FROM THE TREASURER: GENEROUS DONOR MATCHES NEW GIFTS
I'm writing to you today with some exciting news. There's never been a better time to renew and refresh your commitment to Saint Mary's and to the Open Doors Campaign. An anonymous donor has just issued a challenge to the community, agreeing to match $100,000 if we can raise that much in new pledges for the Open Doors Campaign before the end of 2017. For every additional dollar you pledge to the campaign, the parish will receive two dollars-thanks to this most generous member of our community.
When we embarked on this campaign, we dedicated ourselves to three key concepts vital to our parish life and witness: addressing critical safety issues for ourselves and our neighbors, adopting a posture of welcome with better access and facilities, and preserving the artistic treasures threatened by a failing infrastructure. We remain committed to accomplishing these crucial projects and setting Saint Mary's on a firm footing for its next 150 years.
Of course, we still also have a way to go to pay for all of this. The Open Doors Campaign is closing in on $3 million in pledges, but the limestone restoration alone will likely cost almost that much. We still have restroom work and our accessibility ramp to go, as well, which is why I'm asking that each of you takes a second look at your commitment to this campaign and consider (or re-consider) how you might be able to push us over the top. There couldn't be a better time to do that, given the news of this challenge gift.
If you have not yet made a pledge, consider making one now. If you have already made a pledge, consider making an additional commitment to take advantage of this matching opportunity! Remember, you needn't pay it off immediately. In fact most of our pledgers have agreed to pay their pledge over a number of years, or using securities or future investment disbursements. The important thing is to make that decision before the end of the year.
To help us take advantage of this matching gift, please call or write to Office Manager Chris Howatt or Campaign Consultant Claudia Brink, in the church finance office (212-869-5830, ext. 10 or ext. 28, respectively) or visit the Open Doors website to explore other giving options. And share this news about the matching gift with others. Every dollar helps.
This Advent season, I hope you'll seriously consider how you can make a material difference in the life and mission of Saint Mary's. Thank you, as always, for your faithful support.
– Steven Heffner, Treasurer of the Board of Trustees
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Teo, Mickie, Bill, Jon, Linda, Jerry, Preston, Barbara, Jean, Mike, Dick, Nicholas, Bobby, Eleanor, Wendell, José, Noriko, Debbie, Sherri, Karen, Eugenia, May, Heidi, Takeem, David, Sandy, Dennis, and George; for Monica Clare, religious; for Horace, Clayton, Mitties, Anne, David, Gaylord, Harry, Louis, Edgar, and Vern, priests; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Mark. . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . December 3: 1905 Kate Sterling; 1911 Mary Addison Marble; 1927 Ellen Smith Gleisner; 1942 Henrietta Wildner; 1942 Helena Vaughn; 1943 Catherine Taylor; 1959 Nina Gertrude Ward; 1975 Charles William Thompson; 1982 Annie E. McIntosh; 1990 Francis Timothy Dlugos; 1991 Olga Edgar; 2011 Yolanda Luppi.
THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.
STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN. . . Six weeks ago we kicked off our 2018 Stewardship Campaign, sending stewardship packets to nearly 1,000 members and friends of Saint Mary's. The Campaign has gotten off to a promising start. Some statistics: as of Wednesday, November 29, we have received 63 pledges and $306,730.00 has been pledged. This is 72% of our pledge goal of $425,000.00. Nearly 58% of those who pledged for 2017 made pledges for 2018 during these first weeks of the Campaign. We are very eager to meet our stewardship goal this year. If you are able to make a pledge before year's end, it will allow the Budget Committee to make more realistic plans for the coming year.
To make a pledge for 2018, 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 extraordinarily grateful to all those who made pledges for 2017 and to those who have already made a pledge for 2018. 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, Brendon Hunter, or Marie Rosseels, chair).
