A new organ will be making melodies at St. Laurence.
Coming soon to St. Laurence will be the beautiful melodies that only an organ can provide. While the organ is not brand new, it is new to St. Laurence. We will post photos here of the progress of the installation. Watch on Facebook as we regularly post construction updates.
Here is a little history from Fr. Andrew that appeared in the October 24, 2021 bulletin:
Dear Parishioners of St. Laurence,
In the recent past, I have informally announced my interest and desire to acquire a pipe organ for our Church. Let me call to your attention some of the significant statements the Catholic Church has made about the use of a pipe organ in Catholic liturgy:
- Vatican II Sancrosanctum concilium #120. “In the Latin Church the pipe organ is to be held in high esteem, for it is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendor to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lifts up man’s mind to God and to higher things.”
- General Instruction of the Roman Missal #393. Tells us that among all other musical instruments, the pipe organ should have “pride of place”.
Over the last few decades, our liturgies here at St. Laurence have been beautified by our very own parishioners who not only generously offered their time and talent, but often their own financial resources to purchase and upkeep the instruments that accompany our singing in church. We have been truly blessed; and I pray, will continue to be blessed by their help.
When I arrived here 8 years ago, I remember entering our lovely church for the first time, absolutely stunned by the beauty of its numerous stained glass windows. I remember walking up to the choir loft expectantly awaiting to see and hear a beautiful organ to complete and complement the church’s visual beauty. I was told that the parish once had one, but alas, no longer.
As Pastor, it has always been a desire of mine to acquire a pipe organ for our Church, thus trying to fulfill the Church’s directives about giving the pipe organ “high esteem” and “pride of place”. It is hard when we don’t have one. It’s always been for me a desire “on the backburner”, as pipe organs are not cheap. When I arrived, the parish was in debt; and even once we got out of it, trying to keep the school afloat, in my opinion, always seemed a more justifiable priority than acquiring an organ.
A year after our school has closed, and miraculously (in my opinion) still debt free, we find ourselves in a most blessed position to acquire a pipe organ for our parish.
Many closed churches were offering to sell us one for $20,000 -$30,000 dollars and then behold, we found a pipe organ on EBay free for the taking. All we had to do was move it from its previous location at a Presbyterian Church in Oregon, IL, restore and install it. To me, it seemed like God was doing His part, putting so many things into place, making a difficult thing completely doable.
After consulting with the St. Laurence Finance Council, the Diocese of Rockford, the Diocesan Director of Liturgy, the St. Peter Cathedral organist, various organ builders and other competent individuals, I made the decision to enter into a contract with Fabry Organs to refurbish and install this pipe organ in our church. It is a Howell (Opus 1980) 12 rank pipe organ in very good condition. The total cost of the project is $88,788.00 and is scheduled to be completed by Jan 31st, 2022.
Let me show you now how I propose to finance it.
- $ 35,000 2022 St. Laurence Parish Capital Budget Expense (approved by Parish Finance Council and the Diocese of Rockford)
- $ 10,000 Individual parishioner donation (already received for this purpose)
- $ 20,000 Individual parishioner donation (already received for this purpose)
- $ 2,000 Parishioner pledge (yet to be collected)
- $ 21,788 Remainder to be raised
- Total of $ 88,788
Therefore I am announcing to all of you this goal of raising $25,000 by January 1st, 2022 to finance what we are still lacking. In years past–excluding the last two–I published a St. Laurence Christmas Wish List. Many of you gave quite generously.
Unless the stock market nose dives, from now to then, it is likely that most who have money invested will make decent earnings. I hope God inspires some to consider making the following gifts:
- 2 gifts of $5,000
- 5 gifts of $1,000
- Or, quite possibly, a gift of $25,000
I invite you to consider giving Jesus a beautiful birthday present this year which helps us glorify Him and unites our voices to the angels singing Hosanna in the Highest. May God reward again your generosity.
Fr. Andrew Mulcahey
Well we did it and now the organ is in the process of being installed.
We moved the Clavinova to the south end of the choir loft and the installation of the pipe organ has begun.
Here are some pictures: