The Angelus

Volume 13, Number 23


Holy Week and Easter were a very happy time at Saint Mary’s this year.  It was not a week without its challenges and its losses.  As I write on the morning of Thursday, April 28, we are waiting to hear from friends and members of the community in Alabama after the storms that have claimed so many lives.  Death has not been absent from us in our near and wider parish community during the past two weeks.  But, we believe in the midst of death we are in life.

Saint Mary’s is the kind of place where every year a few people – a different group each year – are able to break free from work and home so that the church may be prepared for the services of the week.  This year was no exception.  On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week the scriptures we hear in church lead us to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.  Yet, apart from the services, the church is looking forward through the cross to Easter Day.

If you had taken a tour of the Saint Mary’s complex during the days before Easter, this is what you would have seen: the church being cleaned; Easter flowers being prepped, designed and arranged; brass being polished; vestments steamed and ironed; receptions planned; bulletins written, proofread, corrected, and printed; music rehearsed; ushers organized; receptions prepared; statues and images being veiled; and musicians, servers and readers rehearsed.  And throughout the week people were doing the little things, too many to number – and with no fanfare – that make for great and transforming worship.  Oh yes, and Easter eggs were being purchased and hidden for the children to find after all of the Easter Masses.

I hope soon to get photographs of the floral decorations for Easter up on our web page.  The arrangements were exceptional this year.  As always, there were moments when the music united us in praise and carried the thoughts of our hearts to God.  There was also a certain ease to the liturgies.  Our servers made it look easy and fun – and it was because of hard work and because of many generous hearts.  I am so thankful to serve in a parish which cares as deeply as it does about people and about God.

There is always something new for me to learn during Holy Week.  This year I sensed so strongly our fellowship with one another in Christ as we shared Bread and Wine.  Long before Christians had what we would call a theological vocabulary, they were eating and drinking in remembrance of the risen Lord and in expectation of his return to them soon.  During the Triduum I sensed a holy presence for which I didn’t want to use any theological vocabulary.

Fellowship and friendship are at the heart of John’s account of the supper before the Passover, the longest passage of all in any of the gospels.  Jesus promised that he and his Father would come and make their home with those who loved him and loved each other.  He truly lives with us and we truly live in him.  Happy Easter.  Stephen Gerth


YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Carol, Sharon, Krislea, Michael, Olutoyin, Anne, Heather, Michael, David, Charles, Ruth, Timothy, Virginia, Mordecai, Murray, Maureen, Doreen, Anna, Margaret, Julia, Dorothy, Chris, Rolf, Gert, William, Rick, Emil, religious, and John, priest; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Nicholas, Christine, and Rob; and for the repose of the souls of Alan, Daisy, Anne, and Randall, religious . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . May 1: 1900 Elizabeth; 1936 Grace Sutherland Whiting; 1948 Grace R. Getman; 1961 George Lothian Alexander; 1970 Aileen F. O’Conner; 1979 William Marion Smith.


IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Daisy Sinclair, parishioner Charles Carson’s aunt, died on Maundy Thursday, April 21.  Anne Hoxsie, Father Matthew Hoxsie Mead’s maternal grandmother, died on Monday, April 25, in Narragansett, Rhode Island.  May they rest in peace and rise in glory . . . Please keep Charles; Father Mead, his mother, Nancy Mead, and all who mourn in your prayers . . . Alan Champion, who was a member of Saint Mary’s Choir, died in Ramona, Oklahoma, on Good Friday, April 22, after a long struggle with appendix cancer.  He was 55 years old.  Alan was a very talented, spirited, funny, and kind man and musician who often took the time to visit with parishioners after Solemn Mass on Sundays and holy days.  We continue to miss his presence and his ministry.  Alan was the son of deaf parents.  He learned American Sign Language as a child.  In addition to his work as a performer, he long worked as an interpreter for the deaf at Broadway plays and musicals.  His obituary appeared in the New York Times on Monday, April 25.  Please keep Alan, his siblings, Alice Burnett and Harold and Jerry Champion, and Alan’s many friends in your prayers.  Those who wish to write to Alan’s family should speak to Father Smith for their contact information.


THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE CONGREGATION will be held following the Solemn Mass on Sunday, May 1, 2011.  The meeting will receive reports from parish organizations, staff and the board of trustees.  The meeting will elect two delegates and two alternate delegates to serve as our representatives to the annual diocesan convention and for the convention called to elect a bishop coadjutor for the diocese.


I PUBLISH THE BANNS OF MARRIAGE for Marcos Miltiades Desillas and Kathleen Fuller of Queens, New York.  If any of you know just cause why they may not be joined together in Holy Matrimony, you are bidden to declare it.  This is the first time of asking. James Ross Smith


THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . As is our custom, during the Solemn Mass on the first of May there will be devotions at the statue of our Lady in honor of her month of May . . . The Annual Meeting of the Congregation follows the Solemn Mass . . . The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and the Adult Forum will meet on Sunday, May 1 . . . On Monday, May 2, the Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist (transferred), and on Tuesday, May 3, the Feast of Saint Philip and Saint James, Apostles (transferred), Mass will be celebrated at 12:10 PM and at 6:20 PM . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study will meet on May 4 . . . The Board of Trustees will meet on Wednesday, May 4, at 6:30 PM, in the Rectory, 144 W. 47th Street . . . On Friday, May 6, at 7:00 PM, the Visual Arts Program presents a lecture by Miguel Luciano in Saint Joseph’s Hall . . . Confessions will be heard only by appointment on Saturday, April 30.  Father Smith will hear confessions on Saturday, May 7.


