Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Colonel

He and his wife travelled from Charlottesville, VA, in 1987, to meet me. There was a purpose for the trip - to prove that they weren't going to like me, and that their daughter and I should end our relationship (the dating part, probably). So after the Ascension Day service (a Thursday - this was in the LCMS), Katie pointed me to her Father and off I went. With a hand outstretched, I said, "Hi, Colonel, I'm Steve. It's nice to meet you. I hope you and Mrs. Tucker had a great trip down."

To that day, no one had ever addressed Earle Tucker as "Colonel". He is a retired Lt. Col., in the Air Force. So I gave him a promotion (so court marshall me... it worked).

They liked me. They really liked me. That day. There were times over the years when they might have thought otherwise, but at the same time, "like" was just added to "love", and it was mutual.

The Colonel is a man of strong faith and values, even at age 93. Now, he is in the ICU, unconscious, with mimimal brain activity (responding to the ventilator which keeps him breathing and keeps him alive).

Katie and I have arrived at our old home in TN to say goodbye to this giant of a man (he was over 6'). Last evening I went to his unit in the ICU. The shell was there, and it had changed drastically in the six months since we had last seen each other. In the past month, speaking with him on the phone, his voice had begun the change that happens with the very elderly. The gravely-ness became more pronounced and the pronunciation less so. But the man was always there.

Now, I think he's wrestling with his angel - "No, let's stay here a little while longer. My kids are coming. And that son-in-law who plays the organ, he's coming too. Let's wait. This is eternity. I don't think the Lord will mind. Do you?" Saith the Angel, "Who has known the mind of God?" Says the Colonel, "His Word shows us His mind, His Way, His Truth, His Life". He's coming for me, and I'm coming to Him. But we can hold off just a few moments more. It might seem like a long time here, but in the whole of eternity, it's nothing."

Angel, "Oh, all right. But just for a moment."

So for a few moments in a special, purgatorial time, we are able to say those things we want to say. I only hope it's enough.

Auf Wiedersehen, Colonel.

Oh - evidently now, almost everyone calls him "The Colonel." How can you dislike someone who gives you a promotion and everyone acknowledges it?

Thank you, Lord. When the time comes for the wrestling with the angel to end, stretch out thine hand, and grasp firmly the hand of a man who has tried to serve you well.


Sine Musica Sine Labora Sine ME

It's over, of course. We all knew it was coming. The reason? Well, part of it, I understand, was non compliance. The real reason? Christus Vincit blog... well, more specifically, the things that I have written here. I was told that it was not a good thing for me to air the dirty laundry out here to the world. But the world knows there is plenty of dirty laundry. Often times, just airing the laundry helps to freshen it just a bit when you can't get down to just washing it. Get the analogy? Can't have a pastoral change, so air the grievances so that he will read them, and the comments, and hopefully begin to understand that no priest is a dictator. He is ordained, but not made dictator to micromanage the work of others who are called to serve Christ and His Church.

When I approached the boss with the mistrust issue, it was simply cast aside with the statement of "I trust you. You do a lot of things here. Micromanagement is my style, and it is how I get things done." In other words, he doesn't trust anyone, and basically doesn't give a crapload of crap about the Divine nature of the calling of people to service in the Church. His opinion is simply that since he wears the collar, all others should wear..... a dog collar. Heel. Sit. Attend extra meetings. Here, do this this way. Be more strict with your class - you're too friendly with the kids. Every class should be run like a liturgy, with the kids entering the classroom the same way every day, sitting in the same seat every day, having every part of the lesson at the same time every day. What a load of bullshi*. Sorry, folks, but I couldn't just say *hit and not have a guilty conscience. This is a man (the priest - not me, although I AM a man, of course) who has never spent time in a classroom, with kids. Especially in music. Music is not taught the same way as math, science, religion, language arts. Although music does incorporate all those other disciplines. What thepriest does do is have an "assembly" once each month, on Catholic Culture, where the older grades are lectured, in a quiet, low toned monologue, albeit including some questions. Of course the kids mostly behave there. He's a priest. He's not a real person. If he were to teach in the classroom without the collar, and without anyone knowing he's a priest, and had to be addressed simply as Mr. . . . , well, then, he might begin - MIGHT, I say, begin to have a tiny bit of respect for real teachers, and get off the glory horse of saving a dying school and parish (which is not the case).

