Music Director for Papal Mass Named; Choir Auditions to Begin in Mid-February

January 24, 2008

Tom Stehle, pastoral associate for liturgy and music at Our Lady of Mercy parish in Potomac, Maryland, has been selected as the director of music for the Mass that Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate on April 17 at Nationals Park in Washington, DC.

Working closely with the Archdiocese of Washington’s office of worship, Mr. Stehle will oversee the music planning for the Mass, conduct auditions for a 250-voice Archdiocesan Papal Mass Choir, and direct that choir along with ethnic choirs from local parishes at the Papal Mass. The music at the Mass will reflect the diverse heritage of the Archdiocese of Washington.

A professional with 30 years of experience, Mr. Stehle has served at Our Lady of Mercy parish for 17 years. He is a native of Butler, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Duquesne University, he became associate director for the Office of Worship in the Diocese of Peoria (Illinois). He later served as the cantor and psalmist at many diocesan celebrations for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, including the installation of then-Bishop Donald W. Wuerl in 1988. Mr. Stehle came to Washington in 1988 to begin graduate studies at The Catholic University of America. He received a master’s degree in theology, and was a multi-year recipient of the Magi Endowment for Studies in the Liturgical Arts, where he studied architecture with an emphasis on liturgical architecture. He is a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy and chair of the Council of Chapters for the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

The Archdiocesan Papal Mass Choir will be composed of 250 people who participate in music ministry at parishes and religious houses throughout the Archdiocese of Washington. Auditions will be held between February 8 and 11. Information about the auditions has been sent to all pastors, parishes and to music ministry directors. Rehearsals will begin in early March.

The music selections for the Mass are still being finalized.

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]