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Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward an STL in sacred liturgy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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"Upon the road, René was always occupied with God. His words and the discourses he held were all expressive of submission to the commands of Divine Providence, and showed a willing acceptance of the death which God was sending him. He gave himself to God as a sacrifice, to be reduced to ashes by the fires of the Iroquois, which that good Father's hand would kindle. He sought the means to bless Him in all things and everywhere. Covered with wounds as he himself was, Goupil dressed the wounds of other persons, of the enemies who had received some blows in the fight as well as those of the prisoners. He opened the vein for a sick Iroquois. And he did it all with as much charity as if he had done it to persons who were his best friends."
— St. Isaac Jogues (writing in 1643)

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Composition Contest
published 11 September 2016 by Fr. David Friel

ORE THAN THIRTY years ago, the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter & Paul in my native Philadelphia was a rallying point for an important musical association in its infancy. In those days, our cathedral and seminary music programs were led by the great Dr. Peter LaManna, whose illustrious career earned him the moniker ”Mr. Church Music.”

In 1983, in collaboration with Gerald Muller and Richard Proulx, LaManna set out to form a professional organization that would bring together cathedral musicians from across the country. In November 1984 (ten months before I was born!), seventeen choir directors from cathedrals across America gathered in Philadelphia for the first meeting of the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians (CRCCM).

In the intervening years, the CRCCM has grown significantly in membership, held annual conferences, and made several significant statements on issues related to sacred musicianship.

One of the special projects of CRCCM in recent years has been a Composition Contest. This year’s contest is especially interesting, because it seeks submissions that set the entrance and communion antiphons (with their verses) for the ordination of priests.

It is very encouraging that this contest is focusing on music for proper texts of the sacred liturgy. This not only focuses our attention on the propers for an occasion at which propers are rarely heard, but it will also provide practical resources to sing proper texts that have rarely been set to music.

Full details of the competition are available here. The deadline is October 30, 2016, and the cash award is $2000 to the winning composer.

Could that composer be among our readers?