FROM THE RECTOR: WAITING
On Thursday morning, May 9, we had the first of what will, for a time, be a weekly meeting of the building restoration leadership team, the members of which are our contractor, Milan Restoration LLC; our architects, Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, Inc. (JHP); and representatives of the parish. Not long before the meeting was supposed to start, we suddenly learned that our contractor was out of town. I immediately informed board members MaryJane Boland and Clark Mitchell so they wouldn’t have to waste a trip to midtown. As things turned out, however, Marko Golubovic and another representative from Milan, were able to attend. . Our office manager, Chris Howatt, was in the building. Two members of the team from JHP hurried up and arrived. We ended up having a very good meeting.
The contract for the conservation of the 46th Street façades of the church and the adjoining Parish House and Mission House was signed on March 22nd. The hang-up right now is the complete design and review of the scaffolding that will need to be installed to handle the materials (heavy stones) and equipment for the project. As I write, we’ve just received word that Milan, after the customary indemnification is cleared, will be able to use the existing scaffolding to begin work on the areas that can be reached using it. Part of this early job will also be the conservation of the sliding doors at the main entrance of the church—one at a time. They are reworking their project schedule in light of the delays. They have already made plans to add crews to the job. They are ready to get started.
Announcement: Asbestos abatement is needed for the work on the balustrades of the Parish House and Mission House—and this will be done in complete compliance with relevant code requirements. Neighbors will see personnel in hazmat suits working. Air-monitoring will be ongoing while this work is underway. Once new scaffolding is up, there will be early-morning deliveries of equipment and material. Their lunch break is scheduled so as not to interfere with the daily noonday services. I continue to be impressed by their responses to questions and to the challenges of working on our landmarked building. Both Milan and JHP seem fully engaged.
A couple of weeks ago, I asked for a list of all persons who had completed pledges to the Open Doors Capital Campaign and those who were still giving. As soon as the work starts (and we can get a photograph of the workers at work on our building), I will be sending letters to all those who continue to give so generously to our Capital Campaign in support of this project..
Recently, I was invited for coffee by someone who works here in the neighborhood. For many years he has come into the church during Morning Prayer to pray and light a candle. Over the years, I’ve met both his father and his son. He and his family are Assyrian Orthodox Christians. For him, Saint Mary’s is a place where he can pray and feel at home. Saint Mary’s open doors, decoration and use speak the language of welcome and of prayer. The challenges of being an Episcopal parish in the heart of the theater district of this city are many. Our popular culture is not especially kind in our time to religious practice. I am so thankful for the grace and the support that comes from so many who know this church and its witness.
Finally, I am pleased to announce that the Right Reverend Andrew M. L. Dietsche, the bishop of New York, will be celebrant and preacher for our patronal feast on Monday, December 9, 2019, the beginning of a celebration of one hundred fifty years of worship and ministry in this neighborhood. Twenty-five years at 228 West 45th Street and one hundred twenty-five years at 145 West 46th Street. There will be much to celebrate in the year to come. —Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Roberto, Barbara, Francis, Paul, Rita, David, Russell, Bryan, Dianna, Beulah, Donald, Cyrisse, Wendell, May, Willard, Alexandra, Kyle, Karen, Susan, Marilouise, Michael, Takeem, José, Carmen, and Dennis; for Horace, Rick, Gaylord, Louis, and Edgar, priests; and for all the benefactors and friends of this parish.
GRANT THEM PEACE . . . May 12: 1898 Elizabeth Clarke; 1905 Mary J. Scofield; 1922 Ina Thomas; 1924 Alice D. Raymond.
