In looking for ways to kick off the 175th anniversary of Maternity BVM Parish, its members chose to showcase one of its greatest gifts: its music ministry.

This “Celebration Concert” featured selections performed by the parish’s adult choir, praise band, its youth ensemble, its Mustard Seeds Children’s Choir, an area wide festival hand bell choir, and individual soloists.

“We are fortunate that our parish community is enriched with a tradition of beautiful music, said Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV, pastor. “Tonight we will be able to listen, sing along and enjoy music that is both sacred and secular, but is sure to lift our spirits in this year of celebration.”

The concert took place April 29, exactly 175 years to the day that Fr. Rene Courjault came from Vincennes Indiana, having been appointed by the Bishop of Chicago to establish a parish church in Bourbonnais. Viatorians have served as pastors and associate pastors at Maternity since 1865.

“It was magnificent,” said Chris Lord, director of music ministry for the parish, who organized the concert along with co-chairs Kim Bennett and Peg Rogers from the parish.

“Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a special place,” Fr. Nesbit added. “In this 175th anniversary, we not only remember the memories of the past, but we renew our commitment of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with the community.

“We invite all to encounter Christ in a very real way,” he added, “through the celebration of the Sacrament and living out our mission of being Misisonary Disciples who radiate the light of love of Christ to all.”