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The Priests' Text Blogs 2010-2012

 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Text Blogs 2012




29 June 2012

We’re in Milan this weekend just as Italy play Spain in the European Cup Final… it will be a hard choice for fans of music and football!

Having a rehearsal tomorrow with the ensemble and the choir… should be great.

The Church of San Marco in Milan is out of this world… as you would expect!

Many people expected for this event with colleagues travelling from Ireland to honour St Columbanus who arrived here from Ireland 1400 yrs ago... that’s not today nor yesterday!


 
 



2 July 2012


We’ve had a great visit to Milano for the 14 th centenary of the arrival here of St Columbanus who set out from Bangor, N-Ireland on a journey that would take him and his fellow monks into France and Italy.

We were accompanied by the
Orchestra da camera Milano Classica, directed by Michele Fedrigotti and by the Coro Cantua Januae led by Luca Dellacasa. Gianluca Capuano, the Artistic director of Milano Classica oversaw the arrange for the concert at the request of Mauro Steffenini, President of the Association of Friends of San Colombano for Europe.

The Church of San Marco hosted the event which, despite the European Cup Final the same evening, attracted a fully seated audience who had bought tickets in advance. The hour long concert included an Italian version of "
You Raise me up" … "Mi porterai piu su delle montagne" specifically given to us by Brendan Graham who co-wrote the song with Ralf Loveland.

This is a wonderful city to visit and it was even more wonderful to sing here. Our Bishop, Noël Treanor came as did Fr Joseph Gunn, PP of Bangor, Fr Joe Glover, Fr Joe Rooney, Mons Macauley, Rev Ronnie Nesbitt (Church of Ireland rector of Bangor Abbey) and pilgrims from Luxeuil in France and St Gallen in Switzerland. Cardinal Angelo Scola celebrated the Solemn Mass on Sunday, at which we sang the Caesar Frank
Panis Angelicus.

Mozart lodged at the monastery at San Marco when he visited Milano and Luther, it is believed, lodged with the then resident Augustinian community en route to Rome before his rupture with the Catholic Church. There is still a tree in existence from his time growing in the monastery garden.

The relics of San Columbano arrived first at the Church of San Ambrogio on Saturday evening where Mass was celebrated by Mons Eminio de Scalzi with us, Bishop Treanor and the Abbot of Bobbio concelebrating. The relics moved to San Simpliciano on Sunday morning before their transfer to San Marco prior to Mass on Sunday evening.

We were free on Monday and made a short trip to Lake Como for the day. Today we were treated to a guided tour of the cloisters of San Simpliciano and the fabulous Church of St Maurizio by Gianluca Capuano.

Our sincere thanks go to all who made our trip so enjoyable, not forgetting Nicola and Sergio who made practical arrangements for us on the ground. Would recommend Hotel Ritter on the Corso Garibaldi when you visit Milan.

Link to "The Priests" in Milan, pics and more:
www.concertodautunno.it/120000-varie/120701-the-priests.htm


 
 



14 July 2012

Cork concert in The Church of Our Lady Crowned on 18th July is SOLD OUT.

We’re looking forward to joining the parishioners of the Parish to celebrate the Golden Anniversary of the building of their Church.

If you miss this concert remember we are singing on 3 rd August at Our Lady’s Island, Wexford.


 
 



4 Nov 2012

Hi all. Gosh, it’s been a while since we last tumblr’ed. Been a busy few weeks since the official end of summer.

Don’t forget we are singing in Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral on 16th Nov for JOSPICE and then on 30th Nov in Guernsey with the delightful Ruth McGinley as our accompanist.

December concerts include Dublin (3rd in the National Concert Hall), Toronto (6th) and Windsor (7th), Derry’s Millenium Theatre (21st) and Belfast’s Waterfront Hall (22nd).



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Text Blogs 2011




1 Oct 2011  

Well Hello There! Welcome to our friends, old and new. We hope you like our new look site, which will expand as time goes by.

After a whirlwind couple of years of releasing albums and visiting many countries to support our records’ release, plus of course meeting lots of wonderful new people, we decided we wanted some time in our parishes to reflect on all that has passed and all that is hopefully to come.

We have many exciting plans afoot, not least a US tour for this autumn/fall and an Irish tour at Christmas.

