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Renew the Face of the Earth

posted Aug 5, 2012, 10:28 AM by Unknown user
This was the theme of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians 34th annual convention Fr. Robert and I attended last week in Pittsburgh, PA.  The Bishop of Pittsburgh, the Most Reverend David A. Zubik said in his greeting to us, “As you seek this week to ‘Renew the Face of the Earth,’ there are countless examples in our world of the need for that renewal.  The Church, too, must be an example of ongoing conversion and revitalization.  This year marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council, an important milestone in the church’s own ongoing renewal in the Holy Spirit.  Likewise, the Year of Faith called for by our Holy Father is another means of such renewal.”

The convention certainly is a time of renewal and revitalization – in the praying and singing, the workshops and addresses, the musical events and quiet moments, the exhibits and showcases, and above all in the colleagues and friends who gather together.  We spent time with many others from Brooklyn, including those who serve on the Diocesan Music Commission.  We also met the core committee that is founding the brand new local chapter of NPM in the New York Archdiocese, which previously had none.  We met many of the composers who’ve written the songs you sing at Mass.  And I introduced Fr. Robert to some of my fellow college alumni, especially my friend Berta Sabrio, who is Director of Liturgy and Music at St. Francis of Assisi in Fulton, MD and the NPM Chapter Director in Baltimore.

The week’s activities are planned to help us grow in our understanding of the liturgy, to further develop our musical knowledge and skills, and to be more effective ministers of prayer.  We were challenged not merely to remember the Second Vatican Council’s accomplishments and teachings, but to celebrate our continuing call to renew the Church and its liturgy, to listen ever more attentively to God’s Word, and to embrace our mission.  In the coming weeks, I’ll share with you the specifics of the events and workshops I attended, the people I met and the things I learned…