From the Rector: Transition and Continuity
I invite you to be present especially for the Solemn Mass this Sunday, August 19, as Father John Beddingfield is celebrant and preacher for his last Sunday at Saint Mary’s as one of our curates. A special reception is planned to honor him and his partner Erwin de Leon following the Mass. I am delighted that John has been called to be rector of All Souls Memorial Church, Washington, D.C. But I think he knows and I’m sure the parish community knows how much he will be missed. Father’s last day on duty with us, however, will be Saturday, August 25. His first Sunday at All Souls will be September 9.
In the meantime, I am delighted to announce that Father James Ross Smith will become full-time interim assistant on Sunday, August 26. Father Smith has been associated with Saint Mary’s for many years as an assisting priest and served as our half-time assistant before the position was made full-time. Many of you know him and his partner, José Vidal. Jay continues work on his dissertation at Yale but is at a point now where he can work full-time until the New Year. In addition to his work at Yale, he is a graduate of the Union Theological Seminary, New York City, and Cornell University. He was ordained in 1986 and has always been a member of the clergy of this diocese, although he was an assisting priest at Christ Church, New Haven, from 1989 to 1996.
Father Smith will continue to live at his home in Brooklyn. He will make occasional use of the apartment for the curate as needed. I hope I am able to call a new full-time associate priest by the end of the year.
I think it is fair and not inappropriate for me to say that Father Beddingfield, Father Mead and I have been a very good team. We are different ages and backgrounds, with different interests. All of us are committed Episcopal priests and committed to the catholic tradition of the Church. Each of us also in his own way brings a genuine enthusiasm for parish work to Saint Mary’s. Frankly, in addition to the work of being parish priests – and sometimes it is something of a grind – it’s a lot of fun to be priests at Saint Mary’s. John, Matt and I enjoy each other’s company and each in our own way has been a help to the parish and to each other.
I am beginning to work with the trustees about a job description for our next priest. I can say that above all I want to call a good, talented, hardworking priest who is committed to the catholic tradition of the Church. I want simply to call the best person for the job that we can find – and one who can fit into the apartment we have available!
In the meantime, we say goodbye to John Beddingfield. I know he will be truly loyal to his new parish but I also know he won’t forget us. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked especially for Steven who is hospitalized, Fred, Gert, Henry, Pamela, Joan, Hilyard, Charles, Virginia, Daisy, Joseph, Marcia, Ana, Kevin, Gloria, Ray, Tony, William, Eve, Virginia, Mary, Gilbert, Rick, Suzanne, Thomas, priest, Henry, priest, and Charles, priest; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Steve, Patrick, Brenden and Christopher . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . August 22: 1947 Mattie Myrtle Jones, 1997 Charles Bertram Harmon; August 24: 1959 Mabel Lenora Heyny; August 25: 1983 Albert Atkinson III, 1990 Eliphal B. Streeter.
CALENDAR NOTES . . . Father Beddingfield will be celebrant and preacher for the 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM Masses on Sunday, August 19 . . . Holy Baptism will be celebrated on Sunday evening, August 19, at the 5:20 PM Mass for Sarah Elizabeth Fry, daughter of William and Anna Fry . . . Friday, August 24, is the Feast of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle. Our commemoration begins on the Eve, Thursday, August 23, with Evening Prayer and Mass at 6:00 PM.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . On Sundays throughout the summer child care during the 10:00 AM Sung Mass and 11:00 AM Solemn Mass will be available. The nursery is located next to the sacristy (down the hallway from Saint Joseph’s Hall) . . . Many thanks to all who helped make the services and the reception for the Assumption so wonderful! . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, August 18, by Father Gerth and on Saturday, August 25, by Father Beddingfield . . . The Board of Trustees will meet in Saint Benedict’s Study on Monday, August 20, at 7:00 PM . . . The Rector will be on vacation from Tuesday, August 21, through Tuesday, September 4. He will return to the parish office on Wednesday, September 5 . . . Attendance last Sunday 295, Assumption 593.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Sunday at the Solemn Mass, the prelude is an improvisation on ‘Deo gracias’. The postlude is Paean (1966) by Kenneth Leighton (1929-1988). The cantor is Mr. Aaron Larson, baritone. The music at Communion is For the mountains shall depart from Elijah, Opus 70, by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847). Robert McCormick
FROM THE STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE . . . A while back, a thoughtful and generous friend of Saint Mary’s who wished to see us renew the parish store made a donation of $5,000.00. Years later, in 2006, unaware of this gift, Susan Miranda, José Vidal and Erwin de Leon wrote a business plan for a beautiful new store, one that would carry a limited supply of lovely items, including logo items designed for Saint Mary’s. They brought their plan to the Rector, ending their presentation with the need for $5,000.00 in seed money. That seed money has long since been recouped, and part of the proceeds from the store support our mission in Honduras. Consider funding your dream for mission through Saint Mary’s.
