This anniversary also falls on International Women's Day. I acknowledge the women in my family history, those who educated me, my friends and work colleagues. My women mentors in faith have included Margaret Oats, "Mum" Shirl and, Dorothy Day.
Peak experiences include:
- Suffering Catholic Trauma at my first communion mass with the anxiety of the host getting stuck in the roof of my mouth
- Endless childhood confessions admitting to sins I could barely pronounce
- Induction into the Guild of St Stephen by the famous Guilford Young at our first National Conference for Altar Boys (as we were in those days !!)in 1964.
- Taking vows of poverty chastity and obedience with the Capuchin Friars and then discovering that two out of three wasn't a pass.
- Falling in love with Bing Crosby instead of Julie Andrews
I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul—
How can I keep from singing?
All Creatures of Our God and King is one of those majestic pieces that sounds best in great Cathedrals and is usually dragged to death in the local parish. Naturally this comes from the Franciscan influence in my Catholicism and I got to sing it in Capuchin and other parishes all over the country.
Allelu Folk Mass is part of the work of Ray Repp who was one of the first 'folk" style church musicians beginning his publications in 1966.His settings and songs were a regular feature of my weekly singing at Nazareth House Brisbane in 1973. This clip gives you access to hours of happy listening to an era now lost in the archives of most parishes. if you haven't done so go back and read the bio. No wonder I felt the vibes singing his songs!!
Amen was one of those great anthems that we never really got the swing of. We played it twice with no hand clapping and quickly moved on to the Our Father. The 70s could have been so moving!!
Ave Verum was last sung with the parish choir at the now burnt out Church of St Joseph's in Collingwood.
Christ The Lord Is Risen Today One of the great numbers form the Living Parish Hymnal that made up my choral work in Geelong.
Come Back To Me This became a classic in my collection for for Lent from the days when Gregory Norbett was a member of the Monks of Weston Priory.
Come To The Water A beautiful clip of a choral movement. A classic John Foley hymn from the St Louis Jesuits. It was the gathering hymn for my Dad's funeral mass.
Dominique. Long before Janet Mead rocked the charts, the anonymous Singing Nun was in the charts. Jeanne Paule Deckers life is one of tragic love and the upheaval that marked the 60s. Stay on this channel to check the 1982 release of this one.
Dona Nobis Pacem. My first public performance of this great piece from the pen of Mr Mozart himself was at my first profession ceremony in the chapel of Nazareth House Brisbane in 1974
Dream Lady No collection like this would be complete without a reference to St Mary of the Cross,. This piece was written by another Australian hymn writer, Kevn Bates SM. He gets uncluded because he also comes from my birth city of Geelong in Wathaurong Country.
Faith of Our Fathers Bing Crosby was the second most important man in our house after Dad. His "White Christmas album was a sacred relic brought out for the season. Among the tracks was this version of the classic patriarchal hymn. Local Catholics will of course recognize this tune as the popular O Bread of Heaven from the Living Parish Hymnal.
Faith of Our Fathers The mothers, sisters, aunts and parish housekeepers were all left in the back row for this one. Testosterone with incense. Watch this rendition from Dublin carefully. You will notice the nice young man behind Mr Patterson does not open his lips once. I bet the producers had a word or two to say to him. In his \defense he may have been a Presbyterian!!
Filipino Mass Songs In 1979 I spent a month in the Philippines where the music and passion of a people living under a repressive martial law sang boldly and loudly of their faith.
Frank Anderson msc is here because almost every Australian parish has sung one of his songs at some stage.
Glory and Praise to Our God is now one of the standards that we sang even though it was canned by Thomas Day when he wrote Why Catholics Can't Sing.
Hail Glorious St Patrick comes from my six year stint as a primary student at St Patrick's in Geelong West.
Hail Mary Gentle Woman comes from the great Catholic warbler, Carey Landry. From 1972 his songs became a staple in schools parishes retreat centres and I bet the members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference even sang along at one of their gatherings.So, what happened to Carey when the St Louis Jesuits arrived? Well, he upped and married his travelling companion, Carol Jean Kinghorn and they have been singing happily ever after as hospital chaplains.
Hail Queen of Heaven is one of those "Are you really Catholic" hymns. You can tell that young Regina singing in this clip failed the test. She is reading the words!!!
Hail Redeemer King Divine is another one of those "real men" hymns from the Holy Name Society. My Dad used to take me along to this religious testosterone gathering every month at Ss Peter and Paul's Church in Geelong West. Love this version with its images of Christchurch Cathedral prior to the 2011 earthquake.
Here I Am Lord is one of those contemporary obligatory songs for major events. To be sung properly it should alternate between a soloist and the community. However most Catholics like to be God in this one.
Holy God We Praise Thy Name is another great anthem that rang out from the Holy Name Societygatherings in my childhood parish.
I'll Sing A Hymn to Mary probably rubs shoulders with O Purest of Creatures for the most sung Marian hymn from the Living Parish Hymnal
Jesus In Your Heart We Find comes from the Year of Faith collection of James McAuley and Richard Connolly.
Joy is Like The Rain is one of the now archived songs of the 60s that most of us have agreed never to inflict on unsuspecting congregations again. However, listening to the story behind the song from one of my favourite feminist theologians gives me second thoughts.
Kyrie Eleison One of the beauties of Catholic singing is that you get to learn several languages including Greek.
Laudate Dominum I have thrown in a few of the Latin chants from the Taize community
Lead Kindly Light was rarely sung in my youth but it is a standard as an adult from the inspiration of John Henry Newman..
Litany of the Saints is a chant that has featured in all my choral experiences from the plainchant to the newer settings such as this.
Lord of the Dance gets a mention not only because it comes from the great Sydney Carter, but also because it featured in Travelling to Freedom, the 1971 replacement for the LPH.
Make Me A Channel of Your Peace was never written by St Francis, but lets not let the facts get in the way of the Peace Prayer of St Francis. I've sung it in lots of places and sang along with the TV when it featured at Diana's funeral.
Missa Luba One of the great musical discoveries of my youth was this mass Setting. I still love singing it
Music from Papua New Guinea For two year I worked as a volunteer in the Diocese of Daru-Kiunga in Papua New Guinea. here is a set of images and hymns from their 2012 anniversary celebrations.
Now Thank We All Our God was there in the Living Parish Hymnal but I couldn't resist giving the Mormons a chance to feature.
Now the Green Blade Rises A wonderful Easter song which I learnt from the Travelling to Freedom collection
One Bread, One Body a contemporary standard loved and sung in many parishes.
Only A Shadow The Catholic version of shadow boxing religion from Carey Landry.
Our Father: How could I not include the song that still crops up in the most unexpected liturgies. And I got to meet the good lady many years later but didn't get her autograph!!
Pange Lingua Gloriousi It usually only got an airing on Holy Thursday but that was enough to have it firmly planted in the memory bank.
Priestly People For a brief time before SLJ (St Louis Jesuits) everyone in Catholic parishes sang the music of the gifted Lucien Deiss.
Shalom Chaverim got in as the most popular Hebrew text in Catholic parishes in the 1970s.
Veni Creator Spiritus The haunting Gregorian chant that I was taught as a young member of our parish choir in Geelong West.