Giving Catholic children the gift of music

Yesterday I read in the newest issue of Sacred Music an article about the Ward Method of teaching Gregorian chant to the young.

Today I received a note from a priest friend in Texas, Fr. Reynolds, about the music program for the young at the parish school where he was pastor for many years, St. Theresa in Sugar Land.  He was recently moved to a new parish, but what Father built there is still rolling along.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Kathleen10 says:

    Maybe our culture will catch a break and this will catch on. It’s just lovely, and so good for children. Actually it’s so good for all of us, because we all benefit.

  2. cda_sister says:

    That’s my church and awesome pastor (will always be, even though he’s down the road a bit). A wonderful parish. Our kids are amazing. The music program is just one of the many, many beautiful traditions Fr Bart brought to our parish…from architectural changes, chant, some Latin,incense,bells, First Friday devotion….things I grew up with in the Church. We miss him terribly. His legacy to us is something we will treasure always.

  3. RichR says:

    Great things are happening in our great nation of Texas ;-)

    There are novenas starting up in Bryan/College Station for a Latin Mass, & people are getting organized. Where a strong Catholic identity is found, sacred music is naturally present. We don’t fear traditional music or liturgy because we already embrace traditional doctrine.

  4. cda_sister says:

    Amen, Rich…bringing back the reverence and beauty of tradition is truly inspiring and puts the focus of the Mass where it should be…on Christ and not on any individual.

  5. ckdexterhaven says:

    Wow, I wish my local Catholic school was like that. I homeschool now, but will be sending my kid to a classical charter school next year. I am not even considering our Common Core slightly Catholic school.

    Sadly in our diocese, the higher ups have spent a lot of time on talking points defusing “irrational” parental concern about Common Core, and barely there Catholic identity in schools. If only they spent that time doing what this school has done!

  6. gloriainexcelsis says:

    My first piano lessons in the late 1930s were at my parochial school in Los Angeles, St. Cecilia’s. We had a children’s choir as well that sang every Sunday at one of the Masses. Every Friday we had art and music classes. And yes, we sang in Latin, as well. Parochial schools still provided music education in the early 1950s. I was a music major at Mt. St. Mary’s College. I had Fridays free my last two years. One year I taught solfeggio (without the advantage of Do, a Deer…..) and note reading for singing at one school, for all eight grades. The next year I taught piano at another parochial school. The nuns thought music was important.

  7. Yosef says:

    I went to the recent Sacred Music workshop in Houston and the children’s choir from St. Therese chanted one of the Masses. It was beautiful!

    At the conference one of the things spoken about was the importance of teaching children Gregorian Chant as their minds are able to retain it easier than adults, much like when learning a new language.

  8. little women says:

    Three years ago, five little girls between the ages of 7 and 12 chanted the Victimae Paschali Laudes on Easter Sunday. That was one of the most wonderful things to ever happen in that parish. Quickly, we attained a choir director that was able to teach the girls solfege and music theory. Then, two more girls joined… then another and another and another… and so we had our “Girls Choir” that provided beautiful chant and easy polyphony pieces. That was then. Now, they are an unbelievable group that accomplishes complicated polyphony pieces beautifully, thanks to the help of some adults to sing the deeper parts, and chant beautifully and distinctly. I feel so fortunate and blessed that my girls are part of this work, learning what beauty is by being a part of it. Examples of their music at

  9. chava90mph says:

    Beautiful article and I’m proud to say that it is my home parish. When you walk into our parish, you feel like you are inside a Catholic church, the reverence, the design the beauty. You know you are in the presence of the body, blood, soul and divinity of the living Christ. Then you hear the choir, which you saw a bit of on the video. The voices are angelic, the closest music that I’ve heard to ours was listening Mother Angelica’s nuns sing during mass in Hanceville, Alabama. The children’s choir singing in Latin, Dr. Clark’s and Ben Geiers’ direction, all amazing. Our church offers so much to its parishioners. While we have a wonderful priest who is keeping up the tradition, Father Manzano, I feel I must give credit to the man who put most of our programs and ideas into action, Father Stephen B. Reynolds. Our church offers First Friday vigils with a scola singing in Latin that is beautiful. We also have year round RCIA, perpetual adoration, a school that is run on a ‘classical curriculum’ where children are taught by master teachers, most with Ph.D’s. The school itself was the brainchild of Father Reynolds and he oversaw the building of it brick by brick, often seen outside checking things with a level! He wanted everything perfect to honor God. Our church also houses many groups such as St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Daughters, Lay Carmelites, Lay Franciscans and many, many more. Our church is one of the places where seeing women veiling is not uncommon at all. Holiness and beauty is what I think of when I think of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Sugar Land. All are welcome. Come experience the beauty for yourselves. And….Father Reynolds is always in our prayers.

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