The Angelus

Volume 4, Number 4

Now in Flesh Appearing

Christmas at Saint Mary’s opens the doors of our lives so that we can see God’s eternal presence in our midst, in his Son, in ourselves, in the Word proclaimed and, most of all, in the assembly of his faithful people.  One of the things that is so very true of this parish is that it is our religious conviction above all else which draws us together.  Each of us surely has sweet memories of Christmases past with family and friends. 

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Volume 4, Number 3

Helena Maria Martinuk Handy, 1919 – 2001

Helena Handy died on Monday night, December 10, at Cabrini Hospice.  Her husband of fifty-seven years, George Handy, was with her as he had been throughout her illness.  She was born on May 30, 1919.  They would have been married fifty-eight years on December 19.  May she rest in peace.

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Volume 4, Number 2

From The Curate: Thank You

Several people have asked me since my ordination last Friday, "So, how are you feeling?  Do you feel different?"  My answer has repeatedly been, "Yes, I feel more grateful, both to the Lord, and to more people than I have ever felt before."  I want each and every member and friend of Saint Mary's to know that I am, almost more than words can express, deeply appreciative for all the prayers, money, time, and energy which went

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Volume 4, Number 1

Advent

There are occasional mornings and evenings when the Daily Office is read and there is no one in the church except the officiant.  This happens most often on Saturday evenings, when we only have the Office and not a Mass.  Of course, one doesn’t ever feel alone at Saint Mary’s.  The sounds of the city are always with us, and it is almost never quiet in Times Square on a Saturday night.  The experience of praying alone I take as a grace and as an opportunity.  Saint Mary’s is simply a beautiful and blessed place to be.

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Volume 3, Number 51

Ordination of a Priest

There are so many good theological and so many simply practical reasons for celebrating ordinations in cathedrals that I can foresee a time in the not too distant future when virtually all ordinations will be celebrated in cathedrals.  It is extraordinary that a conjunction of location and events enables us to be the host parish for the ordination of our curate to the priesthood and to have the Presiding Bishop and Primate of our Church

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Volume 3, Number 50

From Father Weiler: Retreat

Retreat.  The word conjures up unpleasant thoughts and the gruesome events that precipitated them. Consider Napoleon’s ill-fated retreat from Russia after months of tireless battle. Eventually, the cold was so deep and the food supplies so low that the French and their emperor simply had to turn back, no matter how difficult the journey home.  It was the beginning of the end of Napoleon’s reign.  Consider also the Federal retreat after the Battle of Chancellorsville or the Confederate retreat after Gettysburg.  Military history overflows with countless other retreats.  “Retreat” rhymes with “defeat” and usually signifies it, except in Christianity.

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VOLUME 3, NUMBER 49

KAREN BENSON, 1939 - 2001

Karen Benson died on Sunday, November 4, at Saint Vincent’s Medical Center from complications following surgery.  A Requiem Mass will be offered on Tuesday, November 27, at 6:00 PM.  She will be cremated and her body will be buried in the graveyard of the Community of Saint John the Baptist, Mendham, New Jersey.  She had been a member of Saint Mary’s since 1996.

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Volume 3, Number 48

Formation

Matthew Weiler is going to spend a few days on retreat at Saint Gregory’s Abbey, Three Rivers, Michigan, to have a period of prayer and reflection as he prepares for ordination to the priesthood.  I told Matthew that when he came to Saint Mary’s I would try to be a good senior colleague for him and to provide him with opportunities to develop as a member of the clergy.  I also told him that he was my first curate to be right out of seminary.

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Volume 3, Number 47

November 2001

We will begin the month of November with the great privilege of the Visitation of the Bishop of New York.  We will end the month of November with the great privilege of the Ordination of a Priest by the Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Church.  In Matthew’s Gospel the Kingdom of heaven is described by Jesus as something small that is always growing into something great.  I hope it is not presumptuous of me to like to think of our parish community as something small that is indeed growing.

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VOLUME 3, NUMBER 46

Beatrice Lillian Norling, 1906-2001

Miss Beatrice Norling died on Friday, October 12, 2001.  She had just celebrated her ninety-fifth birthday on September 14, Holy Cross Day.  On Tuesday, October 16, services were conducted near her home in Carlstadt, New Jersey, and she was buried later that day in Dorchester, Massachusetts by the graves of her parents.  May she rest in peace.

