February 12, 2009

Dear Musician & Friend:

Greetings and blessings to you in the dawn of this new year.
“Love Unfolding, Igniting Our Yes” is the theme of the 2009 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. The scripture readings of the first Sunday of Lent remind us of the loving and faithful God who loves us into being and who sets the bow of the covenant in the sky. The first reading prefigures baptism where we are completely immersed in Christ to emerge a new creation, forever changed, forever made new. OCP Spirit & Song artist, Josh Blakesley is the composer of this year’s theme song. The very talented and gifted Antonio Alonso and ValLimar Jansen return once again as our cantors for the weekend.
This past year has given us many reasons for pause and reflection, hesitance and hope, concern and promise. Amazingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, this year’s Congress registrations are on track to equal the number of last year’s record-breaking attendance as if to say to the world that now, more than ever, the Church longs to gather once again to be fed, renewed, inspired, blessed, and sent to do the work of the kingdom. With over 40,000 delegates, it remains the largest annual catechetical and liturgical gathering in the world; and it happens every year right here in Anaheim.

Here in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, liturgy is celebrated every Sunday in no fewer than 50 different languages. Living in the gift, promise and spirit of the Second Vatican Council, the L.A. Religious Education Congress liturgies have grown as they have embraced this wonderfully diverse church. Without exaggeration, complimentary reports and reviews come from six of the world’s seven continents. From Gregorian chant to gospel choirs; from Nigerian and Guatemalan dancers to African and Vietnamese drummers; we’ve worked diligently to inculturate the liturgy shaped within the universality of the Roman Rite and the Church of Los Angeles.
In acknowledging those with commitments to music ministry, an invitation is extended to you to participate in Choir 2009. The combined talents of nearly 400 musicians comprise the group that will provide the music for the final liturgies on Sunday, March 1. Over 19,000 people attend these liturgies. Prior to 1991, the "band" consisted of piano, one percussionist, one guitar, electric bass and a synthesizer. The choir was 16 voices. Over the years, both the choir and band have grown considerably in depth and membership. Today's Congress Band/ Orchestra consists of approximately 40 instrumentalists. There are 350 choir members hailing from six dioceses. We’re working hard to include as many talented people as possible in this experience. I fervently hope that in considering this invitation, you’ll decide to join us. I promise you, it is an experience to remember.

RSVP to me at johnkflaherty@gmail.com. RSVP early! I can only accommodate the first 300 respondents!

When you respond, please indicate which of the asterisked (*) rehearsals you’ll be attending so that we can have the appropriate numbers of choir folders at each rehearsal.
Finally, and most importantly – RSVP early. For the first time ever, we must cap the number of choir members whose involvement we can accept to this experience.

* RSVP to attend one of the three following rehearsals, and attend the final two rehearsals:

Los Angeles Area
*Tuesday, February 17, 7:00 p.m.
St. Jerome
La Tijera exit at the 405 Fwy
5550 Thornburn St.
Los Angeles, CA 90045
contact: John Flaherty

Inland Empire Area
*Sunday, February 16, 7:00 p.m.
St. Patrick
10915 Pigeon Pass Rd.
Moreno Valley, CA 92557
Contact: Maria Alvarado
(951) 485-6673

San Diego Area
*TBD, 7:00 p.m.
5115 Ruette De Mer
San Diego, CA 92130-2832
contact: Bob & Ginger Infantino
(858) 793-5609

*Additional rehearsals are being planned for the Phoenix, Ventura, and Northern California areas. Kindly let me know if you prefer to attend of these.

Monday, February 23, 7:30 p.m.
St Jerome
La Tijera exit at the 405 Fwy
5550 Thornburn St.
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Tuesday, February 24, 7:30 p.m.
St. Cyprian
4714 Clark Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90808

Should you have any questions, please contact me at: johnkflaherty@gmail.com or Mary Janus at: mkj_bear@yahoo.com.

Please take the liberty of sharing this email to others in your choir who might enjoy being a member of Choir 2009.

With warmest regards in Christ,
John Flaherty
Chair, Liturgy Committee
Music Director

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