By Julia Johnson Photo credit: Royalrosaries.net / Peter Riedel There   are   people   after   talking   to   whom   you   become   a   better   person.   I was   lucky   enough   to   do   this   interview   with   two   incredible   person Father   Wayne   Pittard   from   St.   Pius   X   Catholic   Church   and   Vince Ambrosetti.   We   talked   about   Faith   on   Fire   Missions,   Mather   Teresa, music,   millitary   missions...   So   join   us!   What   you   need   to   know   about Vince   Ambrosetti:   On   October   4,   1977,   Vince   founded   International Liturgy   Publications,   the   oldest   free-standing   non-profit   publisher   of sacred   music   for   the   Catholic   church.   He   was   named   Catholic Artist   of the   Year   in   December   2001,   and   has   been   honored   with   seven   other Unity   awards   for   his   music.   Vince   sang   his   song   "Sanctuary"   during Communion    at    Mother    Teresa’s    funeral    in    Calcutta,    India.He    has composed,   recorded   and,   by   invitation   of   the   Vatican,   performed   for Pope   John   Paul   II,   the   first   English   Mass   Setting   ever   sung   at   St. Peter   Basilica   in   Rome.   His   music   has   been   placed   in   the   Vatican archives     alongside     the     works     of     Vivaldi,     Puccini,     Verdi     and Corelli.Vince   completed   his   studies   in   Systematic   Theology   at   the University   of   Notre   Dame,   South   Bend,   Indana.   He   was   nominated   for three    Grammy    Awards.    In    addition    to    his    graduate    studies    in    Theology,    Scripture,    Sacrament    and    Pastoral    Ministry,    Vince’s undergraduate   disciplines   include   Public   Speaking/English   Literature   and   Music   Composition.   Today,   Vince   travels   the   US   giving concerts and faith enriching parish missions through Parish Mission.Org. To learn more, go to www.ParishMission.org Julia Johnson: Father Wayne, tell us please, how did you come to invite Vince Ambrosetti? Father   Wayne   Pittard:   I've   been   thinking   about   a   mission   and   I   get   a   lot   of   material   and   you   get   an   off   and   on   from   different   places and   so   I've   just   been   looking   at   it   and   I   put   a   fire   on.   As   I   began   to   think   about   it   more,   I   began   to   pull   out   the   fire   on   and   look   at   this person,   "No,   I   don't   think   so.   This   one,   maybe...   I'll   hold   on   to   that   for   a   moment." And   this,   just   kind   of   went   through   it   and   constantly went   back   and   bit   by   bit,   "Hmm,   let   me   find   out   more   about   that,"   and   then   I   would   get   in   line   and   kind   of   look   and   did   find   out   a   little   bit more and then, it was almost like, "Yeah, this is the one." Vince Ambrosetti: That's right. Father   Wayne:   And   what   happened   then   is,   after   making   the   decision   here,   it's   like   "Well,   I'm   sorry.   We're   tied   up   here.   We're   booked up   here.   We   can't   do   that,"   and   he's   like,   "Ah."   So   we   decided   we   were   going   to   do   it   maybe   later   after   I   left   because   I   want   to   do   this before   I   retired   in   June   of   2018.   So,   I   was   going   to,   "Oh   my   God,   maybe   the   parish   would   do   it   with   the   new   guy   and   that'll   be   a   good, new   beginning   then."So,   I   said   "That'd   be   good.   I   can   just   let   go   of   that."   Well   then   they   called   and   said,   "Well,   we   do   have   this   state." "Really?" And   so,   we   quickly   checked   and   they   were   like,   "Yes,   yes. Take   it."   So,   and   it   was   with   Vince,   with   the   one   that   I   really   wanted to   come   here.   Just   when   I   read   about   him,   and   just   what   I   sensed   to   just   like,   "Yup,   he's   the   one   I   wanted."   It's   been   several   months. They   are   very   good   at   walking   through.   This   is   what   it involves.   This   is   where   it   ends.   So   they   literally   give   you logistics.   "These   are   the   things   you   need.   These   are   the things    when    you    need    to    do    things    there.    A    month beforehand,   you   need   to   do   these.   Two   weeks,   you   need to   do   these.   Here's   a   sign   up   for   your   volunteers.   Here's the   readings   that   we've   been   using."   So   I   mean,   they   give you   a   whole   notebook   and   it   can   scare   you   or   you   can say,   "Oh   this   is   great,   and   just,   so   I   said   like,   "What   do   we do?   What   do   we   do?"   They   really   just   kind   of   help   walk you   through   the   process   and   so   that   was   a   blessing   that we   did   not   even   know   we   were   gonna   get.   So,   we   were able   to   do   that   and   then   bit   by   bit,   got   closer   and   closer. We   begin   to   talk   with   the   people,   not   so   much   with   Vince but   the   other   people   of   his   team   who   were   coordinating everything    because    at    that    point,    he    was    doing    other missions    and    messing    with    other    people.   And    so,    the people   he   has   who   does   all   the   planning   were   helping   us do   that   and   so   that   I   first   had   met   Vince   when   he   came down   the   stairs   at   the   airport.   I   had   a   little   sign   that   said, "Faith   on   fire."   The   only   thing   to   know   it   was   me.   That   the spirit   that   bug   me   to   get   him   was   right   because,   last   night, even   though   it   was   stormy,   even   though   the   weather   was terrible   when   we   got   off,   we   had   between   350   and   400   people   there   that   night   that   came   for   that. And   so   we   think   we   even   have   more every   next   night.   So   I   think   it   was   a   good   beginning   and   especially   with   the   weather   last   night   but   now,   it's   sunny.   So,   that's   what brought   him   and   it's   a   blessing   and   like   I   said,   for   me   it   was   kind   of   like   a   gift   that   I   wanted   to   give   to   this   parish   who’s   been   so   good and   whenever   a   new   Pastor   or   Pastor   leaves   that   you   like,   everybody   goes,   "Oh   no,   oh   no."   I'm   sorry.   I   wanted   to   give   them   hope   and courage   that   God   will   continue   to   be   with   them,   to   stir   that   goodness,   to   set   a   flame   that   big   that   they   have,   just   for   them   to   remember that   they   already   have   it. They   just   have   to   like,   "Oh,   that's   right.   We   can   do   this,"   and   that's   what   he's   doing   and   that's   the   positiveness of his message that I read and everything which is what I was looking for. Julia Johnson: Wonderful. Vince, please tell us more about the “Faith on fire” mission. Vince   Ambrosetti:   We've   been   so   privileged   to   share   these   missions   now   for   many   years.   Our   organization   is   40   years   old   and   the missions   that's   on   the   publishing   side   and   the   missions,   we   really   moved   into   about   30   years   ago,   pretty   heavily. And,   what   we   find   is that   they   are   occasions   for   revitalization,   for   intensifying   our   faith,   for   visiting   the   matters   of   our   lives   that   have   really   great   value   as opposed   to   the   things   that   don't.   But   it's   a   wonderful   way   to   bring   a   parish   family   together   as   a   family   of   families,   and   revisit   the   whole concept   of   what   we   call   the   journey   of   the   sacraments,   the   journey   of   our   faith,   the   journey   of   coming   to   a   deeper   and   richer   -   not   just appreciation   and   not   just   understanding   but   let's   just   say,   in   a   passionate   embrace   for   who   we   are   and   what   we   are   called   to   do.   So   I really   believe,   it's   also   a   wonderful   opportunity   to   bring   people   back,   who   maybe   have   become   way   tend   to   or   not   as   involved   in   -   the world   around   us   gives   us   a   gazillion   reasons   to   not   be   involved   in   our   faith   and   this,   what   the   mission   does,   is   it   helps   us   restore   an understanding   of   why   we   ought   to   be   exercising   our   faith   in   our   life.   So,   I   ask   the   people   who   are   coming   to   be   kind   of   the   first   line   if you   will,   reaching   out   to   others   that   they   might   come   and   experience   that   as   well.   We   have   a   number   of   people   to   go   and   get   to   these missions.   One   of   the   things   that's   unique   about   think   of   Fire   Missions,   is   that   we   incorporate   the   use   of   music   in   a   very   particular   way. Because   I   just   happen   to   believe   that   music   really   is   the   language   of   the   heart,   the   language   of   the   soul.   It   expresses   the   inexpressible, where   words   and   ritual   and   music   begins. And   sometimes   what   it   does   is   it   helps   us   to   touch   the   beauty   and   the   wonder   and   the   great love   of   God   in   a   way   that   words   cannot,   that   we   can't   just   express   in   words. And,   when   you   couple   that   with   Scripture,   set   beautifully   to music,   now   you've   got   something   really   powerful   going   on   and   I   think   that   it   would   be   hard   for   people   to   come   to   one   of   these experiences   and   not   leave   in   some   way   changed. This   is   not   because   of   me.   It's   not   even   because   of   the   music.   It's   the   combination   of the   word   proclaimed,   the   ritual   you   experience,   the   beautiful   primordial   images   of   our   faith   with   water   and   fire,   and   then,   the   coming together   with   the   faithful.   There's   something   wonderful,   last   night,   that   there   could   have   been   400   people   there.   The   idea   of   those people   going   through   that   storm   at   Sunday   night,   to   come   here,   in   spite   of   the   fact   that--   right,   Father   Wayne? They   could   have   just   sat home   and   said,   "I'm   comfortable.   