Clergy & Staff
The Rev’d Dr Andrew C. Blume, Rector
The Rev’d Dr Andrew Charles Blume came to St Ignatius of Antioch as the parish’s ninth rector in the Fall of 2007. A native New Yorker, he grew up on the Upper East Side and attended St Bernard’s School and the Collegiate School. He received his undergraduate degree from Trinity College in Hartford and attended Yale Divinity School before moving to Cambridge, Mass. to pursue a doctorate in the history of art and architecture at Harvard, which he received in 1995. Before his ordination, Fr Blume finished his Master of Divinity at the Episcopal Divinity School. He has served parishes in Cambridge, Weston, and Framingham, Massachusetts, and, immediately preceding his call to Saint Ignatius, the Church of the Advent in Boston. Keenly interested working with people in discerning their vocations, both lay and ordained, for over a decade he has been an active member of the Commssion on Ministry of the Diocese of New York.
From 1995 to 2001 Fr Blume taught history and art history at Harvard while serving as Assistant Senior Tutor (assistant dean) in Lowell House. He has also been a Kress Fellow at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard Universiry Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence. He is the author of a number of articles in scholarly journals on art, religion, and society in fifteenth-century Florence and Rome, as well as on process thought and sacramental theology.
Fr Blume has been married to Jacalyn since 1993 and they have a son, William, a student at Grace Church School. The Blumes also share their home with a Golden Retriever named Charlie, whom you are likely to meet when you visit the church. In addition to his concern for animals and his interests in art and culture (including a real fondness for early and English Church music), Fr Blume is passionate about cooking and eating, especially the need to eat locally, naturally, and sustainably.
The Rev’d Dr Philip H. Towner, Associate Rector
The Rev’d Dr Philip H. Towner came to St. Ignatius of Antioch on Palm Sunday 2011, when, as part of his formation for Holy Orders, he began a two year internship under Father Blume’s supervision. He joined the staff as curate following his ordination to the diaconate on March 2, 2013, and, along with liturgical and pastoral duties, shares responsibility for our adult Christian formation program. He was ordained to the Sacred order of Priests on September 7, 2013.
Since completing his Ph.D. in New Testament Exegesis at the University of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1984, he has worked as a biblical and translation scholar in various academic contexts and around the world. He served as Dean and Director of the Eugene A. Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship and Translation Studies at American Bible Society in New York from 2008-2019. And has been co-director of the Nida School of Translation Studies, based in Misano Adriatco, Italy. He holds an honorary lectureship in biblical studies at the University of St. Andrews; and has an appointment as Professor at the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome, where he is collaborating in the development and teaching of a graduate-level course in Translation Studies. He holds appointments also in the Pontifical Biblical Institute (the Biblicum) and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum), both in Rome. He is a Visiting Scholar in the Sarum Centre for Theology, Imagination and Culture at Sarum College, in Salisbury, England. Before moving to New York City in 2008, he directed the global translation program of the United Bible Societies based in the United Kingdom, where he lived in Oxford. He is a member of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, and the author and editor of several books and numerous articles in the fields of biblical studies and translation studies.
Dr Towner and his wife Kathleen have been married since 2008. They enjoy travel, cooking, books (and more books), theater, Italy, and the Maine coast. Dr Towner has two daughters, Rebekah, who is married and lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, WI., and Erin, who is married and lives with her husband, daughter, and son in Lakeville, MN, and teaches Kindergarten.
The Rev’d Deacon Paul S. Kahn
Deacon Paul grew up on Long Island and has lived in Manhattan since 1979. He was ordained in 2007, having been sponsored by the Church of the Ascension in Greenwich Village. He did field placement at St. Paul’s Chapel at Trinity Wall Street and has previously served as deacon at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Kip’s Bay. Deacons traditionally have one foot in the Church and one foot in the World, and that “bridge ministry” is the umbrella concept for Deacon Paul’s ministry. His particular interests are adult education, spiritual formation, and pastoral care. Deacon Paul is an Associate of the Order of the Holy Cross (an Anglican Benedictine community) and is a Member of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem.
