Our magnum opus, or 'our great work', is raising and educating our eight children in the beautiful, Catholic faith. This huge undertaking involves daily joy, laughter and challenges. We hope to share some of those here.
Occasionally one has experiences that lift the spirit, feed one's soul, and ya get 'warm fuzzies'. Yesterday's German Mass and Oktoberfest at St. Joseph's in Detroit was just such an occasion. Those magnificent old churches in the downtown area are trying valiantly to stay open to serve the faithful and minister to the surrounding (often blighted) communities. The priests and their tireless, little flocks are heroic.
Besides the ethereal beauty of the church, St. Joseph has marvelous acoustics. They take their strong German heritage seriously and when your archbishop is fluent in German, and your choir world class, you have an incredibly beautiful German Mass to kick off your Oktoberfest.
Archbishop Vigneron assisted by Deacon Joseph Lennon (who baptized Regina.) It was a pleasure to see the deacon again!
Our St. Augustine's Schola was invited to sing in the afternoon choral section of the Oktoberfest.
The younger kids and friends having Oktoberfest fun while the schola rehearsed. It's possible Dad was enjoying German beer over in the beer tent.
This was during rehearsal, which the kids told me was abysmal. Usually this means the performance will be outstanding, and it was!
Here is Dr. Russell's note from this morning:
Dear St. Augustine's Families:
Our Schola's participation in the Ninth Annual Sacred Concert at St. Joseph's in Detroit was a rousing success! The audience, especially those who were not associated with the program, were so surprised and delighted that they led a standing ovation for the choir.
This is a great tribute to the fifty or so students and their families who were able to contribute their time and efforts to presenting (for the first time outside of our dear Old St. Patrick's Parish) what an excellent youth choir can do with the riches of the Church's musical treasures. To perform in such a large and classically beautiful church as St. Joseph's was an honor and a learning experience in itself. It was clear that the students realized they were in a completely different league when they could hear how much breath and vocal control it would take to fill the magnificent and soaring nave, typical of a European cathedral. But they rose to the occasion beautifully and certainly held their own against much more extensively trained small adult choirs!
Father Perrone of Assumption Parish, the most recognized priestly musician/composer in the Detroit Archdiocese, held himself as amazed at what Mrs. Campbell and the Schola has accomplished.
Thank you all for your participation; especial thanks to Mrs. Campbell and Jihye Kim for their wonderful work; and grateful thanks to the mothers who coordinated our trip to Detroit and all of the fun of the Oktoberfest! The whole venture was put together on a shoe-string yet it provided, I hope, a wonderful and lasting memory for each student, family, and listener.
St. Augustine's Homeschool Enrichment Program is a rigorous liberal arts program our middle and high school children attend twice a week. The students do their assignments, and their math and science, at home the other three days of the school week. St. A. has been such a blessing to our family. We are looking forward to a fabulous and fruitful school year!
Dominic 5th grade
Regina 8th grade
Blaise 10th grade
Monica 12th grade
Since there is no storage or locker space at Old St. Pat's, the St. A. students book bags are hefty, they build strong muscles!
Normally by Labor day I am ready for our school year, down to every detail, even the fall baby years. This year our summer began and ended with my father's serious heart troubles. He had open heart surgery last week and though his recovery is going well, he is still at great risk and won't be home from the hospital for a few days yet.
When one of my parents has a health problem, it isn't just the worry and the need to help them, but the care and medical needs of my two younger sisters must be attended to as well. Summer has been filled with plenty of fun and good stuff, but helping my parents and worrying about them ('cause that is so productive you know) has rather consumed my time.
So... I am not ready. I have most of the books, but few supplies and my tech department is still working on computers for the math programs and writing papers. (I hate a line up for the computer to do math.) I'll get at least a 'start up' week roughed out and hopefully into full swing next week. St. A.'s begins next week and I have learned it's hard to start before that anyway because the kids tend to make a flurry of social plans in their last week of freedom. LOL
End of summer fun: beautiful face painting done at Old St. Pat's Labor Day Festival.
Praying that it all comes together as well as possible and that God blesses us with a fruitful school year. Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.