I've   got   a   fire   burning.   Listen,   I'm   in   for   the   night.   I'm   cozy,"   but   they   didn't.   They   want   and   yearn   for and   made   it   clear   that   they   are   committed   to   making   this   journey with us and that's a beautiful thing, isn’t it? Father Wayne Pittard: Yeah. Vince   Ambrosetti:    Yeah.   So,   when   it's   all   over,   when   we're done,   your   know   our   prayer   was   just   that   -   as   Father   referred   to this   Sunday   night   in   this   commentary,   he   said,   "We've   start   up the   pile   a   little   bit."   That   we   just   helped   all   of   us   to   come   to   a heightened    awareness    and    experience    of    God    in    our    lives, because   God   is   ever   with   us.   God   is   ever   working   in   our   lives. God   is   ever   calling   us   into   a   deeper   more   intimate   relationship with   Him.   But   often   we   do   is,   we   get   so   busy   and   we   fill   our moments   and   we   get--   we   just   get   so   caught   off   with   all   the   stuff that's   going   on   in   our   lives   and,   "Oh,   I   can't   miss   this   television program   and   I   can't   miss   this   football   game,   oh   and   gosh   I've got   an   evening   plan   with   my   friends   at   the   local   pub,"   but   those things   are   incidental   to   our   lives.   What   we're   doing   here   is   really at   the   heart   of   not   just   what   matters   but   at   the   heart   of   who   we are and to whom we belong, amen? Father Wayne Pittard: Amen. Julia Johnson: How this all started for you? Vince   Ambrosetti:   When   I   was   six   years   old,   just   six   years   old,   my   sister   was   the   music   director   in   a   Polish   church   in   Baltimore   and so,   I   started   to   learn   a   little   Polish   and   I   learned   all   Polish   hymns   like   [sorry   Vince   can   you   add   the   name   of   hymn)))],   I   go   to   stations   in Polish   and   stations   in   English,   and   40   hours   in   Polish   and   40   hours   in   English   and   when   I   was   there   for   the   choir   and   then   we   started   - by   the   time   I   was   seven,   I   would   take   the   alto   and   the   bass   downstairs   in   the   lower   church   to   rehearse   and   she   keep   the   soprano   and tenor,   and   then   we   bring   them   together.   When   I   turned   nine,   she   got   married   and   moved   to Albuquerque,   New   Mexico   with   her   young husband   and   I   took   over   the   music   program   for   the   parish   at   nine   years   old.   I   still   laugh   about   it   because   one   of   my   bass   singer,   Joe Drego,   I   still   remember   his   name,   would   bring   me   a   box   of   Bazooka   bubblegum   every   week   because   they   knew   I   love   to   chew   bubble gum.   I   was   up   there   in   the   choir   while   directing   and   chewing   my   bubblegum   and   sing   and   playing   the   organ.   So   that's   kind   of   how   it started. Yeah. Father Wayne Pittard: Good thing your sister did not see you. Vince   Ambrosetti:   I    know.   I   would   have   been   in   trouble.   You're right. You're   absolutely   right,   but   it   was   interesting. There   was   one priest   who--   a   poor   guy,   couldn't   sing   at   all   and   his   name   was Father   Richard   and   he   would   sing,   "The   Lord   be   with   you,"   not   is the   best   way   .   Bake   in   that   time   we   have   what   we   call,   High   Mass and   Low   Mass.   So   the   High   Mass   was   also   sung,   right   Father Wayne?   And   he'd   be   up   there,   "The   Lord   be   with   you."   So   I   went up   to   him   and   I   said,   "Father   Rich."   "Yes,   Vincent?"   "Would   you consider    not    singing    it    the    next    Mass?"    I    did,    and    he    said,    I scarred   him   for   life.   He   told   the   people   at   the   next   Mass.   He   said, "Vincent    doesn't    want    me    to    sing    in    Mass,"    and    they    all applauded.   Yeah.   Oh,   but   I   felt   so   badly   afterwards   because   you know   my   mantra   now.   If   you   have   a   good   voice,   you   use   it   to glorify   God.   If   you   have   a   bad   voice,   make   them   listen   to   it,   right? But,   anyway,   so   that's   how   things   started   and   then   in   1977,   I   had been   in   the   seminary   for   a   couple   of   years   and   I   was   returning from   Rome   for   my   studies   there   and   I   got   the   bishop   to   approve my   departure   in   supporting   this,   starting   this   organization   and,   it was   really   amazing.   I   mean,   we   started   out   with   the   music   of   five different   composers   and   we   now   publish   a   120   plus   people   and we   have   over   2,000   titles   and   including   Gift   of   Finest   Wheat   and Seeds   Scattered   and   Sown   and   so   many   that   you   probably   know   but   don't   know   where   they   live   in,   and   just   wonderful   people   that really   give   their   hearts   to   serving   the   church   and   all,   in   a   meaningful   way,   and   give   us   music   that   touches   us   deeply.   One   of   my favorites   for   example   is   Beth   Ann   Martinez   in   Los   Angeles,   wrote   a   beautiful   Eucharistic   hymn.   We're   going   to   use   on   Wednesday called   Bread   for   the   Broken,   and   it   just   speaks   of   the   healing   nature   of   Eucharist,   of   Eucharist   as   a   gift,   the   presence   of   God   that   calls us to know the healing love of God. So, and there are so many different ways that we express all that. Julia Johnson: When you started writing music? Vince Ambrosetti:   I   started   writing   music   when   I   was   nine   years   old   and   actually,   we   have in   publication,   one   of   the   songs   I   wrote   when   I   was   nine   but   we   use   it   for   the   children.   It's called   'Come   forth   my   People'   and   the   kids   love   it   because   I   make   them   clap   and   dance while   they're   doing   it.   I   mean,   you   know   kids   love   these   gestures   but   and   so   as   the   adult sometimes,   right?   So,   but   I   got   more   serious   about   it   when   I   was   in   college   and   then   I   went off   to   study   with   the   French   Priest   by   the   name   of   Father   Lucien   Deiss   and   a   Father Joseph    Gelineau    who    were    famous    composers    in    the    1960's    particularly    during    the Second   Vatican   Council.   Then   I   went   to   study   with   Father   Deiss   at   Westminster   College   at Princeton   University   at   East   of   United   States.   He   pulled   me   aside   one   day   and   he   said, "Vincent,   are   you   studying   music?"   I   was   in   college   at   that   point   then   I   said,   "Well   Father, no,   I   love   it   too   much   and   I   don't   want   to   ruin   that."   He   looked   at   me   and   he   said,   "If   you are   to   speak   it   well,   you   must   learn   the   language."   And   then   he   said   to   me,   "And   if   you're going   to   break   the   rules,   you   should   know   the   rules   first."   Isn't   that   interesting?   So   I   went back   and   I   added,   at   that   time,   English   Lit   and   Public   Speaking   in   Public   Speaking,   that was   my   major   and   I've   done   that   since   I   was   in   the   seventh   grade   so   I   really   enjoyed   all   of that.   But   I   went   back   and   added   a   second   major   and   it   was   Music   Composition   and   it   was one   of   the   best   things   that   ever   happened   because   again,   he   was   right.   You   should   know the   rules   in   order   to   break   them.   I   mean,   it's   been   very,   very   helpful,   not   just   with   my   music but   also   as   a   publisher   of   other   people's   music,   I   need   to   understand   all   that.   Then   I   went on   to   enter   the   seminary   and   I   studied   Theology.   First   Philosophy   then   Theology,   but   I ultimately   left   and   finished   up   my   Graduate   Studies   in   Theology   at   the   University   of   Notre Dame.   That   wonderful   holy   place   in   Southern   Indiana,   that's   right.   Right,   and   for   those   of us   who   went   to   Notre   Dame,   I   tease   about   this.   We   say   that   Southern   Indiana   is   the   Holy Land.   So,   but   it   was   a   great   experience   and   I   spent   so   many   hours   just   writing   hymns,   writing   songs,   in   the   beautiful   Basilican   air   on the   campus,   the   Basilica   of   the   Sacred   Heart.   The   other   thing   is,   I've   had   the   privilege   of   living   in   more   than   700   records   because   at one   point   in   my   life,   I   went   to   work   for   a   company.   I   was   recruited   by   a   company   that   was   acquired   by   Merrill   Lynch   and   I--   at   the   young age   of   24,   became   the   National   Director   of   Training   and   Development   for   Merrill   Lynch   and   its   diversified   financial   services   group.   So my   boss   was   a   guy   named   Donald   Reagan   who   while   I   was   there,   went   to   become   the   secretary   of   Finance   and   the   Chief   of   Staff   for Ronald   Reagan.   Do   you   remember   that   name?   Yeah   and   so   that--   it   was   a   pretty   heavy   time   and   frankly,   I   acquired   a   lot   of   things.   I bought   a   bunch   of   real   estate   and   bought   a   couple   of   commercial   buildings   and   I   had   like   27   residential   properties   and   I   was   investing very   smartly,   and   I   was   making   more   money   than   a   24-year   old   should   ever   make   in   life,   right? And   I   had   my   Mercedes   and   I   had   my 8,000   square   foot   home   and   my   expensive   suits,   and   on   March   23rd   of   1987,   I   walked   into   the   President's   office   at   Merrill   Lynch,   on the   National   presence   and   I   said,   "You   know,   it's   been   great   to   be   here   but   I'm   turning   in   my   resignation,"   and   he   said,   "What   are   you going   to   do?"   