About this blogger:
Richard J. Clark has served since 1989 as Music Director and Organist at Saint Cecilia Church in Boston, Massachusetts. He is also Chapel Organist (Saint Mary’s Chapel) at Boston College. For the Archdiocese of Boston, he directed the Office of Divine Worship Saint Cecilia Schola. His compositions have been performed on four continents.
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"The local church should be conscious that church worship is not really the same as what we sing in a bar, or what we sing in a convention for youth."
— Francis Cardinal Arinze (2005)

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A Dad’s Dilemma • I pray and God determines.
published 18 November 2016 by Richard J. Clark

HEN WORKING hard and being stretched too thin and in too many directions, one might very well question one’s life choices. Every day I struggle with being a dad and working for the Church in many capacities, dealing with professional politics as a matter of routine, and ultimately caring for both parishioners and family.

Yet working for the Church is wholly at odds with having a family and being present for them. Gone over twenty hours on a weekend. Home three to four nights after my children have gone to bed. This doesn’t work. My wife carries the burden. My kids do. On Monday mornings, my two-year-old has recently taken to saying “We got Daddy back!” I don’t know the answer and have written on this subject before.

Overwork for the sake of politics and professional survival is ubiquitous. Add to it dedication to one’s art and calling, and the result is quite a schedule! There’s never enough time.

But we work for the Church because we must. Frankly, I don’t know what else to do with my life. I pray, and God determines my path.

UT THIS WEEK is a week with many blessings. I can’t complain. A new work was premiered. I was asked by a publisher to contribute a new work. I have the opportunity to conduct the orchestral version of John Rutter’s Requiem and also perform with the amazing Richard Kelley. One week. Absolutely no complaints.

But such is also the culmination of many seven-day workweeks, and composing after the kids are in bed. I want to be present for those in the parish. But I want and must be present for my family. It’s non-negotiable.

I want to do it all. I can’t. I pray and God determines.

At the moment I’m at a loss for the proper balance and direction. But I do know that we must sing sacred music because we love. We yearn for our families because we love them greater than anything imaginable. We trust in God because He loves.

I pray and God determines.