Project Canterbury

The Story of St. Mary's

The Society of the Free Church of St. Mary the Virgin, New York City 1868-1931

Edited by Newbury Frost Read

New York: Published for the Board of Trustees, 1931.


At the first Meeting of 1921 Dr. Barry announced his desire to be relieved of the organized work of the Parish, but to retain his Presidency of the Board of Trustees and to preach on Sundays. This arrangement was agreed to and a notice was ordered sent to those who pledge, advising them that the Rector had relinquished certain of his duties.

[232] Although the year 1920 had ended with a deficiency of $4,500, the Trustees fixed the appropriations for 1921 at $45,807, which was an increase of $4,470.40 over those of the previous year.

At the Regular Meeting of the 4th April, 1921, the resignation of Beverly Chew from the Board, which had been declined in December, was again taken under consideration at his insistence. Chew's request left his associates no alternative, and his resignation was accepted with regret. Elected in 1876, Beverly Chew had served St. Mary's faithfully and well as a Trustee for nearly forty-five years. This record has not been equalled by any other servant of St. Mary's, and it would be very difficult to overestimate the obligation which the Church owes to his brilliant mind, his calm judgment, and his unswerving devotion.

Everett Vincent Thomas was elected in Chew's place, and at once took his seat.

For some reason, the previous determination to discontinue the Chancel Choir had not been adhered to, but at this Meeting Mr. Nold reported the impossibility of getting either boys or men, and it was decided to forego the Chancel Choir after the 1st June.

Under the direction of Mr. Eugene W. Mason, Jr., Ricci, Ardolino, and Di Lorenzo, Inc., had submitted an estimate in the sum of $3,400 for erecting a marble spire over the Tabernacle of the High Altar, and this estimate was accepted.

Dr. Barry presented a brief resume of the twelve years of his Rectorship, and called attention particularly to the very gratifying gains which the Parish had made both spiritually and financially during the past two years. He estimated that about 80% of the congregation had changed since 1909, and expressed his opinion that the newcomers were more solid and reliable people. This statement came with the voice of authority, for no one since Fr. Brown has known the Congregation as Dr. Barry knew them, and it would perhaps be well if those who continually prophesy disaster for St. Mary's because of its location, would hearken to these words.

The annual report of the Sisters' work was presented at the May Meeting by Sister Mary Kathleen, the Sister in charge, and it is interesting to note from it that work had been started at Columbia University in the previous November.

A bequest of $500 came to the Church under the will of Mrs. [233/234] Caroline Foote Kellogg in memory of Frank Abbott Kellogg, deceased, to be used for the Summer Home. It was gratefully accepted and applied to the reduction of the mortgage on the property at Keyport.

At the Annual Meeting, 20th December, 1921, the Rector nominated the Reverend Henry K. Pierce, who had been with the Parish for about two years without appointment, to be a curate.

Dr. Barry announced the gift from Miss May Burrough of a valuable lace frontal and super-frontal for the High Altar. He also exhibited the preliminary sketches of the painted wall decoration which was to be placed in the ambulatory back of the High Altar. The painting was to be executed on wood by Henry Wynd Young.

Two statues were erected on the pillars, one the gift of Dr. Barry and one presented by Mr. William V. B. Kip.


For the first time, the Records of the Regular January, 1922, Meeting contain a report from St. Mary's Guild, submitted by Mrs. W. W. Raymond, the faithful and efficient treasurer for many years. The report shows that during 1921 the receipts of the Guild were $1,732.30, and the disbursements $1,604.23. Of the latter, the principal items were $507 for the Sacristy and care of the linen, $335.50 for flowers for the Altar, $401 toward the cost of the spire, $234.81 for a cope for Dr. Delany, and $30 toward the silk canopy.

A second Meeting had to be called in January to fix the annual appropriations, which were at length set at the total of $50,769.92, an increase of $4,962.92 over that of the previous year. During these years costs were mounting rapidly, but there is something distinctly reminiscent of the early days in the grave discussions on the need for strict economy which invariably preceded the adoption of the annual appropriations, that were increased each year about ten per cent.

At the February Meeting the Treasurer announced the receipt of a legacy of $2,000 left to the Church by Mrs. Blanchard. He was also able to report that at the first of the month there had been received 390 pledges for a total of $26,776.70. Both these figures were the largest in the history of the Parish at this time of the year, the amount of money exceeding that of the previous year by $2,624.

[235] Complaints having been made that certain parts of the Church buildings were not being kept clean, the Treasurer was authorized to employ Mr. Ball at an agreed salary to supervise the cleaners.

At the October Meeting the report of the Summer Home was received, and the thanks of the Board were tendered to Sister Etheldreda. It was characteristic of Dr. Barry that he pointed out, when this report was read, that of the receipts for the Summer Home, $243.70 had been contributed by the Guild of St. Mary of the Cross, $214.25 had been paid for board by some of those who went to the Home, and $163.59 had been put in the alms-box there, making a total of $641.64 contributed by the people for whom the Summer Home is maintained.

The Rector presented a request at this Meeting from the Misses Arnold to be authorized to put new wardrobes for altar cloths in the small room near the Chancel, which was rather quaintly described as "the room that Miss Guion used." This is the first appearance in the records of the name of two ladies who are deeply and justly appreciated at St. Mary's, although this was by no means the first of their benefactions to the Parish.

Dr. Barry laid before the Board sketches and plans of the proposed painting by Henry Young which "extends from the sill of the window to the top molding of the arch surmounting the piers" of the apse. He was authorized to proceed with the work, when the money should be in hand; and, true to his practice in such cases, announced at the next Meeting that it had been deposited with the Treasurer. Much of it had been contributed by the ladies just mentioned.

Certain ladies of the Parish had undertaken to raise funds to redecorate St. Joseph's Chapel, which fact had come to the knowledge of St. Mary's Guild, and at the Annual Meeting the Trustees received an almost pathetic letter from Sister Mary Katheleen, written on behalf of the Guild, asking that the Guild room be lighted by electricity before the painting was done in the Chapel. The usual "compromise" was effected, and the ladies who were raising the money to decorate the Chapel were asked to raise some more to electrify the Guild room. As disciples of the theory of self-help Dr. Barry and Haley Fiske were thoroughly consistent.

Three notable gifts were made the Church during this year: a [235/236] carved cover for the font was presented by Haley Fiske, who also erected the statue of St. Jude to the memory of his sister, Mrs. Francis Van Dyke; and Everett V. Thomas gave the statue of St. Thomas as a memorial of his late wife.


The opening record of the year 1923 indicates with what care the books of the Corporation were kept. "It was voted that the Treasurer be directed to mark off an item of assets amounting to $24.6$ that has been carried for a number of years under the heading of 'Copyright'." This alleged asset represented the interest of the Corporation in the photographs of the paintings in the Lady Chapel.

The annual appropriations were fixed at $54,284, an increase of $3,514.08 over those of 1922; and congratulations were voted to the Rector, Mr. Hatfield and E. V. Thomas "on the splendid financial results of their efforts during 1922."

At the Meeting of the 15th February "The Rector presented a proposal for the erection of a Chantry to be dedicated to Our Lady1 of Mercy on the Epistle side of the Nave adjoining St. Joseph's Chapel, and presented preliminary plans, the cost to be raised by inviting parishioners and others to subscribe twenty-five dollars each for a memorial to designated persons, which includes the saying of a Requiem Mass four times a year for twenty-five years. On motion the proposition submitted by the Rector was adopted and he was authorized to proceed."

