Page 1

TRINITÉ The Magazine of the American Cathedral in Paris



Autumn 2006

Our legacy, our future

Autumn 2006 The American Cathedral in Paris 23 avenue George V Paris, France 75008 Tel: 33 (0)1 53 23 84 00

Dear Friends,


or one hundred and twenty years the American Cathedral in Paris has served as a beacon and haven in the magical and seductive City of Light. In making the passage from avenue George V through the portals of the Cathedral, pilgrims and parishioners alike enter into a sacred realm, into a dimension of life that is transcendent and yet strangely familiar.

Dean The Very Reverend Zachary Fleetwood Canon Vicar The Reverend Todd McDowell Curate The Reverend Jonathan Huyck

We work hard here to be radically welcoming – indeed, it is our central mission. We welcome all who feel drawn into this sacred space. We welcome all who seek to worship God in the beauty and safety of holiness. We welcome all who seek to do the work of love in a fragile and hurting world.

Canon Precentor and Music Director Edward Tipton Trinité The Magazine of the American Cathedral in Paris

We hope that you will enjoy this inaugural issue of TRINITÉ – we chose the French word for Trinity to honor our French context. Through the pages of this magazine, we hope you will glimpse the generous and energetic spirit of the American Cathedral. We chose the title because we are officially known as the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. On a deeper level, we believe that Trinitarian theology speaks eloquently to the venerable legacy of this place as well as to our hopes and dreams for the future. Fundamental to our understanding of the Trinity is the notion that God does not live in isolation. And God does not love in isolation. We believe that relationship and community are the very essence of a Trinitarian God. Creating Presence, Redeeming Christ, Life-giving Spirit; this dynamic dance of the Trinity intimately and mysteriously engages us in the thrill and swirl of life in community. There are so many of us whose lives have been deeply and poignantly touched by the spirit of this cathedral parish community. Many of us now living in Paris and many of us now living in other places around the world have found that this place can make a difference in our lives. It is a place where we are invited to discover the spirit that can empower us to become better, kinder, nobler, and more committed human beings. To parishioners past and present, to the Cathedral’s beloved extended family dispersed throughout the world, I bid you greetings and peace in the name of the Trinity. The Very Reverend Zachary Fleetwood Dean and Rector

Editorial Team Claire Downey Sumner Hargrove Nancy Janin Kristen Ketron Charles Trueheart Graphic Designer Dianne Henning

Cover Photo Bastille Day, July 14, 2006 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 Or email us at:


TRINITÉ ~ Autumn 2006

The lancet windows Restoring our beloved 19th-century masterwork was the work of skilled French artisans plying a bygone skill – and a parishioner’s labor of love


n Sunday mornings, the eyes of worshippers may wander – to the pillars and walls, to the stunning triptych at the altar, to the panoply of flags above, and even up to the wooden ceiling of our historic cathedral. This isn’t a bad thing. All great churches were created to calm the soul and feed the spirit. Our fascination with our majestic nave reminds us that our surroundings are doing what the builders intended. Designed by George Edmund Street in the early 1880s and consecrated in 1886 as the Church of the Holy Trinity, what is now known as the American Cathedral is a trea-

sure in need of constant maintenance and care. As parishioners know, the latest stage of the upkeep was the removal and restoration of the three stained-glass windows above the altar – the lancet windows, so named for their thin, elongated silhouette topped by a pointed arch. Tall and elegant, infused with intense colors, the lancet windows were created in London by James Bell of the Bell & Beckham studios between 1883 and 1893. They are the only examples of the studio’s artisanship in France, and a rare example of English 19th-century stained-glass artistry on the European continent.

TRINITÉ ~ Autumn 2006

After a century, however, the windows had become tarnished, layered with dust on the interior and pollution on the exterior. What is more, in many places the sheer weight of the glass and lead had made the panels bend and bow. The light of God was, at least by way of the windows, having a little trouble getting in to the church. In the 1990s, a few parishioners – including Elizabeth McLane, a noted architect and city planner, and Edward Cumming – took action to protect our artistic heritage by working to have the Cathedral listed, or inscrit, as a historic monument in France. That formal status gave the Cathedral access to expert


advice and supplementary funding for restoration work of all kinds, including the ravalement (legally mandated exterior cleaning and repointing) of the late 1990s. Applying for grant money involves a marathon of paperwork and a deep well of patience, but thanks to Elizabeth McLane, the call for help with the lancet windows was generously answered by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the World Monument Fund who provided $50,000 towards the restoration project. Additional funding

came from the French Heritage Society and the Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles d’Ile-de-France. Private donations, which are still welcome, will round out the 89,000 euro budget. McLane, who died in 2005, did not live to see the completed work. But the project found a new champion in parishioner and former senior warden Harriet Rivière, who volunteered to oversee the restoration from start to finish. “The beauty of the Cathedral,” says Rivière, “has a lot to say about

who we are as a church and what we do. Protecting and preserving our Anglican heritage is a very important part of establishing our place within the community.” The Cathedral’s parish family and other supporters, she adds, have a responsibility “to safeguard the historical position of our church in Paris.” As the project got under way last winter, Rivière quickly found out that her enthusiasm for the lancet restoration was shared by France’s top experts in stained glass. For maître verrier Didier Alliou, the artist in charge of the Cathedral project at Vitrail France, the job involved challenges and surprises – all positive. “When the glass panels arrived in our Le Mans studio,” remembers Alliou, “and our artists could study the incredible quality of the original painting, it was a great moment. We discovered the sumptuous, high-quality workmanship that had gone into making these windows. At the same time, we were seeing techniques unknown in France.” The unfamiliar techniques that Bell & Beckham used in manufacturing the windows would be the verriers’ greatest challenge. It seems that 19th-century craftsmen in England didn’t use any lateral T-bar supports. Instead, panels of colored glass (eleven for each side lancet and twelve for the central window) are stacked upon one another. Yet it was not the weight of the stacked panels caused the “warping” of certain sections – some of the distorted panels are found near the top of the lancets. The French craftsmen speculate that distortion more likely was