Now   he   was   a   Mormon   with   13   kids,   and   he   said,   "What   are   you   going   to   do?"   I   said,   "Well,   well   Sam   -   I'm   going   to   go and   do   ministry   in   the   Catholic   Church."   He   said,   "However   will   you   pay   your   bills?"   I   said, "I   trust   in   God.   That's   what's   going   to   happen."   So,   I   sold   everything   off   for   over   the   next few   years,   sold   off   all   over   the   State,   sold   off   everything,   got   rid   of   everything   I   had   and then   donated   it   all   to   the   non-profit   that   I   had   set   up,   that   is   our   organization   today,   and   I had   no   salary.   I   had   no   health   insurance.   I   had   no   income   of   any   kind.   I   hired   an assistant.   I   had   a   small   staff   including   a   nun   that   worked   in   our   office,   now   for   the missions,   and   we   went   off   with   what   I   thought   was   going   to   be   six   or   twelve   months   and   I started   this   in   1992   with   the   first   mission   in   Marietta,   Georgia,   just   outside   of   Orlando. This   is   when   we   went   full   board.   I   mean,   I've   been   giving   talks   and   workshops   after   this point   but   this   was   getting   in,   in   an   extended   cargo   van   with   a   rack   of   my   clothes   in   the back,   shared   with   my   assistant,   with   all   the   publishing   and   materials   in   the   middle   and   the equipment,   the   sound   equipment   on   the   side   doors   and   we   started   in   that   first   mission which   I   thought   would   last   for   six   or   twelve   months,   and   from   1992   to   1999,   for   seven years,   I   lived   in   a   different   rectory   every   week,   all   across   the   country.   I   have   to   tell   you,   it was   joyful.   It   was   wonderful.   It   was   great.   I   didn't   have   to   think   about   burst   pipes   in   the winter.   I   didn't   have   to   think   about   a   lawn   that   had   to   be   mowed.   I   didn't   have   to   think about    running    anything    or    doing    anything.    My    group    and    Marilyn    that    was    doing administration   was   self-contained   and   it   was   just   all   --   it   was   all   great.   I   didn't   think   about where   my   next   meal   was   coming   from   because   just   like   Father   Wayne,   He's   feeding   me every   day   here,   right   Father?   I   mean,   the   local   church   would   just--   it   would   take   care   of us.   It   would   pay   for   us   and   I'd   live   in   the   rectory   with   my   assistant,   Lani,   was   his   name   at that   time,and   it   was   wonderful.   I   got   to   meet   incredible   priests.   I   got   to   meet   wonderful people.   I   got   to   experience   a   mission   every   single   week   except   Christmas   and   Easter   for seven   years   and   my   parents   thought   I   was   nuts. You   know,   I   mean   I   walked   away   from   all that   security,   from   all   the   business,   from   all   of   it   and   again,   God   has   blessed   all   of   that.   So I   can   tell   you   this,   it’s   my   final   comment   I’ll   just   say   to   you   and   all   of   it   is   I   am   never   happier   than   when   I   am   sharing   an   experience either   in   a   convocation   with   priests,   in   prayer   and   in   growing   together   in   the   ministry   or   in   one   of   these   parish   missions   as   we   make   this journey   because   I   have   to   take   every   single   mission   has   its   own   personality.   Every   single   mission   is   its   own   unique   experience.   Every single   mission   doesn’t   just   touch   the   folks   in   the   pews,   it   speaks   to   my   heart   as   well.   So   I   come   away   with   a   greater   sensitivity   to   God’s presence   and   love   and   I   come   away   with   a   deeper   appreciation   for   the   self-emptying   love   of   our   God   and   I   come   away   really   believing more   passionately   and   deeply   than   I   did   five   days   earlier.   So   for   me   it’s   just   a   great   privilege   to   be   able   to   do   this   and   at   the   end   of   it when   we   walk   away,   there’s   a   sadness   that   I   have   because   I’m   leaving   now   my   family   of   this   past   week,   you   know,   and   I   can   tell   you sincerely   that   it’s   hard   and   that’s   the   poverty   of   what   we   do   is   that   we   leave   here   and   next   week   we   start   all   over   in   another   parish   in Scranton,   Pennsylvania,   right? And   that’s   just   the   way   it   is,   you   know,   but   what   a   wonderful   privilege   to   do   this   work.   I   look   back   on   my life   and   I   will   just   tell   you   that   I   very,   very   humbly,   truly,   passionately   believe   that   what   I’m   doing   today   is   exactly   what   God   created   me to   do   and   I’m   not   proud   of   that.   I   am   -I’m   just   absolutely   humbled   by   that   to   think   that   I   would   be   so   privileged   that   God   would   bring   me into   this   world   and   I   know   that   when   I   close   my   eyes   for   the   last   time,   when   I   breathe   my   breath   for   the   last   time,   we   hope   not   soon   but whenever that happens that I will be doing exactly what God need me to do. Isn’t that something? Julia Johnson: It’s wonderful. Vince   Ambrosetti:    I   can   only   wish   that   for   others   as   well,   you   know   what   I   mean?   You   must   know   that.   It’s   an   amazing   feeling.   It’s incredible. Julia Johnson: It’s amazing, yeah. And are you doing all these missions only in the United States or also you go abroad? Vince Ambrosetti:   We’ve   done   missions   in   Italy,   Ireland,   Israel   and   the   Philippines. And   in   the   Philippines,   Cardinal   Sin,   who   had   since past   away,   I   love   that   name,   he   invited   us   over   to   do   missions   around   Manila   and   Tagaytay   and   Cebu   and   it   was   amazing   and   the   last event   was   a   big   mission   that   was   televised   in   an   arena   that   held   tens   of   thousands   of   people   and   it   was   packed. And   that’s   when,   you know   that   thing   we   do   stretch   out   your   hand? The   Filipinos   made   that   up.   I   wrote   the   song   but   the   first   time   I   used   it   was   there   and   they made   up   the   gestures,   you   know,   so   I’ve   since   carried   it   all   over   the   places.   Isn’t   that   amazing?   So   yeah   we   travel   to   other   places   as well. And   we   have   initiative   right   now   to   carry   the   missions   to   military   bases   around   the   world   as   well   but   we   will   go   wherever   God   calls us.   In   fact   the   Philippines   just   contacted   us   recently. They   want   us   to   come   back   and   do   a   tour   there   and   it’s   wonderful   because   they’re just   so   responsive   and   it’s   an   amazing   country   too.   But   I   will   tell   you   this   too,   one   comment   I   want   to   make,   what   I   have   discovered,   I don’t   care   if   it’s   an   8,000   family   parish,   a   200   family   parish,   a   group   of   priest   in   Ohio   or   wherever,   your   people   are   hungry   for   an intimate   relationship   with   God,   amen?   Everywhere,   no   matter   where   we   go.   People   are   hungry   for   that   and   I   think   that   they   sense   that these   experiences   will   help   them   make   that   journey   and   I   believe   it   so.   One   of   the   things   I   will   tell   you   is   my   experience   with   Mother Teresa,   I   never   hesitate   to   use   her   name   because,   not   for   me,   but   I   know--   a   lay   came   up   to   me   last   night   and   you   know   what   she   told me?   She   said   I   invited   my   friend   to   come   and   she hasn’t   been   to   church   in   a   while   and   I   told   her   that you’re   the   guy   that   sang   at   Mother   Teresa’s   funeral and   she   said,   okay,   I’ll   be   there.   So   it’s   not   me   and you   know,   when   you   have   this   little   powerful   four-foot something   saint   of   God   who   everybody   in   the   world knows,   even   still   if   you   ask   young   people,   do   you know who Mother Teresa is... Julia Johnson: They know who she is... Vince     Ambrosetti:      They     still     know.     Everybody knows   who   she   is   and   I   say   she   would   be   elated   for us   to   use   her   name   to   bring   people   in   to   a   deeper experience    of    God.    Every    mission    has    its    own character   and   its   own   unique   unfolding.   I   call   it   the blossoming of the bud in the full bloom. Julia    Johnson:     Can    you    please    share    us    some memories     about     Mother     Teresa     and     something special and how you met her. Vince Ambrosetti:   Well,   I’ll   tell   you   a   really   funny   story   of   Mother Teresa.   It   is   a   great   one   actually.   So   she--   I   was   always   amazed   that as   she   walk   through   a   crowd,   I   never   understood   what   the   parting   of   the   Red   Sea   must   have   looked   like   until   I   saw   people   spreading off   to   the   side   as   this   little   tiny   woman   walks   through   the   crowd.   You   know,   and   certainly   moves   to   the   side   and   she   makes   her   way   to the   ticket   counter   and   she   has   the   procurator   with   her. That   would   be   the   nun   in   charge   of   the   money   for   the   missionary   and   she   orders a   ticket   passage   from   the   United   States   back   to   Calcutta   and   the   lady   said,   okay,   we   can   get   tickets   for   you,   two   seats,   is   that   right, Mother?   Yes,   okay.   She   says   how   much   will   that   be? And   the   lady   looked   at   her   and   handed   her   the   tickets   and   said   your   money   is   no good   here,   Mother.   She   said,   you’re   never   allowed   to   pay   for   a   ticket   on   the   stairwell.   