We are thrilled to have been asked to play some live concerts in the United States, we have never been able to spend more than a couple of days there before, so we hope those of you visiting this site from the US, will join us for what we hope to be some wonderful shows. You can find out about the dates and how to buy tickets on this page. We will be regularly updating this page so keep checking in for the latest information and news.

We have recently re-signed our recording contract with Sony Music and we are working on a new album for some time in the future. We’ll keep you posted as it all comes together.

Please bear with us while we work to broaden this website. We look forward to your thoughts and feedback.

Our very best wishes to you all
Fr Eugene, Fr Martin, Fr David


 
 



13 Oct 2011  


Hello everyone. I hope you like our new and improved website.

Sorry for the interruption and that it took so long to get it up and running again. We intend to add to it more regularly and keep you up to date with all our current and future plans.

The main image on the website of the three of us looking in a relaxed mood was taken by Steve Schofield in the priests’ dining room at our old alma mater, Garron Tower. We all like the photo very much and hope you do too.

The striking image that you can see below was taken at our debut performance in the beautiful St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh in 2008.

Fr David



 
 



29 Oct 2011  

Carlos Acosta & Zenaida Yanwosky: No doubt you already know how adaptable we are and can be to different circumstances.

Well, in advance of our forthcoming tour to USA we’ve had the opportunity to sing along with the members of Cappella Caeciliana (the choir we helped to form in 1995) in a ballet with the world famous Carlos Acosta and his dancing partner Zenaida Yanwosky as part of the Belfast Music Festival. We have two nights under our belt and tonight is the last night.

Its been a wonderful experience just watching Carlos and Zen dance.

They have been very complimentary about Cappella’s singing and it's great for Martin, David and myself to have this opportunity to touch base with our friends in Cappella Caeciliana who have been such a support to us over the past few years.

Will upload a picture for you all to see. Will you be able to spot us.
Fr Eugene



 
 



31 Oct 2011  

Getting ready for the tour!

Hi everybody. We spent last Sunday evening going through the music for the USA tour. No matter how well we think we know the music, it’s important to get together to make sure we know exactly what we’re doing.

We’re told it’s going to be pretty cold during our visit to some parts of USA… it gets pretty cold here, although the Gulf stream usually keeps Ireland snow free during winter, apart from the odd snow shower. Last year was exceptionally cold here in N. Ireland so we can anticipate, just a little bit, what we might experience during the tour.

At the end of the week we officially celebrate the centenary of the parish church, Sacred Heart, Ballyclare, and the opening of the new parish hall.

You’ll be able to follow the celebration via the parish web cameras so do join us on Sunday 6 Nov at 3.00pm our time. I’ll post a pic of the hall for you to see. We’re really pleased with the end result and it will be a great asset and resource for the future.

More news about our preparations for the USA tour later.
Fr Eugene



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Text Blogs 2010




28 Jan 2010

Hi Everyone,

Belated Happy New Year greetings to all who are following us on our website! It has been a busy few weeks both before and after Christmas, as you can imagine, with the release of ‘Harmony’ in November.

First, we appeared in Ireland on RTE’s ‘The Late Late Show’ with new host Ryan Tubridy, and then we travelled to the UK, USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

We were also thrilled to be able to make return visits to Rome, Paris, Madrid, New York, Toronto and Montreal, finishing up in Stockholm where, the day after our visit and presentation of our Swedish Gold Disc Award, ‘Harmony’ reached No. 1 in the charts! Isn’t that FANTASTIC! We are thrilled.

Of course, there was also the Friday Night Show with Jonathan Ross on BBC1! At the end of the show we threw (mock) snow balls into the audience, only to have many more thrown back at us from the many who had stock piled a few extra snowballs without us knowing. Was this a set-up? Yup!

Thank you for all your wonderful messages through the website and on Twitter. Yes, you can follow ‘The Priests’ on Twitter… just look for ‘eccesacerdos’ (Latin for ‘Hi priest’... no, not ‘High Priest’... that would a bit presumptuous wouldn’t it!), and we should pop up.

This is our temporary identity on Twitter but we’re working on reclaiming ‘The Priests’ just as soon as we’ve mastered the technology.

After a hectic three weeks of travel and promotion for ‘Harmony’ we celebrated Christmas in our various parishes.

