Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New Translation of the Mass Approved

Word just came this week from Rome that the first round of English translations of the Roman Missal has been recognized by the Holy See. Thanks to Rocco over at "Whispers in the Loggia" for the following:

In a clear show of support for the ongoing English re-translation of the Missale Romanum, the Holy See has granted its recognitio (confirmation) to the first and most significant section of the re-rendered Mass texts, which had been approved by each of the nine Anglophone episcopal conferences in late 2006. Announced earlier today by the USCCB -- the only conference to seek stand-alone recognitio for the Order of Mass I (OM1), as opposed to waiting for the entire 12-part package -- the timing is no accident, coming less than three weeks after the Missale project's second major chunk, the Proper of Seasons, was rejected on a mail ballot following a contentious debate among the American bishops at their Spring plenary in Orlando. With a Proper vote still awaiting several other conferences, some possibly eager to echo the message sent by the Stateside prelates, today's development can also be seen as a warning shot for the rest to fall in line. Now back in its consultative phase on these shores, the Proper comes up for a repeat debate and vote by the US bench at its November meeting in Baltimore. Comprising the standard set of prayers used at each Eucharist (Gloria, Creed, Eucharistic Prayers, dialogues, etc.), the USCCB approved OM1 at its Spring 2006 meeting in Los Angeles, but only after a number of amendments were accepted to secure the assent of skeptical pockets among the bishops. As similar amendments were submitted to Rome by each conference, and considering the Holy See's firm intent that, in a change from current practice, the new translations be precisely the same across the English-speaking world, the "guts" of what's actually been approved -- i.e. the dews and consubstantials of things... not to mention the precious chalices -- remain to be seen. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments is free to reject proffered amendments on its own authority, and under the provisions of Liturgiam authenticam -- the 2001 instruction that inspired the current process -- the Holy See retains the "nuclear option" of imposing by fiat whatever translation it sees fit. What is clear, though, is that CDW has green-lighted one of the coming changes' most controversial elements: the reworkings of the people's reponses at Mass. With eleven more Missale votes facing the bishops and a large-scale catechetical campaign already well in the planning, an "optimist[ic]" Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, chair of the USCCB's Committee on Divine Worship, told CNS earlier today that he was "hoping" to see the new texts implemented within "two years." According to the US conference's current projections, the body's final vote on the entire package is expected to reach the floor at its November meeting in 2010. Pending the pace of recognitio for the full Missal, among other variables, rollout's most-often eyed for Advent 2011.

Full USCCB statement:

WASHINGTON— The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has received approval (recognitio) from the Holy See’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for the new English-language translation of the Order of Mass (Ordo Missae).
This is the first section of the translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal.
It includes most of the texts used in every celebration of the Mass, including the responses that will be said by the people.
In its letter, the Congregation pointed out that while the texts are binding, the approval “does not intend that these texts are to be put into use immediately.”
Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation, explained the reasons for providing the text at this time. The purpose is to provide “time for the pastoral preparation of priests, deacons and for appropriate catechesis of the lay faithful. It will likewise facilitate the devising of musical settings for parts of the Mass.” The text is covered by copyright law and the Statutes of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. The more significant changes of the people’s parts are:

et cum spiritu tuo is rendered as “And with your spirit”

In the Confiteor, the text “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault” has been added

The Gloria has been translated differently and the structure is different from the present text

In the Preface dialogue the translation of “Dignum et justum est” is “It is right and just”

The first line of the Sanctus now reads “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts”

The response of the people at the Ecce Agnus Dei is “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

At this time, no date is available as to when the entire translation of the Roman Missal will be released.

An evening with the Parish Consultors

The table in the Parish House didn't look this nice tonight, but the food and the friendship, and the camaraderie were just as beautiful. We had a great meeting of our Parish Consultors to discuss the restructuring of our Community Outreach (COR) program. As you know our parish tries to practice the principles of Stewardship. One of the main practices of being a Stewardship Parish is that we commit a percentage of our income from our collections to helping individuals in need with emergency assistance. Over the past few years, we've distributed about $40,000 each year to help individuals in dire need.
We have some new realities to take into account these days in our parish. We have new expenses: co-sponsorship of Pope John XXIII school in Ocean; sharing in the cost of Pastoral Ministry at Monmouth Medical Center; the raising of taxes in Tinton Falls; the rising cost of energy; all of these are new, and expensive realities for our parish.
Also, the possibility that our parish will be re-configured by the Bishop as a result of the Deanery Study is a reality that calls us to prepare for a possible new reality for the Church in this area.

Tonight's meeting was an exercise in sharing wisdom in how to continue to practice good stewardship as well as to be creative and realistic in maintaining our COR practices.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mass with the Notre Dame Club of the Jersey Shore

Saturday, July 26, 2008 at the 5:30 P. M. mass, we will welcome the Notre Dame Club of the Jersey Shore. The ND Club is made up of alumni, family, friends, and even "Subway Alumni" of Notre Dame University.
We welcome them and we celebrate with them this Sunday's Gospel story of the finding of the "pearl of great price" that we hear about this weekend.
Let's pray that all of us, brothers and sisters in baptism, may rejoice always in the call to recognize our call to serve each other and the Lord with the assistance of Mary, our Mother.
Notre Dame, our Mother, pray for us, and help us to follow your Son and to live His Gospel.

Help for our N.E.T. Missionary, Nick

Recently,one of our young parishioners, Nick, was accepted by the National Evangeliztion Team (NET) for a year of service to the Church throughout the United States. Nick, and other young people, will travel to many parishes and dioceses throughout the country reaching out to young people preparing for Confirmation, and the NET team will do a Confirmation retreat for their parish. Or, the NET team will do a retreat for a parish youth group. Or, the NET team will help a parish establish a youth ministry program.

We're very proud of sending Nick to be part of NET for the next year. Many of us have already contributed to NET to help support Nick for the coming year. One of the realities of the NET Ministries program is that each team member is asked to raise $3,500 through donations from parish, family and friends. If you can help with a donation for Nick, and his year of service, I'll be personally grateful. Please check out the website for the National Evangelization Team Ministries http://www.netusa.org/donate/ Consider making an online donation. I just pledged to make a small monthly donation to NET for the next year....it's so easy, and it goes for a great cause. When you click the link for NET, and if you would like to support Nick, just add his full name in the Comment line as "Nick Petrillo". He'll be an active team member for the next year.

Also, most importantly, I'd like to ask you to keep Nick in your prayers for the coming year. He'll be far away from home, he'll be living in community with other young people interested in ministry, and he'll be really, Really, REALLY living the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Plus, he'll be dealing with young people for a whole year. Hopefully, he'll be spreading the Good News to many through his gentle and caring personality.

God bless you, Nick.

Friday, July 25, 2008

What's YOUR Treasure?

This weekend's Gospel challenges us to reflect upon what is truly most important and most valued in our lives. What is "the pearl of great price" in YOUR life?

Monday, July 21, 2008

B16 at World Youth Day: next time in Madrid!

I love this image of Benedict with a young man from aboriginal Australia. They rode into the harbor together on a boat, to begin the festivities for World Youth Day. I would really like to know what the young man said to the Holy Father.

Truth be told, I really enjoyed the image of Benedict with real folks on the boat entering the harbor. It was wonderful to see him surrounded with "real" people, rather than the usual phalanx of clerics.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Check out B16

Check out B16 on the TV, and his great coverage at World Youth Day!.

Friday, July 18, 2008

B16: "I am deeply sorry!"

From the Pope's homily at St Mary's Cathedral:

"I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country.

"Indeed I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them that, as their pastor, I too share in their suffering.

"These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation. They have caused great pain, they have damaged the church's witness.

"I ask all of you to support and assist your bishops, and to work together with them in combating this evil. Victims should receive compassion and care, and those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice....

"As the church in Australia continues, in the spirit of the gospel, to address effectively this serious pastoral challenge, I join you in praying that this time of purification will bring about healing, reconciliation and ever-greater fidelity to the moral demands of the gospel."

B16 at the University of Notre Dame, Sydney


18 JULY 2008

Dear Young Friends,

I am pleased to be with you at Darlinghurst today, and I warmly greet all those taking part in the "Alive" programme, as well as the staff who run it. I pray that you will all benefit from the assistance offered by the Archdiocese of Sydney’s Social Services Agency, and that the good work being done here will continue long into the future.

