Page 1

Trinité Volume 5 N° 1


m agazi ne


th e

A meri c an

Fall 2010

C at h edral

Tales of Two Cathedrals Witness and eyewitness to Haiti’s devastation

i n

Pari s

In this issue

Fall 2010

Dean The Very Reverend Zachary Fleetwood Assistant Musician & Acting Choirmaster Zachary Ullery

05 06

Haiti eyewitness

06 Have faith 10 From cathedral to cathedral 11 Goudou-Goudou by Anne Swardson

Trinité Editors Nancy Janin Charles Trueheart

Design/Layout Elizabeth Minn

by The Very Reverend Zachary Fleetwood

by Joanne Blakemore

Visiting Artist-in-Residence Andrew Dewar

Assistant Editor Kelley Bass


by The Right Reverend Pierre W. Whalon


The Cathedral’s Organ


Nine decades of glamor and service

by Craig R. Whitney

by Joseph Coyle

Advertising Katherine Millen Worré Cover Photos background image: Corine Wegener, Haiti Cultural Recovery Project inset image: Rhoderic Bannatyne Please send comments and requests for free subscriptions to: Trinité The magazine of The American Cathedral in Paris 23, avenue George V, 75008 Paris France email web

Volume 5


Fernandel, Elizabeth Taylor and Mike Todd at a1950s Guild gala. Photo: Archives of The American Cathedral in Paris


How do you become a priest?


A blogger writes from the pews

by Ginger Strickland

by John V. Fleming


Trinity Society The Cathedral made a difference in your life. Make a difference in the life of the Cathedral. Plan your legacy and join the Trinity Society. For more information:

or call Nancy Janin at +33 1 45 66 08 87


TrinitĂŠ magazine Fall 2010

Thanksgiving: a gift A message from the Dean


hanksgiving is one of the most basic of human responses. It is a fundamentally Christian response to the loving kindness of God, to God’s unconditional and undeserved love for each of us. Indeed, thanksgiving and the emotions it evokes,

gets at the very core of our faith. We often find ourselves distracted by or reactive to guilt or to a sense of obligation. Most of us somewhere along the way were taught that guilt and obligation were more important than gratitude in the hierarchy of Christian values. That is just bunk, pure and simple. The spirit of thanksgiving is a way of seeing the world. Indeed, it is a way of life. In his marvelous book, The Lord is My Shepherd: The Healing Wisdom of the 23rd Psalm, Rabbi Harold Kushner writes about those familiar words of the psalmist, “My cup runneth over”: Gratitude is more than remembering to mumble ‘thank you.’ It’s more than a ritual of politeness. Gratitude is a way of looking at the world that does not change the facts of your life but has the power to make your life more enjoyable. We get so sidetracked by the seductive power of guilt or obligation. So often we confuse those emotions with what it means to be a “good Christian.” What is essential and foundational to Christian experience is that basic human response called thanksgiving. Thanksgiving for the gift of faith, hope and confidence in God’s grace in Christ Jesus . . . for the sense of well-being and peace that can come with that gift . . . for those people who have touched our lives deeply, showing us the way of love . . . for all of life’s little gifts; especially those quiet, sustaining gifts so easily forgotten . . . for the huge gifts: like beauty, wonder, imagination, belonging, this planet earth . . . for the gift of life itself. All of life. All of it. A gift.

The Very Reverend Zachary Fleetwood

Volume 5



From left: Restoration of a part of the Cathedral’s famous murals, one of the few cultural survivors of the earthquake. Photo C.Wegener, Haiti Cultural Recovery Project / In Port-au-Prince, a hair salon bravely re-opens its doors. Photo: J. Blakemore

Have faith A report from Haiti

by Joanne Blakemore

How was Haiti?” I pause every time, because frankly there are not enough words to describe the mess. It was painful, hopeful, hot, messy, awe-inspiring, noisy, crowded, frustrating and mostly heartbreaking.


Trinité magazine Fall 2010

Port-au-Prince, renowned for its extensive murals in the naïve Haitian style, was totally destroyed as was its school, offices, the convent, the college and the home of Bishop Zaché Duracin. (Turn to page 10 for more on the Holy Trinity Cathedral reconstruction project). Further, the earthquake destroyed over 70 per cent of the diocesan churches, half of its primary schools and 80 per cent of its secondary schools. Three quarters of its universities and vocational training schools are a total loss. We visited only one school in town, St. Martin de Tours, which has managed to get up and running again using the ubiquitous tents as classrooms. The entire city of Port-au-Prince is rubble. The state of the buildings is horrendous - the heavily damaged presidential palace being the most obvious example of the destruction. There are few outward signs of progress. The most apparent government actions are a small stamp on some but not


all buildings or concrete. RED indicates a “total y daughter and I traveled there in

loss,” YELLOW means “needs work” and GREEN

July, arriving in Port-au-Prince on

signifies the building can remain standing.

the six-month anniversary of the

Sometimes a group of men can be seen

Looking down from the

shoveling piles of debris, but without a place to put

plane window all we could see were blankets of

it, they walk from one side of the road to the other

tarps and tents covering the city. A city that was

with wheelbarrows full of rubble and nowhere

once sustained in concrete buildings now lives in

else to go. Pigs as big as cows root through six-

canvas tents. Every scrap of land that’s not under

foot piles of garbage next to women washing

debris is covered by a tent. There is barely an inch

clothes in buckets, all throughout town. Part of

of open space anywhere in town.

the explanation for the slow progress is the sheer

horrific earthquake.

We spent the majority of our time in Haiti

scale of the disaster. As Deborah Sontag reported

with Father Ajax, the development director of

in the New York Times, experts say it would

the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti (église épiscopale

take a thousand trucks three to five years to clear

d’Haiti). This is the largest diocese in the Episcopal

away the wreckage: fewer than 300 trucks are

Church with more than 80,000 members, and

hauling now. The quake destroyed almost every

covers the entire country. Their Holy Trinity

government building and killed 17 per cent of the

Cathedral (Cathédrale de la Sainte Trinité) in

federal work force.

