Sebastian Modarelli
Back

Dear Friends in Christ:

“I don’t understand why everyone isn’t clamoring to be in the choir!” Peg asks this question as she realizes how much the choir has meant for her life, Sunday mornings and beyond. I don’t blame her, as she counts how many rewards have come since her longtime belonging to this community (in this case in the form of the 9:30 choir). And she tells us some: “For me, singing in the choir at St. John’s is a perfect way to deepen belonging. It broadens friendship in a way that is different from any other and is a privilege. It invites us to work hard, sing together, and learn new things; to create beauty that enhances worship and liturgy. It truly is a way to know Christ through the gift of song.”

Sean echoes the same sentiments, expressing how much he enjoys singing in the choir: “It has been a great way for me to stay engaged in my faith and I have made many new friends.

“Friendship seems to be one of the most authentic surprises of participating in the music ministry. There’s no day in which I don’t meet friends, true friends. People that care for each other, all the way to the level of faith and the awareness of our common destiny; the life with the Father, through Christ his son, and with the Church that is the continuation of Christ’s presence. I can’t write these words without some trembling in my hands… Christ present here and now.

“Being a part of the St. John’s Choir has truly become an important part of my life,” Edi says. It may take a little effort to be on time Sunday morning, but she explains that “when Sebastian gets us warmed up, and the organ plays, and our voices are raised in praise, all of that melts away, and I feel so grateful to be a part of this liturgy. I always leave church uplifted, and ready for a new week.” Edi makes us pay attention to this truth. Why do we desire to praise God? Because we feel so grateful! If today we came here without gratefulness, we would praise God only out of fear, or from a pure formalistic way. True praise is the one that comes from a grateful heart, as Saint Paul reminds us. As Ginny, another choir member, tells us, “the choir has totally opened my life up.”

Can YOU be part of it? Take a few seconds to answer…

One of our newest members, Jeremy, offers us the response to an objection that maybe came to your mind as you were answering my question above: “I sat in the pews for a couple years before joining the choir, with a mild case of guilt that I would be leaving my wife alone with our two not-always-well behaved children during mass. When Fr. Mahon would preach on participation in the community, I knew where I belonged. So a year ago I joined the group, and I love it. I love the talent of the choristers in the group, I love Sebastian’s musical virtuosity and great sense of humor [only the latter is true], and that for such a small commitment to practice and sing, we provide such a wonderful liturgy to the community.”

If you got to the end of this article, then I hope you will join us!

Sebastian Modarelli
smodarelli@sj.org