Project Canterbury

The Chronicle of Christ Church

By Deaconess Josephine A. Lyon (1862-1939)

New Haven, Connecticut: Quinnipiack Press, no date.


THE parish, at a meeting held in Eastertide, 1913, elected as the new rector of Christ Church, the Rev. William Osborn Baker. Father Baker was a graduate of St. Paul's School and Princeton University, and had received his theological training at General Theological Seminary. He had previously been rector of St. Saviour's Church in Bar Harbor and of Trinity Church, Haverhill, Massachusetts.

His institution took place on the following Ascension Day—always a busy day, both in the church and parish house. In addition to the services connected with the institution, the day began with Masses at 6:3o and 7:30. At 10:30 the office of Institution was read by the Rev. William Harmon Van Allen, of the Church of the Advent, Boston, who acted on behalf of the Bishop. The canonical letter was read by the Rev. William H. Vibbert, Vicar Emeritus of Trinity Chapel, New York City. It was very gratifying to have this letter read by one who began his ministry many years earlier in Christ Church. The keys of the church were then presented to Father Baker by Elliott Morse, the Senior Warden. Dr. Van Allen preached from the text, "O, pray for the peace of Jerusalem." There followed immediately a solemn celebration of the Holy Eucharist. [122/123] The Rector was celebrant; Father Ganter, the deacon; and Father Edgar Masse, the sub-deacon. Among the many visiting clergy was The Very Rev. Alfred B. Baker, D.D., Rector of Trinity Church, Princeton, N. J., who came to be present at his son's institution.

After the service, luncheon was served in the parish house. The children's festival was at 5:00, followed by the annual supper; and at 7:30 Solemn Evensong was held, with a procession, attended by a good number of acolytes from the diocese.

The day was certainly calculated to demonstrate to the new rector that he had come to a live parish.

The next summer Sister Cora Fidelis, who had worked with him some time in Haverhill, Mass., came to us. Beside her work in the church school, she conducted a Bible Class on Friday afternoon, and under the rector's direction visited those needing comfort in distress or sickness. She had a marked gift as a teacher, and during the years she was in the parish she was able to lead many into ways of greater devotion to the Church. After Michaelmas, 1922, her health proving equal to the trip, she returned to be near her family in Colorado.

Two beautiful windows completing the series of four planned for the south aisle were blessed on November 22, 1914. They were the generous gift of Mr. William J. Garland, and one of these was placed in loving memory of his first wife, Annie G. K. Garland. It represents our Lord in the house of Saint Mary and Saint Martha in Bethany, and portrays the moment when Saint Martha has uttered her complaint and Jesus is replying: "Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken from her." The second window is [123/124] similar, except for the main subject, which is the healing of the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda.

By December, 1914, the room in the basement immediately under the tower had been entirely renovated and fitted up as a robing room for the acolytes. Only those who had tried to use the dark and crowded quarters in the sacristy can fully appreciate the comfort of the new arrangement.

On Tuesday evenings at 7:30, the parish house was open to a general guild of young women and girls of the parish who were fourteen or over. Its object was purely social, but it ever bore in mind that the social life of a parish may be as true an expression of the "Communion of Saints" as is our common worship. The guild was inaugurated the Seventeenth week after Trinity, and took the collect of that week as appropriate to its purpose, especially as interpreted by the epistle. Its method was to gather at the parish house, as visitors or members, the women or older girls of the parish, and to form such classes or subdivisions of the guild as seemed desirable or desired.

This guild was a development of St. Martha's Guild, the first guild formed in the parish by Dr. Morgan. The Christ Church Junior Girls' Athletic Association was also under the auspices of the Guild. Miss Hover, of the Arnold Gymnasium, taught fancy and folk dancing, as well as light gymnastics.

God richly blessed the parish in enabling it to add to its clerical staff Father Roger Anderson, O.H.C., who arrived January 1st, 1915, to remain at least six months, with no other break than Holy Week, when his presence was required elsewhere. Father Anderson devoted his time to various sides of parish work, preaching [124/125] a series of mission services on Friday evenings in Lent, and officiating at the Children's Eucharists. He also conducted a series of conferences for University men, and preached at other times. He remained about a year and a half as a volunteer curate, and instructed the congregation in singing the Mass. During Lent the Missa De Angelis was sung every Sunday at High Mass. A generous parishioner gave a number of copies of the music for the use of the congregation, in the hope of stimulating a general participation in the singing of the service.

In 1916 and 1917, the parish received several gifts to beautify and advance the ritual. Among them were two violet folded chasubles, given by the Misses Veader, for use by the deacon and sub-deacon on Palm Sunday, when they lay aside the dalmatic and tunicle as festal garments. Not having the folded chasubles before, the deacon and sub-deacon had served in albs. Maundy Thursday of the same year a humeral veil was worn for the first time. It was presented by Father Ganter, who had been placed in charge of the church when Father Burgess died. Soon after, the parish received a beautiful missal for use at High Mass. It is in three volumes, with special books of gospels and epistles, for use of deacon and sub-deacon. The missal is of the edition sumptuously printed at Oxford in 1867; the pages inserted in order to conform it to the American use are all hand work, and are richly illuminated. Before Christmas, the parish received the much needed gift of a crèche, which was the work of Mr. William Horatio Day, a devoted parishioner of St. Ignatius' Church, New York City.

