The Angelus


Bishop Frank Griswold Procession to the pulpit Solemn Mass, All Saints' Day

Most weeks Office Manager Chris Howatt and I meet with the job leaders for our renovations from the architectural firm Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, Inc. (JHP), and the construction firm West New York Restoration of CT, Inc. (WNY). The work began when scaffolding went up across the 47th Street façade on December 9, 2015. It went up then so that the terra cotta stones on the roof could be taken down and restored or replicated as required. The roof work is essentially complete save for the reinstallation of the terra cotta. I learned at this week's meeting that all of the new terra cotta units are on the truck. My hope is that most of the scaffolding will be down by Thanksgiving Day. The sidewalk bridge will remain in place because problems were discovered with the carved stones set around the 47th Street entrance and with the limestone ornamentation atop the Lady Chapel roof.

But before we go there, I want to remind you that the landmarked windows on the 47th Street façade, windows for the rectory, the morning room, and the sacristy, were scraped and painted. The metal grilles at the ground floor were also scraped and painted during the course of work. As I wrote in April, each of the 25 landmarked windows would require a custom replacement. When we priced this for an interior (not-landmarked) window, the estimate was $7,900-we went with a more modest custom job that costs $1,800. The windows needed repair and painting. So, it seemed wise to spend $19,300 to prep and paint them all while the scaffolding was up. This pattern of doing repairs because we have access will repeat itself many times.

One of the unanchored stones

JHP and WNY discovered that the carved stones around the 47th Street entrance were set in mortar and some were pinned to each other, but they were not anchored to the building itself. They are now shifting away from the façade resulting in cracks and displacement of several large stones. This condition was likely exacerbated by past changes made at the sidewalk level. This condition led to exploratory work with another firm, Old Structures Engineering, PC. (OSE), that was already working with JHP and WNY to insure the integrity of the work done on the rectory roof. Stones at the entry need to be disassembled, reset, and attached back to the façade.
OSE determined that the movement at the limestone ornamentation atop the Lady Chapel is likely due to a lack of bonding between the coping stones because of open joints, a lack of bonding between the coping stones and the structural brick wall below, and a lack of lateral bracing of the brick. The Lady Chapel slate roof will require further slate removals to allow for the installation of a diaphragm within the existing wooden roof framing then the slates will be reinstalled. The coping stones will be repointed and pinned in place to the brick wall below. The sidewalk bridge in front of the entrance and the chapel wall cannot come down until these repairs are complete. I'm hopeful all of the 47th Street work may be complete by Christmas.


One probe location outlined in red

I have never been in the church's attic, but Lewis Gleason, architectural conservator at JHP, has been up there more than once, most recently with Shaquana Lovell of OSE to review the condition of the steel frame of the church at the interior. This investigation was caused by the findings from a recent probe performed at an exterior limestone buttress pier adjacent to a leaking drainpipe and conductor head. Four-inch-thick limestone blocks cover the exterior walls of the church. At the buttress piers, there are rivets that attach steel plate flanges to steel angles and webs, which form the columns of the church. The interior connections seen in the attic are fine; the original paint, it turns out, is still in good condition. It was also noted that the column flanges at the exterior side appear to be in fair condition since the heavy pack rusting is not reducing the column strength; the serious failures seem to be localized to the rivet connections based on the current probe. JHP and OSE have proposed another probe at a pier not directly adjacent to a leak to estimate the extent of repairs needed on the limestone that wraps around the church. Stay tuned.

I had decided that I would write about gutters and roofs last Saturday while attending a workshop in preparation for the diocesan convention. A colleague remarked that his church had 14 different roofs. We have many more. For the most part our roofs have been cared for carefully since the church was built-the Lady Chapel roof being a notable exception. Problems come from our corporate inattention to gutters and drains. Gutters deteriorate because of the normal expansion and contraction at joints when the temperature changes. Drains clog for many reasons by Times Square. It's November now, but even in early October confetti from last New Years' Eve continued to wash into drain screens. Add a small piece of plastic or a dead pigeon's body, and one has a gutter that overflows onto the walls and windows of the church.

