From the Rector: He is with us
Margaret Lawhon Schott is a vestry member at Saint Luke’s Church, Baton Rouge, where I served as curate from 1985 to 1988. The following is her report of a visit made by the Presiding Bishop, the Bishop of Louisiana and others. I offer it as a meditation not only on the work we are called to do to help our sisters and brothers in the midst of the tragedy in the Gulf Coast region of our country but also as a mediation on the Lord’s presence here as we gather on Sunday, October 2, to celebrate the Feast of the Dedication of the Church. Stephen Gerth
On Tuesday, September 20th, Bishop Charles Jenkins led a group of church officials and volunteers on a tour of damaged Episcopal churches in New Orleans. Special guests included Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold and his wife Phoebe, the Rt. Rev. George Packard, Bishop Suffragan for Chaplaincies in the U.S. armed forces, and a few other Episcopal priests from our area. As a volunteer media liaison for the parish, I was invited to join the group, along with another media specialist, Sarah Bartenstein from the Diocese of Virginia in Richmond, and representatives from the Episcopal News Service in New York.
After successfully passing through a security checkpoint on Jefferson Highway a mile or two past the Ochsner campus in Jefferson Parish, our caravan made its first stop at Church of the Annunciation on South Claiborne in New Orleans. Father Jerry Kramer, who now shares office space with us at St. Luke’s, was there to show us the devastation done by Katrina to his church: pews lifted from the floor by rising water, mildewed kneelers, a ruined baptismal font and a damaged organ. Outside, broken branches and debris littered the church grounds and neighboring yards, while abandoned cars that had been completely submerged in the flood were scattered along the street’s median.
At St. Paul’s on Canal Blvd. near the Lakefront, it was another heart wrenching sight. Although the building was locked and we couldn’t find a way to enter it, the church’s exterior indicated serious damage throughout the structure. Several huge trees were uprooted near the building, there were broken windows and water lines on the building from the flood that looked to be eight to ten feet from the ground. Every plant that had been under the water is now dead and brown and caked in gray mud. The stench of the contaminated water is everywhere.
Miraculously, only a few minutes away from St. Paul’s near the edge of Lake Pontchartrain, the Chapel of the Holy Comforter sustained only minimal roof damage and is surrounded by green grass and only a few broken trees and bushes! Father Roger Allen, Holy Comforter’s chaplain and one of our drivers on Tuesday, rejoiced over his chapel’s lack of damage while mourning for so many other losses in the city, including that of his own house. Fr. Allen told us he sheds tears each time he returns to New Orleans on a salvage mission. Many of us found ourselves in tears, as well.
On St. Charles Avenue at the Cathedral we found clean-up crews on the job, and thankfully a structure that appears to be dry and intact. Some members of the Diocesan office staff made a quick trip into the Diocesan office to retrieve personal items from their desks. I walked around the reception area downstairs and here again, the smell of mildew and rot only were made worse by the stifling heat.
On a day filled with such shocking images, no longer separated from you by a TV screen or radio announcer, one experience stood out for me and will do so for a long time, I believe. At St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Dorgenois Street, a traditionally black congregation, the water seemed to have risen only about a foot, trees had fallen away from the building, and the church’s piano was not damaged. Here was a lot to be thankful for. As we entered the church the odor hit us like a wall, and with the windows closed it felt like a sauna. The senior warden of the church, Elvia James, led us in, and as we were wandering around and realizing the church was basically alright, all of a sudden we heard Bishop Jenkins voice above the conversations, saying, “The Lord be with you.” He was at the altar, calling us to prayer in the midst of a moment of overwhelming emotion. The Bishop prayed a prayer of thanksgiving, then asked the senior warden to help him look in the tabernacle for any consecrated hosts left there before the storm. Led by Bishop Jenkins and his wife, Louise, many in our group received the host from the Presiding Bishop, and along with it an incredible understanding of “the Lord being with us” in the midst of every storm. Margaret Lawhon Schott
I PUBLISH THE BANNS OF MARRIAGE between Arthur Robert Imig of New York City and Shirley Young of New York City. If any of you can show just caused why they may not be joined together in Holy Matrimony, you are bidden to declare it. This if the first time of asking. S.G.
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Elizabeth and Ray who are hospitalized and for Richard, Patty, Betty Ann, Matthew, Kamil, Donna, Lloyd, Deborah, Charlton, Virginia, William, Mary, Tony, Ibo, Penn, Gilbert, Robert, Gloria, Marion, Mamie, Rick, Henry, Thomas, priest and Charles, priest, for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Patrick, Bruce, Brenden, Jonathan, Marc, Joseph, Timothy, Christopher, David, Timothy, Nestor, Freddie, Derrick and Christina and for the repose of the soul of Laurene and William, bishop . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . October 2: 1961 Beatrice Irwin Packington, 1985 Herbert Eric Schmidt; October 7: 1962 Stephen Waterman Mason, 1965 Josephine Barreaux.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Laurene Dupps, Dick Leitsch’s sister, died on September 21. Please pray for her, for Dick and for all who mourn . . . William Cockburn Russell Sheridan, V Bishop of Northern Indiana, died at home on Saturday, September 24. Bishop Sheridan, a well-known and life-long catholic Churchman, was eighty-eight years old. He retired as bishop the year before I went to Michigan City, Indiana as rector. Pray for him, for his widow, Rudith, and for all who mourn. S.G.
