WARWICK — Bishop Hendricken Director of Fine and Performing Arts Richie Sylvia, and Vocal Music Director Mary Jo Gambardella, led Hendricken’s Young Men’s Chorus on a 10-day pilgrimage to Ireland over the winter recess. The tour, aptly titled, “The Footsteps of Our Founders,” provided nearly 40 students and chaperones the opportunity to learn more about the country of the school’s namesake, Bishop Thomas Francis Hendricken. Bishop Hendricken was born in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1827 and served as the first Catholic Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island from 1872-1876.
The highlight for all was the many beautiful churches and basilica’s where the Young Men’s Chorus sang numerous recitals and liturgies. The first venue was the Basilica in Knock. The chorus then performed at a Solemn Mass at the Church of St. Ignatius, as well as Masses at St. John’s Church on the Dingle Peninsula, St. Mary’s Cathedral in Killarney and St. Teresa’s Church in Dublin. The Young Men’s Chorus ended their concert tour at St. Patrick’s, The National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland.
The group’s daily itinerary featured many of Ireland’s most historic attractions including the Clonmacnoise Monastery founded by St. Ciaran, a trip to Kylemore Abbey, as well as Ireland’s National Marian Shrine in Knock, County Mayo.