Several weeks ago I sat down with a committee to show them the letters of application and resumes I had received for the position of “Curate: Assistant for Liturgy and Education.” I showed the committee how I had sorted through them, saying there were two people I wanted to interview. Then I added a blank sheet of paper. “This represents someone who hasn’t yet finished seminary.”
Two weeks after Matthew Weiler told me he was leaving Saint Mary’s to return to graduate study at Yale, our summer intern, Matthew Mead, came into my office to tell me that if the job were still open in the spring he would like very much to apply for it. I thanked him but made no promises. When my committee heard this, discussion ended. Matthew Mead has shown himself to be an outstanding candidate for ordination. I’m glad he’s studying to be a priest. I’m glad he’s in love with Saint Mary’s. It was unanimous that we call Matthew Mead to be our next curate.
Mr. Mead is twenty-six years old, soon to be twenty-seven. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago and is studying for the priesthood at Yale Divinity School. He is a Candidate for Holy Orders in the Diocese of New York from Saint Thomas Church, New York City. He will be ordained deacon in March and be graduated from seminary in May.
Many of you have already met Matthew and his fiancée, Nicole De Coursy. They will be married in June and after a wedding trip they will move into the Parish House apartment now occupied by the Weilers. Matthew will be ordained priest in September. I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am that he is coming to us.
I confess that since Matthew arrived I had hoped he might be a curate here. Over and over his gifts for ordained ministry have been in evidence by his hard work and by his warm personality and easy smile. He really has had a two-month long interview with me and many other members of the parish. I have never seen anyone any more enthusiastic about Saint Mary’s and its mission than Matthew Mead after the Solemn Mass, Procession through Times Square & Benediction on Corpus Christi.
Matthew Mead will be with us for most of this month. He will be serving as subdeacon at the Solemn Pontifical Mass on Assumption. I hope his schedule may permit him to be with us from time to time during breaks from school.
In the meantime, I am working on recruiting some assisting priests to help me and John Beddingfield with the rota. John and I both think this is the right decision for Saint Mary’s and, since a lot will fall on us as a result, it is important that this conviction on our part be clear to you. It’s also important for everyone to know that neither John nor I is the assistant for liturgy and education, but John and I will be working together to cover what needs to be covered in these areas by a priest. It’s going to be a longer transition than we might have hoped. We’re going to need help; but getting the right clergy for Saint Mary’s is right thing to do. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Alice, Gates, Kiyoshy, Billie, Jonah, Susan, John, Michael, Lois, Virginia, Bart, Brett, Nicole, Jack, Thomas, Annie, Patricia, Paul, Robert, Gloria, Jerri, Margaret, Marion, Olga, Rick, and Charles, priest; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Timothy, Patrick, Edward, Kevin, Christopher, Andrew, Joseph, Marc, Ned, Timothy, David, John and Colin. Your prayers are also asked for the repose of the soul of John and Tyler.
GRANT THEM PEACE . . . August 4: 1966 Harold Anderson Worrell; August 8: 1963 Charles Augustus Edgar.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15, Psalm 78:14-20, 23-25, Ephesians 4:17-25, John 6:24-35 . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, August 2, by Father Smith, and on Saturday, August 9, by Father Gerth.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This week at the Solemn Mass, the prelude is Antiphon III (“I am black but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem.”), Op. 18 by Marcel Dupré (1886-1971). The postlude is Präludium in h-moll, BWV 544 by J. S. Bach (1685-1750). Our soloist is Mr. David Vanderwal, tenor. Mr. Vanderwal regularly may be heard in the choir of Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, but we are always glad when he is able to sing here. The piece at Communion is Deposuit potentes from Magnificat, BWV 243, also by Bach.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Father Weiler continues on vacation. He returns to the parish for one week beginning Sunday, August 10 . . . Marion Freise has moved to an Episcopal retirement community, the House of the Good Shepherd, in Hackettstown, New Jersey . . . Bryan Bradford is moving to Austin to enter the M.B.A. program at the University of Texas. Andrea Gay has finished her graduate course work in chemistry and is moving to Peoria, Illinois, to complete her dissertation. Both Bryan and Andrea have been altar servers. We will miss them, but wish them the very best as they continue toward their careers . . . Attendance last Sunday 191.
AUGUST AT SAINT MARY’S . . . There are two Feasts of Our Lord and, this year, five Sundays to be celebrated in August in addition to the regular weekday schedule of services. The feasts are the Transfiguration of Our Lord on August 6 and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15. On Wednesday, August 6, there will be a Sung Mass at 6:00 PM. The ordinary of the Mass will be sung by the Cathedral Singers of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. They will also give a choral recital at 5:30 PM. It is a treat for us to have a visiting choir on this day and I hope many may be able to be with us. Friday, August 15, is one of the great days of the year at Saint Mary’s. It may very well be hot, but that doesn’t discourage the faithful on this date. The full parish choir will be present to sing. (Those who are new to the parish this summer are in for a treat; the music at Saint Mary’s is spectacular.) Our guest preacher and celebrant will be the Right Reverend Andrew St. John, interim rector, Church of the Holy Trinity, New York City. On Sunday, August 10, Father Matthew Weiler will celebrate and preach at 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM. Coffee hour after 11:00 AM will be our opportunity to say good-bye to Matthew and his wife Janna. Father’s last day at Saint Mary’s will be Friday, August 15.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Monday John Vianney, priest
Eve of the Transfiguration 6:00 PM
Wednesday The Transfiguration of Our Lord
Sung Mass 6:00 PM
Thursday John Mason Neale, priest
Friday Dominic, priest and friar Abstinence
Saturday Of Our Lady
The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector,
The Reverend Matthew Weiler, The Reverend John Beddingfield, curates,
The Reverend James Ross Smith, assistant, The Reverend Rosemari Sullivan, assisting priest,
The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.