John Romeri has resigned from his position as the Director of the Office for Liturgical Music in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia citing irreconcilable differences with Archbishop Chaput. John Romeri is a talented musician and his presence will undoubtedly be missed.
Romeri said this about his resignation:
This Holy Week, while some of the most beautiful liturgies I have ever conducted, was not well received by the archbishop. This is the continuation of several years of discontent on his part with the Liturgical Music at the Cathedral and at Archdiocesan liturgies. There are simply irreconcilable differences in our understanding of the role of music in the Liturgy and the role of the choir.
A change like this ahead of the papal visit must be causing a mini-meltdown in the Archdiocese.
The full text of John Romeri’s letter can be found below.
A CHANGE AT THE OFFICE FOR LITURGICAL MUSIC
Dear Parish Musicians:
As I now prepare to conclude my fifth year here as Director of the Office for Liturgical Music, I am sad to announce that I have decided to resign from the Office for Liturgical Music, effective June 30, 2015. I will remain at the Cathedral Basilica as Music Director and Organist through the summer to allow Father Gill time to restructure the position and look for a worthy replacement.
This Holy Week, while some of the most beautiful liturgies I have ever conducted, was not well received by the archbishop. This is the continuation of several years of discontent on his part with the Liturgical Music at the Cathedral and at Archdiocesan liturgies. There are simply irreconcilable differences in our understanding of the role of music in the Liturgy and the role of the choir. While at this point, I am not sure just what my next musical adventure looks like, it is absolutely the right thing for me to leave this present situation.
I shall be forever grateful to the members of the Cathedral Basilica Choir, the Cathedral Cantors, the Archdiocesan Choir, and the Archdiocesan Children’s Choirs for their outstanding work. This Sunday they present a beautiful concert dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. On June 10th, the Cathedral Choir and Members of the Archdiocesan Choir are performing in PRAISE at the Kimmel Center. On June 29th our Archdiocesan Children’s Choirs are singing at Carnegie Hall in New York City. In addition to several concerts, these wonderful singers have given untold hours in rehearsals preparing to serve the Sacred Liturgies of the Archdiocese and Cathedral.
To Father Dennis Gill, Cathedral Rector and Director of the Office for Divine Worship, I will be forever grateful. I am also thankful to the ACMP Board and members for their support over these past five years. I will cherish the many colleagues and friends I have made here in Philadelphia. I encourage each of you to continue your support of the Liturgical Music here in the archdiocese, to get involved with the ACMP and the AGO, and to support live music performances at your cathedral and other parishes in the archdiocese. Finally, I encourage you to make music at the highest levels possible in your parishes. Our people deserve it and our God is worthy of the highest forms of praise.
Grateful for five amazing years,