TRINITÉ ~ Autumn 2006

caused by pieces of glass being set too tightly within the heavy lead. One reason that our historic windows created such excitement among the French experts is that information isn’t easy to find on English glassmakers. By 1830 a Gothic Revival had taken hold in England; one of the movement’s main proponents, A.W.N. Pugin, argued that it was the only appropriate style for a Christian Englishman. The Houses of Parliament are among the most renowned of the Neo-Gothic buildings in Europe, but many churches in England, the United States, and our own American Cathedral in Paris were built in the same style. Consequently, there was a sudden demand for stained-glass craftsmanship, but very few trained craftsmen. English glassmakers would invent their own techniques and signature style. Yet much of this knowledge was lost as several studios located near London were destroyed during World War II, and old drawings that weren’t destroyed were regularly burned for fuel. Little documentation of this period remains. What we do have are the windows themselves. Looking at the lancets of the American Cathedral in Paris, you can see the sumptuous painterly style that emerged in the 1800s. Artists painted on the glass and then fired each piece at extreme temperatures to meld the brush strokes to the surface and bring out the brilliant, translucent colors. Romantic in style and sumptuously colored, each angel’s hair is a cloud of gold. The jeweled slippers of the harpists sit on what look to be glistening waves of aqua and pastel-toned blues. The central figure of “Christ in Glory” is beautifully detailed, from the pearls of his crown to his richly embroidered red robes. And while the windows were

inspired by the “Te Deum Laudamus,” Bell & Beckham also included a bald eagle in the right-hand lancet, in line with the crown of Jesus, in a nod to the Cathedral’s American identity – and benefactors. While the construction of the windows evidently stood the test of time, other elements from simple dust to water infiltration to carbon monoxide combined to coat the glass with layers of dirt – which had to be painstakingly removed with tiny cotton swabs and fine brushes. Amazingly, only one small piece of green glass in the central lancet was not original to the windows, and may have been broken as early as their installation

TRINITÉ ~ Autumn 2006

in the church. To protect the lancets for the future, the Vitrail France artisans used a new preservation technique – applying a second layer of clear hand-blown glass to the exterior face of the windows, separated from the original by a narrow airspace. After the warped panels were flattened under lead weights and all three windows had been thoroughly cleaned, the lancets were brought back to Avenue George V in April, in good time for Holy Week services. The windows were re-dedicated on June 11, 2006, Trinity Sunday, in memory of Elizabeth McLane. Claire Downey


Saving an endangered species Only a quarter of Episcopal priests today are aged 25 to 35, troubling news for the future church. One strategy: The Young Priests Initiative


he number of young Episcopal priests has dropped dramatically in the past thirty years, with dire consequences for the future of the church. Rising to the challenge, a group of dynamic young priests, three bishops and a former Dean of the American Cathedral created the Young Priests Initiative, a pilot program to help counter a possible critical shortage of priests in the next decade. One of the latest young people chosen for the pilot was Scottie Caldwell, a 22-yearold senior at the University of Virginia who is contemplating a vocation in the Episcopal Church. She spent a two-month internship at the American Cathedral in Paris last summer – fittingly so, as one of the prime movers behind the Young Priests Initiative was former Dean James Leo. Prospective seminarians who are Caldwell’s age – once the norm – have become a relative rarity in the Episcopal Church in the last generation. Following a movement to ordain priests with significant experience in other fields, the average age of candidates for ordination in the Episcopal Church has climbed to 45, up from 32 in 1970. According to a 2006 report prepared by Matthew J. Price, an Episcopal Church analyst, in the 1960s, seven out of ten newlyordained clergy were between 25 and 35 years old. Three decades later, only a quarter of them were in that age range. The largest proportion of Episcopal priests today are those aged 45 and 55, but only six percent are under 40 – a troubling statistic for the immediate future of the church. How did this happen? In part, it was a consequence of the ordination of women, who swelled the ranks of candidates during the 1980s and many of whom were changing careers at mid-life. To accommodate a


new pool of women, “there was a kind of gentlemen’s agreement among bishops not to accept young candidates,” wrote Dr. Harold T. Lewis in 2000, when he was rector of Calvary Church in Pittsburgh. When Zachary Fleetwood, now Dean of the American Cathedral in Paris, was studying at the Virginia Theological Seminary in the eighties, the priesthood had already become a second career for many, including him. He taught high school for nearly a decade before enrolling in seminary at the age of 34. Young aspirants at that time were usually advised to go into the world and come back with more experience and maturity, or as Dean Fleetwood put it with a smile: “Go back into the oven and we’ll take you out when you’re done!” Determined to replenish the ranks of young Episcopal clergy, a group of younger priests organized a conference in 1998 aimed at Generation X-ers (those born between 1961 and 1981). Thus was born Gathering the Next Generation, an ongoing project that, with a grant from the Eli Lilly Foundation, enabled a program called Pastoral Leadership Search Effort to encourage young people to consider the ordained ministry as a vocation. And that project, in turn, spawned the Young Priests Initiative. The goals of the Young Priests Initiative (YPI) are to increase the number of priests under the age of 30; place people into the ordination process; articulate ways to improve ordination process; hold discussions on dimensions of prevailing church culture that discourages young vocations; and focus on recruitment of young people in each participating diocese and through Episcopal college chaplaincies. The Very Rev. James Leo was instrumental in launching YPI when he was dean of the Cathedral in Cincinnati, after he left Paris.