[126] Another gift to the parish was the services of Father LaField. To list him among "new clergy" seemed strange, as the parish knew him through his services during the rector's absences in the summer, and at other times of need.

No member of the parish felt more than Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Silliman Wright the privilege of making Father LaField welcome in their home—and the following tribute was written by Mr. Wright:

"My personal recollections of the Rev. Howard LaField began with the summer of 1914, when I was transferred to membership in Christ Church, in which parish he was Assistant Priest. For several years before that, while he was still teaching at St. John's School for Boys, at Delafield, Wisconsin, he had ministered to the parish during his summer vacations.

"As Father LaField was educated at Yale and studied Physics under my father, I had the privilege of hearing of his fine standing as a student. After graduation from Yale he prepared for the ministry at Nashotah Seminary, from which he was graduated to enter the priesthood.

"Among the activities which brought us closer together was the Spanish Class which he conducted each week at the Parish House. Father LaField also taught for several years in the Bridgeport High School with much success.

"He was deeply interested in the spiritual welfare of the inmates of the New Haven County Jail, where he held services once a week in addition to his regular parish duties. Another commendable activity was his work at the County Home; this arduous task extended over a number of years, and he became so loved and [126/127] revered by the children there that it was not to be wondered at, when, at the close of his funeral, as his body was being borne down the aisle and past so many of the orphans standing there, they all instinctively fell on their knees.

"His one unfailing ambition was to be of service to his fellowmen, and his sympathy for the underprivileged and troubled was known throughout the parish.

"He was a true friend, counsellor, and advisor; and his words of wisdom and encouragement and his sound judgment of men and affairs will not soon be forgotten. His was a resolute will to carry forward, when failing health prevented more active participation in church work."

In the chancel, over the stall in which he was accustomed to sit, is the window given in memory of Father LaField by his sister, Mrs. Platt. It was dedicated October 22, 1933, one year after his death, and represents the Principalities and Powers of the angelic host.

Christ Church was much depleted by the War. Two editors of the Chronicle, Professor Tinker and Professor Willard Durham, of Yale, were called into service; also Father Roseboro, who went as chaplain.

Professor Rudolph Willard, for many years a devoted vestryman of Christ Church, [Formerly of Yale University, now Professor of English, at the University of Texas.] wrote recently to one of his friends: "The recollection of 'Frose,' as we called Father Roseboro, takes me back to what in retrospect seem the golden years of my life, my first two years at Yale, before the war. Christ Church made an extraordinary impression on me, those two years, concurring with the very great impression made on me by [127/128] Yale College. In my relations with Christ Church at that time Father Roseboro played a very real part. He was full of hope and enthusiasm, working on the campus, and holding forth in his rooms at 1087 Chapel Street. Those were the days when Father Anderson used to be seen going about in a Holy Cross habit, when Father LaField was preaching on a Sunday evening, and when Father Baker, but newly-come to New Haven, was presiding over all, and standing at the center of our spontaneous loyalties and affections.

"To me a crude, but hungry and callow, youth from the piney woods of East Texas, Yale was an incredibly wonderful place. What Yale meant to me in learning, Christ Church meant to me in religion. The life and activity of the church, as I first saw it operative in Christ Church, was a great surprise to me. I had never dreamed any such thing existed. Daily Mass was aweinspiring, and so, too, the daily saying of matins and evensong; they seemed apostolical. Solemn High Mass and Solemn Evensong were occasions, eagerly looked forward to: acolytes, priests, banners, processions, candles, incense, mass-music; it seems sentimental as I type this sequence out. What had impressed me so deeply was the Catholic ideal and the Catholic way of life of which these were but superficialities. The Episcopal Church itself was a surprise to me. As I had known it before, it had always impressed me as stuffy, dry, snobbish, the acme of spiritual dearth. What I came to feel was a way of life, not limited to New Haven and certain select Succursales in New York and other pleasant chosen places, but stretching out in time and space back to the apostolic era. I was brought up an evangelical, a Bible Christian, really a fundamentalist. [128/129] I found in Christ Church a great many of the essential elements I had learned to cherish, and I found them enriched, sometimes mitigated, and usually increased by more.

"In those early days I remember how we would flock joyously to Solemn Evensong. The singing of the psalms was exciting, and, so, too, the singing of the Magnificat. After evensong we would gather, sometimes at ‘Tink's' rooms, sometimes at Father Roseboro's: John Allison, ‘Tink', Gilbert Troxell, A. Meyer, and others, varying undergraduates occasionally; and we would enjoy pleasant comradeship, often talking of ‘the good things of God.' This sounds pietistic, but it wasn't. What impresses me so in retrospect is the antiseptic wit and humor that prevailed. [Professor Chauncey Brewster Tinker, later Senior Warden.]

