Sunday, June 25, 2017
by Fr. Tom Hurley
For all that you did to make the World’s Largest Block Party a wonderful success, a big hearty thanks to all of you. The people of Old St. Pat’s are an amazing bunch! Your generosity of spirit and treasure, your witness of hospitality, and your willingness to jump in and make this party happen is truly amazing. On this day, after the WLBP, I also want to extend a big word of welcome to all those who came to Chicago just for this party! Each year, we have people who travel back to Old St. Pat’s just to attend the Block Party because of its great atmosphere, fun spirit, and long history as one of the greatest summer time festivals in the city of Chicago. Welcome to all of our friends and visitors today! Also, thank you to the many many volunteers who made the Block Party happen! Thank you to the great staff of Old St. Pat’s especially our fearless leader Sheila Greifhahn, thank you, thank you, thank you! Sheila has a kindness, a calmness, a persistence, and a joy that is second to none! We couldn’t do these wonderful events at Old St. Pat’s without her and her dedicated leadership.
For many of you this might be a reprise to what I announced last week, but I just want to share an update with respect to our music ministry here at Old St. Pat’s. After long, careful discernment Jennifer Budziak our music director has decided to step down. One of the great liturgical music publishing company’s called GIA approached Jennifer and offered an editorial job that she feels is right up her alley as a teacher and musician. Also mindful of the demanding schedule and responsibilities of being music director at a place like Old St. Pat’s, along with her commute from the western suburbs, and being a full time mom, this shift seems to be a better fit at this time in her professional journey. I am grateful to Jennifer for her great work here at Old St. Pat’s! Because of her great strides with our children’s choir and teens, Jennifer will continue to be with us on a part time basis during the school year to assist with our young people.
Likewise, I announced last week that Mr. Mark Scozzafave will be assuming the new role as Director of Liturgical Music. Mark, and his wife Aimee, have been around Old St. Pat’s, deeply involved in our Sunday music, for the past ten years. Many of you who often attend the 5 pm Sunday mass know Mark as the faithful piano player. Mark is passionate about music. While working in consulting, he put himself through a Masters program in music at Northwestern University. He is bright, creative, unassuming, organized, and has a great ear for music. Mark has been around Old St. Pat’s long enough to know and to share in our commitment to excellence when it comes to music.
In addition to Mark, we are being blessed with the part time presence of Mr. Dominic Trumfio, our Music Director just before Jennifer. Dominic is an awesome musician whose energy and skills will be an added bonus to our music program.
With all of these shifts in the music ministry, the one person who continues to be a great presence and a wonderful blessing to all of us musically and otherwise at Old St. Pat’s is Laura Higgins. Laura has been with Old St. Pat’s for a long time, well over twenty years. Her dedication to this church and our music ministry has been, and continues to be, a tremendous gift. In addition to Music, Laura will also be doing more in the area of Pastoral Care and helping our members and friends plan funerals, weddings, etc.
Last week when I shared this news, the people of God at the 11:15 am mass lovingly and deservedly gave Jennifer a standing ovation. Rightfully so, as we are grateful for her three years of ministry to us. But I also mentioned that the standing ovation was not only a gift for Jennifer, but a wonderful sign of the importance we devote to our music. It cannot and will not be mediocre. When we come together in this holy place, we give God our very best praise. I am grateful to both our talented staff and to all of you for helping us keep the bar high.
Another way we keep the bar high at Old St. Pat’s is through the deep, abiding value of hospitality. Please help us never waiver when it comes to welcoming the stranger, the new comer, and the seekers. We were all there at one point in time. Keep inviting others to come join you at Old St. Pat’s on a Sunday. We have to keep sharing this gift of Faith with the next generations.
A blessed, holy, and renewing summer for all of us!
Father Tom Hurley