ULTON J. SHEEN, while still a priest, wrote a wonderful set of STATIONS OF THE CROSS (granted Imprimatur on 2 April 1933 by Patrick Cardinal Hayes). A few years ago, when Bishop Joseph V. Brennan came to dedicate our stations, we gave him a Brébeuf Hymnal to read from. That book contains three versions of the STATIONS OF THE CROSS: one set by Saint Alphonsus Liguori, one set by Fulton J. Sheen, and one set by Cardinal Ratzinger. Bishop Brennan selected the version by Fulton J. Sheen. He began weeping (towards the final station) because of their beauty and poignancy.
Unfinished Project • I’m currently assisting Sophia Institute Press in a special project. A Catholic actress is creating twelve short videos explaining the Brébeuf Hymnal. The following is a “rough cut” (45 seconds long) which talks about the STATIONS OF THE CROSS:
Constructive Criticism? • If you have comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear them. You can reach me using the email address provided at the bottom of our editorial policy. I’m discovering that excessive items tend to “clutter” the film. At the Conservatory, our composition professors used to say: “A good composer understands the most crucial part of his pencil is the eraser.” In other words, a huge mistake made by rookie composers is saving (or trying to work in) everything they write. A good composer knows what to leave out. Regarding these short films, a musical track could easily be added underneath the words of the actress. Furthermore, tons of graphics could be added, as well as fancy titling—or even subtitles. However, that seems to clutter things up in an unpleasant way, almost like “gilding the lily.” The delivery by the actress (and her expressions) seems sufficient to me. On the other hand, I would like to hear your thoughts—but please present them to me in a gentle and nonabrasive manner. Thank you!
Such A Difference • I can’t express what a tremendous difference the Brébeuf Hymnal has made to our parish choral program. And yet, so many choirmasters still have no idea about the treasures waiting for them. I will continue to try to provide insight in this regard. I could not run my program without the Brébeuf Hymnal. By the way, I also find the contemporary settings by Kevin Allen to be indispensable, especially “Matri Divínæ Grátiæ” and the STOWE MISSAL COLLECTION.