Sacred sounds soared to the ceilings at St Joseph’s Moorebank as traditional Roman Catholic music was chanted by the newly-formed Schola of St Joseph at the parish on 2 May.
In its inaugural appearance, the Schola graced those arriving early for Mass with the evening vespers performed a cappella and in ancient melody.
Following vespers and accompanied by an organist, the group beautified the 6pm Mass with hymns and Mass parts that lifted the Liturgy.
The Schola was formed by local music producer Robert Ianni after undertaking a 90-day spiritual exercise program (called Exodus90) with nine other young men from the Moorebank parish.
“I loved how reverent it would make the Mass, how much self-examination it prompted, how much meaning and passion it would inject into my prayers.”
“During Exodus90 the only music I listened to was traditional Gregorian chant, a lot of which is Latin and often sung by monks and other religious,” said Mr Ianni who also serves in St Joseph’s music ministry.
“I loved how reverent it would make the Mass, how much self-examination it prompted, how much meaning and passion it would inject into my prayers.
“To me, it was like the language of the soul.”
“Yearning for more music like this at my parish and seeing as though I already served in the music ministry I thought ‘That’s it! If I could grab a few men from my Exodus90 fraternity and our parish community, we could bring this vision to life.’”
Praising Somascan Fathers Mathew Velliyamkandathil and Chris De Sousa for their support, Mr Ianni said they helped to connect him with other young men who shared the same love for traditional music.
“I started contacting people to join and we listed this particular ministry as a core group during the parish youth’s monthly Tuesday night ‘mission night’ under the category ‘beauty in the Mass’,” Mr Ianni said.
“The initial response my fellow brothers would give was ‘but I can’t sing… I don’t know Latin… I get nervous’.
“the Schola of St Joseph routinely rehearse and commit to serving every first Sunday evening with public vespers at 5.30pm with the Somascan Fathers followed by Holy Mass at 6pm.”
“Nonetheless after a reminder that this music ministry is a form of prayer and service to God rather than a live performance highlighting ourselves, many of the boys were keen to give it a go.”
Growing to a group of nine men, the Schola of St Joseph routinely rehearse and commit to serving every first Sunday evening with public vespers at 5.30pm with the Somascan Fathers followed by Holy Mass at 6pm.
Mr Ianni looks forward at helping form a women’s choir that, with their “unique, higher vocal-range and tone”, will complement the men’s voices to help beautify future feasts and solemnities at St Joseph’s Moorebank.