Volume 5


» 07

Have faith: A report from Haiti

From left: Faces to remember. / The make-shift classrooms are still well attended by eager children. Photos: J. Blakemore

People from the non-government organizations (NGOs) we spoke with have differing

There is much written about the efforts of the

views of the current and future situation. It appears

NGOs but little is said about the work being done

that until the rubble is cleared little rebuilding

by private groups, and this is where being on the

or rehabbing can be done. This forces the NGOs

ground was eye-opening and hopeful.

to focus on sustaining life as it is now, rather

We flew in with a planeload of volunteers from

than on developing for the future. Tent cities are

all over the U.S., most of them church groups,

supplied with water tanks, hospital, school and

carrying their own supplies and arriving with a

church tents and most of the basic needs.

destination and a prescribed relief mission. Men

On the healthcare side, the major injury crisis is

and women ranging in age from 20 to 85 some

somewhat relieved; the impetus now is continuing

who had been working in Haiti for years, some

care and rehab as well as psychological counseling.

new to the experience, were all eager to work.

Prosthetics are available for the many who have

Because Port-au-Prince was so crowded there was

lost limbs. But I am also told that the availability

little to do in the city. Most were going to small

of quality medical care for the average Haitian

villages in the outlying areas to help where they

is lower than before the earthquake and that the

could, rehabbing orphanages, schools and clinics.

hospitals are down to the bare bones in terms of

It was fantastic to see groups coming in for ten

supplies and medicines.


and poor have lost everything.

days to work on a project and then replaced by

People generally look like they are in good

another group from the same church, continuing

condition. The swollen bellies and emaciated

the work the next week. One young woman told

limbs you see in so many Third-World countries

me her husband was taking care of their children

are not present in Haiti. There has been no major

while she took her vacation days to come to Haiti.

looting or terrible civil unrest. I heard that is

But the trip was no vacation. The temperature

because there is little left to loot and because

often reached 110°F with no air conditioning and

now, everyone is in the same state. Both the rich

often no electricity, meaning no fans and no relief TrinitĂŠ magazine Fall 2010

From left: The Last Supper mural depicted Haïtian style. / On site of what was once the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Photos C.Wegener, Haiti Cultural Recovery Project

anywhere. There was no hot water and little water

most other supplies he brought with him, carried

pressure, so bathing was done with big buckets

in by volunteers.

and a sponge. After dinners of mostly rice and

Each night we’d sit at dinner at the guest house

beans with an occasional piece of fish or goat, we’d

with 25 or 30 people, from all over America and

pull the mosquito nets down over our cots and talk

Europe, at all ages and stations in life, who had

until sleep came, usually by 9 p.m., and then wake

come to help. Each would tell their story, where

to the sound of the roosters.

they were from, how they got here, who they had

In Port-au-Prince, we stayed in a clean guesthouse run by the Heartline Ministry. The

helped. The spirit of service we heard and saw was inspiring.

ministry also has a medical clinic where it treats

On the one hand it was hard to leave Haiti with

the injured and helps to find hospitals overseas to

any sense of hope for its future. Corruption is

deal with major cases. While we were there, they

everywhere and the road toward development so

flew two children out for surgery at the Mayo

long. But it is hard not to be inspired by what we

Clinic and Massachusetts General Hospital. In

saw there. The spirit and resilience of the Haitian

addition they have opened a birthing clinic and a

people, the overwhelming dedication and service

cottage industry for Haitian women. Doctors and

of volunteers and the strong faith of the Diocese

midwives from the United States who rotate in

showed me that despite the rubble and beyond the

and out staff the clinics.

trash, good work can be done; the people of Haiti

We were introduced to a number of groups

can be helped. The country has a long road ahead,

doing similar work. While all of this is on a small

but it is not a hopeless one. Slowly but surely

scale these groups are really making a difference.

they, with our help, can work to rebuild. •

We met a wonderful man from Iowa, the owner of a construction company, who came for four months to initiate a project building tworoom houses. The wood is available in Haiti, but Volume 5


Joanne Blakemore joined the Cathedral in 2003 and has served as the president of the Saint Anne’s Guild, and member of the Altar Guild and the Newcomers and Mission and Outreach committees.


From cathedral to

cathedral by Anne Swardson

From left: Children choose a cardboard brick that they can decorate and write their name on. / Building with hope a new and colorful cathedral. Photos: R. Bannatyne



In Paris, the Mission & Outreach

Chair, I harassed people with emails

Council of Advice sat down

Committee, working with the Junior

all summer to make sure we were

in April 2010 to talk about how

Guild, realized that people needed


to help our sister dioceses in Haiti

something tangible on which to

recover from the earthquake that

focus their contributions.

had devastated the country four


months before, no one could have




Today, the pile of bricks by the


baptistry in the cathedral is growing,



and sales will go on for the rest of



2010. Parishioners and Friends and

guessed that one result would be toy

bricks, our meeting room lit up.

anyone else may donate by mail as

cardboard bricks jamming the back

Another M&O committee member,

well, by sending a check to

of the American Cathedral in Paris.

Joanne Blakemore (see page 6),

The Junior Guild

Or that more than $15,000 would

began working with the Lillian

American Cathedral in Paris

have been raised to help rebuild

Vernon Company to secure a

23, avenue George V

the Cathédrale de la Sainte Trinité

donation of bricks, which yielded

75008 Paris France

in Port-au-Prince, with more still

480 of them! Parishioner Betsy

All donations are deductible

coming in.

Gourlay facilitated rapid delivery

under U.S. and French tax laws,

of the bricks and Junior Guild

and donors will receive a receipt in

creation of Bishop Pierre Whalon’s



the mail. Gifts go to the Episcopal

working group on Haiti, Partners

Rivière and Kate Thweatt were there

Church’s Haiti fund and will be used

With Haiti, which included members

with planning help and support.

exclusively for the Cathedral in Haiti.

That meeting resulted in the





from across the convocation. We

Time was short. We wanted

Please make Euro checks out to The

decided early on to focus our

to launch the effort during the

Junior Guild-Haiti and dollar checks

efforts on rebuilding the cathedral

September 12 Paris visit of Haiti’s

to DFMS with the important notation

itself. With its famous murals, the

Episcopal bishop, the Right Rev.

Partners with Haiti--Cathedral.

cathedral is the heart and soul of

Jean Zaché Duracin. From the

Please give generously for our

Haiti’s Episcopal community. Who

Treasurer’s office, Jeb Seder and

Haitian brothers and sisters in

is in a better position to help rebuild

Rhoderic Bannatyne laid the frame-

Christ. •

than this Episcopal cathedral in

work for ensuring that donors

another French-speaking country?

would receive tax receipts. As M&O

Anne Swardson is chair of the Cathedral’s Mission & Outreach Committee and an editorat-large with Bloomberg News.


