June 2021
Letter from the Rector
“They will rebuild the ancient ruins
And  restore the places long devastated;
They will renew the ruined cities
That they have devastated for generations.”
                                                     Isaiah 61:4
On a visit to Italy, some years ago, and in particular the eternal City of Rome, I commented to my fellow pilgrims, after visiting ruin after ruin that I was pretty much ruined out, yet wonderfully renewed at the same time.

The renewal experience culminated for me in a private pilgrimage to Assisi. I recall sitting at the tomb of Saint Francis for about two hours, savoring the wonder, life and ministry of a Saint of God who touched my life deeply at age 16 when I watched the movie “brother sun and sister moon,” for the first time.

As I sat there my heart was filled with gratitude, praise and adoration. A Saint of God who certainly teaches me the pain of rebuilding and the joy of renewal in such tangible tones.

As we were preparing to leave South Africa for the Unites States 25 years ago this July, we sold our bedroom suite to a Xhosa speaking gentleman. He inquired of me why we were selling…and I explained that we were leaving to go to the US, where I was called to serve another congregation. His gentle compassionate eyes caught mine and told me in the sincerest tones “Umfundisi (Xhosa for Father), that is a knee job!” If only I had known how much of a knee job it was going to be!!!!!

We live in times when we ought to be brought to our knees daily, in our endeavor to keep the focus of the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus for which we are essentially called.

Three other saints of God, who teach us how much of a knee job, the gift of our joint ministry is meant to be, are: Archbishop Michael Ramsey, Archbishop Rowan Williams, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In his well-known book, the Christian priest today, written in 1972, Archbishop Ramsey says, “We are called, near to Jesus and with Jesus, to be with God with the people on your heart.” Forty-two years later, I know that this is true for me more than ever before.

As a contributing writer in a book hot off the press called “Glory Descending,” honoring the life, work and writings of Archbishop Michael Ramsey, Archbishop, Rowan Williams, reflecting on Michael Ramsey’s book, the Christian priest today, has this to say, “We shall not proclaim Christ effectively if we are constantly reverting to what makes us anxious rather than what makes us grateful.” I believe this to be a call to deep, deep prayer.

Another saint of God, and another Archbishop, Desmond Tutu, in his delightful little book called an African Prayer book, writes, “Unless we are thankful, we will suffer the leprosy of ingratitude.”


As you know by now, I will be retiring at the end of September. My last Sunday will be September 26. As I prepare for vacation in July and August and then retirement at the end of September, I am deeply thankful for so much in this life, despite the challenges and bumps along the road over these many years!

I am thankful for all of you during my years as your rector, priest and friend. Jenny and my time at Saint Mary’s, will be an indelible print in our heart and souls forever!

Thank you for your care, your prayers and your love over the years. 

Thank you for the joint ministry we shared to proclaim the gospel of Jesus here at Saint Mary’s. 

Thank you for your tenacity and perseverance, especially during these challenging times of Covid.

Thank you for your steadfastness and dedication to the mission and ministry of the Gospel and the people of Saint Mary’s. 


I shall be on vacation during July and August.
During July, I shall still be celebrating mass on Sundays, but off during the week.
During August, I shall be off including Sundays. The Rev. Margaret Tuttle will be the celebrant on Sundays during August.
Deacon Shiane will be available for any pastoral emergencies during July and August. 

Deacon Shiane 

Deacon Shiane has been called to serve Grace Church in White Plains. Her last Sunday at Saint Mary’s will be September 12. 
She has served St. Mary’s with such passion and utter dedication and I am the richer for sharing in ministry with her. 
Thank you Shiane for your steadfastness, love and tireless proclamation of the gospel in word and deed. Thank you for the time and energy you so graciously shared with all of us. Thank you for showing us a glimpse of the road to justice and grace. Thank you!!
Deacon Shiane has agreed to be present and serve with me on my last Sunday, and I am indeed grateful!!