SUNDAY SCHOOL & NURSERY CARE . . . Beginning on October 2, we will offer nursery care every Sunday and on greater feast days. Nursery care will be available from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM on Sundays and for the duration of the Solemn Mass on major feasts in the Nursery (down the hallway from Saint Joseph’s Hall). In addition to regular nursery care, Sunday School will be held most Sundays of the year from October 2 through Pentecost. Sunday School will begin at 10:00 AM and will end at 10:45. For more information please visit www.stmvirgin.org or contact Father Mead at email@example.com.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . On Saturday, October 1, Father Gerth will be celebrant and preacher for the 5:20 PM Sunday Vigil Mass. On Sunday, October 2, Father Beddingfield will be celebrant and preacher for the 9:00 AM Mass. Father Gerth will be celebrant and preacher for the 10:00 AM Sung Mass and the 11:00 AM Solemn Mass. Father Jay Smith will be the preacher for Solemn Evensong at 5:00 PM . . . Father Gerth will hear confessions on Saturday, October 1. Father Mead will hear confessions on Saturday, October 8.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . The full choir returns Sunday at the Solemn Mass. The prelude before Mass is Prélude (Entrée) from Suite médiévale (1947) by Jean Langlais (1907-1991). The postlude is Tu es petra et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversus te (“Thou art the rock”) from Esquisses byzantines (1914-1919) by Henri Mulet (1878-1967). The Mass ordinary is Missa aedis Christi (“Mass of the house of Christ”) by Herbert Howells (1892-1983). This hauntingly beautiful setting was composed 1958 for the choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, England. Though set for 4-part choir, it frequently splits into 6 and 7 parts, giving the texture a rich and full sound. Howells made many notable contributions to sacred music; a great deal of it is not widely heard, however, and this mass is among his numerous neglected works . . . This Sunday also marks the return of the organ recitals each Sunday at 4:40, immediately preceding Solemn Evensong & Benediction. On Sunday, Mr. Jonathan Hardy plays works of Bach and Alain . . . Much of the music at Evensong on Sunday will be improvised by Ms. Ruth Cunningham. All who have heard her know how extraordinary her music is . . . CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY’S . . . The brochure announcing our 2005-2006 season is found on the usher’s table at the rear of the church. Tickets are available from www.stmvirgin.org/MusicatSaintMarys or 212.869.5830, ext. 25. On Saturday, October 8 at 8:00 PM, organist Douglas Marshall performs a recital in the church. This concert by this distinguished artist is presented in conjunction with the Virgil Fox Legacy Weekend. The second concert is by the famed Choir of Gloucester Cathedral, England, on Friday, October 28. Robert McCormick
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Saint Mary’s Fall Home Gatherings have begun. Invitations are sent directly from our hosts, so please RSVP when you can to allow for appropriate planning and insure generous hospitality . . . On October 4, the Tuesday Night Bible Study will read the Gospel according to John, chapter 9 . . . All weekday classes continue to meet in the Parish House Third Floor Conference Room from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM . . . Renovation of the Saint Mary’s Gift Shop continues and painting has begun by a small group of volunteers. The new Gift Shop opens on the feast of Christ the King, Sunday, November 20 . . . You are invited to join a Saint Mary’s retreat at Mount Saviour Monastery in Elmira, New York, from Thursday night, November 10 through Sunday lunch, November 13. Registration forms can be found in the back of the church . . . Attendance last Sunday 251.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Feast of the Dedication of the Church
Tuesday Francis of Assisi, Friar, 1226
Thursday William Tyndale, Priest, 1536
Friday Weekday Abstinence
Saturday Of Our Lady
THE NEW FALL SCHEDULE BEGINS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1.
Sunday: 8:30 AM Sung Matins, 9:00 AM Mass, 10:00 AM Sung Mass, 11:00 AM Solemn Mass,
5:00 PM Solemn Evensong & Benediction
Monday – Friday: 8:30 AM Morning Prayer, 12:00 PM Noonday Office, 12:10 PM Mass,
6:00 PM Evening Prayer, 6:20 PM Mass
Saturday: 11:30 AM Confessions, 12:00 PM Noonday Office, 12:10 PM Mass, 4:00 PM Confessions,
5:00 PM Evening Prayer, 5:20 PM Sunday Vigil Mass