Trinité magazine Fall 2010

Goudou Goudou “G

Amidst the rubble of the quake, life carries on. Photo: J. Blakemore

by The Right Reverend Pierre W. Whalon, D.D.

oudou-goudou” is the newest word in Haitian Creole. “Where were you Goudou-goudou?” they ask each other all the time.

The word is an example of onomatopoeia, recalling the sloshing

sound the earth made during the great earthquake of January 12.

All who heard it on that terrible afternoon will, I am well assured, never forget it. A heretofore-unknown fault line running beneath the city of Léogane —where the Diocese of Haiti began—fractured. Buildings conceived to resist hurricanes but not earthquakes came crashing down, crushing hundreds of thousands (the exact toll is still not known) to death, and amputating arms and legs of thousands more. Despite the dreadful roar of falling concrete and the screaming and wailing of terrified people, everyone heard the low, unearthly sound of the ground slopping back and forth, temporarily liquefied by the quake. Volume 5


» 11


Gou! Dou! Gou! Dou!


must be said that the word has an amusing sound as well, which helps Haitians get some handle on the horror that haunts them. What struck me in July was the difference in the country from my earlier trip in March. Progress

Fifty-six seconds later, the earth once again

was being made, media reports to the contrary.

became solid. The screams died down, only to

Where was the Gulf Coast six months after

be replaced by the keening of grief and shock.

Katrina, in the richest and most powerful nation

As night fell, survivors gathered together, trying

in the world? Goudou-goudou was much, much

to organize rescue parties, or just to hold each

worse, and Haiti is probably the poorest and,

other up.

certainly one of the least powerful countries. The

In July, I made my second trip to Haiti since

president is a lame duck, the government is trying

the earthquake. On this trip, I found myself seated

to organize despite hundreds of NGOs doing

next to the country’s Minister of Commerce, Mme

basically what they want, and a million people

Josseline Féthière, a well-spoken cosmopolitan

are still living in tents. And it is now hurricane

woman, elegantly dressed. We struck up a lengthy


conversation. Eventually, she told me her Goudou-

The other part of my experience was to witness

goudou story. As her ministry building had only

the work being done by the Episcopal Diocese,

one story, she and all her personnel were able to

which calls itself “l’Église Épiscopale d’Haïti.” Led

get out unscathed. (The government was otherwise

by Bishop Zaché Duracin, whom his clergy refer

virtually decimated, with some 30 percent of

to as “Le Sage,” the diocese has methodically been

functionaries killed in the quake and most

setting to work rebuilding their nation. Engineers

buildings destroyed.) Finding her home destroyed

proceed to the poorest regions, building small but

as well as those of other family members, Mme

solid homes for the dispossessed. When I went to

Féthière returned to the courtyard of her ruined

the village of Mathieu, a community in a tropical

ministry, where a crowd had gathered.

forest, I visited several homes and spoke with

“We began to pray,” Mme Féthière said. “But

the families and building teams. “How do you

we had no words, other than to cry ‘Jézus, Jézus’

pick the first people to get a house?” I asked. “We

for we had absolutely nothing left but him.” Tears

ask the community who are the worst off, and

ran down her face, some dropping to her tailored

they get one first,” I was told. Through donations,

suit, as her eyes looked off into the distance of

Episcopal Relief and Development supplies


the $2,300 each house costs, and the Haitian

Just as Americans can tell you where they were

Episcopalians provide the design, materials, and

on September 11, 2001, or November 22, 1963,

construction. Each house also is provided with an

Haitians each have their own January 12, 2010

outdoor latrine and a shower as well. “We want

story. And now they have a new word, their own

to add a little porch for $300 more, so the families

private word, to express their solidarity. And it

can sit outside when it’s hot,” said Bishop Zaché. Trinité magazine Fall 2010

It’s always hot in Haiti. The 254 diocesan schools have re-opened, using improvised shelters of various kinds. In March, on my first visit, I saw only wreckage and corpses at the site of the École Sainte-Trinité, next door to the cathedral, which had been obliterated by Goudou-goudou. Now 600 children in uniforms study in temporary classrooms. Haiti’s first woman priest, la Révérende Fernande PierreLouis, is the head of the school. She talks excitedly of the future. “As Bishop Duracin says, Haiti died on January 12 and now we await the resurrection. For me, resurrection means better than before. I want our school to produce excellent students, ready for the world. We will not settle for less!” The massive pile of rubble that greeted me at

Children playing during recess at one of the temporary schools set up in Port-au-Prince. Photo: J. Blakemore

first is now cleared. The lone remaining mural of what once made this church a UNESCO World

of their musicians, the Orchestre philharmonique

Patrimony site sits under a frame to keep it dry.

Sainte-Trinité was going to give its final (and only)

Seeing the 1924 building now only in outline, I

concert of the year.

realize how small it was. The new cathedral will

“Why the television truck?” I asked. The answer

have to be bigger, as befits the Episcopal Church’s

was that the concert was to be broadcast live on

largest diocese. Resurrection indeed!

national television. Haiti’s only philharmonic

(Please visit and read

orchestra belongs to … the Episcopal diocese.

the article on page 10 for information about the cathedral rebuilding project.)

They showed off. First, a 50-voice men’s and boys’ choir sang several numbers. Then a young

My last Sunday in Haiti, August 1, I began by

persons’ string orchestra played several pieces. A

celebrating the Eucharist with a good-sized crowd

wind symphony band followed, concluding with

at St. Martin de Tours Church, under a huge tarp

some jazz. Finally the whole came together, an

stretched between the buildings of the parish’s

80-piece orchestra and the 50-voice choir. The

once-large school. Later I went to the Cathedral

repertoire was classical for the most part, with

site, where the Eucharist was just ending in what

some Haitian music.

