From the Rector: Our Legacies
Newer members of the local and wider parish community may not know that last year we formed “Saint Mary’s Legacy Society” to recognize those who have made a bequest or other gift to Saint Mary’s when they die. Some may not know the extraordinary building in which we worship was built because of a bequest. Miss Sara Louie Cooke died in 1892 and left Saint Mary’s the bulk of her estate, then about $800,000. Her faith in the future of Saint Mary’s inspires us all. The parish has survived through good economic times and bad in no small part because so many have cared so deeply about ensuring the work and witness of this great parish through gifts made when they died.
Saint Mary’s since its inception has always been more than a local parish church – especially since the building of our second and present church home. Always a parish church, yes, but always so much more. Because of our location in the center of this largest of American cities, because of the size and architecture of our building, and because of the vision of our mission Saint Mary’s has served as a rich expression of Christian faith and practice.
The parish has always lived, in some sense, beyond its means, spiritually and financially, but always for the gospel. Long ago it made a commitment that our worship and our mission would be the best it can possibly be. Were I able to gather in a room with all of my predecessors –and not just Father Wells who is quite alive! – I think we would be able to tell story after story of saints who have left no name but who reached for this place to be of service to the gospel far beyond our earthly means. At Saint Mary’s, our common life around God’s Table and God’s Word has been the source of our faith and our hope.
There are many, many reasons why people should plan for their future life in this world and for their death. As a person without spouse or partner, I perhaps feel this as keenly as anyone. When I first went to work I bought the largest disability policy I could afford. Even on a modest clerical salary, I have always saved something to help to take care of myself when I retire. Good stewardship of the gift of life includes many things.
There are many ways we should plan for the future. This Sunday, the Reverend Richard Sloan, stewardship officer of the Diocese of New York, will speak about planning for our futures and providing for the future of those we love. The language of the New Testament describes the members of the Church as brothers and sisters. It is not inappropriate for us to help the present and future members of our biological and our spiritual families.
It’s very easy to write a will these days and everyone should have one. And it’s really irresponsible not to have a will if you have dependent children. I am told people don’t like to think about their own wills and deaths. I don’t either. But it’s good stewardship of life to plan for our future. Especially because of the recent tragedy in my own family, I am keenly aware of the maturity with which my mother and stepfather faced their lives and planned for themselves in infirmity and death.
I heard Bishop Richard Grein, our retired bishop, remark once that he had never met a generous person who was unhappy. I think many do not realize just how much good we can do for others – and not just for the Church – with good planning.
I invite you to come to hear Father Sloan on Sunday. There will be a lot of basic information available and the opportunity to let us know if you need related information such as naming a “Health Care Agent” – not unimportant in this era. The program begins fifteen minutes after the end of Solemn Mass. It will conclude promptly after forty-five minutes. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked especially for Barbara, Kevin, Mary Ann, Chandra, Michael, Richard, Harmony, Liz, Suzanne, Charles, Brian, Ana, José, Gert, Harold, Robert, Gloria, Ray, Tony, William, Gabriela, Eve, Virginia, Mary, William, Gilbert, Rick, Thomas, priest, and Charles, priest; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Fahad, Sean, David, Barron, Joseph, Patrick, Bruce, Brenden, Jonathan, Christopher, and Timothy; and for the repose of the soul of Kim. . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . March 4: 1989 Timothy Francis Meyers; March 9: 1951 Lenore H. Hibbard, 1965 Carolyn Elizabeth Allen; March 10: 1962 John S. Jarvis Beach, 1989 Marion Campbell, Jr.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Many thanks to associate organist Robert McDermitt for stepping in last Sunday for Robert McCormick who was sick . . . We said goodbye on March 2 to assistant sexton Rolando Rivera who is moving to Puerto Rico to take care of his mother . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, March 3, by Father Mead and on Saturday, March 10, by Father Beddingfield . . . Attendance last Sunday 238.
