iv24 is one of the groups that will be performing during ShareMusic event on June 25. Michael Swan

ShareMusic event celebrates ShareLife agencies

By 
  • June 19, 2020

The talents of Toronto-area Catholic musicians are being harnessed to celebrate the works of ShareLife agencies and their efforts to support those in need.

Sixteen musicians, groups or choirs will join June 25 for ShareMusic, a Facebook Live event hosted by St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica associate pastor Fr. Matthew McCarthy and broadcast on the Archdiocese of Toronto’s Facebook page to share the gift of music with a virtual audience. With churches being closed by the pandemic, and only very recently re-opening without music, many of these performers have been unable to share their music with an audience.

John Ecker, director of the Archdiocese of Toronto’s Family of Faith campaign and special projects, developed the event. He’s a long-time member of the ShareLife Advisory Committee and chair of his Whitby parish’s campaign.

“ShareMusic is not only a showcase for talented musicians across the archdiocese, it’s a reminder for us all to continue supporting the agencies that are funded by our ShareLife campaign,” said Ecker.

“I’ve missed the music in my parish throughout the pandemic and I know it will be some time before the full music program is restored. If ShareMusic can provide some comfort and inspiration to others in these difficult times, it’s mission accomplished.”

“Music is central to our lives as Catholics,” said McCarthy. “Since people have not been able to come to church to celebrate in song, we are bringing the music to the people.”

ShareLife, the charitable fundraising arm of the archdiocese that supports more than 40 agencies, has been struck hard by the coronavirus. It had just launched its annual campaign to raise $13.8 million when the nation went into lockdown, yet its agencies remain on the front lines in helping people. Its agencies aid seniors, those facing mental health issues, victims of domestic violence and more and their needs have not gone away in face of the pandemic. Many have adapted their programs and continue to provide services — delivering meals to isolated seniors, phone counselling for mental health issues and more.

“ShareLife calls us to live the Gospel,” said McCarthy, himself an accomplished musician. “That’s especially important in these difficult times when the most vulnerable people are even more at risk. As a priest, I know ShareLife is there for hundreds of thousands of people in need across the archdiocese each year. Now, ShareLife needs us more than ever to help it continue its mission work.”

McCarthy will be among the performers, along with Fr. Ed Curtis, seminarians from St. Augustine’s Seminary, the St. Joan of Arc Secondary School Choir and the praise and worship group Iv24. It can be viewed at 8 p.m. June 25  at Facebook.com/archtoronto.

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