My parting words, after I was told that it would take a long time to find a replacement for me, was "Well, keep reading the blogs." I hope he does. He's a nice guy, generally. Humility is not his suit, and there is this entire convoluted style of how people need to be managed. It's something I still find very distatesful. Especially after meeting the staff and faculty - all of whom (well, with the exception of one returning faculty, and two new ones) are exceptionally skilled and talented, and just downright lovely persons who regularly share and show the love of our Blessed Redeemer.

God's blessings to all.
SteveO. . . the unemployed


BWK to my wife Ann for this!


Friday, October 23, 2009

School Up, Parish Down, or Vice Versa?

My recent situation has been working in the crafted design of building a parish music by infiltrating the parish from the school. The concept could work, but not without huge difficulties.

Especially with only one music staff member. In such an environment, the musician will always lose. A person cannot work full time in a school and work full time (or 3/4 time) in the parish. One part of the position will always suffer.

Classroom preparation time, class planning time, meetings, extra mandatory appearance times, etc., all dig not only into the schedule of a human being, but also into the energy reserve.

Consider the K-1 group which I recently worked with. Delightful and beautiful children - oh, my. And they could be a bit rambunxious, as well (consider the age! Oh, to have that energy and wide eyes waiting to see what comes next). By the end of the first quarter, I discovered a way to have most control, keep the kids excited, and work their voices - simultaneously! Our entire class time was spent SINGING. Not vocalise as you might expect. Not hymns, pious ditties (although they got into the time on occasion), not how to read the music staff notes.... we sang everything - actually, I sang, the kids repeated. Doing this, we worked on intervals, both major and minor; their vocal ranges were strengthened, and in some cases, widened; their attention was more focused because they knew that if they didn't pay attention, they might lose out on the excitement. Then, one day, the boss showed up to finish working on my computer (he's the guru - wish I knew an iota of what he knows about the computer). His presence, during class time, was disruptive. It took a lot of hard work, and patience, to regain some of the momentum that was lost when he appeared. The kids were being natural - the boss thought they should have behaved better, because he's a priest. Au contraire, mon pere. The kids want to like you, and they want also to see what you are doing at their teacher's desk! This doesn't make them bad kids, nor does it make them a poorly behaved class (except for this occasion). And to suggest, later on, that those kids should not have received a satisfactory grade on their report cards??? It's a difference of perspective, perhaps. I don't view children, young or old, as adults or automatons. They're all free thinkers - sponges, too. The kids also knew something the two adults in the room didn't want to believe: there can only be one leader in the room at a time. Had another teacher been there, or a parent, or staff member, the situation probably would have been much different. But the other person was the boss, the pastor: a priest. Who do you think is going to "win" the attention contest?

So recently I was told that I'm not tough enough on the kids.

When the students come to my room:
K-1 is fresh from PE.
2-3 is fresh from their 20 minute lunch time
4-6 boys fresh from religion with the associate pastor
4-6 girls fresh from PE.

The kids cannot come into the music room like little soldiers marching to a beat, facing the same direction, holding their hands the same way, standing and sitting exactly the same way and on order, etc, etc., ad nauseum.

The academic program, while I may disagree with a few of the proponents, is tough. Many demands are made on the students and their home room teachers. Music is not a class in quantum mechanics, astrophysics, etc. (Although some of their questions can be "way out there" sometimes). Music is a gift of God to the human spirit (mind, soul, heart, intellect, emotion, sight, sound, touch). In time, kids mature and begin to grasp a few adult concepts for music. But they can't be kept to a rigid routine that sucks the very enjoyment, learning and excitement out of the art. That is why I allow the kids to wiggle a bit - so long as their wiggles are confined and not destructive of other people or property - or so outward that even I lose my concentration. And kids are more relaxed when they sing, if they are not in a tense position, either sitting or standing. And please, God, forgive us for expecting them to sing beautifully while kneeling.