So   listen   so   then   they   upgraded   her   to   first   class. Now,   this   is   an   international   flight   and   on   international   flights,   as   you   know,   first   class   really   is   something.   I   mean,   you   know,   fillet   and caviar   and   you   know,   it’s   incredible.   So   there’s   Mother   Teresa   sitting   in   her   first   class   seat.   She   very   humbly   went   and   sat   down   and she   has   her   nun   next   to   her   and   they   come   up   to   her   and   say,   fillet,   Mother?   No,   thank   you.   No,   thank   you.   Okay.   Caviar,   Mother?   No, thank   you.   No,   thank   you.   So   she   finally   she   said,   Miss,   may   I   ask   you   a   question?   She   said,   how   much   more   does   it   cost   for   someone to   sit   up   here   than   back   there? Then   she   said,   well,   Mother,   I   don’t   know   but   I   can   ask   the   pilot   and   he   can   radio   in   and   we   can   find   out, you   know.   So   she   said,   okay.   I   would   like   to   know   that,   you   know.   So   they   radio   in   and   they   get   the   information   and   she   comes   back. Now,   they’ve   taken   off   already,   right?   She   is   still   sitting   there   and   the   flight   attendant   comes   back   and   says,   well,   the   pilot   just   informed me   that   it   was   another   $8,643.27   for   you   to   sit   here   and   the   same   amount   for   sister   to   sit   with   you.   That’s   what   it   would   have   been   to pay   for   that   ticket   for   you   to   be   here.   Well   she   got   up,   she   stood   up   and   she   said,   thank   you   for   that   information.   She   said   and   the   nun on   the   side   was   calculating   what   that   was   and   she   said,   please   let   your   president   of   your   airline   know   that   we’re   moving   to   the   back and   he   owes   my   poor   17,000   whatever   the   number   was   [inaudible]   and   she   just   looked   at   her.   So   the   nuns   got   up,   they   moved   back   to the   coach   and   the   president   of   the   airline   sent   her   the   check.   Now,   remember   it   was   a   free   ticket   to   begin   with,   right?   But   Mother Teresa   said,   you   owe   me   $17,000   somewhat   and   the   president   of   the   airline   felt   he   had   no   choice   but   to   send   her   the   money,   right?   So that’s   the   kind   of   power   that   true   self-emptying   love   has   in   this   world.   I   believe   that.   For   whatever   it’s   worth   and   she   was   no   shrinking violet.   Oh   I   could   tell   you   stories.   I   mean,   she   showed   up   at   the   Vatican   unannounced   and   [inaudible]   for   money   and   you   know,   the Carmel   in   charge   of   the   bank   would   have   to   give   it to   her   even   though   I   will   say   no.   I   mean,   it   was   just incredible.   So   this   lady   had   amazing   power   and influence   and   I   think   that’s   because   it   was   all   about Jesus.   It   was   all   about   Christ.   It   was   never   about her.   It   was   always   self-empty.   Everything   that   she did   was   directed   to   self-emptying   love.   She’s   an amazing   person.   She   really   is   just   and   you   know, and   even   in   her   dying,   her   legacy   continues   even in   the   dark   night   of   her   soul,   right?   Even   in   all   that experience   which   does   nothing   but   prove   that   she was   a   saint,   she   was   clearly   one   who   drew   close to   the   crucifix   and   understood   what   that   meant   and made   it   evident   in   her   life.   So   she’s   had   a   great influence   on   me   and   if   you   continue   to   come   to   the mission   I   tell   a   couple   of   stories   in   the   mission   that are    frankly,    they’re    going    to    blow    you    away.    I mean,     it’s     just     Mother     Teresa     stuff     that     is absolutely amazing. Julia    Johnson:    You    played    on    Mather    Teresa funeral. Tell please more about that experience. Vince Ambrosetti:   Yeah.   Well,   it   was   a   song   that   they   have   requested   that   I’ve   written   that   Mother   Teresa   had   heard   called   Sanctuary and   it’s   a   beautiful   song   about   the   God   who   ever   is   our   refuge,   our   sanctuary.   It   comes   from   Psalm   91,   right?   You   all   know   that,   right? And   there’s   a   story   for   that   too   and   that   comes   this   week   in   one   of   the   mission.   So   I’ll   share   more   of   the   detail   with   you   but   it’s--   well,   in fact   I   wrote   a   particular   verse   for   Mother   Teresa’s   funeral   that   I’ve   only   used   at   her   funeral   but   otherwise   the   song   isn’t   pretty   broad publication around the country in a broad use. It’s a nice piece. Julia Johnson:  How came the idea to create initiative to carry the missions to military bases? Vince Ambrosetti:   Well,   okay,   this   goes   back   to   this.   So   I   didn’t--   nor   will   I   talk   about   this   in   the   mission   so   you   can   jot   this   down   when you   have   a   chance   but   what   happened   was   this,   the   second   war   in   Iraq   broke   out   and   I   got   a   hold   of   a   friend   of   mine   who   was   a   two star   general   chaplain   in   the   Pentagon   and   Father   Bill   [Vince   here   I   again   need   your   help]   General   [and   here]   and   I   said   to   him.   Bill,   I like   to   go   to   Iraq   to   do   missions   for   the   troops.   Can   we   work   that   out? And   it   just   started,   you   know,   the   conflict   and   he   said,   well,   Vince you   got   to   get   a   security   clearance.   Let   me   put   you   in   charge   with   the   chief   of   chaplains.   So   I   got   in   touch   with   the   chief   of   chaplains and   we   talked   about   this   and   he   started   on   the   security   clearance.   He   called   me   back   a   couple   of   days   later,   maybe   just   a   day   or   so later   and   he   said,   I   got   good   news,   bad   news   and   good   news.   I   said   that   sounds   like   a   joke.   He   said,   it’s   not.   He   said   the   good   news   is we   got   your   security   clearance.   The   bad   news   is   we   can’t   let   you   go   because   I   don’t   know   if   you’ve   seen   the   news   today   but   they   just took   the   statue   of   Sadam   Hussein   down   in   the   public   square   and   things   are   getting   very   volatile   there   and   we   can’t   send   you   over   right now.   He   said   but   the   good   news   is   we’ve   had   a   request   for   you   to   go   to   one   of   our   military   bases   and   I   said,   well,   how   did   that   happen? He   said,   well   it   seems   that   11   years   ago   you   gave   a   parish   mission   in   a   parish   called   St.   Jerome   in   Waco,   Texas   and   that   there   was   a little   9-year-old   boy   that   came   every   night   and   insisted   that   his   mommy   who   was   a   Baptist   come   with   him   and   they   sat   in   the   front   pew every   night.   He   is   now   a   20-year-old   Lance   corporal   and   he’s   been   bugging   his   chaplain   to   bring   you   in.   So   apparently   the   chaplain has   said   if   you   will   agree,   Lance   corporal   Austin   Stukins,   that   was   his   name,   will   be   in   charge   of   the   mission.   I   said,   okay.   I’m   going. Where   are   you   sending   me?   He   said,   Kaneohe   Bay,   Hawaii   and   I   said--   I   laughed   and   I   said,   wait,   wait,   wait   I   asked   you   to   send   me   to Iraq   and   you’re   sending   me   to   Hawaii   and   he   laughed   and   said,   welcome   to   the   US   Military,   Vince.   So   since   that   time   we’ve   given missions   in   a   lot   of   military   bases   because   I   believe   very,   very   deeply   in   the   freedom   that   we   have   to   be   able   to   message,   pray   and gather   in   public   and   do   what   we   do   as   Catholics   and   we   are   able   to   call   ourselves   Christians   because   we   exercise   that   faith   publicly without   the   fears   of   retribution   in   this   country   and   I   think   that’s   absolutely   wonderful   and   of   course   we   all   have   to   admit   that   in   spite   of the   fact   that   I   don’t   know   if   I   could   personally   ever   kill   someone   that   I   am   very   grateful   for   those   that   had   defended   our   freedom   to   allow us   to   do   this.   Does   that   make   sense,   Father   Wayne?   I   will   just   say   to   you   again   that   I   am   deeply   grateful   for   all   that   our   military   forces represent   in   defending   our   freedom. And   because   of   that,   by   the   way,   when   these   guys   are   getting   ready   to   go   over   into   places   of   high risk,   I   want   them   to   be   fully   immersed   in   their   faith   when   they   go.   I   want   them   to   know   Christ   more   intimately   when   they   go   and   I   want them   to   find   it   to   be   the   most   necessary   piece   of   equipment   on   their   person.   I   would   like   to   be   the   Word   of   God   in   their   pocket   when they   go.   That’s   what   we   want.   So   because   of   that,   we   believe   that   these   military   missions   are   certainly   important   and   at   present   we’ve done a number again but I want to do a lot more as well. So that’s a wonderful initiative, huh? Father    Wayne    Pittard:    With    our    military    just    so important   and   growing   up   on   military   bases,   you   know, I   guess   I   know   the   depth   of   faith   that   are   there   and   also how   they   rely   on   that,   you   know,   when   you   have   dads flying   in   their   war   zones,   you   know.   My   dad   was   flying into   Vietnam   on   a   regular   basis,   you   know,   so   there’s always   that   apprehension,   you   know,   what’s   going   to happen   and   came   back   and   they   talk   about   bullet   holes in    the    tail.    