The Angelus



The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is always a wonderful day at Saint Mary's.  No matter how hot or humid the day, a large congregation always comes to Times Square to celebrate the feast.  Those of you who read the Angelus regularly know that this year's celebration is going to be a special one.  Our rector emeritus, Father Edgar F. Wells, celebrates his fiftieth anniversary of ordination to the priesthood on Monday, August 9; and some months ago he agreed to celebrate Solemn Mass with us on August 15 as a way of marking that anniversary.  Many of you have been looking forward to the day with great anticipation.

On Thursday morning we received word that Father Wells slipped and fell in his apartment the night before.  Providentially, a neighbor and his good friend, Father David Wood, were close by.  They called an ambulance and Father Wells was taken to the emergency room at Roosevelt Hospital.  Although in some pain, Father Wells’s overall condition was good.  Unfortunately, however, X-rays revealed a small fracture of the right hip.  Father Wells had surgery late on Thursday afternoon, August 5.  He did not have general anesthesia.  He has only a small incision on his leg and the surgeon made the necessary repairs to the hip.  I am told that his spirits are remarkably good.  (I visited with him before the surgery and will see him again this afternoon).  He is relieved that the surgery was not excessively complicated and he hopes that his recovery will be swift.

It now seems clear, however, that Father Wells will not be able to celebrate Solemn Mass on August 15.  What is not so clear at the moment is whether Father Wells will be able to be with us on that day.  He is quite determined to be at Saint Mary's and that remains our hope.  Much depends, however, on his condition and his progress during the next few days.  The rehabilitation physician at Roosevelt, who knows father well, thinks that it is not impossible that he will have recovered sufficiently in order to come to the parish on that day.  If that were the case, we would make the necessary adjustments.  However, if it turns out that Father Wells is unable to leave the hospital on August 15, we will, it goes without saying, celebrate the Feast of the Assumption with the joy that the day deserves.  Father Wood plans to remain in New York and will still preach.  We will mark our rector emeritus's anniversary in suitable fashion on August 15 come what may.  We will certainly keep him in our prayers in the coming days; we will pray for a swift recovery and we will continue to hope that Father Wells can join us that Sunday.  If he cannot be with us, we will simply postpone that part of the celebration to a later and more opportune date.

Our rector, Father Gerth, is out of town at the moment, enjoying a few days of well-deserved vacation.  He returns to New York early next week.  Father Wood and I will continue to provide him with updates concerning Father Wells's condition.  When Father Gerth returns to the office he will be better able to assess the state of things and to meet with Father Wells to discuss how things are going.  We will then send a notice via e-mail to those on our mailing list to let you know how things are shaping up.  Please continue to keep Father Wells in your prayers, especially on Monday, the day of his anniversary.  We look forward to seeing you all on Assumption Day.  James Ross Smith


YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED especially for Matthew, who is gravely ill, for Connie who is hospitalized, and for Thomas, Judi, Carol, Sharon, Margaret, Barbara Ann, Isaura, Thomas, Tracy, Debbie, Bonnie, Kevin, Ed, Mary, Gerardo, Cesar, Pamela, Chris, Rolf, Daisy, Ross, Nicholas, Elsa, William, Gert, Mary, George, Rick, Emil, religious, Charlotte, religious, Charles, priest, Pegram, priest, and Edgar, priest; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially John, James, Kayla, Marc, and Benjamin . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . August 8: 1879 Emily Marie Atkins.


THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . The Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Friday, August 6: Morning Prayer 8:30 AM; Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM; Mass 12:10 PM; Sung Mass 6:00 PM . . . Father Gerth will be away from the parish from Wednesday, August 4, until Monday, August 9.  He returns to the office on Wednesday, August 11 . . . Father Smith will hear confessions on Saturday, August 7.  Father Gerth will hear confessions on Saturday, August 14.


FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . Music this Sunday is sung by Mrs. Emilie Williams, mezzo soprano, and Mr. James Kennerley, tenor.  The prelude is the chorale improvisation on O Gott, du frommer Gott, Opus 65/50, and the postlude is Nun danket alle Gott, Opus 65/69 (Marche triomphale) , both composed by Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933).  At the ministration of Communion, the motet is Tota pulchra es by Giovanni Felice Sances (c. 1600-1679).  Sances was born in Italy and studied in Rome.  As a tenor, he sang for several opera productions, before moving to Vienna in 1636.  In 1669, he became Imperial Kapellmeister to Ferdinand III, where he composed and performed operas, chamber and sacred music.  Tota pulchra es is scored for alto and tenor voices and basso continuo (today played on the organ).  It is a lively, virtuosic setting alternating between two time signatures – one in three (a reference to the Virgin Mary and the Holy Trinity), and the other in four, and is composed in a manner similar to Monteverdi.  James Kennerley


AROUND THE PARISH . . . Please keep parishioners Tom and Judi Kerr, their daughter Madeleine, and their son Matthew, in your prayers.  Matthew was badly injured in Seattle last week when he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle.  He remains in the hospital in critical condition . . . Parishioner Margaret Malone is at Amsterdam House for rehabilitation therapy following surgery.  She is doing very well.  Please keep her in your prayers . . . The parish hosted a meeting of the Society of Catholic Priests, an Anglo-Catholic organization on the Feast of the Transfiguration.  Members of the Society came to the noonday Eucharist following their business meeting.  We were pleased and honored to have them with us . . . A special word of thanks to Clint Best, Grace Bruni, George Handy, Scott Holman, Dick Leitsch and Rem Slone, who have been helping the members of the staff in a number of different ways in recent weeks.  We are very grateful to them all for their assistance . . . The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, August 16, at 6:30 PM, on the second floor of the Mission House, following Evening Prayer . . . We are grateful to Father David Wood, who will be celebrating the Eucharist a number of times this month, both during the week and on Sunday mornings.  Father Wood is a longtime friend of the parish.  He will be our guest preacher at the Solemn Mass at 11:00 AM on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption.  We appreciate his help and his ministry . . . Parishioner and parish archivist, Dick Leitsch, was a featured speaker at a panel discussion at the Museum of the City of New York on Tuesday, August 3.  The topic of the discussion was “Gay Rights in the 1960s and Today.” Dick was the president of the Mattachine Society in 1969 at the time of the Stonewall riots . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 213.


LOOKING AHEAD . . . Tuesday, August 24, Saint Bartholomew, Mass at 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Monday, September 6, Labor Day, Federal Holiday Schedule: the church opens at 10:00 AM and closes at 2:00 PM; only the noon services are offered; and the parish offices are closed . . . Wednesday, September 8, The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mass at 12:10 PM and Sung Mass at 6:00 PM . . . Tuesday, September 14, Holy Cross Day, Mass at 12:10 PM and Sung Mass at 6:00 PM . . . Monday, September 20, 6:00 PM: Meeting of the Board of Trustees . . . Tuesday, September 21, Saint Matthew, Mass at 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Third Annual Oktoberfest and Hymn Sing, Saturday, October 2, 6:00-9:30 PM in Saint Joseph’s Hall and the Organ Loft.  All are invited.  Please consider inviting your friends.  James Kennerley will be giving his wonderful “tour of the organ,” something that children of all ages will find fascinating and entertaining . . . Christian Education: The first adult forum of the academic year will take place on Sunday, October 3, towards the end of Coffee Hour in Saint Joseph’s Hall.  Parish Archivist, Dick Leitsch, will give a talk on the early history of Saint Mary’s, focusing on Father Thomas McKee Brown and the organization of the parish during its early years.  The presentation will take place in connection with the current exhibition of images from the archives in Saint Joseph’s Hall.  The exhibition, sponsored by the parish’s Visual Arts Program (VAP), was curated by parishioner Terry Carlson . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will resume on October 6, at 6:30 PM.  Once again this year, the class will be led by Sister Deborah Francis and Sister Laura Katharine.  The class will be reading selections from the so-called “apocryphal” or “deutero-canonical” books of the Bible.  Building on their reading of the Wisdom literature last year, the class will have the opportunity to study such important themes as the end of prophecy and the rise of apocalypticism, in addition to wisdom themes in the Bible.  If you have questions, please speak to one of the sisters . . . In November, VAP will present Nativity Scenes: Works on Paper by Carlos Molina in the gallery in Saint Joseph’s Hall . . . Saturday, December 11, 10:00 AM-3:00 PM, Advent Quiet Day, led by Father John Beddingfield.  Father Beddingfield, who served at Saint Mary’s as curate, is the Rector of All Souls Memorial Church, Washington, D.C.


