Pastor’s Page – New Director of Liturgy & Music

Most people – at least those with only a casual knowledge – think of “church” as Sunday Mass. While our parish is busy weeklong thanks to our many groups and parochial school, Sunday Mass is our most important activity. Most people identify three dimensions to evaluating Mass: a sense of welcome, good music, and a good message (homily).

Since Ellen Estallo took a position with a parish closer to her Central Jersey home over the summer, the “good music” has been handled by Ryan Peiffer at the organ and Don Nigro directing the choir. Their great work allowed the parish to conduct a slow but deliberate search for a new full-time Director of Liturgy and Music. Many thanks to Ryan for working so well with our talented cantors and our parish staff and to Don for enlarging and improving our parish choir in a few short months.

The nine-member elected pastoral council created a three-member search committee. I’m grateful to Theresa-Rose Woodward, Mary Rose Martino, and John Kearney for screening about a dozen resumes, interviewing six candidates by Zoom, and finally conducting in-person interviews and auditions for their top two candidates. They did this right up to December 21!

Now, I’m pleased to announce I hired Abigail Walsh. She is the outgoing Pastoral Associate for Worship and Music at St. Andrew Church in Gibbsboro. Unlike Ellen, Abby will also be responsible for the nonmusical elements of the liturgy and therefore Bob Tulini will now work on her team. She will start Saturday, January 20.

Although Abby is local, I want you to understand that our applicant pool stretched from Virginia to Iowa to North Jersey. I’m proud that our parish was able to attract plenty of worthy candidates but I’m also confident that the best candidate happened to be a local one. Please welcome her to Christ the King Church!