In Memoriam: Paul Wancura ‘60

With great sadness we report that the Rev. Canon Paul Wancura, Class of 1960, has died at the age of 87, of wounds suffered as a result of a home invasion at his Shelter Island, N.Y. home three weeks ago.

Rallying only a week ago from critical condition at Stony Brook University Hospital where he had been since being airlifted from the Island on Monday, March 19, Wancura never emerged from the intensive care unit of the hospital, according to Father Charles McCarron, pastor of St. Mary’s Church on Shelter Island, and also our alumnus of the Class of 2001.

McCarron said Monday that the official cause of death was sepsis, a system-wide infection, usually caused by wounds. He discovered Wancura midday on March 19 after checking on him after he had missed Sunday services at a church in West Islip where he assisted most weekends. Wancura was found bound by the hands and lying between a bed and a bedroom wall and had been in that condition for at least two days.

The brutal incident, which shocked the peaceful neighborhood and the Island at large, was originally termed by the police departments as a case of home invasion and burglary. Now, with the Episcopal minister’s death, it has become a homicide case, according to Shelter Island Police Department Chief Jim Read.

“This is a terrible tragedy,” Father McCarron said Monday afternoon. “A life that brought so much joy, comfort, peace and light to so many, ending in such a violent way.”

“The sad news of the death of Canon Wancura has touched everyone in our diocese,” Bishop Lawrence Provenzano said late April 17 in a message to the diocese. “Those who knew him well are suffering the loss of a devoted priest and friend who was quick to provide support and prayerful insight to all who sought his counsel. Those who did not know him personally are struck nonetheless by the reported cruelty and violence during a home invasion that resulted in the death of this beloved priest.”

A former Rector Emeritus of Caroline Church of Brookhaven in Setauket, Wancura served the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island for more than 50 years, including serving at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Greenport for a decade. His ordained ministry began at Church of the Ascension in Brooklyn, New York, and he was archdeacon of Suffolk County from 1966 to 1974, assisting parishes and missions and providing administrative oversight on behalf of the bishop’s office. He was a graduate of Queens College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Business Administration, before receiving his Master of Divinity degree from General. 

Wancura, a native of Queens, New York, felt his call to the priesthood while serving in the Army with the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps in Austria and France. He retired in 2000 but continued to assist churches in the area as needed, and at the time of his death he was the second oldest priest still serving on Long Island, including as a supply priest at Church of the Messiah, Provenzano said. Wancura’s wife died shortly after he retired, and they had no children.

 “Paul was an old-fashioned priest with the sensibility and spirit of a very forward-looking man,” Provenzano said. “He was spry and witty – the kind of person who would engage everyone in conversation and be interested in knowing about everything happening around him. … Not only could he tell a story well, he was always interested in hearing the story of the people he met. His intellect and good humor were a delight to encounter.”

General Seminary to Award Seven Honorary Degrees (Press Release)

April 16, 2018 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:  

Joshua Bruner, Director of Communications | bruner@gts.edu| 646-717-9765

The General Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the next recipients of its Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa, to be conferred at three different ceremonies through May 2019. The recipients include the following:

  • The Rt. Rev. Kevin BrownBishop of Delaware
  • The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Currythe 27th Presiding Bishop
  • The Rt. Rev. R. William Franklin, Bishop of Western New York
  • The Very Rev. Lang Lowrey, IIIImmediate Past President, General Theological Seminary
  • The Rt. Rev. Gretchen RehbergBishop of Spokane
  • The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Evangelism & Reconciliation
  • The Most Rev. and Rt. Honourable Rowan Williamsthe 104th Archbishop of Canterbury

The first conferral will take place at the 196th Commencement ceremonies on Wednesday May 16, 2018 and will include Franklin and Lowrey. For information about Franklin and Lowrey, please visit www.gts.edu/honorarydoctorates

The second conferral will take place on Monday February 11, 2019 for Curry and Williams in conjunction with the Paddock Lectures, for which Williams will be the keynote speaker. Curry will preach. The third conferral, in conjunction with the 197th Commencement ceremonies will take place on Wednesday May 15, 2019 for Brown, Rehberg, and Spellers

The Very Rev. Kurt H. Dunkle, Dean and President remarked, “The honorary doctorates embody our values and are actively engaged in diverse, meaningful ministry. They are individuals who have committed to a lifelong engagement of education and formation, each in their own way inviting the church and the world to Love’s redeeming work through the Jesus Movement.”

