The Angelus

Volume 1, Number 38

Sixth Sense

 

I don't see a lot of movies but I have seen another one, "The Sixth Sense."  I liked the movie and was taken in by its surprise.  The performance of the boy in the leading role was astonishing.  If you see the movie I am sure you will marvel at the casting and the ability of the director to get an extraordinary performance out of him.  There were many compelling moments in the movie.  One of the most compelling was when Bruce Willis, who plays a psychologist, asks the boy, "What do you want?"  The boy responds, "I don't want to be afraid anymore."

 

Before I went to seminary I did British Indian history for awhile.  As part of my study I spent three months in Pakistan.  I lived with a Muslim family.  I'm not sure that today that kind of family in that country would be able to accept an American or any other kind of male into their home.  (Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan was on the horizon in the winter of 1978 but it had not really hit.)  But they did at that time.

 

I have many wonderful memories of that experience but one especially poignant one.  I remember watching the grandmother of the family eat every grain from the pot in which the rice was cooked, one grain at a time.  I knew that the family had been refugees from the partition of the subcontinent in 1947.  I knew that they had lived in places where there was poverty and famine.  I knew many people had gone hungry in 1947.  The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the family might

Volume 1, Number 38, October 17, 1999

 

Sixth Sense

 

I don't see a lot of movies but I have seen another one, "The Sixth Sense."  I liked the movie and was taken in by its surprise.  The performance of the boy in the leading role was astonishing.  If you see the movie I am sure you will marvel at the casting and the ability of the director to get an extraordinary performance out of him.  There were many compelling moments in the movie.  One of the most compelling was when Bruce Willis, who plays a psychologist, asks the boy, "What do you want?"  The boy responds, "I don't want to be afraid anymore."

 

Before I went to seminary I did British Indian history for awhile.  As part of my study I spent three months in Pakistan.  I lived with a Muslim family.  I'm not sure that today that kind of family in that country would be able to accept an American or any other kind of male into their home.  (Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan was on the horizon in the winter of 1978 but it had not really hit.)  But they did at that time.

 

I have many wonderful memories of that experience but one especially poignant one.  I remember watching the grandmother of the family eat every grain from the pot in which the rice was cooked, one grain at a time.  I knew that the family had been refugees from the partition of the subcontinent in 1947.  I knew that they had lived in places where there was poverty and famine.  I knew many people had gone hungry in 1947.  The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the family might

leave grains of rice; the grandmother could not.  It is almost impossible to leave behind fear of famine, the fear of the return of hunger.  I have been afraid of a lot of things over the course of my life.  I connected with the character of the boy in the movie "The Sixth Sense" very quickly.  Of course I didn't see and talk with dead folks.  But I will never forget what it was like as a child to be afraid of things; maybe no one ever entirely forgets the deep fears of childhood.  Jesus admonished his disciples many, many times, "Have no fear."

 

Sometimes I can talk myself or be talked by others into being afraid for the future of the Church.  I can sometimes talk myself into being afraid about my own future.  I do wonder from time to time if any relative or friend of mine will be present when I die.  Someday I will not be able to do all that I can do today.  The Christian response to fear is to believe and confess that we have already died and risen in Christ.  Our mortal bodies are dying; our moral bodies may be afraid.  Our souls and our eternal bodies are already in God's loving hand.  In time we simply draw closer to him.

 

I don't think it is possible in this life to leave fear and doubt behind us entirely.  But faith and belief are God's gifts to us along with his gifts of life and love.  I think you and I should have confidence about the future, our personal futures, and the futures of our families, our friends, and the many communities of which we are a part.  Like the movie "The Sixth Sense," you and I live in a world inhabited by that which is dead.  There is no reason for a Christian ultimately to be afraid of the world, no reason at all.  It is the Father's world, as the old hymn says.  Stephen Gerth

 

PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Margaret, Warren, Myrian, Katherine Rose, Margo, Nettie, Shirley, Thomas and Rich . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . October 19: I993 Jerome Branch-Terrell; October 21: 1988 Philip W. Callanan; October 23: 1985 Adolphe Barreaux.

 

LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Isaiah 45:1-7, Psalm 96:1-9, Thessalonians 1:1-10, Matthew 22:15-22 . . . 9:00 AM Celebrant & Preacher: The Rector, 10:00 AM Celebrant and Preacher: Father Breidenthal, 11:00 AM Celebrant and Preacher: The Rector, 5:00 PM Celebrant and Preacher: The Rector . . . On Saturday, October 16, Father Gerth will hear confessions . . . On Saturday, October 23, Canon Garrison will hear confessions.

