"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"
Tridentine Community News (July 13, 2014):
Extraordinary Faith Episode 2: St. Paul’s Choir School, Boston
This column has many times made mention of the world-class music program at St. Paul Church in Harvard Square. Formerly known as the Boston Archdiocesan Choir School and now reverted to its original name, the St. Paul’s Choir School is America’s only Catholic boys’ choir school. Founded by Dr. Theodore Marier in 1963, the choir school sings a repertoire of Gregorian Chant and sacred polyphony in Latin and English for St. Paul’s Sunday 11:00 AM Mass, as well as for weekday Masses at 12:10 PM. During the dry period of the late 1960s through the mid-2000s, St. Paul’s maintained a strong tradition of chant, before it regained popularity in recent years.
St. Paul Parish also hosts a men’s choir which often sings with the boys. The choirs are supported by two magnificent pipe organs, one in the choir loft and another in the right transept. The organs are often played antiphonally. The proficient organ playing, the heavenly sound of the boys’ singing, especially while in procession at the beginning and end of Mass, and the marvelous acoustics of the church make for a musical experience unlike any other this author has experienced.
St. Paul’s is also known for creating one of the best hymnals of the modern era, Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Canticles, unfortunately now out of print. We regularly employ hymns from this book at our Masses here in Detroit and Windsor.
In April, 2013, the choir school sang its first Extraordinary Form Mass, a perfect opportunity to showcase their impressive skills. Our cameras were there. The Solemn High Mass happened to be celebrated by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, author of the “Fr. Z” blog. We captured an interview with Music Director John Robinson, and we featured a young student who is already an accomplished organist and composer. We also spoke with a panel of young women from Boston about the challenges of living their faith in a secular society.
Episode 2 of Extraordinary Faith – St. Paul’s Choir School – will be televised on EWTN this Sunday, July 13 at 5:00 PM and Thursday, July 17 at 10:00 PM. Beginning Wednesday, August 13, the episode will be available for viewing on our web site, www.extraordinaryfaith.tv.
This episode has three local connections: Subdeacon for the Mass was now-Fr. Joe Tuskiewicz, who was studying at nearby Pope St. John XXIII Seminary. Assistant Cameraman and Director for the Solemn High Mass segment was ubiquitous altar server Frank De Donatis. Also in attendance for this groundbreaking Mass was Juventútem Michigan leader Paul Schultz.
Can’t wait to see what’s in store? A preview of Episode 2 has been posted to the Extraordinary Faith web site. More information about St. Paul’s Choir School is available on their web site: www.stpaulchoirschool.com.
Presentation on Extraordinary Faith on July 20
Next Sunday, July 20, there will be a presentation about Extraordinary Faith after the 9:45 AM Tridentine Mass at the Chapel of the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills. Refreshments will be served, and Episode 2 will be shown.
Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
- Mon. 07/14 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Joseph (St. Bonaventure, Bishop, Confessor, & Doctor)
- Tue. 07/15 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Benedict/Assumption-Windsor (St. Henry the Emperor, Confessor)