To be the presence of Christ…
In Faith Sharing
To be the Light of the World!
SAT: 3:30-4:30 PM
Also by appointment.
TUE, THU: 7:30-8:00 AM
Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
With God's grace and parishioners' generous and prayerful prayerful support,
St. Michael has exceeded its challenge goal of $4 million dollars! As of July 22, $4.162 million has been pledged.
It is not too late to add your pledge to the total. We invite you to learn more about the campaign and to make a pledge.
In today’s gospel, Jesus encourages us, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate.” Practicing musicians know the ‘narrow gate’ well. We face it on a daily basis. As we strive to improve, we push through the narrow gates that arise each time we practice: learning a new scale, a new exercise or a promising new technique; mastering a difficult passage with impossible fingerings. The challenges never cease (nor the love), and they are not limited to the hands or the voice. We strive to overcome anxiety, self-doubt, and, truth be told, primal fear. Meanwhile we acknowledge we need to listen better, to react better, and to be gracious and responsive to others we make music with. Music is a serious discipline (see today’s second reading!). The gate always narrows, the striving never ceases; the love grows deeper.
Working musicians are in a constant state of living and dying to self, rising with each new exhilarating accomplishment, while enduring the crushing defeat of failure and frustration. Music is a deeply spiritual endeavor, because the mystery of Jesus Christ is the very essence of music. Sounds are born, sustained, and die; a fading note is said to ‘decay’ before fading into oblivion. Notes and chords have relationships, like the Trinity, one begetting another, born of love, brought to life by the breath of the Holy Spirit. Ultimately the life and death of a note, a song, a musician, a composer, is subsumed into that great cloud of witnesses in the heavens who sing their praises of God for eternity. We join them when we sing ‘Holy, holy, holy’ at Mass. Music is grace come alive as sound. God sang the universe into being. Amazing Grace!
Each Sunday at Mass, as we sing the Universal Prayers (the intercessions), I sit in awe of ‘the mystery’ that draws those assembled into unity of sound and breath, of mind and heart…of purpose. “Gracious God, we look to you; hear our prayer this day.” It’s a hint of eternity, an aural glimpse into a different reality, into ‘God’s time,’ a time beyond human understanding.
One of the great loves of my life, besides my wife and family, has been you, the singing assembly, unified in song. You have been there the whole time; it just took me years to notice. Better late than never. Each and every week, at each and every Mass, your singing makes my heart sing. It is a sustaining blessing in my life, a treasure of inestimable worth. Thank you.
As Jesus encouraged us, let us continue to encourage one another to strive to enter through the narrow gate, to push through the challenges we face, to see life and death as they truly are: signs of a compassionate and merciful God who sang all creation into being and whose Spirit continues to breathe life into our crazy world through music, through our songs, through our singing.
Tom Kaczmarek - Director of Music
Thank you, God of the Dance, for melodies and harmonies,
for voices of every pitch.
Thank you for composers and poets,
for instruments and musicians.
Thank you for ears to hear and minds to comprehend
the gift that was given so long ago,
and the gifts you still give today.
You know the needs and joys of each one here;
you meet us where we are.
God of the Dance, be the song we sing,
yours the melody we carry,
your song of peace ringing out through
all that we say and all that we do.
- Adapted from a Mennonite Prayer