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The Singing Priests: A “Note” of Gratitude

December 08, 2019

All are invited to an Advent-Christmas concert featuring the singing priests of the diocese along with the Diocesan Choir under the direction of Mr. Peter Kolar. The program will include a special musical performance by Bishop Mark Seitz. The concert will take place on Sunday, December 15 at 7:00 pm at St. Mark Church, 11700 Pebble Hills Blvd. Admission is free.

For Fr. Germán Alzate, Parochial Vicar at St. Mark Parish, the concert is an opportunity to simply say thank you to the many parishioners who make the work of the Church possible. Fr. Germán was ordained at St. Patrick Cathedral on June 28, 2018. A graduate of Mundelein Seminary, he was inspired by the seminary's annual Christmas concert, as well as his religious and cultural traditions in his native Colombia, to have his fellow clergy come together to offer thanks in song to the diocese at large during the Advent season.

Diocesan Choir Director Peter Kolar says that the priests of the diocese are especially music-minded, with their impressive singing voices often heard whenever they gather for diocesan celebrations. In addition, he said that recent cohorts of seminarians have shown great musical interest. He attributes this in part to Bishop Mark Seitz’s own example of a singing presider and his love for music. “The liturgy invites us all to sing, starting with the priest; this opportunity to feature the singing priests is wonderfully symbolic in that the ordained will be united in song with choir and assembly, all celebrating and upholding this very integral part of our Catholic worship.”

Kolar, a distinguished composer, has led the Diocesan Choir since 2007 and writes much of the music that the group performs. His original composition Misa Luna was sung for the 2015 papal liturgy in Philadelphia, for the 2017 beatification Mass of Blessed Stanley Rother in Oklahoma City, and is used in parishes and cathedrals nationwide.

The Diocesan Choir is an all-volunteer choral ensemble comprised of singers and instrumentalists from parishes across the diocese. The choir provides musical leadership at major diocesan liturgies and other events—typically in the Cathedral. Their unified voice has graced ordinations, Chrism Masses, the Papal visit to the borderland, and most recently, funerals for the victims of the August 3 mass shooting.

Priests, including Fr. Apolinar Samboni, Fr. Buzz Hall, Fr. Germán Alzate, Fr. Gleen Carpe, Fr. Tony Celino, and Fr. Victorino Loresca, along with seminarians and Bishop Mark himself, have been preparing for the concert with rehearsals at St. Mark Parish. The concert will include such hymns as Creator Alme Siderum, Priestly People, Soon and Very Soon, marian selections, and popular Christmas carols. A concert highlight will be Bishop Mark’s solo performance of “O Holy Night.” With a capacity of 1,200, it is expected that the church will be completely full. 


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