I spent this past weekend in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. It was a peaceful place that I would often frequent when I lived in the Orlando area back in the 1980's and early 1990's. It was good to have a few days of rest and peace there, enjoying the warmth and the ocean.
On Sunday, I went to Mass at Our Lady Star of the Sea in New Smyrna Beach. Rick Shaw is the music director there; he was one of the students in the Liturgical Music Institute at Immaculate Conception Seminary on Long Island last month. It was great to see WLP's We Celebrate worship resource in the pews and to sing with this congregation. Some photos for you. Here is the font, which is located in the gathering space.
And some shots of the interior. I was captivated by the stained glass window in the sanctuary, an image of Mary, Star of the Sea.
It was good to be away. It was "mission weekend" at the parish and the homily was simply superb. The pastor there, a TOR Franciscan, was warm and friendly. The music was inviting and well done.
I came back to Chicago very early Monday morning to two days filled with meetings.
And then came last night. The 2014 Chicago "Sing the Seasons" choral reading session took place at Saint Mary of Gostyn Parish in Downer's Grove, Illinois, where more than 90 musicians gathered to sing through a wonderful assortment of WLP ritual and choral music. One word: Wow! These were excellent music readers and each piece really came alive, which is so gratifying for us here at WLP.
Here are some photos of the church. First, the substantial baptism font.
And here are some shots of the interior.
And finally, some of the crowd that had gathered; this as during our break.
It was a thrilling evening, certainly for our staff, and hopefully for all in attendance.
Headed back to California tomorrow for an RCIA talk in Buena Park, in the Diocese of Orange.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.