Greetings all of you folkheads, gathered near and far!

Of course it's snowing here in South Bend, the day before St. Patrick's Day. But in the midst of the frigid midwestern weather, we all wish you well as we approach our bi-lingual liturgy, sung in Irish and English tomorrow. You will be held in prayer.

I've been writing to many alums over the past few days, catching up after spring break. There are newborns just announced (Andrew Stephen Trybus, son of J. C. and Paula Trybus of Columbus). There are good words from old friends like Lauren Pillar Trocano of Pittsburgh. And musical greetings from former graduate students, Kim Hess and Pat Schrock, with whom I had the pleasure of working at a liturgy conference at Georgetown this past month. A beautiful letter from Emmeline Schoen, who just finished a marathon (in one piece!) and donated her labors to her beloved ACE community. Several ACErs, Babs Smith and Amy Seamon, continue to work in their placements this year.

It's remarkable, as these little greetings and snippets pass my desk and screen, to marvel at how all of you are making such an impact, small but perceptible, in the world. Back here at Notre Dame, we just keep doing what we've always done, helping people pray through music. But I'm reminded, daily, of what that exercise did you change people's hearts and souls and perspectives once they left this place.

We can look back, from the vantage point of mid-March, to an incredible tour of Ireland this past fall break. I was astounded by the maturity, self-giving, and musical proficiency of this year's overseas pilgrims. For the first time ever, I came back from the Ireland tour with a glimmer of hope, because for the first time I witnessed whole congregations joining in our song.

Also coming up.... a joyful ordination this coming April 17th, where one of our own, Michael Wurtz, will be celebrating his presbyterate with FIVE other men of Holy Cross. The event promises to bring alumni and friends together from all over the United States. We've already begun planning the music for this incredible event.... be ready for many of your favorites, all of you who plan on making the trip. And get to church early on Easter Saturday, because there will be precious little space left when "All Creatures of Our God and King" gets lifted up by the assembly at the start of Ordinations.

And we can look forward, with some eagerness, to a first-ever convocation of Campus Ministers from all over North America here at Notre Dame at the end of May. This symposium is the culmination of our spring tour, which initially takes us to Illinois and Wisconsin. A tour that ends with five days back at home base.... not a bad scenario! Plus, we get to bring all our favorite repertoire to campus ministers from one end of this continent to the next.

Witness of the Saints was launched last year, and it was blessed with the solo voices of many of our recent alums: Zack Linnert, Tommy Curtin, Quinn Smith, and Erin Riley, to name just a few. This recording has been an outstanding success, as is evident from the e-mails and letters I receive weekly, asking for music to many of the songs.

Read up on all the goings-on in this issue. We're making progress, little by little, on the silver anniversary of the choir next May 2005. Kelly Kingsbury is working hard on every angle of our reunion days. There are photos to share of our Irish journey, and first impressions by new members of the choir.

And finally, a huge thanks to Paul Van Leeuwen, our webmaster,
for putting this electronic greeting together for all of us to share
and enjoy!

Be in touch! And come back to Notre Dame soon!

Sincerely, in prayer and song,