The Angelus



“Pax et Bonum” or “Peace and All Good” is a well-known Franciscan motto.

The Umbrian town of Assisi is, not surprisingly, Franciscan Central. Habited Franciscans swarm about like ants, and, as they pass one another, they often say, almost automatically, “Pace e bene!”  It’s like the religious equivalent of Jeep owners nodding knowingly as they pass on the road: “It’s a friar thing, you wouldn’t understand.”

Like most any group, we Franciscans have our own “language” that we often forget to explain to others. Fr. Jay recently asked me about the closing I use on most of my correspondence. It is that same phrase used by passing friars in Assisi. “Pace e bene,” or in Latin “Pax et bonum,” is a Franciscan motto often translated into English as “Peace and all good.”

Franciscans have used a greeting of peace since the time of Francis himself. He said that God revealed to him that they should say: “May the Lord give you peace.” Although the famed “Lord make me an instrument of thy peace . . .” (BCP, 833) was not in fact written by Francis, he clearly was a man of peace. A bitter dispute between the bishop of Assisi and the city’s podestà (“mayor” or “chief magistrate”), led to the bishop excommunicating the podestà, who responded by forbidding any of the city’s merchants from selling anything (even food) to the bishop or his household. Francis, deeply troubled by the dispute, penned a new verse for his famous “Canticle of the Creatures” (the canticle of “Brother Sun and Sister Moon”):

Praised be my Lord for all those who pardon one another for His love’s sake, and who endure weakness and tribulation. Blessed are they who peaceably shall endure, for Thou Most High, shall give them a crown.

He sent two brothers—one of whom was appropriately named Pacificus, meaning “peaceful,” or “tranquil”) to sing the verse for the feuding parties. The men are said to have ended their quarrel at once.

Peacemaking has always been part of the Franciscan calling, in individual relationships, international relations, and everything in between. Franciscans International (F.I.), a Franciscan voice at the United Nations, is made up of many Franciscan communities (including the Society of Saint Francis). It speaks unwaveringly for peace and justice in a world that seems to have less and less commitment to either. For a number of years, the Society of Saint Francis has had a seat on the board of directors of F.I., filled by our brother Clark Berge, who was once a curate right here at Saint Mary’s. Other groups, like the Franciscan Action Network, also step up for the Franciscan commitment to justice, peace, and the integrity of creation (or “JPIC” for short).

“Peace and all good” is far more than just a slogan. It’s a value we try to live out in our individual lives, and through the united voice of our tradition worldwide. And when we say it to you, we mean it.  May God give you, and all of us, peace … in our hearts, our relationships, our communities and in our world. And with it, may we, find all good. —Damien Joseph, SSF

YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Glenn, Jay, Mickie, Michael, Jorem, Erica, Eloise, Donald, Irma, Al, Flor, Marge, Chandra, Greg, Alexandra, James, Karen, Carlos, Susan, Marilouise, Timothy, Barbara, Dennis, Robert, Abraham, Randy, Burton, Greta, May, Heidi, Takeem, David, and Sandy; for Horace, Gaylord, Louis, and Edgar, priests; for all the benefactors and friends of this parish; and for the repose of the soul of William Kennedy.

IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . William Kennedy, the father of parishioner Jay Kennedy, died on Thursday, October 11, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mr. Kennedy, known to his family and friends as Bill, was a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, a retired English teacher, and a director of school plays and community theater. Please pray for Jay, his mother Mickie, his sisters Christine and Tiffany, their family and friends, and for all who mourn.

GRANT THEM PEACE . . . October 21: 1906 Annie Steinhilber; 1959 Florence Anna C. Dodge; 1988 Phillip W. Callahan.

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

Some friends of Saint Mary's take a break on Forty-sixth Street in front of the church.
Photo by J.R. Smith

THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Friday, October 19, 6:30 PM, Centering Prayer Group, Atrium, Parish Hall, Second Floor . . . Saturday, October 20, 8:00 PM, New York Repertory Orchestra Concert, music by Clyne, Mussorgsky, and Mendelssohn. Admission is free, but a donation is encouraged . . . Sunday, October 21, The Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost: Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Mass 9:00 AM, Adult Forum 10:00 AM, Mass 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass 11:00 AM, Solemn Evensong & Benediction 5:00 PM . . . Tuesday, October 23, Saint James of Jerusalem, Morning Prayer 8:30 AM, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass 12:10 PM, Evening Prayer 6:00 PM, Mass 6:20 PM . . . Wednesday, October 24, 6:30 PM, Bible Study Class, Saint Benedict’s Study . . . Friday, October 26, 6:30 PM, Centering Prayer Group, Atrium, Parish Hall, Second Floor.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE BAPTIZED OR CONFIRMED? . . . The Right Reverend Andrew M. L. Dietsche, the bishop of New York, will be the celebrant and preacher at the Solemn Mass on All Saints’ Day, Thursday, November 1, at 6:00 PM. If you have been thinking about baptism, confirmation, or about being received into the Episcopal Church, we would be glad to help. All Saints’ Day is one of the four days each year when the Rites of Initiation —baptism, confirmation, and reception —are normally celebrated here at the parish. If you would like to be baptized, confirmed, or received on November 1, or if you would like to reaffirm your faith, please speak to Father Gerth or Father Smith or call the Parish Office.

