Concerts at St. Ignatius Essay: Turning a Page
Today I would like to lift up two of my dear friends and colleagues, Maureen Haley and Philip Anderson. I had the great fortune to meet them in April of 2001 when I first joined the music staff at St. Ignatius. Their musicianship blew me away, but I was also moved by their kindness and generosity of spirit. I thought then—and believe with even more conviction now—that these two truly embody the Spirit of Christ, sharing their gifts and their hearts without reservation, with tremendous authenticity and humility.
Maureen and Philip have nurtured our parish with their music and abundance of heart since 1989 when they both joined the Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola. Before long, Philip transitioned into his current role as cantor, and ten years ago, following over two decades of distinguished service in the choir, Maureen took over leadership of our children’s choirs. In addition to her work in the music ministry, Maureen has also served over the last few years as one of our Pastoral Associates, handling baptisms and weddings, and the vast amount of administrative detail involved with both.
It is with great joy that we celebrate their long tenures, and with great sadness that in a few weeks, we will bid them farewell, as they retire and begin a new chapter in their lives. Their final Sunday with us will be June 19, when Philip will sing his last Solemn Mass as our cantor, and Maureen and Michael will lead a rousing Family Sing Sunday at the Wallace Hall Mass. Afterward, we will gather in McKinnon Hall to express our gratitude, love, and appreciation for their decades of service.
As is probably the case with you, I have a difficult time imagining life at St. Ignatius without them.
Philip is the public face of our music ministry and visitors often receive their first impression of our parish directly from him. This is an enormous responsibility, and Philip is the gold standard. He embodies the term “servant leader”, whether he is singing, providing gentle guidance to altar servers, or helping a guest presider navigate the details of our liturgies. His positivity and goodwill speak deeply and directly into our souls, and his influence will remain with us for decades to come.
Maureen’s love for and rapport with our kids was evident from the very beginning of her tenure as Director of Children’s Choirs. She has provided a solid, healthy vocal pedagogy, the result of which is their radiantly beautiful singing. She has nurtured and been a mentor to many. Those of us with kids know how quickly they grow and change, even in a matter of weeks. Maureen’s quiet and steady influence has been a great gift to our children. Long after they reach adulthood and old age, they will remember Ms. Haley and the loving guidance she gave them.
I hope you will join us on Sunday, June 19, as we celebrate with Maureen and Philip, sharing with them a portion of the graces they have shown to us over the last thirty years. How fortunate we have been to have them walk among us for so long!
Maureen and Philip, our prayer is that God will continue to bless you as you have so richly blessed us.
– K. Scott Warren, Director of Music Ministries