60 Years of Music: Patricia Callahan-Schmidt to be Celebrated During Sunday Mass at St. Mark’s Catholic Church | Local News


For 60 years, Patricia Sallahan-Schmit did all she could to help others and serve St. Mark’s Catholic Church.

On Sunday, she will receive the special recognition and thanks she deserves during a special morning mass.

Callahan-Schmidt had performed for the church since 1950, when she was 11, and continued to lead the choir in 1963, shortly after becoming organist.

“I just followed my calling, did my job, and so I wasn’t sure it deserved a special celebration,” Callahan-Schmit said. “But he (the pastor) wanted to draw attention to the fact that I’m probably the longest (working) employee there.”

Callahan-Schmidt grew up frequenting St. Mark’s and noticed how much that changed over the years.

“When I started playing, the mass was still in Latin and the rules for being an organist were very rigid,” Callahan-Schmidt said. “Once the Second Vatican Council was decreed and the Mass became in the language of the people, then I would like to say that participation in the people became, #1, more active than passive; (and) #2, happier because they could understand what was going on.

People also read…

Callahan Schmidt said she also noticed that the congregation had become more active in its participation in worship services after the changes brought about by the Second Vatican Council.

“Before, people would walk into the church and sit there for mass and then come out and they were there as spectators and the musician provided the background… (but) now the musician supports the voice of the congregation,” says Callahan-Schmidt. “I find it much more engrossed in being a welcoming community (and) being a close-knit community (and) the one I remember working for in the very beginning.”

She also recalled memories of her time working with the choir and traveling with them.

“I took the adult choir on tour to Rome (and) we performed for the pope,” Callahan-Schmidt said. “We toured Spain, held an international choir festival in Cincinnati (and) did several things here locally.”

Some of Callahan-Schmidt’s favorite songs include “The Lord is my Light” and “Ever on my Lips”, the latter of which will be played on Sunday.

“I believe music has the power to say things you can’t put into words,” Callahan-Schmidt said. “I believe that music is more integral to worship (and) prayer. This speaks more than we can say.

Callahan-Schmidt said she was more used to serving in the background than taking center stage.

“It’s not my usual place to be in the limelight,” Callahan-Schmidt said. “I actually used to tease that most people recognized me by the back of my head.”

The special mass will be at 10 a.m., and Callahan-Schmidt said there will likely be family, friends and former choir members from out of town to celebrate.

“If you have a talent, it’s important to use it, not hide it,” Callahan-Schmidt said. “Whatever your talent, you must recognize that you have been given the talent and then use it.”


About Author

Comments are closed.