The Angelus

Volume 12, Number 47


When I speak with younger adults, and our conversation turns to the present economic situation, I try not to talk too much about what it was like when I was twenty years old.  That was in 1974.  But there are many parallels.  The Vietnam War had been going on for over a decade.  Our country was living with the growing mismanagement of its economy by politicians, Democratic and Republican.  I was part of a generation that grew up in an anxious American society.

Lots of things are different now.  Number one, I’m older.  What worried me a lot at the age of twenty worries me much less now.  Looking back, I know that by the end of the 1970s Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were beginning to engineer the technology revolution that continues to reshape human life almost everywhere on this planet and no one knew it was happening.  A company first called Federal Express started shipping packages and would transform how goods are moved around the world – and no one knew it was happening.  The Cold War was yet to be won.  American cities were in decline – and often very dangerous places to be.  A new and needed public debate about the roles of race, gender and sexuality was out in the open.  The anxiety of the time didn’t really stop us, although it made things hard.

Today there are lots of reasons one might be anxious, might worry about the future.  Real economic hardship is a reality for too many.  I am fearful that continued economic mismanagement by our political establishment will make the recession go on far longer than necessary.  But, stepping back, there’s every reason to think a lot of good things are happening that haven’t made the news yet.  I plead guilty to being an optimist about our country, about the Episcopal Church, and about Saint Mary the Virgin.

It costs a lot of money to run Saint Mary’s as we do, with our doors open to all every day  and the regular services of the Church that are offered.  The 2010 budget for the church, all things considered, is $1.2 million dollars.  (See the 2009 Annual Report for details.)  We have a very modest income from our endowment.  We have only 183 individuals and households who pledge to the operating budget.  It costs about $3200 per day to do what we do as a community.

We get a small amount of money from letting our space be used by others –  please note these sums are regulated by the laws governing a non-profit corporation like ours.  We get unexpected donations from people who visit.  There are donations to the shrines in the church.  From time to time we receive bequests.  The church still has some development rights available for sale.  We are working with the diocese about our diocesan assessment.

But this year we expect to spend $117,000 for utilities and $130,500 for insurance.  Repairs and maintenance will exceed our budgeted amount of $120,000.  (The recent repair and repainting of the main stairwell in the Parish House cost $20,000 to do, and to do it right.)  Our annual audit costs $12,500; we employ the services of outside legal counsel as needed.

We don’t yet know the results of the interior and exterior facilities survey we have commissioned.  Whatever the state of the economy, we will have to raise funds to fix the façade of the church.  I’m hoping that the facilities survey will give us an idea of the work that will be needed and the order in which we will need to make it happen.

Our biggest costs are for personnel.  Since 2008 we have reduced these expenditures by 26.3%.  This means we don’t do everything that we used to do; but, again, our doors remain open, all are welcome, and the regular services of the Church are offered daily.

The 2011 Stewardship Drive has started.  Very soon you will be receiving your stewardship packets in the mail.  I was asked to write last week and this week about giving.  Different members of the parish community have been contributing wonderful articles weekly.  As this year’s Stewardship Campaign proceeds, I invite you to read about our progress each week in the newsletter and to keep the Campaign in your prayers.  Behind my writing today is my hope that you are encouraged by my commitment and the commitment of the lay leaders of the parish to manage our ministry in today’s world.  I hope this means you will make a commitment as well to give sacrificially to the life and work of this wonderful parish.  Stephen Gerth


YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED especially for Philip who is hospitalized; and for Carol, Daniel, William, Owen, Gilbert, Jim, Mary, Alan, Pamela, Robert, Thomas, Edward, Larry, José, Sharon, Daisy, Gerardo, Cesar, Chris, Rolf, Nicholas, William, Gert, Rick, and Emil, religious; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially John, James, Kayla, and Benjamin; and for the repose of the souls of Amelia Diaz and John Schmidt . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . October 17: 1895 Charles Eugene Bachelder; 1915 Betty G. Blume; 1927 William Harry Werner; 1942 Catherine Fisher


THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Sunday, October 17, 11:00 AM, Father Peter Powell will be our guest preacher at the Solemn Mass . . . Monday, October 18, is the Feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist.  In addition to the 12:10 PM Mass, the Eucharist will also be celebrated at 6:20 PM . . . The Board of Trustees meets on Monday, October 18, at 7:00 PM . . . Wednesday, October 20, 6:30 PM, Bible Study, Arch Room, Mission House, 2nd floor . . . Saturday, October 23, is the Feast of Saint James of Jerusalem, Brother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and Martyr.  Mass will be said at 12:10 PM . . . Father Gerth will hear confessions on Saturday, October 23; Father Smith will hear confessions on Saturday, October 30.


THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.


AROUND THE PARISH . . . Daniel Craig was admitted to Hackensack University Medical Center this week.  He is now at home.  Please keep him in your prayers . . . Philip Dean Parker has been admitted to the Beth Israel Medical Center.  Please keep him in your prayers . . . Flowers are needed for Sunday, October 24, and for two Sundays in November.  If you would like to give them, please contact Aaron Koch in the parish office . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 319


BAPTISM, CONFIRMATION & RECEPTION . . . Bishop Sisk will be with us for the feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on Wednesday, December 8.  He will celebrate and preach at the Solemn Mass at 6:00 PM.  The sacraments of baptism and confirmation will be celebrated at that time.  If you have been thinking and praying about baptism or confirmation, or if you think that you would like to be received into the Episcopal Church, please speak to Father Gerth or Father Smith.


CHILDCARE . . . Children are always welcome at Mass at Saint Mary’s.  The Rector encourages families with children to sit at the front of the church – so the children can see easily and clearly.  Childcare is in Saint Benedict’s Nursery & Playroom which is open and available every Sunday from 8:45 AM until 12:45 PM.


FROM THE PARISH ARCHIVIST . . . From the New York Times, November 5, 1883: VESPERS IN A RITUALISTIC CHURCH: At 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, West Forty-fifth street, was filled to its very doors by a congregation assembled to assist at the office of vespers.  The procession, headed by the cross-bearer, was composed of a number of altar-boys, 12 choir-boys and 18 choir-men, forming the surpliced choir of the church, followed by three Deacons and the Rev. McKee Brown, Rector of the church, who officiated at the ceremony.  Father Brown was vested in cassock, surplice, white stole, and a richly ornamented cope of cloth of gold, and wore on his head a black beretta.  During the “Magnificat” Father Brown incensed the altar, which was beautifully decorated with lights and flowers in the usual manner, was himself incensed by the acolyte, who incensed the Deacons, the choir, and lastly the people.  The prayers and benediction, with the recessional, closed the ritualistic service.  Under the directorship of Mr. Prentice, the highest class of music formed apportion of the regular religious services.


FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . Music at the Solemn Mass on Sunday is sung by a quartet drawn from the main choir.  The prelude at the Solemn Mass is Voluntary by Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656).  The setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa brevis by Andrea Gabrieli (c. 1510–1586).  Gabrieli, uncle of the better-known composer Giovanni Gabrieli was, like his nephew after him, organist and chief composer at Saint Mark’s in Venice.   At the ministration of Communion, the motet Ego sum panis vivus by Juan Esquivel (1563–after 1613) will be sung.  James Kennerley


A NEW CREED . . . Not theologically, but musically!  Saint Mary’s has sung the plainsong “Credo 1” setting of the Nicene Creed for many years.  This setting was adapted from the Latin by Mason Martens (1933-1991), an important Church musician.  He was very influential in the work of setting the new rites of the new Prayer Book to chant among other things.  He was also a frequent congregant at Saint Mary’s.  From this Sunday – and for a considerable period, we will use the setting for the creed in the The Hymnal 1982 by Calvin Hampton (1938-1984).  Hampton was a leading American composer and organist, and was music director at Calvary-St. George’s Church in Manhattan from 1963 to 1983.  (In)famously, he created an organ concert series – “Fridays at Midnight” – which was very much a fixture in 1970s New York life.  He is best known by Episcopalians for his contributions to the hymnal, including the tunes De Tar and St. Helena.  He composed this setting of the creed in 1974 for organ, choir and congregation.  Musically, it is characterized by the use of a single theme, developed and manipulated to fit with the irregular rhythm of the text.  In using a single theme, the setting is easily accessible to a congregation.  James Kennerley


CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Saturday, October 16, 8:00 PM: The early-music ensemble Stile Antico presents In Paradisum.  The concert is produced by Columbia University’s Miller Theatre.  From the Miller Theatre website, “[Stile Antico] is an ensemble of a dozen unaccompanied singers, most still in their twenties, [that] is revitalizing Renaissance choral music. The group performs without a conductor, approaching seventeenth-century choral works with the dynamic cohesion of a string quartet. This program focuses on the musical responses of composers faced with their own mortality, featuring swansongs and memorials by such masters as Lassus, Dufay, des Prez, and Byrd.”  For more information visit or call 212-854-7799.


OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Sunday, October 17, Saint Joseph’s Hall, Book Sale.  All proceeds are used to benefit those in need . . . We continue to collect non-perishable food items for the Saint Clement’s Food Pantry.  Please look for the basket in the back of the church or in Saint Joseph’s Hall . . . During the month of November we will be collecting toys and other holiday gift items for children and adults.  These gifts are then donated to AIDS Action International and the New York Foundling Hospital.  For more information, please speak to Father Smith . . . We have received an acknowledgment of our recent $250.00 gift to the International Rescue Committee’s Pakistan Flood Emergency Match Campaign (which doubled the dollar value of our gift).  From the IRC’s letter, “From the victims of Nazi persecution to the survivors of the Haitian earthquake, the IRC has been dedicated to serving people in harm’s way since 1933.  Your generous support allows us to bring vitally needed shelter, water, health care, sanitation and other assistance to refugees and other people affected by conflict, violence and natural disaster, around the world as well as right here in the United States…”  The IRC has received an A+ rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy (


CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . The Adult Forum meets on Sunday, October 17, at 10:00 AM, in the Arch Room on the second floor of the Mission House.  Grace Bruni continues her four-part series, The Church in England during the Middle Ages through the Lens of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales . . . Saint Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians: Father Peter Powell will lead a three-part series on 1 Corinthians this fall (November 7, 14, and 21).  The series is designed to be an introduction to this very important letter.  During Lent 2011, Father Powell returns and will do a close reading of 1 Corinthians 15.  The fall series will be good preparation for the Lent series, but is not a prerequisite . . . The Adult-Education Class will not meet on Sunday, November 28, the Sunday after Thanksgiving Day.  Jay Smith


MORE DONORS NEEDED . . . The evening receptions following Solemn Mass on Holy Days are made possible by the donations of generous parishioners and friends of Saint Mary’s.  We have received one generous donation for the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 8 and we need a few more gifts for the reception on that day.  The Right Reverend Mark S. Sisk, bishop of New York, will be here to celebrate and preach.  We expect the Bishop will receive new members.  And, it’s our patronal feast!  If you would like to make a donation, or if you would like more information about how this works, please speak with me.  Jay Smith


ALTAR FLOWERS are needed for Sunday, October 24, and for two Sundays in November.  If you would like to make a donation, please contact Aaron Koch in the finance office.  A special word of appreciation to all who give.  Thank you.  S.G.


LOOKING AHEAD . . . Sunday, October 31, 5:00 PM, Solemn Evensong & Benediction: Father Peter Cullen, rector, Saint Paul’s, Carroll Street, Brooklyn, will be our guest preacher . . . Monday, November 1, All Saints’ Day, Solemn Pontifical Mass 6:00 PM . . . Tuesday, November 2, All Souls’ Day, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM . . . Sunday, November 7, 2:00 AM: Daylight Savings Time ends (clocks are set back one hour) . . . Saturday, November 13, 1:00 PM, Meeting of Saint Mary’s Guild . . . Sunday, November 21, Commitment Sunday: Offering of 2011 Pledge Cards



The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector
The Reverend James Ross Smith, curate
The Reverend Rebecca Weiner Tompkins, deacon
The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus


Saint Mary’s Mission House
Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B.
Sister Laura Katharine, C.S.J.B.
The Community of St. John Baptist


The Parish Musicians
Mr. James Kennerley, organist and music director
Mr. Lawrence Trupiano, organ curator


The Parish Staff
Mr. Aaron Koch, business manager

Mr. Miguel Gonzalez, Mr. Mario Martinez, Mr. H. Antonio Santiago, sextons