The name of the programme you are following prompts us to ask the question: what does it really mean to be "alive", to live life to the full? This is what all of us want, especially when we are young, and it is what Christ wants for us. In fact, he said: "I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (Jn 10:10). The most basic instinct of all living things is to stay alive, to grow, to flourish, and to pass on the gift of life to others. So it is only natural that we should ask how best to do this.

For the people of the Old Testament, this question was just as urgent as it is for us today. No doubt they listened attentively when Moses said to them: "I set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live in the love of the Lord your God, obeying his voice, clinging to him – for in this your life consists" (Dt 30:19-20). It was clear what they had to do: they had to turn away from other gods and worship the true God who had revealed himself to Moses – and they had to obey his commandments. You might think that in today’s world, people are unlikely to start worshipping other gods. But sometimes people worship "other gods" without realizing it. False "gods", whatever name, shape or form we give them, are nearly always associated with the worship of three things: material possessions, possessive love, or power. Let me explain what I mean.

Material possessions, in themselves, are good. We would not survive for long without money, clothing and shelter. We must eat in order to stay alive. Yet if we are greedy, if we refuse to share what we have with the hungry and the poor, then we make our possessions into a false god. How many voices in our materialist society tell us that happiness is to be found by acquiring as many possessions and luxuries as we can! But this is to make possessions into a false god. Instead of bringing life, they bring death.

Authentic love is obviously something good. Without it, life would hardly be worth living. It fulfils our deepest need, and when we love, we become most fully ourselves, most fully human. But how easily it can be made into a false god! People often think they are being loving when actually they are being possessive or manipulative. People sometimes treat others as objects to satisfy their own needs rather than as persons to be loved and cherished. How easy it is to be deceived by the many voices in our society that advocate a permissive approach to sexuality, without regard for modesty, self-respect or the moral values that bring quality to human relationships! This is worship of a false god. Instead of bringing life, it brings death.

The power God has given us to shape the world around us is obviously something good. Used properly and responsibly, it enables us to transform people’s lives. Every community needs good leaders. Yet how tempting it can be to grasp at power for its own sake, to seek to dominate others or to exploit the natural environment for selfish purposes! This is to make power into a false god. Instead of bringing life, it brings death.

The cult of material possessions, the cult of possessive love and the cult of power often lead people to attempt to "play God": to try to seize total control, with no regard for the wisdom or the commandments that God has made known to us. This is the path that leads towards death. By contrast, worship of the one true God means recognizing in him the source of all goodness, entrusting ourselves to him, opening ourselves to the healing power of his grace and obeying his commandments: that is the way to choose life.

A vivid illustration of what it means to turn back from the path of death onto the path of life is found in a Gospel story that I am sure you all know well: the parable of the prodigal son. When that young man left his father’s house at the beginning of the story, he was seeking the illusory pleasures promised by false "gods". He squandered his inheritance on a life of indulgence, and ended up in abject poverty and misery. When he reached the very lowest point, hungry and abandoned, he realized how foolish he had been to leave his loving father. Humbly, he returned and asked forgiveness. Joyfully his father embraced him and exclaimed: "This son of mine was dead, and has come back to life; he was lost, and is found" (Lk 15:24).

Many of you must have had personal experience of what that young man went through. Perhaps you have made choices that you now regret, choices that led you down a path which, however attractive it appeared at the time, only led you deeper into misery and abandonment. The choice to abuse drugs or alcohol, to engage in criminal activity or self-harm, may have seemed at the time to offer a way out of a difficult or confusing situation. You now know that, instead of bringing life, it brings death. I wish to acknowledge your courage in choosing to turn back onto the path of life, just like the young man in the parable. You have accepted help – from friends or family, from the staff who run the "Alive" programme: from people who care deeply for your well-being and happiness.