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Located in the heart of New York City, General Seminary was founded in 1817. The mission of The General Theological Seminary—to educate and form leaders for the church in a changing world—has been a central focus throughout its long history. General Seminary conferred its first honorary degree in 1885.

For more information, please visit gts.edu

In Memoriam: Douglas Williams ‘63

The Reverend Canon Douglas Elliott Williams, Class of 1963, died peacefully, in his 80th year, on December 19, 2017 in Vancouver, BC.

Williams served in the Diocese of Los Angeles, Diocese of California, and Diocese of El Camino Real, retiring as Canon Precentor of Trinity Cathedral, San José, CA, before retiring to Vancouver in 2000. In the Diocese of New Westminster he served as honourary assistant in the parishes of Christ Church Cathedral, St. James', and St. Anselm's.

The only son of Keith S. and Elizabeth D. Williams of Oxnard, California, he was born October 9, 1938 in San Bernardino, California. Predeceased by his eldest son, Zephyr Starwater (Gregory Donald) Williams (Surajit Bose) of Palo Alto, California, and his brother-in-law, the Reverend Dr. Donald E. Grayston (also a General alum, Class of 1963); survived by his wife of 54 years, Helen M. (Grayston) Williams; daughters Catherine A. Hall (Anthony) of Greenwich, CT and Melody V. Williams of Stockton, CA; son Ian C. Williams and fiancée, Kristen L. Elliott of Kirkland, WA; granddaughters Elana A. Voigt (John Ryan) of Bremerton, WA, Brittany E. Ridgeway (Horatio) of Sacramento, CA; Haley V. Fowler of Stockton, CA, and great-grandchildren, Tristan and Milani Ridgeway.

Williams was educated at the University of California, Los Angeles in Philosophy and Cuddesdon Theological College, Oxfordshire, UK before attening General. He recently received a degree in Classics (Latin) and Medieval Studies from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC in November of 2017.

Requiem mass was offered at Christ Church Cathedral, corner of Burrard and Georgia, Vancouver, on Saturday January 13,  2018 at 11am.

In Memoriam: C. Shannon Mallory, ‘61

The Rt. Rev. Charles Shannon Mallory, Class of 1961 and recipient of an honorary doctorate in 1973, died peacefully in Monterey, California, on April 4, 2018 at the age of 81. The first bishop of the Diocese of El Camino Real, Mallory led the Diocese from its founding in 1980 through his retirement in 1990, and had recently returned to Monterey County where he was preceded in death last November by his wife Marti.

Born Sept. 9, 1936 in Dallas, Texas, Mallory grew up in Van Nuys, California, completing his education at the University of California, Los Angeles, before attending General. He entered the mission field after his ordination to the diaconate in the Diocese of Los Angeles. In 1961, he was ordained priest in Africa where he exercised his ministry first as a missionary in Namibia, South Africa, and Uganda, and then as the first bishop of Botswana. In 1978, after 18 years in Africa, he and his family returned to the United States where Mallory served as assistant bishop in the Diocese of Long Island.

He was elected the first bishop of El Camino Real in 1980 and his installation took place that October in San Juan Bautista. The Rt. Rev. John Allin, then-presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, presided over the service in the plaza of the historic California mission.

“We are a pilgrim Church on the King’s Highway,” Mallory noted at the time. “This new diocese is an optimum size for rediscovering and experiencing some of the dynamic qualities of the early Church.” His vision for the diocese included “a more effective and supportive quality of fellowship among clergy and laity,” less hierarchy, and “more of a collegial relationship among bishop, clergy and laity.”