"At that time 'Frose' was busy going about the campus, calling on students. With his particular combination of social grace, directness, intelligence, good humor, he made a strong appeal to non-churchmen as well as churchmen, as is witnessed by a number of conversions. He was not successful with everyone, of course; for some resented the very strength of his belief and conviction, and occasionally a trace of cockiness, and the logic of his belief as it affected the practice of religion.

"When I saw Father Roseboro in the summer of 1939, I felt again the humility and tenderness of the priest, the deep religious devotion and spirituality, the love of people and profound sympathy for the poor and unfortunate, the strong sense of social responsibility—all that I had deeply admired in him. He was successful with the undergraduates, because he was simple, strong, devout; but his manner was easy, casual, without the [129/130] slightest hint of pietism. He could with equal facility and charm discuss a theological point of view, a Paris restaurant (generally relating all the circumstances and details of a meal eaten years ago in some gastronomic shrine), a Christian duty, a football game, the merits of a book or a play, or recall certain charming mutual friends. He was a firm Catholic and never minced matters; but at his best he was good-humored and tactful. Compulsory chapel at Yale, or alternative church attendance, was a help to him, for it assured him a congregation on Sunday; and it also gave him an opportunity through which he plucked more than one brand from the burning. What the Reverend Lawrason Riggs is to the Roman Catholics of Yale today, ‘Frose' was to the Episcopalians of a quarter of a century ago."

In 1918, we had an honor roll of eighty-four men in our country's service. The last soldier to be added to our roll was the first one called to make the supreme sacrifice. Dorance Edward Gray, of the New Haven Blues, Io2nd Infantry, was one of the earliest to leave this city for France, and he was gassed in the first serious battle in which Americans were engaged. On returning home, he had the privileges of the Church given him and died in her arms. He was buried from Christ Church with full military honors on October loth, 1918.

Those who were left at home accepted cheerfully the added duties which fell upon them. The women of the parish busied themselves with Red Cross work, and lectures and concerts were punctuated by the click of knitting needles.

[131] On May 15th, 1917, Bishop Brewster ordained to the priesthood the Rev. William Pitt McCune, now Rector of St. Ignatius' Church, New York City, where he has spent all his zealous priesthood; and at the same service, the Rev. Harold S. Sawyer, now Rector of Grace Church, Utica, N. Y.

The same month we had to accept the resignation of Mr. Edmund Silk, who had been the faithful, hardworking treasurer of the parish for twenty-four years. Few have been privileged to serve a church so long and continuously. Moreover, Mr. Silk's tenure of office coincided with the great era of the material expansion of the parish, so that an enormous burden of financial detail was imposed upon him—a burden the weight of which only one or two members of the parish could fully appreciate. To his scrupulous care was due in no small measure the successful administration of the parish finances. At the time of his resignation, there was written: "We are not a rich parish; we have no large endowment; and no stated income from pew-rents; and we have no wealthy benefactors who annually pay a large percentage of the running expenses. Under such conditions, the lot of a parish treasurer is not enviable. Resources must be carefully husbanded in order to avoid deficits, and their enervating effects on the parish life. Our freedom from harassing worries of this kind has been largely due to the treasurer's watchfulness and devotion." Mr. Silk continued to give the aid of his valuable experience until the illness which ended with his death on November 19, 1927. At that time Professor Tinker wrote: "Attention to financial welfare is not always a cheerful or invigorating task, [131/132] but all who remember Mr. Silk in the office of treasurer will instinctively recall his quiet confidence in Christ Church and its destiny which was the central faith and principle of all that he did for us.

"His devotion to the Christian religion and to the parish life which embodies it was no less conspicuous because it was quiet and unostentatious. It was seen and felt in all that he did, whether in his position as superintendent of the Sunday School, at St. Andrew's Mission or as vestryman of the parish. At last, when he became senior warden in 1918, there was a general conviction that the task had been entrusted to one who had demonstrated his fitness for it by a life-long devotion.

"It is part of the reward of such a life that its influence does not end with death. Christianity has always given emphasis to the doctrine that we walk in the light of those who have preceded us in the way. It is not alone from the saints of old that we derive inspiration and power, but from those whom we have ourselves seen and known at work in our very midst and who by their lives reveal to us the opportunity of our own."

Another long and faithful period of service to Christ Church was closed by the death of Mr. Elliott Howe Morse on January 14th, 1918. Becoming a member of the parish half a century previously, a vestryman in 1870, and senior warden in 1906, he was privileged to bestow upon this church a lifetime of quiet and devoted service. Judgment such as he brought to the conduct of the temporal affairs of this parish is the result of long experience of spiritual things, and of the practical knowledge of men, which is in the power of few to devote to any institution.