Conservators carefully remove layers of paint from the baptismal font.
Photo by S. Gerth

CONSERVATION OF THE FONT . . . Conservators from see-painting, Inc. began work on Monday, October 15, to remove the paint on the baptismal font. Nicholas Krasno described the font in A Guide to the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin New York City (1999) —out of print at the moment, but we hope to reprint it in 2019. Mr. Krasno wrote, “The Caen stone font was given to the old church [on Forty-fifth Street, built 1869–70] by the Vestry of the Church of the Holy Innocents, New York.” For its removal to the present site, the bowl was cut down from a cube to an octagon. The stone has since been unnecessarily painted.” —S.G.

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . Brother Damien, SSF, and Brother Thomas, SSF, continue their four-part series on Franciscan life, theology, and spirituality on Sunday, October 21, when they will discuss “Franciscan Distinctives: Theology and spirituality.” The final session in the series will take place on October 28, at 10:00 AM, when the topic of the day will be “Franciscans at Saint Mary’s: Envisioning our life together.” Coming up: on Sundays in November, Father Peter Powell will lead the class in a discussion of the Elijah/Elisha cycle in 1 Kings 16:23–2 Kings 13:25. Father Powell writes, “The Elijah/Elisha cycle in 1 and 2 Kings are interesting stories as literature.  But of course we don’t read the Bible just as literature. We read it to discover how God works in our world. Elijah and Elisha prophesied to Israel when it was ruled by Israelite kings. Their relationship to the kings of Israel has much to teach us about how the religious community relates to power.  The Kings despised Elijah and Elisha for the way they spoke truth to power. They saw the demands of God to be in conflict to the accumulation of power. Perhaps there is a message for the 21st century here?” The Adult Forum meets on Sundays at 10:00 AM in Saint Benedict’s Study, 145 West 46th Street . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class meets next on October 24 at 6:30 PM. The class is reading the Letter of James and is led by Father Jay Smith. The classes on Sunday morning and on Wednesday evenings meet in Saint Benedict’s Study.

Kenny Isler at work in the basement incense room.
Photo by S. Gerth

AROUND THE PARISH . . . Parishioner Bill Poston returned home this week after a brief hospitalization for treatment and physical therapy. Eloise Hoffman, parishioner and co-leader of the Ushers Guild, has been away from Saint Mary's for some weeks now, dealing with a complicated and painful issue that has affected her mobility. She regrets not being here and hopes to return as soon as she is able. Please keep Bill, Eloise, and all those who are sick or in need, in your prayers. . . Parishioner Kenny Isler returned to New York this week to blend a new batch of his distinctive Saint Mary’s incense. He reminds us, as he always does, that each batch is unique, each one subtly different from the one before, because of the elements, including the essential oils, that go into the mix. As always, it was good to have him here. We enjoy hearing his views on life, the creation of incense, the history of Saint Mary's, Anglo-Catholic spiritual writers, and classic American cinema. We are very grateful that he continues to be willing to travel from his home in Arizona in order to perform this essential ministry —the incense bin was getting perilously low!

We are still mourning the departure of Sister Laura Katharine and Sister Monica Clare. As we continue to live through this time of change, we would like to thank all those members of the parish who have undertaken tasks that the sisters used to perform: the acolytes; the sacristy leadership team, MaryJane Boland, Brendon Hunter, and Marie Rosseels (MaryJane and Brendon also bake bread for the Eucharist; MaryJane and Marie also launder altar linens). There are others who also bake bread for the Eucharist —Clark Mitchell and Father Stephen Gerth —and we are grateful to them as well. When the sisters left, they “did not leave us orphaned.” Brother Damien Joseph and Brother Thomas are here and they are already very involved in the life of the parish. The brothers participate in worship, where they read and serve at the altar. They are teaching in the adult-education program. Brother Damien has been writing for the newsletter, and he has also begun to do some of Sister Monica’s design work; and both of the brothers are providing expert leadership —and giving us new ideas —in our ministry to the homeless. Brother Thomas is also working part-time as executive director of New York’s Emergency Shelter Network (we hope to hear more about this in a future edition of the newsletter). This means he is a source of advice, information, and good counsel. We are very happy that the brothers have joined our community.

