Welcome – Pastor’s Reflection (September 6, 2015)
We stand on the cusp of the true new year. Once the rites of Labor Day have been observed it will be time to get going. For us, the Parish of St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Catherine of Siena, this will mean taking up the work of growth. We will grow profoundly through the work of welcoming new people and new situations. This Sunday at St Catherine’s we will be welcoming the talent and energy of James Wetzel as Interim Organist and Choirmaster. From here I will let James introduce himself.
Pittsburgh-born James D. Wetzel is the newly-appointed Director of Music and Organist of the Church of Saint Catherine of Siena and from 2010-2015 was Organist and Choirmaster of the Church of Saint Agnes on 43rd Street. James is the Assistant Conductor for the Greenwich Choral Society in Connecticut, accompanist for the New Choral Society in Scarsdale, and Assisting Organist at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine where he formerly served as Organ Scholar under Bruce Neswick. Also, he is an adjunct lecturer at Hunter College and he teaches at the Saint Thomas Choir School.
As an organist, recent highlights include performing at the Berkshire Choral Festival and with the Collegiate Chorale, the Orchestra of Saint Luke’s, the American Symphony Orchestra, and the American Classical Orchestra. He is a board member of the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and the Catholic Artists Society.
Mr. Wetzel earned a bachelor’s degree in organ performance from Juilliard under Paul Jacobs and a master’s degree and a post-graduate professional studies certificate in choral conducting from Manhattan School of Music under Kent Tritle. He also studied privately with Donald K. Fellows and Robert Page. Additionally, James spent a year studying Early Christianity and Apologetics at Columbia University.
I hope you will all make James welcome in our midst and that his craft will serve our development in worship over the next year. A chance to welcome and to grow will come in a week’s time on Monday, September 14, when the Church celebrates the great feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. We will honor the day with a Solemn Mass at St. Catherine’s at 6:30 PM. Highlights are;
Mass for Double Choir – Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
Christus factus est – Anton Bruckner (1824-1896)
O salutaris hostia (1857) – Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)
Upcoming Sundays will give me the chance to introduce you to more new people in these pages. Meanwhile, let me lay out for you our September and its opportunities for growth.
On Thursday, September 10, at (time) Fr. Jonah Pollock will begin sessions of the RCIA at St. Catherine’s. If you are feeling the call to begin or complete your initiation into Christ, maybe now is the tine to take the step.
After the Saturday 5:15 Mass and all Sunday Masses at St. Catherine’s on the weekend of September 12-13 our Catechist, Lisa Harrelson, will be available to register young people for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (ages 3-6 and 6-9) and for the Ignite Youth Ministry program (ages 10-14).
At 4 PM that same afternoon, September 13, Mary Schwarz will begin the RCIA sessions at St. Vincent Ferrer. Again, here is another exceptional opportunity to grow in faith and come into intimacy with the Risen Lord.
On September 14, please join us at St. Catherine’s to celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross with a Solemn Mass at 6:30 PM.
If you would like to enroll your child in the religious education program at St. Vincent Ferrer, please come to the Priory on September 16, 17, or 18, from 4 PM to 7 PM. Dolores Getcher, our Coordinator, will be happy to register you. The curriculum for this program is available at the guard stand in the vestibule of the church.
On Sunday, September 20, at the 10 AM Mass at St. Vincent Ferrer, Dolores Getcher will resume her ministry of Bible Storytelling for Children. They, and she, will have a wonderful time.
On the same day, September 20, we will celebrate the inaugural Mass of our new parish. We will begin with Morning Prayer at St. Vincent Ferrer at 1:15 AM and process. saying the Rosary, to St. Catherine’s for Mass. Please join for a day of celebration, commitment and witness.
Parish Study will begin this year on Tuesday, September 22, with a year-long program that will provide the core for a whole plan of parish renewal. Details will follow next week.
Save the date for Friday, October 2, the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels, when we will have one of our lovely and intimate Masses at the High Altar at St. Vincent Ferrer. Mark Bani and his quartet of singers will help us entrust ourselves anew to to the ministry of our heavenly companions.
Sunday, October 4 brings us back around to our annual celebration of Confirmation with Bishop Gerald Walsh at the 12 PM Solemn Mass at St. Vincent Ferrer.
Shortly thereafter, on Wednesday, October 7, follows the splendid Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. We will honor it with a Sung Mass and Procession at 6 PM at St. Vincent Ferrer.
May the days of this long weekend offer us all a true rest, one that leaves us grateful for the work that has come our way.