[133] He remembered other faces, former times; yet he was in no sense restricted in his ideals for the parish by his recollection of former conditions. He had been too thoughtful a witness of the remarkable blessings of Almighty God in this parish to have any timid doubts of its future. When it was definitely decided in 1889 to build a new church, he was appointed treasurer of the fund, a position which he retained during the active period of the erection of the new building. Modesty was perhaps his most conspicuous gift. Those who knew him in his work as vestryman and warden were constantly impressed by his unwillingness to put himself forward in any way, save as the servant of the parish. To us he seemed to illustrate the commandment, "He that is greatest among you shall be your servant." Of praise and appreciation for his work, he was entirely careless. Those who had occasion to consult with him regarding the material needs of the parish will not soon forget that in the midst of an unusually occupied life, he always seemed to have unlimited leisure to give to the deliberation on the needs of Christ Church. To his ripe knowledge of business affairs has been largely due the sound financial condition of the parish, and the wise placing of its investments. This is an aspect of his work, by which future generations of the parish will benefit no less than those who witnessed the laying of the broad foundations.

In 1919, the Rector was made chaplain of the County Home and the County jail, which work has been carried on faithfully ever since. The spiritual care of the orphans had become more or less of a tradition in the parish; for it was as early as 1864 that a tribute was placed in the New Haven Orphan Asylum annals on [133/134] the death of the Rev. Joseph Brewster, our first rector:

"Resolved, That we, individually and as a Board of Managers, regard this afflictive event as an irreparable loss to the institution, and to the large circle of children who have so greatly enjoyed his kind sympathy, his generous deeds and his Christian counsel."

In the Septuagesima number of the Chronicle, 1920, appeared this notice. "The death of Dean Horatio Parker is so serious a loss to the nation, the University, and the Church at large, that it may seem hardly fitting in Christ Church Parish to dwell upon its own relation to a man of such international importance. Yet he had been a communicant and a good friend of the parish for over a quarter of a century, and it is proper that we should make such public expression as we may of our gratitude to him for his many services to us, and of our grief at his loss.

"In the recent rebuilding of the organ his guidance was invaluable, and the results attained were largely owing to him. During the last months of his life, he had given an unusually large amount of his time and thought to us. Many are aware that it had been his ambition, had his strength permitted, to play for the first time, a composition of his own at the wedding of his youngest daughter, Isabel, in our church last November. But his health did not enable him to write down the music that was already in his mind.

"Those who love the music of the Church are, and have long been, well acquainted with the name of 'Parker' and its association with what is best in hymn, anthem, oratorio, and mass. Among the hymns, our own parish favorites are, we suppose, ‘Ancient of Days,' 'Fight the Good Fight," O, 'Twas a Joyful Sound to [134/135] Hear,' and the ‘Vexilla Regis.' His festival Mass has been sung annually in our Church for many years. Members of oratorio societies will remember with no ordinary enthusiasm the music of ‘Nora Novissima' and ‘Saint Christopher.' Those connected with Yale University can never forget his glorious ‘Memorial Ode,' first sung at Commencement last June, and destined to remain, we believe, one of his most popular compositions: it was his own unique contribution to the armies of the nation." May the light which he had so often invoked in song shine upon him perpetually.

His widow, Mrs. Parker, thoughtfully sent us a large number of copies of anthems and services which belonged to his musical library, many of them his own compositions. In addition to our feeling of pride and appreciation in Dr. Parker's reference library of Church music, it has been of great assistance to organists in the selection of music.

On Sexagesima Sunday, February 8th, 1920, Christ Church was again the scene of an Ordination, when the Rev. Charles William Carver, whose entire training had been in the parish, was advanced to the Priesthood by Bishop Weller. The candidate was presented to the Bishop by. Father Baker, and the former immediately, before the singing of the Veni Creator, clothed him with the chasuble, and during the singing of the verses, anointed him with the holy oil. After the laying on of hands, the Bible, the Paten and unconsecrated Host, the Chalice with unconsecrated wine and water (the chief instruments of his holy office) were then presented to the ordinand. The Bishop, after the presentation, was vested for the Mass, wearing the distinctive garments of deacon, priest, and bishop; the mitre which [135/136] was used for the first time was a recent gift to the parish from Miss Alice Veader.

Father Carver was on the staff of Christ Church as curate from that time until 1923, when he received a call to become Dean of the Cathedral at Albany, New York, and, after careful consideration, accepted it. Fortunately for us, he declined to go until after Trinity Sunday, having stated to the authorities of the Cathedral that he must refuse the offer entirely, if they insisted on his coming earlier. A farewell party was given him in the parish house on the evening of May 1st, to which two hundred and twenty-five people came, and the Dean-elect was presented by the Rector, on behalf of the parishioners, with an alb, amice, and surplice of fine linen beautifully embroidered; also with a purse of gold. As it was the tenth anniversary of Father Baker's coming to the parish many of the people present took the opportunity of thanking him for all he had done for the parish.

