Hello, new friends from my UNIV presentation!

St. Peter statue outside St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter statue outside St. Peter's Basilica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thank you so much for your interest in Gregorian Chant in the Liturgy!  It makes me truly glad to see so many people of our generation drawn towards the chant and the heightened sense of the sacred that it lends to the Mass.  Bis Orat Qui Bene Cantat was a labor of love, and I’m eternally grateful to my benefactors Dr. Kathleen Glenister Roberts of the Duquesne University Honors College, Fr. James McCloskey of the Office of Mission and Identity, and Dean Edward Kocher of the Mary Pappert School of Music, without which my presentation to you would not have been possible.
Below I have posted, for your convenience, a link to the full text of my paper, the new and innovative chant resource The Simple English Propers, the congregational pew resource The Parish Book of Chant, and the website of the Church Music Association of America (CMAA).  I received several questions about how to go about introducing chant to a group that is unfamiliar with it.  If you are interested in making Gregorian Chant more available in your parish or diocese, these resources will take you far.  Nota bene: All Gregorian Chant and most of sacred polyphony is in the public domain, so downloading copies of it is always, always free.  Just like the rest of the best things in life.  If you’re really passionate about learning chant and how to teach it, I recommend attending the CMAA’s annual Colloquium.  I went last summer, and there I learned to read Solesmes notation (the most common chant notation, standardized in 1888) well, I learned about the different genres within chant and their position and function in the Liturgy, I learned how to conduct chant (very, very different from standard conducting), and I networked with people from across the USA and the UK who were much better educated about traditional Catholic music than I was.
I didn’t mean for this to turn into an advertisement for the CMAA.  But, it is what it is.  Without further ado, dear reader, your links:

One thing I beg of the Lord, one thing will I ask: that I may live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

Obviously, I didn’t stick to the original schedule of blog posting that I intended to.  I apologize for that.  After Sunday, my daily itinerary in Rome became very, very busy.  Due to our fast-paced schedule that involved walking/running almost everywhere on tough cobblestone streets, by the time I returned back to the hotel each evening I wanted to do nothing but to shower, take care of my poor feet, and go quickly to sleep.  Also I stopped having much of an Internet connection after the first few days.  While I could not remain digitally connected with you, dear friends and family, you were certainly with me in my thoughts and prayers.  At the end of this post I’ll let you know when and where I remembered your intentions, beginning on Monday where I left off.
Intentions:
Nota bene–These are the intentions I purposely listed for each day to not forget them.  I thought about and prayed for all of them at least twice, I’m sure, spontaneously at other times.  Your prayer requests really helped me to strengthen my faith, and my connection with all of you specifically and humanity in general as brothers and sisters.  Each and every one of you is so important in the eyes of God, and so is everyone you meet.  So thank you very much for allowing me to remember you on my pilgrimage.
Monday, April 2
Mass at the Catacombs of St. Callixtus
RCM, LEB, LR, MR, AR, MPR, AR, TFM, TM, NJM, ZTM, JEJ, ABJ, MIJ, GS, KMT, CM, BJL, SL, PL, RL, AJDS, Deacon MV, AC, JMW, AN, BSD, MCM(D)
Tuesday, April 3
Mass at Argogrande, a center of Opus Dei
MCG & mother, VPL, KM, Br. DDB and intentions, LD and intentions, Women of Grandevue (EM, LC, A, AA, L, GC), CAL, EL, FM, JMR, MM
Wednesday, April 4
Mass at Fraterna Domus (our hotel) and the Audience with our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI
AM, LK, ER, KM, SRM, PV, EW, LP and intentions, DD, MCG
Holy Thursday, April 5 and Good Friday, April 6
Focused on meditation of the day’s feasts/fasts and general intentions for the Pope, the Church, the world, and all souls.
Holy Saturday, April 7
AO, LET, ES, CF, JG, AR and intentions, JM, AJM and intentions, KSBS

Lord, I love the house where you dwell, the place where your glory resides.

This has been a very long day, and breakfast tomorrow is at 6:30, so I’ll try to make this as brief as possible.  Here is a small selection of the 74 photos I took today in Rome.  My flight landed at 8:30am, and I didn’t sleep very well on the plane, so I’ve pretty much been awake for three days.  But I got a second (or third or fourth…) wind when I beheld the beauty and vitality of this city.  A short description of the pictures, in gallery order:

  1. Looking up at the columns and statues that line the sides of St. Peter’s Square.  Note the exceptionally beautiful weather.
  2. The stairs and outdoor altar area of St. Peter’s, where we will be at Palm Sunday Mass tomorrow!  It will probably be decorated more at that time.
  3. I can’t believe my camera captured this gorgeous lighting decently.  I don’t need to describe to you how beautiful that view was, except to say that it took my breath away, as it was my first glance at the interior of St. Peter’s.
  4. A photo that does no justice to the Holy Spirit stained glass window behind the back altar.
  5. Another photo of the same stained glass window, with a better view of the surrounding area, but still no definition on the window itself.  I kept trying to get that shot right because it’s my favorite thing in the world, probably.
  6. “I saw water flowing from the right side of the temple,” and a mosaic of Pope John Paul II’s episcopal heraldry, on the drinking fountain.
  7. My Camelbak capturing the water from the right side of the temple!  I never knew plain water could taste so smooth and sweet as the water does here in Rome.  I half expected it to be dirty city water, but it tastes so fresh.
  8. Another shot of the outside of St. Peter’s.
  9. This is where the Pope lives!
Some of my favorite experiences of today were unphotographable — especially the tomb of St. Josemaría, where we had Mass, the tombs of Sts. Peter, Andrew, Paul, Bl. John Paul II, and other various Popes.  Enjoy the photos!  I will begin praying for all the intentions you’ve requested tomorrow morning at Mass.  Until tomorrow, good night!