South San Francisco, CA April 12, 2022 by Elizabeth Nisperos, ESC Contributor
March 25, 2022, is a special date for in Rome, Pope Francis consecrated both Russia and Ukraine to the heart of the Immaculate Conception as stated in the Secrets of Fatima. Ukraine has been consecrated to Mary since 1037 AD: Pope Pius consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1942. Pope John Paul consecrated Russia in 1984.
The Eternal Word Television Network(EWTN) through Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Washington DC celebrated at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on March 25. Locally, St. Veronica’s Church celebrated a special solemn mass of the Annunciation with Fr. Cameron Pollete as celebrant. The Feast of Annunciation of Mary is when Archangel Gabriel announced her conception of the child Jesus. After nine months, it will be December 25, Christmas Day.
Fr. Cameron Pollete, Parochial Vicar started his South San Francisco priestly duties in 2021 to replace the priest who retired. He is a new South San Franciscan resident.
Fr Pollete (French in origin) looks like a teenager “I’ve been told that I Iooked very young.” As a person, he radiates calmness, gentleness, and patience. He ministers the Eucharist slowly with reverence but he can laugh out loud joyfully when you talk to him.
The idea for Latin mass to do something new and fresh came from the Pastor of St. Veronica’s Fr. Patrick Driscoll.
I grew up attending Latin Masses and know how to pray the rosary in Latin. It is common knowledge among Catholics, the devil is scared and runs away when he hears Latin prayers.
The treat for the Annunciation was the presence of Stanford graduate students who sang the hymns in Latin.
Stanford is known for intellectual/academic/sports/business/new technologies. I was surprised that a group of graduate students were interested in Latin, a dead language, and singing Gregorian chants. The Saint Pius Schola members are graduate students of Stanford University who sang William Byrd’s “Mass for Three Voices” and Gregorian Chant. The attendees were given a booklet of the mass both in English and Latin.
The Stanford graduate students rendered a mesmerizing rendition with their voices suitable for the Lenten season. I liked most is the “Sanctus’ where the layers of voices are hypnotic for meditation and calmness. I didn’t have a pen so I was not able to get their names. I asked, “Do you have a website?” The leader humbly said, “Oh no, we’re only students.”
I saw neumes or the notes in the booklet. Gregorian Chants are atonal and are notated with square notes called neumes. Years ago I listened to Dr. Robert Greenberg, composer, and professor “How to Listen to Understand Great Music” lecture. He said the order of Catholic Mass with music accompaniment was entangled with the history of Classical Music.
With the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war what kind of classical music European composers will compose? Dr. Greenberg’s lectures include the history of maps and wars related to composers of classical music. We need prayers and music for peace around the world. I pray and light a candle every day for peace.
Check out his site to understand the great music lectures:
Dominus Vobiscum. Oremos
God bless you. Let us pray
About Elizabeth Nisperos
Eliz Nisperos’ is a long-time resident of South San Francisco and a lover of the arts and is a regular contributor to Everything South City. A former Commissioner of our Cultural Arts Board, Nisperos’ love of beauty spans from the visual, written word, and song. She is an award-winning Calligraphist, among many other disciplined talents.