FROM THE RECTOR: AUGUST ROUNDUP
This Sunday, August 26, will be the last Sunday when Sr. Laura Katharine, C.S.J.B., and Sr. Monica Clare, C.S.J.B., will be in residence. We had a wonderful celebration on Assumption with them and four of their sisters from the convent following the Solemn Mass. Those of us who know them will miss them greatly, but we respect the decision of their superior to close their branch house. That said, I hope very much that the sisters will be back from time to time to worship with us.
In September we will welcome the Society of Saint Francis to Saint Mary's. Br. Damien Joseph, S.S.F., will arrive on September 10, and Br. Thomas, S.S.F, will arrive on September 19. Br. Finnian, S.S.F., a Franciscan novice from the United Kingdom, will arrive with Br. Thomas and will also be with us on Sunday, September 23. Architect and parishioner José Vidal has identified a few small jobs that need to be done in the Mission House apartment. Those jobs should be underway very soon. The Community of St. John Baptist is very generously leaving a great deal of furniture. Sisters, thank you!
The 10 AM Sunday Adult Forum resumes on October 7. On the four Sundays in October, Brother Damien Joseph, S.S.F., and Brother Thomas, S.S.F., will introduce themselves to the parish community and will discuss their work and ministry, their vocation to the religious life, as well as provide an introduction to Franciscan spirituality, theology, and practice.
Now, a big thank you to eighty individuals and households who gave a total of $14,942.00 for the special Assumption offering. The work to conserve the wall and the large bas relief of the Crucifixion, designed by Eugene Waterman Mason, Jr. (1919–1999), started on Wednesday, August 22. More extensive damage was discovered. Your generosity means that we have money to conserve the wall and the bas relief. Almost certainly we will have money left over for the next repair that comes along.
We had very good congregations for both Masses for the Assumption. It was great to have the parish choir with us for the Solemn Mass. Dr. David Hurd selected music for the Mass ordinary, Messe in Style Ancien by Jean Langlais (1907–1991), that was new to me and perfect for this service. Many thanks to all who made the flowers and the reception in honor of the sisters possible.
Now a few words about "Open Doors: The Capital Campaign for the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin." Architect Michael Devonshire, Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, met with the board at its meeting on August 20. The Landmarks Preservation Commission has issued a permit for the work to conserve the 46th Street façade. Plans for bidding this are ready to go pending last minute legal and insurance details that are still to be worked out. Mike expects work to begin late in the fall-new construction scaffolding will go up. It will look like we're in business through the winter months. Work will resume in the spring, and we have every reason to think it will be completed in 2019. In addition, the plans for the accessible ramp for the 47th Street doorway to the church are being completed. Like the work on the 46th Street façade, there is a complex permitting process. We expect this to be a project to start and finish in 2019. There are always challenges on any project like this. I'll keep you posted about bids, contracts, and permits. Thank you for supporting a future for Saint Mary's. — Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Alexandra, Clark, Mary, Jennifer, James, Joseph, Karen, Timothy, Ilona, Sheila, Eloise, Angie, Maxine, Carlos, Susan, Marilouise, Dennis, Robert, Abraham, Randy, Burton, Michael, Kyle, Greta, May, Heidi, Takeem, David, and Sandy; for Horace, Gaylord, Louis, and Edgar, priests; for all the benefactors and friends of this parish; and for the repose of the souls of Steven Lawson and Stephen Creahan.
GRANT THEM PEACE . . . August 19: 1898 Nathan Hatfield Carswell; 1916 William H. Fiske, Pauline Ashfield Bunker; 1952, John Cole McKim, priest; 1956 Edmund Porteous; 2009 Frances Burney Cappon Geer.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Steven Lawson, the assisting organist at the Church of the Heavenly Rest, New York City, died suddenly on Sunday night, August 19, of natural causes. Steve was a fine musician and a wonderful colleague. He was also adept at typesetting or "engraving" music. We availed ourselves of those skills with some frequency in recent years. He was meticulous in his work and extraordinarily knowledgeable about musicology, sacred music, and the contents of The Hymnal 1982. It was a great pleasure working with him, not least because he was patient, kind, and had a wonderful sense of humor. He was a good friend of this parish and was always interested in what we were doing here musically and liturgically. We will miss him. Please pray for Steve, his family and friends, his colleagues at Heavenly Rest, and for all who mourn. —J.R.S.
THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the Lord's crucifixion.
SAINT MARY'S AIDS WALK TEAM SAYS THANK YOU . . . Our team wishes to report our extraordinary success in the 2018 AIDS Walk, to thank God for his help, and to thank all the friends and parishioners who supported us. Our little team of 16 walkers ranked No. 6 of all teams walking, and we raised a total of $61,153.00 of the more than $4.4 million raised overall. Some facts and figures: 16 people were on our team; more than 270 people supported us; our supporters live in 23 states and 5 countries; and 9 of our walkers raised more than $1,000 each. This was a Saint Mary's event; we couldn't do it without you. We will walk again on the Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 19, 2019. —MaryJane Boland & Clark Mitchell
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Wednesday, August 29, The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist: Sung Mass 12:10 PM . . . Thursday, August 30, Mass and Healing Service 12:10 PM . . . Friday, August 31, Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, 651: Mass 12:10 PM . . . Friday, August 31, 6:30 PM, Centering Prayer Group, Atrium, Parish Hall, Second Floor.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Pledge to keep up with your pledge! During the summer months we sometimes experience cash-flow problems as many friends and members of the parish are away, taking much-needed vacations. We are grateful to all those who continue to support the mission and witness of this parish . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 182.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . Ruth Cunningham, soprano, returns on Sunday as the cantor for Solemn Mass. During the ministration of Communion she will sing her setting of the medieval devotional text to Mary O Lilium convalium and will accompany herself on a harp of medieval design. This setting is part of Ms. Cunningham's solo program called "Light and Shadow." The text describes Mary through the metaphor of a lily of the valley and praises the Virgin for her healing nature.