Announcement was made at the May Meeting of a new carved oak pulpit to be given as a thanksgiving offering for the Rectorship of Dr. Barry. This announcement was made by Haley Fiske, but he did not say that he was to be the donor of the magnificent work, which is justly considered one of St. Mary's greatest treasurers.

Contracts with Henry Wynd Young for the two clerestory paintings in the apse, one on either side of the central one that had been completed; and with R. Menconi for the cresting to be placed above the paintings, were authorized to be executed.

E. V. Thomas had interested himself in having the Rectory, Mission House and Clergy House lighted by electricity, and had raised the necessary funds by private subscription. The work was ordered to be [236/237] done by L. W. Dermody for $1,300. Difficulties were encountered as the work progressed which doubled its cost.

The Meeting of the 6th June was largely devoted to routine preparations for the summer, but the Trustees found time to extend their best wishes to the Treasurer, who was about to sail for England, and who, at the suggestion of the Rector, was asked to represent them at the Catholic Congress. At the Treasurer's suggestion, Dr. Barry was authorized to arrange for a Mission to be given the last ten days of Lent and to engage a Missioner from England.

By the autumn the new pulpit was being erected, and the Trustees presented the marble pulpit which had been brought from the old Church to St. Mary's Chapel at Mount McGregor, New York.

Probably with the recollection of the Texas Central stock in his mind, the Assistant Treasurer made a careful examination during the summer of all the papers remaining in Miss Cooke's old trunks, but nothing of value was found.

The Rector announced his intention of having an Acolyte Service with High Mass and Procession of the Blessed Sacrament on Lincoln's Birthday, and the Trustees authorized the necessary expenses for the Choir.

Dr. Barry had realized by this time that his original scheme for the Chantry was impracticable, and at this Meeting of the 23rd October he brought forward a plan to convert St. Elizabeth's Chapel and change its dedication. This plan, like the other, or like any Dr. Barry might have advocated, was approved.

On the 22nd November the Lord Bishop of Nassau was to hold an Ordination for the Ordering of a Deacon, and the extra music for this service was authorized by the Trustees at their Meeting of the 12th. At that time the Treasurer announced that the Missioner for Passion and Holy Weeks was to be the Reverend John C. H. How of the Oratory, Cambridge, England.

As was usually the case, the routine business at the Annual Meeting was very heavy, but there was found opportunity for one or two matters beside. The Rector reported the gift of a monstrance, almost as valuable as the one given some years ago, but not so large, and better suited to being carried in Procession. He sought authority to have painted two bays in the Ambulatory, one on either side of the [237/238] painting of Our Lady, the funds for which work he had in hand. He further announced that a large part of the money necessary to convert St. Elizabeth's Chapel had already been paid in, and he was therefore authorized to have work started on the statue of Our Lady for the new Chantry. The statue was to cost $3,500, and that amount the Rector turned over to the Treasurer.


At the January Meeting of 1924 the Treasurer reported that the previous year had been closed with a deficit of $6,700. E. V. Thomas was appointed to assist Dr. Barry in raising this amount. Having done all they considered necessary about the past, the Trustees proceeded to increase the appropriations for the current year by $5,020, bringing the total up to $59,304.

By the next Meeting, a month later, the Rector and Thomas reported that the deficit (so called this year for the first time) had been reduced to $2,966.85.

Dr. Barry then announced the plan for completing the decoration above the Chancel and in the Ambulatory at a cost of $10,000, and that he had already deposited that amount with the Treasurer. It is unnecessary to say that he was authorized to proceed with the work, but it is worth while to glance at his technique in these matters. He collected the necessary money before he proposed to spend it; but he was always careful to turn it over to the Treasurer and thus avoided any appearance of personality. Gifts might be made through him, but they were made to the Church, and the objects for which they were given were Parish objects.

The Meeting of the 7th April was almost wholly devoted to matters connected with the decoration and beautifying of the Church. Edward F. Caldwell and Company were given the contract for installing four electric fixtures in St. Joseph's Chapel at a cost of $345.50.

A feature of the plan of constructing the Chantry was stated at this Meeting, which was unfortunately not carried out. It was that of removing the Altar from St. Elizabeth's Chapel to the space then occupied by Dr. Delany's confessional. Why it was abandoned is not clear, but in many ways it would have been an attractive addition.

The matter of the Church's plot in St. Michael's Cemetery had in [238/239] some way arisen, and at the May Meeting, estimates for its annual care were submitted, and approved.

"The nomination paper for Lansing G. Putnam for admission to the Sacred Order of Priests" was presented, and was signed by all the Trustees.

Three pictures, which had hung in St. Elizabeth's Chapel for many years, had to be removed when the Chapel became a Chantry, and consideration was given at this Meeting to their disposition. The two smaller were ordered sent to St. Mary's Chapel at Mount McGregor, and the large picture of the Immaculate Conception, was ordered to be sold.

It was announced that Fr. Bothe was leaving the Parish on the 1st June, and the Rector nominated Fr. Lascelle in his place.

Of the spiritual value of the Mission which Fr. How had conducted during Passion and Holy Weeks there was no question, but financially it had been disappointing; the Treasurer's report showing that the expenses had amounted to $1,118.54, and the collections to $554, in addition to "which a donation of $100 had been received.

Sister Mary Kathleen, who had gone to Keyport to look over the Summer Home before it opened for the season, reported that considerable damage had been done to the property during the winter. The raft, slide and beach steps had been stolen, and the main house and some of the outbuildings had been broken into and some damage done to the contents. It was as a result of these depredations that a caretaker has since been left in the House, when the parishioners are not there.

The gift of the Crucifix, candlesticks and sanctus bell for the Chantry Chapel was announced. They were ordered from Edward F. Caldwell and Company at a cost of $850, but like so many of1 the gifts that were made through Dr. Barry for the beautifying of the Church, no donor's name is recorded. Those who were financially able to do so, delighted to further Dr. Barry's schemes for adorning the Church; and he does not appear to have felt that it was necessary to specify whence the money came.

At this Meeting the Assistant Treasurer was present "as guest," and from that time, as long as Haley Fiske remained Treasurer, he attended most of the Meetings on that status. The Treasurer abated [239/240] nothing on his interest, but the combined weight of years and the pressure of the claims of the vast business organization over which he presided, obliged him to leave more and more of the details of St. Mary's finances to Mr. Dohrman.

Buildings, unfortunately, do not remain in good repair indefinitely, and although St. Mary's had been well-built, it had stood for twenty-seven years, and the time had come when the repair bills were to be an increasingly large portion of the annual appropriations. At the Meeting of the 9th June, 1924, $6,795 was authorized to be spent upon the roof, gutters and windows of the Church.

At the first Meeting of the autumn, 14th October, the Treasurer reported that the mortgage on the property at Keyport had been paid off; and that 418 pledges had been received for a total of $29,126.41.

Dr. Barry presented Sister Mary Kathleen's report of the Summer Home for the past season, in which attention was called to the retirement of Carter as caretaker, owing to ill-health and the appointment of Mr. and Mrs. Purdy in his place. The money spent at the Home, exclusive of taxes, repairs and other carrying charges amounted to $3,334.23, and the season was closed with a surplus of $59.80 in the running expenses account.

Once more the matter of the boy choir was brought up, and the Rector was given authority to try to continue it or to give it up, as he thought best. It had twice before been decided to abandon it, owing to the difficulty of securing boys, but the decision had not been carried into execution.

The creation of the Chantry Chapel had left the wooden Altar from St. Elizabeth's Chapel without a location. This wooden Altar was of great historic interest, inasmuch as it was the first Altar in the old Church. It was not deemed well to keep it, under existing conditions, and at the November Meeting Dr. Barry reported that it had been presented to the Bedford County Mission, New York.

