Concert allowed listeners to recall Christmas' gift - Catholic Courier
Matthew H. Clark Matthew H. Clark

Concert allowed listeners to recall Christmas’ gift

Last Sunday at Sacred Heart Cathedral, we enjoyed an end-of-the-Christmas-season concert generously offered by the choirs of five of our parishes: The Cathedral Community, St. Paul (Webster), Holy Cross (Charlotte), St. Theodore (Gates) and St. Louis (Pittsford). Through the program the choirs enjoyed the support of oboe, piano, guitar, cello and bells.

For me and, I am quite sure, for the 300 who participated, it was a wonderful experience. The hymns sung by the choirs, and those sung by the choirs and the assembly, drew all of us back through the Christmas season and allowed us a moment to dwell on the great mystery of faith that we had celebrated — the love of God made visible and available to us in the vulnerable babe born in the manger. It was a quiet and peaceful interval that invited us to prayer and enriched our spirit. What I have just described would have been enough for me. But, there was another part of the program that deepened its meaning. It was an element of mission that allowed us to express our gratitude in a concrete and practical way for the gift that Christmas is for all of us.

We in the assembly were invited to make a free-will offering in support of two ministries which stand in loving support of sisters and brothers in need: St. Joseph’s Northside on Lyell Avenue and the Maplewood Edgerton Emergency Kupboard (MEEK). Sister Margaret Brennan, SSJ, who founded St. Joseph’s Northside on behalf of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester, and Chuck Murrman, volunteer director of MEEK, spoke briefly and beautifully of their respective ministries. The simplicity and clarity of their messages inspired the congregation to contribute generously to these two worthy endeavors.

I write about this experience today because it stimulated in me some lines of thought and prayer that I have found helpful. Among them:

1) that the generous spirit of the people at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Sunday afternoon is not at all unusual in our diocese. I am mindful that all of our parishes are generous to sisters and brothers in need.

2) that those who experience times of peace and prayer are very frequently drawn to express their gratitude for such gifts by sharing what they have with people who need support.

3) that we are blessed by the generosity of the people of our diocese which made possible the renovation of our cathedral. This allows us to invite the whole community to come to Sacred Heart not only for the Eucharist but for a wide range of events that lift the spirit, open new possibilities of service for people and remind people that we can find God in all that is fine, beautiful, human and noble.

I carry this meditation into that part of our church year that we call ordinary time. And, I do so with the hope that I can be alert in God’s presence and activity not only in special events like Sunday’s concert but in the routine and day-to-day activities that fill most of our lives.

Perhaps we can all remind one another of that exciting possibility and help one another experience it.

Peace to all.

Copyright © 2024 Rochester Catholic Press Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Linking is encouraged, but republishing or redistributing, including by framing or similar means, without the publisher's prior written permission is prohibited.

Choose from news (Monday), leisure (Thursday) or worship (Saturday) — or get all three!

No, Thanks

Catholic Courier Newsletters