AROUND THE PARISH . . . Former parishioners Heather Kopelson and Michael Innis-Jimenez are now teaching at the University of Alabama and living in Tuscaloosa.  A tornado touched down in that city this week.  We have received news that Heather and Mike and their family are doing alright.  Their home was not damaged, though they have been without power and travel has been difficult.  Now staying with friends, they ask Saint Marians for their prayers for the people of Tuscaloosa and for those, including some of their students and friends, whose homes were badly damaged . . . If you or somebody you know took photographs here at Saint Mary’s during Holy Week and if you would like to share those photographs for use on our website, please speak to Reha Sterbin, to Father Gerth, or to Father Smith . . . We have received a Letter of Transfer for John Knight.  John has been worshipping with us for some time now.  We are very happy that he has decided to join the parish.  Please welcome and congratulate him . . . Parishioner James Larsen has transferred his membership to the Church of the Resurrection, New York City . . . Sunday, May 8, the Third Sunday of Easter, is also Mothers’ Day . . . Attendance: Maundy Thursday 183; Good Friday 319; Easter 832.


FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The prelude at Solemn Mass on Sunday is the chorale prelude on Kommst du nun, Jesu, von Himmel herunter (“Comest Thou, Jesu, from Heaven to Earth now descending?”), BWV 650, taken from the Schübler Chorales, composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750).  The collection was one of the few groups of works to be engraved and published during Bach’s lifetime.  The setting of the Mass ordinary is Mass in G, D 167 by Franz Schubert (1797-1828).  The second of six mass settings, the work was composed in less than a week (March 2 to 7, 1815).  At the ministration of Communion, the choir sings the motet Haec dies by William Byrd (1540–1623), a five-part setting of the joyful Eastertide text first published by the composer in 1591.  In addition to the hymn before the gospel, Christians, to the Paschal victim, the congregation will sing three other Easter hymns, O sons and daughters, let us sing, That Easter day with joy was bright, and He is risen, he is risen.  At the procession of the clergy to the shrine of our Lady, the congregation sings, Sing we of the blessed MotherJames Kennerley


SAINT MARY’S IN THE MEDIA . . . On Good Friday, Michael Potemra wrote about the liturgy he had attended here at National Review Online.  (The entries are listed by date.) . . . On Holy Saturday, Garrison Keillor spoke about Saint Mary’s Good Friday liturgy during the weekly Saturday broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion.   (His remarks about Saint Mary’s begin at minute 73:00.) . . . The film Stonewall Uprising is now available online.  Parishioner Dick Leitsch was a leader in the struggle for equal rights and, as president of the Mattachine Society, presided over the meeting where the first Pride Parade was organized.


CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY’S . . . TENET and the Spiritus Collective will perform on Saturday, May 14, at 8:00 PM as part of Miller Theatre’s Bach and the Early Baroque series.  Box Office: 212-854-7799.  Tickets can also be purchased online . . . The New York Repertory Orchestra will present a concert on Saturday, May 21, at 8:00 PM, performing music of Berlioz, Rosenhaus, and Beethoven.  Admission to the NYRO concert is free.


VISUAL ARTS PROGRAM (VAP) . . . On Friday, May 6, at 7:00 PM, VAP will present a lecture-presentation by painter Miguel Luciano in Saint Joseph’s Hall.  Miguel is a talented young artist whose work uses humor, images drawn from the popular culture, and considerable painterly skill to address issues of colonialism, consumerism, and the encounters and clashes between Puerto Rican and North American cultures.  His work was highlighted in the recent PBS series, “Art Through Time: A Global View.”  The lecture is being presented in cooperation with El Museo del Barrio and Tertulia Latina.  For more information, please contact José Vidal.


CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class meets in the Arch Room, on the second floor of the Mission House from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM.  The class is led by the sisters and is currently reading the Book of Ecclesiasticus.  Newcomers are most welcome! . . . The Adult Forum will meet on the first four Sundays in May, when Grace Bruni will lead a church-history series on the complex relationship between civil and ecclesiastical authority during the Middle Ages.  Grace writes, “While many people are, thanks to Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole, familiar with the story of Thomas Becket and Henry II of England, theirs was by far not the only or the most dramatic conflict between secular and ecclesiastical powers during the Middle Ages.  In a period in which both the Roman church and greater and lesser secular lords were consolidating their power and governance, it was perhaps inevitable that conflict would frequently rise.  This class will provide a basic background on different power structures in the Middle Ages and explore three different conflicts between these competing powers and interests.  Those interested in doing some background reading might take a look at R.W. Southern’s The Making of the Middle Ages, especially the second chapter. . . . On Sunday, June 5, Dr. Dennis Raverty, will give a lecture on The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood & the British Arts and Crafts Movement.


AIDS WALK 2011 . . . The Saint Mary’s AIDS Walk team is making plans again, for the sixth year in a row, to participate in the 26th AIDS Walk on Sunday, May 15.  The team will raise money, and most members will walk on Saturday, May 14, in order to be in church on Sunday.  The team is small but successful: in 2010, there were 20 members; the team raised almost $15,000, and ranked 50th out of 3,000 teams registered for the Walk!  The team needs your help to do even better this year.  You may contribute to the Saint Mary’s AIDS Walk team by clicking here (if you prefer to write a check made out to AWNY, you can give it to Father Smith or to MaryJane Boland).  Join the team by clicking here (click on Join a Team NOW, and select Saint Mary’s) and then raise money from your friends and colleagues.  If you have questions, please e-mail the team leader, MaryJane Boland or speak to her on Sunday.




The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector
The Reverend James Ross Smith, curate
The Reverend James Pace, assisting priest

The Reverend T. Remington Slone, The Reverend Rebecca Weiner Tompkins, deacons

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