The Angelus


FROM THE RECTOR: Maintaining the Fabric

Last Friday I met with architects Michael Devonshire and Richard Pieper of Jan Hird Pokorny Associates.  I was put in touch with them during Easter Week by parishioner and architect Peter Pennoyer after small pieces of our façade had fallen to the street.  (Most thankfully, of course, no one was hurt.)  As you may know, a protective “sidewalk shield” went up that week across the 46th Street frontage of our complex.  Michael and Richard have made a very preliminary survey of the building.  I’ve asked them to outline a proposal for addressing our needs.

In addition, during Easter Week I contacted Michael Rebic, property support manager for our diocese, who put me in touch with the New York Landmarks Conservancy.  All have been very helpful.  Michael had been at the Conservancy in the early 1990s when Saint Mary’s began to work on the fabric of its exterior.  We’ve found the building survey that was done at the time, but not the accompanying photographs – we’re still looking.  Ann-Isabel Friedman, director, Sacred Sites program of the Conservancy, has provided materials about that program’s assistance to Saint Mary’s.

My own sense at this point is that it is time for another facilities survey, interior and exterior, so that we can plan for major projects.  There can and will always be surprises, but the regular care of the fabric of the buildings is essential to its usefulness today and in the years to come.

When I was in seminary in a then rural area west of Milwaukee, the dean had to raise money to connect the seminary complex to the waste-water treatment facility of the closest town.  I remember thinking about how hard the task was for him.  It’s not as if one could put memorial plaques on sewer pipes.  The Nashotah House community, in particular its alumni and friends, got the job done because it had to be done if the seminary was going to continue.

Like most people, I’m paying more attention to the economic situation in our country and in our world.  There is unemployment and real economic hardship far above average.  I know that the professional choices of my generation were shaped by the economic uncertainties of the 1970s; I’m pretty sure similar forces are at work today.

Economic injustice is not unrelated to other kinds of human failing.  But in good times and in bad, a great number of people continue to find ways to be generous with others – and not just with the Church.  Nashotah House managed to raise the money it needed during the big recession at the beginning of the Reagan presidency.  The Nashotah community believed there would be a future, and so did Saint Mary’s in those very difficult days for urban America, those very dangerous days in Times Square.  We’re here today because of the faith and commitment of earlier generations.

Christian hope is for the eternal life of the world to come.  But it is also a conviction that God’s kingdom is already in the world, but not of the world.  God is present in our lives.  His world offers us real signs of his presence in and among us.

A parish community is a group of people who gather to proclaim and live God’s truth in their lives and in their world – and to share it with others.  The beauty of holiness continues to be a sign to us and, I would say, to all who enter our church home, of God’s love for humankind in Jesus Christ.  I continue to believe in the witness and ministry of Christ through this parish.  I am confident we will find the right way forward, the right stewardship of our gifts, in our generation.  Stephen Gerth


YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED especially for Carol, Mary, George, Loraine, Dennis, Wayne, Sharon, Chris, Alicia, Angie, Rolf, Daisy, Ross, Roger, Emil, Henry, Nicholas, Robert, Elsa, William, Gert, Mary, Rick, and Pegram, priest; for the repose of the soul of Loraine; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially John, James, Kayla, Marc, Benjamin and Andrew; . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . May 16: 1892 Frank Wilson Sanford; 1901 Mary Leute; 1907 Mary A. McKim; 1916 Mary Elizabeth Straw; 1918 Lillian Ann Dudley Martin; 1934 Alice Mary Simpson; 1960 Minnie Packard Rounds; 1992 John Francis Arnold


THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Father Smith will be away from the parish from Monday, May 17, until Wednesday, May 19, attending a Leadership in Ministry Conference.  He returns to the office on Thursday, May 20 . . . Father John Merz will hear confessions on Saturday, May 15.  Father Gerth will hear confessions on Saturday, May 22.