TRINITÉ ~ Autumn 2006

Cathedral YPI intern Scottie Caldwell Drawing on a sizeable discretionary fund at Christ Church Cathedral, Leo earmarked contributions to the Episcopal College Fund for the recruitment of young clergy. At the 1998 Gathering the Next Generation conference, he met Bill Danaher, a young gogetter priest, and eventually invited him to choose three dioceses to implement the three pilot programs with grants of $25,000. Those chosen were Pittsburgh, Southern Ohio, and Virginia. “I do think the initiative has helped raise the awareness of parishes about the importance of recognizing and calling forth the gifts of young people,” says the Rev. Mary Hays, canon missioner of the diocese of Pittsburgh. She gives an example of the impact YPI is having. Would-be priests of any age must be counselled by their priest and then by parish discernment committees, and once accepted formally as candidates for holy orders, must work with diocesan Commissions on Ministry, made up of lay people and clergy. Hays notes that “most Commissions on Ministry are made up of older people from smaller, older congregations. It is hard for them to imagine some of our young people

as potential pastors. We have worked hard to train our commission members that we cannot expect the same kind of answers from a 20-year-old as we would from a 50-year-old ... and that the 20-year-old’s answers are not necessarily a sign that someone isn’t ready to be a priest.”

Virginia pilot program, and of the Cathedral in Paris collaborating with a stateside parish. Scottie Caldwell, a member of St. James’s church in Richmond, was selected as the intern by church leaders there based on her active participation in local and national youth-oriented church events.

Caldwell has since returned to the U.S. and is in her senior year at the University of Virginia, where she studies drama. Until she makes a decision about ordination, she says, she is “putting her faith in God,” considering this experience a “test of faith, an exercise in trust.”

The Rev. Percy Grant, assistant to the Bishop of Virginia for youth development, says “clergy are reminded yearly to pay attention and mentor all young people in their parishes who may have a call to ministry in the Church.” For YPI in Virginia, juniors and seniors in college are recruited, and typically work in a church over the summer. The following November the interns, working with feedback from the discernment team and the rector in question, decide if they wish to apply for aspirancy. Even if they decide against, says Grant, “we hope they will continue discerning with us until March, as ordination is only one form of ministry.”

The internship in Paris followed six months in Lyon, where Caldwell studied French history and literature. Immersed in Cathedral life as of June, she participated in almost everything, including worship ser-

Her experience in France changed her point of view. “You find that you let go of things from your previous life that are no longer important, but the heart of things, what is vital to you and to your faith, are what you hang on to,” she says. “When I came here, life really did open up for me.... I started to realize how big this world was and how very small I was, young and inexperienced. And yet I feel called to be a priest.... While I’m just recognizing my own smallness I’ve started feeling called to do something so important. ...What if God has a plan for me?”

Grant underscores the role of ordained clergy in the success of the program: “It is my personal conviction that the dearth of younger clergy sounds a wake-up call to the already called. Pastors have a crucial role to play in stimulating the vocational imagination of the youth in their congregations … we do neither ourselves nor them a service if we do not help them evaluate and discern a true call to serve this way.” Dean Fleetwood was enthusiastic about the prospect of hosting a YPI intern from the

“The initiative has helped raise the awareness of parishes about the importance of recognizing and calling for the gifts of young people.” vices as lector and chalice bearer, Bible study, and choir. She worked at the welcome booth in the narthex and the front desk in the parish office and assisted with the weekly mission lunches. “I’m very happy about Scottie’s presence here,” said the Dean in July. “She is an outstanding woman.”

The Rev. G. Douglas Fenton, an official at the Episcopal Church Center in New York who follows this issue, can feel the impact of YPI. “I think an awareness being communicated through the ‘ether’ of the church is rereminding the church that it must be a place for discernment and a place for discipleship for all ages,” he says. “We all have a ministry. We all have gifts to employ for the building up of the Body of Christ – the Church.” Sally Gordon-Mark The website team invites you to take a look at the allnew, updated, redesigned American Cathedral website! New photos, new text, interactive features give you a friendly, online experience! For parishioner, Friend, tourist, scholar and, casual browser alike, take a moment to visit

TRINITÉ ~ Autumn 2006


Our own Miss de Havilland Fifty years after she left Hollywood, the Cathedral’s best-known parishioner is still collecting accolades for her career, and still devoting herself to our church.


t’s her voice – indescribably deep, warm and reassuring. Imagine Christmas Eve in Paris. The majestic trees adorning the Champs-Elysées are aglow with thousands of tiny lights, and around the corner, just down the stately Avenue George V, the mystery and magic of the midnight mass is unfolding at the American Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. She walks slowly, regally, to the lectern in a tailored wool suit, her silver hair in a classic French chignon. And then, as she begins to read from Holy Scripture, the congregation recognizes the voice. It is the unmistakable throaty timbre of Olivia de Havilland, a special part of the Cathedral family for almost forty years.

