The occasion of the episcopal ordination of Robert J. Baker as bishop of the Diocese of Charleston will prove to be a once in a lifetime, historical event for many. Arrangements are underway for the Sept. 29 event that will take place in grand scale in the new North Charleston Convention Center Ballroom.
As part of the preparations, Bill Schlitt, diocesan director of music, is laying the groundwork for what he hopes will be an intergenerational, multicultural choir.
He is calling all ethnic groups, including parents, grandparents, singles, men, women, teens, and children of all ages. “I want a choir that represents the diocese,” he said.
He will even look to other denominations who want to lend their support. In the rites and instructions of a bishop, Schlitt pointed out, the prelate is responsible not only for Roman Catholics, but for all people in the state.
An open invitation will be sent to all parishes in the diocese. Pastors should inform their parishioners, allowing everyone the opportunity to participate.
On Saturday, Sept. 25, rehearsals will be held across the state. Schlitt said he hasn’t confirmed all the locations, but is hopeful that the meeting places and sites will include: Nativity Parish, Charleston; St. John the Beloved, Summerville; Prince of Peace, Taylors; St. Ann, Florence; Columbia; Hilton Head; Myrtle Beach; Rock Hill; and Aiken. Regional directors will provide the music at the practices, and in the morning on Sept. 29, a rehearsal will be held in the ballroom prior to the ordination.
By holding the ordination at the convention center, Bishop Baker is opening the door and making it possible for everyone to come, according to Schlitt. “It’s not often that one gets to see a bishop ordained,” he said.
In this beginning of a new era for the diocese, willing participants and their strong voices are needed to take part in this millenniumesque celebration. If you are interested, look for more information in future editions of The Miscellany, or call Bill Schlitt at (843) 724-8395.