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Our Lady of Lourdes Touring Choir heads to Rome to perform for P - KOAM TV 7

Our Lady of Lourdes Touring Choir heads to Rome to perform for Pope

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It's an opportunity that many don't get to have in their life time, seeing the Pope at the Vatican. But for one Southeast Kansas choir, members had the experience not once...but twice to perform in front of the most prestigious man in the catholic faith, and in just a few days...they'll be making trip number 3.

"We're kind of a world travel choir, and kind of on the road again." says Our Lady of Lourdes Touring Choir Director, Carol Cook.

It's not everyday you get the opportunity to sing for the Pope, but for the Our Lady of Lourdes traveling choir members sung for Pope John Paul, Pope Benedict and now for Pope Francis.

"This time our visit and our singing at the Vatican was by invitation from the Vatican itself. We received a Papal letter a year and half ago telling us that we were one of 6 choirs chosen for the liturgical year of faith." says choir organizer, Buddy Gorentz.

Choir members come from all across the region like tenor singer Tony Munoz, who will be making his third Vatican appearance, only this time, as a soloist.

"I grew up in a little poor neighborhood in Parsons, and never thought I would get to Rome and to Europe this many times. It's been several times and we're like yes we're very privileged and honored." he says.

The $3700 trip fee comes out of pocket for members, but they say it's worth it.

"In a group this large, it always works out better because there's some people that can participate more than others and to divide the money up is a very challenging thing to do in a fair way when you do fundraiser's." Gorentz says.

He continues to say, "It's all surreal. The first time that we sang at the Vatican I can't even remember actually being there because I was just absorbing everything. The second time we were a little more prepared. And now we're seasoned veterans."

The group will also be performing songs in multiple languages including Russian, french, Spanish, Italian and Latin. But learning came easier than expected with help from a linguist.

"We are hoping we prepared well, and that our hearts and our minds are focused on that moment.  so that many of the people are very very not only excited but this is a big life thing for them." Cook says.

The group departs for Rome on Sunday December 29th.



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