Hermann Schroeder (1904–1984) served for seven years as cathedral organist at Trier and later as professor and ultimately director of the Music Academy at Cologne. Along with such composers as Paul Hindemith (1895–1963), Schroeder was a product of the German neo-classical movement in the first half of the twentieth century. Perhaps as a reaction to the emotional exhaustion following the full flowering of the romantic and post-romantic schools of composition, the neo-classicists sought leaner textures, sparer and less triad-oriented harmony, shorter and more practical forms, and a more transparent counterpoint. Schroeder composed extensively for the organ and organ with instruments. A Roman Catholic, he also composed much sacred choral music. He was a close friend of the Belgian composer Flor Peeters (1903–1986), and each composer honored the other with several dedicated works. Schroeder's Six Little Preludes and Intermezzi, Opus 9, date from 1931 and are mostly in easily distinguished A-B-A form. The first three are played as the prelude and the sixth is played as the postlude on Sunday. — David Hurd
TRAVELS TO FAR-OFF LANDS . . . Parishioner Clark Mitchell is traveling to Mongolia this week. He leaves on Friday, August 24, and returns on Tuesday, September 11. The East-Asian nation of Mongolia is sandwiched between China to the south and Russia to the north. It is the eighteenth largest, and the most sparsely populated, fully sovereign country in the world, with a population of around three million people. It is also the world's second-largest landlocked country behind Kazakhstan. The country contains very little arable land, as much of its area is covered by grassy steppe, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south. We asked Clark to tell us about his upcoming trip. He writes, "I'm going as part of my work at the BAND Foundation, where I'm a program director. The primary aim of the foundation is to support critical efforts to conserve biodiversity, and my focus is really grassland conservation.
Locally, we have helped the Friends of Hempstead Plains to expand their management of a remnant patch of tallgrass prairie in Nassau County, on Long Island. Nationally, I have been working with two botanists in the Nashville area to form a new group, the Southeastern Grasslands Initiative that addresses the loss of grassland habitat across the entire southeastern United States. Some friends at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) knew I was keen on grasslands, and when a group was being formed to travel to Mongolia for a two-week trip to see the work TNC has been doing for the past ten years, I think my name came up.
Mongolia is home to some of the last remaining undeveloped temperate grasslands in the world. Ten years ago, the Mongolian government approached TNC to help it fulfill its commitment to set aside 30% of the country's land in conservation. We will not only see the steppe grasslands in the eastern part of Mongolia, but we'll also be traveling to the Gobi Desert, as well as to the capital city, Ulaanbaatar. I'm so looking forward to the trip-mostly to the solitude and quiet of the vast grasslands."
ALTAR FLOWER DONATION OPPORTUNITIES . . . The following Sundays have not been covered by donations: September 23, October 14, 21, and 28, November 11, 18, and 25, the patronal feast, celebrated on this year Friday, December 7, and Saturday, December 8, and Sunday, December 16, Gaudete Sunday. We are also happy to receive donations for Christmas flowers and decorations. If you would like to make a donation, please contact the Parish Office.
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Donations and volunteers are needed for our next Drop-in Day on Wednesday, September 26, and for the many requests for assistance between Drop-in Days. We are in particular need of basic items such as the following: packs of new underwear in various sizes for both men and women; slacks for both men and women, including jeans, chinos, khakis, etc.; packs of new socks, white and black; rainwear; knapsacks; and toiletry articles. Please contact Father Jay Smith if you would like to volunteer for this important ministry or if you would like to make a donation . . . We continue to receive nonperishable food items for our outreach partner, Saint Clement's Food Pantry. Please place those items in the basket near the ushers' table at the Forty-sixth Street entrance to the church.
AT THE GALLERIES. . . At the Metropolitan Museum, 1000 Fifth Avenue at Eighty-second Street, "Relative Values: The Cost of Art in the Northern Renaissance." Until June 23, 2019. From the society's website: "Bringing together sixty-two masterpieces of sixteenth-century northern European art from The Met collection and one important loan, this exhibition revolves around questions of historical worth, exploring relative value systems in the Renaissance era. Organized in six sections-raw materials, virtuosity, technological advances, fame, market, and paragone-tapestry, stained and vessel glass, sculpture, paintings, precious metal-work, and enamels are juxtaposed with pricing data from sixteenth-century documents. What did a tapestry cost in the sixteenth century? Goldsmiths' work? Stained glass? How did variables like raw materials, work hours, levels of expertise and artistry, geography, and rarity, affect this? Did production cost necessarily align with perceived market valuation in inventoried collections? Who assigned these values? By exploring different sixteenth-century yardsticks of gauging worth, by probing extrinsic versus intrinsic value, and by presenting works of different media and function side-by-side, the exhibition captures a sense of the splendor and excitement of this era."