Catholic Free Press

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  • Jul
  • 19

Choir camp at St. Paul Cathedral draws children from three parishes

Posted By July 19, 2012 | 1:14 pm | Lead Story #3
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By Tanya Connor

WORCESTER – A new choir camp centered around – and acting on – Sunday Scriptures drew 24 children from three parishes to St. Paul Cathedral July 9-15, according to its director, Ray Yu.
The children, ages 7-12, attended Mass, learned liturgical music, made crafts, and sang at a nursing home, she said.
“They really get a holistic approach to teach them about the liturgy of the word and the sacraments,” she said as the week progressed. “We ask them to come every day, starting the day with Mass, so they recognize that this is a spiritual exercise. … Learning is fun, but also there’s discipline that goes with it, spiritual and musical, and we learn to function as a community and to serve God by serving his people. … It’s learning faith through music.”
The children attended St. Paul’s 9 a.m. weekday Masses broadcast on television, where they were encouraged to sing the Eucharistic acclamations and the fraction rite they were learning, said Ms. Yu, who, as the cathedral’s director of music, works with some of them in St. Paul’s Children’s Choir.
Also attending were members of St. Paul’s not in the children’s choir, and members of Blessed Sacrament and Christ the King parishes, she said. The cost was $30 per child for St. Paul’s members and $50 per child for others, she said. They brought their lunches and closed each day at 1:30 p.m. singing St. Patrick’s Prayer with the parents who came to pick them up, she said.
While making crafts they talked about the Scripture readings for the coming Sunday, July 15, Ms. Yu said. She said they wrote their own Psalms, and Jennifer Vaughan, one of the mothers, helped them make banners they carried in procession at St. Paul’s 10:15 a.m. Mass July 15.
Sunday’s Scriptures imparted the message “that God enables us to answer the call…and that he calls us to serve and to love,” Ms. Yu said. So July 14, as a way of serving, the children sang for residents of the Lutheran Rehabilitation and Skilled Care Center at 26 Harvard St.
“The kids really enjoyed it, because they got to sing,” she said. She said the residents really liked it and the staff appreciated their coming. The children sang a couple Lutheran hymn tunes residents grew up with, she invited them to join in and they did so, she said. They also sang selections by Bach, Haydn and Handel.
In the future they might sing at other places, perhaps for retired priests, she said.
“This was a good place to start because it’s close and they’re in desperate need,” she said, explaining that the health care center doesn’t have the money to take residents out to events.
Ms. Yu said this was the first year of the camp, which was her idea, and she wants to offer it every year. She said she will probably open it up to the whole diocese next year.

Editor’s note: The 10:15 a.m. July 15 Mass the children participated in can be viewed today and tomorrow on the website www.worcesterdiocese.org by clicking on Departments, TV Ministry, TV Program Menu and Sunday Mass.