A NOTE FROM THE RECTOR . . . As we go to press, my mother remains a patient in the trauma intensive care unit at Inova Fairfax Hospital, Fairfax, Virginia. She continues to respond well to treatment. Although she suffered several life-threatening injuries, her physicians and her family continue to be hopeful for her recovery. Thank you so much for the many expressions of support and prayer for her, for me and for all of my family. S.G.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Sunday at the Solemn Mass, the setting of the Mass ordinary is Mass for Three Voices by William Byrd (1543-1623). The motet at Communion is Have mercy upon me, O Lord by Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656). Robert McCormick
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . On Sunday, March 4, the Planned Giving Committee presents Wills & Bequests, a presentation by the Reverend Richard Sloan, stewardship officer of the Diocese of New York . . . Father Mead’s Wednesday Night Bible Study continues to study the Last Supper throughout Lent. We will examine what have come to be called the “Institution Narratives” on March 7 . . . Ms. Rebecca Weiner and the Reverend Thomas Heard will lead a class on the Deaconate on Sunday, March 25, following Solemn Mass.
LEARN ABOUT EPISCOPAL RELIEF & DEVELOPMENT . . . On March 11, following Solemn Mass, Mr. Erwin de Leon will discuss the ministry and programs of Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD). Learn how ERD’s international programs work towards fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals embraced by the Church. Find out how you can participate and support this work. Erwin is a parishioner at Saint Mary’s and works as interim church relations officer at ERD . . . Copies of Essentials: Lenten Meditations on Necessity and Abundance are available free of charge in the Saint Mary’s Gift Shop.
FAST FOR FRIENDS . . . This Lent, consider fasting to help feed others. Consider giving up one or two meals a week, saving that money and then contributing what you have saved to the Maundy Thursday Offering on April 5. The offering will go to the Weekday Meal Program at the Church of San Juan Evangelista in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
BRASS CLEANING & PALM STRIPPING. . . The Saturday before Palm Sunday is a big day at Saint Mary’s. On Saturday, March 31, members of the Saint Vincent’s Guild (our altar servers) and the Saint Mary’s Guild (our altar guild) will strip palms for Palm Sunday and polish all of the parish brass for Holy Week and Eastertide. All are welcome to attend and help out. If you are interested in joining either guild, speak to Father Mead or join us on March 31st.
MOVIE NIGHT . . . After hibernating through most of the winter months, Movie Night will return on Friday, March 16. The movie will begin after Stations of the Cross concludes. See next week’s Angelus for more information.
MISSION HOUSE RENOVATIONS . . . José Vidal, architect for the apartment for sisters from the Community of St. John Baptist, expects the work to be entirely complete this week. Plans are underway for Sr. Deborah Francis and Sr. Laura Katherine to move here sometime during the week of March 11. As we go to press, we are in contact with our movers about a specific date. Parish and CSJB leaders are putting final touches on our formal agreement on how our ministry together will begin and to plan for its natural evolution. On Sunday, April 22, we will formally celebrate the arrival of this ministry at Solemn Evensong & Benediction. I will be officiant for the service and the Reverend Sr. Barbara Jean, superior, CSJB will preach. There will be a reception after the service in Saint Joseph’s Hall. The sisters will be part of our worshiping community most days of the week. Their order has a special ministry of spiritual direction and teaching. We expect that they may share in some of the pastoral work of the clergy. I’ve asked Sr. Laura Katherine to help us start and help train an altar guild to assist the servers with the care of the church’s sacred vessels, furnishings, vestments and the sacristy. Sr. Deborah Francis is already assisting regularly on Wednesdays at the 12:10 Sung Mass as a reader and eucharistic minister. It will be exciting for the parish and for CSJB to see how our ministry grows. A religious order has been part of our parish life for most of our history. I can hardly wait to see how the Lord uses us to bring out of his treasure things old and things new. S.G.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Second Sunday in Lent
Monday Weekday of Lent
Tuesday Weekday of Lent
Wednesday Weekday of Lent
Thursday Weekday of Lent
Friday Weekday of Lent Lenten Friday Abstinence
Saturday Weekday of Lent
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. 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. On all Fridays of Lent, Stations of the Cross 7:00 PM.
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