About this time three young women went out from Christ Church to work in more distant fields: Miss Lillian Swainson went as a missionary nurse to the Diocese of Zanzibar, where her brother was stationed; Miss Grace Hall went to the Diocese of North Carolina, to work as a missionary under the direction of Father Lobdell; and Miss Margaret Lewis was advanced to full profession as Sister Gabrielle in the Order of St. Anne. On May 29th, the Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi, 1921, the Bishop set apart for the office of Deaconess, Ruby Helen Thomson, whose untiring and enthusiastic work with children, and among the sick and those in need has made her greatly beloved not only in the parish but throughout the whole city.

[137] Relying on its usual good fortune, the parish mentioned through the Chronicle of Whitsuntide, 1920, the need of a new white chasuble. On Maundy Thursday of the following year, an exquisite one was given by the Misses Veader, being their own design and needlework. This was later completed by a stole and maniple, used first on All Saints' Day.

Another much needed gift was four beautiful brass alms basins, presented by Mrs. Wilbur Day, the mother of one of our present vestrymen, Mr. Osborne A. Day, in memory of her grand-daughter, Katherine Baxter Day. They are of lovely workmanship, and deeper than the ones previously used, which had become too shallow to hold the increasing offertory.

Later in the year the Rector blessed the large crucifix now hanging on the pillar near the pulpit. It was found in the studio of Mr. Lualdi, having been made by him under the direction of Mr. Vaughan, as a model for a devotional crucifix. It is interesting to know that Mr. Lualdi took Mr. Vaughan's face as his inspiration, and those who knew the latter recognize the likeness.

That we are neither parochial nor narrow is shown by the appointment of collectors for the Mary Wade Home and the Florence Crittenden Mission; and by our interest in the Church Mission of Help, which induced it to hold its annual meeting in our parish house in 1923. It was the same spirit which had led it to sponsor St. Faith's House, a home for unmarried mothers, which was established in New Haven in 1898, but after a few years moved to Tarrytown, N. Y., where it is still doing very valuable work.

Mrs. Wilbur Day, who died March 11, 1922, generously left the sum of $1,000 "to be used for and [137/138] devoted to the purposes of the Sanctuary Chapter." The Vestry, at its meeting of May 1st, passed a vote expressing deeply its appreciation and ordered that the legacy be given to the Trustees of Donations and Bequests for Church Purposes, to be held by them for the use specified in the will.

In 1923 an offering of $5.00 was made by Mrs. Delia Whistler, a devout communicant who has since gone to her rest, for a tabernacle and throne to be placed on our High Altar. Soon after that, Mr. Robb, one of our consulting architects of the firm of Frohman, Robb and Little, drew a design for it. After the children's window was placed in the Church, their birthday offerings were designated for the new gift, also the offerings at baptisms and at Benedictions. Thank offerings, and gifts in memory of departed communicants of the parish increased the fund to $1,315, which covered the expense, including that of a pedestal built behind the Altar to support the weight. An oak case, in which to keep the throne when not in use, is kept in the sacristy.

After three years of waiting it was finished, and, on All Saint's Day, 1931, was blessed by the Rt. Rev. Charles B. Colemore, Bishop of Puerto Rico, and was used at Benediction the same evening for the first time. A crucifix, with a mellowed ivory Corpus, reported to have been taken from an Abbot's cell during the Reformation, was presented to us to be used in the throne during the service preceding Benediction. The nature of the offerings made the tabernacle and throne a gift from a large proportion of the parish. The next objective for the birthday offerings was planned to be a new [138/139] confessional for the west end of the nave at the south side of the Church.

One day in January, 1928, the Rector found on the Altar of the Lady Chapel, an envelope on which was written: "A promised vow to the Blessed Virgin for help in great distress." Within the envelope were five dollars.

In 1925 we find the following notice: "Dr. Ernest LeRoy Thomson, in consideration of the high regard which he bears toward the Hospital of Saint Raphael, and for the purpose of providing proper care and medical and surgical attention for worthy members of the Parish of Christ Church, has donated the sum of ten thousand dollars to the hospital, in consideration of which a furnished room and bed with all proper care will be perpetually maintained in the hospital, for the use and accommodation of such worthy members of the parish as may be appointed by the rector." The room is a comfortable one, located upon the second floor, and the plate upon the door bears the following inscription: "Private Room in Perpetuity. Gift of Doctor Ernest LeRoy Thomson. For the benefit of Members of Christ Church Parish, of the City of New Haven, A. D. 1925."

