On Holy Cross Day, our Ordinariate Parish of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary participated in an outreach to University of Ottawa students with a special Divine Worship Mass celebrated at St. Theresa’s Parish, the Roman Catholic Parish downtown that is fairly close to the campus.
Christopher Mahon, who is a member of St. Thomas More Parish in Toronto, but works in Ottawa, organized the event, including a putting together a small choir of young Catholics.
Christopher comes from a well-known Anglo-Catholic family of musicians that for generations has been steeped in Anglican musical patrimony. His grandfather, Albert Mahon, was Healey Willan’s cantor at St. Mary Magdalene, an Anglo-Catholic parish in Toronto. Willan was the foremost Canadian Anglo-Catholic composer. His father, Peter Mahon, is a gifted counter-tenor and conductor, and is currently Director of Music at Cardinal Collins’s St Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto; his mother, Katharine Pimenoff Mahon, is also a singer and choir director; his sister Rachel is an organist at Chester Cathedral and was the first ever woman musician hired by St Paul’s Cathedral; his brother Andrew sings at Westminster Abbey & Westminster Cathedral, and all of his other siblings are singers too.
“The singers were fellow Catholics from nearby Tridentine and Novus Ordo parishes who wanted to sing Anglican repertoire for a traditional English Mass, which neither group really gets in their own parishes,” Christopher told me.
“They all did it on a volunteer basis for the joy of it and the glory of God,” he said. “And also to show folks, young people & students especially from U of O, how beautiful the worship of God can be.”