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Galway GC Choir Rome Trip

Galway GC Choir Rome Trip

At 5.20pm local time, Rome, Pat Lillis raised her baton, called her choir to attention, and the magnificent St.Peter’s Basilica fell hushed. The great Organ strained under the expert fingers of Pat’s daughter Jackie and moments later the Galway Golf Club Choir brought forth in unison the opening bars of the beautiful Irish lament, Mo Ghrasa Mo Dhia at the start of a Mass concelebrated by Vatican Cardinal Comasstri.

The many hours of practice by the dedicated choir members every Monday evening since last September, the musical talents of Pat and Jackie Lillis and the organisational skills of Choir Administrator Anne Grete Gormley were evident throughout the celebration of the Mass as we completed a programme that included Arcadelt’s Ave Maria, Mozart’s Ave Verum, the Communion reflection Calm Me Lord and final popular hymn, How Great Thou Art. Cardinal Comasstri showed us the great honour of thanking the Galway Golf Club choir from the altar for “the beautiful singing”. At the conclusion of Mass the congregation showed their appreciation with warm applause.

The opportunity to sing in the Vatican was made possible by the efforts of former Club President, Gerry Molloy whose daughter Martha and her Italian husband Bruno both work there. Martha not only secured the Choir’s invitation to sing but also organised a weekend in Rome that will long be remembered by the Galway Golf Club Members, their families and friends who participated.

A guided tour of the Sistine Chapel and a tour of the tombs of the Popes, excellent Hotel accommodation, evening meals and Coach transfers were all skilfully integrated into the tour programme. Martha and her sisters Claire and Laura worked tirelessly to ensure that the travelling party enjoyed every moment and all agreed that they were responsible for Ireland’s Rugby win over France on the Saturday afternoon. An event enjoyed in the Scholars Irish Bar in downtown Roma.

Over the course of the 4 days new friendships were formed and long-standing ones cemented in the best traditions of Galway Golf Club. At all times the travelling party were conscious that they were representing the Club, and were proud to do so. The Club’s navy and red tie is now forever etched into the history of the Vatican.

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