Emmett Jarrett
Byles Memorial Home - New London
99 Huntington St
New London, CT
New London - The Rev. Emmett Jarrett, TSSF, 71, of St. Francis House, 30 Broad St., New London, died there at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010, surrounded by his family and the St. Francis House residential community. He had been diagnosed with bile duct cancer in December 2008, and undergone two rounds of treatment before the cancer took increasing control of his liver. He continued to live a life of love and service to the community exemplified by his work with the Homeless Hospitality Center, the Voluntown Peace Trust, and his participation in the ongoing life of St. Francis House.

Fr. Emmett was born in Alexandria, La., on Feb. 21, 1939. He attended local public schools and after flunking out of Florida State University served in the U.S. Army from 1959 to 1962. He worked his way through Columbia University discovering his vocation as a poet and wrote his honors thesis on "William Carlos Williams American Meter." He taught English in Crete from 1966 to 67, wrote a study guide to Shakespeare's "Hamlet", and continued writing poetry. On his return to the United States in 1967, he helped found Hanging Loose Press, published several books of poetry including, "Greek Feet", "God's Body", and "4-Telling" with Marge Piercy, Dick Lourie, and Bob Hershon and in 1969 was included in the anthologies, "31 New American Poets and New Directions 21." During this time he taught in the Humanities Department of St. Ann's School in Brooklyn, N.Y. After "meeting Jesus on the Taconic State Parkway," he attended the General Theological Seminary in New York City and was ordained deacon and priest by Bishop Sherman of Long Island in 1976. He served his curacy at St. Stephen's, Westminster, London, while working on a doctorate at Kings College on "The Theology of William Blake." Later he served Episcopal churches as rector of St. John's, Bowdoin St., Boston, Church of the Ascension, Silver Spring, Md., and St. Michael and All Angels, Stone Mountain, Ga.

He and his wife of 27 years, Anne Scheibner, met as staff to the Brooklyn Urban Hearings on "The Role of the Church in the City" in 1980. Fr. Emmett served as national president of the Episcopal Urban Caucus from 1992 to 1995. He edited two EUC publications: "For The Living of These Days: Reflections on the Rule of Life of the EUC" and "To Heal the Sin-Sick Soul: Toward a Spirituality of Anti-Racist Ministry." After he became a member of the Third Order of the Society of Saint Francis (TSSF), he and Anne returned with their children, then ages 14 and 10, to Anne's home region of southeastern Connecticut in 1999. Their intention was to try an experiment in "intentional Christian community" which became St. Francis House at 30 Broad Street in New London: "a place of prayer, a house of hospitality and a center for peace and justice ministry."

In 2005 a new collection of Fr. Emmett's poetry, "Wild Geese Flying South" was published by St. Francis House's Jubilee Publications. Last week "Broad Street Blues: A Reader in Radical Discipleship", which he co-edited with Sarah Jarrett arrived from the printers. Broad Street Blues chronicles the development of the ministry at St. Francis House. Modeled in part on Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin, and the Catholic Worker movement and starting with the idea of listening to and engaging with neighbors, the work of St. Francis House takes shape with different members of the House engaging in various endeavors.

In the winter of 2003 Fr. Emmett helped organize support for opening the winter emergency shelter in December instead of waiting until January 1. In response to the City of New London's shutting down the Social Services Department in 2005 and Bill Walsh dying in the woods on the New London-Waterford boundary in 2006, Fr. Emmett convened the Task Force which led to the formation of the Homeless Hospitality Center and the provision of year-round shelter and support for those seeking a way out of homelessness. He was a founding member of the HHC board.

With the Rev. Eric Swanfeldt of Uncasville and other walkers, Fr. Emmett participated in three of the now annual Peace Pilgrimages starting in 2006 and walking between 270 and 800 miles each year. In 2008 he gave the closing statement at his trial as one of 34 defendents arrested for their Guantanamo witness at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. He was a regular participant in the Saturday Peace Vigil of the Southeastern Connecticut Peace and Justice Network and an active participant in the Mock Terror Attack resistance in New London in 2005 when $16 million was spent by the Department of Homeland Security to simulate a chemical warfare attack on New London.

He is survived by his wife, Anne Scheibner, their son, Nathaniel and daughter-in-law, Zuleika Fareaux Jarrett, of Charlotte, N.C., and their daughter, Sarah Jarrett of New London; his mother, Virginia Jarrett of Alexandria, La.; a sister, Beverly Jarrett Mills of Addis, La.; and nieces, Sarah Gibson and her husband, Joe, and Aimee Blount and their families.

A vigil service for the reception of the body will take place at 7 p.m. Wedensday, Oct. 13, at St. James Episcopal Church, Huntington St., New London. The funeral will be in the church at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 14. Burial in Cedar Grove Cemetery, New London, will immediately follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Homeless Hospitality Center/St. James Shelter, the Voluntown Peace Trust, or St. Francis House and sent c/o St. Francis House, PO Box 2171, New London CT 06320.

Byles Memorial Home, 99 Huntington St., New London, is assisting with the arrangements.

Please visit www.Byles.com for directions or to sign the online guestbook.

Published by The Day on Oct. 12, 2010.
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21 Entries
I, too, cried when I heard the news. Had I known in time, I would have come to the funeral. Emmett Jarrett was a friend of 46 years, a fellow poet, my first publisher, and a spiritual light to many people I never met. He loved and responded to the light of Greece, the integrity of the people of Crete, the challenge of writing and the inspiration of the Holy One, especially in his ministry to those in need and his commitment to nonviolence. He leaves this world the poorer for his passing; may he keep an eye on us from the next. Sto kalo na pas, file.
Jacqueline Lapidus
December 21, 2010
I cried when I heard the news. More than any single person, Emmett taught me how to be a priest.
Jonathan Currier
November 2, 2010
I was very sad to hear about the death of Fr. Jarrett. He was an amazing spiritual director; very wise yet very humble. I know that he is going to be missed by a lot of people. May God's strength and grace be with all of you right now.
Steve London
October 25, 2010
Fr. Emmett was a good man and exemplified stewardship and hospitality. although I only spent a brief weekend at St.Francis House my life has been enriched by the experience.

