January 13, 2024 // Diocese

Around the Diocese: January 14, 2024

St. Pius X Students Sing in Rome

Spanning late December and into the new year, members of the St. Pius X Parish community in Granger traveled to Rome to participate in the 44th International Congress of Pueri Cantores. Jeremy Hoy, Director of Liturgy and Music at St. Pius X Parish, and Samantha Kneibel, Band Director at St. Pius X Catholic School, accompanied 23 children’s choir members and other guests to the global event, which is a weeklong celebration of sacred music that brings together children’s choirs from around the world every five years.

On Thursday, December 28, the St. Pius X choir – one of just 19 from the United States to participate in the congress – began the festival by performing a concert at Sant’Andrea della Valle in Rome with a choir from Ann Arbor, Michigan. That evening, they participated in the event’s opening ceremony, which brought together 4,000 choir members from more than 100 choirs from around the world.

Choir member Maddie Mousaw said: “I particularly enjoyed seeing all the singers together for the first time. It was truly inspiring to see all the amazing youth gathered together for a unified purpose: to preach the Gospel of peace through the gift of sacred music.”

Other highlights of the trip included performing with the other choirs from the U.S. at the Mass of Nations at the Major Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, during which Hoy served as the organist.

“This whole trip was truly an amazing and unforgettable experience,” Hoy said. “It is hard to put into words what we just experienced. … I have always wanted to go to Rome and to the Vatican, but to say that I got to play the organ at one of the major basilicas is more than a dream come true.”

The choir members and their chaperones also got a private tour of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, joined the other participating choirs in an audience with Pope Francis, toured the relics of ancient Rome, and sang at Mass on the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, on Monday, January 1, in St. Peter’s Basilica, which was celebrated by the pope.

“We are truly so blessed to have been given this opportunity,” Mousaw said. “The Lord was present in all of our music, and this congress was an amazing testament to the heart of Christianity: encounter.”

Transitional Deacons Make European Pilgrimage

Photos provided by Mount St. Mary’s Seminary
Transitional deacons studying at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, made a pilgrimage to Europe during the first week of January, visiting numerous holy sites throughout the continent. Stops included the Fatima apparition sites, the Santiago de Compostela, and the home of St. Theresa of Avila. Deacon Oscar Duarte (pictured above) and Deacon Caleb Kruse – both from the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend – assisted at Mass throughout the trip.

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