Where    they’re    taking    off    or    landing    and snipers    would    try    to    maybe    hit    a    fuel    line    or    hit something,   you   know,   just   a   lucky   chance   but--   so   just that   sense   of   having   that   we   can   rely   on   that   you   can take any place with you. Vince   Ambrosetti:   My   dad   was   in   World   War   II,   there are   four   boys,   two   girls   in   my   family   and   frankly,   all   of my   brothers   were   in   service   except   for   me   because   I went   into   the   seminary   at   that   time   but   I   will   tell   you that   dad   was   stationed   in   Foggia,   Italy   and   he   had gone   to   John’s   Hopkins   and   he   was   the   head   engineer on    a    team    of    guys    that    had    to    take    undetonated missiles   out   of   airplanes.   Can   you   imagine   that?   And one   of   dad’s   teams,   11   guys   were   killed   in   one   of   those explosions   and   my   father   had   the   privilege   of   travelling very   short   distance   to   go   to   the   San   Giovanni   Rotondo to    visit    with    Padre    Pio    in    many    occasions    and    it changed   him   forever,   forever,   forever.   He   had   that   gift   of   faith   when   he   was   out   in   the   middle   of   all   this   conflict   and   all   those   terrible things   that   go   on   in   war   and   when   he   died   in   ’93   the   cover   of   his   funeral   program   was   a   picture   of   dad   in   his   service   uniform   for   the army   air   corps   it   was   called   that   at   that   time   and   he   was   in   uniform   serving   mass   for   Padre   Pio   and   Padre   Pio   was   standing   just   to   be beside   him   is   something.   So--   and   because   of   that   in   part,   I   just   feel   a   particular   passion   for   that   work   with   those   who   do   this   work   as well and you can identify with that as well.
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  Vince Ambrosetti: I never hesitate to use Mother Teresa name because it is not for me
Interview
By Julia Johnson Photo credit: Royalrosaries.net / Peter Riedel There     are     people     after talking      to      whom      you become   a   better   person.   I was    lucky    enough    to    do this     interview     with     two incredible    person    Father Wayne     Pittard     from     St. Pius    X    Catholic    Church and   Vince   Ambrosetti.   We   talked   about   Faith   on   Fire   Missions, Mather   Teresa,   music,   millitary   missions...   So   join   us!   What   you need   to   know   about   Vince   Ambrosetti:   On   October   4,   1977,   Vince founded   International   Liturgy   Publications,   the   oldest   free-standing non-profit   publisher   of   sacred   music   for   the   Catholic   church.   He was   named   Catholic Artist   of   the   Year   in   December   2001,   and   has been   honored   with   seven   other   Unity   awards   for   his   music.   Vince sang   his   song   "Sanctuary"   during   Communion   at   Mother   Teresa’s funeral    in    Calcutta,    India.He    has    composed,    recorded    and,    by invitation   of   the   Vatican,   performed   for   Pope   John   Paul   II,   the   first English   Mass   Setting   ever   sung   at   St.   Peter   Basilica   in   Rome.   His music    has    been    placed    in    the    Vatican    archives    alongside    the works   of   Vivaldi,   Puccini,   Verdi   and   Corelli.Vince   completed   his studies   in   Systematic   Theology   at   the   University   of   Notre   Dame, South    Bend,    Indana.    He    was    nominated    for    three    Grammy Awards.   In   addition   to   his   graduate   studies   in   Theology,   Scripture, Sacrament      and      Pastoral      Ministry,      Vince’s      undergraduate disciplines   include   Public   Speaking/English   Literature   and   Music Composition.   Today,   Vince   travels   the   US   giving   concerts   and   faith enriching   parish   missions   through   Parish   Mission.Org.   To   learn more, go to www.ParishMission.org Julia   Johnson:   Father   Wayne,   tell   us   please,   how   did   you come to invite Vince Ambrosetti? Father   Wayne   Pittard:   I've   been   thinking   about   a   mission   and   I get   a   lot   of   material   and   you   get   an   off   and   on   from   different   places and   so   I've   just   been   looking   at   it   and   I   put   a   fire   on. As   I   began   to think   about   it   more,   I   began   to   pull   out   the   fire   on   and   look   at   this person,   "No,   I   don't   think   so.   This   one,   maybe...   I'll   hold   on   to   that for   a   moment." And   this,   just   kind   of   went   through   it   and   constantly went   back   and   bit   by   bit,   "Hmm,   let   me   find   out   more   about   that," and   then   I   would   get   in   line   and   kind   of   look   and   did   find   out   a   little bit more and then, it was almost like, "Yeah, this is the one." Vince Ambrosetti: That's right. Father    Wayne:    And    what    happened    then    is,    after    making    the decision   here,   it's   like   "Well,   I'm   sorry.   We're   tied   up   here.   We're booked   up   here.   We   can't   do   that,"   and   he's   like,   "Ah."   So   we decided   we   were   going   to   do   it   maybe   later   after   I   left   because   I want   to   do   this   before   I   retired   in   June   of   2018.   So,   I   was   going   to, "Oh   my   God,   maybe   the   parish   would   do   it   with   the   new   guy   and that'll   be   a   good,   new   beginning   then."So,   I   said   "That'd   be   good.   I can   just   let   go   of   that."   Well   then   they   called   and   said,   "Well,   we   do have   this   state."   "Really?"   And   so,   we   quickly   checked   and   they were   like,   "Yes,   yes.   Take   it."   So,   and   it   was   with   Vince,   with   the one   that   I   really   wanted   to   come   here.   Just   when   I   read   about   him, and   just   what   I   sensed   to   just   like,   "Yup,   he's   the   one   I   wanted."   It's been   several   months.   They   are   very   good   at   walking   through.   This is   what   it   involves.   This   is   where   it   ends.   So   they   literally   give   you logistics.   "These   are   the   things   you   need.   These   are   the   things when   you   need   to   do   things   there. A   month   beforehand,   you   need to   do   these.   Two   weeks,   you   need   to   do   these.   Here's   a   sign   up for   your   volunteers.   Here's   the   readings   that   we've   been   using." So   I   mean,   they   give   you   a   whole   notebook   and   it   can   scare   you or   you   can   say,   "Oh   this   is   great,   and   just,   so   I   said   like,   "What   do we   do?   What   do   we   do?"   They   really   just   kind   of   help   walk   you through   the   process   and   so   that   was   a   blessing   that   we   did   not even   know   we   were   gonna   get.   So,   we   were   able   to   do   that   and then   bit   by   bit,   got   closer   and   closer.   We   begin   to   talk   with   the people,   not   so   much   with   Vince   but   the   other   people   of   his   team who   were   coordinating   everything   because   at   that   point,   he   was doing   other   missions   and   messing   with   other   people.   And   so,   the people   he   has   who   does   all   the   planning   were   helping   us   do   that and   so   that   I   first   had   met   Vince   when   he   came   down   the   stairs   at the   airport.   I   had   a   little   sign   that   said,   "Faith   on   fire."   The   only thing   to   know   it   was   me. That   the   spirit   that   bug   me   to   get   him   was right   because,   last   night,   even   though   it   was   stormy,   even   though the   weather   was   terrible   when   we   got   off,   we   had   between   350 and   400   people   there   that   night   that   came   for   that. And   so   we   think we   even   have   more   every   next   night.   So   I   think   it   was   a   good beginning   and   especially   with   the   weather   last   night   but   now,   it's sunny.   So,   that's   what   brought   him   and   it's   a   blessing   and   like   I said,   for   me   it   was   kind   of   like   a   gift   that   I   wanted   to   give   to   this parish   who’s   been   so   good   and   whenever   a   new   Pastor   or   Pastor leaves   that   you   like,   everybody   goes,   "Oh   no,   oh   no."   I'm   sorry.   I wanted   to   give   them   hope   and   courage   that   God   will   continue   to be   with   them,   to   stir   that   goodness,   to   set   a   flame   that   big   that   they have,   just   for   them   to   remember   that   they   already   have   it.   They just   have   to   like,   "Oh,   that's   right.   We   can   do   this,"   and   that's   what he's   doing   and   that's   the   positiveness   of   his   message   that   I   read and everything which is what I was looking for. Julia   Johnson:   Wonderful.   Vince,   please   tell   us   more   about the “Faith on fire” mission. Vince    Ambrosetti:    We've    been    so    privileged    to    share    these missions   now   for   many   years.   Our   organization   is   40   years   old and   the   missions   that's   on   the   publishing   side   and   the   missions, we   really   moved   into   about   30   years   ago,   pretty   heavily. And,   what we   find   is   that   they   are   occasions   for   revitalization,   for   intensifying our   faith,   for   visiting   the   matters   of   our   lives   that   have   really   great value   as   opposed   to   the   things   that   don't.   But   it's   a   wonderful   way to   bring   a   parish   family   together   as   a   family   of   families,   and   revisit the   whole   concept   of   what   we   call   the   journey   of   the   sacraments, the   journey   of   our   faith,   the   journey   of   coming   to   a   deeper   and richer   -   not   just   appreciation   and   not   just   understanding   but   let's just   say,   in   a   passionate   embrace   for   who   we   are   and   what   we   are called   to   do.   