The Angelus


A Special Project

Churches are constantly renewing or rebuilding their church homes.  Saint Mary’s recently renewed its church building in a glorious way.  Many, many people contributed small and large gifts to make the renewal possible.  The design for the church and its execution seem to me to be extraordinary and inspired.  I never saw the old Saint Mary’s.  To one who only knows the present building it seems that it was intended from the beginning to be painted in this way.  Again, from my own experience, I can tell you it makes a very powerful first impression.

Renewal of physical facilities is always an issue for parish communities, even ones with new buildings.  Big projects usually require capital campaigns.  Routine maintenance is ordinarily provided by the operating budgets of parishes.  Small special projects come along from time to time.  I want to tell you about a small yet very important need and my proposal to meet the need.  And I think that once you know of the need you will send Saint Mary’s the money to do the job.

By the sacristy is a room that was once part of the rectory called “the morning room.”  Currently it serves as the only children’s room in our church facility.  It is also the storeroom for liturgical music for the altar ministers.  The rectory security system occupies one wall.  I myself have put some furniture in it that I had no other immediate idea about where to place it.  I think the morning room may have served as the parish secretary’s office during Father Garfield’s rectorate.  In any case, it is the room that makes the most sense for use as a nursery.

I propose that we clean out the room.  We move the liturgical music to the sacristy.  We throw away all the junk.  The room needs new light fixtures, new carpet and painting.  The rectory security system needs to be in the rectory proper.  Electrical outlets need to be childproofed.  The room needs a new crib, a new changing table, a rocking chair, a small bookcase for toys and a small cabinet for supplies.  This is a project that I think a few thousand dollars and some volunteer labor can take care of over the summer months. 

A friend of mine who is a rector in another state was visiting the city last week with his family.  He remarked to me that in his parish he didn’t get very far when he asked people directly for money.  But if he made needs known and the needs were genuine he was constantly surprised by the range of response.

I haven’t been at Saint Mary’s long enough to know the best way to get this money.  I know the operating budget is significantly in deficit.  There are many signs that Saint Mary’s has moved beyond a survival phase to a phase of growth and outreach.  We can’t do everything we might want to do. 

But this is one project I think we can do and is one I think people here, who are mostly like me, childless, will want to make happen.  Many of you have told me how delighted you are to see our young people serving at the altar.  Well, the youngest children need a place too.  Don’t get me wrong, I prefer infants to be in church.  But when infants and the youngest children need to be in another place, you and I can offer that.

There are lots of things we might do.  Perhaps I should be begging money for the operating budget.  I am willing to err on the side of the child.  Saint Mary’s does indeed open her doors to all people.  The youngest people, right now, need our help.  Please make your checks payable to the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin and mark them for the nursery.  Thank you very much.


Stephen Gerth


PARISH PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for the members our Armed Forces on active duty in Kosovo and for Charles Arthur, Robert, Catherine Rose, Thomas, Maxine, Michael, Louise, Barbara, Shirley, Tom, Mark, Donna, Maria, Ellen, Bernadine, Gloria, Louis, Karen, Dorothy, Margaret, Ken, John, Nina, Rodney, priest, and Maurice, priest and for the repose of the soul of Marilyn . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . .April 19: 1977 Gudrun Lagergren; April 24: 1993: Claude Morris.


LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Acts 2:14a, 36-47, Psalm 116:10-17, 1 Peter 1:17-23, Luke 24:13-35 . . . 9:00 Celebrant Father Choate, Preacher Mr. Burnette, 10:00 Celebrant & Preacher The Rector, 11:00 AM Celebrant & Preacher The Rector, 5:00 PM Celebrant & Preacher: Father Shin . . . On Saturday, April 17, Father Smith will hear Confessions.  On Saturday, April 24, Father Parker will hear Confessions.


AROUND THE PARISH . . . It was a real treat to have the Choir of Men and Boys from All Saints’ Church, Ashmont, Boston, Massachusetts, here to sing last Sunday at the 11:00 AM Solemn Mass.  They were just great.  Many thanks to Chris Babcock for arranging this visit.  Many thanks to Michael Kleinschmidt, music director at All Saints’, for his ministry there.  A thank offering for the choir was collected at the end of Mass.  If you wish to contribute to it you can still do so no later than this Sunday, April 18.  Mark your envelope or check to indicate that your special gift is for this choir . . . Among our guests last Sunday at the Solemn Mass was American Guild of Organists President Philip Hahn from San Francisco . . . Kathy Chase, David Gillespie and the Rector represented the Saint Mary’s at the April 13 meeting of the Inter-Parish Council.  The IPC is an association of the mid-town Episcopal parishes in Manhattan . . . Saint Clement’s Church, 434 West 46th Street, will be holding its “Spring Fair” on Saturday, May 1, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM . . . In the fall the Rector plans to hold an adult Sunday School class that will begin with a series of classes on the liturgy.  There will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions, make comments, share concerns and learn about the evolution of worship in the Church.  There will even be an extended discussion of the rise and fall of the use of clerical wigs in the Anglican Communion.  Oh, for the good old days! . . . Summaries of the actions of the April 12, 1999 meeting of the Board of Trustees and the March 1999 operating statement will be included in next week’s issue of The Angelus . . . Attendance last Sunday: 226.


