The Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE received news of his unusual first-ballot election as bishop on March 12, 1994, while on retreat at Kanuga in North Carolina with the House of Bishops, as its chaplain. He is pictured with (right) the presiding bishop at the time, the Most. Rev. Edmond L. Browning, and the Rt. Rev. Frank T. Griswold III, then the bishop of Chicago and episcopal visitor to the Society of St. John the Evangelist (and Browning's successor as presiding bishop). "I never dreamed that ...
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Shaw poses in the pre-service line-up just before his Sept. 24, 1994, consecration, with the Rt. Rev. Barbara C. Harris, Bishop Suffragan, and his predecessors (from left): The Rt. Rev. John B. Coburn, 13th bishop of Massachusetts; The Rt. Rev. John M. Burgess, 12th bishop of Massachusetts; and The Rt. Rev. David E. Johnson, 14th bishop of Massachusetts.
Bishop Shaw, newly vested, at his ordination and consecration as bishop, on Sept. 24, 1994, at Boston University's Walter Brown Arena.
Bishop Shaw at the Eucharist following his consecration on Sept. 24, 1994.
Bishop Shaw with the Rt. Rev. Barbara C. Harris, Bishop Suffragan, in the early days of their nearly eight years of active ministry together.
Bishop Shaw pledged in his first convention address that he would spend two weeks the following summer in activities with diocesan youth. He was true to his word, and continued to accompany youth in diocesan summer activities throughout his episcopate. He is pictured here in summer 1995 with Nkechi Ejelonu of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul and other high school youth at Briarwood, the diocese's former camp and conference facility on Cape Cod.
In July 1996, Bishop Shaw went on an Outward Bound retreat with diocesan youth on Thompson's Island, Boston Harbor.
Bishop Shaw speaks to the 1996 Diocesan Convention at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston. "Something I have so appreciated about this diocese over the past year is your willingness to try and do things in a new way," he said. "Again and again, you are the echo of the Hebrew Scripture and the Gospels in their mad, extravagant love for the coming of the kingdom."
Bishop Shaw at Diocesan Convention in 1997. "I want the house of our church, the Diocese of Massachusetts, every congregation from Hudson to Provincetown to Fairhaven, the house of each one of you and me, to be built by the Lord. I want this house to be strong, full of space, and with a vision that sees all the way to the kingdom of God," he said in his address.
Bishop Shaw preaches at the 1998 Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops. "I went to the Lambeth Conference with the hope that the bishops of our worldwide communion could make a significant statement concerning the crippling effect of world debt, and that all of us would return to our dioceses committed to working for the alleviation of the debt for the benefit of the poor of developing nations," he reflected upon his return. That work was the high point, he said, but he was disturbed by the ...
Bishop Shaw with children during a September 1999 visit to St. Paul's Church in Nantucket. Referring to Psalm 127, he said in a 1997 address: "Children, the psalm says, are a gift from God. ...If children were present God was present. It's why our Lord who was so steeped in this tradition used to put little children in the center of a crowd when he wanted to tell people about the kingdom of God."
In spring 2000, Bishop Shaw spent a month in Washington, D.C., exploring the role of the church in public life.
While in Washington in 2000, Bishop Shaw "interned" in the office of Rep. Amory Houghton.
Bishop Shaw baptizes a child on Boston Common during the diocese's Pentecost Festival in June 2000--held as a celebration of the church's birth and a public witness to the principles of debt forgiveness in a jubilee year.
Bishop Shaw and Bishop Suffragan Barbara C. Harris with Bishop Suffragan Bud Cederholm at Cederholm's March 2001 consecration at Trinity Church in Boston.
Bishop Shaw was among the activists speaking out against war with Iraq at a November 2002 rally on Boston Common.
Bishop Shaw leads a group of pilgrims into the West Bank refugee camp city of Jenin to view firsthand the effects of Israeli incursions, May 2002. "We went to Israel believing in the power of prayer and witness. And even though I have returned sobered by the experience of devastation in that holy land, I am not dismayed," he said at a press conference upon his return. "We have to work for peace. That kind of work is hard, but it is part of our baptismal covenant as Christians."
Bishop Shaw with Mikayla Campbell of St. Cyprian's Church, Roxbury at the October 2002 acolyte festival at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.
Tracy J. Sukraw
Bishop Shaw with Bishop Suffragan Bud Cederholm and Bishop Suffragan Gayle E. Harris at her January 2003 consecration at Trinity Church in Boston.
Bishop Shaw with Bishop Bud Cederholm, Bishop Barbara C. Harris and Bishop Gayle E. Harris at the June 2003 dedication of the diocese's new Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center in Greenfield, N.H. "For decades there are going to be children and adults moving closer to Christ in their lives because of this place," Bishop Shaw told the crowd.
Bishop Shaw advocates marriage equality at one of many rallies. Same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts in 2004, but the Episcopal Church's General Convention didn't adopt its "pastoral generosity" allowance until 2009. As soon as it did, Bishop Shaw granted clergy in the diocese permission to solemnize the marriages of all qualified couples. "Christian marriage is a sacramental rite that has evolved in the church, along with confirmation, ordination, penance, and the anointing...
