The Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields is an Episcopal parish in the Diocese of Pennsylvania that is centered on the worship of God, the ministry of all baptized persons, and the call to be agents of Christ’s love in the world.
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Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
8000 St. Martin’s Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19118

The Rev. W. Jarrett Kerbel

St. Martin's Cloak

The Cloak is a collection of audio vignettes—stories that reveal parishioners’ faith journeys. Share your thoughts by sending us an e-mail.

One of the most important messages in the book is that nobody dies.

Susan Morse

From the time she was 7, Susan Morse learned that her role was to keep her mother calm. In her memoir, The Habit, Susan paints a portrait of her mother as challenging and eccentric, always on a quest for The Answer to Everything with a compelling need to convert others along the way.

My mother loves to share her messages with people, and there are some of them that she has really wanted us to “get.” She goes back to them over and over again, and it sometimes gets exhausting because she can’t remember that she’s told them to me or she doesn’t think it’s really clicked with me, or something. And so the book has been nice because I’ve been able to make some of my mother’s messages actually permanent, and she knows they’re there. And I can say, “That’s on page ... blah blah blah.” 

One of the most important messages that she is really happy is in the book is that nobody dies. She has said this to me so many times over the years, because something happened at her father’s deathbed. I tell the story in the book.

She was with him in the hospital at the time and she thought that, she had this feeling that the nurses and doctors were coming in and out and they weren’t really saying what was going on, which was that he was dying. And she felt like he needed to know that. And so she told him that. And he was quite indignant and said he was not dying. She didn’t really understand that at the time but she’s thought a lot about it since because when he actually did die – and he was not a church going man—she thinks he was a deeply spiritual person and she thinks that what happened at his deathbed is proof of that.

And the fact that he knew he wasn’t actually dying on his deathbed is proof that he knew something about the afterlife. 
Because what happened was, she was alone in the room with him and she saw this sort of transparent gray thing float up out of his body through the ceiling, and it had wings. She said it looked sort of like the Flyers logo.

So my mother is thrilled that this is in the book and she’s on record.