 

OUR FAITHFUL HELPERS . . . Many of you may not realize how much the parish community depends on the service of George Blackshire, Kevin Farley, George and Helena Handy and Eileen Whittle.  George is the regular "folder" and "stapler" of the Sunday bulletins.  Kevin, George, Helena and Eileen are often here to help with parish mailings as they were last week for the Stewardship and All Souls' mailings.  Kevin frequently helps in the office with many, many other things too.  The Rector and the other members of the parish staff deeply appreciate these efforts.

 

WORKSHOP FOR THE WHOLE PARISH . . . The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is about the transmission of the Catholic faith from one generation to another.  The workshop here on November 6 with Rebekah Rojcewicz will not teach anyone how to be a teacher in this Catechesis; there will be a course (with a total of 120 hours of class instruction) for the teachers at a later date.  (Yes, the Sunday School teachers are formed for their ministry!)  The workshop is to introduce the spirituality of the Catechesis, which is the spirituality of the Catholic faith.  We hope that many members of the wider parish community will be able to be here with Rebekah on the sixth.  Registration forms are available on the ushers' table and from the parish office.

 

AROUND THE PARISH . . . It was great to welcome Dan Fannon to the parish last Sunday as interim organist.  The hymn playing and singing was particularly strong and much enjoyed! . . . The Feast of Saint James of Jerusalem is on Saturday, October 23.  The Mass on the Eve, Friday, October 22, at 6:15 PM will also be for this commemoration . . . Father Shin will be on vacation this week.  He returns to the parish on Tuesday, October 25 . . . Attendance last Sunday: 184.

 

SUMMARY OF OCTOBER 12, 1999, BOARD MEETING . . . At its October meeting, the Board of Trustees: 1. Heard from Jim Dennis about the Stewardship Campaign, which will begin with a lunch on Sunday October 17, following Solemn Mass.  2. Heard that the new telephone equipment for the parish complex has arrived and is awaiting installation.  3. Learned that roof work will begin shortly in the Curate’s apartment in the Parish House.  4. Received a written summary of the recent retreat with the Board of Trustees from Father Charles Fulton, who conducted the retreat.  5. Heard about the introduction to the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, which will be given at St. Mary’s on Saturday, November 6.  All parishioners are urged to attend, particularly for the portion that will take place during the morning that day.  6. Heard from the Rector that there will be a Search Committee for the new Music Director, with a musician consultant to guide the process.  7. Learned that there will be a reception for people who have a connection with St. Mary’s and who live in the Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, on Thursday evening, October 28, in the Rectory.  This is part of the work of the Evangelism Committee, chaired by David Crommett, with Howard Christian as co-chair.  8. Formally ratified the formation of the Personnel Committee, to be chaired by Gerald McKelvey, the Vice-President of the Board, with one member from the Board and one from the parish.  9. Heard that Mr. Larry Jones, the architect who directed the renovation of the interior of the church, is developing a proposal to repair the sidewalks on 46th Street and 47th Street, with the addition of a ramp for wheelchair access, which will be located at the 47th Street entrance to the Church, near the Lady Chapel.  10. The Board discussed the transition in the music director position and received correspondence concerning it. 11. Learned that there will be one Mass, at 8:30 AM, on December 31, 1999, and one Mass, which will be said, on the Feast of the Holy Name, January 1, 2000, at 12:15 PM.  This curtailed schedule is necessitated by the current uncertainty of what will take place in Times Square on those days.

Worship at Saint Mary’s

 

The Holy Eucharist

On Sundays Mass is said at 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM.  A Solemn Mass is offered at 11:00 AM.  Monday through Friday Mass is said at 12:15 PM and 6:15 PM.  On Saturdays Mass is said at 12:15 PM.

 

The Daily Office

On ordinary Sundays Morning Prayer is said at 8:40 AM and Evening Prayer at 4:45 PM.  Monday through Friday Morning Prayer is offered at 8:30 AM, the Noonday Office at 12:00 PM and Evening Prayer at 6:00 PM.  On Saturdays the Noonday Office is offered at 12:00 PM and Evening Prayer at 5:00 PM.

 

The Reconciliation of Penitents

Confessions are heard on Saturdays between 11:30 and 12:00 and between 4:00 and 5:00.  Appointments can also be made with members of the parish clergy for the Reconciliation of Penitents at other times.

 

Friday Abstinence

The ordinary Fridays of the year are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.

 

 

The Calendar of the Twenty-second Week after Pentecost

 

Monday                              Saint Luke the Evangelist

Tuesday                               Henry Martyn, Priest & Missionary

Wednesday                        Weekday

Thursday                            Weekday

Friday                                  Weekday & Eve of Saint James

Saturday                            Saint James of Jerusalem

 

 

The Parish Clergy

 

The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector,

The Reverend Allen Shin, curate, The Reverend Thomas Breidenthal, assistant,

The Reverend Arthur Wolsoncroft, The Reverend Canon Maurice Garrison,

The Reverend Amilcar Figueroa, assisting priests, The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.