Rusted plates and bolts

One more life safety issue. The roof above the fifth-floor apartment in the parish house, where Father Pace and his partner live, has a new gutter. I did not know there was a gutter up there to worry about until the resident theater group showed me that the plaster was pulling away from the wall in the theater. Slight mortar loss was visible directly under the leaking gutter. In an effort to address as much as possible while scaffolding is already in place, the next step of this year's project is to repoint this portion of the wall.    

Some of the best money ever spent at Saint Mary's was the architectural survey of interior and exterior building conditions we commissioned JHP to do six years ago. It describes in detail and in order of priority the work we need to do to keep Saint Mary's doors open. I didn't go to seminary to go into part-time building conservation and management, but it seems to be part of the work the parish needs me to do at the present time. Finally, I want to thank Lewis Gleason and Nicole Ambrose of JHP for their substantial copyediting of the details of the work. Nicole and Lew, thank you.
-Stephen Gerth

Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins returned from her sabbatical on All Saints' Day

 OUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Michelle, Julie, Penny, Linda, Sally, Cliff, Antonia, Donald, Sharon, Robert, Nicole, Robin, Barbara, Jean, Patrick, George, Rebecca, Jimmie, Joanna, Jason, Dolly, Melissa, Juliana, Heidi, Catherine, Sam, Burton, Arpene, Takeem, Toussaint, Guy, Abraham; Will, religious; Sidney, deacon; Horace, Hamilton, Gaylord, Harry, and Louis, priests; all victims of war, poverty, famine, and disaster; and the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Mark and Nicholas . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . November 6: 1915 Lulu Laverty; 1918 Cornelius McMillin; 1928 Emile Hector Pierńe; 1934 Helen Kathleen Maynard Pennefeather; 1988 Beatrice Emily Clark.

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

At the preparation of the gifts

STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN . . . This week, from Sunday to Wednesday, our parish demonstrated its commitment to a ministry of service, prayer, and worship, as we gathered to celebrate All Saint's Day and All Souls' Day. We urge you to give Saint Mary's your support as we continue this ministry to our neighborhood. Please make a pledge for 2017 today. We urgently need your help. Stewardship packets were mailed on Tuesday, October 11, and the Campaign is off to a good start, but we still have a ways to go. Here are some statistics: $193,225.00 has been pledged so far. This is 46% of our pledge goal for 2017. We hope to achieve three goals between now and November 20, Commitment Sunday: (1) to encourage all Saint Marians prayerfully to consider how they can offer their time, talent, and treasure to God here at Saint Mary's during the coming year; (2) to raise $425,000.00 during this year's pledge campaign; and (3) to have all those who made a pledge for 2016 to fulfill that pledge no later than December 31, 2016, and earlier than that if possible. To make a pledge for 2017, please fill out a pledge card and mail it to 145 West Forty-sixth Street, New York, NY 10036; or place your pledge card in the collection basket at Mass; or make a pledge online. We are extraordinarily grateful to all those who made pledges for 2016 and to those who have already made a pledge for 2017. To learn more about stewardship or the Stewardship Campaign, please speak to Father Gerth, or to a member of the Stewardship Committee (MaryJane Boland; Steven Heffner; or Marie Rosseels, chair).

The Bishop begins the Great  Thanksgiving

. . . Daylight Saving Time ends at 2:00 AM on Sunday, November 6
. . . November 6, 2016, The Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost: Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Mass 9:00 & 10:00 AM, Adult Education 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass with Organ and Choir 11:00 AM, Solemn Evensong & Benediction 5:00 PM . . . November 7 and 8, Requiem Masses 12:10 and 6:20 PM . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will resume on November 9 at 6:30 PM . . . On Wednesdays, the daily 12:10 PM Eucharist is a Sung Mass; on Thursdays the daily 12:10 PM Eucharist is a Mass with Healing Service.
AWAY FROM THE PARISH . . . One of Dr. David Hurd's compositions will be premiered by the Dessoff Choirs and Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall, at their concert on Monday, November 7, at 7:30 PM. From the Lincoln Center website: "We Remember, a program of choral music reflecting on the lives of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Featuring Mozart's Requiem (Franz Beyer's re-orchestration), along with Steven Stucky's Take Him Earth and Whispers, and the premiere of David Hurd's newly orchestrated In Honor of Martin." You can watch a short interview of Dr. Hurd speaking with Malcolm Merriweather, Dessoff Choirs music director, about the composition here. As we go to press, tickets are still available.