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Sunday, December 3, First Sunday of Advent . . . Sunday, December 3, 1:00 PM, Saint Joseph's Hall, Adult Forum: Dr. Mark Risinger will lead the Adult Forum in a discussion of the Passion of Saint John by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). This is the latest offering in our series on the theology, spirituality, and culture of the Reformation . . . Wednesday, December 6, 2:00-4:00 PM, Homeless Ministry Drop-in Day . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will meet on December 6 at 6:30 PM in Saint Benedict's Study . . . Wednesday, December 6, 8:00 PM, The Miller Theatre presents The Tallis Scholars: Heinrich Isaac at 500. Visit the Miller Theatre website for more information and to purchase tickets . . . Thursday, December 7, Eve of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Solemn Evensong 6:00 PM. The canticles will be sung by members of the Choir of Saint Mary's . . . Friday, December 8, Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Organ Recital 5:30 PM, Solemn Pontifical Mass 6:00 PM (The Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold, celebrant and preacher) . . . Friday, December 8, 6:30 PM, The Centering Prayer Group will not meet on December 8 . . . Saturday, December 9, 8:00 PM, New York Repertory Orchestra, Program: Rosenhaus: Overture from "The Inspector General"; Kabalevsky: Cello Concerto No. 1 in G minor; Schumann: Symphony No. 3 ("Rhenish"). Visit the NYRO website for information and to buy tickets.
AROUND THE PARISH. . . Sister Monica Clare, C.S.J.B., was featured in an article that appeared this week in the New York Post. In the article, she speaks about her life and work, about her decision to join a religious community, and her ministry here at Saint Mary's. We are very proud of Sister Monica Clare-and of Sister Laura Katharine. We have grown to depend on the work they do here at the parish, and we hope that they will be with us for many years to come . . . Parishioner and acolyte Rami Eskelin is finishing up his first semester at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. We sent him a care package recently. He wrote back to tell us that he appreciated the package, especially the books and the rosary-he is still working on the
cookies and chocolate contained therein. He is attending church at Grace Church, Amherst, and is active there in a number of ways . . . Attendance: Last Sunday: 187.
ADULT EDUCATION. . . On Sunday, December 3, and Sunday, December 10, at 1:00 PM, in Saint Joseph's Hall (note location and later start time), parishioner Dr. Mark Risinger will lead the Adult Forum in a discussion of the Passion of Saint John and the Passion of Saint Matthew by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) . . . The Adult Forum will not meet on December 17, 24, or 31. The class will resume on January 7, when Father Jay Smith will begin a series on the English Reformation and the Oxford Movement's nineteenth-century response to Reformation thought and practice (January 7, 14, 28, and February 4 and 11). On Sunday, January 21, Sister Monica Clare will lead the Adult Forum in a discussion of the rise of Anglican religious orders . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will meet on December 6 and 13 at 6:30 in Saint Benedict's Study. The class will then begin its Christmas break and will resume on January 10 . . . On January 10, 17, 24, and 31, Father Peter Powell will teach the Wednesday Night Bible Study Class. He plans to discuss certain challenging passages in the Psalms. The class normally meets on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 PM in Saint Benedict's Study . . . As 2017 draws to a close, I would like to express my thanks to all those who taught classes this year: Father Matthew Jacobson, Dr. Charles Morgan, Mrs. Grace Mudd, Father Peter Powell, Dr. Mark Risinger, and Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins. They all generously gave of their time and expertise and did so with great enthusiasm. We are blessed to have such fine teachers, and we are grateful. -Jay Smith
ABOUT THE MUSIC . . . The musical setting of the Mass on Sunday is Mass for All Saints by Hayes Biggs (b. 1957). Born in Huntsville, Alabama, and raised in Helena, Arkansas, Hayes Biggs is very active as a composer, teacher, and professional choral singer in the New York music community. He is the recipient of several prestigious fellowships and commissions, and his compositions have been performed widely in the United States, in Europe, and in Latin America. He has been a faculty member at the Manhattan School of Music since 1992. Mass for All Saints was begun in 1987 as an outgrowth of the composer's weekly experience singing liturgically the works of Renaissance masters in the choir of All Saints Church, East Sixtieth Street, Manhattan. Its movements were first sung in the liturgy at All Saints Church. The completed work was awarded a second prize in the 1993 International Competition in Composition of Sacred Music of the Fribourg Festival of Sacred Music, Fribourg, Switzerland. Its first complete concert performance was by the Choir of North German Radio on July 3, 1994, in the Church of the College of Saint-Michel, Fribourg. Kyrie eleison begins quietly, intoned by a solo soprano. After rising to a strong unison phrase following the Christe, it comes to a haunting ending on a diminished fifth between the treble voices. Sanctus is meant to be majestic and more animated as a variety of rhythmic motives are superimposed to support the articulation of the text. Benedictus is more placid but builds to a strong Hosanna. Agnus Dei is marked misterioso and begins in unison. It builds in urgency to the third statement and then recedes to dona nobis pacem and ends, like Kyrie, on a quiet diminished fifth.
