WHY IS THIS CAMPAIGN IMPORTANT AT THIS TIME?
Our nearly 60-year-old Casavant pipe organ, its façade and the surrounding choir loft area are in dire need of substantial refurbishing and restorative work due to age and deterioration over the last sixty years. For these reasons, including structural and architectural integrity, public safety and the mechanical aspects of the organ, St. Mary’s Church has embarked on this initiative to help preserve our Church property and buildings for future generations to come, and as a National Historic Shrine for our parishioners and all those who visit and worship at St. Mary’s Church. To accomplish this important work, the craftsmen at Casavant Frères will restore and rebuild each component of this massive instrument by hand, using historic techniques, ensuring an instrument of incredible beauty for the benefit of our community and congregation.
WHAT IS THE VISION?
We envision that St. Mary’s Church become the cornerstone for music sharing and spiritual awakening in the broader community, centered on the pipe organ and choir loft space that is safe, flexible and functional for music education and performance for people of all backgrounds and ages. The possibilities are endless with the right space. Among the programs include community-oriented educational opportunities, an organ-scholar program, and a choral-scholar program for young people studying or interested in singing or conducting, and an after-school choral music program for children and teenagers. In addition, the venue will be used for musical performances in the form of regular concerts on the pipe organ and feature distinguished singers, instrumentalists and choirs from throughout the state and region.
WHY NOT JUST PUT IN AN ELECTRIC ORGAN AND SAVE MONEY?
The Second Vatican Council’s “Musicam Sacram” called on Catholics and Christians to hold the pipe organ in high respect and admiration because of the “powerful lifting up of men’s minds to God and higher things” the instrument represents. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “Sing to the Lord” likened the pipe organ sound to “the immensity and the magnificence of God.” To remove and discard St. Mary’s Church pipe organ in exchange for an electric organ would be catastrophic to the proud heritage and history of St. Mary’s Parish and the spiritual teachings of the Church. Refurbishing the nearly 60-year-old Casavant pipe organ helps preserve our past and advances the prominence of the Church on the world stage and for generations to come.
YOUR GIFT AND INVOLVEMENT ARE IMPORTANT!
Throughout history, music has always brought people together. Institutions which promote great music are universally cherished and praised for their contributions to communities. Why? Because we all recognize the power of music. Great music uplifts and inspires us. Deep down, we all understand the inherent importance of beauty to our society.
The pipe organ at St. Mary’s Church is a beautiful musical instrument at the heart of a vibrant and growing music program. This initiative will return our pipe organ to its original splendor, while improving structural and aesthetic aspects of the instrument to better compliment the gothic architecture of historic Church. Please consider a generous gift.