Peter M. Krask of PMK Floral Arts led a flower-design class here this week.
Photo by J.R. Smith

We hope to be able to mail packets for this year’s Stewardship Campaign at the end of this, or early next, week. We invite you prayerfully to consider making, or increasing, your pledge for the coming year. Our needs are great. Our mission is clear. We welcome your support . . . The installation of the Right Reverend Clifton Daniel III, D.D., as tenth dean of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, will take place on Saturday, October 20, at 5:00 PM, at the Cathedral . . . We still hope to receive donations for altar flowers on the following dates: November 18 and all Sundays in January, including the Epiphany on Sunday, January 6. If you would like to make a donation, please contact the parish office . . . The Rector will be on vacation from Thursday, October 18. He returns to the parish office on Wednesday, October 31 . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 176.

FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The setting of the Mass on Sunday morning is the Mass in the Phrygian Mode by Rick Austill (b. 1955). Austill, a parishioner at Saint Mary’s, is a 1977 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University where he earned a Fine Arts degree in piano performance as a student of Nelson Whittaker, and in composition as a student of Roland Leich. Each of the movements of Austill’s Mass contains a mixture of exactly noted music and aleatoric elements. In explanation, Austill has written the following: “Aleatoric, in this setting, means individual voices enter at uneven times determined solely by the conductor. In the glorious acoustics of Saint Mary’s it creates a ‘cloud’ of sound hopefully like the clouds of angels praising God. It’s in the third church mode which I feel has a particularly haunting quality.” Austill’s Mass in the Phrygian Mode was composed in 2012. It uses the Rite II Eucharistic texts for which there are relatively few other choral settings. Although this setting will be sung today for the fourth time at Saint Mary’s, its aleatoric sections make each performance a unique first. 

The Communion motet on Sunday is a setting of the fourteenth-century Eucharistic hymn Ave verum corpus by Colin Mawby (b.1936). The text of the hymn is attributed to Pope Innocent VI (d. 1362). As a meditation on the presence of Christ in the sacrament and the relationship between suffering and redemption, this text has been sung consistently for centuries in various Eucharistic contexts and set to music by the leading composers of sacred music. Colin Mawby began his musical education in the choir school of Westminster Cathedral where he served as assistant to George Malcolm from the age of twelve. His immersion in plainchant and polyphony from an early age was supplemented by further study with distinguished teachers at the Royal College of Music. He was named Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral in 1961. His considerable contributions as a composer, especially of music for the English Catholic liturgy, have been widely recognized. His richly expressive Ave verum corpus for eight-voice choir and organ, dating from 1995, is one of his best-known works.

The organ voluntaries on Sunday are the first and third movements of Suite in Three Movements for Organ by David Hurd, organist and music director here at Saint Mary’s. The Suite was composed for, and premiered at, the 1998 National Convention of the Organ Historical Society in Denver, Colorado. It was later revised to its present form in 2010. Scherzo, the third movement, is played as the prelude this morning. It is a playful piece in ABA form, the second A being more elaborate than the first. A closing coda briefly revisits the B theme, and the movement ends quietly. The Suite’s first movement, Organ Point, played as the postlude, is intended for the principal chorus of the organ. Its melodic material initially is set mostly in parallel perfect fourths in the manner of organum. Throughout this short movement, as activity in the hands intensifies, the organist’s feet continue to play an undergirding perfect fifth of low C and G, reiterated every three beats. The resulting effect may be described as similar to a friendly cacophony of many bells ringing above a deep, slowly-tolling bourdon. —David Hurd

Brother Thomas, SSF, leads a Homeless Ministry Planning Meeting (clockwise from left: Br. Thomas, Judith Adler, Sharon Stewart, Marie Rosseels, Fr. Jay Smith, Chris Portelli, Esq.)
Photo: Br. Damien Joseph, SSF

OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Donations and volunteers are needed for our next Drop-in Day on October 24, and for the many requests for assistance between Drop-in Days. We are in particular need of basic items such as the following: packs of new underwear in various sizes for both men and women; slacks for both men and women, including jeans, chinos, khakis, etc.; packs of new socks, white and black; rainwear; knapsacks; and toiletry articles. Please contact Father Jay Smith if you would like to volunteer for this important ministry or if you would like to make a donation . . . 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. We are very grateful to all those who continue to support this ministry.