When I'm teaching the kids to frame their phrases, we use the arms and hands to demonstrate the arch of the tune. We raise hands, stomp feet, etc., to demonstrate the rhythm, find the accents and pulse. A child doesn't learn that standing in formation that Sr. Mary Mean Jeans would appreciate, or Msgr. Dele Sade, as well.

So, the priest wants to build the parish music program through the school. It's an admirable concept and idea, but not imminently practical.

What could have worked here? (Aside from my being disrespectful even when being taken to the cleaners emotionally and time wise)....

Let the students be the various choirs of the parish. The format would need to change, but not so much as I might have thought:

Music classes/Choir classes, three days a week. Not four. Not five.

First two days, music for Mass, vocal technique, liturgy and theology all become entwined. This helps to bring about a well-educated chorister - one who knows the why's and how's of choral singing at whatever stage they are in. The third day, music theory, history, listening to all kinds of music, classical and contemporary. It's all available, and at very low cost, if any, thanks to the internet.

Each group of singers could then participate in one Mass each month. That eases the stress not only on the students, but on the parents, as well.

The kids would be prepared for their weekend Masses - and have time to be learning to be effective leaders in worship - without the stress of regular tests (like directors don't know what the kids don't know??? I always do.)

People in the parish see the choir as a parish choir and not an elite group singing from the school for a special occasion. This isn't worded exactly the way I want to do it - will work on that another time.....

This past week, I was told that the music room needed to be totally emptied so the youth group could turn it into a haunted house (the whole portable undergoes a transformation from the good, healthy and fun, to the dark world of demons and gore. . . which is why the teenagers love it...imagine what they'd think if they saw the real catecombs!). Anyway, I was ill - truly. You don't want to know so don't ask. . .

The newly appointed interim principal taught in that empty classroom two days (I think he only had the younger groups). This was the same room that I was not going to be allowed to teach in - my classes would have to have been held in the nave. And it became very obvious - what was happening. I was told several weeks ago, the date to have things cleared out. I negotiated a different date with the youth director, who wasn't going to really need the big room for two days early in the week - - - that would have been great. Two days in the classroom, a day off, then two days in the nave (without computer, desk, resources, etc). That date got changed back. Why? Because the mind was made up, the order given and the order would not be changed. Regardless. Still, I really want the kids to have great time tonight.

I've not been officially canned yet, and already I've heard from seven different sets of parents.


God's blessings! More to come (blessings and writings)

Probably jobless, but enjoying the 70 degree weather! Deo Gracias.

Don't Go, Sir! You Can't Leave, Sir!

So the newly assigned interim principal came to collect keys from me Thursday, following the Mass, and to tell me that I had a royal request to meet with him and the Pastor later that day. Told him I was busy - which I was. He also got told that what I was doing was not his business, which is wasn't. Principal was telling me that "we need your keys, sir." I guess he learned to talk like that in principal school at the Moody. I told him no keys until I had all my belongings. My belongings, which include an outstanding organ works library are more valuable than anything I own. Too many years working for all that to let it be held for ransom (which I doubt the Pastor would ever do, by the way).

The parish Fall festival is from 5.30-10.30 tonight. Hope they have a terrific crowd. The weather is absolutely marvelous for such an event (rain, rain, stay away).

But sometime Saturday I will meet with the Pastor. Firing a person is never easy. Quitting a position is never easy, either - even when you know the position is only meant for a stick puppet, or someone who doesn't mind being micromanaged.

So I think I've learned the lessons.... we can pray anyway... ;-)
1. When you see red flags quickly hoisted up the flagpole, be polite and run like hell in the opposite direction. The Holy Spirit gives us immediate insight into situations, but we have to be willing to see them, and act on them when we do.

2. Don't think that you can do something which is impossible. It ain't possible. Even for a puppet. A puppet will always have someone's hand where you don't want it - moving your body where it just ain't natural.