So   I   really   believe,   it's   also   a   wonderful   opportunity   to bring   people   back,   who   maybe   have   become   way   tend   to   or   not   as involved   in   -   the   world around   us   gives   us   a gazillion     reasons     to not   be   involved   in   our faith    and    this,    what the   mission   does,   is   it helps    us    restore    an understanding   of   why we      ought      to      be exercising   our   faith   in our   life.   So,   I   ask   the people        who        are coming   to   be   kind   of the   first   line   if   you   will, reaching   out   to   others that   they   might   come and    experience    that as    well.    We    have    a number    of    people    to go    and    get    to    these missions.   One   of   the things     that's     unique about     think     of     Fire Missions,    is    that    we incorporate   the   use   of music      in      a      very particular   way.   Because   I   just   happen   to   believe   that   music   really is   the   language   of   the   heart,   the   language   of   the   soul.   It   expresses the   inexpressible,   where   words   and   ritual   and   music   begins.   And sometimes   what   it   does   is   it   helps   us   to   touch   the   beauty   and   the wonder   and   the   great   love   of   God   in   a   way   that   words   cannot,   that we   can't   just   express   in   words.   And,   when   you   couple   that   with Scripture,   set   beautifully   to   music,   now   you've   got   something   really powerful   going   on   and   I   think   that   it   would   be   hard   for   people   to come   to   one   of   these   experiences   and   not   leave   in   some   way changed.   This   is   not   because   of   me.   It's   not   even   because   of   the music.   It's   the   combination   of   the   word   proclaimed,   the   ritual   you experience,   the   beautiful   primordial   images   of   our   faith   with   water and   fire,   and   then,   the   coming   together   with   the   faithful.   There's something   wonderful,   last   night,   that   there   could   have   been   400 people   there. The   idea   of   those   people   going   through   that   storm   at Sunday   night,   to   come here,    in    spite    of    the fact   that--   right,   Father Wayne?     They     could have     just     sat     home and          said,          "I'm comfortable.   I've   got   a fire   burning.   Listen,   I'm in    for    the    night.    I'm cozy,"   but   they   didn't. They    want    and    yearn for   and   made   it   clear that           they           are committed    to    making this     journey     with     us and    that's    a    beautiful thing, isn’t it? Father                Wayne Pittard: Yeah. Vince         Ambrosetti:   Yeah.   So,   when   it's   all over,       when       we're done,    your    know    our prayer   was   just   that   -   as   Father   referred   to   this   Sunday   night   in this   commentary,   he   said,   "We've   start   up   the   pile   a   little   bit."   That we   just   helped   all   of   us   to   come   to   a   heightened   awareness   and experience   of   God   in   our   lives,   because   God   is   ever   with   us.   God is   ever   working   in   our   lives.   God   is   ever   calling   us   into   a   deeper more   intimate   relationship   with   Him.   But   often   we   do   is,   we   get   so busy   and   we   fill   our   moments   and   we   get--   we   just   get   so   caught off   with   all   the   stuff   that's   going   on   in   our   lives   and,   "Oh,   I   can't miss   this   television   program   and   I   can't   miss   this   football   game,   oh and   gosh   I've   got   an   evening   plan   with   my   friends   at   the   local pub,"   but   those   things   are   incidental   to   our   lives.   What   we're   doing here   is   really   at   the   heart   of   not   just   what   matters   but   at   the   heart of who we are and to whom we belong, amen? Father Wayne Pittard: Amen. Julia Johnson: How this all started for you? Vince   Ambrosetti:   When   I   was   six   years   old,   just   six   years   old, my   sister   was   the   music   director   in   a   Polish   church   in   Baltimore and   so,   I   started   to   learn   a   little   Polish   and   I   learned   all   Polish hymns   like   [sorry   Vince   can   you   add   the   name   of   hymn)))],   I   go   to stations   in   Polish   and   stations   in   English,   and   40   hours   in   Polish and   40   hours   in   English   and   when   I   was   there   for   the   choir   and then   we   started   -   by   the   time   I   was   seven,   I   would   take   the   alto and   the   bass   downstairs   in   the   lower   church   to   rehearse   and   she keep   the   soprano   and   tenor,   and   then   we   bring   them   together. When   I   turned   nine,   she   got   married   and   moved   to   Albuquerque, New   Mexico   with   her   young   husband   and   I   took   over   the   music program   for   the   parish   at   nine   years   old.   I   still   laugh   about   it because   one   of   my   bass   singer,   Joe   Drego,   I   still   remember   his name,   would   bring   me   a   box   of   Bazooka   bubblegum   every   week because   they   knew   I   love   to   chew   bubble   gum.   I   was   up   there   in the   choir   while   directing   and   chewing   my   bubblegum   and   sing   and playing the organ. So that's kind of how it started. Yeah. Father Wayne Pittard: Good thing your sister did not see you. Vince   Ambrosetti:   I    know.   I   would   have   been   in   trouble.   You're right.   You're   absolutely   right,   but   it   was   interesting.   There   was   one priest   who--   a   poor   guy,   couldn't   sing   at   all   and   his   name   was Father   Richard   and   he   would   sing,   "The   Lord   be   with   you,"   not   is the   best   way   .   Bake   in   that   time   we   have   what   we   call,   High   Mass and   Low   Mass.   So   the   High   Mass   was   also   sung,   right   Father Wayne?   And   he'd   be   up   there,   "The   Lord   be   with   you."   So   I   went up   to   him   and   I   said,   "Father   Rich."   "Yes,   Vincent?"   "Would   you consider   not   singing   it   the   next   Mass?"   I   did,   and   he   said,   I   scarred him   for   life.   He   told   the   people   at   the   next   Mass.   He   said,   "Vincent doesn't   want   me   to   sing   in   Mass,"   and   they   all   applauded.   Yeah. Oh,   but   I   felt   so   badly   afterwards   because   you   know   my   mantra now.   If   you   have   a   good   voice,   you   use   it   to   glorify   God.   If   you have   a   bad   voice,   make   them   listen   to   it,   right?   But,   anyway,   so that's   how   things   started   and   then   in   1977,   I   had   been   in   the seminary   for   a   couple   of   years   and   I   was   returning   from   Rome   for my   studies   there   and   I   got   the   bishop   to   approve   my   departure   in supporting    this,    starting    this    organization    and,    it    was    really amazing.   I   mean,   we   started   out   with   the   music   of   five   different composers   and   we   now   publish   a   120   plus   people   and   we   have over   2,000   titles   and   including   Gift   of   Finest   Wheat   and   Seeds Scattered   and   Sown   and   so   many   that   you   probably   know   but don't   know   where   they   live   in,   and   just   wonderful   people   that   really give   their   hearts   to   serving   the   church   and   all,   in   a   meaningful   way, and   give   us   music   that   touches   us   deeply.   One   of   my   favorites   for example   is   Beth   Ann   Martinez   in   Los   Angeles,   wrote   a   beautiful Eucharistic   hymn.   We're   going   to   use   on   Wednesday   called   Bread for    the    Broken,    and    it    just    speaks    of    the    healing    nature    of Eucharist,   of   Eucharist   as   a   gift,   the   presence   of   God   that   calls   us to   know   the   healing   love   of   God.   So,   and   there   are   so   many different ways that we express all that. Julia Johnson: When you started writing music? Vince   Ambrosetti:   I   started   writing   music   when   I   was   nine   years old   and   actually,   we   have   in   publication,   one   of   the   songs   I   wrote when   I   was   nine   but   we   use   it   for   the   children.   It's   called   'Come forth   my   People'   and   the   kids   love   it   because   I   make   them   clap and   dance   while   they're   doing   it.   I   mean,   you   know   kids   love   these gestures   but   and   so   as   the   adult   sometimes,   right?   So,   but   I   got more   serious   about   it   when   I   was   in   college   and   then   I   went   off   to study   with   the   French   Priest   by   the   name   of   Father   Lucien   Deiss and   a   Father   Joseph   Gelineau   who   were   famous   composers   in   the 1960's   particularly   during   the   Second   Vatican   Council. Then   I   went to   study   with   Father   Deiss   at   Westminster   College   at   Princeton University   at   East   of   United   States.   He   pulled   me   aside   one   day and   he   said,   "Vincent,   are   you   studying   music?"   I   was   in   college   at that   point   then   I   said,   "Well   Father,   no,   I   love   it   too   much   and   I don't   want   to   ruin   that."   He   looked   at   me   and   he   said,   "If   you   are   to speak   it   well,   you   must   learn   the   language."   And   then   he   said   to me,   "And   if   you're   going   to   break   the   rules,   you   should   know   the rules   first."   Isn't   that   interesting?   So   I   went   back   and   I   added,   at that   time,   English   Lit   and   Public   Speaking   in   Public   Speaking,   that was   my   major   and   I've   done   that   since   I   was   in   the   seventh   grade so   I   really   enjoyed   all   of   that.   But   I   went   back   and   added   a   second major   and   it   was   Music   Composition   and   it   was   one   of   the   best things    that    ever    happened    because    again,    he    was    right.    You should   know   the   rules   in   order   to   break   them.   I   mean,   it's   been very,   very   helpful,   not   just   with   my   music   but   also   as   a   publisher   of other   people's   music,   I   need   to   understand   all   that.   