Only 23 at the time of “Gone With the Wind,” Miss de Havilland went on to act in more than fifty other movies, and “I did do more difficult and complex work,” she told an interviewer a few years ago. Five times nominated, twice she won Best Actress Oscars for mature and risky roles in “To Each His Own” and “The Heiress.” Critic James Agee described her acting style in that era as “thoughtful, detailed and well-sustained ... founded in an unusually likeable temperament ... an undivided pleasure to see.” Her place in the pantheon of distinguished twentieth-century actors was long secure, but the honors have not ceased. Just last June, the Cathedral’s most distinguished lay reader was the guest of honor in


Warner Brothers

When one meets Miss de Havilland – she is always Miss de Havilland – the inevitable association one makes is with Melanie Wilkes, her quietly resilient character in “Gone With the Wind,” the 1939 film which confirmed the stardom she had established with “The Adventures of Robin Hood” and rooted her character in America’s cultural consciousness. That she is a naturalized citizen – she was born to British parents in Tokyo – is sometimes forgotten.

A studio photograph of Olivia de Havilland from the 1940s Hollywood’s Goldwyn Theatre for “An Academy Tribute to Olivia de Havilland,” hosted by her old friend Robert Osborne. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rolled out an evening that included excerpts from fifteen de Havilland films, and a rare

TRINITÉ ~ Autumn 2006

early screen test that she donated to the Academy archives for this occasion. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art presented a major two-week retrospective of her work.

Miss de Havilland had left Hollywood long before, in the early 1950s, at the peak of her career and as a heroine to many of her fellow-actors – as the victorious challenger to the studio system that, she argued successfully in court, had made actors indentured servants. It was the beginning of the end for the old system. During the early years of Communist witch hunts in Hollywood, Olivia de Havilland was an outspoken anti-Commu-

nist Democrat who struggled to make her voice heard inside organizations dominated by pro-Soviet American entertainers. To a Hollywood biographer recently, she recalled, “I thought, ‘If we reserve the right to criticize American policies, why don’t we reserve the right to criticize Russia?’” This stance did not prevent her from being suspected of Communism herself for her membership in those organizations. Miss de Havilland eventually made an appearance to profess her patriotism before the House Un-American Activities Committee. A Ronald Reagan biographer, John Meroney, has recently reconstructed Miss de Havilland’s role in identifying the future president as a potentially forceful anticommunist voice in the entertainment industry. Miss de Havilland continued to appear in pictures, though less frequently, as she married and raised a family in Paris. Some years later, she found her way to the Cathedral, as all parishioners do, for intensely personal reasons – the successful first year of her son Benjamin’s struggle with Hodgkin’s disease. “I wanted to give thanks for this blessing, so I went to a Cathedral service to do so,” she recalled recently. “Dean (Sturgis) Riddle very kindly said he hoped to see me more often at the Cathedral, and this he did.”

Copyright A.M.P.A.S.

Miss de Havilland’s involvement in our parish life in the years since has ranged from arranging flowers as an Altar Guild member to turning up not so long ago in elegant work clothes to help scrub and enhance the Deanery for the arrival of the Fleetwoods. She recently recalled that when she was first asked to read lessons, in the late 1970s, Dean Robert Oliver was “bravely breaching centuries of tradition by including women.”

Olivia de Havilland at the 75th Academy Awards presentation, which took place in 2003

One memory she holds with special affection was participating in the Cathedral’s July 4, 1976 televised service commemorating the Bicentennial of the American Declaration of Independence. Tipton, her longtime friend, admires her punctilious professionalism

TRINITÉ ~ Autumn 2006

photo: Christophe Delliere

Miss de Havilland’s daughter, Gisèle Broida, joined her mother’s guests from the Cathedral: Dean Fleetwood, Canon Ned Tipton, Matthew Leum, and Amy Bondurant, the former U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, who is now an active leader in the U.S. Friends of the American Cathedral. “Beyond the artistic brilliance and impact of her work and her life that was so evident throughout the evening, she was radiant, beautiful and very real that night. She managed to draw a very large audience gathered in a vast auditorium into a level of intimacy that was unforgettably touching, poignant and entertaining,” remarked Dean Fleetwood.

Olivia de Havilland in Paris as a Cathedral lector – chiefly at Christmas and Easter: “She arrives early, finds her seat, practices the walk from her seat to her lectern, tests the microphone, its volume and placement, and practices the return to her seat,” he said in a 1999 Washington Post profile of her. Her contributions to the American Cathedral continue, as she graciously lends her name and her active presence to important events, notably a Friends of the Cathedral reception in Washington in autumn 2006. For Olivia de Havilland, the Cathedral is “a place which has brought me solace and joy” through its liturgy and music. She is struck by its role as “a haven for the many nationalities, creeds and ways of life which are welcome here. It forms a bond with anyone who has been there. That sense of family makes the Cathedral the important presence it is in Paris and in the world.” But her church is an intensely personal place as well. “The greatest refreshment of the spirit,” she says, “can come from the simple act of sitting alone in the Cathedral itself.” Sumner Hargrove


The new P.B. is a she Introducing Katharine Jefferts Schori, oceanographer, pilot, priest, bishop


n June 18 the General Convention of The Episcopal Church elected a new Presiding Bishop, the Right Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori. This election is of particular interest to us in Europe since the Convocation is in the Presiding Bishop’s jurisdiction. Bishop Jefferts Schori, who has been Bishop of Nevada since 2001, is the first woman Presiding Bishop of our church, and the first female head of a church in the Anglican Communion. She was ordained deacon and priest in 1994. Before that, she was a university professor of oceanography and a scientist with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Seattle. She is an accomplished pilot as well, a skill her daughter seems to have inherited, as she is a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. Her husband, Richard, is a retired mathematician. Both are avid rock climbers and runners. She speaks Spanish and French. The role and responsibilities of Presiding Bishop have evolved over time. The office at first was limited completely to a presiding role over the House of Bishops when the General Convention was meeting. Since 1940 the Bishop-elect has relinquished diocesan duties to become full-time Presiding Bishop.

