Only John and Dwin Schuler, the forces behind Wellesley’s annual holiday-time Salvation Army (SA) Red Kettle Campaign, could simultaneously accept an award and deflect the attention away from themselves and onto others. Why has the husband- and-wife team for 25 years volunteered countless hours in service to collecting donations for community members in need? According to John as he accepted the SA’s Joseph P. Barnes Memorial Award, they do it, “To make sure that voices who cry out for assistance are easily and rapidly heard.”
To make red kettle time happen, every November Dwin starts working the phones in search of volunteers, many who have been waiting for the call. She shamelessly promises good weather for all shifts. Then, when volunteers end up standing in the inevitable cold winds, snow, and rain, Dwin just says, “Don’t you feel good at the end of your shift after what you’ve done?”
What volunteers do is substantial. Their bell-ringing efforts in 2019 helped raise over $25,000 at the Roche Bros. kettle in Linden Square, funds that help those in need right here in town. Money raised is distributed to those in need by the Wellesley Council on Aging, Wellesley Department of Health, and Wellesley Friendly Aid. Holiday-time services include providing toys for needy children, food and clothing for families, and small practical gifts for shut-ins. The effort is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Wellesley
Janice Coduri, President of the Kiwanis Club, compared the Schulers to Christmas-time legends. “Dwin is Santa. She checks her list and makes sure it’s accurate. You are our conscious, Dwin. John is Bob Cratchit. He toils away at Waterstone, making sure the money is accounted for.”
Although the Schulers have officially stepped down from their volunteer efforts, there’s no doubt the red kettle bells will still ring next year. Many, though, will miss that annual ring of the telephone in November, with Dwin on the other end, not taking no for an answer.
This year we signed up online. It was quick. It was easy. We got handy email reminders to show up. It’s the way of the world today.
Thanks, Dwin and John, for the way you did things. As Salvation Army representative Major David B. Davis said, “We’re so thankful to be able to call you friends.”
It’s been four years since St. Paul School at 502 Washington Street in Wellesley closed its doors after 60 years of providing a Catholic school experience for students in PreK through grade 8. Now the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boston, which serves Norfolk county, has entered into an agreement to lease the St. Paul’s space to The Goddard School.
At all five masses between St. Paul and St. John’s churches, Father Jim Laughlin on Sunday, Dec. 15 shared with parishioners the news that St. Paul received a signed lease for the rental of the St. Paul School building from The Goddard School. In a phone call with Father Laughlin he said, “This lease is for fifteen years, with two five-year optional renewals. The agreement will bring life to the school and will be a significant source of income to the parishes to help us fund our missions and outreach.”
Father Laughlin said the news was met with applause at each mass.
The two Parishes in 2013 entered into a collaborative relationship which allows them to maintain their individual Parish identity while sharing resources, including pastors.
The Goddard School organization is planning extensive renovations to the building, including an elevator and a new HVAC system that features central air. They are expected to put up to $3.5 million in renovations to the school building. St. Paul’s Parish will still own the building.
Pending Goddard’s financing for the project and permits from the Town of Wellesley, the church will likely begin receiving rent revenue from The Goddard School in early 2021.
Goddard Schools are independently owned franchises and educate children six weeks to six years of age. There are three additional Goddard Schools in the area — in Medfield, Wayland, and Weston. All three of those schools are staying put.
The St. Paul space had been among the considerations for swing space for the Wellesley Public School system during its Hardy-Hunnewell-Upham elementary school planning.
(Thanks to Swellesley reader LR for the tip.)
St. James the Great Church parishioners would much rather still have their place of worship, but those in attendance at a ceremony to commemorate the parish at the new Boston Sports Institute on Rte. 9 are thankful that the space is still being used to bring community together.
Plaques were unveiled recognizing St. James the Great and those in town who worked to buy the property when the archdiocese made it available and turn it into a facility for community use. St. James, built in 1947, served a couple thousand parishioners before being closed by the archdiocese in 2004 and torn down in 2015 following a nearly 8-year vigil.
“It’s a very fitting way to remember a vibrant parish,” said Betty Garvey, a St. James parishioner, speaking loudly over the voices of excited children entering and leaving the sports complex. “People worked collaboratively to build a place that brings together families.”
Among the others in attendance was Beth Hinchliffe, who was baptized at St. James and recently penned an excellent history of the church for WellesleyWeston Magazine.
Wellesley Board of Selectmen member Tom Ulfelder, Father Robert Blaney of the St. John-St. Paul collaborative, and 900 Worcester St. project chair Andy Wrobel all shared thoughts on the past, present and future of the property. Father Blaney said that while parishioners were devastated to lose the church, the plaque will help those who visit the center keep the spirit of St. James alive in their hearts.
