Last Saturday, February 22, 2020, a meeting was held from 9 AM-noon at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Munhall for all cantors of the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh.
Twenty-six cantors were present, representing the following parishes:
- Ss. Peter and Paul, Braddock, PA
- Ascension of Our Lord, Clairton, PA
- Holy Trinity, Conemaugh, PA
- St. Nicholas, Greensburg, PA
- St. Mary’s, Hannastown, PA
- St. Michael, Hermitage, PA
- St. Nicholas, McKeesport, PA
- St. Mary Assumption, Monessen, PA
- St. Elias, Munhall, PA
- St. John the Baptist Cathedral, Munhall, PA
- St. Nicholas, Nanty Glo, PA
- St. Stephen, North Huntingdon, PA
- St. John, Northern Cambria, PA
- Ss. Peter and Paul, Patton, PA
- Holy Spirit, Pittsburgh (Oakload), PA
- St. John Chrysostom, Pittsburgh (Greenfield), PA
- St. John the Baptist, Pittsburgh (South Side), PA
- St. John the Baptist, Uniontown, PA
- Holy Trinity, Wall, PA
- Infant Jesus of Prague, Boardman, OH
- St. Nicholas, Youngstown, OH
- St. Mary’s, Sabraton, WV
Over the space of three hours, with MCI Director Deacon Jeffrey Mierzejewski as moderator, the cantors discussed issues facing their parishes in regards to church music, what could be done to improve our liturgical singing, and what assistance might be rendered by the Church to its cantors, as well as by cantors to one another.
The mast frequently repeated request was for new, usable funeral books, a request which Deacon Jeff will be presenting to the Metropolitan this month. Several cantors also expressed a strong desire for a new hymnal, and for recordings of all services, preferably by a single voice, which could be used for learning chant melodies and hymns.
In the final hour, participants discussed ways to improve social awareness and contacts between cantors in each deanery, and approved the creation of an informal registry of cantors’ contact information. Each cantor had a chance to indicate whether his/her information might be made available to other cantors or to pastors who were seeking assistance with their parishes or with particular services (funerals, h0lydays, etc.)
Cantors and pastors from parishes which were not represented at the meeting are invited to contact Deacon Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (412) 735-1676 to update their parish cantor list, provide contact information for the cantor registry, or add their own concerns and suggestions to those gathered at the meeting in Pittsburgh.
A similar meeting is planned for the Eparchy of Parma in Cleveland on Saturday, June 20, and meetings in the Eparchies of Passaic and Phoenix are under consideration.