AROUND THE PARISH . . . MaryJane Boland and Marie Rosseels were chosen at the Annual Meeting on May 2 to be the parish’s delegates to the Diocesan Convention in November.  We are grateful to them for their willingness to serve in this way . . . Parishioner Terry O’Dwyer has recently been working hard to promote the second annual Irish National Famine Memorial Day, which will take place on Sunday, May 16.  This observation is designed to educate the public about the history of the famine and to raise consciousness about that painful period in Irish history and about hunger-related issues.  For more information, go to Facebook, visit, or speak to Father Smith, who can put you in contact with Terry . . . Patrick Williams, a member of Saint Mary’s noonday congregation, was recently made a postulant for Holy Orders.  He has been accepted at Virginia Theological Seminary and plans to begin his studies there in the fall.  Please keep Patrick in your prayers . . . Thank you to parishioner Rosemary Kulp, who made the baptismal garments for the two children who were baptized at the Easter Vigil.  They were really lovely and a vast improvement on the “store-bought” versions we’ve been using . . . Michael Reid is still coordinating donations for the National Bone Marrow Program.  He can be contacted at . . . Father Smith continues his Book Sale on Sunday in Saint Joseph’s Hall.  All funds are used to help those in need . . . We are still collecting non-perishable food items and new or “gently used” clothing on Sundays for the Food Pantry at Saint Clement’s.  Look for the basket at the back of the church or in Saint Joseph’s Hall . . . Mark your calendar: The Day of Pentecost is Sunday, May 23.  Trinity Sunday is May 30.  The Feast of Corpus Christi will be celebrated on Sunday, June 6 . . . On Sunday May 30, we offer our final service of Evensong and Benediction for the academic year.  Beginning on Sunday, June 6, the final service of the day will be Evening Prayer, said in the church at 5:00 PM, until the first Sunday in October . . . The 2010 LGBT Pride March will take place on Sunday, June 27.  The Committee on LGBT Concerns of the Diocese of New York is organizing this year’s effort and is making plans to introduce an Episcopal Church float at this year’s march.  For more information or if you would like to make a donation to defray the costs of the float, please contact Father Mark Hummell, Chair of the Diocesan Social Concerns Commission, at, or Paul Lane at . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 306


FROM THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT . . . We are very happy to be able to welcome the choir of Saint Paul’s Parish, K Street, Washington D.C., and their director, Robert McCormick, at the Solemn Mass on Sunday morning.  Robert was Saint Mary’s organist and music director between 2001 and 2008.  The prelude on Sunday morning is an improvisation.  The setting of the Mass ordinary is Communion Service in D Major by Kenneth Leighton (1929-1988).  Leighton was born in Wakefield, England, and his unique musical language (including lyrical melodies combined with chromaticism and, later in his career, his use of serial techniques) earned him great respect as a composer.  This setting was composed for unison voices – the congregation – SATB choir and organ accompaniment.  At the ministration of Communion, the choir sings the motet O thou sweetest source by Charles Wood (1866-1926), which is based on a tune by French composer Louis Bourgeois (c. 1510-1559).  At 4:40 PM on Sunday, the organ recital before Evensong will be played by Nathan Taylor, New York City.  The recital program is movements I, IV and V of the Symphony No. 3 in F-sharp minor, Op. 28, by Louis Vierne (1870–1937).


CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY’S . . . May 22, 2010, 8:00 PM, New York Repertory Orchestra, David Leibowitz, music director.  The program includes music by Kodály, Strauss, and Debussy.  Admission is free.  For information, send an e-mail to, call 212.662.8383, or visit


CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . The Adult Forum has met for the final time until classes resume in October.  Father Smith would like to thank all those who taught this year: Father Gerth, Father Peter Powell, Dr. Dennis Raverty, Sister Deborah Francis, Sister Laura Katharine, and our seminarian, Rem Slone; he would also like to express his gratitude to all those who attended the classes and enriched the presentations with their questions and observations . . . The Church School meets for the final time this season on Sunday, May 23, the Day of Pentecost.  Church School will resume in October.  Thank you so much to Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins for her able leadership of the Church School this year.  Thanks also to our small, but committed, and growing, group of parents for their tenacious support of the Church School and of Saint Mary’s.  A final word of thanks to our children, who are a great source of life and energy here at the parish.  We also thank the children for their fine creations during the past year and wish them a good, healthy, lively and safe summer; and we hope to see them all in church during the summer months! . . . Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will continue until Wednesday, June 9.  The class normally meets on Wednesdays at 6:30 PM in the Arch Room on the second floor of the Mission House.  All are welcome.  No prior experience is necessary.