For Martin it was his first Christmas in his new parish, and what a way to celebrate… a new Parish Priest with a new album! David was busy in Hannahstown… no change for him in the Diocese autumn moves, and for me, Eugene, no change there either.

I celebrated Christmas with my parishioners but, sadly two elderly parishioners died on Christmas Eve which threw a pall over the festivities. I still made it home with Martin for the Christmas turkey on Christmas Day.

The weather has been painfully cold, icy and wintry since well before Christmas. We’re looking forward to the weather improving all over the UK and Ireland… however nice it is to look at and however beautiful the countryside can be wrapped in snow, it does make travel very hazardous. The Canadians have winter down to a fine art but we grind to a halt in these islands at the first snow flake. What’s their secret?

Can’t believe we’re three quarters of the way through January already. How many days are left to Christmas 2010?

David is away on a research visit to Thailand to see first hand the plight of the many young people in Pattaya whom we hope to help through ‘The Priests’ Charitable Trust’. We look forward to hearing all about his travels and Kate’s Project when he returns.

Meanwhile, we who are left behind are getting ready for two really exciting events next month; the concert with the London Oratory Schola in Cadogan Hall, London on 12th February and a Mother’s Day special with The Priests on Songs of Praise which will be recorded by the BBC in Newtownards (Martin’s new parish) and at St Patrick’s in Belfast.

In addition we hope to visit Germany in early March and then make a whistle stop return visit to New York for St Patrick’s Day.

Keep sending us your ideas and comments on the website… we do read them.

Don’t forget to look us up on Twitter and join in the fun of sending short messages… including up to date information about our travels, interviews, appearances etc.! We also hope to upload a few more video diaries onto the website…

As the old refrain goes in the musical Oliver… we’ll ‘be back soon’!


God Bless
Fr Eugene



 
 



14 June 2010


Dear Friends, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of you who sent messages and good wishes for my birthday which I celebrated recently on 12th June.

As you know we are on a concert tour at the moment and my birthday fell on the day that we were performing in Limerick.

The members of the orchestra had arranged for a lovely chocolate cake with candles to be presented to me on stage during the concert and, backed by the orchestra, Frs Eugene and Martin led the audience in a rousing rendition of ‘Happy Birthday to You’. It was a lovely surprise.

When I got home to Belfast in the early hours of Sunday morning after travelling up from Limerick, there was a bundle of beautiful cards and some lovely gifts waiting for me. You went to a great deal of trouble to make my birthday special. Thank you! Thank you so much! You are most kind.  

Yesterday I had some time to look at all the messages and greetings on the Forum on the Priests website. I am most grateful to you all for your support and encouragement which means a great deal to me. It was lovely to meet so many of you during our recent visit to Glasgow and at some of the later concerts in Birmingham, Cardiff and Bournemouth.

I look forward to meeting some of you again later in the week after the concerts in Derry and Belfast. I remembered you all at mass this morning.
Again, my heartfelt thanks for your kindness.

Fr David


 
 



21 Sep 2010

Hello everybody! We do hope you are all well and have had a very pleasant summer.  

We’ve been very busy in the last few months recording our third album, Noël!


This will hopefully be a very exciting album for everybody as it’s a wonderful collection of Christmas carols! Thanks so much to Mike and Hayden and all those involved in the recording at Amberville Studios in Northern Ireland.

Noël is due for release on 6th December, just in time for Christmas. We think there’s something in there for everyone and we really hope it will fill your home with a real sense of joy, hope and peace.


As you probably know, we’ve just been in London for the prayer vigil that was held in Hyde Park on the eve of the beatification of John Henry Newman in Birmingham. Of course, there was a very important person there - Pope Benedict XVI.

It was a huge honour and very exciting for us to be able to take part in the service and to be singing in his presence and to be with so many other pilgrims that had travelled far and wide to join almost 80,000 people in Hyde Park.

We will never forget saying goodbye to him at his waiting car as he left Hyde Park. A moment to remember indeed.

We hope to speak to you all again soon,

God bless,
The Priests


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"Life continually offers all kinds of unexpected events, meetings, friendships, joys and sorrows;
that’s what makes it so interesting and challenging – and sometimes wonderful."
Fr Eugene

 
 
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