During 1924 a gift was received from the Estate of John R. Hege-man of $20,000 as an endowment for the Summer Home. $977.50 was also received as a memorial to the late Samuel Pratt.

Miss Virginia Caroline Clarke, who probably attended more Services in St. Mary's than any other one person, had died on the 2nd February 1923, and in her memory the statue of St. Simon was placed on a pillar [240/241] of the Nave, the cost being defrayed by subscriptions from the Parishioners.

At the Annual Meeting, held this year on the Patronal Festival, the Rector reported that the statue of St. Matthias had been erected on one of the pillars of the Nave. This last of the statues was given by Parishioners in memory of Beverly Chew, and commemorates his forty-five years faithful service as a Trustee.

Dr. Barry announced that the work on the Chantry Chapel had cost $12,743.92 to date, and that the money was in hand. With the exception of the chairs, the Chapel had been completed. He reported the gift of two rugs for the Sanctuary at a cost of $500.


At the January Meeting of 1925 the appropriations for the current year were discussed, and were fixed at $66,537.44, an increase of $7,-233.44 over those of 1924. This amount included an anticipated deficit of about $6,000, but deficiencies or deficit did not frighten the Trustees--or they would have forsaken their posts long ago.

Dr. Barry, for the first time, joined the ranks of the statisticians and reported that during 1924, 1,260 Masses had been celebrated in St. Mary's, while the Communions had numbered 13,962, and the Reserved Sacrament had been taken to 435 sick persons.

Two matters, besides the usual routine business, appear in the records of the Meeting of the 9th February: the Treasurer reported the deficit of the Parish to be $11,685.57; and Sister Mary Kathleen asked permission to have the Chapel at the Summer Home enlarged. She was requested to obtain an estimate and report to the Trustees.

At the Meeting of the 9th March, Dr. Barry presented the resignation of Mr. Charles C. Marshall as a Trustee. It was accepted with regret, and Mr. Abraham Hatfield was unanimously elected in his stead. There are times when the dicta of taste and discretion become positively irksome. It is decreed, and, on the whole, wisely, that what may be said with propriety about a dead man may not be said about a living one, without overstepping the bounds of good taste. For this reason, and because the new Trustee is a stickler for that form of good taste, it may only be said that St. Mary's has had but few more generous sons than Mr. Hatfield.

[242] The Treasurer reported at this Meeting, the receipt of the legacy of $5,000 from the estate of the late Beverly Chew, who had died the 21st May, 1924.

The estimate for erecting four holy water stoups of Bottecini Marble was accepted in the sum of $920. They were the gift of the Misses Arnold.

Sister Mary Kathleen appears to have followed Dr. Barry's methods to some extent, when she reported to this Meeting that repairs were needed at the Summer Home in the amount of $200, of which she had $100 in hand; and that she would like to have electricity installed in the Mission House at a cost of $200, one-half of which sum she had already collected. It is unnecessary to add, that, with this evidence of self-help before them, the Trustees promptly agreed to do their share.

For the first time, the Easter Offering this year exceeded $5,000. This report was made at the April Meeting, and at the same time the Rector announced that he had invited Fr. Hawkins, of the Order of the Holy Cross, to preach on the Second Sunday after Easter on behalf of the new Holy Cross Mission in Liberia. A sermon on, and a collection for this object have become annual fixtures.

A letter of appreciation was ordered sent to Mr. Edward Bromberg, who had been the bass soloist of St. Mary's for fifteen years, and whose singing had given so much pleasure. This would seem a notable record were it not eclipsed later.

The lighting of the Sanctuary had not been considered satisfactory for a long time, and the Rector reported that a scheme had been evolved which it was thought would overcome the difficulties, and give the desired results.

Dr. Barry was granted a leave of absence from Easter to All Saints; and Easter greetings were sent to Mr. Daingerfield, the condition of whose health had obliged him to remain away from Meetings for a long time.

Before the summer recess, the Treasurer was able to report that the deficit, which had been $12,416.16 on the 1st January, had been reduced to $2,373.32, through donations especially made for that object of $8,408, and the payment of back pledges.

Upon assembling in the autumn the Trustees received the general and financial reports of the Summer Home from Sister Mary [242/243] Kathleen, and adopted a Resolution of thanks to the Sister for her management and care of the Home.

The receipt of two legacies was announced by the Treasurer: one of $10,000 from the late Mrs. Samuel Carey, and the other of six lots on First Avenue from the late Mrs. Helen Louise Morris.


The deficits of the past few years had convinced the Treasurer of the need for retrenchment, and the estimated appropriations for 1926, for the first time in some years, were less than those of the previous year, being fixed at $61,596.20, $4,941.24 less than those for 1925.

At the first Meeting of the year, announcement was made of the death in the previous month of Matthew William Carswell, who had been a faithful acolyte in the Parish for twenty-eight years, and of Dr. Barry's suggestion that a memorial to him be placed in the Church.

In February the matter of the organ again came up for discussion. Tentative estimates set the price of a new organ at $30,000, and the cost of repairing the old one at a figure between $6,000 and $10,000. It was now no longer possible to continue patching; the decision rested squarely between extensive repairs and a new organ. The Trustees seem to have realized the seriousness of the situation, and it was decided to go into the matter fully. It is but just to say of the then, as of the present Trustees that they know perfectly well what the proper course is. Any money spent on the present organ is but a palliative and can only tide over a short time. The solution is a new organ, but, for some reason which seems hard to comprehend, it is apparently impossible to awaken enthusiasm in a project to obtain one. Far more than the cost of a first-class organ was spent on decorations within a few years, but it had not yet been possible to inaugurate a fund for the main feature of that department of St. Mary's services which is, and from the beginning has been, most famous.

At this February Meeting "a gratuity of $300" over and above his salary, was ordered "paid to Mr. Ball by the Treasurer in recognition of the extraordinary amount of work that he has had to do of late." Mr. Frank Hoffman had ceased to be sexton, after serving in that capacity since 1905, and the inevitable adjustments incident to any [242/243] change after so many years, had thrown extra duties upon Dr. Barry's Master of Ceremonies.

At the next Meeting Dr. Barry presented a letter from Mr. A. E. Lloyd, offering to prepare a plan for rebuilding the organ, and enlarging it. No action was then taken. The Board knew what was needed but was not able to shoulder the financial burden of a new organ without help; and help was not forthcoming.

The Rector reported that he had awarded to Mr. Valentine F. d'Ogries the contract for the memorial window to Matthew Carswell, which was to contain representations of three scenes from the life of St. Matthew.

The gift from Dr. Barry of the painting in the tympanum over the door from the Nave on the Gospel side was announced at this Meeting.

A new window in the former Mortuary Chapel back of the Lady Chapel, and oak panelling and decoration of this Chapel were announced in April, but the Minutes do not record that these were additional donations from Haley Fiske. His was indeed a long, long list of munificences to the Church he loved and served so well!

It was resolved that during the summer the electrification of the Rectory should be completed. It was not, however, entirely done until the summer of 1930.

At the Meeting of the 4th October, the annual report of the Summer Home was rendered by Sister Mary Gabriel. The general section showed that 220 different people had meals at the Home during the season, and recommended certain repairs; while the financial part of the report disclosed a balance on hand of $308.26, with all bills paid. This record surplus was due to generous donations for special objects, and to careful management.

The Rector announced the resignation of Fr. Lascelle, and nominated the Reverend Robert Cornell in his place.

The gift of a della Robbia altar piece was announced by Dr. Barry, who further reported that he had ordered an Altar made of pressed wood decorated with gold leaf to be placed beneath it. This handsome altar is on the Gospel side of the Ambulatory, and was the gift of Mr. Hatfield.

