Weekly Reflection - 6/14/2022
St. Mary's Weekly Reflection: The Rev. David Erickson
The End of an Era: Manny Gabiana
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1
This Sunday, St. Mary’s celebrates a beautiful era in our common life with the retirement of our beloved and longstanding Buildings and Grounds Keeper, Manny Gabiana. What a journey it has been!
I remember, when I was discovering St. Mary’s in the discernment process, how “strange” it was that such a position had the same person for so long. Further, once I arrived and learned that Manny’s father-in-law had held the position before him, and that they used to live in a small apartment on campus that is now the vestry room in Fowler Hall, I was amazed! But not nearly as amazed as I would be to discover the deep love and gentle spirit that is Manny Gabiana himself.
Manny gives his all to St. Mary’s. He does it with great humility and care. He truly loves this place. I cannot imagine what St. Mary’s would be like without him. Through the ups and downs of staff changes (including four rectors!) and various job description changes, Manny has been here, the quiet force in the background that keeps things going, and going well.
As we transition to a new, part time Buildings and Grounds Keeper position, there will be many questions and discoveries as we navigate our common life in this new phase. Thankfully, Manny has agreed to be a “consultant” whenever we have questions and need guidance. Arthur Perkins has agreed to chair a Buildings and Grounds committee that will work in partnership with the new B&G position in caring for our physical plant and space. Administrative tasks are now fully in the hands of our amazing parish administrator, Ashley Ryan. As the rector, I will work alongside all these people in caring for our space and place, so that it will continue to be a place where we receive the love of God and bear Christ’s grace into the world. Something that Manny has taught us so well.
If you haven’t already done so, please consider joining us this Sunday, June 19, at 11:30 a.m. for a celebration luncheon honoring Manny. There will be time to share our words of gratitude for him and his partnership all these years. We kindly ask that you RSVP to [email protected] If you are unable to attend, we hope that you will reach out to Manny personally to share your thanks.
While this is the end of a long and beautiful season, another season of love and grace at St. Mary’s is upon us as well. Thank you for being a part of this place of grace known as St. Mary’s.
Blessings and peace,