Saint Joseph’s Underway
The restoration of Saint Joseph’s Hall began on Wednesday, June 13. The preparation and painting of the interior is being done by Otto Interiors, Inc., one of the best firms in the city. In order to get the best possible price from them we have given them a great deal of leeway in terms of the schedule for their work. The hall will be ready in time for the parish’s Assumption celebration. It may be ready sooner, but as with any project in New York City the schedule of work will depend on a number of factors.
I think you will agree that it is important that the work be done properly, so that it will not have to be redone in just a few years. Most of the work involves surface repair and preparation. As I write, there are ten men working in the hall. They are professionals and craftsmen and it is wonderful to look out of the windows in my office and discreetly observe their craft.
We didn’t know until Tuesday afternoon for sure that they would be starting the work on Wednesday. We immediately notified the groups that use our facilities and conferred with our own Brother Lawrence Guild. Groups who meet here will be using the theater on the third floor of the parish house, the choir room and Saint Benedict’s Study. Sometimes members of these groups will need access through the church itself during services. It goes almost without saying that they will be respectful and we will be understanding.
I have asked parishioner Thomas Jayne to be in charge of the decoration and I am very, very grateful that he is undertaking this work. As a parish community we are blessed by his membership and his love of his parish church. With regard to his work on the public rooms in the rectory last year, The New York Times described Thomas as a decorator who works at the “top of his game.” Again, I am very thankful.
The renovation of Saint Joseph’s Hall is another important sign of the renewal of this parish community that has been going on for over a decade. Of course the restoration of the church itself was the great outward sign of new life here; but it is easy to forget the work on roofs and walls which preceded this. Many of you will have heard me speak or read my thoughts on how Saint Mary’s spent most of the last half of the twentieth century focused on survival. The community did survive and its continuing renewal is a sign of life for the future and an opening to new people and possibilities.
The only anxiety I have at the moment about the restoration of the hall is that it really doesn’t make sense to do coffee hour after the 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM Sunday Masses until the hall is reopened. It is almost impossible to overestimate the importance of Sunday fellowship after Mass for new life at Saint Mary’s. There is just no easy solution to the problem. (And yes the church staff has been mooting all the different possibilities for a while and we just can’t solve the problem.)
I ask that all the members of the parish community make a special effort to speak with people they do not know on Sundays. We all have met and been introduced to Saint Marian’s whom we have seen before but never had the opportunity to meet. In the summer there are many, many visitors. Please join me in extending a special welcome to all who come.
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Henry, Harold, Olga, Carl, Eleanor, John, Roy, Peter, John, Jonathan, Joseph, Elwyn, Shirlah, Michael, Kenneth, Ursula, Jessica, Russell, Evelyn, Susan, Esme, Rodney priest, Arthur, priest, and the repose of the soul of Clara.
GRANT THEM PEACE . . . June 17: 1972 Charles Henry Genet, June 22: 1958 Rachael Reed Todd, 1967 Edith Kellock Brown.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Deuteronomy 8:2-3, Revelation 19:1-2a, 4-9, Psalm 116:10-17, John 6:47-58 . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, June 16, by Father Shin and on Saturday, June 23 by Father Gerth.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Suzanne Nagy-Rochester’s mother, Clara Nagy, died in Fairlawn, New Jersey on Sunday, June 10. She was buried on Tuesday, June 12. Father Shin represented the parish community at the funeral and burial. Please pray for Clara, for Suzanne and for all who mourn.
REPORT FROM CONVENTION . . . As your lay delegate to the 225th Convention of the Diocese of New York, I report the following: The convention was held at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine on Saturday, June 2, 2001 and was attended by approximately 450 lay and clergy delegates and another 400 alternates and a large contingent of guests and officials. We began the day at 8 A.M. with the registration of all delegates and guests, which was followed by the Holy Eucharist at 9 A.M. The convention was called to order at 10:20 and the business was underway. The convention was required to elect a number of clergy and lay representatives to the National Convention, Province and Synod representatives, Standing Committee, Committee to elect a Bishop, and Cathedral Trustees from the slate of nominees presented to the convention in the pre-convention materials. I made my selections based on the qualifications stated by each nominee and his or her experience in parish and diocesan matters. There were a total of three ballots taken to fill the complete slate. The Diocesan budget was presented and approved by the delegates. There were a number of presentations and honoraria thanking Bishop Grein for his 13 years of service as our Bishop. These were followed by awards presented by Bishop Grein to the outgoing Treasurer of the Diocese and the Secretary of Convention. Both of these offices were filled by nominations from the floor. The Bishop then presented a number of recipients of the Bishop's Cross for outstanding service to the Diocese. Following a luncheon break, the Convention then tackled the proposed changes to the Constitutions and Canons of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. The changes were presented to convention by the Canons Committee who spent many hours of work consolidating, redirecting, and editorializing the existing cannons into a more straightforward and consistent set of documents. Much of the work involved the changing of the language and style to make them more readable and pertinent. The convention delegates were lead through the entire 34 canons and sub-sections and after many motions and challenges and changes, the Constitution and Cannon were approved by the convention. There were a final series of 5 motions and resolutions brought to the convention involving Admission of the Metropolitan Community Churches into full membership in the National Council of Churches, Opposition to so-called "Reparative" or "Conversion therapy for gay and lesbian persons, Support for Equal Benefits Protection for New York City Council, Support for "For whom the Bells Toll", a criminal justice reform project and a call for the amendment of Compensation Guidelines for Clergy in that "congregations shall pay 100% of the premium costs for adequate medical and dental coverage for their clergy, spouses, same-sex-partners, and dependent children." All motions and resolutions were approved by voice vote of the convention. Convention was reminded of two Historic events which will occur in our Diocese this year. On June 23, there will be a celebration of Mission of the Diocese with the 14th bishop, The Rt. Rev. Richard F. Grein and on September 29, the Installation of the Right Reverend Mark Sean Sisk as 15th Bishop of New York. With this, the convention was adjourned. In addition to the business of convention, there were a number of Exhibitors at convention which ranged from companies selling vestments to various social service organizations within the Diocese as well as artists and colleges and seminaries. I found this a rich and rewarding experience and although it was a very long day, I walked away feeling very proud to be your delegate to the 225th Diocesan Convention. Respectfully, Sean Cassidy
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Congratulations to Steve Gilger and Celeste Conte on the birth of their son Christopher Jacob Gilger who was born on June 13 at Saint Luke’s Hospital . . . The Board of Trustees meets on Monday, June 18, at 7:00 PM in Saint Benedict’s Study . . . The Rector will be on vacation Tuesday, June 19, through Friday, June 22 . . . “In Dialogue with Islam” will meet and conclude this week at 7:00 pm in Saint Benedict’s Study . . . Attendance last Sunday 202.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday Corpus Christi
Monday Bernard Mizeki, martyr
Friday Alban, martyr Abstinence
Saturday Of Our Lady
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.