Spreading joy with Christmas music comes naturally to the Daughters of St. Paul Choir, and this 20-year tradition continues as they begin their annual concert tour on Dec. 3.
“We have the largest group we’ve had in a while,” said choir member Sr. Nancy Usselmann during the summer practice sessions. “Every part of the concert is everyone’s creativity—we practice, practice, practice.”
“It’s really fun to get together,” agrees Sr. Maria Kim Bui. “We have a special bond.”
But the bond they share is not just with each other, it is the gift they give their audiences.
The sisters speak of the stories of hope and joy that their concerts spread.
One faithful fan revealed that she had Stage IV cancer. The sisters did not see her at the concert for a year or two, but then she returned to joyfully tell them her cancer was in remission. “It was your concerts that gave me hope,” she said.
The sisters remember those who attend their concerts in their prayers, and speak fondly of special people who touch their ministry. Bernadette, a 15-year old fan with a heart condition attended the concerts every year and wrote to the sisters telling them she knew the words to every song they sang. A highlight for Bernadette came one year when she was invited to sing a song with the choir. Last year the sisters learned of Bernadette’s passing during the 2013 concert tour, dedicating the Boston performances to her memory.
“This is a special ministry,” said Bui. “Christmas is a special time where we give Christ.”
As the Daughters of St. Paul Choir gather from around the nation in New York City Thanksgiving weekend for a few days of practice before embarking on their tour, they hope to bring the grace and love of Christ to others through music.“There will be more choreography more surprises, more for the 20th,” said Usselmann.
The 2014 Joy to the World tour venues:
- Dec. 3, 7:00 p.m., Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Piscataway, NJ
- Dec. 4, 6:00p.m., Annual Fundraising Benefit (Private event), Staten Island, NY
- Dec. 5, 7:00 p.m., Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Cleveland, OH
- Dec. 7, 7:00 p.m., St. Paul R. C. Church, Ramsey, NJ featuring the Don Bosco Prep High School Boys Choir
- Dec. 9, 7p.m., St. Katherine of Siena Church, Philadelphia, PA
- Dec. 12, 7:00 p.m., St. Ann by the Sea Parish, Marshfield, MA
- Dec. 13, 7:00 p.m., Dec. 14, 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., Daughters of St. Paul Chapel, Jamaica Plain, MA.
For more information visit facebook.com/DSPchoir.
The Daughters of St. Paul, a worldwide organization of religious women dedicated to spreading the Gospel through the most modern forms of media, operate a publishing house and recording studios at their Boston, Massachusetts location.