HIS IS A SIGNATURE VOLUME chronicling the history of the Twin Cities Catholic Chorale, founded in 1955 by Father (later Monsignor) Richard J. Schuler. The Chorale is now in its 42nd season of singing with professional orchestra the great Classical and Romantic Masses of composers like Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert, as a part of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated in Latin at the Church of Saint Agnes in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
This book also recounts the important role that Monsignor Schuler played in the area of sacred music in the post-Vatican II Church. It was his heroic commitment, through word and deed, to the authentic implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Second Vatican Council’s document on music and liturgy, that helped keep the patrimony of Catholic sacred music alive in the United States for a new Renaissance. When Monsignor Schuler was accused of living in the past, he often said that he was rather forty years ahead of the times. And he is being proven correct!
About this book, Fr. Robert Skeris has written:
T IS NOT ONLY OCTOGENARIANS who are aware that the concluding decades of the XXth century were an era of rapid world-wide changes affecting every area of human life. The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council was one of the chief agents of profound changes, and that not only in the area of religious belief. The Sacred Synod neither proclaimed any new dogma nor abrogated any defined Truth of the Faith. Yet it had an enormous impact upon the prayer and worship life of Roman rite Catholics. For instance, countless buildings, from simple chapels to parish churches and even cathedrals, suffered great damage to their interior arrangements and appointments. In too many instances, this resulted in significant cultural losses. Though the artistic heritage of Catholic sacred music was acknowledged and encouraged—also on solid theological grounds!—as a treasure of inestimable worth, THESAURUM PRETII INAESTIMABILIS, indeed an integral part of solemn worship, five decades after the last Council the musical tradition of the universal Church has in fact been eliminated from Catholic sanctuaries and choir lofts in the course of the paradigm shift which followed the Council ….except at the Church of Saint Agnes in Saint Paul, Minnesota. This books explains how and why that happened. Vade, et tu fac similiter! (Lk 10/37).
We hope you enjoyed this guest article by Virginia A. Schubert, PhD.