Then   I   went   on to   enter   the   seminary   and   I   studied   Theology.   First   Philosophy then   Theology,   but   I   ultimately   left   and   finished   up   my   Graduate Studies    in    Theology    at    the    University    of    Notre    Dame.    That wonderful   holy   place   in   Southern   Indiana,   that's   right.   Right,   and for   those   of   us   who   went   to   Notre   Dame,   I   tease   about   this.   We say   that   Southern   Indiana   is   the   Holy   Land.   So,   but   it   was   a   great experience   and   I   spent   so   many   hours   just   writing   hymns,   writing songs,   in   the   beautiful   Basilican   air   on   the   campus,   the   Basilica   of the   Sacred   Heart.   The   other   thing   is,   I've   had   the   privilege   of   living in   more   than   700   records   because   at   one   point   in   my   life,   I   went   to work    for    a    company.    I    was    recruited    by    a    company    that    was acquired   by   Merrill   Lynch   and   I--   at   the   young   age   of   24,   became the    National    Director    of    Training    and    Development    for    Merrill Lynch   and   its   diversified   financial   services   group.   So   my   boss   was a   guy   named   Donald   Reagan   who   while   I   was   there,   went   to become   the   secretary   of   Finance   and   the   Chief   of   Staff   for   Ronald Reagan.   Do   you   remember   that   name? Yeah   and   so   that--   it   was   a pretty   heavy   time   and   frankly,   I   acquired   a   lot   of   things.   I   bought   a bunch   of   real   estate   and   bought   a   couple   of   commercial   buildings and   I   had   like   27   residential   properties   and   I   was   investing   very smartly,   and   I   was   making   more   money   than   a   24-year   old   should ever   make   in   life,   right?   And   I   had   my   Mercedes   and   I   had   my 8,000   square   foot   home   and   my   expensive   suits,   and   on   March 23rd   of   1987,   I   walked   into   the   President's   office   at   Merrill   Lynch, on   the   National   presence   and   I   said,   "You   know,   it's   been   great   to be   here   but   I'm   turning   in   my   resignation,"   and   he   said,   "What   are you   going   to   do?"   Now   he   was   a   Mormon   with   13   kids,   and   he said,   "What   are   you   going   to   do?"   I   said,   "Well,   well   Sam   -   I'm going   to   go   and   do   ministry   in   the   Catholic   Church."   He   said, "However   will   you   pay   your   bills?"   I   said,   "I   trust   in   God.   That's what's   going   to   happen."   So,   I   sold   everything   off   for   over   the   next few   years,   sold   off   all   over   the   State,   sold   off   everything,   got   rid   of everything   I   had   and   then   donated   it   all   to   the   non-profit   that   I   had set   up,   that   is   our   organization   today,   and   I   had   no   salary.   I   had   no health   insurance.   I   had   no   income   of   any   kind.   I   hired   an   assistant. I   had   a   small   staff   including   a   nun   that   worked   in   our   office,   now for   the   missions,   and   we   went   off   with   what   I   thought   was   going   to be   six   or   twelve   months   and   I   started   this   in   1992   with   the   first mission   in   Marietta,   Georgia,   just   outside   of   Orlando.   This   is   when we   went   full   board.   I   mean,   I've   been   giving   talks   and   workshops after   this   point   but   this   was   getting   in,   in   an   extended   cargo   van with   a   rack   of   my   clothes   in   the   back,   shared   with   my   assistant, with    all    the    publishing    and    materials    in    the    middle    and    the equipment,   the   sound   equipment   on   the   side   doors   and   we   started in   that   first   mission   which   I   thought   would   last   for   six   or   twelve months,   and   from   1992   to   1999,   for   seven   years,   I   lived   in   a different   rectory   every   week,   all   across   the   country.   I   have   to   tell you,   it   was   joyful.   It   was   wonderful.   It   was   great.   I   didn't   have   to think   about   burst   pipes   in   the   winter.   I   didn't   have   to   think   about   a lawn   that   had   to   be   mowed.   I   didn't   have   to   think   about   running anything   or   doing   anything.   My   group   and   Marilyn   that   was   doing administration   was   self-contained   and   it   was   just   all   --   it   was   all great.   I   didn't   think   about   where   my   next   meal   was   coming   from because   just   like   Father   Wayne,   He's   feeding   me   every   day   here, right   Father?   I   mean,   the   local   church   would   just--   it   would   take care   of   us.   It   would   pay   for   us   and   I'd   live   in   the   rectory   with   my assistant,   Lani,   was   his   name   at   that   time,and   it   was   wonderful.   I got   to   meet   incredible   priests.   I   got   to   meet   wonderful   people.   I   got to   experience   a   mission   every   single   week   except   Christmas   and Easter   for   seven   years   and   my   parents   thought   I   was   nuts.   You know,   I   mean   I   walked   away   from   all   that   security,   from   all   the business,   from   all   of   it   and   again,   God   has   blessed   all   of   that.   So   I can   tell   you   this,   it’s   my   final   comment   I’ll   just   say   to   you   and   all   of it   is   I   am   never   happier   than   when   I   am   sharing   an   experience either    in    a    convocation    with    priests,    in    prayer    and    in    growing together   in   the   ministry   or   in   one   of   these   parish   missions   as   we make   this   journey   because   I   have   to   take   every   single   mission   has its    own    personality.    Every    single    mission    is    its    own    unique experience.   Every   single   mission   doesn’t   just   touch   the   folks   in   the pews,   it   speaks   to   my   heart   as   well.   So   I   come   away   with   a   greater sensitivity   to   God’s   presence   and   love   and   I   come   away   with   a deeper   appreciation   for   the   self-emptying   love   of   our   God   and   I come   away   really   believing   more   passionately   and   deeply   than   I did   five   days   earlier.   So   for   me   it’s   just   a   great   privilege   to   be   able to   do   this   and   at   the   end   of   it   when   we   walk   away,   there’s   a sadness   that   I   have   because   I’m   leaving   now   my   family   of   this past   week,   you   know,   and   I   can   tell   you   sincerely   that   it’s   hard   and that’s   the   poverty   of   what   we   do   is   that   we   leave   here   and   next week   we   start   all   over   in   another   parish   in   Scranton,   Pennsylvania, right? And   that’s   just   the   way   it   is,   you   know,   but   what   a   wonderful privilege   to   do   this   work.   I   look   back   on   my   life   and   I   will   just   tell you   that   I   very,   very   humbly,   truly,   passionately   believe   that   what I’m   doing   today   is   exactly   what   God   created   me   to   do   and   I’m   not proud   of   that.   I   am   -I’m   just   absolutely   humbled   by   that   to   think that   I   would   be   so   privileged   that   God   would   bring   me   into   this world   and   I   know   that   when   I   close   my   eyes   for   the   last   time,   when I    breathe    my    breath    for    the    last    time,    we    hope    not    soon    but whenever   that   happens   that   I   will   be   doing   exactly   what   God   need me to do. Isn’t that something? Julia Johnson: It’s wonderful. Vince   Ambrosetti:    I   can   only   wish   that   for   others   as   well,   you know   what   I   mean?   You   must   know   that.   It’s   an   amazing   feeling. It’s incredible. Julia   Johnson:   It’s   amazing,   yeah.   And   are   you   doing   all   these missions only in the United States or also you go abroad? Vince Ambrosetti:   We’ve   done   missions   in   Italy,   Ireland,   Israel   and the    Philippines.   And    in    the    Philippines,    Cardinal    Sin,    who    had since    past    away,    I    love    that    name,    he    invited    us    over    to    do missions    around    Manila    and    Tagaytay    and    Cebu    and    it    was amazing   and   the   last   event   was   a   big   mission   that   was   televised   in an   arena   that   held   tens   of   thousands   of   people   and   it   was   packed. And   that’s   when,   you   know   that   thing   we   do   stretch   out   your   hand? The   Filipinos   made   that   up.   I   wrote   the   song   but   the   first   time   I used   it   was   there   and   they   made   up   the   gestures,   you   know,   so I’ve   since   carried   it   all   over   the   places.   Isn’t   that   amazing?   So yeah   we   travel   to   other   places   as   well. And   we   have   initiative   right now   to   carry   the   missions   to   military   bases   around   the   world   as well   but   we   will   go   wherever   God   calls   us.   In   fact   the   Philippines just   contacted   us   recently.   They   want   us   to   come   back   and   do   a tour   there   and   it’s   wonderful   because   they’re   just   so   responsive and   it’s   an   amazing   country   too.   But   I   will   tell   you   this   too,   one comment   I   want   to   make,   what   I   have   discovered,   I   don’t   care   if   it’s an   8,000   family   parish,   a   200   family   parish,   a   group   of   priest   in Ohio    or    wherever,    your    people    are    hungry    for    an    intimate relationship   with   God,   amen?   Everywhere,   no   matter   where   we go.   People   are   hungry   for   that   and   I   think   that   they   sense   that these   experiences   will   help   them   make   that   journey   and   I   believe   it so.   One   of   the   things   I   will   tell   you   is   my   experience   with   Mother Teresa,   I   never   hesitate   to   use   her   name   because,   not   for   me,   but I   know--   a   lay   came   up   to   me   last   night   and   you   know   what   she told   me?   