ASSUMPTION APPEAL . . . Our annual appeal letter, normally sent around the time of the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was mailed on Thursday, August 5, to members and friends of the parish.  We invite you to give the appeal your prayerful consideration and to be generous.


THE SUMMER SCHEDULE . . . During the summer, the Daily Office on Sundays is said, not sung.  Morning Prayer is offered at 8:30 AM.  Evening Prayer is offered at 5:00 PM.


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


A GENTLE REMINDER . . . Parish Treasurer Randy Morgan and Business Manager Aaron Koch would like to remind the members of the parish community that it is helpful if you could keep up to date on pledge payments during the summer months, a time when the parish often experiences cash-flow problems.  Thank you to all those who continue to support Saint Mary’s so generously.


ALTAR FLOWERS are needed on the following dates: August 22 and 29, September 19 and 26, October 24, November 7, 14, and 21.  If you would like to make a donation, please contact Aaron Koch in the finance office.


OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . We are still collecting non-perishable food items and new or gently used clothing on Sundays for the Food Pantry at Saint Clement’s.  Look for the basket at the back of the church or in Saint Joseph’s Hall


CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Saturday, October 16, 2010, 8:00PM, The Early Music Series of the Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, In Paradisum, Stile Antico.  Memorials and swansongs by Byrd, Dufay, des Prez, Lassus, and others . . . Saturday, October 23, 2010, 8:00 PM (Free Admission), New York Repertory Orchestra, David Leibowitz, music director & Olivier Fluchaire, violin; Roussel: Concerto for Small Orchestra, Piazzolla: Las Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas, Nielsen: Symphony No. 4 (“The Inextinguishable”).  For more information:, 212.662.8383, or . . Saturday, November 20, 2010, 8:00 PM, The Early Music Series of the Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, Giants of the Flemish Renaissance, New York Polyphony.  Favorites by Taverner, Ockeghem, Dunstable, Brumel, des Prez, and others . . . Saturday, December 11, 2010, 8:00 PM, Voices of Ascension, Christmas Concert. . . . Saturday, December 18, 2010, 8:00 PM, New York Repertory Orchestra, Annual NYRO Benefit Concert...and the 100th birthday of Samuel Barber; David Leibowitz, music director, Eric Jacobsen, cello.  Barber: Music for a Scene from Shelley, Schumann: Cello Concerto, Rimsky-Korsakoff: Scheherezade


AWAY FROM THE PARISH . . . At the Museum of Biblical Art, 1865 Broadway at 61st Street: Exhibition: The Glory of Ukraine: Sacred Images from the 11th to the 19th Centuries; Concert: Saturday, September 11, 2010, 3:00-4:00 PM, Darkness & Light -- Music from Ukraine and Beyond, The Caravel Quartet;


RESIDENT THEATER . . . The American Globe Theatre (AGT) recently announced its 2010-2011 season, its twenty-second season here in Times Square.  Lecture Series: “What Makes Shakespeare Great,” featuring John Basil, AGT Artistic Director; Lecture 1: Othello!, October 12, 7:30 PM; Lecture 2: Hamlet!, November 30, 7:30 PM; Lecture 3: Much Ado About Nothing!, January 11, 7:30 pm.  Staged Readings: Othello, directed by John Basil, October 19, 7:30 PM; Hamlet, directed by David Mold, December 7, 7:30 PM.  Full Production: Much Ado About Nothing, directed by John Basil, February 25-March 30.



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. Steven Gonley, building superintendent
Mr. Miguel Gonzalez, Mr. Mario Martinez, Mr. H. Antonio Santiago, sextons