No matter where I go, I hear the same thing all the time: the music is great! Often at New Member dinners for Old St. Pat’s, zip code gatherings, or in casual conversation with folks about some of the highlights for their experience at our church and this common refrain always returns: the music there is second-to-none! I am both humbled and pleased when I listen to people from around Chicago speak so fondly of their experience at Old St. Pat’s and most often their accolades are directed at our ministry of music. I think we would all agree that one of the most significant pieces of our mission at Old St. Pat’s is our commitment to excellence in the area of music. Be it on Sundays, at weddings and funerals, or for our special events at St. Patrick’s Day and Deck The Halls in December, we are blessed with sacred sounds that stir our souls.
This week marks a milestone for someone special here at Old St. Pat’s who so beautifully “pastors” our music ministry. On Thursday, September 22, we gratefully mark the 20th anniversary of Bill Fraher as our Director of Music. Although he likes to say September 27 is the day he uses to celebrate his anniversary because of his fondness for St. Vincent De Paul, personnel records indicate that on September 22, 1991, Bill began his journey as the Director of Music for Old St. Pat’s, a job he has done with extraordinary passion and skill for two decades. When you think about the scope of our music program at Old St. Pat’s, this is no small operation! Music has become a key component of the way in which we express the deeper realities of our spirit. In addition to a full slate of Sunday services, almost 150 weddings annually, numerous funerals, and so many special feast days and seasons such as Easter, Christmas, and Pentecost, I do not know of too many churches who are also hosting two major concerts on an annual basis. Thanks to his creative spirit and his ability to call forth great talent, our music program under Bill’s direction has become one of the most inspiring components of what makes Old St. Pat’s such a special and sacred experience. I know you will join me in thanking Bill for his tireless efforts and for his ongoing commitment to excellence in the area of sacred music for Old St. Patrick’s Church. CONGRATULATONS, Bill, on this great milestone of 20 years! May our God, who’s only desire is to call forth the best from each one of us, continue to inspire Bill and all of our talented musicians and choir members, as they lead us into this deeper communion through the gift of song!
Have a great week!
Fr. Tom Hurley