Please allow me to brag about the lovely and talented Marie Hui for a moment. The girl can sing anything! Whether it’s an old Beatles tune, a Broadway musical hit, a ballad, a pop song, or a funky R & B jam, she makes anything she sings sound wonderful.
I’ve been blessed to know Marie for close to 15 years now. Over that time, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her mature as an individual and as an artist.
Last night, as we were recording our new Canucks song, there was a 10-minute period that beautifully encapsulated her brilliance as an artist. We agreed that she would make one of the verses “pop” a bit more and thus include some riffs and runs. She pulled up a cover from YouTube and proceeded to listen to it for just a couple of minutes before starting to sing it. It was even more challenging because she also had to fit our revised words into the phrasing. So not only was she learning how to sing it, she was also tackling what to sing.
Today was an eventful day for me. At lunch, my friend Phyllis called to tell me the sad news that her father passed away last week. We enjoyed a nice 20-minute chat (including me giving some song suggestions for the funeral mass) and I assured her that my family and I would pray for the repose of her father’s soul and for her entire family.
Ironically, I talked to Phyllis while I was on my way to a “Celebration of Life” for Peter Swinton, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers – where I worked from 1995 to 2002. Peter tragically passed away earlier this month from a biking accident. St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church was jam-packed, a wonderful testament to just how well-loved and respected he was.
Although I never got to work with Peter directly, all of the speakers at the service reinforced what I knew of him: he was kind, fun, humble, intelligent, playful, and loyal. He was an outstanding leader and devoted husband and father.
At my home parish of St. Paul’s, we are once again affected by the changes, as we will be getting our 3rd assistant pastor in 3 years. It’s not a bad thing, as our church is looked at as one of the most dynamic in our archdiocese and a great place for priests to gain valuable experience in a large parish and thus hone their ministry craft.
In reflecting on this upcoming transition, I started to relate it to youth ministry (surprise, surprise). In particular, it underscored for me the importance of having a good transition plan in place when a parish youth ministry coordinator or youth minister moves on…for whatever reason.