If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are—if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.
Rector of St. Andrew's in Wellesley prepares to leave his flock
By Lee V. Gaines WickedLocal Wellesley
Posted Feb 16, 2012 @ 11:26 AM
Addison Hall, longtime rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, recently announced
that he would retire at the end of August. The Townsman sat down with the 65 year old Hall to discuss
his career in Wellesley and what he will be doing once he leaves the church.
What does a church rector do?
“It’s a combination of being a parish priest,” Hall said, “which obviously includes worship and pastoral
care, teaching, but also includes, in this case, being a kind of chief administrator with a large staff in a
big parish with many programs.”
Hall said it isn’t exactly easy to manage his many different roles.
“It’s both challenging and occasionally overwhelming, but also constantly stimulating and interesting.”
Hall said the position also requires lots of writing, which he likes. In addition to his sermons and the
articles he writes for internal publication, he also writes poetry, but only as a hobby.
How did you get into this field of work?
Hall taught secondary school for a year after he graduated from Middlebury College in 1969. “Like many people in my generation, I was at loose ends for a while,” Hall said. “Teaching wasn’t exactly the right thing [for me.]”
A native of Ashfield, Mass., Hall had grown up in the church but had grown distant from it during
adolescence. After college, he said, “I got interested in spirituality and was drawn back into the
“I gradually began to realize my interests and academic preparation and childhood, in certain ways,
prepared me well for this particular ministry in the Episcopal church.”
Hall attended and graduated from the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge in 1974. Between
1974 and 1978, he served as clergy staff for St. Paul’s Cathedral in Burlington, Vt., and as rector of St.
Stephen’s Church in Middlebury, Vt., from 1978 until 1990, when he came to St. Andrew’s.
“Fortunately,” Hall said, “it’s worked out really well.”
How did you find Wellesley? “Episcopal clergy people, I think it’s fair to say, function as free agents,” Hall said.
Hall said while he enjoyed his 12 years at St. Stephen’s, he knew he could not stay there forever.
“When I was in my early 40s I began to consider other possibilities, and by a chain of happenstance or by the working of the Holy Spirit, I became aware of an opening [at St. Andrew’s],” Hall said.
“We both, the parish and I, came to an agreement it would be exciting for us to try working together,” he said. “We’ve had a very productive and generally happy time together.”
What would you consider your greatest accomplishment during your time as rector of St. Andrew’s?
“The sense of accomplishment is very comprehensive,” Hall said. “I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with so many different, very highly motivated and gifted people, both parish volunteers, parish leaders and staff members. It’s been the teamwork that has been most satisfying.”
What would you consider the biggest challenge during your time here?
“The challenges are of course constant and highly various,” Hall said. “Some of the standard challenges are those that everyone who lives and works in local nonprofits experience.”
Specifically, Hall highlighted the simple time constraints that plague many of his hardworking parish volunteers.
He said it is hard for people to find the time and make the time to do the kinds of ministries within the church they would like to do.
But, Hall said he meets these challenges “patiently, optimistically everyday.”
How did the death of your son affect your career and your relationships within the community?
Hall’s son John, a member of the Bostonbased band Addison Groove Project – named so for his father – died at the age of 25 after a 17month battle with cancer in 2004.
Hall said the experience “created a bond with people who have experienced particularly painful personal losses.”
“Going through the experience here, in the St. Andrew’s community, was the best possible way I can imagine to go through a terrible
experience because the community was so supportive in so many different ways, to me, to my wife Jody, and to our daughter Frances.”
Why have you decided to retire?
“I think it’s going to be such a big change in my life that much as I love this work and community, it’s better for me to start sooner thanlater to make this change which will require energy and vitality and some patience getting adjusted,” Hall said.
Who willtake over as rector for the church?
Hall said an interim rector, who has not yet been chosen, will take over once he leaves in August. The name of that person will be
announced sometime during the summer.
A permanent replacement will be chosen by the chief vestry officers of the church, who will be conducting a search over about a
“It’s a big staff and I’m the only one who is leaving,” Hall said. “It’s a big and very capable staff.”
What will happen to Ben, “The Church Cat?”
Ben, the famous St. Andrew’s “church cat,” came to the church of his own volition about 15 years ago.
The now 18yearold cat
belonged to a neighbor of the church, but when she developed a terminal illness, she asked that the church take care of Ben. Since that
time, Ben has been an integral staff member.
“I’m especially glad to be able to leave Ben in his highly respected staff position,” Hall said. “He is an attractive focus of attention for
parishioners and visitors of all ages and provides a superb welcoming presence.”
What are your plans for postretirement?
Hall said he looks forward to pursing a range of other interests.
“I’m retiring to a family property in Ashfield, Mass., where I grew up, which has been in my family since 1800,” Hall said. “There is
some property management and lots of outdoor work thatI will enjoy.”
Hall said he will be retiring with his wife Jody. Their grown daughter, Frances, works for a nonprofit organization in Oregon.
“Most of all, I look forward to spending more time with my wife Jody, who has been such a constant support to me, not just in Wellesley, but also all through 40 years of ministry. We look forward to traveling, to spending more time with our daughter Frances
and with our other family and friends.”
• 2011 Tewaaraton Trophy Winner and two-time All-American
• Scored 97 goals and had 92 assists during his three-year Virginia career
• Named 2011 and 2012 Virginia team captain
Jr. | G | 5-9
• Named Big East Preseason Co-Defensive Player of the Year
• Older brother Joey was a four-year starter and three-time All-American for the Irish from 2005-08
• Father played football at William and Mary under former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz
Jr. | A | 5-10
• 2011 USILA Enners Award and three-time All American
• Finished 2011 ranked first in the nation in points per game (5.2) and first overall in assists per game (2.8)
• Awarded the Jack Turnbull Award as the Division I National Attackman of the Year for the second consecutive year in 2011
Sr. | A | 6-4
• Second-team All-American in 2011
• Named ECAC Offensive Player of the Year
• Second in nation for pointsper game (3.9) and second in the nation for goals per game (2.6)
Jr. | M | 6-3
• Established himself as one of Johns Hopkins’ dangerous initiators from the midfield.
• Considered to be a candidate for the Tewaaraton Award
• Racked up 11 goals and nine assists in the team’s first nine games last season
Keep an Eye on These Programs
Virginia Key Players (Yr., Pos.): Steele Stanwick (Sr., A), Chris Bocklet (Sr., A.) Colin Briggs ( Sr., M) and Matt White (Jr., A,)
Noting the Cavaliers: Head coach Dom Starsia's squad features 30 returning lettermen -- including seven starters -- from last year's NCAA title team. The Cavaliers went 13-5 and became the lowest seed (No. 7) and first five-loss team to win the NCAA title. UVa has advanced to the national semifinals in four consecutive seasons, but 2011 was the first finals for the Cavaliers since taking home the hardware in 2006. Virginia is the clear cut preseason No. 1.
Key Players (Yr., Pos.,): Rob Rotanz (Sr., M), Jordan Wolf (So., A) , Christian Walsh (So., A) , Sophomore Josh Dionne (So., A), Justin Turri (Sr., M), and Dan Wigrizer (Jr., G)
Noting the Blue Devils: Expectations were low for Duke heading into 2011 because the Blue Devils lost their key core of fifth-year seniors who were responsible for a 2010 championship. The 2011 squad leaned on its underclassmen and made a surprise run to the national semifinals. Head coach John Danowski says this year's team is neither young nor old and believes it is dangerous to expect too much from his sophomores. Duke's big challenge this season will be to harness the energy and excitement of the young team as it develops into a veteran team.
Key Players (Yr., Pos.,): Rob Pannell (Sr. A.), Connor English (Jr. A.), Jason Noble (Jr. D.) , Steve Mock (Jr. A.) Thomas Keith, (Jr. D.)
Noting the Big Red: After a very successful debut as head coach for the Big Red, Ben DeLuca enters his second season at the helm of the Cornell men's program and will be looking for bigger and better things from the 2012 season. The Big Red, which has won at least a share of the past nine Ivy League titles, finished the 2011 campaign with a 14-3 record. Cornell also made its eighth consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament, where it advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to eventual national champion, Virginia. As the bulk of the 2011 team returns, the Big Red enters the 2012 campaign with great expectations. Cornell lost just seven letter winners and three starters from last season's squad and will look to the reigning USILA National Player of the Year Rob Pannell to lead the offense, while preseason All-Americans Roy Lang and Jason Noble will anchor the midfield and defense, respectively.
Other Teams to Watch: Syracuse, Johns Hopkins, Denver, North Carolina, Maryland, Notre Dame, Villanova.
Contests to Look for in 2012
No. 1 Virginia -- March 4: vs. No. 8 Syracuse March 24: vs. No.2 Johns Hopkins Apr. 13: vs. No. T3 Duke
No. 2 Johns Hopkins -- March 24: vs. No. 1 Virginia Apr. 1: vs. No. 10 North Carolina;Apr. 14 at No. 14 Maryland
No. 8 Syracuse -- March 25: vs. No. 10 Villanova April 10: at No. 3 Cornell April 24: at No. 9 Notre Dame
No. 5 Denver -- March 10: at. No. 17 Penn State March 18: at. No. 9 Notre Dame March 20: vs. No. 3 Cornell April 27: vs. No. T3 Duke
No. T3 Duke -- Feb. 18: vs. No. 9 Notre Dame March 3: vs. No. 7 Maryland March 16: vs. No. 6 North Carolina April 13: vs. No. 1 Virginia
All photos courtesy of respective school athletic departments.