Following Father Roseboro, who had completed ten years of service with us when he left October 1, 1924, the Rev. Leonel E. W. Mitchell came to us as curate, resigning his parish, St. Andrew's, in Norwich, Conn,, to do so. He remained with us until the Fall of 1927, when Father Baker, to save expenses, decided to try to run the parish alone without a curate. The Rev. George Barhydt, who had just returned from abroad, offered his help, which was accepted, and his sweet [139/140] courtesy proved ,him most successful, especially with regard to his work in charge of the acolytes. All his services Father Barhydt assumed voluntarily, and made a free-will offering to the Church and to the cause for which this parish has stood for so long. His acquaintance with Christ Church, and his devotion to it, had extended over a term of years, so that he had been personally known to a succession of rectors and members of the parish.

In all this period he had never failed to give expression to the interest which he felt in us. Those who heard his last sermon from our pulpit will remember it as his God-speed to us. In particular it was owing to Father Barhydt's generosity that the nine o'clock Mass could be continued during the autumn and current winter. He was, in spite of the growing burden of physical suffering, known to all the servers, and their duties gained an added reverence because of the gracious per, son who had general supervision of them. This continued until his death in 1930. During his last illness the Rev. Dr. Cline took over his duties.

Father Cline, of the Berkeley Divinity School, while never officially connected with our staff of clergy, gave us very often the Sundays that he was in New Haven. Being assistant to Dean Ladd, he was frequently called out of town to represent the school and to further its interests. In addition to this work at Berkeley, he welcomed the opportunity given him at Christ Church of saying Mass, preaching, and keeping in touch with parochial life. He was formerly Professor of Pastoral Theology at the General Theological Seminary, and was one of the examining chaplains of the Diocese of New York. At the close of 1930, Father Cline accepted [140/141] a call to the rectorship of Christ Church, Watertown, Conn., and we greatly felt our loss.

After Easter, 1934, Father Baker yielded to the desire of his friends, and sought rest and refreshment in a sea voyage. From the midst of it he sent his resignation to the parish; but before this he had planned his fourth gift to the Church. The first was the screen at the entrance to the Chapel, exquisitely carved to correspond with the choir screen, and given by Father and Mrs. Baker in memory of their son, Carroll, who died while at preparatory school. The second gift was the Altar of St. Michael and All Angels in the tower gallery, which was completed and first used at the Catholic Congress in November, 1925. The third was the holy water stoups, given as a thank-offering for Mrs. Baker's recovery from a serious illness. The fourth was the conversion of a coal bin into a much-needed choir room. The installation of an oil burner had rendered the coal bin unnecessary, and Father Baker saw that it would make a comfortable room for the choir, and prevent the distraction caused by the closing exercises of the Sunday School. Five windows lighted it well; and so an oak floor was laid and the walls panelled with maple, and lockers built in for cassocks and cottas, and sturdy, graceful benches made. It made a beautiful work room; also it gave constructive work and a day's wage to eleven young men of the Church, who were out of employment during the Depression. It was directed by Mr. Jesse Mallory, one of our parishioners and a boss carpenter. That the young men appreciated this opportunity is evidenced by the inscription they hung in the room: "The construction of this room was made possible by the Reverend William Osborn Baker, at a [141/142] time of great unemployment, and we the workmen who thereby received employment shall ever be grateful."

Many of the events recounted in this chapter are experiences every parish knows: the loss of loyal workers, the undertakings of guilds and organizations, the generous outpouring of gifts by loving souls. In other happenings in the parish, some here set down, others not mentioned, can be read the character and achievements of this priest under whose discipline we had placed ourselves.

Readers of this our parish history are aware that from the earliest days Christ Church had struck out the path its priests were to follow the way of the Catholic Faith. Successive rectors had carried further the way laid out painstakingly and patiently by those who had gone before. Father Baker's rectorship shows a patient coordination of all the work to further the Catholic faith and practice which had been done in earlier years. He encouraged and brought to actuality all those things peculiar to the parish. The church fabric was enriched with the beauty of new windows, paving, carving of wood and stone and lights for the Sanctuary. Among the first additions to the church and to our devotional life were the Stations of the Cross, which had been planned for by Father Burgess, and blessed for use in Lent, 1917. Father Baker's own compilation of "The Way of the Cross" was soon after published, with illustrations from these Stations. The services were made lovelier by new vestments and finally were given the glory of plainsong.

Father Baker at once felt the responsibility and opportunity of the parish in regard to the students of the University. As early as September, 1913, he wrote [142/143] in the Chronicle, "It is the hope of the rector to have a celebration of the Holy Communion with an address on Sunday mornings at 9 o'clock especially intended for University men. The students will be asked to sit in the choir stalls and sing the hymns and parts of the Communion service." This Mass has continued, with some changes, to be held. As time went on, Father Baker saw to it that one of the curates should devote a considerable part of his time to the work among the students; that Father Roseboro and later Father Anderson did this successfully is well borne out by the testimony of Professor Willard.