Deacon Paul received a bachelor’s degree in Russian from Oberlin College in Ohio and a master’s degree in International Economics and Finance from NYU. He works for the City of New York, where he serves as Staff Manager for Bridge Maintenance, Inspection and Operations.
The Rev’d John Miles Evans, Honorary Associate
Fr. Evans is no stranger to the Diocese of New York, having spent most of his adult life as a practicing lawyer and layman active in parochial and diocesan affairs. After ten years of private practice on Wall Street, he became a Tax Counsel of Mobil Corporation in 1977. A vestryman of Trinity Church, Wall Street, he also served as Clerk of the Parish and chaired the committee on the devolution of its chapels. He served the Diocese as a delegate to Diocesan Convention, a member of the Standing Committee, and as a member of numerous other bodies. A trustee of Nashotah House from 1980 to1992, he is currently a trustee of New York Theological Seminary from which he received his M.Div. in 1993. He is a Knight of Justice of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem and is active in the affairs of the Order. Fr. Evans holds a B.A. from Yale, an M.A. from Cambridge University and a J.D. from Yale Law School.
Ordained priest and deacon in 1995 by the Bishop of Argyll and The Isles in the Scottish Episcopal Church, Fr. Evans served as Chaplain of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Oban, Argyll, for two years, returning to the US to become an Interim at Christ Church, Lynbrook, New York, in 1998. The following year he was called as rector of All Hallows Parish, South River, Davidsonville, Maryland. He retired from there in 2006 and retains the title of Rector Emeritus.
Fr. Evans resides in Portsmouth, NH, but maintains a pied-a-terre in Manhattan and is licensed to officiate in the Diocese of New York. His son Jeremy, daughter-in-law Jennifer, and grandsons Bennett and Fitch reside in Newton Centre, Massachusetts.
Richard Porterfield, M. Mus., Ph. D., Organist and Choirmaster
Dr Richard Porterfield was called as Organist and Choirmaster in August 2019. He is a seasoned and distinguished conductor, performer, and scholar with special expertise in medieval and Renaissance music, having sung and recorded internationally, and having taught music history and theory at The Mannes College of Music, New York University, Columbia University, and, most recently, at SUNY Albany. A composer of note, his compositions for voice and instruments have been widely performed. He has previously served as music director at Christ Church Riverdale, organist at the Oratory Church of St Boniface in Brooklyn, and music director at St Agnes (RC) Church in Manhattan.
Dr Porterfield is no stranger to Saint Ignatius, having previously served as Associate Choirmaster, Sub-Organist, and chorister, as well as being a member of the parish for over twenty-five years. In addition, acclaimed vocal chamber ensemble, Lionheart, the group he co-founded in 1993, was in residence at Saint Ignatius for over twenty years. This was a time of great productivity for Dr Porterfield and Lionheart as they recorded seven albums and performed regularly around the United States and Europe, including their beloved annual Christmas performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the New York Times review of their 2010 Met concert, Allan Kozinn wrote, “Lionheart’s vocal blend is as finely calibrated as ever, and the singers perform this repertory not as antiquarian curiosities but in a way that makes it sound vital and of the present.” It is precisely this quality of seeing our musical heritage as a living tradition that makes Dr Porterfield so perfectly suited to lead our music program and uphold the highest standards of liturgical music that we have come to expect. His own deep and abiding faith will ensure that what we experience is not merely a performance, but an expression of our deepest worship of God in Christ.
Dr Porterfield was graduated from Yale University with a bachelor of arts in music composition and theatre studies and received a master of music degree in composition from The Mannes College of Music. In 2014 he received the degree of doctor of philosophy in music theory from the City University of New York Graduate Center, with a dissertation that recovers the practical musician’s understanding of mode in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, upon which he builds a comprehensive theory and method of analysis of tonal structure in Gregorian chant and related repertoires. He will continue in his research, teaching, and composition as he leads our music program forward.
Mr Boniface Nawita, Sexton
Boniface Nawita arrived in the USA from Uganda on February 11, 2017 and joined us as sexton later that year. He has been studying Medical Laboratory Technology at Bronx Community College. Please introduce yourself when you see him in the building.