Bishop Zaché calls “our fresh-air cathedral,” a

In a former life I was a trained classical

shelter with open walls. (It has been reinforced

musician, an organist and composer, and I

since March.) A television van was setting up for a

still have the critical ear I was trained to have.

concert. Despite the loss of their season, and many

Musically, the long concert showed all the

Volume 5



Goudou-goudou They cannot pay their teachers, as parents cannot pay school fees for now. The clergy go unpaid as well.






administrator to manage the crisis. They need an experienced construction project manager as well. And Bishop Zaché, in the nine years I have known him, has always needed an assisting bishop— never more so than now. There are plans to raise the money to pay for these. Later on we will raise funds to build the new cathedral, new schools and churches. The Orchestre philharmonique performed the Haitian premiere of a piece by Jean Jean-Pierre, a prominent Haitian composer, called “Terremoto.” City of tents in Port-au-Prince. Photo: J. Blakemore

It is a fairly conventional tone poem depicting the Goudou-goudou. After a lot of pyrotechnics

enthusiasm of a good amateur orchestra, no more. But Goudou-goudou was never far away. The program listed the members killed on January 12, to whom the concert was dedicated. Most of the instruments were new,





I wondered what kind of determination it took to practice viola or bassoon in the tent you live in. They were making a statement. “We Haitians know how to survive,” Mme Féthière had told me. “We have our faith. And we have l’espwa.” That is Creole for “hope.” You see it written everywhere in the country. Leading in the way of hope is l’Église Épiscopale d’Haïti. I am really proud to be an Episcopalian, when I see what they are doing. What our people are doing, with the help of their sisters and brothers

depicting the quake and collapsing buildings, there was a moment of silence, interrupted only by an old musician playing a large Haitian drum, the only native instrument being used. He tapped out a quiet beat, punctuated by a little slipping sound he made by sliding his thumb along the drumskin. A pall fell over the faces of the more than 180 musicians. As Mme Féthière had done, they all stared into the distance, or else at the ground, reliving the aftermath. Seeing their faces made my throat seize up. I looked at Bishop Zaché sitting next to me. He too was seeing his Goudou-goudou. Haitians will be sharing such moments for decades to come. And the Episcopal Church will be there to minister healing and restoration, in the power of the Spirit. •

in the Episcopal Church and from elsewhere in the Anglican Communion. There is so much more to do. The Episcopalians of Haiti are doing all they can, and it is amazing. They have needs they cannot meet, however. 14

The Rt. Rev. Pierre W. Whalon has served since 2001 as the first elected Bishop-in-Charge of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, of which the Cathedral is the mother church.

Trinité magazine Fall 2010

The Cathedral’s Organ– and organ donors by Craig R. Whitney

From left: View from below of the impressive organ pipes. / The organ console. Photos: Archives of The American Cathedral in Paris


he organ of the American

they are dried out and cracked. The

microprocessing system that the

Cathedral in Paris is a superb

leather bellows in the reservoirs

player uses to prepare in advance

instrument with a rich musical

that keep the “wind” in the chests

the right combinations of sounds

history, eminently deserving of a

beneath the pipes are failing (the

for the music has a faulty memory.

major project of restoration and

organ sighs about these failings

Pipes squawk when they should be

renovation to make it fit to complete

with a loud hissing that can be

quiet, or remain silent when they

a second century of service.

heard at the communion rail). An

should speak.

But the organ, which grew to

entire section of pipes added in

its present size of 5,206 pipes and

1930 is now not playable because

80 stops over nearly 125 years, is



“It’s absolutely essential,” says

now showing signs of its age. The

contacts between the “flight deck,”

Edward J. (Ned) Tipton, who ended

leather pouches that flex in the

the console with its stopknobs,

more than 20 years of service to the

electropneumatic valves that are

keyboards, and pedalboard, and the

Cathedral last summer as Canon

beneath every one of those pipes,

pipes are becoming undependable

Musician – as essential as the

letting pressurized air into them

– making the instrument hard for

organ itself is for services. As the

when a note is played to make them

the organist to “fly.” The console

instrument’s steward, Ned had been

“speak,” don’t work well because

itself is worn out and outdated. The

working with Dean Fleetwood and

Volume 5




In short, the organ needs a complete overhaul.

» 15

The Cathedral’s Organ

Cathedral lay leaders for a couple

with the rest of the organ or not,

challenges created by the church’s

of years in anticipation of the work

this “Récit expressif” section can

architectural design (not to mention

that would need to be done. “The

make music swell from a subdued

the difficulty for the organist,

organ has the first word and the

pianissimo to a fortissimo roar,

stuck up there among the pipes,

last word,” he said. “It assists the

with a power that used to thrill me

of accompanying the service while

clergy in the direction of the service

when I played it in the late ‘90s and,

unable to see or hear much of what

as it flows along, and accompanies

I know, thrills listeners as well.

was going on) led to changes and

the choir. Without it, a service of

French organists and composers

an enlargement in 1922 by a

the kind and complexity of the

like Alexandre Guilmant, Maurice

successor company, Cavaillé-Coll-

Cathedral’s would be impossible.”

Duruflé and Marcel Dupré were

Mutin, with Dupré as musical



Those who attend services at the







innovation of Cavaillé-Coll’s to

did from 1995 to 2000) have been

create thrilling organ music that

impressed during a 94-concert tour

truly blessed by Ned, his assistants,

has a symphonic dimension. And

of the United States that year with the results that American organ

and the excellent musicians of the choir over the years.


can be their own worst enemies in trying to convince parishioners the organ needs work because they can make it sound as if it’s in better shape than it actually is. But the Cathedral organ really is crying out

“The organ has the first word and the last word... Without it, a service of the kind and complexity of the Cathedral’s would be impossible.”

builders like Ernest M. Skinner had achieved with electricity, expanding the orchestral potential of their pipe organs and making them easier to play by using electric wires instead of balky mechanical connections between the keyboards and the valves that let air into the pipes to

for attention now.



Cathedral (as my wife, Heidi, and I

And our organ deserves all the

all of these musical giants helped

make them speak. So the organ

care it should be given. Even in a

make the Cathedral organ what

was electrified and a new console,

city of great pipe organs and

it is today, an instrument capable

the “flight deck” with its pedals and

renowned organists, it stands out.

of sounding as good playing Bach

keyboards, was put on the floor.

It was originally built in 1887 by

or a processional hymn as it does

Problems with the Cathedral’s

Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, the French

playing Franck or Widor or Saint-

less than reverberant acoustics

builder whose masterpiece is the


brought back Dupré as consultant with




1862 instrument in the gallery of

Guilmant played the opening

Saint-Sulpice. As he did at Saint-

recital in 1887 on the original


Sulpice, Cavaillé-Coll made the

organ, half its present size. Pipes

when the Solo division, and a



and keyboards were all up above

fourth keyboard, were added, with

in itself, with a division of pipes

the right side of the chancel,

a French horn, tuba, shimmering

enclosed in a chamber with shutters

above where the organist plays

strings and solid, rumbling bass

that open and close. Coupled

at the console today. Acoustical

produced by pipes 16 and 32





Trinité magazine Fall 2010

Poster of the 1949 Lenten organ recital concerts. Courtesy of the Archives of The American Cathedral in Paris

feet long added to the organ’s

Cavaillé-Coll organ

orchestral palette.

was originally built

A small antiphonal organ was


installed in the gallery in 1970 and,


in 1993, as part of a general tonal


revision under Ned’s oversight, the


Paris builder Bernard Dargassies

bodied foundation

replaced it with a new “Grand

stops (the Diapason

Chœur” division whose broad

and Montre, which

range of sound was designed to

produce the sounds

focus the full resources of the

most people think

organ, front and back, into the nave.

of first when they



remember hearing

Duruflé, widow of the composer,

an organ) and most

and Marilyn Keiser played the




re-inaugural recitals on the organ.




An instrument of the size and


This could the


of its

the full


musical quality of the Cathedral’s

Bombarde, Clairon and Chamade

and the Cathedral is continuing to

would take at least several million

stops) to sound the way they

ask for proposals. These are not

euros to replace. But scrapping it

were designed to sound. That

extravagant sums for work that is

would almost be sacrilege. As the

Solo division installed in 1930,

crying out to be done on an organ

Cathedral looks for a new canon

on higher wind pressure than

as big and as important as the

musician to build on the work of

the others, might benefit from

Cathedral’s, but a final visionary

Ned, Assistant Musician Zachary

some voicing adjustments if the

master plan must be completed,

Ullery and the current Artist-

Cathedral musicians decide they

and after that, the money has to be

in-Residence Andrew Dewar,

would make it blend better with

raised. As Dean Fleetwood put it,

is soliciting ideas and proposals

the rest of the ensemble.


“We don’t want just a patch job.

from qualified organ builders for

various sections of the organ need

What we do should last at least 100

restoration and renewal of the organ

humidifiers, to keep the wooden


to bring the organ to full glory.

chests from drying out and leaking

A glorious musical monument

There are many things that

air in the winter. Ned used to go up

awaits an endowment to save it for

can be done – revoicing pipes that

there with pails of water sometimes,

generations to come. •

have been damaged over the years,

not a good idea if they spill.


adding stops to the gallery organ,

The bids for work on the organ

replacing electropneumatic chests,

itself that have been solicited so far

with their pesky leather valves, with

have ranged from a few hundred

longer-lasting ones like those the

thousand euros to over a million,

Volume 5


Craig R. Whitney is a former Cathedral vestry member, a retired New York Times foreign correspondent and editor, and author of “All The Stops,” a book about pipe organs and organists in 20th-century America.


Nine decades of

glamor&service by Joseph Coyle

and loved to distraction. It was no coincidence that the musical “An American in Paris” was released in 1951, virtually an opening act for a quarter-century of partying Americans in Paris, with the Junior Guild at center stage. Several years later the film was shown at one of the Guild’s Galas. The Guild was founded by the Cathedral’s Dean, Frederick Beekman, and his wife, Margaret, who remained president for two decades until the couple left for New York in 1940 as the Wehrmacht was sweeping across


France. The Beekmans wanted hat do the following have in



impoverished refugees who had

Elizabeth Taylor, Edith Piaf, André

flooded into Paris after the


and Duchess of Windsor, Fernandel, Maurice


Chevalier, Art Buchwald, Audrey Hepburn,

awarded 45 scholarships at

the Cancan of the Moulin Rouge, plus untold

the start, a number that

numbers of White Russian refugees in the 1920s

more than doubled by the

and French soldiers during the German invasion

end of the decade. This

of 1940, blind bookworms on three continents,

effort was funded in great

dozens of Bulgarian orphans and abused girls in

part by proceeds from

the Philippines, and literally thousands of poor

annual Guild galas, and by

Parisians over nine decades?

giant rummage sales, often

birthday this fall with a gala dinner in the gloriously transformed nave of the Cathedral.




American Cathedral, which celebrated its 90th



Maurois, Princess Grace of Monaco, the Duke

And the answer is: The Junior Guild of the

At the Annual PreCatalan Fête for the Junior Guild in 1932, Mrs. Eleanor Close Sturges, daughter of Mr. Edward B. Close of Paris, and Mrs. Edward F. Hutton, of New York. Photo: Manuel Frères



The fund

two per year, beginning in 1923. A tour through the preWorld War II archives of

In its time the Guild has been both a major

the Guild shows a steady

actor on the French charity scene and the sponsor

and energetic expansion

of some of Paris’s most glittering charity balls.

of its activities during

These gala dinner-dance-entertainments, featuring

the ’20s and ’30s. There

the stars listed above as either guests or per-

were Christmas parties in

formers, were for a time the highlight of expatriate

the Parish Hall for poor

Paris. This little golden age ran from the early

children, who received

’50s to the mid-’70s, a time when Americans saw


Paris as the romantic city-hero of World War II

take home. At the U.S.




Trinité magazine Fall 2010

Students’ and Artists’ Club, which was managed by the Cathedral vestry at the time, there were receptions for American girls attending Paris finishing schools and teas every Thursday during the Depression. There were weekly member teas, raising money, some from direct donations by Guild






parishioners. Most of all, there was a range of individual help to hundreds of poor families that became Guild protégés, visited regularly by members. Special cases came up often. For instance, the minutes of the meeting of January 12, 1934, report

Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer at a Guild Gala in the 1950s. Photo: Archives of The American Cathedral in Paris

the voting of funds for treatment and convalescent

of work…and have given of their funds freely.”

care for a “little Greek boy with tuberculosis.” At

The onset of cold weather and lack of fuel at first

the time Mrs. Beekman regularly asked members

curtailed work and then probably ended it, unless

to report any cases of Americans in need. A “Miss

the Gestapo did. After that the trail of the Junior

X” was given 300 francs “to pay her hotel room

Guild in occupied Paris goes cold.

rent.” A Mrs. MacAfee received cash and a coat for her son. Summer vacations were subsidized. No record is available of a Guild presence

The Guild reformed on November 18, 1946, and got right to work planning its spring ’47 “cinema gala,” featuring “Gilda,” with Rita Hayworth.

between 1939 and war’s end. The last we could

By 1950, according to Allen, the Guild “had

find: the 16th Annual Gala was held on June 26,

taken over completely the works of mercy” at the

1939, at the St. Cloud Country Club. The Beekmans

Cathedral. It had also begun its most scintillating

quit the Cathedral for the duration of the war on

phase. There were talks by the likes of André

June 12, 1940, leaving it in the hands of Lawrence

Malraux at the Cercle Interalliée, galas and

Whipp, the organist, who stayed on even when it

Valentine balls at such hotels as the George V,

became the Evangelische Wehrmacht Kirche for

the Crillon and the Pré Catalan, and even a

two years beginning in 1942, the only church in

cocktail-buffet at the U.S. Pavilion during the

Paris to be taken over for use by German troops.

