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Why Catholic? Meet Bishop Edward C. Malesic
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Diocesan Children’s Choir Festival concludes with music at Mass

News of the Diocese

March 7, 2024

Diocesan Children’s Choir Festival concludes with music at Mass
Diocesan Children’s Choir Festival concludes with music at Mass
Diocesan Children’s Choir Festival concludes with music at Mass
Diocesan Children’s Choir Festival concludes with music at Mass
Diocesan Children’s Choir Festival concludes with music at Mass
Diocesan Children’s Choir Festival concludes with music at Mass
Diocesan Children’s Choir Festival concludes with music at Mass
Diocesan Children’s Choir Festival concludes with music at Mass
Diocesan Children’s Choir Festival concludes with music at Mass
Diocesan Children’s Choir Festival concludes with music at Mass
Diocesan Children’s Choir Festival concludes with music at Mass
Diocesan Children’s Choir Festival concludes with music at Mass
Diocesan Children’s Choir Festival concludes with music at Mass
Diocesan Children’s Choir Festival concludes with music at Mass
Diocesan Children’s Choir Festival concludes with music at Mass
Diocesan Children’s Choir Festival concludes with music at Mass

“Children, you are the youngest members of the Church,” Bishop Edward Malesic told the more than 70 children who participated in the annual Diocesan Children’s Choir Festival on March 2.

They spent part of the day in a workshop with Michael Bower, guest conductor, before heading to the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist where they rehearsed and sang at the 4:30 p.m. vigil Mass. Bower is the director of music at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre, New York. He oversees the entire music department, which includes 10 choirs.

The workshop was hosted once again by St. Peter Parish in downtown Cleveland, where Father Phil Bernier, OFM Cap is pastor.

(See photo gallery above.)

The diocesan children were from choirs at the following parishes: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Lorain, Angela Bak, director; St. Francis Xavier, Medina, Carissa Young, director; St. Hilary, Fairlawn, Meg Matuska, director; St. Joseph, Avon Lake, Lorene Coughlin, director; St. Mary of the Assumption, Mentor, Glenn and Susan Obergefell, directors; and St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Avon, Joele Nelson, director.

Accompanist at Mass was Thomas Fielding, director of music for the cathedral. Father Vince Hawk, administrator of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Avon, concelebrated the liturgy.

The children presented a prelude before Mass, singing “Children of Light,” “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and “We Will Praise You.” The recessional was “Cantate Domino.”

“You inspire us with your voices and you remind me of when I was a member of my school choir – and when I had more hair,” the bishop quipped.

Reflecting on the readings for the Mass, he said we inherited “Adam and Eve disease,” referring to what he called their proclivity to say “no” to our parents, others in authority and God. In doing so, we tend to stray from God.

However, during Lent, we are on a journey to return to God.

“God gave us commandments to keep us in good spiritual shape,” the bishop said. But if we did what Mary told the servants at the wedding feast at Cana, “Do whatever he tells you,” we’d be in better spiritual shape, he said.

In the Gospel, we got a rare glimpse of Jesus’ anger when he threw out those selling sacrificial animals at inflated prices and taking advantage of the poor. But Jesus was angry about sin, not because he hates us, Bishop Malesic explained. “He forgives us over and over. There is always a way to back home to God. Repent and return to the Gospel.”

That’s the point of Lent, the bishop said, “to turn away from sin and return to God. Jesus nailed our sins with him on his cross of love. As he died, he washed away our sins with his blood. There is no sin greater than God’s love, his ability and willingness to forgive.”

During Lent, Bishop Malesic said we should die to self, put the past behind us and we will rise to new life with Jesus.

“This is the good news we must proclaim to the world, that Christ is risen and so, too, can we rise into new, eternal life.”

After Mass, the bishop greeted the choir members and posed for photos.

Bak, Matuska and Nelson led the planning committee for the choir festival.

Sponsors of the event were the Cleveland Chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, Diocese of Cleveland Office for Worship, Knights of Columbus, Father Ragan Council 3269, Avon, Knights of Columbus, St. Hilary Council 14551, Fairlawn, Knights of Columbus, James L. Martin Council 637, Lorain, Music Ministry of St. Joan of Arc Parish, Chagrin Falls and St. Mary, Avon PTU, Mike Moran.

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