BC Sacred Music Symposium: July 20-22, 2018

Sts. Joachim & Ann Parish in the Archdiocese of Vancouver, British Columbia, under the care of pastor Fr. William Ashley, has gained local renown for its rich liturgical life and beautiful sacred music program. All the parish liturgies are celebrated ad orientem and employ both the chanted ordinary and propers of the Mass. The Traditional Latin Mass is celebrated on Sundays and feast days, with chant and polyphony directed by the parish’s chant master, Alex McCune, and Vespers is sung every Sunday afternoon before Benediction.   

“Chant is simple music that anyone can learn,” says Mr. McCune. “Not only that, it’s music with a uniquely Catholic character. The sounds of chant grew out of our Catholic liturgy, and nothing is better suited for our worship. As Catholics, this is truly our music.”

This deep devotion to their liturgical patrimony has led several members of the parish’s schola cantorum to organize a conference, dubbed the BC Sacred Music Symposium, as a way to share and promote what they have cultivated at Sts. Joachim & Ann. The inaugural symposium will be held from July 20 to 22, 2018, at Sts. Joachim & Ann, with the support of Una Voce Canada.

“We truly believe in the power of beauty to turn the minds and hearts of men towards God,” says symposium planning committee president Ryan Bjorgaard. “This is especially true when beauty is encountered within the context of the Sacred Liturgy, which, as St. John Paul II teaches, is the privileged place of encounter with God.”

The aim of the BC Sacred Music Symposium is to invite people with a general interest in sacred music, especially those involved in parish music ministry, to come and learn, to experience the riches of the Church’s music tradition, and to be inspired. “You don’t need to have any particular expertise in sacred music to benefit,” continues Mr. Bjorgaard. “We will have workshops for people will all levels of experience, from those who have never seen a square note in their lives, to those who would have little trouble sight reading one of the great motets by Palestrina. The only real requirement is good will.”

This year’s keynote speaker and the celebrant at the symposium’s principal Mass will be Bishop Joseph Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Early registration (January and February) is now open. The early registration fee is $50 per individual participant. Group rates are available: $45 per participant for groups of 5-9, and $40 per participant for group of 10 or more.

For more information or to register, please visit the symposium website at www.stsjoachimandann.org/symposium

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Una Voce Canada 2017 Annual General Meeting

Una Voce Canada (the Vancouver Traditional Mass Society) held its 2017 annual general meeting on Saturday, November 11, at Holy Family Parish, a personal parish in the Archdiocese of Vancouver, British Columbia, dedicated to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and in the care of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter since 2008. The incumbent board of directors was re-elected by acclamation. Serving for another year are David Reid, president; Frank Chow, vice president; Lynn Reid, treasurer; Margie Mackey, corresponding secretary; Arnold Wiegert, webmaster; and Claire Phillips and Kenneth Lieblich, directors.

We were privileged to have as our guest speaker historian and prolific writer Dr. John Rao, professor of history at St. John’s University in New York City and director of the Roman Forum, a Catholic cultural organization founded by the late Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand. We are pleased to present a recording of Dr. Rao’s talk, “My End Is My Beginning: A Historical Guide to Catholic Hope in an Age of Unprecedented Collapse,” and the question-and-answer session that followed.

Dr. Rao’s talk

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Latin Mass in St. John, New Brunswick, beginning October 29

Beginning on October 29, 2017, Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Traditional Latin Mass) will be celebrated every Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at Holy Trinity Church at 348 Rockland Road, St. John, New Brunswick.

The parish has set up a webpage to answer questions that parishioners may have about the Traditional Latin Mass. For more information, please contact Holy Trinity pastor Fr. Peter Melanson at fr.melanson@gmail.com or office@holytrinitysj.com.

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Una Voce Canada annual general meeting: November 11, 2017

The annual general meeting of Una Voce Canada (Vancouver Traditional Mass Society) will be held on Saturday, November 11, following the 9 a.m. Mass at Holy Family Church, 4851 Beatrice Street, Vancouver, BC. The meeting will take place in the parish hall.