It is a role that has more moral stature than power. The duties of the Presiding Bishop are “to speak God’s Word to the church and to the world,” representing The Episcopal Church; to preside at meetings of General Convention and the House of Bishops; to consecrate new bishops as they are elected and confirmed; and to function as chief officer of the Executive Council (the “vestry” of the Church which meets between meetings of General Convention). In 1856 some Episcopalians living in Paris and elsewhere in Europe were forming congregations and asked the General Convention to allow those congregations to become parishes of the Episcopal Church. In 1859 the Convention created legislation still in force entitled “Congregations in Foreign Lands” (see Canon I.15), which places such congregations under the jurisdiction of the Presiding Bishop, and provides for the appointment of a bishop-in-charge to take the burden of oversight from the Presiding Bishop. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Bishop Frank Griswold, the outgoing Presiding Bishop, who retires when he hands over his crozier to Bishop Jefferts Schori on November 4 in the Washington National Cathedral. For the past nine years Bishop Griswold

has guided the church though very rough waters. He not only continued to provide a full-time bishop-in-charge for the Convocation, but also allowed the Convocation to elect a new bishop-in-charge for the first time. Bishop Jefferts Schori has already begun to make her mark, strongly calling Episcopalians to focus on the mission God has given us, and endorsing the Millennium Development Goals as central to the mission of the Church. The Convocation and member congregations have since 2003 supported morally and financially the MDGs. I have good reason to hope that she will visit us very soon, and will become involved in the life of the Cathedral, as her schedule permits. The Right Reverend Pierre Whalon, Bishop-in-Charge Convocation of American Churches in Europe

In Solidarity

Friends of the American Cathedral With America’s Cathedral in Europe


TRINITÉ ~ Autumn 2006

Millennium-sized ambitions


he Cathedral’s Mission and Outreach Committee is this year to undertake a major operational and conceptual overhaul to align its activities with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals that have just received a stirring endorsement from the newly-elected Episcopal Presiding Bishop, the Right Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori.

reasonable chance of being met – but only because of the booming Chinese and Indian economies. Progress has been painfully uneven and parts of Africa in particular risk being left behind.

“My passion is for mission because I think that is how we build the reign of God,” she said in her first remarks as presiding bishop, following her election last June at the Episcopal Church’s 75th General Convention.

“It’s the first time in history when we have been able to say that it’s possible to make poverty history.”

“The Millennium Development Goals give us an image, an icon or lens for how we can build the reign of God in our own day. They’re achievable. They are achievable in less than ten years if we can commit as nations and as communities and individuals across the world to do it. That is remarkable! It’s the first time in history when we have been able to say that it’s possible to make poverty history.” The Millennium Development Goals, often called MDGs, call for halving the proportion of the world’s population living on less than a dollar a day by 2015. They were adopted at the United Nations in 2000, and formally embraced by the Episcopal Church last June in Columbus, Ohio. Almost entirely by coincidence, that same week the Cathedral’s Mission and Outreach Committee was in discussions that resulted in a decision to orient its thinking and activities around the MDGs. Beginning this fall, the Cathedral’s annual “tithe” to mission and outreach – currently about 35,000 euros – will be applied to projects in line with the UN development goals. Meeting the overall anti-poverty goal will depend first of all on the willingness of governments in the developed world to make the necessary sacrifices and to commit the financial and other resources. At the moment the poverty reduction goal stands a

But there is more to the MDGs than eradicating poverty. Sub-goals or targets have also been adopted in education, child mortality

reduction and health, the environment and gender equality. And as such they provide an opening for the Cathedral. Participants at a June mission and outreach gathering, in a vote organized by Mission and Outreach co-chairmen Neil Janin and Nathaniel Harrison, put the education sub goal – universal primary schooling – at the top of its list of priorities. Next on the priority list were: promoting gender equality and empowering women, combating AIDS and other infectious diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, eradicating hunger, reducing child mortality and improving maternal health, and forging a global partnership for development. The challenge before the committee – and indeed all interested parishioners – is to find five or six professionally managed and financially accountable projects that are active in the areas deemed to be priorities. The committee, in its new orientation, is now determined to do more than simply write five or six big checks a year, important though that might be. Much thought and research has therefore been given to finding activities here in France and elsewhere that would enable parishio-

TRINITÉ ~ Autumn 2006

ners to fulfill the Biblical injunction to work for justice and peace here and now. The committee believes active Christians should also be giving of themselves, not just of their pocketbooks, so hands-on volunteer possibilities are to be considered as important as financial grants. As an example, the committee is strongly considering supporting a community center in Le Blanc Mesnil, a depressed community on the RER B line near Charles de Gaulle airport and the scene of social unrest in fall 2005. La Maison des Tilleuls is a locally-funded community center serving people from many national origins and social backgrounds, according to M&O members Joan Richardson and Gerry Shattock, who have visited the facility. There is a need for tutors, English teachers, writers, cooking and sewing monitors, computer and technology specialists and general helpers – skills, one suspects, that Cathedral members have in abundance. Involvement in this center or in a similar facility would fulfill many of the goals of the new outreach orientation – education, empowerment of women, and a multitude of ways for personal involvement. Further afield, long-time committee leader Judith Lanier is pursuing contacts with orphanages in Bulgaria and Romania that need both money and participation by Cathedral volunteers. A Cathedral trip to one of the facilities some time next year has been discussed. The newly-energized committee, in short, aims to be more focused in its role as donor and supporter of the Millennium Development Goals, giving more money to fewer projects, while deepening its engagement in the struggle for social justice closer to home. “The possibilities are enormously exciting,” Dean Fleetwood remarked recently. “We do outreach as much for ourselves as for the people we help. We have much more to gain than to give.” Nathaniel Harrison


