Two weeks ago I celebrated my 66th birthday and give thanks for those who sent good wishes. Today I mark another milestone with the 66th anniversary of my Baptism.
Yes, with names like Anthony Gerard it is pretty obvious that I was baptized Catholic an acknowledgement I make with some trepidation in the current climate.
However, there is a spectrum of Catholicism. At one end you will find George Pell and at the other, Andy Warhol You will find Mary Queen of Scots, but you will also discover St. Mary MacKillop. Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce carry membership cards as did Mum Shirl. and Fr Ted Kennedy of Redfern. Scoundrels, saints and sinners , have filled the pews,written our history and taken us on the highs and lows of human experience.
I grew up in a era of Catholicism that nurtured a love of music and singing. The popular Hymn, “How Can I keep From Singing” is rarely sung in Catholic Churches but it captures a sentiment that some of us will identify with as we scroll our social media and watch the reports of clergy abuse dominate our screens.:
Thro’ all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul—
How can I keep from singing?
Each year I publish a list of hymns and music that I have sung in Catholic communities from childhood to my adult years. The list now runs to 66 pieces to commemorate this anniversary. If you are Catholic you might enjoy a trip down memory lane. If you have never sung with Catholics, you will probably be amazed at the clips you can find on youtube!!!
I hope the sharing of this post nurtures hope for all of us who live in these days of “tumult and strife”