Last Sunday our College Schola under the direction of Bernard Kirkpatrick sang the 11.00am Mass at Parramatta Cathedral - its first Mass outside the College. The Schola is just visible in the photo above at the end of the "nave". Their singing was suberb and many in the Cathedral were were struck by the beauty and of their singing and the style of the music - Polyphony and Chant are now so seldom heard by Catholic congregations. The Schola was very well supported by staff and students in the congregation and "sanctuary". Afterwards we repaired to the park by the river for a BBQ. This is a date we should certainly repeat.
You will have noticed that I have placed the words nave and sanctuary in inverted commas - well, it is hard to identify either in Parramatta Cathedral. This new edifice was opened five years ago after a fire destroyed the old Cathedral and, although it fits into the Parramatta skyline, it is hard to see how the Church fits into it.
I concelebrated the Sung Mass and had the experience of what it would be like saying Mass in the entrance to a museum or a new railway station. This Cathedral was clearly built to express the secular and I wonder how its regular congregation will fare as the years pass by.