‘God does not live in isolation’ How Dean Fleetwood overcame his ‘insermnia’ about the incomprehensible Trinity – and found answers in a love ‘as deep and wide as life itself’ Excerpted from a sermon for Trinity Sunday preached by the Very Reverend Zachary Fleetwood, Dean and Rector of the American Cathedral in Paris, on 11 June 2006.


he next time you can’t sleep, I heartily recommend that you read the Creed of St. Athanasius, a document to which preachers somehow feel compelled for consultation in preparing sermons on the Trinity. “The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible ... And yet ... they are not three incomprehensible but one incomprehensible.” There, I hope that brought as much clarity on the subject for you as it did for me. Now try this. “Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith, which faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he will perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this: that we worship one God in Trinity and unity, neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.”

My own inadequate approach toward a theology of the Trinity suggests that it is something we cannot fully describe. God is always a mystery. Contemplating the mystery of God requires an active and discerning imagination at its best and most open. John Updike, the novelist, captures it: “Theology is not a provable accumulation like science, nor is it a succession of enduring monuments, like art, (theology) must always unravel, and be re-knit.” In getting at the mystery of the Trinity we really must rely on the arts and the poetic imagination. Joseph Sittler, the great

“We have the grace to accept the inevitable ambiguities of mystery. In so doing we make ourselves available to the possibility of being transformed.”

As you know, Thomas Jefferson thought a lot about religion. And I dare say he was deeply influenced by the experience of living here in Paris and encountering, among its many charms and seductions, a form of rationalism that shaped his thinking about the Trinity, and all else about religion for that matter. Here’s what he had to say about the Trinity: “When shall we have done away with the incomprehensible jargon of the Trinitarian arithmetic? No man ever had a distinct idea of the Trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves priests...”

Lutheran theologian who taught at the University of Chicago for many years, supports this notion in writing “that artists, poets, composers, and theologians are often up to the same thing – that art is often an imaginative way of doing what good theology does: namely, to expose the holy in the common and provide a way for human beings to experience, praise, and adore it.”

Ultimately, Jefferson felt compelled to rid religion of both miracle and mystery and went so far as to create his own version of the canon of scripture, simply editing out all but what he considered to be the essential teachings of Jesus, and in the process stripping Christianity of its most extraordinary claims.

Not at all discontinuous from this idea is the quintessential notion of classic Anglicanism – that we do our best theology “on our knees.” We are not to be spectators or observers of the work of professional theologians. Rather, we draw forth from that place deep inside each us, as human beings cre-


TRINITÉ ~ Autumn 2006

ated in the image of God, through the life of the imagination and the life of prayer. We are open to mystery, and have the grace to accept the inevitable ambiguities of mystery. In so doing we make ourselves available to the possibility of being transformed by a reality beyond ourselves. On this Trinity Sunday, here in this Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, we have many reasons to keep this feast, to acknowledge it and to lean into the depths of its sacred mysteries. It is an appropriate time to pause and to ponder the big questions: what is the meaning of our presence here today as individuals and as the Church gathered? What do we really believe? How can we find ways to characterize that “reality beyond ourselves.” Who is God? Transcending all of the creeds and scholarship, beyond the theologies and intellectual machinations, I submit that there is a fairly simple, elemental, yet radiant truth. God loves us. God loves you. God loves me. God loves the creation. God’s love for us is as deep and wide as life itself. And God’s love does not reside exclusively in the vastness of interstellar space. God’s love is intimate, immediate, nearby. God loves us in the daily realities of human existence; on the dusty roads, the twists and turns, in the arching triumphs and aching sorrows of our lives. God loves us in the very flesh and bones of our humanity. God loves us in the thrilling and dynamic energy of life in Paris. And God loves us in the isolating anonymity that can be a consequence of urban life in a city and in a country that may not be our native land or culture. God also loves us in the simple and faithful villages of central Mexico or south India. God loves us in the midst of the nightmare of human suffering and warfare in the streets of Baghdad. God loves us in the Jeffersonian countryside of central Virginia and the marginalized neighborhoods of the Bronx,

East London and suburban Paris. In our sleeping and in our waking, invited or not, God loves us.

The American Cathedral of the Holy Trinity

For centuries, the Church has set aside the Feast of the Holy Trinity to celebrate that God has chosen to live in dynamic accessibility. God does not live in isolation. The Holy Spirit of God does not live in isolation. Our Trinitarian God lives in the context of relationship and community grounded in life-giving love.