Sanctus is sung

AROUND THE PARISH . . . Many thanks to all those who worked so hard here at the parish this past week: the parish staff; the servers; ushers; greeters; musicians; sisters; bakers of Communion bread; Altar Guild members, who laundered linens and prepared the altar for our liturgies; the Flower Guild members; and those who organized the reception on November 1. We are grateful to all of you for your commitment, your hard work, and your ministry . . . Parishioner Penny Allen underwent a second surgical procedure on Friday, October 28, at the Hospital for Special Surgery. She is now at home, where she is doing physical therapy and continuing to recuperate. Parishioner Linda Bridges has moved to the Sarah Neuman campus of the Jewish Home Life Care Center, 845 Palmer Avenue, Weinberg Pavilion, Room WB 218P, Mamaroneck, NY 10543. Her phone number is 914-864-5879. Parishioner George Taitt has been receiving treatment at the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center on Fifth Avenue. We ask you to please keep Penny, Linda, and George in your prayers . . . Altar Flowers are needed for the following Sundays: November 13, January 1, and January 15. If you would like to make a donation, please contact the parish office at 212-869-5830 x 10 or by e-mail . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 198, All Saint' 206, All Souls' 78.
MINISTRY OF HOSPITALITY . . . We hope to receive donations for the reception in Saint Joseph's Hall on December 8, The Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our patronal feast. The Right Reverend Andrew Dietsche, bishop of New York, will be celebrant and preacher. W When making donations, please write "Hospitality" in the memo line of your check. Thank you to all those who support this ministry so generously.

Bishop Griswold prepares to greet the congregation after the Mass

MUSIC NOTES . . . The musical setting of the Mass on Sunday is All Saints Service, which I composed in 1986 for All Saints Church, East Sixtieth Street, Manhattan, where I was director of music from 1985 until 1997. It is the sixth of the fourteen Mass settings I have composed to date, and the first of my three settings of the traditional English (Rite I) Prayer Book Eucharistic Mass Ordinary. The predominant texture of All Saints Service is homophonic, expressed in four to six unaccompanied voices. The setting is very concise with much of the text being declaimed simply, all voices singing in rhythmic unison. The overall harmonic envelope of the Mass favors the bright key of F Major. The motet sung during the administration of Communion is by the Italian composer Orazio Benevoli (1605-1672). Benevoli began his musical experience as a choirboy at San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, eventually returning there as maestro di cappella in 1638 after having held similar posts at Santa Maria in Trastevere and Santo Spirito in Sassia. Benevoli became Kappelmeister in the court of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria in 1644 for two years before returning to Rome to assume choirmaster duties at Santa Maria Maggiore and the Cappella Giulia of Saint Peter's Basilica. Benevoli's compositions include polychoral sacred works of massive scale. His motet Laudate coeli, on Isaiah 44:23, however, is a comparatively modest work for five voices. The music of the first sixteen measures of the motet returns at the end to support a closing Alleluia. The organ prelude is the first of two movements comprising Pamela Decker's Faneuil Hall which was commissioned by the American Guild of Organists for the 2014 Biennial National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts. Decker writes, "The work . . . pays tribute to the city of Boston through a musical portrait of the landmark that has housed pivotal meetings and events in the history of the United States. The hall has been referred to as 'the Cradle of liberty.' The first movement is cast in the form and meter of a lullaby-[which is] most appropriate for the image of a 'cradle.' " Pamela Decker, distinguished composer and organist virtuoso, is professor of organ and music theory at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She is also organist at Grace Saint Paul's Episcopal Church in Tucson. -David Hurd

