My position at St. Boniface is split into several sections. As Music Director, I spend most of my time in charge of all parish music, which includes planning, rehearsing the ensembles, execution, and my own personal practice. I play for almost all funerals and organize musicians and singers for such. I play many of the weddings that we have here. In addition, I am the Ministries Formation Renewal Minister, which means that I keep tabs on all liturgical ministers and their training and execution, write articles for the bulletin, send out communications (tips) to all Mass ministers, manage the annual Marriage Bowl, direct the Sponsor Couple program, and Christian Family Movement. I assist Fr. Vince in pastoral matters as I am trained in theology in addition to music. I conduct Communion Services when called upon and in emergencies. Finally, I am in charge of seeing to the good working order of the parish sound equipment and musical instruments. I am able to make adjustments to the PA system and lighting system in the church and hall. Within all that, I try and maintain a daily routine of personal prayer. I am a Benedictine Oblate, so I have a commitment to daily reading of scripture, Liturgy of the Hours, and silent prayer. I used to be a Benedictine brother and spent several years in the seminary.
Q. What impact does your work have or that you wish it to have on the parish?
I try to provide the best liturgical music that one can experience anywhere. I work hard and drive the musicians to not only technical excellence, but an awareness of the spirituality and prayer of liturgical music. Liturgical music is sung prayer. The documents of Vatican II said that, “those who sing well pray twice.” I select music that is joyful, contemporary, prayerful, and accompanies the readings or feast of the day. All the music connects with that particular Mass.
The rest of what I do is pretty much in the background. I manage volunteers. They do the work. As to the articles I write for the bulletin, it is my hope that people will read them and get a glimpse of just how much preparation goes into writing them.
Q. Give an overview of your daily tasks at St. Boniface.
For me, every day is a little different. Besides my daily prayer, my tasks are broken up into projects over weeks, months or even in a given year. Right now, I am beginning to plan Lent. Today I’ll be writing an article for this weekend’s bulletin. Tonight I’ll be meeting with the volunteers who spear-head the Marriage Bowl. No two particular days are the same. I try and spend a couple of hours practicing each day, but that varies according to what else is going on. And if we have a funeral, like we do this morning, that means the whole day is up for grabs.
Q. Give an example of something associated with your work that was a feel-good moment.
I love to have an impact on the spiritual life of the parish. My job is very visible and public. I get a lot of affirmation, both here on campus, and around the community. Despite being an introvert, I feed off the energy and good feelings of the people whom I impact.
Q. What are you favorite hobbies or activities away from church?
My wife Robin and I have no children, but we do have a standard poodle named Gracie. I spend most of my free time with my wife and dog, going for walks, reading, and I enjoy fine dining. I am from San Diego, so trips there to see family or trips to Michigan to see Robin’s family are always on the docket.