The Rev. R. John Brockmann, Rector
An Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Delaware for 13 years, Father John was also a professor at the University of Delaware for 26 years prior to becoming rector of Grace Church on July 16, 2010. When his wife, the Reverend Sarah Brockmann, accepted a call to become rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Rockland, it was time for the Brockmann family (including two sons and a third son-by-default) to pull up stakes south of the Mason Dixon Line and return to their New England roots. Father John is a trained spiritual director, an experienced hospital chaplain, and is on the governing board ("chapter") of the Anglican Third Order Society of St. Francis, Province of the Americas. An avid bicyclist and gardener, Father John is also the author of some eleven books specializing in nineteenth century nautical history and biography.
When one reads what Francis of Assisi wrote, one is struck by how “unoriginal” most of his compositions were. Most were a pastiche of sacred scripture. Such a composing approach reflected his humility, suggesting that there was nothing higher or truer than Scripture, so he would “write” with the words and phrases of this truest language rather than the paltry inventions of his creation. As a humble Franciscan history of Third Order Anglican Franciscans (tertiaries) in the Province of the Americas, this book uses the composition methods of our 13th-century founder and presents a pastiche of 100 years of voices in the Province of the Americas. Papers, letters or articles written over the last century are presented whole; so, in one fashion, this history is an anthology by many authors. Many gifted people over the last 100 years wrestled with a wide variety of topics in the life of a Franciscan tertiary, and the greatest acknowledgment we can pay to them is to read what they wrote. As 21st-century Internet-experienced “readers,” we are accustomed to a visual presentation of information. Thus you will find these pages filled with over 170 pictures, diagrams, and tables so that this history is also a scrapbook of what we looked like and who we were over the past 100 years. This history also has more flesh and blood stories written by those who experienced them rather than a comprehensive collection of facts.
Click here for link to The First 100 Years in the Americas: 1917-2017: Third Order Society of St. Francis.
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Heather Belden, Parish Secretary
Heather joined Grace Church as parish secretary in May of 2022. A mom of two boys and trained as an architect, Heather enjoys graphic design and communications and views this opportunity as a ministry. Heather is a graduate of the Education for Ministry program through Sewanee University as well as a Godly Play teacher.
Roy McHoul, Sexton
Church sexton Roy McHoul began his work at Grace in 2001. A former Vietnam veteran with the U.S. Marines, he and his wife Pat reside in Norwood. A self-employed contractor by trade, Roy is very committed to the upkeep of the church.