Christ Church, from its very nature, was always known outside the limits of New Haven, in the diocese and in the Episcopal Church at large. Under Father Baker it became like a beacon light to other parishes all over the country who were struggling along the thorny way that has always beset those endeavoring to set forth the whole faith of the Church as it was handed down by the Apostles. It also took its place among the few strongholds of Catholic faith and practice, not only in America but in England. While this was partly the result of quiet development in the parish itself, it was given great impetus by Father Baker, who found many opportunities of bringing to us the most distinguished leaders of Catholic thought. Bishops, scholars, founders and heads of our monastic orders considered it an honor to preach at Christ Church. Days of devotion, retreats and missions were attended not only by our own people but by scores of fellow-Catholics isolated in parishes where they were starving for the fare spread out before us daily. They came as pilgrims to a shrine and went away with new courage.

[144] The linking of Christ Church with the Catholic Movement in the Church as a whole found its climax in the first Catholic Congress, which was held in New Haven November 3rd, 4th and 5th, 1925, with Christ Church as its headquarters. Father Baker had attended the great Anglo-Catholic Congress held in London in July, 1924, and had come back aglow with the inspiration of it. He was also an enthusiastic and influential member of the Conference of Associated Catholic Priests (an organization better known as the Priests' Convention, which was the outgrowth of the Priests' Fellowship of the diocese of Connecticut, formed by a little group of Catholic-minded priests at Christ Church in 1920). At a meeting of the Conference in Philadelphia in 1924, it was decided to broaden its efforts to spread the great truths of the faith by an annual Congress, to be a permanent feature of the life of the American Church. After further consideration the Conference determined that this annual gathering should be called the "Catholic Congress, intended to embrace in its membership clergy and laity alike, and, meeting from year to year in different centres, to give far-reaching publicity to the truths of Christ and to the theory and life of the Holy Catholic Church, as well as specific counsel and admonition concerning current problems and difficulties of Churchmen."

The Congress proved to be an unforgettable experience. Delegates and hosts, we all attended those sessions held in the High School Auditorium feeling like crusaders. "Hail, Mary, full of grace" was our Internationale. Looking about the crowd one might see the familiar face of a priest whom he had known in some remote parish of a distant state, and realize with a [144/145] thrill—"So he is one of us!" The sense of solidarity, of the power of the truths we were there to fight for together, made it one of the greatest of religious experiences. The high point of the Congress was reached on Sunday with the Solemn High Mass at which Bishop Brewster pontificated.

Christ Church continued to take part in this great movement, and five years later the Rev. C. Clark Kennedy, who had become National Secretary of the Catholic Congress, was able, by the generosity of the Rector and vestry, to move the Congress offices to Christ Church parish house. In return, Father Kennedy gave to the parish as much service on the staff as his Congress duties permitted.

As a teacher, Father Baker laid his emphasis on two great Catholic principles, first, Penance, and secondly, Devotion to our Lord in the Holy Sacrifice, and in those particular principles which he tried to instill in us, are shown forth the leading qualities of his own character.

The first of his teachings was penance. Father Baker did not know any other name for sin, and he taught us not to flinch from recognizing and acknowledging our sins in the sacrament of confession. We went to confession, burdened with a sense of all that was separating us from our heavenly Father, yet knowing that with absolution would come the peace that he had described to us of a joyous meeting with Our Lord the next morning at the altar. He taught penance in his sermons, in the pages of the Chronicle, in confirmation classes and in Sunday School. Thus he built up in the parish the regular practice of confessions, which, as we have seen, had been introduced into the parish years before.

[146] As an instructor for confirmation he showed the same strictness to the truths of the Catholic Faith. Articles of the creed, doctrines and usages of the Church, were all made clear and definite—then the final admonition to cleanse the soul by the sacrament of penance that the great gifts of the Holy Spirit to be received the next day might find good soil in which to grow. In his classes people long confirmed continued to come year after year to sit with the new candidates and profit by his clear, practical, and uncompromising instruction.

Perhaps he was at his best among the children in the Sunday School room. There austerity was always tempered with gentleness, and the joy that pervaded his own religious experience joined with the happiness of the children to make the basement room fairly glow. I have known grown-ups to make it a practice to slip down into the Sunday School during Father Baker's instruction to the children, to "gather up the crumbs."

Father Baker frequently preached on the subject of the faithful making their communions at early masses, and fasting. At a parish meeting in 1917 the Rector announced that a devoted parishioner had sent him the amount of the deficit in the year's expenses, as a thank-offering to Almighty God for the cessation of late communions. The rector stated that it was most encouraging to him and gratifying to us all to have a parishioner who cared enough for our spiritual welfare to make such a noble offering, because we were all making our communions fasting at the early masses. The parishioners spontaneously rose to their feet to give the anonymous giver their vote of thanks. In thus doing, we then committed ourselves to the rule of our branch [146/147] of the Catholic Church with respect to fasting communions.