In all of life be thankful!!
Have a wonderful summer and stay safe.
Much love and prayers,
Fr. Alan
  • Holy Eucharist Rite II at 9:30 am

  • Monday: Morning Prayer at 9:30am 
  • Wednesday: Noonday Prayer
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Open Doors: We have Resumed Worship In the Church
We invite you to take note of the following practical arrangements:
  • Wearing masks at all times
  • Sanitizing hands before services, during, before receiving communion and when leaving; please bring your hand sanitizer along with you
  • Always keep safe distancing
  • No coffee hour, for the time being
  • The Holy Eucharist will be celebrated; the people receiving in one kind only (the host)
  • Details of receiving communion will be explained at the time of celebration

All Services will be offered via Live Stream  
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We need your OPINION: Don't miss SURVEY link below!
Farewell to Coleen MacGreevey
Thank you for Years of Service to our St Mary's Church School
From Coleen:

My six years at St. Mary the Virgin flew by in large part to the wonderful, supportive community that exists in our congregation. So many people have played in part in helping me in my time as Church School Director, and I would like to thank them below:

  • To Father Alan - his leadership and guidance is unparalleled. I have loved getting to know Jenny and their incredible family. As a lifelong Catholic, I am in awe of and realize the incredible benefit of being a married priest and the wholeness of faith and role models for the congregation that Alan and Jenny provide.
  • To Deacon Shiane - her serene, practical faith is something she lives day in and day out and is so inspirational to all who meet her.
  • To Laurane - she works tirelessly for the parish and people of St. Mary's and is so helpful with EVERYTHING. She knows the ins and outs of St. Mary's, and if she doesn't, she can always find the answer. It was a pure joy working alongside her these six years.
  • To Peter - to me, music in church is my favorite form of prayer, and Peter is a maestro. Both working with him and the children (we LOVED his original songs!) and listening to him perform every Sunday was a spiritual experience.
  • To the Christian Education Vestry - Amanda Fesko, Monica Napoli and Cindy Forrest - their support and commitment to the St. Mary's community was a huge help in my role as Church School Director.
  • To the families and children at Church School - I have loved watching them grow up, figuratively and literally (like Cole Fitzgerald!!). Our program has changed over the years, but I have always enjoyed traditions like the Christmas Pageant and Mother's Day service, as well as new activities, like Family Game Night and our epic BINGO games!

One of the earliest lessons I teach the children is called "What is the Church?" And we talk about the fact that the church is a building, but the bigger idea is that the church is the PEOPLE...And you couldn't ask for a better church, both literally and figuratively, than St. Mary's. I feel so blessed to have been part of such a loving, faithful, supportive religious community, especially during the tumultuous times in our world these past six years. I hope I was able to exemplify the simple but meaningful message of loving God and each other.

I would just like to close by saying that this is not goodbye, but "until we meet again." Thank you!
News from Senior Warden,
John Priscantelli
We need your help!

As we come out of the pandemic one of my big concerns is not having enough help to be ready for the upcoming year. We need to be ready for the upcoming challenges that lay ahead. The communications Vestry position and the Newcomers Vestry position are still open.

Not only are these positions still open but we have many projects going on that need attention. Some of us on the Vestry still have 9-5 jobs and cannot do everything that is needed. So please when we reach out, please give our requests careful consideration. If you can serve a year great, longer than that is even better. We would like fresh faces; it is unfair for the same people to be filling these positions.

If you have been overlooked, believe me this was not intentional, reach out to me. I know many of you have other causes you are busy with but our cause is also a worthy one. It may not be glamourous, it may not be newsworthy but it is vital to our world’s balance.

Church Status

As you all know Father Alan, Deacon Shiane and Coleen MacGreevey will no longer be with us after September. We are actively speaking with the Diocese about these positions and expect to have an interim Minister and Sunday school director in place beginning with Father Alan’s departure which is the last Sunday in September, September 26th.

