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Farewell to Fr. Robert

posted Jun 29, 2015, 4:27 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Jun 29, 2015, 4:27 PM ]
As we give thanks for the leadership Fr. Robert has given our parish for the last decade, I want to review just some of the many things he has done for music ministry!

He created the annual fundraiser of the Lighting of the Trees and Angels, pairing it with concerts that have included the Brooklyn Philharmonia Chorus; St. Agnes Cathedral Girls Choir and the St. Francis Preparatory School Chamber Orchestra and Choir. He commissioned Robert Weigel to compose our parish hymn, Immaculate Heart of Mary, which we sang this weekend.

When he needed to hire a new Director of Music Ministry, he assembled a search committee, giving them the tools they needed to conduct an exhaustive and effective search, resulting in my hiring! He encouraged me to procure a beautiful grand piano for our parish, and arranged to reinforce our sagging music platform. When it became obvious we needed a new sound system, once again he put together a committee of parishioners, urging us to take our time investigating and researching so that we now have a system that sounds great and will serve our needs for many years to come. He’s given me the freedom to invite many guest artists to come perform on a variety of instruments, and persuaded me to incorporate more percussion into our liturgies, especially the Exultet at the Easter Vigil!

Wanting to get our children more involved, he started Vacation Bible School, and we’ve become one of the only parishes in the country that does it with live music accompaniment! He also inspired me to form cuori BELLissimi! so kids can learn to read music while playing hand bells and hand chimes.

But mostly, he’s helped me to become a more pastoral musician, and in turn, a better person. I am grateful both professionally and personally for all his efforts and continue to pray for his many blessings.