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The Soundtrack of Our Lives

April 8, 2014

If you had a soundtrack for your life, what would it sound like?

Mine, and many others, would sound like our beloved Phil and Amy Switalski.

Our St. Christopher parish recently witnessed another close call potential loss that ended well for us, and many prayers were answered by God’s mercy in the process.

Our parish recently witnessed wonderful stories of God’s mercy and saving grace when our parish school was saved from closing.

We also witnessed a miracle as our very own Super Man, Nick Karas, returned to worship at church with us following months of recovery from a near fatal collision with a train.

God is good.

Then we were informed last week that we would be losing one of our two parish music ministers due to budgetary cuts that were needed in the parish. Our music ministers, Phil and Amy Switalski, a married couple, have been co-music directors at our parish for over 20 years. Our pastor recently announced that our parish could not afford to keep two music ministers on staff, so he had to make a difficult decision to let one of them go. Obviously this would be a difficult decision because Phil and Amy are married and letting one of them go could possibly lead to losing both of them.

Our music ministry has been robust and beloved by many under Phil and Amy’s leadership. Not only are they both talented musicians, and choir leaders, but they both have wonderful voices individually, and bring a rich balance to our music when they sing as a male and female duet.

I remember meeting Phil and Amy before I got married 20 years ago. Phil and Amy were also a young couple, engaged too as I recall. Their partnership in life and music has been a blessing to the music and faith life of our parish.

About 8 years ago after I moved back to St. Christopher parish after many years of living away, I was pondering how blessed we were to have Phil and Amy in our parish as music ministers for many years. I was trying to think of some way to express my appreciation for their music and ministry. I heard an expression on a local radio station that promoted the station as “The Soundtrack of Our Lives”. It seemed a perfect expression to apply to Phil and Amy.

Phil and Amy were the musician’s for my wedding. They also sang and played at various funerals in our parish including my father’s. They also were the musical voices for our Sunday and Holiday worship services, including Christmas and Easter celebrations for many years. They help to make our worship of The Lord rich, joyous and moving.

I pulled together some photos from my wedding and other events and services at St. Christopher into a photo collage and put the collage in a 5×7 frame around the words “The Soundtrack of Our Lives” and gave that frame to Phil and Amy as a tangible expression of my appreciation for Phil and Amy and their music.

A couple years later I connected with them and they expressed that they still had the photo frame with the “Soundtrack of Our Lives” expression and displayed it proudly in their home.

This weekend when they announced that that they found a way to keep both Phil and Amy as our music co-directors by Phil and Amy making some sacrifices in their income, I ran into Phil and Amy at breakfast after Sunday mass and expressed to them how happy I was, and we were as a family, and parish, that they were still going to be our music ministers. They humbly thanked me.

We are so blessed to have Phil and Amy as the “Soundtrack of Our Lives” at St. Christopher, and I hope they can stay with us for many years to come. They are more than music ministers; they are fellow parishioners, and more importantly, beloved people and friends.

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