THE FRIDAYS OF THE EASTER SEASON are not observed by acts of discipline and self-denial.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Sunday, May 12, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, Sung Matins 8:30 AM; Mass 9:00 & 10:00 AM; Solemn Mass 11:00 AM; Evensong and Benediction 5:00 PM . . . Wednesday, May 15, Sung Mass 12:10 PM . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will not meet on May 15 . . . Thursday, May 16, Mass with Healing Service 12:10 PM . . . Friday, May 17, Centering Prayer Group, 6:30 PM in the Atrium in the Parish House, Second Floor.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . On Saturday, May 4, at 10:00 AM, the Burial of the Dead was celebrated for Rick Austill . . . On Saturday, May 4, at 3:15 PM in the Lady Chapel, Maria Burgos and Maritza Muñiz were joined in Holy Matrimony . . . A good friend of the parish, Roberto Perez, was seriously injured in a bike accident here in Manhattan. After a brief stay in the hospital, he is now recuperating at home. His partner, parishioner Scott Holman, tells us that, although Roberto will probably be unable to work until July, he will not require surgery. Please keep Roberto and Scott in your prayers . . . We hope to receive donations for altar flowers for the following dates: May 19 (Easter 5), and June 2 (Easter 7), 9 (Day of Pentecost), and 16 (Trinity Sunday) . . . Father Jay Smith will be away from the parish from the afternoon of Sunday, May 12, until Wednesday, May 15. He will be attending a Leadership in Ministry Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. He returns to the office on Thursday, May 16 . . . Brother Damien Joseph SSF and Brother Thomas SSF will be away from the parish, attending the annual Chapter Meeting of the Society of Saint Francis, Province of the Americas, in Scottsdale, Arizona, from Monday, May 13, until Friday, May 17. They return to the parish on Sunday, May 19 . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 200.
SACRED SITES OPEN HOUSE . . .The New York Landmarks Conservancy will host its Ninth Annual Sacred Sites Open House Weekend on May 18–19, 2019. This year’s theme, Medieval to Modern: Celebrating New York’s Religious Art and Architecture highlights the broad spectrum of historical periods, faith traditions, and styles of religious architecture found in communities throughout New York State. Saint Mary’s will be participating in this event on Sunday May 19 and visitors will be encouraged to take the self-guided tour. We are currently looking for a few parish volunteers to be on hand between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm on Sunday May 19 to provide directions to our visitors and answer questions they may have.
AIDS WALK 2019 . . . On Sunday, May 19, Saint Mary’s AIDS Walk Team will once again walk to support those living with—or at risk of contracting—HIV/AIDS. This year, Saint Mary’s Team hopes to be even more successful than last year, when we raised $61,153 and ranked number 6 among all teams.
Team leaders MaryJane Boland and Clark Mitchell recently met with Kelsey Louie, the CEO of Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) to hear more about what our funds help to pay for and learned some exciting news about the organization. Two takeaways from their meeting: GMHC has moved to a new space, more centrally located on West Thirty-eighth Street and better suited to serve the 15,000 clients it sees a year; and GMHC has announced a strategic partnership with a leading HIV research and education nonprofit, ACRIA, which will broaden GMHC’s scope to include not only service, but also research and policy.
We invite you to join our Team and raise money with us—or simply to make a donation to Saint Mary’s AIDS Walk Team. You can join or donate to our Team online. You may also donate by mailing us a check, paid to the order of AIDS Walk New York (not paid to the order of Saint Mary’s), to the Finance Office at 145 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036, or place your check in one of the shrine boxes in the church or in the collection basket. If you have questions, please contact Father Jay Smith or co-leaders MaryJane Boland and Clark Mitchell. We are very grateful to all those who have supported the Team in past years, and we look forward to this year’s campaign.
FROM BROTHER DAMIEN . . . I’m sorry to say that, despite the dramatic wardrobe, vowed members of religious orders are in most ways no different from anyone else. Serene contentment and airy detachment from the ordinary trials of life just don’t come with the territory. There are good days, bad days, and sometimes can-I-please-just-go-back-to-bed-until-the-next-ice-age days as well. Monday was a long day. The details don’t matter, except to say that by the time I took Annie out for her last evening walk, my inner martyr monologue was running at a pretty good clip.