FLOWERS NEEDED . . . Flowers are needed for the altar for the following days:  Sunday, May 30, Trinity Sunday; Sunday, June 13; Sunday, July 18; Sunday, July 25; August 6, The Feast of the Transfiguration; and August 15, the Feast of the Assumption.  If you would like to make a donation, please contact the Finance Office.  Thank you to all those who have made such generous gifts, allowing us to decorate the altar and church.


SAINT MARY’S AIDS WALK TEAM . . . Our team, now twenty people strong, is participating in AIDS Walk New York for the fourth year.  The team will walk the full AIDS Walk route on Saturday, May 15, in order to be in church on Sunday.  Last year, we set a team record, raising more than $17,000.  This year, we have raised just over $12,000, and so we are asking the members and friends of the parish to act now to support us financially by contributing online or by giving a check made out to AWNY to Father Smith.  In order to contribute online go to  At that website, click on “Team Information” and then “click on 2010 Registered Teams.” Scroll down and click on “Saint Mary the Virgin,” click on “General Team Donation” and then follow the instructions.  With your help, we may yet come near our last year’s record (and contributions can be made for several weeks after the walk has ended).  Thank you to all Saint Marians who have supported us in the past and this year as well.  Mary Jane Boland and Grace Bruni


AWAY FROM THE PARISH . . . At Mobia, the Museum of Biblical Art, 1865 Broadway at 61st Street: “Uneasy Communion: Jews, Christians, and the Altarpieces of Medieval Spain”.  The exhibition discusses the last two centuries of medieval Spanish history from the vantage point of religious art, and illustrates the cooperative relationship between Christian and Jewish artists, who worked either independently or together to create art both for the Church and the Jewish community. The exhibition closes on May 30, 2010.  Also at Mobia, “Ukrainian Icons”: June 18–September 12, 2010.  This exhibition from the collection of the oldest monastery in Ukraine, the Kyiv-Pecherskaya Lavra (or “Monastery of the Caves”) will survey the history of Ukrainian icons and their stylistic evolution over the centuries.  Ukrainian icons, unlike their Russian counterparts, show distinct influences from Western artistic traditions.  Alongside icons the exhibition will display textiles, ceremonial and altar crosses, chalices and other liturgical objects.  Mobia’s hours: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday 12:00 PM-6:00 PM; Thursday 12:00-8:00 PM; Closed on Monday and Tuesday . . . At the Rubin Museum of Art on 17th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues: “Visions of the Cosmos,” an exhibit “which compares and contrasts images that describe the creation and structure of the universe in Hindu, Christian, Jain, and Tibetan Buddhist belief” . . . The producers of “Next Fall,” currently running on Broadway, are offering Saint Marians discounted tickets.  Visit or call 212.947.8844 and use code NFFNF24 or visit the box office of the Helen Hayes Theatre Box Office at 240 W. 44th, where the code may also be used.  The play “deals with important questions of faith, family and love.”  The Bishop of New Hampshire, the Right Reverend Gene Robinson recently participated in a special “talk back” with the cast and audience . . . An exhibition of icons, “Oksana Prokopenko: Icons and More,” May 20-June 13, Ukrainian Institute of America, 2 E. 79th St, Tuesday-Sunday 12:00-6:00 PM . . . A Tribute to Thurgood Marshall:  The Holy Eucharist will be celebrated on Sunday, May 16, 4:00 PM, Saint Philip’s Church, 204 W. 134th St.  Bishop Sisk will preside and the Reverend Canon George W. Brandt, Jr., will preach.


VISUAL ARTS PROJECT . . . Exhibit now in Saint Joseph’s Hall: “Illuminated Psalms by Lisa Bell.”  Lisa Bell is an artist and calligrapher who lives in Hartford, Connecticut.  Lisa is a graduate of the Pratt Institute.  Her work is owned by private collectors who value her exquisite calligraphy, use of bold color, fine papers, and handmade frames – she is a picture framer by trade – to create unique works of art in the tradition of the medieval scribes and illuminators of the biblical text.  Susan Wamsley, Saint Mary’s Visual Arts Program



The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector
The Reverend James Ross Smith, curate
The Reverend Rebecca Weiner Tompkins, deacon
The Reverend John Merz, assisting priest
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


Parish Staff
Mr. Aaron Koch, business manager
Mr. Steven Gonley, building superintendent
Mr. Miguel Gonzalez, Mr. Mario Martinez, Mr. H. Antonio Santiago, sextons