Spotlight: Cordis Jesu Youth Choir of FSSP Mexico
The Cordis Jesu Youth Choir of FSSP Mexico performed two concerts during September.
On September 16, the first concert was held in Guadalajara in the Carmelite Church of Santa Teresa de Vila. Fray Octavio Michel Corona, a Mexican Franciscan friar born in 1928, composed all of the choir’s performed pieces.
Fray Octavio was born into a highly Catholic family, with two sisters who became nuns and several brothers who were diocesan priests. He was both an outstanding organist and a renowned composer. He composed the music of many ancient Spanish poems, numerous hymns of the Divine Office and the music of the Ordinary of the Mass.
Fray Octavio died in 2008, but one of his sisters was able to attend our concert. Our repertoire of his hymns spanned the entire liturgical year. The choir began with the music of Advent and Christmas then continued with Epiphany and the feast of the Holy Family, Lent, Easter, and the Ascension, and closed with Pentecost. The choir concluded the program with Fray Octavio’s exquisite polyphonic composition for Tota Pulchra Es Maria.
Following our performance in Santa Teresa, we were asked by a Franciscan monk named Fray Daniel to perform at the Capilla of San Francisco de Asís in Saltillo, a city in northern Mexico, and repeat our performance as part of the festivities leading up to the San Francisco de Asís fiesta.
On September 27, we flew from Guadalajara to Monterrey. We visited the most important churches in Monterrey and the magnificent basilica dedicated to Nuestra Señora del Roble. The choir then rode by bus to Saltillo.
That evening we had our concert in the beautiful Capilla of San Francisco de Asís. It was truly inspiring that so many people heard Fray Octavio’s incredibly beautiful compositions. The concert concluded with Fray Daniel leading a prayer for the repose of Fray Octavio’s soul.
Fray Daniel invited us to sing more of Fray Octavio’s works at the next day’s midday Mass before heading to Guadalajara.
It was a genuinely lovely event for those who took part, and I pray that God provides many more opportunities for Fray Octavio’s uplifting initiatives to be known and appreciated throughout Mexico.