Dr. John Rao, associate professor of European history at St. John’s University in New York and director of the Roman Forum, a Catholic cultural organization founded by the late Dietrich von Hildebrand, will be our guest speaker. His topic will be “My End Is My Beginning – A Historical Guide to Catholic Hope in an Age of Unprecedented Collapse.”

Only registered members may vote during the meeting. To join or to renew your membership, pick up a form in the foyer of the church, email info@unavocecanada.org, or visit our membership page online. The cost of a year’s membership, which includes a subscription to our quarterly newsletter, is $20 for an individual and $25 per family.

A complimentary light lunch will be served following the Mass for all those who will be staying for the meeting. If you plan to attend, please sign up on the sheet in the foyer at Holy Family, email info@unavocecanada.org, or leave a message at 604-608-3552 by November 5.

All are invited!

Meeting poster | Membership form | Works by Dr. Rao

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Help support Traditional seminarians

Our Seminarian Program currently provides financial assistance to five Canadian seminarians at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary (OLGS) in Denton, Nebraska, operated by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP), and one Canadian seminarian at St. Philip Neri Seminary in Gricigliano, Italy, operated by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICKSP).

Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, Denton, Nebraska

It costs money to form and train good priests. According to the OLGS website:

“The actual cost [to form a seminarian] is about $22,000 per year. Most of this cost is paid through the generosity of our benefactors, who deserve our prayers every day … The charge for room, board, and tuition is $7,000 per seminarian, per year. This amount is substantially less than the actual cost of priestly formation, thanks to the generous support of Fraternity benefactors. Additional expenses may include books, medical and vehicle insurance, travel to/from home during breaks, etc. Candidates are expected to find benefactors (i.e., family, friends, Knights of Columbus, parish, etc.) to help pay for the various expenses associated with their priestly formation” [emphasis added].

St. Philip Neri Seminary, Gricigliano, Italy

According to the ICKSP website:

“The expense of maintaining the seminary building, as well as that of lodging, feeding, providing instruction, and supplying the necessary study materials to approximately sixty young men, is very high. Our seminarians are thus asked to contribute the relatively small amount of $1050 per month toward these costs, but many are not able to afford this contribution” [emphasis added].

With your help, we hope to donate $8,000 towards the support of our six seminarians in the coming year.

Your donation to our Seminarian Program will help form future priests who will lead souls to heaven by bringing the beauty and spirituality of the Traditional Latin Mass to dioceses across North America.

Donate now

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Fr. Caleb Insco, FSSP

… will celebrate a First Mass at Holy Family at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 15, the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. First blessings will take place before and after the Solemn High Mass. Fr. Insco was ordained on October 22, 2016, and is currently the parochial vicar at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Tacoma, Washington.

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Traditional summer camp: Holy Family Parish, Vancouver

by Claire Phillips

Holy Family Parish Camp took place at Fintry Provincial Park in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley from July 15 to 19. It was a huge success, with 117 people registered this year.

The Traditional Latin Mass was celebrated each morning by Holy Family pastor Father Daniel Geddes, FSSP, with altar servers from Holy Family and those visiting the camp from other parishes, including young men from Calgary. Deacon Graham Latimer, FSSP, assisted Father. Confession was offered daily before Holy Mass. One could also find quiet spaces for prayer and reflection.

Fun and games during the day kept everyone busy. There were impromptu nature walks, hikes, swimming, boating, and a visit to the historic Fintry House for Fintry Days. A Viking battle reenactment, music, and local vendors made a visit enjoyable. There were opportunities for meeting and visiting other campers, and the talks given by fellow campers were interesting and well received. The annual cribbage tournament was enjoyed by young and old alike, both experts and novices. As usual, the water fight was rowdy with laughs galore. Talent night featured songs, recitations, instrumentals, a card trick, and a yoyo demonstration. Fr. Geddes led the Rosary after dinner each evening, after which campers had the opportunity to “Ask Father” questions from the question box.

