February 4, 2012

Dear Musician & Friend:

Good tidings to all and all of creation made anew to you in these first months of 2012! It is my fervent prayer that the past year leaves you with much to be thankful for along with blessings too numerous to count. It’s time to once again turn our creative talent to the 2012 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the theme of which is, “Voice Infusing Life!”. The story of the Martha and Mary and the raising of their brother, Lazarus, reminds us of life-long companionship and friendship, as well as the humanity of God Incarnate in the shortest verse in Sacred Scripture, “And Jesus wept.” Santiago Fernandez has written our theme song this year. Santiago is a native of Mexico and an prolific composer who has, for his adult life, called Detroit his home. We will be blessed to sing this talented musician’s theme song for Congress 2012.

I’m writing to ask you to join me by accepting an invitation to join us as a member of “Congress Choir 2012”. Simply go to this link: and complete the online form.

Here in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, Eucharist is celebrated every Sunday in no fewer than 50 different languages. Living in the gift, promise, and spirit of this Church we so love, the L.A. Religious Education Congress liturgies have grown as they have embraced this wonderfully diverse church. 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. This year, the Native American Church, the “first peoples” of America, as well as the ones who claim the Byzatine Rite, along with 10 other concentrations of God’s people will celebrate the Eucharist over the four days of Congress. On Thursday itself, 15,000 teens will gather to celebrate Youth Day. This is a weekend not to be missed.

Bishop Tod Brown of Orange will preside at the morning Eucharist, and Archbishop José Gomez will preside at the afternoon Eucharist.

Acknowledging your ongoing commitment to music ministry, I extend an invitation to you to participate in Choir 2012. The combined talents of nearly 350 musicians and artists comprise the group that will provide the music for the final liturgies on Sunday, March 25. Over 16,000 people attend these liturgies. Last year's choir of 250 included members from at least eight dioceses. We continue to work 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.

There are four initial rehearsals in Southern California.

* Choose the one geographically closest to you.
* You must attend one of the rehearsals below and then the final two rehearsals on March 20 & 21.

*Tuesday, March 13, 7:30 pm
St. Jerome
La Tijera exit at the 405 Fwy
5550 Thornburn St.
Los Angeles, CA 90045
contact: John Flaherty

*Monday, March 12, 7:00 pm
St Anthony Church
2511 South C Street
Oxnard, CA 93033
contact: Daniel Delgado,
*Monday, March 15, 7:30 pm
St. Frances X. Cabrini Catholic Church
12687 California Street
Yucaipa, California 92399
Contact Info: Cyndi Noble

*Tuesday, March 13, 7:00 pm
5115 Ruette De Mer
San Diego, CA 92130-2832
contact: Bob & Ginger Infantino
858.793.5609 <>
Tuesday, March 20, 7:30 pm
St Jerome
La Tijera exit at the 405 Fwy
5550 Thornburn St.
Los Angeles, CA 90045
contact: John Flaherty, 310.338.2720
  Wednesday, March 21, 7:30 pm
St. Linus
13913 Shoemaker Ave.,
Norwalk, CA 90650
contact: Anna Betancourt, (562) 921-0336, or
John Flaherty

Should you have any questions, please contact me at or Mary Janus at

Additional rehearsals are being planned for Northern California; Phoenix, AZ; Santa Barbara, CA; Seattle, WA. Let me know directly if you hail from any of these areas and would like to sing in Congress Choir 2012!

RSVP by March 10 using this link:
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.

Please take the liberty of sharing this email to others in your choir who might enjoy being a member of Choir 2012.

Finally, and most importantly, RSVP early.

Peace in Christ,

John Flaherty
Chair, Liturgy Committee
Music Director
Los Angeles Religious Education Congress