Paris Air Show at Le Bourget.

In his “The History of the American Cathedral

Charity efforts grew apace. “The works of

of the Holy Trinity,” Cameron Allen reports

mercy to the poor and aged [made] use of a

that some Guild members worked well into

paid professional French social worker, charged

the following winter, making and distributing

with hearing ‘true-or-false’ stories and making a

items for the needy, including retreating French

determination concerning assistance,” wrote Allen.

soldiers. In November a meeting of the vestry in

At one point the Guild was giving to more than

New York recorded that “members of the Junior

a dozen organizations, including neighborhood

Guild …have been from the first in the forefront Volume 5


clubs in four underprivileged arrondissements.

» 19

Nine decades of glamor and service Guild members.” Unhappily, the report went on, “customers shunned our outmoded miniskirts. As skirt lengths dropped, so did profits.” The galas were much like society balls in other big cities, with black tie prescribed and dancing enjoyed, but not even New York at the time could have served up the combination of old world aristocrats and new world notables, rapt as Piaf sang, neck-snapping as the Windsors took to the floor. The settings did not disappoint either. “I remember the decorations at the Pré Catalan The Junior Guild’s 90th anniversary Gala held on October 1, 2010 in the Cathedral nave. Photo: T. Lefèvre


in ’62,” recalls Bommart, who presides over the Cathedral memory as one of its archivists. “The

Around 1958, the Guild struck out in a wholly

tables were covered with rose and gold brocade

new direction – creating a “Department of the

and vegetables stuck with hat pins of rhinestones.”

Blind.” Some 40 volunteers were enlisted to

The Herald Tribune headline the next day:

read aloud books in English and in French for

“Junior Guild Glamorizes Cabbages: Paris Ball

recordings destined for subscribers scattered

Decor Also Includes Artichokes.” Not to mention

throughout western Europe, northern Africa,

mushrooms and Brussels sprouts. The article

Israel and India. It was charmingly amateurish

ended: “The Duchess of Windsor had on a yellow

at the start: “You could hear Helen Raoul-Duval’s

and white gown—and a fortune in diamonds and

dogs barking on her tapes—she raised cockers,”


says Frances Bommart, a Guild member since

As grand as the galas were, it was the high-

1952. This department became for a while a joint

profit rummages that expressed the range of the

effort with the American Library in Paris and

guild’s movements, collecting items from the rich,

later the independent English Language Library

selling to all classes, and distributing the proceeds

for the Blind.

to the poor. The Duchesse de Brabante, an

The guild hit its peak in the early 1970s. The

American, used to send over “piece after piece of

annual report for 1971 claimed it had become “the

Vuitton luggage filled with cashmere sweaters and

largest private American-sponsored charity in

other delights,” recalls Bommart. “The Duchess

France,” with 32 cases on its monthly aid list and

of Windsor’s donations were always a bit of a

11 charities receiving support, along with two giant

disappointment. They were perhaps presents to

rummage sales with Parisians of all walks lining

her that she didn’t like.”

up on Avenue George V to enter and buy. One of

At one time the Guild had 100 square meters

the events, in November 1970, featured a fashion

of space for storing its rummage merchandise,

show, “a beautiful presentation of ready-to-wear

perhaps one measure of how things have changed.

by Claude Allizan modeled by some of our sveltest

Today the rummages are gone, victim to post-

Trinité magazine Fall 2010

A full circle 9/11 security, societal changes and ever-growing competition from other churches and charitable organizations. And the Guild still fights for space


in a Cathedral community whose services have multiplied explosively over the years. With a current membership of more than 120 –








the Guild’s good works is

about three-quarters Cathedral parishioners – the

Pierre Tavitian, who along

Guild still takes in enough via its member lunches,


Christmas and spring fairs (about €9,500 in the

received its help for two

latest 12 months) to do an impressive amount of

years, beginning in 1967,

giving. (Proceeds from the auction and donations

when they were 15 years

given at this year’s October 1 gala brought in a surprising €15,000.)

Pierre Tavitian at the Junior Guild 90th anniversary gala. Photo: T. Lefèvre







government’s Sociale


The chief current recipients: Bonne Mine, a

referred the family to the

French charitable group that supports Bulgarian

Guild, a common occurrence at the time and a mark of its

orphanages; Caméléon, also French, which takes

high reputation in Paris.

in abused girls in the Philippines; Love in a Box,

The family, Armenians, had arrived in France in 1962

a Cathedral project that prepares thousands of

from Turkey. “We had to leave everything behind and my

gift boxes for needy children at Christmas; Les

father had cancer,” recalls Tavitian. “He was a businessman

Enfants du Monde, a group that takes in homeless

in Turkey but just a worker here.” His father died in 1967,

teenagers from all over the world roaming the

his mother fell ill, and there were Pierre, his brother and a

streets of Paris; and Les Sœurs de la Charité, who

sister to provide for. The Guild gave the family 150 francs

house homeless, unwed soon-to-be mothers. The

a month for two years. “It was not a lot, but it helped with

Guild’s protégés are down to three, a process that

the stomach,” he recalls. The children stayed in school and

began more than a decade ago when government

Pierre and his brother both earned MBAs. Pierre is now an

assistance became more generous. But its Junior

executive with Hilton Hotels in Versailles.

Guild Cook Book, compiled in 1998, remains a long-term success.

The story might have ended there if Tavitian had not joined the Paris Choral Society in the 90s and found

The decade leading up to the centenary in 2020

himself singing with the group at the Cathedral. “I was

will be a test for an organization that flourished in

very proud to sing in the Cathedral, to give back for

a different era—three different eras, in fact. With

the support I received and the difference it made in our

an average member age well into the retirement

lives.” He approached the Guild and tried to find out how

years, “all we need is a stream of younger members

much in total it had given to him and his brother. No one

to join us,” says Guild President Sigun Coyle.

could find the records, so around seven years ago he

“Three dynamos just showed up recently, so we’re

made a donation as close as he could estimate to what

on our way.” •

he and his brother had received. 

Joseph Coyle is a retired Time, Inc. editor, has been active at the Cathedral for over 10 years.

