Northeast Minneapolis Catholics to sing in honor of new saints

| April 9, 2014 | 0 Comments

A special choir will lead the Holy Cross congregation in song at its 11 a.m. Mass April 27 celebrating the canonization of popes John Paul II and John XXIII. All are welcome to attend.

With nearly 30 singers, the festival choir includes children and adults from other northeast Minneapolis parishes in addition to Holy Cross parish — which includes the campuses of St. Anthony of Padua, St. Clement and St. Hedwig. The festival choir will sing in Latin, Spanish and English. Holy Cross’ Polish choir also will sing.

“We want to show that everyone has a part in this,” said Patrice Finstad, director of the festival choir and music director and organist for Holy Cross-St. Clement campus. “It’s not often that we have new saints canonized, or a saint who has such a strong tie to our community.”

Holy Cross serves a large Polish population, and its affiliated kindergarten through eighth-grade school is named after Pope John Paul II, a native of Poland.

“Pope John Paul II was such a dynamic individual,” Finstad said. “And then John XXIII convening Vatican II . . . these two individuals have done so much for the universal Church. These two saints are so important to our Catholic faith.”

The choir began rehearsing April 5. In addition to the liturgical music, choir members will sing a song about saints and “Lord, When You Came to the Seashore,” which, according to some sources, was Pope John Paul II’s favorite hymn.

For the Mass at Holy Cross, students will decorate the church in colors that reflect the different cultures represented in northeast Minneapolis: Polish, German, Ecuadorian and Latino, said Debbie King, principal at Pope John Paul II Catholic School and one of the festival’s organizers. Colors of the Vatican flag — yellow and white — also will be used.

“We wanted it to become a celebration of the universal Church, not just for the Polish community in the northeast, but certainly inclusive [of it],” King said. “We are all one Church with many nations. We’re stronger together than we are apart.”

A reception following Mass will highlight the cultural diversity with food, fellowship and entertainment. The festival’s committee is planning for Polish and Ecuadorian dancers, and students performing part of the school’s spring musical, “Mary Poppins.”

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