At this Meeting the Rector made two other announcements: one the offer of a marble statue of Our Lord, for the Shrine of the Sacred [244/245] Heart, for the placing of which certain underpinning would have to be done to the floor of the Church; and the other that he wished the full choir and orchestra throughout the summer.

When the Trustees gathered for the Annual Meeting, the 13th December, 1926, Dr. Barry was not in the Chair. He was in St. Luke's Hospital, stricken with that illness which deprived St. Mary's of the great Preacher and Leader, who shares with Fr. Brown the credit of having made the Church what it is.

To anyone who attended the Men's Dinner, given at this time and heard the speech of Haley Fiske, delivered in place of the address the Rector had been scheduled to give, it is not necessary to say how keenly the Parish, every member of it, felt the blow that had come so suddenly. For it was sudden, when it came. Dr. Barry had talked of age, ill-health and retirement for years, but he was so sure to be in his place and to do his part on important occasions that the Parishioners had come to discount his talk, and to look upon his appearance as a certainty. But this Christmas Season he was not with the people who admired, and trusted, and loved him, and the void of his absence was very great and very bleak.

The affairs of the Parish, however, had to be attended to, and the Trustees transacted the business of the Annual Meeting. Beside matters of routine, the most interesting entry records "the gift of a shrine to the Church."

At the close of the Meeting it was resolved "that the Secretary shall write a letter to Dr. Barry, expressing the sorrow of the Board at his sickness and absence, and their prayers for his recovery."


On the 17th January the Trustees met for the first time in 1927, and began their proceedings by sending greetings to Dr. Barry, who was convalescing at Mount McGregor.

They then discussed the appropriations for the current year, fixing them at $65,226.48, an increase of $3,630.28 over those of the previous year. The larger part of this was caused by the additional $3,000 provided for the full choir and orchestra during the summer.

A curious echo of Miss Cooke's legacy appears in the Minutes of this [245/246] Meeting, where the Treasurer is authorized to mark off the assets the Chedsey-Andrews claim, which had proved to be worthless.

So hopeful were the Trustees of Dr. Barry's early recovery, that the action of the Treasurer in making certain changes in the Rectory for his greater convenience at a cost of $550 was at once approved.

On the 5th April a Service had been held for the American Guild of Organists, which seems to have met with the full approval of that organization.

All through the winter and spring Dr. Knight as Vice President had taken the Chair at Meetings, and the Minutes opened with the ominous words: "Dr. Barry was absent on account of illness." At the first Meeting in the autumn, 10th October, 1927, the Associate Rector, Dr. Delany, was invited to take the Chair.

During the summer the Altar of St. Mary of Bethlehem had been completed, and Mr. Hatfield had presented the two Eucharistic candlesticks and the Crucifix. At this Meeting they were accepted, and the cover of the container of the relic was ordered sealed.

The decoration of the former Mortuary Chapel, now part of the Lady Chapel, was completed by the painting of The Assumption, which adorns the easterly wall.

A legacy of $1,000 came to the Church from the Estate of the late Mary Wilmerding.

Additional plans and specifications for the Statue of the Sacred Heart, and for the steel which had to be erected to support the bay in which it was to be placed, were received from Mr. Mason. They had previously been displayed to the Treasurer, who had approved them and had ordered the work to proceed, and this action was sanctioned.

A letter was received from Mr. Raymond V. Nold, the Director of Music, describing the serious condition of the organ, and Mr. Hatfield was appointed to investigate the matter and report.

The Annual Meeting was a very full one (covering ten pages of the large Minute Book) and the Trustees were confronted with a wide variety of matters, ranging from the increased cost of the Music to the discovery that part of the town sewer of Keyport ran uphill, to the detriment of the Summer Home. The bill for the new steam boiler, which had been installed in 1926, was only now presented and was ordered paid; and $585 was authorized to be spent in interior painting for the Mission House. The lighting of the Chancel was still not [246/247] considered satisfactory, and experts were ordered to be consulted. The windows in St. Joseph's Chapel had been damaged by the erection of the building next door, and Mr. d'Ogries submitted his estimate for repairing them. The report of the Summer Home was received from Sister Mary Gabriel, who had managed in spite of having made certain repairs and having been robbed of $50, to end the season with a balance of $1.06. For her management of the Home during this difficult season, she deserved the thanks which were tendered her.


An indication of the additional duties which devolved upon the Trustees because of the Rector's prolonged absence, and their attempts to so manage the affairs of the Church as to minimize as far as possible the annual deficit, which came, during these years, to be looked upon as inevitable, is afforded by the fact that the time-honored hour of 4:30 was changed, and the Meetings were called for three o'clock.

At the January Meeting of 1928, the annual appropriations were presented, and after lengthy consideration were fixed at $63,889.54, a decrease of $1,336.94 from those of the previous year.

The resignation of Fr. Cornell, who was to leave in February, was announced and was accepted with expressions of appreciation for his very faithful work.

The Secretary then read a letter from Dr. Barry, in which he offered his resignation, and urged its acceptance on the ground that the interests of the Parish would be best served by so doing. The Trustees, after a full discussion, decided that Dr. Barry was wrong in this, and declined to accept his resignation.

At the Meeting of the 17th February, Dr. Delany nominated the Reverend Frederick Murray Clayton, M.A., to be curate, and the nomination was confirmed. The resignation of Fr. Pierce was presented and accepted.

The Treasurer reported that the Misses Arnold, the donors of the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, were not satisfied with the model of the Statue, and had left the decision to Dr. Barry and himself. The result of their conferences was that the face was to be changed, and this decision was announced at the next Meeting.

Mr. Hatfield had been making a careful and practical examination of [247/248] the buildings and their mechanical appliances, and as a result laid before the Board certain suggestions that were promptly accepted. One proposed to install a radiator in the Sacristy, thus eliminating the gas heater (a gas heater in such a place in the year 1928!) and another was a rearrangement of the lines so that the Rectory could be heated independently of the Church.

The duties of Mr. Ernest Ball had accumulated until it was now recognized that they had become too numerous. At the Meeting of the 9th April he was relieved from all other work than the general supervision of the building and of the employees. His salary remained unchanged and he retained his room in the Rectory.

The Trustees faced at this time a most unsatisfactory and anxious financial position, which, moreover, gave no prospect of improvement. About one hundred fewer pledges had been received than the average of the past few years, and the Easter Collection was about $400 less than it had been for a long time. Only half the amount necessary to maintain the Summer Home had been contributed, and it was regretfully decided that it could not be opened this season unless more donations were shortly received.

There is a very generally accepted theory that the financial support of a Church is solely the business of its lay officials, and that the Rector should not be burdened with the duty of raising funds. This is a delightful theory--especially for the Rector--but like many other attractive theories it does not work in practise. Unless the religious superior of any ecclesiastical organization does his share toward obtaining sufficient money, sufficient money will not be obtained. This is not to say that the rector of a parish has to personally solicit financial support from every individual parishioner, but it does mean that he must emphasize the importance of almsgiving, and must lend the weight of his position to all proper efforts to raise funds. That this is the case is obvious, when one considers the rector's position and authority and the difference between his entree to his people and that of any layman, no matter who that layman may be. If, for any reason, the rector does not bear his part in this matter, unless the church have an endowment fund sufficient for its needs, it will become bankrupt, and the only question is as to the length of time it will take to arrive at that state.

By this Meeting the lighting of the Sanctuary had been satisfactorily [248/249] arranged, and Mr. Hatfield received the thanks of the Board for his efforts toward this result.