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Volume 3, Number 45

Lots of Things

Several months ago I began to tell folks that change was coming to Saint Mary’s in great waves, that a tsunami was on its way.  The outward and visible sign of this would be personnel transition.  The inward and spiritual reality would be the ongoing life of a growing Christian community.  I knew of some of the changes; but I also knew that change would come which was totally unexpected.

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Volume 3, Number 44

Congratulations, Mr. Dean!

On Monday, October 1, Princeton University announced that the Reverend Thomas E. Breidenthal has been appointed dean of religious life at Princeton.  He assumes his new position on January 1, 2002.  I could not be more happy and delighted for him and his family.  It was hard to lose Father Shin to Oxford and it is going to be hard to lose Father Breidenthal to Princeton, but in both cases these appointments continue an old tradition of the clergy of Saint Mary’s going on to be of greater service to the wider church.

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Volume 3, Number 43

Community Helpers

When I was in second grade, in 1961, second graders studied “community helpers.”  These were the people in our city whose work was to make our lives safe and better.  They were doctors, dentists and nurses.  They were policemen, firemen and school crossing guards.  They were postmen and even members of the clergy.  They wore uniforms.  In 1961 they were mostly men.  They were trustworthy. 

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Volume 3, Number 42

Faith, not Fear

The shadow of fear hangs over me and I see it in the eyes of others too.  A terrible death has been inflicted on over five thousand innocent people, most of them died a few miles south of where our parish sits.  It could have been a bomb in Times Square; it could have been anywhere.

The disciples had a great deal of fear, especially before they had faith.  Some were afraid when Jesus told them to leave their old lives behind.  Some were afraid when Jesus said to render to Caesar the things that were Caesar’s.  Judas was terribly afraid.  The others were afraid in the Garden.  They could only look at Calvary from afar.  They were even afraid when they saw the tomb empty, and even when Jesus himself came to them alive.

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Volume 3, Number 41

In the Midst of Life

As soon as the parish clergy and staff collected themselves on Tuesday morning, we covered the altar in purple.  We have been celebrating Masses for the Departed, at Noon and at 6:00 PM ever since.  We are praying for those who have died and for those who mourn.  There will be time to focus our prayers for our nation. 

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Volume 3, Number 37

Assumpta est Maria

It’s Thursday morning, August 16.  The church phones are ringing.  One call is about a cell phone left in church last night; another is about a misplaced package.  The rest are calls with people bubbling.  The Procession & Solemn Mass on the Feast of the Assumption 2001 was an evening that had more than a few moments which will be remembered.

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Volume 3, Number 36

Open

Lots of people just walk by the open doors of Saint Mary’s this time of year.  It’s New York.  Most people are going someplace, usually in a hurry.  But lots of folks stop too.  Some stop because the organ is being played.  Some climb the steps to look in.  Some actually come in.  It is unusual though for someone to come in and walk up the aisle.  Something keeps most folks in the back or on the sides.

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Volume 3, Number 35

Reverence and Thankfulness

At the end of the funeral for Father Kirk, as the clergy stood on the sidewalk waiting for the coffin to be put into the hearse, someone on a bicycle rode by and said so that we could hear him, “What is this *****?”  Appreciate the scene: the door of the hearse is open; altar servers bearing cross, candles and incense are standing in place, a bishop of the church and other clergy are in attendance. 

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Volume 3, Number 34

A Final Gift To Saint Mary’s

Father Rodney Kirk’s funeral filled Saint Mary’s on Wednesday, July 25.  Every seat was taken.  Lots of others stood.  I guessed there were six hundred here; the usher’s count was 845.  It was one of the hottest days of the year.  It was a full, beautiful Requiem Mass.  There was great music, wonderfully sung and played by one of the former musicians of the parish, Kyler Brown and his Virgin Consort.  Father Wells preached.  Bishop Walter Dennis presided at the Commendation.  And Father Kirk arranged it all.

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Volume 3, Number 33

Richard Rodney Kirk, priest, 1933-2001

The Reverend Richard Rodney Kirk died on Thursday, July 12, at his home in Saint Croix, Virgin Islands, where he had lived in retirement since 1997.  He was sixty-seven years old.

Father Kirk was born and reared in North Carolina, was graduated from the University of the South and from the General Theological Seminary.  He returned to North Carolina and served there until 1967,

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