Volume 5



How do you become a

priest? by Ginger Strickland

lead an entire service, I remember thinking that some sort of religious professional should probably take over. Budgets, divorces, bulletin margins, funerals – I was in over my head. The Rev. Dr. David J. Wood, now coordinator of the Lilly Foundation’s “Transition to Ministry” program, describes his first two weeks of pastoral ministry: “A young couple with two small children told me they could no longer live together as husband and wife, and unable to cope, the husband checked himself into the hospital. A middle-aged single woman sought Soon-to-be ordained Ginger Strickland with her mentor Canon Pastor Jonathan Huyck. Photo: The American Cathedral in Paris

my counsel as she tried for the first time in her life to come to terms with the sexual abuse she suffered as a teenager from her alcoholic father. Two key lay


leaders informed me they could not attend church ow does someone become a priest? Of

anymore because of a conflict they were having with a

course, I knew the canonical answer - I

third lay leader. An older member was in the intensive

had looked it up when I began wondering

care unit of the local hospital, struggling to stay alive.

if God might be calling me to ordained ministry. But

A cell phone company delivered a proposal to locate

how does someone become the kind of person who

two small micro-antennas in our bell tower. The

can do priestly work well? How does someone learn

finance committee reported that our giving had fallen

the basic practical tasks of ordained ministry?

about $10,000 behind where it should be, making

The question was pressing. I had been in my job as

the lucrative cell-phone antenna proposal even more

Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at the

appealing. The starting time for Sunday worship

American Church in Paris for a few months, and I was

service was changed from 10:45 to 11 a.m...”

realizing that there were quite a few things that I hadn’t learned in seminary. When a parishioner shared a serious problem or when it was my turn to plan and 22

Seminary doesn’t cover this stuff. He was left with one question: “How does anyone learn to do this?” The training of ministers has been a concern of the Trinité magazine Fall 2010

church – and an abrupt initiation – since its earliest

range of tasks and activities of priestly life while

days. The New Testament letters of I and II Timothy

receiving essential mentoring and instruction.

are from an aging apostle to a new church leader,

Here in the Convocation of European Churches,

efforts to educate him in the practice of ministry.

our geographic distance from traditional Episcopal

Timothy receives advice on everything from how

seminaries has meant that the training and formation

to control rowdy parishioners to what to do about

of priests has always been particularly organic and

a nervous stomach. The diaries and letters of early

grounded in congregational life. The European

Anglican Bishops are full of worry and concern about

Institute of Christian Studies, which oversees

how to train clergy, how to keep them out of brothels

Christian formation throughout the Convocation’s

and make sure they show up on time.

parishes and missions, particularly for those seeking

The afore-mentioned Lilly Foundation, a major

ordination like myself, always privileged an ongoing

philanthropic fund fondly called “the Church’s One

dialectic between academic study and practical

Foundation” for its generous support of American

experience – an element the Lilly Foundation

congregations, recently identified a major crisis in

says is missing from most seminaries today.

the formation of priests and pastors. Its report on the

The Convocation also emphasizes the importance of

topic, co-authored with the Alban Institute, declares that the transition from seminary to parish “can be abrupt, untutored, and haphazard.” Their research has shown that many new pastors and priests “fall into the

The essential part of the art and craft of the priestly life could not be learned in the classroom...

finding strong mentors. In the midst of my own initiation to ministry, I found just such a mentor – the Rev. Canon Jonathan Huyck. Both Jonathan and the Cathedral community

gap” – they often become discouraged and exhausted,

have been signs and sources of grace in my life,

leaving pastoral ministry after their first placement.

conversation partners as I struggled to grow into what

The Episcopal Church has responded to this

I began to believe might actually be my vocation.

crisis with special pre-seminary programs for people

Jon understood what I was experiencing. When

discerning a call to ordained ministry. The Micah

he arrived at the American Cathedral, he was a brand-

Program in the Diocese of Massachusetts and the

new Episcopal priest serving in his first ordained

Young Priests’ Initiative in the Diocese of Virginia,


for example, expose new priests and those considering

newcomer and young adult ministries at Holy Trinity

ordination to the full depth and breadth of priestly

Wall Street, in New York City. He had served as the

work with the support mentor and a congregation

first Episcopal chaplain to New York University. He

with a particular gift for receiving and forming

had a strong theological background and was familiar


with the ins and outs of ministry in a multicultural

As a deacon, he had already led the

In addition, the Episcopal Church participates in

urban parish. He wasn’t new to church life and work.

the “Transition to Ministry” program, in which 800

And yet he understood how I was feeling, my

newly ordained priests and pastors have been placed

sense that all my academic preparation still left me

in special “transition parishes” where, like medical

unsure of how to comfort a grieving parent or unable

residents, they are intentionally exposed to the full

to bounce back after setting the altar flowers on fire.

Volume 5


» 23

How do you become a priest?


“As with any profession in which you are


educated,” he told me once, “there are always moments when you find yourself saying, ‘They never prepared us for this!’ A medical student can examine a patient


or perform a procedure under the supervision of a doctor. But a seminary student can’t celebrate the

June 17-19, 2011

eucharist, perform a funeral, or sit in on a counseling session for a couple struggling in their marriage. The priesthood will always have an element of trial by fire.”

4th annual Trinity Weekend Celebration

Jonathan Huyck taught me by word and example

Join Friends and parishioners for three days

that the essential part of the art and craft of the

of special visits, presentations, and fellowship

priestly life could not be learned in the classroom - it


had to be learned in the crucible of community and


in a deep and caring relationship with an experienced


practitioner. He shared with me his view that the

borhood, fascinating talks on Cathedral art,

people of the Cathedral, and particularly the Dean,

history, and music, elegant meals in private clubs,

were his most important teachers.

private gatherings with the Dean and church

Jon was quick to say that not all new priests are as blessed as he was. Not all communities have the

the Visits

mission to




exclusive of








leaders, are all part of this spectacular weekend of fun and fellowship.

Cathedral’s gift for welcoming and embracing a new


priest; and not all deans and rectors are like Dean

Fleetwood. In his farewell letter to the congregation,

for more information.

Jon said, “I have studied theology at two very reputable institutions (General Seminary and the University of Chicago), but I learned how to be a priest from Zachary Fleetwood.” Just a few days ago, the Bishop made me a candidate for Holy Orders, meaning that I could be ordained a priest within 12 months. I am still not sure how to be a priest, but am deeply thankful that I have role models like the Dean, the Canon, and this loving and forgiving community of formation that is the American Cathedral in Paris. •

Ginger Strickland is Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at the American Church in Paris and a candidate for holy orders in the Episcopal priesthood.


