Prayer garden honors music director’s legacy

Geraldine Biggs McGrath is pictured in St. John Baptist De La Salle’s new prayer garden named in her honor alongside Father Robert Milbauer, pastor, on the occasion of her retirement as music director June 29

St. John Baptist De La Salle in Granada Hills dedicated a new prayer garden honoring Geraldine “Gerry” Biggs McGrath, who retired after 60 years as parish music director June 29.

The sixth of eleven children of the late organist and composer Richard Keys Biggs, Gerry became De La Salle’s music director soon after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles in 1951 with a Bachelor of Music degree in choral conducting.

Gerry formed her first parish choir out of the post-war G.I.s and young housewives who made up the community of the growing San Fernando Valley. With her late husband of nearly 55 years, Herbert McGrath, Jr., she raised seven children while continuing to lead music ministry over six decades. She counts her pastoral ministry work with the choir at De La Salle as her most treasured musical accomplishment.

Among her other accomplishments are: first lay woman to teach at the Los Angeles archdiocesan seminary of Our Lady Queen of Angels; appointee to the Los Angeles Archdiocesan Music Commission; founding member of the National Pastoral Musicians; and recipient of the Papal Cross Pro Ecclesia Pontifice medal from Pope Benedict. As a soprano soloist for many weddings, liturgies, concerts and funerals over the years, Gerry “has been the soundtrack of the milestones of life for countless Catholics and non-Catholics alike,” noted daughter Noelle.


Voices

Jean Beliveau, RIP

REV. RONALD ROLHEISER, OMI

Jean Beliveau was more than an athlete, though certainly he was a one-in-a-million athlete. The record of his achievements almost defies belief. He played in the National Hockey League for 20 seasons and retired with 10 championship rings. 

 

Retirement Fund for Religious

Events

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December 20, 2014

  • Saturday, December 20

    St. Margaret's Center Christmas Program, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Morningside High School (Cafeteria), 10500 S. Yukon Ave, Inglewood. St. Margaret's Center, Inglewood School District, Doorking, Inc., and Centinela Hospital Medical Staff invite you to join them as they create a holiday wonderland with Christmas surprises for more than 1,000 poverty-level children and their parents. (310) 672-2208. Click here for more information.

    Christmas Shop at Holy Grounds, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., St. Monica Catholic Community, 725 California Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 566-1500.

    Dancing Festival of Lessons and Carols, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Holy Spirit Retreat House, 4316 Lanai Rd., Encino. A concert by Valyermo Dancers & Co., choreographed by John West. $15. Contact Sr. Deborah for more info, (818) 784-4515.

    Christmas Dinner Dance, 6 p.m., Knights of Columbus Hall, 21433 Strathern St, Canoga Park. Tickets, $28. (818) 371-0473.

    Las Posadas, 7 p.m., Parish Hall, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 600 W Mariposa St, Altadena. Posadas means “the inns” or “the shelters” in Spanish. A religious and social celebration, Las Posadas commemorates Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem and their search for shelter prior to the birth of Christ. We invite you to join us in a one-day celebration of this tradition. (626) 794-2046.

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