Dear friends, I see you as ambassadors of hope to others in similar situations. You can convince them of the need to choose the path of life and shun the path of death, because you speak from experience. All through the Gospels, it was those who had taken wrong turnings who were particularly loved by Jesus, because once they recognized their mistake, they were all the more open to his healing message. Indeed, Jesus was often criticized by self-righteous members of society for spending so much time with such people. "Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?", they asked. He responded: "It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick … I did not come to call the virtuous but sinners" (cf. Mt 9:11-13). It was those who were willing to rebuild their lives who were most ready to listen to Jesus and become his disciples. You can follow in their footsteps, you too can grow particularly close to Jesus because you have chosen to turn back towards him. You can be sure that, just like the Father in the story of the prodigal son, Jesus welcomes you with open arms. He offers you unconditional love – and it is in loving friendship with him that the fullness of life is to be found.

I mentioned earlier that when we love we are fulfilling our deepest need and becoming most fully ourselves, most fully human. Loving is what we are programmed to do, what we were designed for by our Creator. Naturally, I am not talking about fleeting, shallow relationships, I am talking about real love, the very heart of Jesus’ moral teaching: "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength" and "You must love your neighbour as yourself" (cf. Mk 12:30-31). This, if you like, is the programme that is hard-wired into every human person, if only we had the wisdom and generosity to live by it, if only we were ready to sacrifice our own preferences so as to be of service to others, to give our lives for the good of others, and above all for Jesus, who loved us and gave his life for us. That is what human beings are called to do, that is what it means to be truly alive.

Dear young friends, my message to you today is the same one that Moses proposed all those years ago. "Choose life, so that you and your descendants may live in the love of the Lord your God". Let his Spirit guide you onto the path of life, so that you obey his commandments, follow his teachings, leave behind the wrong turnings that lead only to death, and commit yourselves to a lifelong friendship with Jesus Christ. In the power of the Holy Spirit, choose life and choose love, and bear witness before the world to the joy that it brings. That is my prayer for each one of you this World Youth Day. May God bless you all.

The Pope in Australia for World Youth Day

Pope Benedict, (B16) is pictured here meeting with indigenous natives of Australia as he visits the continent of Australia. He's there for World Youth Day, but is also taking some time-off and enjoying some time to explore the local cultures.

18 JULY 2008

Dear Friends,

I extend cordial greetings of peace and goodwill to all of you who are here representing various religious traditions in Australia. Grateful for this encounter, I thank Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence and Sheikh Shardy for the words of welcome which they expressed in their own name and on behalf of your respective communities.

Australia is renowned for the congeniality of its people towards neighbour and visitor alike. It is a nation that holds freedom of religion in high regard. Your country recognizes that a respect for this fundamental right gives men and women the latitude to worship God according to their conscience, to nurture their spirits, and to act upon the ethical convictions that stem from their beliefs.

A harmonious relationship between religion and public life is all the more important at a time when some people have come to consider religion as a cause of division rather than a force for unity. In a world threatened by sinister and indiscriminate forms of violence, the unified voice of religious people urges nations and communities to resolve conflicts through peaceful means and with full regard for human dignity. One of the many ways religion stands at the service of mankind is by offering a vision of the human person that highlights our innate aspiration to live generously, forging bonds of friendship with our neighbours. At their core, human relations cannot be defined in terms of power, domination and self-interest. Rather, they reflect and perfect man's natural inclination to live in communion and accord with others.

The religious sense planted within the human heart opens men and women to God and leads them to discover that personal fulfilment does not consist in the selfish gratification of ephemeral desires. Rather, it leads us to meet the needs of others and to search for concrete ways to contribute to the common good. Religions have a special role in this regard, for they teach people that authentic service requires sacrifice and self-discipline, which in turn must be cultivated through self-denial, temperance and a moderate use of the world's goods. In this way, men and women are led to regard the environment as a marvel to be pondered and respected rather than a commodity for mere consumption. It is incumbent upon religious people to demonstrate that it is possible to find joy in living simply and modestly, generously sharing one's surplus with those suffering from want.

