Priests, seminarians jazz up vocations fundraising with concert

While Father Louis Bianco is certainly in tune with parish life at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Homeland, where he serves as associate pastor, the priest is also instrumental in other ways.

A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Father Bianco is a master of the clarinet.

The public will have an opportunity to hear the musical talent of Father Bianco, along with Father Mark Bialek, associate pastor of St. Joseph, Fullerton, and five seminarians, during an April 27 concert at St. Mary’s Seminary Chapel in Roland Park.

“Vox Domini – Music for the Journey,” is sponsored by the Vocation Office of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Serra Foundation of Baltimore, and features clarinet, guitar and piano performance as well as singing. The 3 p.m. concert will benefit the “Take the Journey” vocation program that invites juniors in high school to consider a call from God to the priesthood.

“I think anytime we can get out there and have youths see us on a different level than just at Mass or church or some official function like that, it is positive,” said Father Bianco.

The five seminarians performing include: Rev. Mr. John Rapisarda, a transitional deacon for the archdiocese who will be ordained in June; Joseph Gill, who is fulfilling his pastoral year at St. John the Evangelist, Severna Park; Marc L. Lanoue, who is fulfilling his pastoral year at St. Ignatius, Hickory; Carlo Stebbings, who is a second-year theologian at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Roland Park; and Quy Vo, a third-year theologian from the diocese of Albany, N.Y., who is studying at St. Mary’s.

Mr. Gill, 24, who sings and plays guitar and has recorded several CDs, said he thinks the concert will be something different for the public.

“They may have seen Men in Black (basketball) games, but now come see a different side of seminarians,” encouraged Mr. Gill. He said the seminarians and priests will perform two songs each.

“This concert is a great way to combine a donation with a nice evening out listening to priests and seminarians perform and display their diverse talents,” said Andrew Veveiros, associate director of vocations for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

As for why he thinks people should attend the concert, Father Bianco said, “I think, first of all, they are supporting a great program that the Serra Club and the Vocation Office provide for junior boys in high school. People will also be more aware of the need for vocations in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and they’ll have the opportunity to listen to music.”

As part of the Take the Journey program, students visit St. Mary’s Seminary for a day-long visit/retreat that promotes openness to God’s call, provides information about the priesthood and religious life and allows students to interact with the seminary community. Six schools have participated this year, with some 800 juniors visiting the seminary.

Concert tickets are $25. Only 500 seats are available. For tickets by mail, send checks to The Serra Foundation of Baltimore, Mr. Joseph Reynolds, c/o Office for Vocations, 320 Cathedral St., Baltimore, MD 21201 or call 410-547-5426 to reserve seats.

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.