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Papal Choir Singers

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How were you chosen to sing in the choir?

Jillian: I received an email from a member of our Merion Chorale giving us details about the audition for the choir. I went to the audition, auditioned, and received an email, while I was on a cruise, saying that I got in.

Grace: I am a member of the Archdiocesan Children’s Choir, and my choir was selected to sing on Saturday morning to greet Pope Francis on the cathedral steps as well as at the Sunday papal mass on the parkway. Also, my choir sang at the World Meeting of Families Mass on Thursday, September 24th at the Convention Center.

Cecelia: I was already part of the Archdiocesan Children’s Choir and we were lucky enough to be chosen to sing.

Meaghan: Mrs. Creed sent us an email through Kristen Harrison and told us about the audition. We had to prepare a verse from Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee and sing it in front of two judges as well as perform a scale in our respective voice part. We then got an email about a week later that ranked all of the singers and who got in.

What was it like to sing for the pope and be in his presence?

Jillian: That day was a very long, tiring day, but when I saw the pope on the alter, although I wasn’t that close, it was the most amazing feeling. Truly a feeling that you were in the presence of a holy, faith-filled person.

Grace: To be in the presence of the Holy Father and to offer him praise by singing in the 500 voice choir was almost too good to be true. We were just yards from him, and it seemed unreal at the time. I feel so blessed to have been given such an amazing opportunity to be so close to Pope Francis and to have been able to sing for him.

Cecelia: It was very cool to be in the presence of the Pope because he’s loved by people all over the world and I knew that people from everywhere were watching and enjoying the experience.

Meaghan: My experience was indescribable, the feeling I got from the crowd and my fellow choir members around me truly made me realize just how special that day was. That fact that Pope Francis brought this many people together to share in this experience as one really hit me. It was an absolute honor to perform for Pope Francis and I think it’s safe to say that this is one day I will remember for the rest of my life.

Do you have a memory from that day you would like to share?

Jillian: I remember when it came the time of the Eucharist, the whole parkway fell silent. There was not a single sound from anyone there. It was a moment of complete peace and serenity. The presence of God was truly there.

Grace: I have numerous great memories from the weekend that Pope Francis was in Philadelphia. One that stuck out for me occurred Saturday, when my choir greeted the pope on the cathedral steps. He drove by our choir, and he was about four or five feet away from us. He waved to us in the car, and then again when he got out of the car. When I first saw him, I was not the only one who began to tear up. I felt tremendous love for Pope Francis that weekend and for my Catholic brothers and sisters as well who had gathered for the papal mass.

Cecelia: I was extremely excited the entire weekend and the first time I saw Pope Francis he was only around 20-30 feet away in his little Fiat.

Meaghan: One memory I have is when Jill and I were backstage, and we got to talk to Ms. Restifo in the adult’s tent. As we were talking about how excited we all were about performing our music for Pope Francis, I had this sudden sense of family. Now, when I say family I don’t just mean my parents and two sisters, but I had this feeling of my Merion family; we were all sharing in this experience together, and that made me realize just how special this event was.

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Papal Choir Singers