Wrobel said the new skating, swimming and recreational facility was a dream more than 10 years ago. Its arrival required involvement from many residents and town officials such as then-Planning Board head Don McCauley (who was in attendance), and required numerous Town Meeting presentations. His hope is that the facility will stand for at least 57 years, as did the church.
Once the ceremony ended, attendees took a tour of the sports center. And some stuck around to watch the defending state champion Wellesley High girls’ hockey team open its season at one of the arena’s rinks.
— swellesley (@swellesley) December 14, 2019
A ceremony at which a plaque will be revealed to memorialize St. James the Great Church in Wellesley will be held on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 5pm at 900 Worcester St.
That’s the site of the former house of worship and the current site of the Boston Sports Institute, Wellesley’s new skating and swimming facility.
The church was torn down in 2015 after the town bought the property in the wake of the Catholic church scandal. As part of the agreement, the town vowed to erect a memorial or plaque to commemorate the parish.
St. James the Great parishioners held vigils for 7-plus years before ending the stay in 2012.
Back in 1892, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church parishioners, confident the time was right to build a permanent church home, collected $650 at the Easter service for the construction of what is now the 79 Denton Road church. Two years later on November 30, 1894 the first service was held in the newly completed sanctuary. The congregation had come a long way from its early years when it met in various locations, first in the upper story of a wheelwright shop that stood opposite Wellesley Town Hall and then in the Town Hall itself.
“All this is a legacy given to us by previous generations of parishioners, to build up the spiritual life of the community and fill it more with the spirit of Christ,” noted current St. Andrew’s Rev. Andrian Robbins-Cole.
Amen to that, said today’s parishioners of the 300-family church, now let’s party. To commemorate the 125-year anniversary of the bricks-and-mortar location, party they did at a gala at the Wellesley Country Club earlier this month.
Parishioner Lynda Sperry said, “The Gala was pure celebration of our 125 years. We just wanted to have a good time and enjoy. We’re not done celebrating. On November 24th there will be a big church service for the 125th.”
They’re not tired yet
The 125th celebration follows on the heels of a $2 million capital campaign, which got started early last year and wrapped up in May. Sperry, co-chair of the campaign, said, “The capital campaign was three-fold. To create a property refurbishment fund, to increase our endowment, and to share 10% of the $2 million we raised with our three main outreach partners — El Hogar in Honduras, St. Stephen’s Church in Boston, and Family Promise Metrowest.”
El Hogar’s mission is to transform the lives of children who are crippled by extreme poverty by providing a home and education to children who would otherwise have little hope of a future; St. Stephen’s has long been in partnership with St. Andrew’s; and Family Promise Metrowest works with families with children who are homeless by mobilizing a diverse community to provide shelter, education and comprehensive support.
When I’m 125, I hope someone gives me a facelift
$1.3 million of the funds raised during the capital campaign will go toward property improvements, which will be done over three consecutive summers. Just to paint the interior of the church is no small task. To do so, first the magnificent Juget-Sinclair organ must be wrapped, and all the stained glass must be protected. Also on the punch list for an upgrade: the lighting, restoration of the pews; sanding the hardwood floors; some landscaping; and other projects.
Church services at St. Andrew’s
Sundays, 8am & 10am
Weekdays, 8:50am for silent contemplative prayer
The Wellesley Village Church at 2 Central Street in Church Square will host its 78th annual Rummage Sale on Saturday, October 5, 2019, 9am – 1pm. Each year savvy shoppers flock to this bargain haul to search for women’s clothing and accessories, jewelry, furniture, menswear, kitchenware, antiques and treasures, children’s, toys, and more.
Rummage Sale Chair Sally Kellogg said, “We are excited to continue the traditional of holding the 78th annual Rummage Sale. This sale helps many patrons from area Metro West communities.”
The Chic Boutique is a big favorite, specializing in higher-end women’s designer clothing, purses and shoes. Last year featured Prada, Armani, D & G, Michael Kors, Burberry, Jimmy Choo, Stuart Weitzman, Vera Bradley, Bottega Venita, Tory Burch, Ann Taylor, and many more.
More than 100 volunteers work tirelessly to make this sale phenomenal. 2018 proceeds totaled $18,000 and benefitted local charities such as Family Promise Metrowest, Hoops and Homework, Inc., Wellesley Food Pantry, Wellesley ABC House, and more.
The entry fee is $2.00. Doors open at 9am on Saturday, but the early-birds get there at 8am to be the first in line.
WHAT: Wellesley Village Church Rummage Sale
DATE: Saturday, October 5, 2019
TIME: 9am – 1pm
WHERE: 2 Central Street, Wellesley