicago was a great place to be.  The lakefront with its parks is a spectacular setting for the city that rises out of the plains.  It has also been one of the places where the art and craft of architecture have made great achievements.  There is music, art, theater, and comedy.  Since I lived on the South Side, I followed the White Sox, not the Cubs.  Despite the cold winters, it was easy to love the place, and I did.

I was in Chicago again at the end of August.  I hadn’t been there except very briefly since moving to New York.  On this visit I could see how much had changed in the downtown area.  There are lots of new buildings.  Many old and famous buildings have new names.  Many buildings are gone.  I was surprised how much I liked the new Trump Tower – an enormous and prominently sited building.

Walking the Loop brought to mind a bar that went out of business in the 1980s when a block was redeveloped.  Since that bar disappeared I’d often wished I’d gone in there at least once.  Ladner Brothers had a neon sign with the image of a lighthouse and the slogan, “Home of Cohasset Punch.”  On this most recent trip I looked it up online and discovered something called “The Chicago Bar Project.”  It had the history of the bar and the recipe for this local drink.  With respect, I’m pretty sure I didn’t miss anything – rum, vermouth, lemon and a canned peach half with its juice are its main components.  I may have missed a good beer in a good bar, but I didn’t miss what I thought I had.

Being in Chicago gave me a shot in the arm, as it were, a little renewed perspective about change.  Human life moves on.  Things change.  Some regrets really shouldn’t trouble us.  Again, human life moves on.  You and I have been given the gift of life with all its challenges.  Sometimes things really do get better.  Some things don’t, despite work and effort.  Sin is real.  Good is the greater reality.  One of the gifts of God’s plan for his kingdom is that you and I can look forward with faith and hope to the larger life of eternal life.  Stephen Gerth


YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED especially for Mary, who is gravely ill, and Carol, Larry, Lindsay, Avery, Lin, Mike, Steven, Joe, José, Sharon, George, Mary, Bryant, Daisy, Gerardo, Cesar, Chris, Rolf, Nicholas, Elsa, William, Gert, Rick, and Emil, religious; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially John, James, Kayla, Marc, and Benjamin; and for the repose of the soul of Maria Luppi . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . September 12: 1916 John Wilkinson; 1940 Eliza Cecilia Knight; 1941 Walter Beal Holden; 1947 Thomas Henry Coles; 1998 John William Onderko.


THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Tuesday, September 14, is Holy Cross Day.  In addition to the 12:10 Mass, a Sung Mass will be celebrated at 6:00 PM . . . Matthew Kerr, the son of parishioners Thomas and Judith Kerr, died suddenly in Seattle, Washington, on Saturday, August 14.  A memorial service will be held this week at Saint Peter’s Church, Morristown, New Jersey, on Friday, September 24, at 11:00 AM.  Father Jay Smith will be the celebrant at the Eucharist and the Reverend Sister Barbara Jean Packer, C.S.J.B., will preach and officiate at the Commendation.  Please continue to keep Matthew, Tom, Judi and their daughter Madeleine in your prayers . . . Father Gerth will hear confessions on Saturday, September 11, and on Saturday, September 18.


THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.


AROUND THE PARISH . . . Saint Mary’s Guild meets on Saturday, September 11, at 1:00 PM . . . We continue to collect non-perishable food items on Sundays for the Food Pantry.  Please look for the basket at the back of the church or in Saint Joseph’s Hall . . . James Kennerley is on vacation.  He returns to the parish on Monday, September 20 . . . We have received a Letter of Transfer for Stephen Shull.  Stephen was formerly a member of the Church of the Advent of Christ the King, San Francisco.  He is a classicist and a talented linguist.  He has been worshipping with us for some time now and has become a faithful acolyte.  We are very happy that he has decided to join us . . . Many Saint Marians will remember Eric Peterson, who has been a member of the parish for around six years.  He moved to California a while back and has finally found a parish where he feels comfortable.  We recently sent his Letter of Transfer to the Church of Saint Margaret, Palm Desert, California.  We miss Eric, we are grateful for his ministry here, and we wish him well.  We are glad he has found a parish home . . . The Rector will be away from Sunday evening until Wednesday evening to attend the Leadership in Ministry conference held at Lost River Retreat Center, Lost River, West Virginia . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 200; Nativity of Mary 99.


FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . Timothy Brumfield, formerly organist at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York City, is playing for us while I am on vacation.  The cantor on Sunday is Ruth Cunningham, soprano.  The prelude is an improvisation on St. Columba, sung today as the Offertory hymn.  The Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei are improvised to settings by Ruth and Timothy.  Improvisation results in a very powerful, exciting and direct communication of the text that is set.  The communion motet, a setting of Ave Maria, was composed especially for Ruth by American composer Edward Thompson (b. 1953).  James Kennerley


CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . The first Adult Forum of the academic year will take place on Sunday, October 3, towards the end of Coffee Hour, around 1:00 PM, in Saint Joseph’s Hall.  Parish Archivist, Dick Leitsch, will give a talk on the history of the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, focusing on Father Thomas McKee Brown, Saint Mary’s first rector and the organization of the parish during its early years.  The presentation will take place in connection with the current exhibition of images from the archives in Saint Joseph’s Hall . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will resume on October 6, at 6:30 PM.  Once again this year, the class will be led by Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B., and Sister Laura Katharine, C.S.J.B.  The class will be reading selections from the so-called “apocryphal” or “deutero-canonical” books of the Bible.  Building on their reading of the Wisdom literature last year, the members of the class will have the opportunity to study such important biblical themes as the end of prophecy and the rise of apocalypticism.  If you have questions, please speak to one of the sisters.


CHILDCARE . . . Children are always welcome at Mass at Saint Mary’s.  The Rector encourages families with children to sit at the front of the church – so the children can see easily and clearly.  Childcare is for younger children in the Saint Benedict’s Nursery & Playroom which is open and available every Sunday from 8:45 AM until 12:45 PM.


CATECHESIS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD . . . Formation for younger children begins on Sunday, October 3.  The children will be meeting in a new space this year, the former parish office, now the “Atrium of the Good Shepherd.”  Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins is our catechist and seminarian Rem Slone will be assisting during this academic year.  PLEASE NOTE: The Catechesis meets from 9:45 AM to 10:45 AM.


ALTAR FLOWERS are needed on the following for Sunday, October 24, and for three Sundays in November.  If you would like to make a donation, please contact Aaron Koch in the finance office and thank you to all those who support this ministry so generously.


HYMN SING & OKTOBERFEST . . . Join a very friendly group of Saint Marians for the fourth annual Hymn Sing and Oktoberfest in Saint Joseph’s Hall (and the organ loft!) on Saturday, October 2, at 6:00 PM, after the Evening Mass.  The food is good and the music is lively.  We hope you can join us!  James Kennerley & Jay Smith


HOSPITALITY AT SAINT MARY’S . . . The evening receptions following Solemn Mass on Holy Days are made possible by the donations of generous parishioners and friends of Saint Mary’s.  A donation has already been made for All Saints’ Day.  If you would like to make such a donation, or if you would like more information, please contact Fr. Jay Smith.


LOOKING AHEAD . . . Monday, September 20, Meeting of the Board of Trustees . . . Tuesday, September 21, Saint Matthew, Mass at 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Monday, October 11, Columbus Day, Federal Holiday Schedule . . . Monday, October 18, Saint Luke, Mass at 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Thursday, October 28, Saint Simon & Saint Jude, Mass at 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Monday, November 1, All Saints’ Day, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM . . . Tuesday, November 2, All Souls’ Day, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM . . . Sunday, November 7, 2:00 AM: Daylight Savings Time ends (clocks are set back one hour) . . . In November the Visual Arts Program will present Nativity Scenes: Works on Paper by Carlos Molina in the gallery in Saint Joseph’s Hall . . . Tuesday, December 7, Solemn Evensong and Legacy Society Reception . . . Wednesday, December 8, Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Solemn Pontifical Mass 6:00 PM, the Rt. Rev. Mark Sisk, XV Bishop of New York, celebrant and preacher . . . Saturday, December 11, 10:00 AM-3:00 PM, Advent Quiet Day, led by Father John Beddingfield.  Father Beddingfield, who served at Saint Mary’s as curate, is the Rector of All Souls Memorial Church, Washington, D.C.



The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector
The Reverend James Ross Smith, curate
The Reverend Rebecca Weiner Tompkins, deacon
The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus


Saint Mary’s Mission House
Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B.
Sister Laura Katharine, C.S.J.B.
The Community of St. John Baptist


The Parish Musicians
Mr. James Kennerley, organist and music director
Mr. Lawrence Trupiano, organ curator


The Parish Staff
Mr. Aaron Koch, business manager
Mr. Steven Gonley, building superintendent
Mr. Miguel Gonzalez, Mr. Mario Martinez, Mr. H. Antonio Santiago, sextons