Organ Fund FAQs
WHY ARE WE DOING THE ORGAN PROJECT?
A pipe organ is an extremely complicated mechanical device. Until the advent of the computer it was the most advanced and intricate piece of technology in the world. As with all mechanical devices that are in daily use, our organ was reaching the end of its mechanical lifespan. We were making constant and costly repairs to our instrument and we were coming close the time of having to invest $300,000+ to save it.
Last year, however, Trinity Lutheran in Canton was preparing to close its doors. We were contacted to see if we would be interested in their organ. There was so much about this prospect that was enticing: our organ needed many repairs, this organ was local (so there would be no major shipping costs), the two organs were complimentary to each other and both of which the organ company was familiar, and we had a music program that could properly use such a grand instrument. But the asking price of the organ was too high.
When the choir went to Rome on tour I went to the altar of St. Sebastian in St. Peter's Basilica, where the tomb of John Paul II is. To John Paul and St. Sebastian I prayed for something special to happen for the parish. Returning to the hotel I was greeted by our director of music, Lynn Frey-Steward, who had just been contacted by Trinity Lutheran who was now willing to sell us the organ at a much lower price. The economy of the project, the timing, and the need all seemed too good to pass on and so we have gone forward.
Are there other projects that we could have focused on instead? Yes. But there is nothing that we do as a parish that is more important than celebrating the Eucharist and giving glory to God. Everything else may be good and worthy, but their ultimate end is to bring us back to the Eucharist. Without that we might as well shut down. Here is an opportunity to express what is most important about this (or any Catholic) parish: the Eucharist, the community, and our central celebration.
WHAT WILL WE HAVE IN THE END?
In the end we will have one of the largest Catholic pipe organs in the diocese. What does a larger pipe organ mean? It is like moving from a box of 24 crayons to one that has 64. There is just so much more that you can do. A string quartet can play almost any piece, but an orchestra makes pieces come alive much more brilliantly. We have the talent and the program to make full use of this rich resource.
Having such an instrument helps secure that quality musicians will always be a part of St. Sebastian Parish. A good instrument attracts good musicians. Not only will we have a good instrument but we also have an acoustically great building in which to play and experience it. In addition to keeping quality musicians at the parish, it should also attract competent people to want to give performances in our space.
This project if started from scratch should have cost us near a million dollars. With this opportunity we will end up spending about half of that.
WHY NOT AN ELECTRIC ORGAN?
The official instrument of the Catholic Church, the first among equals, is the pipe organ. When possible we are encouraged to maintain this great tradition. Electric organs can sound good, but there is something about having the sound actually produced in your space rather than by some other means that tries to imitate an actual instrument. The Catholic Church who is called to be patroness of the arts, tries to keep the arts as authentic as reasonably possible. We are able and so continue this ideal with this effort.
HOW LONG WILL THIS ORGAN LAST?
This predicted lifespan of the new organ will be approximately 60 to 75 years before it needs a major overhaul such as the one we are giving it currently. That means about the year 2075. This is a true investment in the future of the parish.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Pray, watch, get ready to listen, and share the story. If you are able, make a donation. You may "purchase a pipe" either for yourself or in memory of a loved one. In return you will receive a certificate with your name, the name of the person you wish to honor, and the specific pipe you chose. (This pipe could be played for you so you know which one it is after the organ is finished.) This information will also be placed in a dedication booklet. Each pipe costs $165 and an entire rank of pipes costs XXXXXXXX.
ANY AMOUNT IS APPRECIATED!
And now, any amount that you donated will be doubled through a matching grant program through the Saint Sebastian Foundation up to $100,000. From 25 cents 25,000 dollars, your participation is important and appreciated. Thank you so much for your consideration.