Friends, these values, I am sure you will agree, are particularly important to the adequate formation of young people, who are so often tempted to view life itself as a commodity. They also have an aptitude for self-mastery: indeed, in sports, the creative arts, and in academic studies, they readily welcome it as a challenge. Is it not true that when presented with high ideals, many young people are attracted to asceticism and the practice of moral virtue through self-respect and a concern for others? They delight in contemplating the gift of creation and are intrigued by the mystery of the transcendent. In this regard, both faith schools and State schools could do even more to nurture the spiritual dimension of every young person. In Australia, as elsewhere, religion has been a motivating factor in the foundation of many educational institutions, and rightly it continues to occupy a place in school curricula today. The theme of education frequently emerges from the deliberations of the Interfaith Cooperation for Peace and Harmony, and I warmly encourage those participating in this initiative to continue the conversation about the values that integrate the intellectual, human and religious dimensions of a sound education.
The world's religions draw constant attention to the wonder of human existence. Who can help but marvel at the power of the mind to grasp the secrets of nature through scientific discovery? Who is not stirred by the possibility of forming a vision for the future? Who is not impressed by the power of the human spirit to set goals and to develop ways of achieving them? Men and women are endowed with the ability not only to imagine how things might be better, but to invest their energies to make them better. We are conscious of our unique relationship to the natural realm. If, then, we believe that we are not subject to the laws of the material universe in the same way as the rest of creation, should we not make goodness, compassion, freedom, solidarity, and respect for every individual an essential part of our vision for a more humane future?

Yet religion, by reminding us of human finitude and weakness, also enjoins us not to place our ultimate hope in this passing world. Man is "like a breath, his days are like a passing shadow" (Ps 144:4). All of us have experienced the disappointment of falling short of the good we wish to accomplish and the difficulty of making the right choice in complex situations.

The Church shares these observations with other religions. Motivated by charity, she approaches dialogue believing that the true source of freedom is found in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Christians believe it is he who fully discloses the human potential for virtue and goodness, and he who liberates us from sin and darkness. The universality of human experience, which transcends all geographical boundaries and cultural limitations, makes it possible for followers of religions to engage in dialogue so as to grapple with the mystery of life's joys and sufferings. In this regard, the Church eagerly seeks opportunities to listen to the spiritual experience of other religions. We could say that all religions aim to penetrate the profound meaning of human existence by linking it to an origin or principle outside itself. Religions offer an attempt to understand the cosmos as coming from and returning to this origin or principle. Christians believe that God has revealed this origin and principle in Jesus, whom the Bible refers to as the "Alpha and Omega" (cf. Rev 1:8; 22:1).

My dear friends, I have come to Australia as an ambassador of peace. For this reason, I feel blessed to meet you who likewise share this yearning and the desire to help the world attain it. Our quest for peace goes hand in hand with our search for meaning, for it is in discovering the truth that we find the sure road to peace (cf. Message for World Day of Peace, 2006). Our effort to bring about reconciliation between peoples springs from, and is directed to, that truth which gives purpose to life. Religion offers peace, but more importantly, it arouses within the human spirit a thirst for truth and a hunger for virtue. May we encourage everyone - especially the young - to marvel at the beauty of life, to seek its ultimate meaning, and to strive to realize its sublime potential!

With these sentiments of respect and encouragement, I commend you to the providence of Almighty God, and I assure you of my prayers for you and your loved ones, the members of your communities, and all the citizens of Australia.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summer at the Jersey Shore

Summer at the shore....nothing like it!

These summer days are time to relax, refresh, and renew. I believe summer is nature's way to tell us all to slow down, take a walk on the sands of the beach, and renew old and treasured relationships.

May these beautiful summer days energize us all to keep sharing the great energy that comes from Gospel living.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Saint Anselm, pray for us

This image of St. Anselm is a favorite of mine. Some of you know that this statue is in a lovely courtyard in the Collegio Sant' Anselmo in Rome, the Pontifical Liturgical Academy run by the Jesuit Fathers.

This image reminds me that, like Anselm, we may all be called to carry the Gospel to new and perhaps far-away places and have to adapt the Gospel to new ways of living it out. This image gives me hope as we continue with the Deanery Study of the future of the Church in our section of Monmouth County.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Open House for New Parishioners!

Next Friday evening, the Parish Council will host a Welcome Party for any new parishioners at the Parish House. The party starts at 8:00 P.M. and we'll serve light refreshments and give you a chance to meet some of our parish leaders. And, just like Jesus did with his friends, we might enjoy a sip of wine while we get to know each other better!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Deanery Study Update....again!

Cute, aren't they?