FROM THE STORY OF ST. MARY’S . . . In 1931 Newbury Frost Read, a member and trustee of the parish, published The Story of St. Mary’s. The following is an excerpt of the account in The New York Herald of the first service in the first church that had taken place on December 8, 1870. The story was headlined, “Opening of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin – Bishop South’s Sermon on the Virgin Mary.”
The opening service of the Protestant Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin, in Forty-fifth Street, near Broadway, took place at one o’clock yesterday morning. The Pastor of the Church is the Rev. Thomas McKee Brown, formerly assistant to the Rev. Dr. Ewer of Christ Church. The Chapel is quite an imposing edifice of the advanced Gothic style. It is built of red Nyack stone, trimmed with sandstone, is 100 feet in length, 54 feet in width and 56 feet in height, and consists of a nave, one aisle, and a chancel 31 feet by 29, with a transcept [sic] 32 by 36 at its left. At the southeast corner of the edifice is a tower, which, when completed will be 150 feet high. Over the main entrance is a large stained glass window, and the chancel is separated from the nave by a screen, with stalls within for the choir. The organ occupies a recess at the right. The roof internally is a single-span high-pointed arch, without beams. On the roof in a small casing is a ‘Sanctus’ bell. The altar is reached by a gradual ascent of steps and is surmounted by a large cross, with large candles on either side. The church, which is as yet in an unfinished state, will seat about 600 and has cost thus far $50,000. It stands upon three lots which have been presented by William B. Astor and will have cost when completed $75,000.
The service was attended by a large and fashionable congregation, and in the chancel were Dr. Staunton, Rev. Mr. Betts, of Columbia College , and other divines of note. Dr. Cutler officiated at the organ, and the choir of Christ Church and the choral service in a superb manner. Rev. Mr. Brown made several announcements, and read a letter from Bishop Potter expressing his regret at not being able to attend the dedication of the Chapel.
After the reading of prayers and the singing of a hymn, Bishop Southgrate preached up on the text found in Acts 1:14: – ‘Mary, the mother of Jesus.’ He said it was something novel to hear a sermon on that theme from a Protestant pulpit, and many think it might lead us into the errors of Roman Catholics. He would hope, however, that they should not labor under such an impression. While avoiding the extravagant worship of Roman Catholics of the Virgin Mary, it is a fair presumption that her selection for the high honor of being the Virgin Mother of God was an indication of her preeminent sanctity among women.
After a dissertation upon the ancestry and character of the Virgin Mary the speaker concluded by saying that our love and honor must be measured by those we have for Christ, and that person is not a true Christian who does not regard her as a Saint and preeminently the best of her sex. (The Story of St. Mary’s: The Society of the Free Church of St. Mary the Virgin, New York City, 1868 -1931, New York, 1931, by Newbury Frost Read, page 27.)
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
Monday Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, 1153
Eve of Saint Bartholomew’s Day
Friday Saint Bartholomew the Apostle Abstinence
Saturday Louis, King of France, 1270
Sunday: 8:30 AM Morning Prayer, 9:00 AM Mass, 10:00 AM Sung Mass, 11:00 AM Solemn Mass, 5:00 PM Evening Prayer, 5:20 PM Mass. Childcare from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
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.