3. When you are told to be careful of whom you are able to trust, consider the source. There is always a reason for that. (As in the new series "V", when the vixon says to the interviewer, "Just try not to ask any questions that might put us in a bad light.".... (she'll probably eat him for dinner later....)

4. If a person won't compromise, then one of the two parties is probably not going to ever be able to make headway in a sacred music program.... Which means simply that when a person has their mind made up down to the nth detail, a real, creative and successful musician will never be happy, or stand a chance to be used by the Holy Spirit to bring about a wonderful music ministry.

In all, my experiences have been wonderful. I love the people of the parish. They are real, not phoniebalonies. The children? Their home life and situation is not the most important thing in the world when I teach. Each individual child is a gift from God to me as well as their families. Never have I had so many high-five's, hugs, kind emails, pictures drawn, etc. Even on the "dark days" they made life totally livable. Plus they sound very nice, considering they've not really had vocal training! And to think that about 85% of them make it into head tone in the early part of class, amazes me. The few who don't just need a bit more individual/small group attention.

So please keep everyone in your prayers. The pastor, the associate, the parents, the students, the teachers and other staff. They all need them.

In another post, I'll share how the situation could have been made wonderful - within the fine art of compromise (without anyone losing their dream of an outstanding final product).

God's blessings,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Get Real, Priestie

So Sunday was the school Mass: the usual fare for us, except that the kids (2-6 graders) were singing a tune which I composed in 1981: Christe qui Lux, sung to the text by Fred Pratt Green, Christ is the World's Light. They were nervous... our routine was totally obliterated.... my classroom has been totally emptied in preparation for the haunted house (and you don't want me to get started on that one).... so no classes in the classroom for one week, I was told. This also meant that there was no choir rehearsal, no planning work, no computer work.....nothing, nada, you get the idea.

So we had to do something none of us like to do: warm up in the nave. It was difficult to get the kids to up their volume, but they did - until more people started coming in.

The piece was to be sung at the offertory. The volume - quite low. But the tone, beautiful. All the kids, except one, in head tone (am I good or what? Or at least humble?)

At the announcement time after the post-communion prayer, the priest told how nice it was to see the students there... and thanked them for bringing the gifts forward, and reading, and serving. And the choir... "I heard you very well on the Agnus Dei, but it was very soft on the Christ is the World's Light."

One teacher came to me afterwards - FURRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEUS....and then she heard my take on it. Her furious was just pussyfutting around. I gave her the real anger story.... she agreed!!!!!!

How dare ANYONE, especially a priest, come down on the kids like that!!!! At Mass. In front of all the parents and parishioners. He's a balless, spineless wonder.

If I had a kid there and he did that, it would be the last time......

He thinks that because these people are not upper middle class hispanic folks, that they are somehow lacking good taste, excellent theology, good upbringing..... this priest is racist to the core, and a jackass to the end.

Have I spilled enough of my feelings, get the point across.

Fortunately, Katie will return home tomorrow afternoon, after a two month absence (taking care of her parents in TN)......

Dooley and I will be fine and happy! Tomorrow afternoon.

Gotta run. The stomach calls.

All this reminds me of the Carol Burnett take off years ago...... As the Stomach Turns.

And to all a good nunc dimit.


Meeting, Schmeeting, now kiss my ordained fanny

Well, he acted as though he were listening - taking notes, occasionally sitting farther back in the chair, those sort of things.

The incidents on how he treated my wife..... always an excuse....even when lies were caught and brought out.... he stuck to his guns.

Micromanagement.... that's "how I manage and I have to do it that way to make sure things go the way I want them to go." "It's not a sign of mistrust" (right. Bullshit.)

The lack of a bathroom in the portable building far, far away from the main potty place.... and even farther away from the one staff is supposed to use. I can't take my lasix if there's not a potty. Even if a volunteer was going to do all the installation work gratis! "There are other things that are higher on the priority list." "Period."

"And remember that you have to be present for the parish festival activities Friday evening... you won't have to man a booth for all 5 hours, but you need to be there."

To which I responded: I am not going to be there! There is no way that this can happen. I go home, take medicine and spend the rest the rest of the evening worshipping johnnie.....

