Online Edition – Vol. IX, No. 5
US Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton announced in late May that the Old North Foundation of Boston has been approved to receive a $317,000 grant under the nation’s Save America’s Treasures Historic Preservation Fund Grants Program. Save America’s Treasures grants are used to preserve the legacy of historic landmarks. This grant will be used to preserve Boston’s Old North Church.
"This structure played a role in the nation’s quest for freedom and independence and the legendary ride of Paul Revere", Norton said. "I am delighted to share in advancing the protection and preservation of this national legacy for future generations to learn from and enjoy". The 280-year-old Old North Church is where in 1775 Paul Revere spotted two lanterns hung to signal the advance of British troops.
Previously, historically significant structures that are also used for religious purposes have been ineligible to receive historic preservation grants. "This new policy will bring balance to our historic preservation program and end a discriminatory double-standard that has been applied against religious properties", Norton said. "All nationally significant historic structures — including those used for religious purposes — will now be eligible to receive funding from Save America’s Treasures program".
The policy barring religious institutions from receiving federal preservation money had been in place since the late 1970s because of concerns about the separation of church and state, said Paul W. Edmondson, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The policy was formalized by a legal opinion issued by the Justice Department in the Clinton administration in 1995.
Recently, the Old North Church applied for a preservation grant under Save America’s Treasures. Last fall the church was told the grant was approved, said Timothy Matthews, a church official. But a week later, the church was informed of the 1995 ruling and the grant was revoked, he said. Edmondson said the National Trust appealed to the Bush administration, sensing that the Old North Church was an ideal candidate for testing the ban.
The White House asked the Justice Department for a new opinion and received one that took a stand different from the Clinton administration’s, Norton said.
Old North Church was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1961. Founded in 1723, it is the oldest church building in Boston and an example of Georgian architecture based on the style of Sir Christopher Wren. The grant will be matched by the Old North Foundation and used to repair and restore windows in the aging structure and to make the building more accessible to the American public.
In an interview with The New York Times, Jim Towey, the director of the White House Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives, said that the change in policy on historic preservation would apply only to places of worship that qualify as landmarks under the Save America’s Treasures program. The program gives out about $30 million in grants annually to preserve historic sites.
(Source: The New York Times, US Department of the Interior)
Following the July 2003 convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) in Cincinnati, we found two interesting comments on an Internet "blog" (web log) site, posted by "J.R". Excerpts follow:
"For RC musicians who wrote off NPM as a bunch of lefty guitar pickers, things have changed a lot. Much more emphasis on organ repertoire, implementing Vatican directives, and a generally scholarly tone that didn’t used to be there. Not that we’d ever be confused with Adoremus or Call to Holiness. But much more centrist than in the past".
Post-convention (July 22)
"Back from Cinci …
"I gotta take back part of my comment about [NPM members] ‘not just a bunch of lefty guitar pickers anymore’, however. The lefties still run this place. Most strongly evidenced by the plenary addresses, but also in my class on the GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal) and musical texts.
"I am probably more lefty than righty, but I REALLY would have liked some balance. What we got instead was a good deal of carping about the ‘illegitimi’ in Rome, and promises that the wind would shift again.
"This was particularly troublesome in my GIRM class, where I had hoped to find out details on how the new rules would play out. It may still be too early in the process, but our presenter didn’t seem to want to touch on that anyhow — but rather to expound on how the crafters of Liturgiam authenticam had really missed the mark, and how there would have to be yet another Instruction soon".
Many readers of the Adoremus Bulletin admire the daily chanting of the Liturgy. Nuns at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut, created a sensation in 1997 with their recording, Women in Chant. They followed this in 2000 with their equally beautiful CD Recordare. A major reason for this success is that for thirty years the nuns’ choir had been directed by world-renowned expert in Gregorian chant, Theodore Marier, founder of the Boston Archdiocesan Choir School and later professor of Liturgical Music at Catholic University of America.
The abbey released August 10 a work that Marier had long dreamed of producing, and which was essentially completed just before his death in 2001. Titled A Gregorian Chant Master Class, it distills the ten points of style that he believed establish the necessary foundation for effective chanting. The work includes a textbook and a CD. On the recording Dr. Marier explains these ten points of style, and provides models for each with chants sung by the nuns and by the men of the Stamford Schola Gregoriana of Stamford, Connecticut. Scott Turkington directs both choirs on the recording.
For information and orders, contact:
Abbey of Regina Laudis
Attn: A Gregorian Chant Master Class
273 Flanders Rd.
Bethlehem, CT 06751
Many Catholics in the United States are justifiably concerned that the information they are getting from various publications on the liturgy, parish bulletin inserts, etc., are not giving a true interpretation of the liturgical regulations in the new Roman Missal (Missale Romanum). As has been reported in AB, implementation in the dioceses of the United States of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) are inconsistent, at best; often confused or just plain wrong.
For those who want to read it for themselves, a print edition of the US-adapted GIRM can be ordered from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops by phoning 800-235-8722, or by visiting the USCCB web site at www.usccb.org and clicking on the "Bookstore" link. The cost per copy is $12.95 plus shipping.
The entire text is accessible online on the USCCB site at www.usccb.org/liturgy/current/revmissalisromanien.shtml