The weather cooperated beautifully and the forest fires in the vicinity didn’t get too close despite a few gusts of wind, doubtless due in no small part to the prayers offered by many.

Each year is unique and this one seemed especially blessed by camaraderie, community, hospitality, sportsmanship, and all that comes from a shared faith in Christ and His Holy Church.

Deo gratias!

(Photos courtesy of Claire Phillips and Carl Wolkenstein)

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Confirmations at Holy Family Parish, Vancouver

Signo te signo crucis et confirmo te chrismate salutis. In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. (I sign thee with the sign of the Cross, and I confirm thee with the chrism of salvation, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.)

With these words, His Grace the Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, CSB, Archbishop of Vancouver, conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation on 14 young men and women on the evening of July 6, 2017, at Holy Family Church in Vancouver, British Columbia. He was assisted by Holy Family pastor Fr. Daniel Geddes, FSSP, and Mr. James Eichman, a seminarian at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Lincoln, Nebraska, who was the MC for this ceremony in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

The ceremony closed with Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and was followed by a sumptuous reception in the parish hall.

(Photos courtesy of Claire Phillips)

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Fr. David Franco, FSSP

On Sunday, June 25, Holy Family Parish in Vancouver bade farewell to Fr. David Franco, FSSP, its parochial vicar for the past two years. Fr. Franco celebrated the High Mass for the Third Sunday after Pentecost, and it was a particularly poignant moment when he sang “Ite missa est” for the last time at Holy Family. The Mass was followed by a reception in the church hall. During a program emceed by Una Voce Canada board member Kenneth Lieblich, Father was presented with a spiritual bouquet from the altar servers’ Archconfraternity of St. Stephen and bested two of the archconfraternity’s members in a Star Wars trivia contest. Mr. Lieblich thanked Father on behalf of the parishioners, while pastor Fr. Daniel Geddes, FSSP, spoke of Fr. Franco’s contributions to the parish, including “many known only to God, such as the advice that he gave in the Sacrament of Confession.”

Fr. Franco begins his new assignment at the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter’s apostolate in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (Mater Dei FSSP Latin Mass Community) on July 1. We are grateful for his presence at Holy Family during the past two years, and will miss his sense of humour and his joyful communication of the truths of the Faith.

(Photos courtesy of Claire Phillips)

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Solemn High Mass at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Victoria, BC

(Excerpted with the kind permission of John Sonnen. The article and photos by Mr. Sonnen were originally posted at Orbis Catholicus Travel Blog.)

Soaring skyward with its bold array of colored brick, stone and slate, the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Victoria displays the confident spirituality that characterizes the best religious architecture in Canada.

The High Victorian Gothic style, an inspiration to generations of Canadians, was a fitting backdrop to sung Mass in the Classical rite on Saturday, June 24, a part of the Cathedral’s 125 year celebration and Canada’s 150 years.

Mass was sung by Fr. Pablo Santa Maria, Vice-Rector of the Cathedral of Vancouver. The excellent choir sang Palestrina’s other-worldly Missa Aeterna Christi Munera, sung by the CapriCCio Vocal Ensemble, directed by Mr. Michael Gormley.

For many of the participants of the packed church, it was their first experience of sung Mass in Latin. One young participant remarked: “This was my first time hearing Gregorian chant. I am an illiterate in the worship of the Church. The super-terrestrial, meditative and other-wordly aspects of the ceremony were a touch of heaven. Thank you to all!”

Another exclaimed: “What a great way to renew culture! A big defect in our age is a lack of reverence or even an experience of the sacred.”

Another visiting musician remarked: “The Roman Church possesses a mature Christian musical culture, the core of which is the Roman rite sung in the Latin language. The choir was terrific!”


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