Diocese of Rockville Centre

Faithful from All Walks of Life Invited to Attend Sign-Ups

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, July 13, 2007—The Sister Thea Bowman Diocese of Rockville Centre Gospel Choir will seek new members August 5, 2007 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Queen of the Most Holy Rosary parish, Roosevelt, N.Y. The theme of the placement event is “Let’s Pull Together in Unity.”

The choir is looking for diversity in age and race. The greatest need is tenors and basses, in addition to musicians such as bass players and guitarists. There is also need for people who play African drums, snare drums and steel drums.

The ultimate goal is to boost the 60-member group to more than 140 members, said Darcel Whitten-Wilamowski, coordinator of the Diocesan Ministry to Catholics of African Ancestry and founder and director of the choir.

“There has to be a call to minister in this way,” Whitten-Wilamowski said. “There has to be a love for the music.”

Established in 1986, the choir began as the “Sounds in the Spirit of Praise” Brooklyn Diocesan Gospel Choir under the Brooklyn Office of Black Ministry. In 1995, the name changed to the Sister Thea Bowman Mass Choir. In 1997, the Diocese of Rockville Centre’s Ministry to Catholics of African Ancestry invited the choir to sing for our diocese permanently.

During its time in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Sister Thea’s Choir has sung for the Ministry to Catholics of African Ancestry’s Masses of Thanksgiving, and has been featured on Telecare (the diocesan television station) on “Total Praise,” a show of evangelization that highlights Catholics of African ancestry. The group has also performed for Black History Month. Starting in September, they will sing the third Sunday of every month at a Gospel Mass at Queen of the Most Holy Rosary parish, Roosevelt, N.Y.

The choir hopes to revitalize the classical repertoire and eventually sing in languages other than English, such as French and Spanish.

The Ministry to Catholics of African Ancestry will also launch a Liturgical dance troupe to perform at cultural events and Masses of Thanksgiving. Members of the troupe will rehearse such styles as ballet, African dance, modern, classical and traditional.

For more information on Sister Thea’s Choir, the dance troupe or the ministry, visit http://www.drvc.org/african_ancestry.html 

Editor’s Note: Photo Courtesy of The Long Island Catholic

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About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
Celebrating its Golden Jubilee, the Diocese of Rockville Centre (www.drvc.org) was formed in 1957 and covers 1,198 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.4 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 2.8 million). There are 134 parishes in 115 towns. Last year over 18,000 baptisms, 18,000 confirmations, 19,000 first communions and 4,000 marriages took place in the diocese. There are approximately 22,000 students in Catholic elementary schools; 13,000 in secondary schools and 3,300 in higher institutions. There are 69 Catholic elementary and high schools and one Catholic college in the diocese. There are also 120,189 total students in religious education. Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of five hospitals, three nursing homes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. Last year, Catholic Charities assisted more than 59,000 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island. (4/20/07)

For more information Contact:
Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications
516-678-5800, ext. 625
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