Singing priests CD supports retired clergy


Fr Wim Hoekstra, Fr Terry Hogan, Fr John O’Neill and Fr Arthur Cook.
L-R: Fr Wim Hoekstra (Clergy Support Foundation), Fr Terry Hogan, Fr John O’Neill and Fr Arthur Cook.

More than $4,000 from the sales of a CD recorded by three local singing priests has gone towards helping retired clergy in the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta.

The three priests - Frs John O'Neill, Arthur Cook and Terry Hogan - presented Fr Wim Hoekstra from the Clergy Support Foundation with a cheque representing the profits of the CD sales, on Thursday 22 July.

The priests have raised nearly $15,000 for charity during a decade of performing concerts. Their CD - Concert Favourites - was recorded in 2005 in a six-hour studio session at “Electric Avenue” studios in Camperdown - no small feat considering it often takes six months to produce a CD. Some of the tracks were recorded in just one take.

The CD features the best popular Irish and classical songs of Frs O'Neill, Cook and Hogan (assisted by Fr Steven Monaghan on piano) from their 2000-2004 concerts performed at Merrylands, Doonside and other venues.

The priests were well received at these concerts, attracting audiences of 300 people or more. As a result, it was decided to produce a CD so that others could enjoy their singing for the first time, and that those who have attended one of their performances could relive the experience.

The CD features 23 songs in all with instrumental numbers by Fr Steven Monaghan and well known violinist and teacher, Helen Renaud.

Old favourites like “Born Free”, “The Rose of Tralee”, “O Holy Night”, “Count Your Blessings” and “How Great Thou Art” are on the CD, along with several Gilbert and Sullivan pieces such the duet from the The Gondoliers – “We’re Called Gondolieri”.

All monies raised from the sale of the album ($4,012) have gone to the Clergy Support Foundation, which provides assistance to Diocesan priests who have retired or who are in ill-health.

Since its release in 2006, nearly 450 copies of the CD have been sold and donated.

Some copies are still available from Fr Arthur Cook at the Windsor Presbytery (Ph 02 4577 3073), currently selling at $20 each.

Learn more about the Clergy Support Foundation


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