The Communion motet on Sunday will be Lord, we beseech thee by Adrian Batten (1591–1637). Born in Salisbury, Batten was subsequently a chorister and organ scholar at Winchester Cathedral. He moved to London in 1614 to become a lay clerk of Westminster Abbey. He later assumed a similar position at Saint Paul's Cathedral, where he also played the organ. As a music copyist in London, Batten is credited with preserving much significant church music of his time, his copies being the only surviving source. Ironically, much of his own music has been lost. However, Batten's surviving compositions show him to be a thoroughly skilled composer of sacred music in his day. His motet for four voices, on the collect for the third Sunday of Advent from the Book of Common Prayer 1549, models the restraint which was typical of Batten's church music.
Sunday's organ voluntaries are two of the three settings of Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland ("Come now, Savior of the Gentiles") from the Great Eighteen Leipzig Chorales of J. S. Bach (1685–1750). The chorale (54 in The Hymnal 1982) is Martin Luther's sixteenth-century adaptation of the fourth-century Latin hymn Veni Redemptor gentium attributed to Ambrose of Milan (55 in The Hymnal 1982). BWV 659, played for the prelude, presents a poignant ornamented version of the chorale melody above a walking bass and two accompanying voices. BWV 660, played for the postlude, is a trio with an ornamented version of the chorale melody above two quasi-canonic accompanying voices. - David Hurd
HOMELESS MINISTRY. . . Donations and volunteers are needed for December 6, our next Drop-in Day. As always, the number of those who are homeless who seek refuge in the church and who ask for assistance increases when the weather grows colder. In order to meet some of those requests, we are hoping to receive donations of the following items: blankets, razors, shaving cream; packs of new underwear for both women and men, in all sizes; cold-weather clothing such as coats, sweaters, thermal underwear, gloves, boots, and sweatshirts. Such basic itemswill prove to be useful to our neighbors living without shelter . . . Attorneys from the New York Legal Assistance Group have volunteered to host a Legal Aid Day for our Homeless Ministry on Wednesday, December 6, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM in the Mission House. The attorney volunteers will dispense legal advice, along with clothing and toiletry articles
. . . Please contact Sister Monica Clare, if you would like to volunteer for this important ministry or if you would like to make a donation . . . We also 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.
RECITALS AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Friday, December 8, 2017, 5:30 PM, Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dr. Keith Reas, director of music, Saint Paul's Church, Chattanooga, Tennessee . . . Friday, January 5, 2018, 5:30 PM, Eve of the Epiphany, Stephen Rumpf, New York City . . . Friday, February 2, 2018, 5:30, The Presentation: Candlemas, Dr. Claudia Dumschat, Church of the Transfiguration, New York City.
LOOKING AHEAD . . . Thursday, December 21, Saint Thomas the Apostle, Mass and Healing Service 12 . . . Sunday, December 24, Fourth Sunday of Advent, Mass 9:00 & 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass 11:00 AM . . . Sunday, December 24, Christmas Eve, Music for Congregation & Choir 4:30 PM, Sung Mass 5:00 PM; Music for Congregation & Choir 10:30 PM, Procession and Solemn Mass 11:00 PM . . . Monday, December 25, Christmas Day, Solemn Mass & Procession to the Crèche 11:00 AM . . . Tuesday, December 26, Saint Stephen, Mass 12:10 PM . . . Wednesday, December 27, Saint John the Evangelist, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Mass 6:20 PM . . . Thursday, December 28, The Holy Innocents, Mass and Healing Service 12:10 PM, Mass 6:20 PM . . . Monday, January 1, Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Sung Mass 11:00 AM.