Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This Sunday we celebrate Corpus Christi—the gift of Christ’s body in the Eucharist. To do so we will have a special period of adoration beginning in the Upper Church at 3pm followed by a procession to the All Souls-Pro Life Chapel where Benediction will take place. This procession and Blessing brings the blessing of Christ to our whole campus and wider community. I hope you will join us.

As we enter Ordinary Time, I have asked Fr. Richard and the deacons to join me in preaching over the next seven weeks on the seven sacraments of the church. This is a time for us to receive a renewal of our understanding of the sacraments, increase our devotions and improve our reverence and commitment.

Over the summer months I will be working with our organist and choirmaster to lay the foundations for an improved music program at OLR. We praise God for our beautiful church building and thank the members of our girls’ choir for holding our music program together so well during the COVID crisis.

Now we need to re-build and I will be sharing with you over the next weeks some of the principles and practices of a strong and inspiring music program. To start with, I would remind you of the importance of congregational singing. St Augustine of Hippo said “To sing is to pray twice.” In other words, when we sing psalms, chant, and good, orthodox hymns, we pray with our minds using the words, but the music and melody runs more deeply. Through the beauty of music our hearts are opened. I encourage you to sing with your whole heart and mind at Mass. As we sing together our hearts are opened not only to the Lord, but also to one another.

For the congregational singing to succeed it needs to be led not only by the organ, but also by a strong, musically literate, committed choir. Next week in the pastor’s letter I will have a few more thoughts about the uses of the choir in liturgy and a few ideas on how we can work together to build up this area of our Catholic life together.

Your pastor,

Fr. Longenecker