In the records of the May Meeting is an almost pathetic evidence of the interest of many members of the congregation in the Summer Home. The Dramatic Society had given an entertainment for its benefit, in an effort to avert the calamity of its being closed, and had forwarded the receipts, amounting to $83.

The form of the pledges for the ensuing year was changed, and they were henceforth to appeal for four separate objects within the Parish and three without. Happily, this complicated system has been consigned to the limbo of things outgrown.

The necessity for rigid economy led to a consideration, at the Meeting in May, of giving up the full choir and orchestra during the summer. As commitments had been made, however, this could not be done without injustice to the singers and instrumentalists.

The Misses Arnold, whose modesty in concealing the identity of the donors of many of St. Mary's treasures, has frequently prevented the mention of their names, received the thanks of the Board for their gift of a small Chapel to the Summer Home.

The resignation of Fr. Clayton was announced, to take effect the 1st of June.

In that month it was decided to open the Summer Home and arrangements were made for the Reverend Albert P. Mack, Rector of St. Mary's, Keyport, to act as Chaplain. For a number of years Fr. Mack was the dependable friend of the Home, and did much for the well-being of those who went there.

During the summer the painting, "The Flight into Egypt," presented by Dr. Barry, was placed over the choir entrance door; and the stained glass window given by Mr. Valentine F. d'Ogries was put in position near the window memorial to Matthew Carswell.

Work had also been going forward, but apparently not very rapidly, on the statue for the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, and at the November Meeting a letter was read from Mr. Mason expressing the hope that Mr. Lawrie, the sculptor, would be far enough advanced to exhibit a model within a few weeks.

Dr. Barry's interest in St. Mary's did not flag in spite of his long absence, and he wrote to suggest that Gounod's St. Cecilia Mass be sung [249/250] at the time of the Catholic Congress and Dvorak's on the Patronal Festival. As these masses exceeded the appropriations for those days by some $200, that amount had to be privately subscribed; for the Rector's wishes were law--except his wish to resign.

But to this wish also the Trustees were at last obliged to bow. At the Annual Meeting of the 10th December, 1928, Dr. Barry took the Chair in person, after an absence of two years. He attended this Meeting to force the acceptation of his resignation "simply because of continued ill-health which has made him believe that he is no longer able to carry on the work that the duties of his position require."

The Trustees had no alternative but to accept the resignation, which they did in the following Resolution:

"The Board of Trustees of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in accepting with great reluctance and greatest regret the insistent resignation of its Rector, the Reverend Joseph G. H. Barry, D.D., as Rector of the Church and President of the Corporation, places on record this Minute:

"Dr. Barry has been Rector for nearly twenty years and this period has been marked along several lines in extraordinary ways. The interior of the edifice has become what might almost be called a museum of mural decorations, carving and stained glass, until now it is thought by many to be the handsomest Church interior in the country. To give a partial enumeration: Four new Altars, an increase of three, have been erected, one of them a movable Altar for use at Children's Mass, and all of them very beautiful; della Robbia bas reliefs of the Blessed Virgin are placed back of two of the Altars. The Lady Chapel has been enlarged by taking in the former Mortuary Chapel, a splendid carved oak ceiling was put in with a hanging tablet holding a bas relief of the Blessed Virgin, the elaborate oak carved panelling made by Cuypers of Holland has been extended along the walls of the addition and a very beautiful window added at the end of the extension showing the marriage of the Virgin; and the wall of the addition has been covered by a very large and exquisitely beautiful picture of the Assumption. An extremely beautiful Requiem Chapel has been made in the space formerly occupied by St. Elizabeth's Chapel. St. Joseph's Chapel is new and of great beauty, in the Italian style in contrast with the Gothic architecture of the rest of the Church. Nine new stained glass windows have [250/251] been placed in the Church. Seventeen large statues, three of them in marble, the rest carved out of solid oak, have been erected, and several small oaken ones. The most eminent sculptors in America have done the work, the oaken by Kirchmayer, of Boston, and two of the marble statues by Lawrie. The font cover is several feet in height, enriched by hundreds of small carved figures, all in oak, done by Kirchmayer. Various walls of the Church have been covered by .very large and beautiful mural paintings, eight in number. The High Altar has been remodelled by the erection of an exquisite spire and the whole Altar has been richly decorated in colour and the whole chancel beautifully painted. A replica of the reredos at All Saints Cathedral, Milwaukee, in bas relief work beautifully coloured hangs on the wall of the Nave near the Sanctuary; it depicts a Calvary with attendant figures. The exterior West wall of the Church has been enriched with a large Calvary and the tympanum of the front door filled with statuary; and a statue of St. Cecilia has been placed on the exterior outside the choir room in the Parish House. A well appointed Gymnasium has been built in the Parish House. The finest Rood in the country, of carved oak, has been placed in the Chancel Arch, with a Calvary, statues of St. Mary, St. John and attendant angels. A magnificent pulpit, in commemoration of Dr. Barry's rectorship, was erected after his service of fifteen years, which probably for the exquisite details of its carving, including many statues of Saints, has no equal anywhere in the country. The character of the music, always fine, has been greatly improved and now sung Mass with full orchestra is rendered every Sunday in the year. The Endowment Fund has been increased $46,000.

"The Rector has deliberately refrained from entering into the social life of the city and has devoted all his time and energy to the parish and to theological literary work; his preaching has been of extraordinary power and eloquence; he has refrained from sentimental sermons and from discussions of the popular topics of the day--his sermons have been expositions of the Christian religion and have aimed at developing spiritual life, corporate and individual. Meanwhile there have been issued from the pen of Dr. Barry thirteen books of Theology and Devotion and Meditation, which have had a wide circulation and attracted attention on both sides of the water.

"Nearly all of the improvements and decorations mentioned have been [251/252] on the initiative of Dr. Barry, who has collected the money for them and who has himself personally contributed to several.

"The matters mentioned in this enumeration of the works of twenty years have maintained the parish in the very fore-front of Catholic progress in the Anglican Communion.

"As Pastor and Confessor Dr. Barry has been most faithful, without sentimentality but with deep sympathy and kindness. He has been greatly beloved. His rectorship has been epochal in the history of the parish.

"The Trustees wish Dr. Barry every happiness in his retirement and have every hope that the Church at large will continue to be benefitted by his literary output."

Dr. Barry was made Rector Emeritus, with the stipulation that no duties attach to the office.

Upon the motion of Haley Fiske, seconded by Mr. Daingerfield the Reverend Selden Peabody Delany, D.D., was unanimously elected Rector of the Parish, the election to become effective the 1st January, 1929.


When the Trustees met, the 21st January, 1929, Dr. Delany took the Chair as President of the Corporation.

The appropriations for the current year were fixed at $62,478,64, $1,410.90 less than those of 1928.

For some time the Trustees had been considering the advisability of adding two members to the Board, but as their number was limited to seven, including the President, application had been made to the Counsel of the Corporation for his advicce relative to accomplishing this. Acting under such advice, bills had been introduced in the State Legislature to permit the increase in the number of Trustees.

At this time another change was made, which has had, and will continue, it is hoped, to have, an important bearing on the Services at St. Mary's. Mr. Clifford Melville Swan, who had been a parishioner since 1915, and second assistant to the Master of Ceremonies for a number of years, became Assistant Master of Ceremonies when Mr. Robert Cross assumed that office upon the retirement of Mr. Ball. On the first of this year, Mr. Cross retired from the Chancel, and Mr. Swan became Master of Ceremonies, which responsible position he has since filled [252/253] with consummate skill and dignity. It is rare indeed that a man can be found willing and able to devote, without material compensation of any sort, so much time to so arduous a post; and rarer still when such a man brings to bear upon the duties of the exacting position such wide study and deep thought. Mr. Swan is a worthy exponent of the tradition, that nothing is to large or too small to be done, and done well, in the service of St. Mary's.

