ORPUS Christi Watershed was granted 501(c)3 status by the State of Texas on the feast of Saint Jean de Brébeuf and Saint Philip Howard: 19 October 2006. I began working for Watershed as a $7.00 per hour employee (back in 2007). For half a decade, I’d been dedicating my musical works to the North American Martyrs; e.g. the Schola Cantorum I directed in 2002 was named in honor of Saint Gabriel Lalemant. Imagine my surprise to discover in 2010 that CCW was founded on the feast of the Jesuit martyrs! It’s difficult not to see Divine Providence; because this choice was made by the Texas Secretary of State without our knowledge.
Saint Philip Howard • Readers know our devotion to the English martyrs; e.g. the Brébeuf Catholic Hymnal contains hymn texts written by saints like Father Robert Southwell, Father Edmund Campion, and Saint Thomas More. One of the English martyrs was Saint Philip Howard, 13th Earl of Arundel (d. 1595). The wife of my colleague, Professor Weaver, was kind enough to record the following hymn (written by Saint Howard during his captivity in the Tower of London). The melody is by Kevin Allen, a very great composer of authentic Catholic music. I hope readers will consider researching the life of Saint Howard, whose biography is fascinating.
November 1st • The feast of All Saints is coming up, on November 1st. Here is an ancient hymn—traditionally sung In Festo Omnium Sanctorum—called “Placáre Christe Sérvulis” (a.k.a. Christe Redemptor Omnium). The remarkable English translation comes from a special Roman Catholic collection published in 1684AD.
A Haunting Tune • That wonderful melody, written by the great Flor Peeters (d. 1986), has a beauty which can only be described as “haunting.”