Following his retirement, Mallory served in the Diocese of Oklahoma and then lived and served in Indian Wells, California, as a member of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church. He authored two books: “Blacklisted!,” his memoirs of 18 years of traveling throughout Africa, and “Other Roads Less Traveled,” a collection of sermons and meditations that ask and answer a range of provocative questions about God, death, the value of prayer, the common thread of religions and more. He continued to write and inspire until his death.

“Bishop Shannon was able to support the Diocese of El Camino Real in its call to be a missional diocese with a collaborative mode of ministry among lay and clergy leaders,” said the Rt. Rev. Mary Gray-Reeves, current bishop of El Camino Real. “His interest in people, their spiritual journeys, and his sense of adventure were gifts to our diocese in its earliest days, nurturing it as a place where the Gospel could always flourish amidst a very diverse and rapidly changing context. He will always be a critical part of the story of El Camino Real and will be missed.”

Mallory was predeceased by Martha (“Marti”), his most recent wife, and before that Antonia (“Toni”). He is survived by his brother William Lee Mallory and his first wife Mondi, mother of his five children, plus nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. His memorial will be at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, California, to be announced at a later date.

In Memoriam: Bishop Tom Ray ‘59

The Rt. Rev. Thomas K. Ray, Class of 1959 and recipient of an honorary doctorate in 1984, died on February 6, 2018, at the age of 83. He died within three days of his beloved wife Brenda, who died on February 3 at the age of 81. Married for 59 years, they had both lived with long term illnesses for the past ten years and died in their home in Northern Michigan, surrounded by loving family members.

The Ray’s moved to Marquette, MI in 1982 when Tom became the Episcopal bishop of Northern Michigan, a position he held for 17 years until his retirement. Ray’s career was marked by early leadership for women’s and gay rights in the Episcopal church of Saint Luke’s of Evanston, Illinois, and as bishop of Northern Michigan he continued that leadership at the national level. He and many others who joined him, including his long-time colleague and successor Bishop Jim Kelsey, put the Diocese of Northern Michigan on the map as one of the founding sites of a new movement within the church called Mutual Ministry. Members of many Protestant churches in the U.S and internationally travelled to the UP to learn about changes that, as Ray described, “pushed back against the hierarchical infantilizing of adult Christians who are considered second class citizens if they were not ordained.”

Mrs. Ray helped found the Marquette chapter of Habitat for Humanity; she was a member of two book clubs in town for 25 years, and active in the Episcopal Church. She earned a degree in sociology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and later her teaching degree and taught in the Evanston, Illinois public school district. At U of M she met fellow graduate Tom Ray who had grown up in the small conservative town of Manistee, Michigan. After he graduated from General Seminary, they were married in Grand Rapids in 1959 and took their honeymoon in the Upper Peninsula, thus beginning what would be their 60 year love affair. Soon they had four children and were living in Marion, Indiana where Tom was minister of Gethsemane Episcopal Church for ten years.

The Ray’s are survived by four children, Jennifer , Christopher, Tim, and Geoff Ramsey-Ray, and 12 grandchildren. A Celebration of Life was held on Saturday, February 24 at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church on Ridge St. in Marquette, followed by a 2 PM memorial service at the church. The service was presided by Northern Michigan Episcopal Bishop Rayford Ray and the Reverend Lydia Kelsey Bucklin.

Memories and condolences may be shared at The Canale-Tonella Funeral Home.

Los Angeles Parish Bids Farewell to Bishop Cathy Roskam ’84

The Wilshire Center parish of St. James' in-the-City, Los Angeles, will on April 8, 2018 bid farewell to the Rt. Rev. Catherine Roskam, Class of 1984, who has served the congregation as bishop-in-residence since July 2014. St. James' parish leadership expects to announce the call of a new rector in the near future.

A native New Yorker, Bishop Roskam served since 1996 as bishop suffragan of the Diocese of New York until her retirement in 2012. After retirement she moved to the Diocese of Los Angeles where she frequently assisted with pastoral visits.

Roskam graduated as a theatre major from Middlebury College in 1965, and worked as an actress and producer in New York for 16 years, until she began her studies at General in 1980, graduating cum laude in 1984. Long active in cross-cultural ministry, Roskam was a member of the Anglican Consultative Council for nine years and on Executive Council for a six-year term. She is also a former member of General’s Board of Trustees.

