Review of St. Mary’s Youth Mass
St. Mary’s Parish, 125 Rue Grove, Greenfield Park, QC J4V 2X2
February 12th, 2017.
By: Chris Wheeler
With a backdrop of shimmering white, the congregation of St. Mary’s trudged through the snow to be a part of what should be a constant within the South Shore diocese of Montreal. Beginning at the unusual hour of 4pm, no one could have surmised the professionalism or the commitment to bring something truly unique and indeed, engaging, to the service. Bishop Gendron, Father Vincent and Father John Torrence conducted the mass and led the congregation in prayer, reflection and blessing.
Led and organized by Dale Perks, the exuberant Youth Choir displayed a knack for musical refinement performing a wide-range of instruments including guitar, bass, drums, tambourine and percussion to support the voices that swelled high and low. When members were not involved sonically, some participated in a lighthearted social/religious repartee with Father John about the complexities of the Ten Commandments, in place of the usual priest-led homily. Tackling notions of “keeping the Sabbath” and “avoiding adultery/lust” were handled with ease, understanding and care. Originality reared its welcomed head as well in the mesmerizing interpretive dance routine following the Communion rite. Captive on-lookers, held spellbound, observed a “spiritual envelopment” in each dancer while the band played on.
Truly, what set this service apart from the “norm” was the energy and easy-going interaction from the three priests, the youth and the congregation. Nothing seemed routine or mundane in the execution of all parts, intertwined with just the right amount of thoughtfulness and gaiety. Despite being a tad lengthy after 75 minutes, the time flew nevertheless and if my three year son could be held for that long without going “berserk”, then the Youth Mass should be here to stay!