Happy Wednesday to you all.
I am writing this entry, which I will post a little later, high above the United States, somewhere around 36,000 feet. I’m on my way to the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, California. I think that every Catholic in the United States and Canada should try to attend this conference at least once in his or her Catholic lifetime. To be with tens of thousands of Catholics who share their love for Jesus Christ, as well as their interest in all things catechetical and liturgical is a real treasure.
Yesterday at World Library Publications where I am privileged to serve as the associate publisher, we had a modest kick-off luncheon for our staff, to celebrate all that we have done to prepare for Congress. As a publisher, we sponsor many of our musicians, artists, authors, and composers at the Congress. This is a special year for us, since we are sponsoring many musical events. For those of us who “work the floor,” staffing our WLP booth at the Congress, the next four days will be, in a word, grueling, but also very exciting. We know deep in our hearts that the resources we have for people to use in their parishes and in their own spiritual growth are among the very best.
I told my teams yesterday about what it is like for me when I get on my hands and knees and begin opening shipping bin after shipping bin at the Congress. These bins contain our resources. We spend hours setting up our booth. As I look at the resources I am taking out of the bins, I begin to think of the staff at World Library Publications. I think of the people who establish strong relationships with our authors, composers, and artists. I think of the editors who work so hard to make sure that everything about the inside of the resources is as close to perfect as humanly possible. I think of those who listen to every note of a recording and work as hard as humanly possible to help shape recordings so that they touch the human heart and spirit. I think of the artists and designers who sit for hours in front of computer screens in a semi-lit art and production area, working on the design and typesetting of thousands of images, hundreds of thousands of words, and what always appear to me to be millions of notes on staves year after year. I think of the people in our marketing department—all of whom will be on their hands and knees with me in Anaheim—who look at our resources and get inside them, turning on their creative minds to find ways to help those we serve realize how valuable these resources are for prayer, music, initiation, and ministry. I think about the person who ensures that rights and permissions are secure so that our artists and composers are fairly compensated, as well as those whose work we cite in our own publications. And there is a special place in my heart for the women who make up our Customer Care department, who spend so much time making sure that our customers are served better than any other customer who deals with any other company in the world.
Tomorrow morning, when I begin to unload cases of books, CDs, music resources, art books, and all that we have to offer, I will know that these resources represent the work of so many people whom I am privileged to serve and lead in Franklin Park, Illinois.
Folks, thanks for reading this today. I know this doesn’t have much to do with liturgy, music, new translations, or Christian initiation, but it has everything to do with what gives me the energy and passion to get up every day and look forward to working with a most talented group of people, providing the singing and praying Church with the very best.
We’ve got very busy days from now until late Sunday afternoon. I’ll try my best to blog, especially tomorrow.
Here's a photo I took after arriving here. These are our terrific marketing department members.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.