Preparation of incense before the Blessing of the Vault

ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE WALK . . . Saint Marian Michael Reid reports that with the support of Saint Mary's members and others (including some nuns from Maryland), Mount Sinai's Alzheimer's disease (AD) researchers raised almost $4,000, which was a significant contribution toward the $500,000 that the walk raised this year. Michael writes, "On behalf of the Mount Sinai team in particular and the Caring Kind Walk, many thanks to the Saint Mary's community for your help in supporting New Yorkers who suffer from dementia and their caregivers. We had a total of twenty-four walkers on our team, many of them first-timers. It was a hugely successful event, by any measure! Thanks again!
CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Friday, December 2, 8:00 PM, New York City Master Chorale, "Majesty and Light." Music by Rutter and Lauridsen. Featuring the Manhattan School of Music Chamber Orchestra. Tickets may be purchased online . . . Saturday, December 3, 2016, 8:00 PM, New York Repertory Orchestra. Annual Benefit Concert. Tickets $10.00. Music by Pärt (Trisagion) and Beethoven (Symphony No. 9). Saint Mary's parishioners Grace Bruni, cello, and Mark Risinger, baritone, will perform at this concert.

At the sung Mass & Blessing of the Vault on All Souls' Day

ADULT EDUCATION . . .  The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class: This year the class, which is led by Father Jay Smith, is reading Saint Paul's Letter to the Romans. The class meets next on November 10, at 6:30 PM, in Saint Joseph's Hall. We will begin our reading that evening at Romans 2:4. . .  The Adult Forum continues on Sunday, November 6, at 10:00 AM/ Father Pete Powell will begin his series on the Acts of the Apostles. Father Powell writes, "During the month of November, and then again during Lent, we will study volume 2 of Luke, more commonly known as the Acts of the Apostles. Here we find the story of the beginning of the church. Much of what we think we know about Paul we read in Acts. Much of what we think we know about the struggles in the church as it became majority Gentile, we learn from Acts. In other words Acts contains the formative stories about how the church came to be when the Parousia, the Second Coming, didn't happen as the Gospels suggested it would. One can argue, successfully, that Jesus never intended to found a church. Acts shows how early Christians survived and ultimately thrived. We will examine the context of Acts and what it has to say about the church today. The church is more directly the child of Acts and the Letters of Paul than the child of the Gospels. However, Paul and Acts have different and sometimes irreconcilable differences on what it means to be the church. Acts was written after the Epistles and in many ways tries to tame Paul. While we read Acts at Mass during the Sundays after Easter the content of it is usually overlooked. In these series of Sunday mornings we'll look closely at texts which undergird Christianity as we know it."

Second probe location

OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Homeless Ministry: We are looking for donations of clothing for distribution to the homeless in our neighborhood: jeans and slacks in a variety of sizes for both men and women; packs of new underwear and socks for both women and men; sweaters, sweatshirts, jackets and coats; dress shirts and outfits suitable for job interviews, and other items. Sister Monica tells us this week that we are especially short of women's underwear, in various sizes. Cash donations to this ministry are also welcome!

LOOKING AHEAD . . . Sunday, November 20, The Last Sunday after Pentecost and Commitment Sunday. Parishioners are invited to place their pledge cards in the collection baskets during the Offertory . . . Wednesday, November 23, The Eve of Thanksgiving Day, Sung Mass 6:00 PM . . . Thursday, November 24, Thanksgiving Day, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass 12:10 PM . . . Wednesday, November 30, Saint Andrew the Apostle, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Mass 6:00 PM.

Rusted plates and bolts

IN THE GALLERIES . . . At the Frick Collection, 1 East Seventieth Street at Fifth Avenue, Cagnacci's "Repentant Magdalene": An Italian Baroque Masterpiece from the Norton Simon Museum, October 25, 2016 to January 22, 2017. The reproductions of this painting on the Frick's website suggest that it is a striking and unusual picture. The blatant sensuality of the depiction of Mary Magdalene suggests that Cagnacci, like most of his artistic predecessors, has chosen to misread the biblical accounts concerning Saint Mary Magdalene. Still, a visit to the Frick is always worthwhile, and this picture might inspire some viewers to go back to the biblical texts (with gratitude to former parishioner Joan Baldridge who taught many Saint Marians how to read the misreadings of Mary Magdalene's story).

CLICK HERE for this week's schedule.