Deep in my own head as I was, I probably would have missed him entirely if he hadn’t been lying right along a construction fence-line that Annie likes to sniff. He was curled up, sleeping on a piece of cardboard with a folded sign next to him. Not an unusual sight by any means. You all know those signs. They say things like “Spare some change ... Anything helps ... Broke and hungry.” This sign struck me, though. It read, “Blanket please.”
It’s not that much to ask of the world, is it? I thought of how often I hear people say, “I’m not giving him money, I don’t know what he’ll do with it.” I thought of how often I’ve said or thought it myself. But I’m pretty sure I know what he’ll do with a blanket. He’ll stay a little warmer tonight. Spring has sprung, but blankets will still be a necessity for sleeping on the concrete until far warmer weather than what we’ve been having of late. I was just a couple blocks from the church, so Annie and I went and got a blanket from our grab-and-go supplies and took it back to him. He woke up enough to say thank you, but not enough to bother taking the blanket out of the bag it was in. He just plopped it, bag and all, over the middle of his body and rolled back over. I told him to come see us on Wednesdays for some clothing. Maybe he heard.
I’d like to tell you how I had a sudden divine attitude adjustment, stopped feeling sorry for myself, and basked in the warmth of my own gratitude. But I didn’t. Human nature doesn’t work that way, and frankly the whole game of “whose suffering is worse than whose?” is a distinctly unhelpful exercise. But I did give thanks, by choice, not by feeling, and reminded myself that we do the right thing because it’s the right thing, not because it makes us feel happy or holy. He needed it, I had it, and the extra couple blocks certainly did me no harm.
And, I was reminded that while manna from heaven and miraculous catches of fish aren’t unprecedented, usually God’s provision is more pedestrian: one of God’s children asks for something, another of God’s children gives it. God’s will be done. Blanket please. Sure. Got you covered. —Damien Joseph, SSF
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . At our Drop-in Day on Wednesday, May 8, we served around 40 guests. We expect that numbers may decrease as the temperature rises and will increase, once again, come fall. Because of the warmer weather, we were able to serve light refreshments in the courtyard to those guests who wanted to stick around for a bit. This gives us an opportunity to find out more about our guests’ lives and needs. Our next Drop-in Day will take place on Wednesday, June 19, 2:00 to 4:00 PM, in the Mission House basement. On those Wednesdays when a Drop-in Day does not take place, we continue to offer our Grab-and-Go days in the former Gift Shop off the church Narthex. On those days, basic, even emergency, items can normally be provided—socks, underwear, toiletry articles, and, in the winter months, cold-weather clothing. Please contact Brother Damien or Brother Thomas, if you would like to make a donation of cash, clothing, or toiletry articles, or to volunteer for this important ministry . . . We continue to receive donations of canned goods and other non-perishable food items for the Saint Clement’s Food Pantry. Donations may be placed in the basket next to the Ushers’ Table at the Forty-sixth Street entrance to the church.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The Good Shepherd is an image, and a title, of considerable importance in the New Testament, and it is an image that plays a significant role in our Eastertide liturgies. Specifically, the Collect for the Fourth Sunday of Easter is addressed to God “whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people.” It is particularly appropriate that Sunday’s Mass setting and motet echo this reference. Surrexit pastor bonus (“The Good Shepherd has arisen”) is the second Matins responsory for Easter Monday. Its text declares and rejoices that the good shepherd, who has lain down his life for his sheep, has indeed risen. Orlando di Lasso (c. 1532–1594), also known as Orlande de Lassus, was one of several composers of his time to set this responsory text, as he did in his 1562 collection of sacred songs for five voices published in Nuremberg. The motet, which will be sung at the Solemn Mass on Sunday during the ministration of Communion, begins with an upward sweeping phrase sung by the highest three voices. The two lower voices then echo the same. The two soprano parts joyfully weave among one another through the motet, and it concludes with many alleluias. Sunday’s Mass setting, Lassus’ Missa Surrexit pastor bonus, is Lassus’ parody of his own motet, and it carries the same incipit and the same voicing. The Gloria and Sanctus begin with writing very similar to the opening of the motet. This Mass does not include a setting of Agnus Dei. However, another Surrexit pastor bonus parody Mass, previously attributed to Lassus, but now thought to be the work of Ivo de Vento (c. 1543–1575), does include Agnus Dei. This latter setting of Agnus Dei, in six voices (SSAATB), will be paired with Lassus’ Gloria and Sanctus for the liturgy on Sunday morning.