She   said   I   invited   my   friend   to   come   and   she   hasn’t   been to   church   in   a   while   and   I   told   her   that   you’re   the   guy   that   sang   at Mother Teresa’s   funeral   and   she   said,   okay,   I’ll   be   there.   So   it’s   not me   and   you   know,   when   you   have   this   little   powerful   four-foot something   saint   of   God   who   everybody   in   the   world   knows,   even still if you ask young people, do you know who Mother Teresa is... Julia Johnson: They know who she is... Vince   Ambrosetti:    They   still   know.   Everybody   knows   who   she   is and   I   say   she   would   be   elated   for   us   to   use   her   name   to   bring people   in   to   a   deeper   experience   of   God.   Every   mission   has   its own    character    and    its    own    unique    unfolding.    I    call    it    the blossoming of the bud in the full bloom. Julia   Johnson:    Can   you   please   share   us   some   memories   about Mother Teresa and something special and how you met her. Vince   Ambrosetti:   Well,   I’ll   tell   you   a   really   funny   story   of   Mother Teresa.   It   is   a   great   one   actually.   So   she--   I   was   always   amazed that   as   she   walk   through   a   crowd,   I   never   understood   what   the parting   of   the   Red   Sea   must   have   looked   like   until   I   saw   people spreading   off   to   the   side   as   this   little   tiny   woman   walks   through   the crowd.   You   know,   and   certainly   moves   to   the   side   and   she   makes her   way   to   the   ticket   counter   and   she   has   the   procurator   with   her. That   would   be   the   nun   in   charge   of   the   money   for   the   missionary and   she   orders   a   ticket   passage   from   the   United   States   back   to Calcutta   and   the   lady   said,   okay,   we   can   get   tickets   for   you,   two seats,   is   that   right,   Mother?   Yes,   okay.   She   says   how   much   will that   be? And   the   lady   looked   at   her   and   handed   her   the   tickets   and said   your   money   is   no   good   here,   Mother.   She   said,   you’re   never allowed   to   pay   for   a   ticket   on   the   stairwell.   So   listen   so   then   they upgraded   her   to   first   class.   Now,   this   is   an   international   flight   and on   international   flights,   as   you   know,   first   class   really   is   something. I   mean,   you   know,   fillet   and   caviar   and   you   know,   it’s   incredible.   So there’s    Mother    Teresa    sitting    in    her    first    class    seat.    She    very humbly   went   and   sat   down   and   she   has   her   nun   next   to   her   and they   come   up   to   her   and   say,   fillet,   Mother?   No,   thank   you.   No, thank   you.   Okay.   Caviar,   Mother?   No,   thank   you.   No,   thank   you. So   she   finally   she   said,   Miss,   may   I   ask   you   a   question?   She   said, how   much   more   does   it   cost   for   someone   to   sit   up   here   than   back there?   Then   she   said,   well,   Mother,   I   don’t   know   but   I   can   ask   the pilot   and   he   can   radio   in   and   we   can   find   out,   you   know.   So   she said,   okay.   I   would   like   to   know   that,   you   know.   So   they   radio   in and   they   get   the   information   and   she   comes   back.   Now,   they’ve taken   off   already,   right?   She   is   still   sitting   there   and   the   flight attendant   comes   back   and   says,   well,   the   pilot   just   informed   me that   it   was   another   $8,643.27   for   you   to   sit   here   and   the   same amount   for   sister   to   sit   with   you.   That’s   what   it   would   have   been   to pay   for   that   ticket   for   you   to   be   here.   Well   she   got   up,   she   stood   up and   she   said,   thank   you   for   that   information.   She   said   and   the   nun on   the   side   was   calculating   what   that   was   and   she   said,   please   let your   president   of   your   airline   know   that   we’re   moving   to   the   back and   he   owes   my   poor   17,000   whatever   the   number   was   [inaudible] and   she   just   looked   at   her.   So   the   nuns   got   up,   they   moved   back to   the   coach   and   the   president   of   the   airline   sent   her   the   check. Now,   remember   it   was   a   free   ticket   to   begin   with,   right?   But   Mother Teresa   said,   you   owe   me   $17,000   somewhat   and   the   president   of the   airline   felt   he   had   no   choice   but   to   send   her   the   money,   right? So   that’s   the   kind   of   power   that   true   self-emptying   love   has   in   this world.   I   believe   that.   For   whatever   it’s   worth   and   she   was   no shrinking   violet.   Oh   I   could   tell   you   stories.   I   mean,   she   showed   up at   the   Vatican   unannounced   and   [inaudible]   for   money   and   you know,   the   Carmel   in   charge   of   the   bank   would   have   to   give   it   to her   even   though   I   will   say   no.   I   mean,   it   was   just   incredible.   So   this lady   had   amazing   power   and   influence   and   I   think   that’s   because   it was   all   about   Jesus.   It   was   all   about   Christ.   It   was   never   about her.   It   was   always   self-empty.   Everything   that   she   did   was   directed to   self-emptying   love.   She’s   an   amazing   person.   She   really   is   just and   you   know,   and   even   in   her   dying,   her   legacy   continues   even   in the   dark   night   of   her   soul,   right?   Even   in   all   that   experience   which does   nothing   but   prove   that   she   was   a   saint,   she   was   clearly   one who   drew   close   to   the   crucifix   and   understood   what   that   meant and   made   it   evident   in   her   life.   So   she’s   had   a   great   influence   on me   and   if   you   continue   to   come   to   the   mission   I   tell   a   couple   of stories   in   the   mission   that   are   frankly,   they’re   going   to   blow   you away.    I    mean,    it’s    just    Mother    Teresa    stuff    that    is    absolutely amazing. Julia   Johnson:   You   played   on   Mather   Teresa   funeral.   Tell   please more about that experience. Vince   Ambrosetti:    Yeah.    Well,    it    was    a    song    that    they    have requested   that   I’ve   written   that   Mother   Teresa   had   heard   called Sanctuary   and   it’s   a   beautiful   song   about   the   God   who   ever   is   our refuge,   our   sanctuary.   It   comes   from   Psalm   91,   right? You   all   know that,   right?   And   there’s   a   story   for   that   too   and   that   comes   this week   in   one   of   the   mission.   So   I’ll   share   more   of   the   detail   with you   but   it’s--   well,   in   fact   I   wrote   a   particular   verse   for   Mother Teresa’s   funeral   that   I’ve   only   used   at   her   funeral   but   otherwise   the song   isn’t   pretty   broad   publication   around   the   country   in   a   broad use. It’s a nice piece. Julia   Johnson:    How   came   the   idea   to   create   initiative   to   carry   the missions to military bases? Vince   Ambrosetti:   Well,   okay,   this   goes   back   to   this.   So   I   didn’t-- nor   will   I   talk   about   this   in   the   mission   so   you   can   jot   this   down when   you   have   a   chance   but   what   happened   was   this,   the   second war   in   Iraq   broke   out   and   I   got   a   hold   of   a   friend   of   mine   who   was a   two   star   general   chaplain   in   the   Pentagon   and   Father   Bill   [Vince here   I   again   need   your   help]   General   [and   here]   and   I   said   to   him. Bill,   I   like   to   go   to   Iraq   to   do   missions   for   the   troops.   Can   we   work that   out?   And   it   just   started,   you   know,   the   conflict   and   he   said, well,   Vince   you   got   to   get   a   security   clearance.   Let   me   put   you   in charge   with   the   chief   of   chaplains.   So   I   got   in   touch   with   the   chief of    chaplains    and    we    talked    about    this    and    he    started    on    the security   clearance.   He   called   me   back   a   couple   of   days   later, maybe   just   a   day   or   so   later   and   he   said,   I   got   good   news,   bad news   and   good   news.   I   said   that   sounds   like   a   joke.   He   said,   it’s not.   He   said   the   good   news   is   we   got   your   security   clearance.   The bad   news   is   we   can’t   let   you   go   because   I   don’t   know   if   you’ve seen    the    news    today    but    they    just    took    the    statue    of    Sadam Hussein   down   in   the   public   square   and   things   are   getting   very volatile   there   and   we   can’t   send   you   over   right   now.   He   said   but the   good   news   is   we’ve   had   a   request   for   you   to   go   to   one   of   our military   bases   and   I   said,   well,   how   did   that   happen?   He   said,   well it   seems   that   11   years   ago   you   gave   a   parish   mission   in   a   parish called   St.   Jerome   in   Waco,   Texas   and   that   there   was   a   little   9- year-old   boy   that   came   every   night   and   insisted   that   his   mommy who   was   a   Baptist   come   with   him   and   they   sat   in   the   front   pew every   night.   He   is   now   a   20-year-old   Lance   corporal   and   he’s   been bugging   his   chaplain   to   bring   you   in.   So   apparently   the   chaplain has   said   if   you   will   agree,   Lance   corporal Austin   Stukins,   that   was his   name,   will   be   in   charge   of   the   mission.   I   said,   okay.   I’m   going. Where   are   you   sending   me?   He   said,   Kaneohe   Bay,   Hawaii   and   I said--   I   laughed   and   I   said,   wait,   wait,   wait   I   asked   you   to   send   me to   Iraq   and   you’re   sending   me   to   Hawaii   and   he   laughed   and   said, welcome   to   the   US   Military,   Vince.   So   since   that   time   we’ve   given missions   in   a   lot   of   military   bases   because   I   believe   very,   very deeply   in   the   freedom   that   we   have   to   be   able   to   message,   pray and   gather   in   public   and   do   what   we   do