Mr. Jacob Kind was appointed Sexton at this Meeting. He had been acting in this capacity for some time, but his appointment had not been formally confirmed by the Board. It is interesting to note, that Mr. Kind had attended St. Mary's as a boy, and had been a member of the old Cadet Corps of the Parish.

The Misses Arnold had offered to defray the cost of decorating in colour the Stations of the Cross under a plan proposed by Mr. F de Lancey Robinson. The offer was accepted with thanks.

Mr. F. E. Saxham Drury had expressed his desire to present a pricket-stand for votive candles, to be made in England, and this was also gratefully accepted.

At the Meeting of the 11th February, 1929, a telegram was received from Senator George R. Fearon, announcing that Senate bill one fifty-four had been signed by the Governor. This mysterious message meant that the number of the Trustees could be increased, and Mr. Newbury Frost Read and Mr. F. de Lancey Robinson were elected members of the Board. In accordance with the custom that had prevailed for some time, they were at once introduced to the Meeting and Mr. Robinson was able to take a direct part in the subsequent proceedings, with many of which he had already been concerned.

The Misses Arnold had offered to erect a marble altar rail in St. Joseph's Chapel, and, as Mr. Robinson had prepared the plans, he was able to describe it and to recommend that it be accepted, which was done with thanks.

The offer of Mrs. Hatfield to donate a plaster replica of a statue of the Madonna and Child was gratefully accepted, and the selection of a suitable location for it was left to Mr. Hatfield and Mr. Robinson.

On Sunday, the 3rd March, Haley Fiske attended High Mass, and took up the collection on the Epistle side of the centre aisle, as he had done for many, many years. After the service he drove home alone, and [253/254] collapsed as he was preparing to alight from his car. He died without regaining consciousness. It was a fitting close to a great career, and the beginning of a greater, that one cannot help feeling would have been acceptable to him. He had just left the Church, whose affairs he had dominated so long, and for which he had done so much, and he went to keep the Great Appointment as he had kept many lesser ones: prepared and punctual. He had been a faithful Trustee since the 29th March, 1892.

On the 11th the Board came together for the regular monthly Meeting, and it is probably no exaggeration to say that every man felt slightly dazed. Within sixty-three days both Dr. Barry and Haley Fiske had been withdrawn from St. Mary's. For nearly twenty years one had directed the Spiritual side of the Church, while for thirty-seven years the other had dominated the financial and business affairs of the Corporation.

Mr. Howard I. Dohrman, who had been Assistant Treasurer since the 8th November, 1897, was unanimously elected a Trustee, and immediately upon taking his seat was unanimously elected Treasurer. There could not have been a more fortunate choice, for no man living has known so much about St. Mary's for as many years as Mr. Dohrman. The details of its complicated financial structure are at his fingers' ends, and he is deeply versed in its lore and steeped in its traditions. Without cant it may be said that Mr. Dohrman's ability to assume the duties of Treasurer directly upon the death of Fiske was providential. Only his ability to do so is mentioned--of his willingness to do anything for St. Mary's there has been no doubt for many years.

It was decided at this Meeting to alter the portable house which had been used as a Chapel at the Summer Home for the use of the Priest, and to erect a new and larger Chapel. An offer to pay for this work, which had been kindly made by the Misses Arnold, was gratefully accepted.

In accordance with the request made at the March Meeting, Dr. Delany had prepared the Resolution on the death of the late Treasurer, and at the Meeting of the 8th April it was unanimously adopted:

"The Trustees of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin desire to put on record their profound sense of the loss they have suffered in the death of Haley Fiske, and of their deep appreciation of his character and work.

[255] "Haley Fiske was for forty-six years connected with this parish, and for thirty-seven years a member of the Board of Trustees and its Treasurer. During those years he devoted himself without stint to the interests of the parish. He was actively concerned in the erection of the present church building, and contributed largely to its physical development. Outstanding among his many contributions are the building and ornamentation of the Lady Chapel, the elaborately carved oak pulpit in memory of Dr. Barry's sixteenth anniversary and the gymnasium in the parish house. His spiritual helpfulness through his example of Christian character and personal devotion it is impossible to estimate. Mr. Fiske's interests in the Church were not merely parochial. He served in the general Church in many ways, among them as member of the boards of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the General Theological Seminary, St. Stephen's College and the Church Mission of Help. His wide acquaintance with leading Churchmen in the United States, Canada and England made him familiar with current ecclesiastical problems and gave his judgment on such questions great weight. His death has removed one of the outstanding figures of the Anglican Communion. It has also removed from the Board of Trustees of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin a valued associate and personal friend. May he rest in peace."

At this Meeting many matters were discussed in anticipation of the summer, the most important of which was the decision to abandon the boilers and to heat the Church and other buildings with street steam. A new appraisal recommended carrying insurance on the Church and its contents in the amount of $775,000, which indicated the increase in values during the past thirty years.

The resignation of Dr. Augustus S. Knight was presented at the Meeting of the 20th May, to take effect the 1st June. It was accepted with great regret. Dr. Knight had served on the Board since October, 1902, had been Vice President since December, 1907, and had combined with that office the duties of Secretary since December, 1920.

Mr. Abraham Hatfield was elected Vice President and Mr. Newbury Frost Read, Secretary, both elections to become effective the 1st June, 1929.

At this time Mr. C. D. Wayre assumed some of the duties recently relinquished by Mr. Ball.

[256] During the summer a Special Meeting was called on the 25th July to consider the affairs of the Summer Home. The contractor to whom the erection of the new Chapel had been entrusted had absconded without paying for much of the material he had bought. While the Corporation could probably not legally have been held responsible, it was of course unwilling to see the lumber merchant and others suffer, and promptly made up the amount of the defalcation.

Announcement was made at the October Meeting that the Shrine of the Sacred Heart had been completed during the summer.

Once more our venerable friend the organ was on the point of giving out completely, and once more Mr. Hatfield was appointed to look into the matter. As Mr. Hatfield had repeatedly done that already, and probably knows the organ better than anyone in the Church except those who play it, he accepted the appointment; and at a later Meeting reported the cost of the repairs that were absolutely essential to keep it in condition to be played for a few months longer. There is an old proverb that "Patch beside patch is good housewifery, but patch upon patch is mere beggary." St. Mary's organ is, and has been for a long time, in the latter condition--and there seems to be no alternative but to go on adding to the layers of patches until the structure of the sturdy old instrument gives away completely.

The resignation of Everett V. Thomas, owing to his proposed residence in England, was laid before the Trustees at the November Meeting, and was accepted with regret. He had been an active and efficient Trustee since April, 1921.

The report of the Summer Home was rendered by Sister Mary Gabriel, and showed a successful season, despite the most adverse circumstances that had had to be met in years. The thanks of the Board, which were tendered to Sister Mary Gabriel, were unquestionably well merited.

The report that the Treasurer submitted to the Annual Meeting, 9th December, 1929, gave food for serious thought. The number of pledges for Parish Support had fallen to 259 from 411 at the same date of the previous year, and the amount of the pledges had decreased from $28,-122 to $16,328. It did not require deep penetration to see where St. Mary's would be at the end of another such year.

The financial condition which this report summarised was of course [256/257] no surprise, as the Trustees had clearly seen the trend for ten months, and had been consistently making every effort to cut expenses wherever they could be cut without serious damage to the work; but the presentation of the figures made it clearer even than it had been before that the services and the work of St. Mary's would have to be radically curtailed unless something little short of a miracle occurred to arrest the falling away which was pulling down every side of the Church life and none more than the congregations, and consequent income. They were six thoughtful men who parted that night, after seven o'clock.