Before her election to the episcopate Roskam served congregations in San Francisco and Mill Valley, Calif. Roskam's tenure at St. James' is especially appreciated for her bridge-building skill among cultural groups within the parish, one of the most diverse within the Diocese of Los Angeles.

In Memoriam: Adelaide Clark ‘88

The Rev. Adelaide Sampselle Clark, Class of 1988, passed away peacefully on March 5, 2018 at the Mt. Pleasant Retirement Village in Monroe, Ohio.  Born August 11, 1944 in Logan West, Virginia to John and Josephine (Daniel) Sampselle, she attended high school in Kenton Ohio, college at Wittenburg College, and graduated from The Ohio State University with honors with a degree in elementary education. 

After teaching elementary school at St. Brigid in Xenia, Ohio, Clark was called to the Episcopal Priesthood and attended General.  She served in parishes in Ohio, Indiana and New York before retiring in Monroe, Ohio.  She was a member of the Mt. Pleasant choir, Red Hatters club, and Chi Omega sorority.

Clark is survived by her brother John (Carolyn), sons Peter (Michelle), Michael (Patti), and grandchildren Madisen, Christopher, William and Elizabeth, nephew Matt(Karla) and their children Abby, Emma, and niece Cathy (Dan). Memorial services will be held at the Mt. Pleasant Chapel and St. Brigid Church in Xenia, OH near the end of May.  Burial of her cremains will follow at Kenton Grove Cemetary.  Condolences may be sent to her family at www.bakerstevensparramore.com.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the General Theological Seminary.

Norm Freeman ’97 to Bring Jazz Ministry to Eucharist April 9

The Rev. Norm Freeman, Jr., Class of 1997, will be sharing his musical gifts with the community during our Monday Eucharist, April 9, 2018 at 9:50 am.

Freeman earned Bachelor’s and Master’s of music degrees from the Julliard School as well as his M.Div. from General. After graduation he began a Jazz Vespers while curate at St. Paul’s in Riverside, CT. This led to press coverage of “Where Music and the Ministry Merge”, and Freeman has continued his career blending the special language of jazz with liturgy. He served as music director and spiritual advisor for the National Church’s “Music in Christ” project.

His musical career includes performances with the New York Philharmonic, Barbra Streisand, Jessye Norman and Kathleen Battle, and the New York Pops, as well as numerous Broadway shows. He served for eleven years as Percussion Dept. chair at Mannes College of Music, and has performed on four Grammy nominated projects.

Freeman’s service in TEC includes Episcopal Chaplain for the University of California at Santa Barbara, Vicar of St. Michael and All Angels in Isla Vista, CA. He is a former rector at St. George’s, Laguna Hills, and Artist in Residence at St. John’s Cathedral, Los Angeles.

Learn more at his website https://www.jazzministry.org/

A New Call for Megan Castellan ‘08

The Rev. Megan Castellan, Class of 2008, has been called as the next rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Ithaca, New York. She has previously served in Virginia Beach, Flagstaff, and most recently as Associate Rector and Chaplain of the Day School at St. Paul’s, Kansas City, MO.

Her writing is widely read in such publications as Episcopal Café, Fidelia’s Sisters, The Toast, McSweeney’s, and her own blog: Red Shoes, Funny Shirt. She has also appeared in print alongside the  Presiding Bishop in his book Following the Way of Jesus and in the liturgical reference Planning for Rites and Rituals.

A New Call for Meg Finnerud ‘13

The Rev. Margaret Finnerud, Class of 2013, has been called as Priest-in-Charge at Saint Saviour’s Church, Old Greenwich, CT.

Finnerud has previously served as Assistant to the Rector at St. Barnabas, Greenwich, CT and as Rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Southport, North Carolina. She received her M.Div. from Wake Forest University School of Divinity before earning her STM at General. She did her undergraduate work at Duke University before pursuing a 20-year career in marketing, fundraising, and international trade before her call to ordained ministry.