With his encouragement, on October 15th, 1914, the Christ Church Ward of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament was organized. The main object of the general society is, to quote from the manual, "the honor due to the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament of His Body and Blood." Vespers of the Blessed Sacrament were read for the Confraternity once a month; from it gradually developed the desire for, and, finally, the introduction of, the service of Benediction in our parish. At the acolytes' service held on St. Mark's day, 1921, the service of Adoration was used, the Rector being the officiant with Father Anderson as deacon and Father Nason as subdeacon. The annual report of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament printed Septuagesima, 1924, states that Benediction had been held monthly during the preceding year in addition to their regular meetings. A Day of Devotion at which Dr. B. Iddings Bell preached on November 18, 1923, closed with Benediction.

At these first services a monstrance, lent to us by Father Racciopi of Trinity Church, Bridgeport, was used, but plans were already on foot to obtain one of our own. A committee consisting of Deaconess Mary S. Johnson, Miss Elizabeth White and the Misses Veader was appointed to receive donations of silver and jewels from members of the parish, to be used in carrying out the design made especially for us by Mr. Robb of Boston. The monstrance, in the form of a sort of tabernacle with miniature Gothic arches and pinnacles, made of silver gilt and studded with jewels, was ready by Ascension Day of 1924. The expense of executing the [147/148] work was largely borne by the Misses Veader, as a memorial to their father, Mr. Daniel Veader, who was for many years a friend and benefactor of Christ Church. Gifts of money were also made by members of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, who had long been eager to have a monstrance for use in our church. The gift and use of this monstrance, as Father Baker wrote, make a fitting climax to the adoration which we all desire to pay to our Lord mystically present in the consecrated elements.

On the Easter Even of 1913, just before his coming, the Paschal Candlestick designed by Mr. Vaughan was placed at the Gospel side of the Sanctuary, and, with the tall, heavy wax candle which it held, was blessed. Going back to the earliest days of the Church liturgy, this candle had burned from Easter Even until Ascension Day in order to signify our Lord's bodily presence with his disciples during these forty days of instruction and preparation.

Father Anderson, in April, 1915, had described to us the Holy Week Liturgy as it is carried out at Holy Cross Monastery. His presence in the parish at this time was a great aid to Father Baker in instituting these services. On Maundy Thursday of that year continuous intercession was held before the Blessed Sacrament from after the High Mass until evening, the altar in the Lady Chapel being beautifully decorated with quantities of white flowers as an altar of repose. "Tenebrae"—rites symbolizing Christ's passion and death—were sung on the evening of Maundy Thursday, 1921.

Three young men who had much of their training in Christ Church were ordained by Bishop Brewster: At Christ Church Cathedral, Hartford, on May 6th, [148/149] 1926, the Rev. Harold Renfrew was advanced to the Priesthood. The Rev. Delmar Markle, who spent all his early days in Christ Church, was also advanced to the Priesthood. Mr. William Kernan, who was confirmed at Christ Church during his college course, was ordained deacon at Trinity Church, Middletown, on June 2nd, 1926. They were all presented by the Rector.

Two young women entered the religious life from this parish. On February 26, 1927, Delia Prout was clothed as a novice at the Convent of St. Anne, Kingston, N. Y. Her religious name is Sister Margaret. On the eve of St. Joseph's, Lillian Tait was clothed as a novice at the Convent of the Holy Nativity, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. She is known as Sister Lillian Bertha.

The first of our Processions of the Holy Sacrament took place on Washington's Birthday, 1924, when the Priests' Fellowship held a Eucharistic Conference in Christ Church. Acolytes and priests made a procession of about one hundred and fifty persons, many coming from a long distance. The large congregation showed great reverence and it was felt that the service itself had done more to win people to the Church and the Catholic Faith than many sermons. A procession of the Holy Sacrament was made at the St. Vincent's Day celebration the next year, and we shall long remember the Holy Sacrament being borne in Procession in the Octave of Corpus Christi, 1934, just before Father Baker left us.

The Rector's resignation was received with deepest regret by the parish, for many realized that they could never make due acknowledgment for the twenty-one years of whole-hearted devotion he had given, for his [149/150] patience in bearing the heavy burdens of the parish during the depression, nor for the affection and generosity he had lavished upon our beloved church.

Father Baker now lives in Morristown, New Jersey, and carries on his priestly duties as Warden of the Community of St. John Baptist at Ralston. Fortunate indeed is this sisterhood in having to guide them a priest so centered in devotion to Our Lord in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, so austere and yet so loving in his care of the souls under his charge!

The Rev. C. Clark Kennedy, who had been prepared for confirmation while an undergraduate at Yale by Dr. Morgan, was chosen to be the seventh rector of Christ Church. He had studied for the priesthood at General Theological Seminary, and had been connected with our parish for several years. He commenced his duties with us on July 1st, 1934.

To a history such as ours there can be no conclusion; but surely the time-honoured phrase with which we bring it to a close, was never more appropriately used, nor did it ever imply a fairer hope than it does here:


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