My prayers are with you.
Chris guittard
October 16, 2010
Emmett Rest In Peace...your ministry touched the hearts and lives of many. My family and I are eternally grateful for your outreach and support not only for my brother, but of all the brothers and sisters in need. I pray that you have found peace at last.
Charlie Auer
October 15, 2010
Father Emmett will always be remembered fondly in my home. He helped myself and members of my family always providing heartfelt guidance and words of wisdom. I have many good memories of him leading peace walks through New London and Norwich. Our slient march from the Parade to the USGA will remain one of the highlights and most meaningful moments of my life! Ms. Anne..you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Jessica Sala
October 14, 2010
As I know there are many, know that my prayers are also with you.
Mark Auers Ex, Catherine Woodington
catherine woodington
October 14, 2010
Dear Anne and Family,
May you find strength, peace and comfort in knowing the many lives that Father Emmett touched around the world through his love for our Lord God. Peace and Blessing
Reona Dyess
October 14, 2010
Condolences from the Caribbean Fellowships.
Pamela Redhead
October 13, 2010
I met Emmett several years ago at a TSSF convocation in California and was moved by his generosity of spirit.Anne and family, you have my deepest condolances.
Ray Carter
October 13, 2010
Emmett Jarrett came into my and my families life, praying, loving, caring and always a kind word and help when needed. Indeed may his feet dance, his voice sing in julbilation at coming home.
For those who ar left behind, loved him and feel the pangs of loss, may God bless you with the warmth of friends and family surrounding you.
Love, Catherine Woodington
catherine woodington
October 13, 2010
Dear Anne and Family,
Please accept my deepest condolances for the passing of Fr. Emmett.
He was such a humble and remarkable man. It was my pleasure to have met him.
With my sympathy, Carol Dooley
Carol Dooley
October 13, 2010
May Emmett dance in the heart of God forever.
Mary Jo Campbell
October 13, 2010
To Emmett's family and friends, I am deeply touched by Emmett's death as I was deeply touched by his life. Emmett and I worked together on the Commission of Spiritual Formation, Diocese of Atlanta. Although we had lost touch, I have remained appreciative of is ministry and compassion. His life has been an inspiration and a gift to all who came in contact with him. God's peace to all who are grieving this loss. What an amazing life to celebrate.
Kathy Holman
October 13, 2010
I often saw Father Jarrett as a fellow walker in downtown New London. I am amazed and in awe of his story. All summer and this fall, I enjoy seeing all of the flowers growing on the porch of St. Francis House and Victory House. May their mission live on.
Denise Hickey
October 13, 2010
I remember a time when Emmett's name came up in the conversation and someone dismissively said, "Oh, is he still trying to change the world?"
To which Shoshana replied, "Emmett changes the world every day."
Luke Jaeger
October 13, 2010
We miss Emmett a lot already but all he taught us -- his witness and hope and courage -- stay with us. much love from us who have known you for a long time, and from all you touched on your way through here on your peace walk --
Jackie Schmitt
October 12, 2010
My prayers and sympathies to Fr. Emmett's family and community. May Francis and our Good God welcome him home with joy.
Debbie Isaacson, sfo
October 12, 2010
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Eileen Monroe
October 12, 2010

Dear Anne, Nathaniel, Sarah, and the entire Jarrett/St. Francis House Family,

Fr. Emmett was such an inspiration sounds so trite right now, but couldn’t be more true, nonetheless. One visit with him, and Mindy and I were sold on volunteering at St. James, which we did for a number of years before other demands on our time took us away. Still intend for “Hazel” (me in the kitchen) to get back to this duty, hopefully soon. May God receive your husband and father for his final reward!!! I pray this helps the family some wee bit...to allow...enable… the grief! So truly sorry to hear about your Fr. Emmett… offerin’ y’all a very special prayer...and a place in m’dailies! Our most sincere condolences...lovin’ prayers!

When my mother died, even after a years-long battle with cancer, I was shattered by the loss…inconsolable…she was my mentor! BUT, "If your faith assures you she's in heaven, then what are the tears all about?!?" I hold an eternity with my God a hard-fought-for, cherished and precious prize, but, in the interim, the answer lies below.

(I Eulogize My Beloved Mother - March, 1989)

Today we cry...must admit they're selfish tears.
You see...our faith assures your journey's done.
But it's not for you we mourn, at all, my dear;
It's for those of us you've left behind...alone!!!

We share your joy...share your happiness at rest,
Your painful fears now for forever stilled.
You've fought the good fight, passed the final test,
But you've left behind a hole that can't be filled!!!

So, until we each rejoin you some someday,
And, while your memory buoys us through those years,
We'll miss you...but continue on our way,
And, from time to time, we'll cry our selfish tears!!!

Ray Hamilton (c) March 19, 1989
(-=< Ray 'n' Mindy Hamilton >=-)
October 12, 2010
Emmett was such a great man, always, always thinking of others. I have such fond memories of Emmett and everyone at St. Francis House. You are all doing such great work. I'm hoping to come to the States in Feb. 2011 and will visit you all. But I will miss not seeing Emmett and his wonderful smile. May Emmett Rest in Peace. I know that his legacy will be carried forward.
Michael Rosenkrantz
October 12, 2010
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