The Trustees awaited the Treasurer's report at the first Meeting of 1930, 20th January, with grave concern. To their surprise, the previous year had been closed with a balance of $8.24 on "the right side." But this extraordinary result had been brought about largely by the very great generosity of a few parishioners, and the Trustees realized that so great a burden could not be carried indefinitely by some half a dozen people. The items of the budget were examined with minute attention, and reductions were made wherever possible. Despite every effort, however, the total amount needed was $60,458.50, and, although this was $2,020.14 less than the budget for 1929, there was little likelihood of raising such an amount, as things then were.

It did not seem to be possible to evoke enthusiasm for any department of the Church's life or activity; and without enthusiasm an organization is as morally and spiritually moribund as is a man without hope or ambition. The Trustees "hung on" with grim determination and commended the affairs of St. Mary's to God's keeping with greater need of His help than at any time since the early days of the old Church.

At this Meeting Mr. Frank B. Scherer, who had been doing much of the detail work of the Treasurer's office for a number of years, was appointed Assistant Treasurer.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles C. Marshall offered to give a window and painting of The Nativity by Valentine F. d'Ogries to be placed near the Pulpit as a memorial to their deceased daughter, Ursula. The offer was gratefully accepted.

At this Meeting a sufficient sum of money was donated to remove the last of the gas brackets from the Church.

[258] Mr. Edwin S. Gorham presented twenty-four new Prayer Books to the Sisters' Chapel, and this gift was acknowledged with thanks at the February Meeting. No monies could be spent this year save for absolute necessities, except such as were donated for special purposes, and the Corporation realized, as it had not done for years, what it means to have generous members and friends.

At the March Meeting it was announced that the amount of the pledges had fallen below that of the same date of 1929 by 33-1/3%. In an effort to offset this the Rector suggested closing the Summer Home; and taking some steps to make public the fact that St. Mary's was neither so large nor so rich a parish as it was sometimes thought to be. The suggestion to close the Summer Home was laid over for further consideration, as it was not thought that such a course would materially benefit the financial situation of the Church, since most of the money spent to maintain the Home is given specifically for that object.

The receipt from the estate of the late Haley Fiske of $10,000 as an Endowment Fund for the Lady Chapel was announced at the Meeting of the 12th May.

On the 1st of May of this year, Mr. Edward Bromberg had completed twenty years continuous service as bass soloist of St. Mary's, and the Trustees tendered him their congratulations and thanks in a letter of appreciation, not only of his fine voice and developed art, but also for his loyalty.

The names of Mr. Daingerfield and Mr. Gorham were conveyed to the Secretary of the Diocesan Convention as having served as Trustees for more than twenty years.

The final action of the Meeting which was expected to be the last of the season was to authorize the Treasurer to borrow such sums as might be necessary to carry on the work of the Church through the summer, in an amount not to exceed $5,000. Times had changed since the days when the well-known $1,000 Bond would produce enough to tide over the lean months, but the theory that the Parish need not be supported from June to October still flourishes.

On the 3rd June, 1930, the following letter was received, bearing date the day previous:

"I hereby tender my resignation as Rector of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin and President of the Board of Trustees, to take effect June 8th, 1930.

[258] "It is with extreme regret that I sever my connection with this parish. For fifteen years I have labored among you, and have always received the most courteous treatment and kindly cooperation from the Board of Trustees and from the Congregation. No one could wish for more loyal friends than I have been blessed with since I took up this work. They have generously overlooked my shortcomings and eccentricities, and have contributed liberally in money and effort towards the prosecution of our common task. I have no word of criticism for any member of the Board or for any of my fellow-workers. To make this decision has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done.

"I am resigning because I can no longer conscientiously subscribe to the ecclesiastical principles I have hitherto held. For a whole year I have been seriously reconsidering my whole position, and not without deep study and prayer. I am not taking up any other work at present, but am planning to spend the next year in travel and study and writing.

"However much we may be separated in the future, I hope that we shall always be united in spirit in the bond of prayer."

The letter was signed by Dr. Delany and was addressed to the Board of Trustees.

The Trustees were called together in a Special Meeting on the 5th June, at which time they accepted Dr. Delany's resignation. The Bishop was at once advised of the fact, and notices were ordered sent to the Curates, the Sisters and the Parishioners.

On the 13th June the Trustees again met, and, having obtained the approval of Bishop Manning, exchanged letters with the Reverend Spence Burton, S.S.J.E., Superior of the American Congregation of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, as a result of which the following notice was authorized to be sent to the Parishioners.

"The Trustees of the Society of the Free Church of St. Mary the Virgin, acting with the consent and the approval of the Right Reverend the Bishop of New York, announce that the Society of St. John the Evangelist has agreed to assume the spiritual care of the Parish until such time as a permanent Rector be elected and instituted.

"The Father Superior of the Society of St. John the Evangelist has appointed the Reverend Granville M. Williams, S.S.J.E. to be temporarily Priest-in-charge."

Six days later, on the 19th June, the Trustees assembled for a third [259/260] Special Meeting, and adopted two Resolutions, which have already borne fruit, and which give promise of being the commencement, under God, of the brightest epoch in the story of St. Mary's.

"Be it resolved that the Trustees of the Society of the Free Church of St. Mary the Virgin do hereby elect the Reverend Granville M. Williams, S.S.J.E., now Rector of St. Paul's Church, Brooklyn, New York, to be Rector of the Parish and President of the Board of Trustees, subject to the approval of the Right Reverend the Bishop of the Diocese; and be it further resolved that the Secretary be and hereby is empowered to solicit such approval from the Bishop."

"Be it resolved that if and when the Secretary shall receive an affirmative reply from the Right Reverend the Bishop of the Diocese to the application of the Trustees for permission to elect the Reverend Granville M. Williams, S.S.J.E., to be Rector of the Parish, the Secretary shall invite Father Williams to accept the Rectorship of the Parish and Presidency of the Board of Trustees." The salary was specified in the call.

It needs not to be said now that Bishop Manning gave his approval, that Fr. Williams was called, and that he accepted the call. On the 5th October, being the Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity, he preached his first sermon from St. Mary's Pulpit as its Rector.

Attendant upon any such change there are always some misgivings and apprehensions, but that first sermon went far toward allaying them, and the months that have since elapsed have scattered them all to the winds. From out the shadows of the past few years, the sun once more has shone upon St. Mary's and she looks forward with high hope to greater and worthier accomplishments under the leadership of her new, and already respected and beloved young Rector.

Although the many matters he had to close up in the parish he was leaving and the number of preaching engagements he had to fill, prevented his coming into residence until the autumn, he seemed to have acquired a remarkably comprehensive grasp of the major activities of St. Mary's by the first Meeting of the Board, on the 20th October. At that time, had they not already done so, the Trustees would have realized that the Rector was a man of considerable knowledge of affairs outside his profession, and a man who would soon understand alike the large aspects and the details of the organization he had been called to [260/261] lead. While thoroughly courteous and considerate, he led that Meeting, and before it closed, the Trustees knew that the head of the Parish would exercise his proper authority tactfully but very firmly, and that the days of muddling along for want of direction were over.

New offices had been built during the summer for the Rector and the Parish Secretary, Miss Doremus, in the gallery of St. Joseph's Hall, which had been used for some years by St.'Mary's Guild, the ladies having consented to return to their original room on the floor above. Thus the Rector started his career in the Church with the nucleus of an organization, and with a place from which to transact the business of the Parish.