Peter Fellowes, Senior Warden Jill Cameron, Junior Warden Rhoderic Bannatyne, Treasurer Sophie Belouet, Clerk Edward K. Dey, Dennis Grove, Jennifer Gosmand, Nancy Janin Blake Redding, Luis Roth, Andrea Rose Rousseaux, Richard Sellers William Tompson, Emily York

When we resist the dynamic power of relationship and community, when we attempt to recoil or withdraw into a life of isolation, when we cut ourselves off from God or from one another, we are placing ourselves on a dangerous path. Ultimately it is the way of death. As Christians, we are baptized in the name of the Trinity. The sacred dance of Trinitarian life in community is indelibly imprinted upon us. It is fundamental to our character. At our baptism, with the sign of the cross stamped upon our foreheads, we are marked as Christ’s own forever as a permanent and radical sign that our life is shared with God and God’s with ours. Sunday after Sunday in this Cathedral, and in Christian communities like ours around the world, we are invited to open ourselves to the grace of reconciliation, forgiveness and harmony available to us in the community of God to which we belong. We make our communion, seeking God’s healing and God’s peace, so that we can, in turn, each of us, be used as active vessels of God’s healing and reconciling love – that every person that you and I encounter might know through us that they are loved of God and made in the image of God; Creating Presence, Redeeming Christ, Life-Giving Spirit.

The Cathedral Vestry

The American Cathedral in Paris Foundation Nancy Treuhold, President and Secretary William R. Brunger, Vice President R. Revell Horsey, Treasurer The Honorable Amy L. Bondurant, Edward G. Cumming, David T. McGovern

The Convocation of American Churches in Europe The Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold Presiding Bishop The Right Reverend Katharine Jefferts Shori Presiding Bishop-Elect The Right Reverend Pierre W. Whalon Bishop-in-Charge The Reverend Roger Featherstone, Rector St. James Church, Florence The Reverend Allan Sandlin, Rector Church of Christ the King, Frankfurt The Reverend John Beach, Rector Emmanuel Church, Geneva The Reverend Thomas Pellaton, Rector Church of the Ascenscion, Munich The Very Reverend Zachary Fleetwood, Dean and Rector The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Paris The Reverend Michael Vono, Rector St. Paul’s within the Walls, Rome The Reverend Kempton Baldridge, Rector All Saint’s Church, Waterloo The Reverend Martha Hubbard, Rector Church of St. Augustine of Canterbury, Wiesbaden

Sermon resources: John M. Buchanan, “A Wise Heart” (The Christian Century), May 2001; Frederick Buechner, “Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC”; Peter Gomes, “The Big Picture” (sermon); Jurgen Moltmann, “The Triune God: Rich in Relationships” (The Living Pulpit).

The Board of Foreign Parishes G. Frederick Reinhardt, III, President Nancy Treuhold, Vice President and Secretary Robert V. Edgar, Treasurer Stanhope S. Browne, Marion Dawson Carr The Very Reverend Zachary Fleetwood George Fowlkes, The Reverend Allan Sandlin, Peter C. Trent Charles Trueheart, The Right Reverend Pierre Whalon, Cecil Wray

TRINITÉ ~ Autumn 2006


Discovering René Girard The French theologian’s ideas provide insights into politics, culture, theology, and family life. William Tompson, a lay leader at the Cathedral as a vestry member and Bible teacher, offers here his personal discovery of French theologian René Girard. Tompson is a senior economist specializing in Russian affairs at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris.


first came across the literary criticturned-theologian René Girard in 1990, in a lecture given by Rowan Williams, then the Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at Oxford, and now, of course, Archbishop of Canterbury. At the time, what captured my attention was not only Girard’s unusual take on Christianity, but the extent to which I saw his ideas reflected in the then-collapsing Soviet Union, where I was doing my doctoral field work. In the sixteen years since, I have become ever more convinced that Girard’s theory provides important insights into politics, theology, culture and even family life. Girard’s starting point is to challenge the idea that our desires arise autonomously within us or come hard-wired into our personalities in pre-packaged forms, like ‘penis envy’ or ‘Oedipus complex’ à la Freud. Desires, Girard says, are learned – we acquire them from others, from our parents, our peers or perhaps our favorite football players. As any adman could tell you, we learn

Further reading: Probably the best introduction to Girard’s work is his “Je vois satan tomber comme l’éclair” (Paris, 1999). The English version “I See Satan Fall like Lightning” (Maryknoll, NY, 2001), begins with an excellent introductory essay by James G. Williams. Another good place to begin is with the collection of essays introduced and edited by Williams and published as “The Girard Reader” (New York, 2005).


what to want by seeing what those who serve as our models want. Girard calls this the ‘mimesis’ (imitation) of desire. He argues that, precisely because we learn our desires from one another, conflict is inevitable. We fight because we want the same things – the same possessions or status, the same girlfriend, or even the same toy in the nursery. Of course, mimesis is necessary: we need role models if we are to learn to be human. Uncontrolled imitation, however, threatens us with a Hobbesian ‘war of all against all’. Human societies therefore devote great energy to regulating and controlling mimetic rivalries. Strongly class- or caste-based societies, for example, assign a person a particular place in the social order, effectively defining what desires are appropriate for him. In more open societies, laws, rules and informal norms govern the means by which we may pursue rivalries. Ultimately, however, Girard argues that the war of all against all is prevented by an attack of all against one – by scapegoating. There is, after all, no surer source of unity in a group than a common enemy, however arbitrarily chosen. Scapegoating an individual or a group brings peace, at least for a time, as the controlled, if arbitrary, violence of the scapegoat mechanism helps to suppress the even greater violence of the war of all against all. Drawing on history, anthropology, literary criticism and psychology, Girard finds evidence of the mechanism everywhere, from the behaviour of playground bullies to that of statesmen. Social peace is founded upon violence. In stable societies, it may be so ritualized and cloaked in myth that it is hard to spot, but in times of crisis, it comes to the fore – as I have seen again and again while watching Russia’s travails over the last twenty years.