Sheep...Jesus refers to the flock of disciples as "sheep"....sometimes lost....sometimes in danger due to "false shepherds"....but always, everyone of them, (us), are valued by the Savior.

What of the "sheep" in our area? Our recent Deanery Study has asked all of the "sheep" in this area to give voice to their hopes and dreams for the Church in this area. We know that we'll have to form larger and more vibrant parishes in the next 10 years. Perhaps these days are ones which call us to look at all those things, hopes, desires that unites us with other parish communities. What do we have in common? What can we share? Maybe we can come together and become a stronger, more vibrant, more diverse, more gifted community of Roman Catholics!

I have lots of positive energy about the prospects for the future of the Church in this area. We may not have as many smaller, competitive little parishes in the future, but there's a great opportunity for the Church to beome a truly powerful, positive presence in this area of Monmouth County. We can truly make a difference, if we truly work together!

Let's stay positive! We can do great things if we work together, and stay open to new ways of living the Gospel!

Peace to all!

Fr. Gene

Friday, July 4, 2008

Today, the Fourth of July.

I remember especially my friends who gave their lives in service to their country.

With them, let us praise the Lord who gives us everlasting life!

Have a happy 4th! Peace, Fr. Gene

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Today, I received a nasty e-mail from someone I don't personally know. That person was upset with me because of earlier posts that question the neo-conservative liturgical practices of this currently reigning pontiff, Benedict XVI.

While I am loyal to the office of the Papacy, I am not blindly obedient. That is not what the promise of obedience means. Yes, sometimes I question some papal practices. That doesn't mean that I'm disloyal to the Church. I think that we all need to remember that "the Church" is not the Pope. "The Church" subsists in places like China, India, Asia, El Salvador, Niger, Kenya, and even in Tinton Falls, NJ.

I seek to be loyal to the "Church" in all of its teachings and practices. I believe in the Petrine ministry, I believe that the Holy Spirit continues to guide and form the church, all of the baptized, in Gospel ways. I believe, with the teachings of Vatican II, that the church needs to adapt itself to the local practices of the local cultures.

If that comes off as being "disloyal"....then, I'm sorry....the reader needs to go back to the Gospels, and to the documents of the Second Vatican Council...and read them in an adult manner.

There's room in the church for lots of views, for lots of opinions, for lots of people.

The great Irish author, James Joyce, when asked by a reporter: "What does it mean for you to be Catholic? What does Catholic mean?"

Joyce answered, simply: "Catholic....means: Here comes Everybody!"

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Deanery Study Update

As the Deanery Study continues, I would like to invite all members of the parish of St. Anselm to attend an Open Town-Hall meeting on Monday evening, July 14 at 7:00 p.m. in the Auditorium along with our Parish Council. The Diocese has asked each parish participating in the Study to hold these Town-Hall meetings in July.

We'll announce this meeting this weekend and next, at all of the Masses, and we'll have packets of helpful information available to help you prepare for the meeting.

In the packet you'll find several helpful handouts updating the information about the process of evaluating viable parishes for the future. We'll look at the differences of twinning parishes, or clustering parishes, or merging parishes.
We're giving you this information because we want your input into the process of giving recommendations to the bishop and the diocese as to the future of the Church in this area of Monmouth County.

Just as the Second Vatican Council was called by Pope John XXIII to update the Church, so our deanery study will help the local Church prepare for the future. It's only with your input, the people of God, that we can enliven the Church for the future!


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pastoral Musicians

This week, the Eastern Regional Convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) is holding their convention in East Brunswick, New Jersey!

The convention formally opened today with a welcome by NPM President, Dr. Michael McMahon, and then a stirring address by Ursuline Sister Carol Perry. There are over 300 church musicians at the convention, just from New Jersey alone! Total conventioneers number close to one thousand!

The convention features talks, workshops, exhibits, tours and outings, and concerts by very talented church musicians and artists, along with clergy and religious singing and learning and praying with each other. Some consider this convention to be more like a huge party than a convention, but that's what good family gatherings are all about! We learn from each other and we GROW as we celebrate and experiment, and learn new things together.

It is very good to be here, and I'm looking forward to singing our faith with ALL of these fine people in the days to come!