CLERGY NOTES . . . The Rector will leave for vacation on Wednesday, April 21, and return to the rectory on Thursday, May 6.  He expects to return to the office on Saturday, May 8 . . . Father Parker returns from vacation on Monday, April 19 . . . Father Horace Choate will be with us through Sunday, May 16.  He and his family will be returning to Mississippi where he and his wife, Yamily Bass-Choate, will be serving parishes.  Yamily is to be ordained to the transitional diaconate in July.  We will miss them and their daughters very much . . . Father James Smith, who has been an assisting priest for just over a year, is leaving us at the end of May.  He was a great help to the parish during the interim year.  Father wants time to finish his dissertation and expects to be doing some supply work at some understaffed parishes in Brooklyn and Manhattan.  He will be missed . . . Congratulations to Marc Burnette, our seminarian assistant, who has been appointed curate at Trinity Church, Florence, Alabama.  Marc will be graduated from the General Theological Seminary, along with Father Choate’s wife, Yamily Bass-Choate, on Wednesday, May 19.  Marc is to be ordained deacon at the Cathedral in Birmingham on Pentecost . . . Richard Lawson, a first year student from the Diocese of Alabama, will be our seminarian assistant in the fall.  Richard and his wife, Catherine Lawson, will be here in the city this summer.  Catherine works at Trinity Church, Wall Street.  Richard will be doing a required clinical pastoral education course at Cabrini Medical Center and will begin serving regularly at the solemn Mass.


AS IS OUR CUSTOM . . . When I was still in Michigan City I was asked to make decisions about who would be preaching and celebrating after I became rector on February 1, 1999.  This was necessitated by the publishing schedule for AVE.  During my first month here I served two solemn Masses as preacher and celebrant then had Father Parker celebrate and preach a solemn Mass.  I did two more, then I asked Father Shin to do one.  Since March, except for the Sunday Father Kenneth Leech was our guest preacher, I have preached and celebrated the solemn Masses.  I thought it might be helpful for me to share my present thinking about this.


I plan to preach and celebrate the principal Sunday service of the congregation when I am here.  I am the principal pastor of the congregation.  The ministries of pastor, priest and teacher come together in a remarkable way when one preaches and celebrates the Sunday liturgies.  When I am not here, ordinarily the preacher and celebrant will be the other priests who have primary pastoral responsibility in the parish community, the curate and the assistant.  There will always be exceptions.  From time to time you and I may need a break from each other.  On Sunday, May 16, I have asked Father Horace Choate to celebrate and Marc Burnette, our seminarian assistant, to preach at the solemn Mass.  Father was seminarian here and has continued to be a great help to the parish.  He served Saint Mary’s since ordination, first as a deacon and then as a priest.  Marc has served two years as parish seminarian.  Marc has many gifts to offer the church including a particular gift for preaching.  We will miss them both.


Finally, when I asked Father Andrew Mead, rector of our sister parish, Saint Thomas Church, about this issue, he told me very politely to get in the pulpit and stay there.  I can’t talk to everyone personally on Sunday, he said, but a rector in a parish like Saint Mary’s can reach people through the pulpit and the altar.  I think he’s right, especially now at the beginning of my service here.  S.G.


Worship at Saint Mary’s During Eastertide


The Holy Eucharist

On Sundays Mass is said at 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM.  A Solemn Mass is offered at 11:00 AM.  Monday through Friday Mass is said at 12:15 PM and 6:15 PM.  On Saturdays Mass is said at 12:15 PM.


The Daily Office

On ordinary Sundays Morning Prayer is said at 8:40 AM and Evening Prayer at 4:45 PM.  Monday through Friday Morning Prayer is offered at 8:30 AM, the Noonday Office at 12:00 PM and Evening Prayer at 6:00 PM.  On Saturdays the Noonday Office is offered at 12:00 PM and Evening Prayer at 5:00 PM.


The Reconciliation of Penitents

Confessions are heard on Saturdays between 11:30 and 12:00 and between 4:00 and 5:00.  Appointments can also be made with members of the parish clergy for the Reconciliation of Penitents at other times.


Abstinence Dispensed

The Fridays of Eastertide are not observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.



The Calendar of the Week of the Third Sunday of Easter


Monday                               Alphege, Bishop & Martyr

Tuesday                               Easter Weekday

Wednesday                        Anselm, Bishop

Thursday                            Easter Weekday

Friday                                  Easter Weekday

Saturday                             Of Our Lady



The Parish Clergy

The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector, The Reverend William C. Parker, curate, The Reverend Allen Shin, assistant, The Reverend Arthur Wolsoncroft, The Reverend Canon Maurice Garrison, The Reverend Paulette Schiff,

The Reverend James Ross Smith, The Reverend Horace Choate, assisting priests.

The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.