Bishop Schlert Blesses New Pipe Organ, Praises Catholic Liturgical Music Scholars Program
“May God bless what begins tonight.”
The Most Reverend Alfred Schlert, bishop of the Diocese of Allentown, returned to campus to cap a three-day choral celebration and bless the University’s new Austin Opus 2800 pipe organ in Connelly Chapel.
“What a beautiful night to come together in the joy of the Easter season to bless and to stand in our Lord’s altar in thanksgiving for the great generosity and divine providence that has brought DeSales University to this point in the formation of their Catholic Liturgical Music Scholars program,” Bishop Schlert said.
The program awards 12 singers the second largest scholarship offered by the University. These scholars form the core of DeSales’ three choirs for Masses, liturgies, and an array of concerts, both sacred and secular, throughout the academic year.
Calling the program forward-thinking and a beautiful initiative, Bishop Schlert thanked Father James Greenfield, OSFS ’84, president of DeSales, as well as the faculty, students, and benefactors who have brought the program to fruition. He also reflected on the attributes of power described by Saint Thomas Aquinas—the good, the true, and the beautiful.
“DeSales has always had a fine reputation for the arts and bringing those arts to young students so they can go out and be heralds of what is beautiful,” he said. “This program for liturgical music adds yet another dimension to the beauty that DeSales already promotes.”
The DeSales Chorale—conducted by Ryan Mullaney, DMA, associate professor of fine arts—sang the festive liturgy. Dennis Varley, DMA, associate professor of fine arts, debuted “Missa Salesi,” a setting of the Mass for choir and organ reflecting the Savoy environs of the University’s patron, St. Francis de Sales.
In addition to the Dedication Mass, DeSales welcomed Mark Loria, organist of Philadelphia’s Basilica Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, to campus on May 5 for a recital and dedication of the pipe organ. The following day, the Chorale and Schola Cantorum presented “Upon this Rock...” comprised of texts, traditions, and ideals that are fundamental to Christian values of faith, hope, and charity. Soprano Rebecca Myers, a celebrated performing and recording artist, also took part in the performance.