High-schoolers working with...and learning from the Benedictine sisters

Young choir members at Pius X High School get a chance to observe and work with the Benedictine sisters in their high school community and attend the Investiture ceremony Tuesday morning at the Oratory. (This photo of the Saint Pius X girls outside the Oratory courtesy of a reader.)

Sandra Prothman
, Music Teacher and Liturgist at Pius X High School in Kansas City North says that her students are benefiting greatly from the exposure to and emulation of the sisters of the order of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles whose convent is on the campus of the school.

Tuesday morning, the Feast of the Epiphany, a group of about 20 girls from the school had the opportunity to be excused from classes to attend the investiture of three postulants to the novitiate and one profession of first vows held at Old St. Patrick Oratory.

Bishop Robert Finn, Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese was the celebrant of Mass in the Extraordinary Form and presided at the ceremonies that followed.

“My chorus members are very excited at working with the sisters,” said Mrs. Prothman. “Two of my choir groups have had the chance to sing with the sisters once a month at First Friday exposition, adoration and Benediction,” she said, “and they are learning to love and appreciate being exposed to the beauty of the traditional music of the Church and to the Latin language.”

At the monthly adoration which is held in the school chapel during lunchtime, students who attend are able to sing along with the sisters and learn some of the liturgy, such as traditional hymns like “O Salutaris Hostiaand Tantum Ergo”.

Mrs. Prothman said that “the girls were very excited at being invited by the sisters to attend the investiture and the principal of St. Pius X high school, Mr. Joe Monachino, was most supportive of allowing the girls to take time from their studies to attend at this “Girls Day Out With the Sisters.” A number of the girls’s mothers also attended.

Another Student/Sisters event will occur February 8th (Septuagesima Sunday) when boys and girls of the schools’s Mixed Chorus will join the Sisters of Mary, Queen of Apostles singing the High Mass at Old St. Patrick Oratory at 10:15 a.m. The students will join the sisters in chanting the Offertory and Communion proper. Hearing the sisters sing at Mass is always a looked-forward to event by members of the Oratory, and having the students learning and performing Gregorian Chant with them is an added blessing.

“My student's favorite hymn is ‘Dona Nobis Pacem,” said Mrs. Prothman. This is a hymn which is sung in rounds by three parts in the chorus. “The boys told me that on the bus to a school activity recently, the kids split into three groups and began singing the hymn on the bus.” What a wonderful story.

The implications here for the growth of the students in their Catholic faith and for the possibility of the nurturing of religious vocations cannot be ignored. The work of our Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles sisters is being felt in many corners of the diocese.

For more photographs of the investiture ceremony, KansasCatholic blog has a number of them.

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