It is hard to fathom what our church will be like without them, but we need to go forward and find people who can continue on with their teachings and help us to build our church for the future. They will always be with us in our hearts, we wish them nothing but the best for the future.

Some parishioners have already volunteered to be on the search committee for a full time minister. Please let us know if you’re interested.
RIP Marty Everett

Long time parishioner Marty Everett passed away on April 24th. Marty was the brother-in-law of Sandy Dammann. My family remembers him as a kind soul who always took the time to talk to us when we first became parishioners. Many a Sunday coffee hour we would be the last ones leaving after having conversations with him and his wife Jackie. He also took a special interest in our daughter Kristi and always took the time to talk to her and ask how she was doing when she couldn’t make the service. We would send Christmas cards to them when they moved to Massachusetts and they would also and us one. Such a great guy and family, we will miss him.

Memorial Service Planned

On Easter Sunday, April 4, Sandy Dammann's son Rick, died. As you read above, his uncle (and brother-in-law to Sandy), Marty Everett, died on April 24. To honor and remember both there will be a memorial service/celebration of their lives on Saturday July 10, 2021 at 1 PM at
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
85 Main St.
Mount Kisco, NY 10549
 After the service a reception will be held directly across the street from the church at
The American Legion Hall
1 Legion Way
Mount Kisco
Parking will be available at the church, the American Legion and also at a red brick building right next to the Legion Hall which used to be a bank but is now closed.
At 4:15 PM the two sets of cremains will be interred at
St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church
191 S. Greeley Ave,
Chappaqua, NY 10514
           Please feel free to let others know about the joint celebration.
To help in planning the reception please contact Sandy to let her know if you and others will attend the reception.
(914) 241-3021, (914) 319-7005 (phone or text) wsdammann@stanfordalumni.org
Vestry Minutes
Meeting Minutes are available on bulletin board outside of Parish Hall office or by contacting Rich at juzumas@verizon.net.
News from Deacon Shiane
Sharing her Letter

Dear Father Alan:
After much prayer, and consultation with my spiritual advisor, it is with sincere regret that I must submit my letter of resignation as Deacon of St. Mary the Virgin.  
I would like to thank you for your love and support. I have had such an amazing experience in the last four years serving under your mentorship and instilling the love of Christ. Your guidance and support over the past four years has been a positive impact on my life and on those I have served. May all that you have given me, continue to bless others in the future. 
My last day at St. Mary's will be September 12, 2021.
Thank you again for everything and please give my love to your family and the entire congregation.
Forever in Christ,

Shiane M. Lee
Deacon of St. Mary the Virgin
“While we are all saddened to see Deacon Shiane move on, I am ever so grateful for her ministry amongst us! She has brought a joyful spirit in our midst with clarity and courage to share the tough issues of our day with tenderness!!
I shall personally miss her, and wish her every blessing in all of her future endeavors in ministry and life. We will say our farewells on September 12. Go with God Shiane!!”  
Fr. Alan 
Thank you from Coleen
I wanted to thank everyone for their kind words, e-mails and cards as I finish my time as Church School director at St. Mary the Virgin. I especially wanted to thank Amanda Fesko and all who contributed for the beautiful flowers and gift card (and cookies) - your generosity is overwhelming! Also thank you to the Parish for the framed photograph of the Church - it holds special memories of the people who have touched my lives over the past 6 years.
On Sunday, June 6, 2021 Fr. Alan and Deacon Shiane blessed our seniors, our confirmands and our 8th graders as the congregation held up their hands in support.

In his homily, Fr. Alan related the readings in Mark 3:20-35 in which Jesus seemingly denies acknowledging his mother and his siblings who are at the temple. Jesus does recognize them but since he needs to answer his critics, he reminds them of God’s healing purpose and that power comes from above.
And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

Acknowledging that God has blessed him with a precious family and the journey that his life has been, especially having traveled all over the world and now, with his upcoming retirement, Fr. Alan advised our 8th graders as they move on to high school and our seniors to “put God into the equation” intentionally in their life journeys. He also offered his heartfelt advice to our seniors to remember to call their family when at college.

“Journey on, journey with perseverance, journey with faith...When hiccups and bumps along the road come.. when that happens – that is when not if they happen, remind yourself of the value and gift of family. When you feel the bumps being a bit too much for you, make the call… Your family will be there to listen. And as parents, we pledge to be there for you and hold you close. So journey on…take time to rest in God’s presence because God loves you dearly. Wherever you go, whatever you do, wherever the road may take you, high or low, wide or narrow, may the Holy Spirit lead you to places that are safe, that are true, are healing and are whole.”

Our confirmands, who were confirmed at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on June 19, 2021 were given gifts of the Book of Common Prayer signed by Fr. Alan and Deacon Shiane, and specially selected chocolate.

Parishioners gathered outside the parish hall at a table with “grab and go” refreshments and where a collection of cereal boxes was set up for donation to the Interfaith Emergency Food Pantry.

Blessings and Congratulations
Class of 2021 - HGHS seniors
Molly Babowal… University of Vermont
Annika Hayes...FIT
Alex Fitzgerald ...Tufts University
Matthew Fenlon ... Stanford University
Gavin MacGreevey... University of Maryland
Anna Paskowitz… Syracuse University

These candidates received their long awaited confirmation in the Holy Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Blessings!

2020 Confirmation candidates:
Charles Hayes, Cole Fitzgerald, Hannah Fetzer and Julia Aram 
2021 Confirmation candidates: 
Catherine Fenlon, Adrian Dennis and Joe Santilli

Please Respond!

What programs and activities would you like to participate in at St. Mary's?

Kindly complete and return the survey (links above or below)

You may do this online or print the survey, fill out and return via snail mail, email or text!
Or CLICK HERE to print survey and return via mail or text.
Denise Hanchet is coordinating drivers for Neighbors Link. Volunteers pick up meals from a local restaurant and deliver them to families in need. These are contactless deliveries. Those interested are welcome to Sign Up through the link below. Please contact Denise if you have any questions about this mission: hanchet@verizon.net or cell (914) 671-0128.

Neighbors Link June Sign Up Genius for Wednesday Evening Restaurant Meal Deliveries - 3 Spots per Evening
Neighbors Link July Sign Up Genius for Wednesday Evening Restaurant Meal Deliveries - 3 Spots per Evening
Neighbors Link August Sign Up Genius for Wednesday Evening Restaurant Meal Deliveries - 3 Spots per Evening
For more info on Neighbors Link go to https://www.neighborslink.org/
Rick & Barbara Romeo
Stewards of the Land- in Chappaqua!

Click HERE for Link to a recent article about our parishioners, The Romeos property- Rocky Hills!
Congrats Matt Fenlon!

We have in our midst a potential Olympic swimmer!

CONGRATS to Matt who qualified in 4 events to compete in the Olympic trials in Omaha, Nebraska. 

He had an in-person cheering squad of Mike, Dana and Catherine in addition to his aunt, cousin and grandfather. Thanks to all who supported him by watching the swims on NBC. In addition, thanks to the 1st graders at Coman Hills elementary school who tuned in with their teacher (and our neighbor), Sue Ornstein. 

More Info
Office: 914-238-8751
Church of St. Mary the Virgin
191 S. Greeley Avenue
Chappaqua, NY

Office Contact: 
Tel: 914 238-8751

Chappaqua, NY
We are called to be a holy people who witness God's love to the world and serve others.
Our Mission is to provide an environment for worship, learning, and service by encouraging
participation through the effective use of the commissions:
Worship and Music, Christian Education, Outreach, Communications, Parish Life, Finances, and Stewardship.
Submissions for the Bell can be sent to
at smtvbell@gmail.com

Mary Ann Bayer, Blair Childs & Sophia Childs