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July 19, 2017

Director of Music and Organist Elizabeth Lenti to give recital Sunday, July 23. Registration open for parish retreat.

With Gratitude

Dear St. Peter’s Community,

In the fall of 2014, I moved to Charlotte to become the Assistant Organist and Choirmaster at St. Peter’s. From the very beginning, I felt the welcome of this congregation. This place was home to me from the very start.

As I began my work at the parish and at the Choir School, I experienced and enjoyed the beautiful liturgy and music at St. Peter’s. I found my place alongside Ben Outen, and with the choir and congregation of this wonderful community. I bought a house and made a home here in Charlotte.

The news of Ben’s departure caught me off guard, as I know it did many of you. My work with Ben has been a great gift to my life, and, with all of you, I am both saddened by his departure and glad for his new chapter.

After learning of Ben’s decision, Fr. Ollie and I began conversations around what was the best path forward for St. Peter’s and for me. I am delighted that our mutual discernment led to his offer and my enthusiastic acceptance of the position of Director of Music at St. Peter’s. It has been a pleasure and an honor to be part of the beautiful worship at St. Peter’s for the past three years as the assistant. It is a great joy and challenge to know that I will now continue here in a new role.

I am ever grateful for the welcoming community I’ve found here at St. Peter’s: on the staff, in the choir, and amongst the congregation as a whole. So many of you have reached out in the past few weeks to check in on me, to offer words of encouragement, and to assure me of your support moving forward. I am deeply grateful to all of you and for this community. With your support, I am confident in our ability to continue and grow the wonderful tradition of great music and liturgy that has already been so firmly established.

With gratitude,

Elizabeth Lenti, Director of Music and Organist

 

A Holy Pilgrimage

Following intense preparation, 17 youth pilgrims embarked on a long-awaited Pilgrimage with five dedicated adult leaders. After riding in vans, planes, subways, and buses, our group arrived in Rome at the first of four convents, where our rooms overlooked St. Peter’s Square and Vatican City. The group immediately set out, armed with paper maps, internet maps, and shared navigation duties and settled into a rhythm for the next seven days. We soaked up the beauty and awe of majestic cathedrals, we experienced the beauty and the rawness of the cities we explored (Rome and Milan). We were awed by the San Callista Catacombs, the Quo Vadis chapel, the Scala Santa (Holy Stairs), St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Vatican Museums. We climbed to the top of St. Peter’s to see all of Rome laid out at our feet. We all fell in love with Assisi, and reveled in the beauty of the San Damiano church that St. Francis rebuilt. We cherished The Hermitage, where St. Francis spent many days speaking with animals and reflecting on God’s creation.

Our beautiful Sunday Eucharist in the undercroft chapel of our Assisi convent fed us spiritually as we continued our journey. We prayed in the church where St. Francis prayed as a young boy. We prayerd at the basilica of St. Francis built in his honor, and at the Cathedral where St. Clare still rests. We learned much from our wonderful Assisi guide, Marco. We experienced the magnificent Duomo in Milan (the interior and rooftop), we marveled at the church dedicated to St. Ambrose, whose body has been in view in the crypt since 397 CE. We prayed in the chapel (San Sebastian alla Ossa) built with the bones of people who died from the Black Plague. We were all moved by the prayers we offered for our friends and family back home at the chapel of San Damiano, during our Eucharist, and in the magnificent Duomo in Milan.

The entire St. Peter’s community was with us as we carried you in our prayers. This was a Holy Pilgrimage, where many hardships were presented and dealt with. We walked a total of 68.9 miles, we struggled with disengaging from technology and the internet, we faced disappointments in scheduling problems, we supported each other when fatigued or injured, we got lost and retraced steps, we learned to love each other through all adversity, and to practice our Baptismal vows of treating each other with dignity and respect. We cried, we laughed, and we prayed. As the days rolled on, and we reflected on what we experienced and learned during our late night prayers, the discussions were incredibly rich and full of budding wisdom and spirituality.

After visiting the church of St. John the Lateran in Rome, one of our youth pilgrims remarked, “I have never before so clearly experienced God’s majesty and mystery.” Paradigm shifts were made in the core of these teens (and the adults, too) that will inform their lives forever. That is true grace and love. That is Christianity. Your generous financial support, your prayers, and your love made this Pilgrimage possible. The impact you have made on all the Pilgrims will not be forgotten. Thank you!

– Lyn Holt, Director of Youth Formation