By Tony DeGol
The voice of God can be heard in the silence of one’s heart, Mother Teresa always advised.
To hear the Word of the Lord in church, however, the worship site needs to have good audio.
In that spirit, Immaculate Conception Parish in New Germany recently purchased a new sound system.
Thanks to Oregon Catholic Press, the price tag for that upgrade will be a little easier to handle.
Earlier this month, OCP informed both the parish and Bishop Mark that Immaculate Conception was chosen to receive a $5,000 grant out of hundreds of applications from parishes around the United States.
“It is our sincere hope that this grant will help Immaculate Conception meet the needs they so clearly presented in their grant application, as well as support their efforts to enhance their community’s liturgy and music,” the letter to the Bishop stated.
Based in Portland, OCP is a company that provides music and worship resources to faith communities around the world.
They offer annual grant opportunities for which parishes are encouraged to apply.
Because of the intense national competition, the award is no small accomplishment.
“Every application was of remarkable merit and each parish’s needs were worthy of assistance, making the selection process quite difficult,” OCP noted. “We take great satisfaction in knowing that so many parishes are committed to fulfilling the needs of their communities.”
Margie Wilson is one of the organists at Immaculate Conception. She wrote the grant application on behalf of the parish.
“I was shocked to find out we got $5,000,” Wilson admitted.
The new sound system allows everyone to hear more clearly in the church, Wilson said. It features an attachment for parishioners with hearing aids to enhance their ability to hear. The system also includes hand-held microphones.
An organist at the parish for many years and a member even longer, this is not Wilson’s first triumph with an OCP grant. A few years ago, she was successful in obtaining about $2,000 for new hymnals for the choir.
She is thrilled to deliver for her parish through her fruitful grant writing abilities and especially as a musician.
“It’s not just a service,” Wilson maintained. “It’s how I really connect with the liturgy.”
[Photo: The view of Immaculate Conception Parish from the church’s choir loft.]