TRINITÉ ~ Autumn 2006

René Girard Yet scapegoating only works if it is unconscious – if the persecutors believe in what they are doing. Once we admit to ourselves that our victims are arbitrarily chosen, the whole thing loses its force. And this is where Girard sees a remarkable feature of the JudaeoChristian tradition: the Bible sides with the victims of persecution. It exposes the scapegoat mechanism as a lie, thereby destabilizing it. We are so accustomed to this point of view that we may not realise how revolutionary it is. Yet as Girard shows at length, most ancient texts about persecution and oppression express the persecutors’ perspective. The Bible is virtually unique in its consistent sympathy for the victims of oppression. Jesus goes further still, for He opts out of mimetic rivalry entirely. He doesn’t join in the mimesis of human desire, for His only desire is to do His Father’s will. To choose Jesus as our mimetic model, then, is to choose His Father – the Father who offers a different path to peace, to a peace that truly does pass all the understanding of a humanity that founds its ‘peace’ on violence and oppression. Jesus thus becomes the natural scapegoat of all, for He is threatening to all. If the only peace we know depends on unconscious victimisation, the one who exposes that fact is dangerous indeed. No wonder Jesus said, “ He brought not peace but a sword....”

Creativity in the parish family Slave-trading,valiant women, terrorists in Paris, and a late-life journey Your Cathedral friends, Friends, and their families are a creative lot. Below is news of some of their endeavors. Please let us know if you or someone in the Cathedral community has news to share.

 Katrina Browne, daughter of former Cathedral parishioners Stanhope and Libby Browne, presented a rough cut of her film “Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North” to the General Convention in Columbus. The film, which traces the history of the slave trade, with special emphasis on New England’s role in it, was received with a standing ovation and additional screenings were quickly organized. The film focuses on the richest slave-trading family of all, the DeWolfs, from which Katrina is descended through her mother. “Traces of the Trade” features a trip taken by Katrina and nine cousins of three generations to a slave fort in Ghana used by the family, and to a family plantation in Cuba, re-tracing the infamous Triangular Trade. It also includes dialogue within the family and with African Americans. In an interview at the convention, Browne said

she hopes “Traces” will “inspire people to have more conversations about particular white and black dynamics” and hopes it will “specifically inspire white people, because I think we come in with dread, guilt, resentment or fear to those conversations.”

 Parishioner Ellen Hampton has written “Women of Valor: The Rochambelles on the WWII Front,” which was published in English in September by Palgrave Macmillan in New York. It is the true story of a group of French women ambulance drivers who were part of the Leclerc Division (2e DB) and worked on the front lines through the European campaign, from Normandy to Berchtesgaden. They were organized in New York, trained in North Africa, and attached to Patton’s Third Army in France, the only women’s unit on the European front. Ellen is a former journalist and current doctoral student in history. For this book she interviewed a dozen surviving Rochambelles and used memoirs and an archive of photographs to put together their remarkable story. The book is available at and (in October 2006) at W.H. Smith in Paris.

 “Paris Under Siege” by former Dean Ernest Hunt was released in August. The novel is about a crazed Algerian terrorist who wants to destroy all American institutions in Paris, and with the help of Cathedral members and good Muslims together an effort is made to stop him. Dean Hunt will not reveal the ending so we will all just have to buy the book, available on Dean Hunt has also written a book about human trafficking with Dallas and Mexico as locales, and is busy on a sequel to “Paris Under Siege.” We look forward to many book signings in Paris soon.

 Former Canon Rosalie Heffelfinger Hall has published “A River Echoes in My Ministry.” The book describes a 1,700-mile journey down the Mississippi River and a life journey which led Rody to become an ordained priest at 60 years – young, in her case. Dean Fleetwood wrote “If you’ve never had the good fortune of sitting with Rody for two hours in a café on the streets of Paris, read this book. It’s the next best thing.” The book is published by Kirk House and is also available on

How to become a Friend of the Cathedral The Friends of the American Cathedral was founded in the 1970s to “keep fond memories fresh and help to sustain the Cathedral,” as once was recounted by the fifth Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Reverend Sturgis Riddle. Initially an alumni group for those who had lived in Paris and worshipped at the Cathedral, the Friends has grown and diversified through the years. In addition to loyal alumni, Friends includes among its membership those interested in the historic preservation of the exceptional landmark cathedral space designed by Edmund Street in the late 19th century and classified as a “monument historique” by the French government. Others have joined the Friends to support and stand in solidarity with the

unique mission of the Cathedral as it ministers to an increasingly diverse congregation including students studying in Paris, multi-cultural families, American retirees, English-speaking professionals on assignment in Paris, and the homeless living on the streets of Paris Membership in the Friends of the American Cathedral keeps you informed of the many interesting things going on, the people making them happen, and what may be scheduled during your next trip to Paris. Friends receive regular mailings of Cathedral publications and invitations to gatherings in major U.S. cities. A warm personal welcome at the Cathedral is of course part of the package – just let us know when you are planning to come.

TRINITÉ ~ Autumn 2006

Become a member by sending your check, payable to The American Cathedral in Paris, to 23 avenue George V, 75008 Paris, France. Patron: Sustainer: Sponsor: Supporter: Associate: Member:

$5000+ $1000 – $5000 $500 – $1000 $200 – $500 $100 – $200 $50 – $100

Contributions to the Friends of the American Cathedral are tax-deductible in the U.S. and in France. For more information please contact Nancy Treuhold at