A first-time event for us took place last Saturday: the Erie diocese's chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians held their annual workshop and reflection day at the Mount. Forty-five musicians from parishes and other religious institutions (nursing homes, religious communities, etc) spent the day together---singing, sharing, praying. The facilitators were two of our sisters who are professional musicians themselves and hold degrees in liturgy and music. Three other sister-musicians were part of the musical accompaniment for the many songs.
Two of the four sessions were held in the new chapel and, with no offense meant to our everyday singing, the sound that came from this large group of trained singers was gorgeous---as song after song, as the poets say, soared into our new space and beyond. They were really, really good!
One of the side benefits of our chapel renovation is to be able to host events such as Thomas Moore's lecture a couple weeks ago, this workshop, and other large gatherings. There are about 200 permanent (yet movable) seats set up, with perhaps another 150+ easily accommodated.