The Angelus

Volume 3, Number 27

Raymond Lee Duncan, 1947 -2001

Raymond Duncan died unexpectedly on Thursday, May 24, 2001.  He was fifty-three years old and had officially joined the parish on July 10, 1984.  He was buried from Saint Mary’s at a Requiem Mass on Tuesday, May 29.  We were especially pleased that the Presiding Bishop, the Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold, Ray’s colleague at the Episcopal Church Center, was celebrant.  Another colleague, the Reverend Canon Anthony Jewiss, was preacher.  Ray is to be buried in Lexington, Kentucky.

Ray was one of the first members of Saint Mary’s that I met.  One of the last things I did for my former parish before moving to New York was to complete the parochial report for the year 1998.  The report form had changed from the previous year and it included an e-mail address for a person at the Episcopal Church Center for questions.  I e-mailed this person who replied to my question and introduced himself as a member of the parish.

Ray had been sick recently with a bronchial infection, but his family, friends and colleagues were stunned by his death from a heart attack.  His parents were not able to be here for the funeral Mass, but his brother Michael was.  Ray was an altar server and a good number of his fellow servers were here to assist the clergy with the service.  Ray worked for Mother Rosemari Sullivan, Executive Officer of the General Convention and an assisting priest here at Saint Mary’s.  She, Canon Jewiss, Father Shin and I assisted in the liturgy.

It is Easter, a season in which we celebrate new life.  But even in the midst of life there is death.  As the Prayer Book says, human grief is not “unchristian.”  We grieve because we love each other.  Of all the things we stand for in Christ, we believe in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and his gift of eternal life. 

Sometimes I find it hard to sing some of the Easter hymns because when I sing them I remember people I have buried.  The hymn at the preparation was “Alleluia! sing to Jesus!”  I doubt I shall ever sing it again without remembering Raymond Lee Duncan.  Pray for him, for his parents, Henry and Virginia, and for all who mourn.  May he rest in peace.


PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Henry who is hospitalized, Jack, Harold, Olga, Carl, Eleanor, John, Roy, Peter, John, Jonathan, Joseph, Elwyn, Shirlah, Michael, Kenneth, Ursula, Jessica, Russell, Evelyn, Susan, Catherine, Rodney, priest, and Arthur, priest, and for the repose of the soul of Raymond.


GRANT THEM PEACE . . . June 6: 1959 Grace Frisby Conklin, 1966 Dudley Harrison Briggs; June 8: 1967 Mary E. Longley, 1998 Anthony Guarino, 2000 Charles Gaylord Mason; June 9: 1952 Roy Whitson Lay.


I PUBLISH THE BANNS OF MARRIAGE between Luis Javier Mejia of New York City and Lisa Ann Hanson of New York City.  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 second time of asking.  S.G.


AROUND THE PARISH . . . On Saturday, June 9, Evening Prayer will not be celebrated publicly because of the celebration of Holy Matrimony . . . Congratulations to Elizabeth Gillespie who was confirmed, Noel Hennelly who was received, and Rick Austill who reaffirmed his baptismal vows at the Solemn Mass on Ascension Day.  It was a special treat to have Bishop Roskam with us.  Many thanks to all who made the liturgy and the reception so special.  Thanks also to Shayne Doty for the wonderful Messaien program before the Mass . . . Chuck Carson’s father, Henry, is hospitalized in Washington, D.C.  Please keep him in your prayers . . . Our own Ann Sokolowski had two of her recipes printed in a magazine called Living Without (a Guide for People with Food and Chemical Sensitivities).  Ann submitted three recipes: Polish Macaroni and Cheese, Killer Brownies and Casadinhos – a Brazilian treat . . . Robert Rhodes, a seminarian from the Diocese of Missouri, will be assisting this summer at Saint Mary’s.  He has completed his first year at the General Theological Seminary.  He and his wife Lisa have been attending regularly during the past year.  Please introduce yourself and make them welcome . . . Many thanks to all who assisted with the funeral Mass for Raymond Duncan.  Special efforts were made by many and the commitment and love these evidenced was palpable.  Thank you . . . Attendance Ascension Day 190, Last Sunday 167.


STAFF NOTES . . . Vince Amodei’s fourth anniversary as bookkeeper for Saint Mary’s is Monday, June 4.  Vince also works as bookkeeper at the Church of the Ascension, Manhattan, his home parish.  Many members of the parish will not know him by sight but all of us benefit from his dedication and commitment to his work and his love of his “second parish” home.

NEW WEDNESDAY EVENING SERIES . . . “In Dialogue with Islam” is the final series of the present academic year.  It will be led by Lucinda Mosher, a Th.D candidate at the General Theological Seminary and Fr. Breidenthal.  The class meets three Wednesday evenings, June 6 through June 20.  The evening begins with Evening Prayer at 6:00 PM and Mass at 6:20 PM for those who are able to come early.  The class itself starts at 7:00 PM and meets in Saint Benedict’s Study, located near the sacristy, on June 6 and June 20.  Latecomers can ring the special buzzer for Saint Benedict’s in the foyer of the parish house, 145 West 46th Street.  On June 13, the class will meet at the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood, 113th Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue.


SAINT MARY’S GUILD . . . Saint Mary’s Guild is the parish group of men and women that works with vestments and the furnishings of the altar.  The guild will meet on Saturday, June 9, from 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM to work on vestments.  Beginners and newcomers are most welcome.  For more information please contact Sean Cassidy or Pat Higgins at (973) 625-8082 or e-mail to


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.  This discipline has always been a part of the Prayer Book tradition.  Until the Second Vatican Council this was understood by Roman Catholics and Episcopalians generally to mean that flesh meats were not eaten on Fridays.  Since Vatican II Roman Catholics have been required to abstain from flesh meats only on the Fridays of Lent.  Episcopalians have more latitude.  Some who have observed meatless Fridays for years continue to practice this discipline.  Others go to Mass on Fridays, for example, or make some other act of commemoration.  This discipline is not observed during the Easter and Christmas seasons.  Eastertide ends with sunset on the Day of Pentecost.  Friday abstinence returns on Friday, June 8.

The Calendar of the Week


Sunday          The Day of Pentecost

Monday                     Weekday

Tuesday                     Boniface, Archbishop and Martyr

Wednesday               Weekday

Thursday                  Weekday

Friday                        Weekday                                                                           Abstinence

Saturday                   Columba, Abbot

                                    Holy Matrimony, 4:30 PM




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.