The Angelus

Volume 3, Number 24

From the Rector:  Father Shin to Oxford

I am honored to be able to tell you that the Reverend Allen Shin has been accepted as a doctoral student in patristic theology at Oxford University.  Father will be with us until early September when he and his wife, Clara Mun, will move to England.  I am happy and excited for them.  I know you will join me in being very sad that they will be leaving us.  He will be at Oxford for at least three years.

There will be a time for me and for you to say other things and to express our appreciation to Father Shin.  When I began my work here Allen was serving as assistant.  I jumped at the opportunity to have him as our curate when Allen wondered aloud with me one day if I would consider him.  He has helped me learn the parish in ways that only he could do.  I know you share my affection and respect for him.

Father Shin and I are both products of the Diocese of Chicago, not a perfect place, but a place that spoke a particular priestly language, as it were.  It is in the original formatting of that place.  In the nineteenth century Saint Mary’s was a parish that was learning again from Christian tradition that it is the Mass that matters.  The Diocese of Chicago was a larger community learning the same thing.  Father Shin has brought this sense of the liturgy and meaning of the Mass to New York. 

As assistant and then as curate, Father Shin has made his mark on this parish.  He has carefully planned and shepherded an amazing series of Spiritual Formation classes.  We have had people participate on Wednesday evenings and even on Saturdays who have not previously participated in other church functions.  The Quiet Days have also been very carefully planned; and again, we have attracted new people to the parish.  Saint Vincent’s Guild has perhaps never been stronger, with servers commenting to me from time to time how much they appreciate the wonderful attitudes of the MC’s and the other more experienced servers.  Serving at the altar at Saint Mary’s is not only a solemn and holy task—it’s also now a whole lot of fun.  Much of this spirit can be attributed to Father Shin’s quiet encouragement, his quick forgiveness whenever mistakes are made, and his masterful scheduling which allows many different people to serve in many different roles.  And certainly, we will miss Father’s amazing voice.  Just wait until those choirboys in England hear his Exsultet!  (We will make sure the Nashotah version is packed in his suitcase.)

Though we cannot replace Father Shin, we do need a curate.  To this end, I expect to post a job description for Father’s position on our web site this week.  The calling of assisting clergy is largely the job of a rector in the Episcopal Church.  Certainly the bishop of the Diocese must give his or her approval and the trustees must approve the position, but the rector is responsible for the selection and direction of the work of all members of the clergy within a rector’s parish community.  I suspect I will be making more demands on parish staff and trustees as I work to fill this position.  My hope will be to have another curate in place at least a month before Father leaves us.

Please tell Allen and Clara how happy you are for them and how honored you have been to have had them here.  While I know that change is a sign of life and I believe that our next curate will be as fine a priest as can be, I know there will be days in the years to come when I will miss the priestly fellowship and friendship of the Reverend Allen Shin.


PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Seymour, Jack, Harold, Olga, Carl, Harold, Frank, Eleanor, John, Roy, Peter, John, Jonathan, Joseph, Elwyn, Shirlah, Joyce, Daisy, Karen, Michael, Kenneth, Ursula, Jessica, Russell, Evelyn, Susan, Maria, Rodney, priest, and Arthur, priest.


GRANT THEM PEACE . . . May 15: 1981 James Thomas Gordon, May 16: 1960 Minnie Packard Rounds, 1992: John Francis Arnold, May 18: 1949 Don Patterson.


AROUND THE PARISH . . . As we go to press, Father Shin is in Oxford to make preliminary arrangements for his move to England in September.  On Sunday morning, May 13, he will be at All Saints’ Margaret Street, London, before returning that evening to New York . . . Yes, there is a coffee hour after the 10:00 AM Mass every Sunday morning now.  Just before the 10:00 AM Mass ends the set of double sliding doors closest to the altar are opened and remain open until just before the 11:00 AM Mass begins . . . As is our custom, our preacher at the Solemn Mass this Sunday, May 13, will be our senior seminarian, Richard Lawson.  Richard has been appointed as curate at Saint John’s Church, Decatur, Alabama.  He will be ordained deacon on Pentecost, Sunday, June 3 . . . Our Middler Seminarian Jennifer Reddall will be with us through the evening Mass on Ascension Day.  This summer she will be enrolled in an intensive Spanish language course at El Seminario de San Andres in Mexico City.  She hopes also to assist at El Buen Samaritano, a drop-in center for persons with AIDS.  She will return to us in early September . . . AVE has arrived!  The Rector is most appreciative of the efforts of our Editor, Linda Bridges, for finding a new printing company for us.  (Don’t the photographs look 100% better!)  Next issue we will improve paper quality and attempt to address some design issues.  AVE is an ongoing project and we appreciate your understanding and support . . . We don’t know the exact starting date yet but Saint Joseph’s Hall is scheduled to be repainted in June . . . Attendance last Sunday: 170.


NEW MEMBER NOTES . . . The next rectory dinner for new and prospective members of Saint Mary’s will be held on Monday evening, July 16, in the rectory at 7:00 PM.  Those who are new to our community will receive formal invitations closer to the event, but we know how quickly the summer fills up.  The dinner is given by the Rector and the Board of Trustees.  Members of the parish staff are invited.  The only agenda for the evening is to give newcomers a chance to meet each other and the leadership and staff of the parish.  If you are new to Saint Mary’s please put the date on your calendar; invitations will follow! . . . Please introduce yourself to Bishop Christopher Epting.  Bishop Epting is the new Officer for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations of the Episcopal Church and when he is in town he is often with us.  We are delighted he will be “in choir” for the Solemn Mass on Ascension Day and he is to preside and preach on Pentecost.


A NEW WEDNESDAY EVENING SERIES . . . Father Breidenthal will lead our final series of Wednesday evening classes beginning this coming Wednesday, May 16.  The topic is “Great Voices of Modern Anglicanism.”  The class meets from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM in Saint Benedict’s Study (located on the west side off the long hallway which connects Saint Joseph’s Hall to the sacristy).  You are invited to come for Evening Prayer and/or Mass before the class or just to join the class at 7:00 PM.


God our Father, you give joy to the world

by the resurrection of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through the prayers of his mother, the Virgin Mary,

bring us to the happiness of eternal live.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

 one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Calendar of the Week


Sunday          The Fifth Sunday of Easter

Monday                     Easter Weekday

Tuesday                        Easter Weekday

Wednesday                  Easter Weekday

Thursday                      Easter Weekday

Friday                            Easter Weekday                                                        Abstinence Dispensed

Saturday                        Dunstan, Bishop




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, The Reverend Rosemari Sullivan, assisting priests, The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.