By Felicity Hoffecker
Christ Church Bay Ridge will have a minister in mid-March, senior warden William Ottaway told the parishioners this week.
The pulpit at Christ Church has been vacant since the departure of the Rev. Howard B. Hamilton last May.
The incoming rector will be the Rev. Marion L. Matics, PhD, who has been serving St. Francis Episcopal Church, Levittown, N.Y., for the past four and a half years.
Christ Church is on Ridge Blvd. and 73rd St.
In a letter to the parishioners, Mr. Ottaway expressed the thanks of the wardens and vestry “for the patience that you have shown during the absence of a minister … and we sincerely hope that everyone in our parish will put themselves behind our new rector 100 percent.”
The new rector was born in Suffolk, Va., raised in West Virginia and the Middle West, and is a graduate of the University of Chicago. He received the degree of Master of Arts from Harvard University, and it was while studying Comparative Religion that he felt called to the ministry.
He enrolled at the General Theological Seminary here in New York and was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Sacred Theology. He received a PhD from Columbia in the History of Religion.
While serving as curate of St. Thomas’ Church, Mamaroneck, Dr. Matics was married to Eleanor Gifford, daughter of the Very Rev. Frank D. Gifford, Dean Emeritus of the Philadelphia Divinity School. They have one daughter, Kathleen, aged 15, who will attend Fort Hamilton High School.
Dr. Matics is a frequent contributor to church periodicals, and has appeared in print in “The Living Church” and “The Witness.” He wrote the Christmas sermon in “The Anglican Pulpit Today,” an anthology of sermons by outstanding preachers of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
He is a member of the American Oriental Society, an occasional reader of the Morehouse-Barlow Co., and his outside interests include painting and the theater.
He entered the ministry under the direction of the former presiding bishop of Christ Church Henry K. Sherrill, who was Bishop of Massachusetts at the time.