During an August 2005 trip to Tanzania and Kenya, Bishop Shaw spent time with AIDS-affected children fed by a local Anglican Mother's Union meal program supported by the Diocese of Massachusetts.
A portrait of Bishop Shaw at his potter's wheel, 2005.
Bishop Shaw, at the barrier wall separating Israel and the West Bank, on a 2006 Holy Land pilgrimage with college students.
Courtesy Photo: Chris Wendell
Bishop Shaw chairs a hearing on national and international concerns at the Episcopal Church's General Convention in 2006.
Bishop Shaw greets fellow protesters of Israeli military action in Palestine, at a peace rally outside Boston's Israeli consulate--his second--in July 2006. "I don't believe in hopeless situations, as a Christian," Shaw said after the rally. "It's not very clear to me where there is hope in this situation now, but if we continue to do this work, I believe that something will come of it."
Bishop Shaw leads a group of Episcopalians to the State House for an Episcopal City Mission Lobby Day in 2007. "Every one of us has a voice and can make a difference if we exercise that," he said in a 2004 interview. "God really depends on us for that."
Bishop Shaw accompanies college students on a mission trip in Kenya, January 2007.
Bishop Shaw with colleagues at the Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops in summer 2008. Because New Hampshire's Bishop Gene Robinson--who since his 2003 consecration had been a focus of controversy in the Anglican Communion becuase he is openly gay--was not invited to participate in the conference, the bishops of the New England dioceses organized receptions so that other Anglican bishops could meet him and learn about his ministry. Some criticized the conference as all talk and no product...
Bishop Shaw rallied youth under a tent in Copley Square during Diocesan Convention at Trinity Church in 2009.
Bishop Shaw with children at Diocesan Convention in 2009.
Bishop Shaw with children at a 2010 visitation to Christ Church of Hamilton and Wenham.
Courtesy Photo: Mayne Family
Bishop Shaw with Boston's longtime mayor, Thomas M. Menino, in May 2011. When Mayor Menino challenged city churches to help address increased street violence, Bishop Shaw stepped up expansion of the B-SAFE summer program at St. Stephen's Church in Boston. It now serves hundreds of vulnerable city children at six Episcopal church and school sites and provides teen jobs as well.
Bishop Shaw with Cardinal Sean O'Malley and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori at Episcopal City Mission's annual meeting in 2011.
Tracy J. Sukraw
Bishop Shaw gives a meditation at Diocesan Convention in 2011, at which he launched the diocese's $20-million Together Now campaign. "I don't think this is a time that is appropriate for raising endowment to preserve the institution,” Shaw said of the campaign’s success, in a 2013 interview. “God is calling the church into change, and to have funding for experimentation and to further mission in ways that we know are capturing people's attention is critical. From that we'll disco...
Bishop Shaw with Bishop Gene Robinson at Boston's Gay Pride Parade in 2012.
Deborah Gardner Walker
Bishop Shaw visits the memorial to Boston Marathon bombing victims, April 2013.
Tracy J. Sukraw
Bishop Shaw and a contingent of 650 Episcopalians made a witness against gun violence by joining the Mother's Day Walk for Peace in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood on May 12, 2013. It was part of the diocese's B-PEACE antiviolence campaign that Bishop Shaw instigated following the murder in September 2012 of Jorge Fuentes, 19, a young leader from St. Stephen’s Church in Boston. "Christ sends us out with the gift of peace, just as he sent out our ancestors in the faith. Every one of...
Tracy J. Sukraw
Bishop Shaw on a visit at St. Peter's Church in Beverly, June 2013.
Bishop Shaw speaks at a September 2013 press conference at the Massachusetts State House in support of expanding gun safety laws.
Ellen Stuart Kittle
Bishop Shaw preaching at St. Anne's-in-the-Fields Church in Lincoln, September 2013.
Courtesy photo: St. Anne's, Lincoln
Bishop Shaw in April 2014 at the special convention to elect his successor.
Bishop Shaw receives applause at Episcopal City Mission's annual dinner in June 2014.
Bishop Shaw greets guests at his retirement celebration, June 2014 at Jamaica Pond. In an April 2014 letter of gratitude to the diocese he wrote: "You have shown me so much over the time we have had together of the reality of God’s love and the creativity in each of you and your congregations. You have expanded my knowledge and experience of God through your faithfulness. You have made Scripture and creeds come alive. You have taken me to a deeper place in my life with God in prayer. Thank ...
Tracy J. Sukraw
Bishop Shaw with members of his family at his retirement celebration at Jamaica Pond, June 2014.
Tracy J. Sukraw
Bishop Shaw receives an ovation at the Sept. 13, 2014, consecration service of his successor, the Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates.
Bishop Shaw passes the diocesan crozier to his successor, the Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates, at the consecration service on Sept. 13, 2014, at Boston University's Agganis Arena. In an Oct. 18 message to the diocese, Bishop Gates wrote: "Receiving the diocesan crozier from Tom on Sept. 13 was for me a singular and daunting honor; receiving his hug and prayerful gaze at the same moment was the blessing I needed to accompany that symbol of responsibility. That, of course, is how Tom was with all ...