Extraordinary Form Committee, St. Augustine Choir
Parishioner since 2006
President, Jon Whitney Associates Inc.
In what ministries have you been involved with in the past?
Up until recently, I have been a member of the Holy Name Society. I had to suspend my involvement with this ministry because of the declining health and the caregiving needed for my elderly sister in Dallas.
Prior to the Cathedral, my ministry work extended over 20 years as an actively involved member of the St. Joseph’s Latin Mass Community, serving as a member of the Board of Advisors and as treasurer. I sang in the choir and advised the late Joe Ryan, our first music director, on the Propers and the prescribed sequences that take place during the celebration of the Latin Mass. With Joe’s sudden passing, Fr. Robert Bradley asked me to serve as the interim choir director, something I had never done before. During what turned out to be an eight-year period, I organized and prepared a collection of popular traditional hymns and Gregorian chants designed to encourage our community to sing along with our choir. Following that, I was pleased to hand over the baton first to Dr. Brooks Whitmore and now to Barbara A. Manson, M.M., both schooled and accomplished musicians who will continue to build our choir. This combination of events was just one of my many most rewarding experiences as a volunteer.
What is your favorite thing about volunteering at the Cathedral?
On a personal level, you get to meet and work with people on a regular and consistent basis. In almost every case I have met people from every walk of life whom I had never known before and, through our common interest in the Church, developed strong bonds of continuing friendships.
On a spiritual level, there is an additional uplifting feeling that you experience as a volunteer during the celebration of the Mass. I found this to be true not only when I am singing but also on those occasions when I volunteered to help clean our beautiful and historic Cathedral and work on the annual Cathedral Beautification Day.
What advice would you give to a parishioner new to volunteering?
Get involved and stay involved as much as you can. You will be surprised at the meaningful friendships you develop. And you will receive a great deal of satisfaction stemming from a real and purposeful sense of accomplishment.