Some months before, an examination of the organ, had disclosed the fact that it required certain repairs to make it last over Christmas. Evidently the gentleman making the examination was not an old acquaintance of the organ's and was of an optimistic disposition, for he expressed the belief that it could be given a new lease of life--for one year--for the sum of $250, although he had the prudence and foresight to say that this figure could not be submitted as a definite estimate. The Trustees knew their staunch old friend better, and expressed no surprise when the bill was presented at this Meeting in the sum of $1,240.61. It was hoped that this latest patching would carry the invalid veteran through the present Easter, but there can be no assurance on that head.

The reports of the Summer Home from Sister Mary Gabriel and Fr. Cornell were accepted with the thanks of the Board. The former showed that $2,893 had been expended at the Home, and that the season had been closed with a balance in hand of $10.59; while Fr. Cornell reported that Mass had been celebrated 74 times, and Benediction 16 times, that there had been 378 Communions and 95 Confessions.

It was decided that Fr. Cornell should be attached to the Parish until the 31st December.

The Rector nominated the Reverend Oliver B. Dale, S.S.J.E. and the Reverend Walter C. Klein, S.S.J.E. to be curates in the Parish, and both nominations were confirmed. He also appointed Mr. Robinson as lay delegate to represent the Church at the consecration of Bishop Gilbert, the 28th October.

The Annual Meeting coincided with the Patronal Festival, and was [261/262] held in the Rectory, as all Meetings have been since the death of the late Treasurer. The gift from Miss Florence Jones of movable Communion rails for the Chantry was accepted with thanks; as was the offer of the Misses Arnold to supply veils for the Tabernacle in the Lady Chapel, where it was the Rector's wish that the Blessed Sacrament be reserved. At this Meeting a gift was announced which is both touching and significant in the loyalty it evinces. During the autumn the Choir had given a secular concert at an hotel, by which they earned $300. This entire sum they donated through Mr. Nold as the nucleus of an Organ Fund.


On the 12th January, 1931, the first Meeting of the year was held, and at this time the Trustees passed a Resolution of regret upon the death of Everett Vincent Thomas, which had occurred the 2nd January, in Honolulu.

The Treasurer's Annual Report disclosed the fact that the year 1930 had been closed with a deficit of $6,817.70. Although this was a substantial amount to have run behind in one year--1929 had ended with a balance in hand of $8.24--it was felt that the general condition of business depression without the Parish and the particular events within were amply sufficient to account for it. As it was felt that the one condition was probably temporary and that the other certainly was, the budget for the current year was examined carefully, but without alarm, and the total set at $67,966.20, an increase of $7,507.70 over that of the previous year.

A most interesting and valuable gift was announced at the Regular Meeting of the 9th February, 1931. Mr. F. E. Saxham Drury presented to the Church seven Sixteenth- and Seventeeth-Century Processional Crosses and an antique Paten to accompany the Sixteenth Century English Chalice which he had previously given. Most of St. Mary's prized possessions are modern works of art, and these antique treasures form a most interesting and welcome addition to the collection, and in concrete form testify to the unchanging Faith of the Ages.

During this month of February, three impressive and significant Services were held, with a brief mention of which this wholly [262/263] inadequate story of a great and highly-favored Church will be brought to a conclusion.

On Monday the 2nd, the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary a Solemn High Mass was offered for the intention of the Religious Communities of the American Church. The Sermon was preached by Father Hughson, the Superior of the Order of the Holy Cross, and the Right Reverend R. Rocksborough Smith, Lord Bishop of Algoma, presided at the throne, and bore impressive part in the great Procession which carried the candles around the Church. The larger part of the Nave was filled with Religious and their Associates, most of the American Religious Communities being represented. Such a Service had not been held in St. Mary's for many years, and the weird effect of the candles, whose flame came from the Chancel and was passed from hand to hand with extraordinary rapidity, until every member of the congregation held a lighted taper, added to the beauty of the Procession, the music and the ceremonial, was most impressive.

On Lincoln's Birthday was revived, after a lapse of a few years, the Solemn High Mass in honour of the Most Holy Sacrament. This Service is more familiarly known as the Acolytes' Festival, and was for years a well-known fixture of St. Mary's calendar. This year it was restored to its place, and Father McCune, of St. Ignatius Church, preached to more than two hundred Acolytes and thirty-five Priests. The Procession extended almost completely around the side aisles, and the sight of these young men and boys, giving up a holiday to bear their part for the Honour and Glory of God was a most comfortable evidence that the times are not wholly heathen. At the end of the Procession came the Rector, bearing the Monstrance, and supported by two Priests, while four more carried the Canopy. All seven wore copes, and it is very doubtful if a more impressive Procession ever wound its way around St. Mary's.

And last of these three Services, held within three weeks, was the Institution by the Right Reverend William Thomas Manning, D.D., Bishop of New York, of the Reverend Granville Mercer Williams, S.S.J.E., as Rector of the Parish. This, the first Institution ever held in St. Mary's, was celebrated on the First Sunday in Lent, the 22nd February, at eight o'clock in the evening.

[264] Solemn Vespers was first sung, and then, with the dignity and authority which properly belong to his office, Bishop Manning formally instituted Fr. Williams as the fifth Rector of St. Mary's. Mr. Hatfield, as Vice President of the Trustees, presented the keys of the Church to Fr. Williams, and received and acknowledged him as Rector on behalf of the Parish.

The Bishop preached the Sermon of Institution; and, as they listened to him, and looked at the 850 people gathered in the Church, there were some among those in the Chancel, those whose dull garb made them incongruously out of place amongst the vested Priests and Acolytes, whose thoughts went back a few months to a quiet study, where the same voice had given them words of advice and help that they needed more than they then cared to admit.

Many of St. Mary's loyal sons and daughters have attended very many of her Solemn Services, but it is extremely improbable if any of them ever took part in so impressive and affecting a Service as that of the Institution of Fr. Williams. A cope is no novelty in that Chancel, they are seen there hundreds of times every year, but as Mr. Phillip Smith, the Assistant Master of Ceremonies, who has served so long and so well, dropped the cope on Fr. Williams' shoulders, after the Bishop had presented to him the Books that symbolize his authority, he was deeply affected, and there were many in the Church who shared his feeling. That cope represented so many opportunities and such great responsibility; responsibility of the Rector to his People, and of his People to him! When the Rector had bowed to the authority which had conferred authority upon him, he turned to the Altar and knelt before That High Authority which confers all lesser authority, and prayed for himself and for his People.

And when he turned to be greeted by the Trustees, representing the Parish and the Congregation, although they welcomed him with an ardor that was perhaps not altogether decorous in such a place, they felt as he did the weight of their mutual responsibility, his so much the greater, toward God and toward the Congregation over whom God had called him to minister; and they realized that they were, as we all are, Trustees.

[265] It seemed as if the Choir had never sung with such expression, and nothing could have been more fitting than Plumptre's magnificent Hymn:

"Thy hand, O God, has guided
Thy Flock, from age to age;
The wondrous tale is written,
Full clear, on every page;
Our fathers owned thy goodness,
And we their deeds record;
And both of this bear witness,
One Church, one Faith, one Lord."

As the noble strains pealed through the great Church, the Rector stood, strong in the Faith that is in him, between the Altar and his People. Younger in years than any man who has assumed the post since Fr. Brown created it, sixty-three years ago, he looked back upon the stormy past, so bravely borne; and forward to the bright future, so full of promise.

On one side were his people, including his father and mother, on the other his Bishop and his official family, and above the Father of us all, who holds the future in His Hand.

What that future will bring depends, under Him, equally upon the Rector and his People.

God grant they may be faithful to one another!

Project Canterbury