Visiting the Hôtel de Matignon

The weekend’s activities were spectacular to say the least and we enjoyed every minute of it. The best part was making new friends in a city that we love and a church that we felt at home in already.

Trinité magazine Fall 2010

A view from the Cathedral pews by John V. Fleming

The following is adapted from a blog post last year by parishioner John V. Fleming, the Louis W. Fairchild Professor of English and Comparative Literature emeritus at Princeton University. His blog is Gladly Lerne, Gladly Teche.


he historical origins of our iconography of




Yule logs, etc.—are capricious. How did

Christmas come to fall in December? Easy: traditional chronology plus observed obstetrics. Otherwise the ripening grain would be an apter Christmas symbol than the pinecone. You may be unaware what time of year, exactly, God created the heavens and the earth; but medieval people had no doubts at all. Chaucer writes of “...the monthe in which the world bigan, /that highte March, whan God first maked man...” This business about the year beginning on January 1st is simply reinstituted paganism, secular humanism run amok. The next bit of historical whimsy was that by the high Middle Ages, when people began to pay a little attention to Christmas, Christendom was much more west and north than it was south and east. Hence Christmas cold, Christmas snow. So it seems appropriate that the days leading up to Christmas have been very cold in Paris. Actually that means only a few degrees below freezing, but Volume 5


A view of the breathtaking nave of the American Cathedral. Photo: L. Rouvrais


A view from the Cathedral pews

“La Sortie du Bourgeois” by Jean Béraud. Collection privée

Princeton Chapel. It was built in the late nineteenth century by the kind of expat Episcopalians you read about in Henry James or, even better, in Edith


“Après l’office” by Jean Béraud, a painting of parishioners leaving the American Cathedral after the service. Now displayed at the Musée Carnavalet

Wharton, who herself represented the strain in its

it was enough to halt the Eurostar. Overwhelming

Such characteristics were perhaps prerequisites for

the mainly symbolic heating arrangements in our

people like Christopher Newman in The American,

apartment was child’s play compared with that feat.

who could hang out endlessly being thwarted by

There was a little snow, and since the Parisians have

the odious relatives of Claire de Cintré. A few days

no idea what to do with it, it was soon trampled

ago in the Carnavalet Museum I saw a painting by

into slush which, when frozen overnight, makes the

Jean Béraud dating from 1890 and therefore prior

sidewalks treacherous, especially in the dark, which

to the dictatorship of internal combustion, showing

descends about five in the afternoon and is with us

the street in front of the Cathedral filled with the

until eight in the morning.

carriages arriving to fetch the parishioners after

purest form—upper-crust, cultivated, and moneyed.

Just as the frenzy of the pre-Christmas rush

Christmas morning service. Unfortunately I can find

threatens to overwhelm, this week I have found myself

no photograph of it. There is in it, I think, a hint of

unwontedly reflective. What I have been reflecting

the satire more blatantly present in the better-known

about would not be easy to explain. In one of the fine

“The Bourgeois’s Outing?”

old Prayer Book phrases it is “all the blessings of this

This church of expatriates really became a French

life.” One of the most conspicuous of present blessings

national treasure at the time of the Great War and the

is our Paris church home, the Cathedral of the Holy

temporary euphoria of the post-Armistice period, no

Trinity, a.k.a. the American Cathedral in Paris.

doubt the apogee of Franco-American amity in the

The Cathedral is a George Edmund Street buil-

twentieth century. You may be surprised to learn that

ding, and therefore necessarily gorgeous. Street was

Hemingway and Gertrude Stein were not the only

one of the great neo-Gothic architects, the peer of

Americans in Paris in the ’20s and ’30s, and quite a

the American Ralph Adams Cram, architect of the

few of the others went to church. The Cathedral was Trinité magazine Fall 2010

the center of culturally and socially elite networks not unlike those of the great New York parishes (especially Trinity and St. Thomas) with which it has historic connections. Today it has perhaps lost the social cachet it enjoyed in the belle époque, but it has gained something far more precious: social purpose. Its ambitious music program makes it an important contributor to the Parisian cultural scene. Its “Service of Lessons and Carols” is packed with music enthusiasts. Its work among the poor

Communion at the Cathedral. Photo: © The American Cathedral in Paris

and the needy—Jesus himself said that “you will always have the poor,” and I can assure you that

Though the role of the clergy is too often

the European social model has abolished neither

exaggerated in assessing the nature of Christian

poverty nor need—is impressive. There is a strong

community, it surely does not hurt that the Cathedral

youth program. And the really little kids just put

has two superb full-time priests and an apparently

on the most tolerable of all the Christmas pageants

never-failing succession of interesting visiting

I have ever sat through—a number that is large

ones. The quality of the preaching—the consistent

and positive. Not that the belle époque has entirely

quality—is really extraordinary. I have spent much

vanished, mind you. At Christmas Eve Eucharist

of my life studying medieval friars, but the first time

the lay reader has been and continues to be Olivia

I ever heard Meister Eckhart quoted from the pulpit

de Havilland. Yes, that would be the Olivia de

was last Sunday. The Dean had found a passage in

Havilland of Gone With the Wind (1939).

Eckhart—actually a medieval commonplace, but

But my experience of it has been chiefly that of a vibrant spiritual community. It has an excellent

beautifully expressed by the Dominican mystic—that sums up the whole truth about Christmas.

educational program, and we became swept up in it

It is not a truth likely to be popular with the Israeli

immediately. But most impressive is the nature of the

Tourist Board or the hawkers of souvenirs in the plaza

congregation. Every shade of Anglican is to be found

in front of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem,

there—and by “shade” I refer both to skin pigment

but it is finally very comforting. That truth is that it

and theological opinion. There must be some nation

doesn’t really matter very much when and where Jesus

of the earth that goes unrepresented, but I’d be hard

was actually born, whether in stable or cave, whether

pressed to tell you which that is. Many members

in “the bleak midwinter” of December or the dog

are long-term American expatriates; but there are

days of August. The obviously mythic accounts of the

also many French members. There is a fairly serious

gospels present a cosmic event, not the necessary data

attempt at bilingualism. Many others are like us,

for a form required of the Bureau of Vital Statistics.

migratory birds, short-termers who are nonetheless

No, what really matters is where Christ will next be

encouraged and enabled to make quick and bonding

born. Meister Eckhart knew that place must be within


the hearts of those who would follow him. •

Volume 5