Franz Tunder (1614–1667) is believed to have been born in Lübeck, in northern Germany. It is likely that he studied with Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583–1643) in Florence. In 1641 he was appointed the main organist at Lübeck’s Marienkirche, where he was eventually followed by Dieterich Buxtehude (1637–1707). Tunder’s Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, played for the prelude this morning, is a triptych of preludes on a Eucharistic chorale. The first verse is in five voices, two of which are played on the pedals; the chorale melody is in the upper pedal voice. The second verse is in four voices with the melody in the tenor register played by the left hand. The third verse, also in four voices, places the melody boldly in the bass voice which is played on the pedals. Tunder’s Praeludium in G minor, today’s postlude, is comparable in style and structure to many other pieces of its time and place. The Praeludium has a free, improvisatory opening which is followed by a fugal section. It closes with a brief fantasia over a pedal-point on G. —David Hurd
CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY’S . . . On Saturday, May 18, at 8:00 PM, New York Repertory Orchestra will play its final concert of the season. The program includes music of Shostakovich, Haydn, and Lalo. Admission is free, but a donation of $15.00 is suggested and most welcome.
VISUAL ARTS AT SAINT MARY’S . . . A new exhibition, Carlos Arteaga: Paintings and Drawings, is on view until May 31 in the Gallery in Saint Joseph’s Hall. For more information, contact curator, José Vidal. You may also view more of Carlos’s work on his website.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . On May 12 and 19, Father Matthew Jacobson will lead the Adult Forum in a series that takes us back to sixteenth-century Europe and the controversies between Protestants and Roman Catholics concerning the Eucharist. Father Jacobson writes, “In these last two sessions of the academic year, we will look at a series of sermons preached by Carlo Borromeo (1538–1584) on and around the feast of Corpus Christi in 1583. Borromeo was the archbishop of Milan and an important figure in the Catholic Reformation, also known as the Counter Reformation. We will read Borromeo’s sermons with an eye to their historical context, considering Borromeo’s central role in the Catholic Renewal. We will also look at some of the writings of Borromeo’s contemporary, Richard Hooker (1554–1600), to give us an Anglican perspective on the Eucharist. The class will include time for discussion and reflection on the Eucharist ahead of our own celebration of Corpus Christi in late June . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class led by Father Jay Smith will not meet on May 15. The class will hold its final session of the season on May 22. The class will hold its annual end-of-year dinner on Wednesday, June 5.
COMING UP . . . Wednesday, May 29, Eve of Ascension Day, Solemn Evensong at 6:00 PM . . . Thursday, May 30, Ascension Day, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Organ Recital 5:30 PM, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM . . . Friday, May 31, The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mass 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM.
HOSPITALITY MINISTRY AT SAINT MARY’S . . . We hope to receive donations to help pay for the holy-day receptions on Thursday, May 30 (Ascension Day), and Thursday, August 15 (Assumption). If you would like to make a donation, please contact the parish office. The total cost of each reception is around $500.00. We appreciate all donations in support of this important ministry. Any and all donations are always used to make up the deficit each year we normally experience in the hospitality budget. When making a donation, please make a note that it is for the Hospitality Ministry, and we thank you.