He sat back. Then reiterated his remark, and I stood firm and said, "It's not going to happen. Period. I will not be here."

And on and on and on it went for 90 minutes, practically. And he wasn't willing to budge one inch.

This guy thinks that you sit on the bench for one hour and it takes no energy (physically, spiritual or mental) to play the liturgy...and that it takes no preparation.

He thinks that 12 hours of teaching takes no preparation - and that the kids must come in and out of the classroom in perfect formation ("like it's a liturgy"), totally coordinated postures, the same drills day in and day out.

He is, to put it mildly..... reminiscent of a person who is totally commited to himself and his ideals and goals ONLY. And that others are there only for him to do his thing.

No one else is to have a life.

There is much more to this, but..... we all know it ain't worth talking about.

However - there are two little issues he will soon have to deal with: Wage and Hour Board (since he docks salaries without people acknowledging it), and some attorney comments that were posted in the bitching section. Thanks, man! I needed this.

In the meantime, if you hear of a position.....

At the close of the school mass Friday, I had the kids sing "Glory and Praise to our God".... and sing it they did.... albeit under my direction, and bel canto.

Said pastor left the sanctuary and processed out very quickly before the second "verse" had gotten up and running well......

And Sunday....well, that's another post!

God's blessings to all of you.


Saturday, October 17, 2009


NFL Edition


At least after halftime, anyways!

In light of blowing a 17-7 halftime lead to the Denver Broncos, losing 20-17 in overtime, I figured that this might just be the new "fight song" of the Patriots. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Well, things just don't seem to be going well here, and the boss and I will have a sit down in a few hours to discuss it all. On the docket:

1. I think that playing 9 Masses each week is way too many. He thinks that 10 hours of my time for playing the 5 weekenders, along with "set up" is enough..... correct me if I'm wrong in thinking that it takes several hours to practice, and that happens AFTER spending several hours selecting, then reselecting, then finalizing the music, then putting the music bulletin together, printing and folding it. Yeah, the secretary could do that, but this would be an add on to her already heaping high plate full of things he has her doing already!

2. Extra required attendance: all home school ass. mtgs, and having a group of kids singing at each mtg.

3. playing weddings/funerals (if designated as "parish wide" whatever that means) for free; and only being able to charge a max of $50 (right...) for other weddings/funerals.... AND I must take care of seeing to it that all other musicians coming in to play for those events follow our rules....

4. the distinct impression that over 40 hours should be warmly welcomed because it's the nature of an ecclesiastical vocation (I've been at this 43 years. He's been a priest 15 years, which means that while he was still in heaven waiting for the creative juices to form him, I had already been sitting on the bench 28 years.....)

Is it just a shit*y attitude that I have? I mean, golly, Wally! I love this vocation, this profession.

It's always been my vocation! And in the number 1 spot, too. Until I had been playing 25 years and got married. Then being a husband took the number 1 spot.....!!!!!!! That is a vocation I'll never give up.

Comments, anyone? Anyone read this stuff??????


Monday, October 12, 2009


Anticipated Mass for Sunday XXIX - October 17, 2009
Chapel of Our Savior, Brockton, Massachusetts

The third of three Saturdays at the beloved mall Chapel...

Hymn numbers are in Breaking Bread (OCP).

In: HYMN 203 Praise to the Lord, the Almighty ("Lobe den Herren")
Gloria: Jesuits Mass (Foley)
Psalm and Alleluia of the day from Respond and Acclaim
$$: HYMN 420 There's a wideness in God's mercy ("In Babilone")
Sanctus and Agnus from Heritage Mass
Mysterium and Per Ipsum: Danish
+: HYMN 483 The King of love my Shepherd is ("St. Columba")
Marian Meditation: HYMN 702 Salve Regina (Mode V)
Out: HYMN 748 Alleluia! sing to Jesus ("Hyfrydol")


Sunday, October 11, 2009


BSHOBL got the Nobel Peace Prize? WTF? It definitely didn't take the powers that be that long to "think this through", as the man became President on January 20, 2009, and nominations had to be submitted on February 1, 2009, not even two weeks later. Who the hell paid who off?

So, while the Obaminaiton receives his Nobel Prize, I hand out my WTF award to the people who handed him the Prize.

UPDATE: I just got the latest reaction from Sesame Street's beloved Cookie Monster.

Also (RSCT and a big wet kiss to my wife Ann for this), this from Big Bird...


UPDATE 10/18/09: SteveO has informed me via e-mail that the Obamination has just received the Heisman Trophy after watching a college football game.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

We'll still have Masses this week.....

So Sunday after the 10am Mass, I was sitting in the p.h. having breakfast - served and sold by the altar servers....the boss walks by and says, "We're still having masses this week. I'll be gone for a few days. Let's plan on meeting Thursday."

Well, it's a Catholic church, OF COURSE we're going to have Masses. The thing is.... IT'S FALL BREAK..... EVERY staff member, faculty, etc., of the school will be off from Saturday, 10/3 until Sunday 10/11, and report back to the school on 10/12. But he expects me to spend my time at the church playing Masses -

Needless to say, breakfast was spoiled by my totally rotten attitude. The good thing is that we had around 11 members of the youth group attend the rehearsal. We rehearse again next week and will sing the Wesley Lead Me, Lord during Holy Communion. We'll be doing that same piece on 10/18 with the upper grades of the school students, with the harmony being provided by as many adults as I can talk into singing!

The adult choir is not picking up very quickly, but those who do attend are absolutely wonderful people.

And Katie will be coming home (first time in nearly two months)!! this week - short stay of two weeks, but that's better than not at all.... her parents are disintigrating physiologically. Sad.

Funeral this morning (Monday) - 90 year old man much loved in the community. He truly lived the Beatitudes. His daughter and son-in-law are some of the kindest people I've ever met in my life (and of course, they love Katie - but you would, too, believe me!!).... Dooley will be thrilled to see his mommy again.

And maybe the pooping in the living room will come to an end.... he thinks it doesn't stink.

God bleshall

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Anticipated Mass for Sunday XXVIII (Ordinary Form)
October 10, 2009 - 5:30 and 7 PM
Chapel of Our Savior, Brockton, Massachusetts

The second of three weeks that I get to fill in while the regular organist enjoys her vacation. The Mass settings are those that the regular organist uses, except for the memorial acclamation. The hymns are of my own choosing. Numbers refer to Breaking Bread by OCP.

Entrance: HYMN 448 O God, our help in ages past..."St. Anne"
Gloria: from the "St. Louis Jesuits Mass"...Foley
- (the only bullet I have to bite.)
Psalm 90 ("Fill us with your love, O Lord") and Alleluia: from Respond and Acclaim...Alstott
Offertory: HYMN 643 This day God gives me..."Bunessan"
Sanctus and Agnus Dei: from "Heritage Mass"...Alstott
Memorial Acclamation ("Christ has died") and Amen: Danish
- (the original choice was "Keep in Mind", but I got Fr. Jerry to let me change it, as "Keep in Mind" is NOT a memorial acclamation).
Communion: HYMN 322 You satisfy the hungry heart..."Bicentennial"
Meditation: HYMN 702 Salve Regina...Mode V
- (after all, it's October!)
Recessional: HYMN 416 I sing the mighty pow'r of God..."Ellacombe"



I didn't post this last week, simply because the cantor at St. John's reads our snark blog regularly. But I can now say this...

I interviewed at the Church of St. Thomas Aquinas in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston on Monday of last week. The organ was an interesting sort - a three-manual E. and G.G. Hook tracker built in 1854, rebuilt by George Hutchings in 1892. This organ received a Historic Organ Citation from the Organ Historical Society in 2000. The attached console with very high seat and extra high pedal board made for some interesting posture while auditioning (I'm only 5'11", so it's not like I'm a man of NBA height).

