February 20, 2012

In response to your article on the recent purchase of a pipe organ in St. Joseph Seminary (Seminary cuts a deal on an organ, WCR, Feb. 6), I want to express my disappointment at the way the article was written and the slant taken on the information.

Readers may be under the mistaken impression that the price of the instrument was excessive or being concealed.

In fact, when I was asked about the price by the WCR, I suggested that the archdiocese be consulted, since they made the purchase and it was not my place to disclose this information on their behalf. This did not come out in the article, which simply said that I refused to disclose the price.

For the record, the purchase price of the organ was $35,000 – a fraction of the price that it would be to buy new. (A new organ of the same type/size would cost at least 10 times this amount.)

There were additional expenses to move, restore and install the organ in the new location. The final bills have not yet been processed by the archdiocese, but I am assured the total will be a fraction of the cost of any conceivable alternative, now or in the future.

Thanks to this careful stewardship, the beautiful sounds of the pipe organ now resonate within the seminary chapel, reminding us always of the One who created all that is beautiful and good.

(I invite readers to see and hear for themselves by joining the seminary community for Mass at 11:30 a.m. on the First Friday of each month of the academic year.)

Rev. Shayne Craig, pss
St. Joseph Seminary