A year ago this month, I wrote a short article highlighting the work of a schola in Jackson, Mississippi, at St. Mary, Star of the Sea. To remind you of the kind of music they’re producing:
The history of the schola was one of determination and faith:
St. Mary’s schola started out with one lone member. He chanted and sang his heart out for about 6 months. Tired of doing the one man show, he recruited two of his siblings to assist. I’m one of them. We started praying for more willing souls to participate and God ( rather quickly, I might add) has blessed us with a number of committed people, mostly amateur, with a couple of talented music directors from other churches in the area. The schola has developed a sound, one that comes with working closely together, every week. Also, a sound that comes from all of us seeking to, in our small way, give God His due.
The thing is, God answered the prayers of a few lone volunteers and, with His blessing, we now number about 12 steady members. Our Latin Mass was starved for sacred polyphony and Gregorian chant for longer than I care to remember, but now we are experiencing a richness that we never could have anticipated.
I learned in a new email last week, however, that this one lone member who started it all — a man by the name of Bill Price — was in a serious accident, just weeks before he was to get married on the upcoming Feast of the Sacred Heart in June. Here’s what happened:
While working on the exterior of a home , the scaffolding gave way and Bill dropped over 20 feet landing on his feet. He severely broke his right leg, both fibula and tibia. The tibia broke in three places. The fibula broke just above a plate from a previous injury. Fortunately, across the street, a kind soul with some medical training was able to stay with Bill until the ambulance arrived.
Bill will need to be completely off his foot for one to two weeks while waiting for the swelling to subside enough to allow the surgeons to do the second surgery. Bill will also be fitted with a back brace which will go from his hips up to the middle of his chest in order to hold his spine in proper alignment to allow his fractured L1 vertebrae to heal.
Once Bill has the second surgery we don’t yet know how long he will be off work. Unfortunately, Bill’s work situation is such that when he is not working, he does not get paid. Furthermore, his insurance policy currently covers anyone who works for him, but not himself directly. This means an immense financial burden will be put on Bill, only weeks before getting married. Any donations for Bill and his soon to be wife would be incredibly helpful in the coming weeks and months.
Anyone that knows Bill is aware of his giving spirit. He is generous with his time, talent and money, helping family, church and friends with anything from car repairs, home improvements to starting a traditional Latin schola for the benefit of his parish and the greater glory of God.
Bill is, from what I’m told, one of those special souls who has followed the call to do some of the most important work in the restoration of the Church — the re-sacralization of the liturgy. His story has been on my mind, and I wanted to share it with you.
If you can help him out with his expenses, even in the smallest of ways, please consider doing so.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have eight children. You can find more of his writing at his Substack, The Skojec File.