TWO WALKS TO FIGHT ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE . . . Parishioner Michael Reid is once again participating in two walks in order to support those living with Alzheimer’s disease as well as those seeking to find treatments for those suffering with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The first walk, for Caring Kind, will take place on Sunday, October 14 in Riverside Park. In order to make a donation, follow this link. The second walk, for the Alzheimer’s Association, New York Branch, will take place on October 27, from South Street Seaport to City Hall by way of the Brooklyn Bridge. In order to make a donation, follow this link. Michael writes, “I am participating in these walks for the over 5 million Americans that have Alzheimer’s and am raising awareness and funds for programs, services, support, and care for all New Yorkers. Last year, I lost my mother, Jerry Reid, to dementia, only to find out when notifying the family that my aunt Verna Mae Reid, was then in hospice care for Alzheimer’s. I will walk this year to honor them and the other friends and family members I have lost to Alzheimer’s and related dementias over the years. Thank you for your support.”

THE VISUAL ARTS AT SAINT MARY’S . . . An art exhibit entitled “Spirit’s Flight” continues on view in the Gallery in Saint Joseph’s Hall. This exhibition features the work of two artists, Deborah Holcombe and Ingrid Sletten. Ingrid and Deborah’s work, in different ways, explores the intersection between nature and the spirit. They have subtitled the exhibition “More Than the Eyes See: Combining Science with Revelation.” The closing reception for the exhibition will take place on Friday, November 9, 6:00–8:00 PM. Ingrid is a parishioner here and it has been a particular joy to be able to show her work. We are grateful to her for introducing us to that work and to the work of her friend and colleague, Deborah Holcombe.

NYRO violist and emcee Phil Catelinet warms up the crowd before NYRO's final concert last season. Parishioner and NYRO cellist, Grace Mudd, at right.
Photo by Ricardo Gomez

CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Saturday, October 20, 2018, 8:00 PM, New York Repertory Orchestra (NYRO). NYRO returns to Saint Mary’s for another season. On Saturday, the orchestra will play music by Clyne, Mussorgsky, and Mendelssohn. Admission is free, but a donation is encouraged. All friends and members are invited to come and support NYRO, Saint Mary’s resident orchestra. (Grace Mudd, a member of the parish, plays cello in the orchestra.) Visit NYRO’s website for more information . . . Saturday, November 10, 2018, 8:00 PM, Miller Theatre Early Music Series, Cappella Pratensis: “The Josquin Imitation Game.” Music by Josquin des Prez and Ockeghem, Van Ghizeghem, Busnoys, Willaert, and Gombert. From the theater website, “Josquin des Prez paid homage to his predecessors through the use of imitation. By the same token, subsequent composers played this game as a deliberate tribute, utilizing the same texts, melodies, and other characteristics of his music. The acclaimed Cappella Pratensis, known for their period interpretations, makes their Miller debut with a program anchored by Josquin masterpieces and exploring some of the great polyphonic works of the period by composers who inspired Josquin and those who were later inspired by him . . . Tuesday, November 13, 7:30 PM, Lincoln Center’s White Lights Festival: The Distant Light, Latvian Radio Choir.

LOOKING AHEAD . . . Monday, October 29, Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles (transferred), Morning Prayer 8:30 AM, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass 12:10 PM, Evening Prayer 6:00 PM, Mass 6:20 PM . . . Wednesday, October 31, Eve of All Saints’ Day, Evensong 6:00 PM . . . Thursday, November 1, All Saints’ Day, Sung Matins 8:30, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Organ Recital 5:30 PM, Solemn Pontifical Mass 6:00 PM . . . Friday, November 2, All Souls’ Day, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Sung Mass and Blessing of the Vault 6:00 PM . . . November 3, 5–8, Parish Requiem Masses . . . Sunday, November 4, 2018, Daylight Saving Time Ends . . . Friday, November 9 and Saturday, November 10, 2018, Diocesan Convention at the Crown Plaza, White Plains–Downtown.

AT THE GALLERIES . . . At the Metropolitan Museum, Fifth Avenue and Eighty-second Street, October 16, 2018–October 4, 2020, “In Praise of Painting: Dutch Masterpieces at The Met.” From the museum website, “Dutch paintings of the seventeenth century —the Golden Age of Rembrandt, Hals, and Vermeer—have been a highlight of The Met collection since the Museum’s founding purchase in 1871. This exhibition brings together some of the Museum’s greatest paintings to present this remarkable chapter of art history in a new light. Through sixty-seven works of art organized thematically, In Praise of Painting orients visitors to key issues in seventeenth-century Dutch culture —from debates about religion and conspicuous consumption to painters' fascination with the domestic lives of women.”

CLICK HERE for this week’s schedule.

CLICK HERE for the full parish calendar.