“Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man in whom there is no help.
When his breath departs he returns to his earth; on that very day his plans perish.” Psalm 146: 3–4

Photo by David Beale on Unsplash

It took half a year for me to fully comprehend what has been lost in the world of music during the Covid-19 pandemic. I can mark the day, 30 September, when I sat down to plan what an All Souls Vespers would look like that the reality came crashing down upon me. For the first time since limits on gathering were put into place…

During the height of lockdowns, the suspended celebration of Mass, closed businesses, and distance learning, a rich phenomenon opened the door to a societal renewal if one had the eyes to see it. The more prayerful among us calmly advised to retreat to our inner rooms and use the time of lockdown as a retreat, a time of introspection and refocus on what was most important. Among the more tragic consequences of the pandemic lies the opportunity for many of us to revitalize the lives we are living, to examine our consciences, and to season the daily grind to a…

Photo by Artistiq Dude on Unsplash

You never imagine seeing a place like Notre-Dame de Paris in flames. Images of the cathedral are seared in our common vision of beauty and the very best of culture. Engulfed in an inferno, the collective heart of humanity broke at the possible loss of this premiere Gothic cathedral, its art, and its relics. This is enough to make any beating heart stop and mourn but Notre-Dame de Paris is much more than a landmark in the history of France, Europe, and the world. …

A new way to look at elections for the rest of us.

Get out the vote campaigns have become mainstream in the last few election cycles. The last two weeks before an election have become like an NPR or PBS fundraising drive. The target audience of these campaigns winds up in two camps: succumb to the pressure and grudgingly vote or tune it out and wait for it all to be over. The pressure is only exacerbated by new early voting laws and omnipresent social media.

Photo by Parker Johnson on Unsplash

I love to vote. I have proudly voted in every election since I came…

I have fallen in love with the music of Mary Lou Williams. I participated in a project with colleagues and new friends to explore her music. I couldn’t turn down this invitation because Mary Lou’s music is a part of the musical history of the Catholic Church. Her music is also a part of black history, feminism, social change, and racial equality. So much was working all at once and pushing me beyond myself. I had to see what it was all about.

Mary Lou’s career placed her alongside such legends as Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Dizzy Gillespie. The…

Kellen O'Grady

Choir director and lover of art and culture.

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