Program #0290 for Wednesday, May 2, 2012: The Priests

May 2, 2012

Recent Episodes

The Priests

Summary of today’s show: Three priests from Northern Ireland–two brothers and a childhood friend–share their musical talent as the musical group The Priests, and have recorded two albums, the first of which went to number 1 in Ireland and other countries. The Priests will be performing on Monday, May 7, in Boston and Scot Landry interview Fr. Eugene O’Hagan on the challenge of being simultaneously a parish priest and a touring recording star, and what was in the water of their childhood village that brought the three young boys not just to the priesthood together, but musical stardom as well.

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Today’s host(s): Scot Landry

Today’s guest(s): Fr. Eugene O’Hagan of The Priests

Links from today’s show:

Today’s topics: The Priests, a classical musical group of 3 priests from Northern Ireland

1st segment: Scot said today is the one-year anniversary of the dedication of the radio studio to the newly beatified Pope John Paul II. Today is also a celebration of Catholic radio on WQOM. Scot and Rick Heil talked about the value and importance of Catholic radio. Today is a fund drive for WQOM and he encouraged listeners to keep Catholic radio on the air.

2nd segment: Scot welcomed Fr. Eugene O’Hagan to the show. Fr. Eugene is a pastor in Northern Ireland, but he is part of a touring group of musical priests called The Priests. They will be in Boston on May 7. The three priests are Fr. Eugene, his brother Fr. Martin O’Hagan, and Fr. David Delargy. They discussed some of the American locations they’ve already visited on the tour. Neither of the O’Hagans have been to Boston although Fr. David has.

Scot asked how three parish priests find the time to record music and gon on a several week tour in the US. Fr. Eugene said it takes planning well in advance. They had the good grace and help of their fellow priests and parishioners. They’re taking it out of their annual vacations. Many parishioners feel very involved by following along with their travel on the website.

Scot said he senses that the priests have not just their vocation, but also an avocation to music. Fr. Eugene said it came from their appreciation for the gift of music that the Church has encouraged in their lives from their time as seminarians. When they began their journey to the priesthood, the seminary recognized that it be could for them to develop their musical talents and encouraged them to do so. Over the years, they’ve always been involved in music to encourage others to take part in worship.

They made their first album in 2008 and saw it as part of Pope John Paul II’s call to put out into the deep of the culture.

They will be performing at the Wilbur Theatre this coming Monday.

Break for fund drive banter. Make a gift to the 2012 Spring Fund Drive. Two listeners who donate this hour were to win a pair of tickets to The Priests at the Wilbur Theater.

3rd segment: Scot said the album rose to number 1 in Ireland and a number of other countries. In the US it got to 66. He asked Fr. Eugene what it says about the beauty of Church music’s resonance with young people today. Fr. Eugene said they had the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performing and they performed one part in St. Peter’s Basilica, which helped a lot. He said they sang traditional hymns that reached Catholic and non-Catholic alike. There are still lots of people looking for the spiritual and this musical contribution was a form of gentle evangelization. It got people curious about who these priests were and whether they were really or good or just a PR stunt.

Scot noted that the royalties for concerts and CD sales go to their charitable foundation. Fr. Eugene said they fund educational projects, including ones in Uganda, Thailand, and Cambodia. He said the actual work is done by the Mercy Sisters and Jesuits who are working in those areas. They also support Sightsavers International, who help the blind. They are conscious of supporting Catholic organizations, but not just exclusively Catholic ones.

Break for fund drive banter. Make a gift to the 2012 Spring Fund Drive. Two listeners who donate this hour were to win a pair of tickets to The Priests at the Wilbur Theater.

4th segment: Fr. Eugene talked about many of the amazing venues in which they’ve performed, like St. Albert’s Hall in London.

Scot asked how his parishioners react to having a priest who has such a large international profile. Fr. Eugene said today when priesthood is in the press so much, some good and some bad, they are in a position to present a different side of the priesthood than what people perceive it to be. He said they acknowledge the challenges of the priesthood, but all priests try to live their vocations to the best of their ability. They are able to do it through the support of their parishioners. They all recognize it’s a hugely important opportunity.

Scot asked how these three men, two brothers and their childhood friend, all from the same village were able to have such musical talent that blossomed in their priesthood. He said they were blessed to have encouraging parents, teachers, priests, and in the seminary. He noted their musical teacher, a religious sister, who was a dynamo of enthusiasm who got them all involved in music. They were blessed to have received that encouragement from those put in their lives at the right time, to fulfill themselves to the best of their ability and to reach their potential.

He says concertgoers will experience humanity, Irish site, and banter. People often tell them they look happy and comfortable onstage and they start the concerts by making the audience equally comfortable. An old music teacher told them there’s no reason to go on stage if they look like it’s a burden.

Break for fund drive banter. Make a gift to the 2012 Spring Fund Drive. Two listeners who donate this hour were to win a pair of tickets to The Priests at the Wilbur Theater.

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