The conversation with the pastor, Fr. Michael Harkins, went over very well, IMO. I like a lot of his liturgical outlook, and I like his desire for dialogue between music director and pastor. Further, a good friend of mine had attended Holy Mass there and gave me the music list for that day. On the most part, I thought it was very respectable, as did he. The only bullet bitten was Shepherd Me, O God by Marty Haugen.

However, all came to an end when I got an e-mail the following Thursday. The incumbent organist decided to stay on board. Truthfully, I have no problem with an incumbent having a change of heart. I'd be curious as to where he had originally intended to go. I might give THAT a shot. Hey, at least it wasn't "Thank you for your interest. However, we hired someone else."


To boot, just last Tuesday, Fr. Harbour at St. John's (where I had been filling in for the late Paul Martin) called me up. I didn't get that job either. The factor, of course, was the skills (or lack thereof) needed to take charge of the Spanish Masses. After all, the Spanish Mass crowds outnumbered the English Mass crowds by a 7:1 margin. So, there was a good idea where Fr. Harbour had to set his priorities.

There's something unique about this rejection, though. I give Fr. Harbour a load of respect, more than most, for the simple reason that he was man enough to actually give me a call, face up to letting me know of his decision, and even WHY he made his decision, as opposed to the typical chicken-shit rejection letter that I'm used to receiving elsewhere. I find Fr. Harbour to be a very holy man of God, I thank him for having me for the three months I was there, and I wish him and his parish well.


The last organist before Paul Martin was Dave Sylvester, another good friend of mine, who has been keeping me abreast of any job openings he may hear of. The two men ran neck-and-neck in terms of longevity at St. John's. Paul was there 19 years (1990 until his death in 2009). Dave was there 20 years (1970-1990). It was he that actually revived the organ at St. John's in many ways upon his arrival. He also let me in on the two reeds marked "Hautbois l'ouvres" and "Trompette l'ouvres". As I mentioned before, these two make great chorus reeds. In all actuality, these two reeds are simply loud Gambas. There was much more that he was telling me about the organ last night, but I didn't get to absorb it all (after all, it was 10:00 last night).

It was still a fun organ to play, and I felt like a pro playing it.


is when I got the e-mail from Fr. Jerry DiGiralmo, the director at the Chapel of Our Savior, asking me to fill in while their organist is away on vacation. I got a lot of compliments last night after both Masses. I'm looking forward to the next two Saturdays there. BTW, that same friend I mentioned that attended Mass at the Boston church where I interviewed/auditioned is the same friend who gave my name to one of the Brothers at the Chapel, who, in turn, gave it to Fr. Jerry. So I say, thank you Rich! ;)


PS: On Friday, October 9, the Chapel will be holding an Extraordinary Form Mass. Unfortunately my hours at the day job (that's another story - grrrr!) prevent me from getting there that night. It's understood that the choir that sings the Extraordinary Form Mass at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Church in Newton, MA, will provide the music that night. Should be really good!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi - 5:30 and 7 PM
October 3, 2009 (Anticipated for October 4)

Chapel of Our Savior, Brockton, Massachusetts

For the next three weekends, I'll be filling in for the two Saturday Masses at the Chapel of Our Savior in Brockton, MA. It's an interesting little chapel, located behind a mall. There are no Sunday Masses here. However, the Chapel celebrates two Saturday anticipated Masses. The Chapel is staffed by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. This will be my first time ever working FOR Franciscans (although I have had Franciscans as visiting priests before).

This weekend, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron (and founder) of the Franciscan order, will be celebrated at the Chapel. The readings will be taken from that Mass.

The musical settings of the Mass were the choice of the powers that be. The hymns were my choice. The numbers are in Breaking Bread.

Entrance: 548 All creatures of our God and King..."Lasst uns erfreuen"
Gloria: Celtic Mass...Walker
Psalm: You are my inheritance, O Lord...Tone 8G
Alleluia: Mode VI
Offertory: 479 I heard the voice of Jesus say..."Kingsfold"
Sanctus / Agnus: Heritage Mass...Alstott
Christ has died / Amen: Danish
Communion: 492 Make me a channel of your peace...Temple
Recessional: 730 Lift high the cross..."Crucifer"