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Jewish, Catholic Faiths, and Sacred Music Are Themes of Lexington Lenten Series

Posted by Tom Coakley  February 28, 2013 02:27 PM

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The following press release came from the Catholic Community in Lexington.

Several dynamic speakers will focus on topics ranging from the Jewish religion, to the 2013 Catholic Year of Faith, and the sacred music tradition of Passiontide, during the Lenten Speaker Series at Sacred Heart Parish in Lexington on the first three Sundays in March.

The talks will start around 11:15 a.m. on March 3, 10, and 17 at at Sacred Heart Parish Hall, 21 Follen Road, immediately following the 10:00 a.m. Mass,

The first speaker is Naomi Towvim, who will address “Spotlights of Jewish Belief and Practice” on March 3.

She is co-director of the New Directions in Catholic-Jewish Dialogue project of the Anti-Defamation League, New England Region, and the Archdiocese of Boston. Together with her co-director and Catholic colleague Celia Sirois, she designs and runs workshops for Catholic and Jewish educators.

Towvim has been a curriculum and family education consultant at the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Boston. She has written curriculum materials and taught at Jewish and secular schools, the Education Development Center in Waltham, and the Children’s Museum of Boston. She holds a B.A. from Vassar College and an M.A. in history from Columbia University.

Celia Sirois will speak on March 10. about “Finding the Heart of the Gospel in the Year of Faith.”

A teacher of Scripture, she is an adjunct professor in the Master of Arts in Ministry Program at St. John’s Seminary, Brighton, where she also teaches in the Permanent Diaconate Formation Program. She coordinates and teaches at CHRISM, which offers adult faith formation programs, many in Scripture, through the Office of the Bishop of the South Region.

Sirois has participated in archaeological excavations at Sepphoris, Israel, and authored two textbooks and a series of reflections on the lectionary readings of the Sunday and Weekday Vatican II Missals.

The final two speakers in the series will be Mark Pichowicz and Joanne Messier, on March 17. They will discuss “The Propers of Passion Sunday.”

The Propers of the Mass are comprised of short scriptural excerpts from a psalm or canticle. These texts change in accordance with the character of the Mass. They are chiefly found in the Roman Missal and the Gregorian Chant Book (Gradual Romanum) and form an immense and deeply rich treasure trove in the sacred music tradition.

Pichowicz, a native of Plaistow, N.H., became Sacred Heart’s organist in January. He has returned to New England after five years of work developing a large music program at St. Peter Church in Omaha, NE. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Sacred Music from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, and a Masters of Music degree in organ performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Messier has been Sacred Heart’s Choir Director since 2005..

She received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Voice Performance from the Boston Conservatory, with additional studies at Boston University and the New England Conservatory. She recently completed a course in conducting with James Jordan at the Westminster Choir College. She has appeared with the Opera Company of Boston, the Artistes Internationale, the Longwood Opera, the Chaminade Opera, and the Boston Vocal Artists. A voice teacher for more than 20 years, Joanne has taught many folk, pop, jazz, and rock artists.

Hospitality and refreshments are available starting at 11:00 a.m. in the parish hall. Members of the interfaith public are welcome at the free event; no reservations are needed. The Sacred Heart Parish Center is wheelchair accessible.

For information contact Beverly Good, pastoral associate, Sacred Heart Catholic Parish, Lexington
781-863-0319, ext. 20

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