Unsung Heroes




The Rev. Oliver T. Chapin- Overcoming Adversity

This Unsung Hero was submitted by the Rev. Gerardo Ramirez:


The Rev. Oliver T. Chapin- Overcoming Adversity


The Rev. Oliver T. Chapin ,whom I had the privilege of serving with as an Episcopal Priest/hospital chaplain for 12 years had a profound influence on my priesthood. Descended from a direct line of ministers dating back to Puritan times, Oliver, after graduation from Wheaton College, was first ordained into the Reformed Episcopal Church at the church’s seminary in Philadelphia. Eventually he did a year of Anglican studies at the Gen. Theological Seminary in New York City. Married to a truly remarkable and totally supportive wife, Gloria and father to 3 find children, the Chapins embarked upon years of what became a very productive ministry. Oliver served as a missionary/professor in Liberia for 2 years and developed a lasting relationship with many of his students. Giving shelter and security to his flock, he brought some of them and their families here, during the time of Liberia’s dreadful civil war.


When Oliver returned to the US, he began his long vocation as a hospital chaplain at Bellevue and later Coler Hospital in New York City. He preached remarkably simple entertaining and highly spiritual sermons. They had deep penetration. Nobody could visit wards and listen, pray and counsel patients and staff as well as Oliver. He was a voracious reader, and a good teacher. He trained me in the art of transporting patients personally to our chapel’s activities. We could each wheel two patients that time, and that’s heavy lifting.


In later years the physical grind of walking the miles of hard hospital floors took a toll on Oliver. Battling weight issues, diabetes and then very painful neuropathy , he was eventually forced to use a wheelchair himself to make his rounds. Still he carried on. He said many times, “As long as my Lord gives me strength, I will preach God’s living word.” and certainly unfailingly he did. Oliver felt that his physical impairments made him one of our patients, and I’m sure his patients felt closer to the man and his message than ever. God was using him as an amplifyer and he was up to the task.


I had the great honor to speak at Oliver’s and later Gloria’s funerals. They truly were a clergy couple, a marriage made in heaven, and now that is where this remarkable couple is, in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. RIP



St. Francis of Assisi (1181–1226).- “Rebuilding His Church”

This Unsung Hero was submitted by the Rev. Gerardo Ramirez:


St. Francis of Assisi (1181–1226).- “Rebuilding His Church”


As our parish in our Diocese of Long Island is geared to mission there is no better saint to follow in reaching out to the needs of the community than St. Francis of Assisi.


St. Francis remains one of our most beloved Saints. Born into wealth, Francis lived as a playboy before going to war where he was wounded. It was then that Francis had a vision of Christ that turned his life around. Christ said to Francis, “rebuild my church.” Francis realized that Christ was directing him not to a physical church but to renew the “church universal.” to begin his new life he founded a religious order– the Franciscan, which is dedicated to the care of the poor, the sick and needy. Franciscan orders exist in Anglican/ Episcopal (our Diocese as Little Portion Friary), Roman Catholic, and Lutheran churches. St. Francis has been associated with the love of animals (we have had blessing of the animals to celebrate St. Francis’ feast day here at St. Mary’s). St. Francis proved that love and caring are positive contageons, and presently, there are religious, clergy, and 3rdOrder Franciscan’s all over the whole world.


You can feel St. Francis’ radient warmth and humanity when you read his admonition to his Bretheren:

“I counsel, warn and extort my brothers in the Lord Jesus Christ that when they go out into the world they shall not be quarrelsome or contentious, nor judge others. But they shall be gentle, peaceable and kind, mild and humble, and virtuous in speech, as is becoming to all… When they enter a house they shall say, “peace be to this house.”


From the Franciscan rule of 1223


Its worth considering how many thousands of hearts and minds have been touched by the miraculous message Jesus gave to a once profligate, wounded war veteran so many years ago. St. Francis was a “Game Changer and an Unsung Hero.”


Unsung Heroes
Unsung Heroes

by John Rhein

127 Cherry Valley Ave.

Garden City, NY 11530




The other day, while reading “Letters to the Editor” in the Garden City News I came across an unusual letter written by an Eagle Scout candidate who is using that paper to attract donations for his Eagle Scout project. This letter reminded me of how fortunate our Nation has been to have Scouting has carried morality’s banner .   Now, as our country’s youth have been assaulted by an avalanche of destructive temptations, the Scouts have surplanted many of these pernicious perils with character building opportunities.  Our world is in need of just such a leadership incubator, and it is comforting to know the Scouts are there, filling the bill.  Many years ago I was a Scout, and I still remember reciting those meaningful words: “On my honor I will do my best; to do my duty to God and my Country; and obey the Scout’s law; to help other people at all times and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”


Regrettably I didn’t earn enough merit badges to go for the Eagle (21 are required). Only one young man in our troop was able to make the grade. So impressed was I by his accomplishment, I have put  Eagle Scouts on pedestals ever since. He was a true leader and he became a role model for all whose lives he touched. He wore his Eagle proudly on his chest so he couldn’t exactly be called “unsung,”  but all of us who knew what kind of commitment to God and Country was required to reach this pinnacle couldn’t sing his praises often enough.


Here’s the letter from the Garden City News:


To the Editor:


My name is Danny DeCarmello, and I am currently working on my Eagle Scout project with Troop 56 in Garden City.


My project supports Island Harvest, whose mission is to feed the hungry on Long Island. My goal is to raise enough money to bring a truckload of food, which cost $2,500 to Long Island’s hungry. I still need $1000 to meet my goal.


Donations of any amount would be greatly appreciated! Please make checks payable to Troop 56, BSA, and put Island harvest in the memo section.


Please mail them to me at

14 Sherman Rd.

Glen Cove, NY 11542


Thank you very much for your support!

Danny De Carmello


Thank you Danny, for being an “Unsung Hero” St Mary’s wishes you success.


P.S. St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Carle Place has been searching for true life stories about other Dannys who have exhibited strength of character and commitment to appear on an “Unsung Hero” tab on our website, StMarysCarlePlace.com. It is hoped that those who read them will try to walk on the same paths. If you know of anyone who has done or is doing something noteworthy or has shown extraordinary courage and commitment, please send un-copyrighted profiles, letters or descriptions to me at the address above.