Music Ministry

Among the many signs and symbols used by the Church to celebrate its faith, music is very important.  Sacred song united to words, forms a necessary and integral part of the solemn liturgy. Blessed Seelos has rich tradition rooted in music.  Blessed Francis Seelos has three choirs the English Choir, Spanish Choir, and Deaf Chior, for more information call the church office at 504-943-5566 or the director of the choir you are interested in.

Music Staff

Arthine Vicks
Director of Deaf Choir
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Alex Castillo
Director of Spanish Choir
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Givonna Joseph
Director of English Choir
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Tyler Henderson
Piano/Organist

Ben Batalla
Piano/Organist

 


 

Our Music Ministry in Action (Picture Album) - click on picture


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Arthine Vicks

Director of the Deaf Choir of St. Gerrard, Parish Catechetical Leader for the Parish and Coordinator of Deaf Ministry. Arthine has been journeying with the Deaf since 1981, and is  Director of the Deaf Apostolate, Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Involved in Pastoral Ministry for 30+ years.  She has served on various local and national commissions that focus on the rights of persons with disabilities. Including Chairperson of the LA State Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities, Chairperson of the Archdiocese of New Orleans Committee on Disabilities, Board Member of the Advocacy Center of New Orleans.  Currently, Board Member of the National Catholic Office of the Deaf representing the Southern Region of the U.S..  Has served in the capacity of Pastoral Minister, Pastoral Associate, Coordinator of Music Ministry including Children’s Choir and Director of the National Knights of Peter Claver Bishop Perry Choir. She served in the Marine Corps for 12 years.

Currently also an Instructor at Delgado Community College for the past 14 years in the Interpreter Training Program (American Sign Language).

She and Walter were married in 2006. She can be contacted by email  or at 504-943-2469 (TTY) for more information about the deaf choir.

 


 

Alex Castillo

Alex Castillo is the second director of the Spanish Choir. Alex has mostly been a "self-taught" guitarist/musician.  He started as a guitarist under Dr. Christian Mayorga's Blessed Seelos first choir director in 1999 when it was still St. Vincent de Paul. When Dr. Mayorga resigned from the choir around 2004 he became the choir director.

Alex is a lab research assistant by trade, but music is his first love after God and his family of course.

In the mid 90's, he played guitar in the school jazz band and also participated in the acoustic guitar club. Throughout his teenage years he played guitar and sang a bit in 2 different youth choirs. Throughout his college years as well as during later years, he sang and played guitar at 2 different restaurants. Since 2003, he has served as music director for the New Orleans Center for Evangelizacion Liberadora Integral (ELI).

Born and raised in New Orleans to immigrant parents from Honduras and Guatemala. He is married to Zorayda Castillo and they have a 7 year old son.

He can be contacted directly by email or at 504-564-5577.

 


Givonna Joseph

The Choir Director for the 9:30am Sunday Mass, is Founder and Director of the award nominated OperaCréole, The New Orleans native has been honored as a standard bearer of Louisiana culture by being featured on Le Grand Tour, a documentary for France television, and in an hour long interview on WWNO Radio/NPR "Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins".

In 2015, in addition to portraying Marie Laveau in OperaCréole's production of Minette Fontaine, Givonna sang the role of Sylvia in Wading Home, an opera of New Orleans for the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. She was also the alto soloist for Messiah with Symphony Chorus of New Orleans at the Orpheum Theater. The mezzo has also been featured in many New Orleans Opera Association productions over the years.

 

Givonna grew up in St. Monica's Church, is a graduate the school, and Xavier Prep. She received her musical training at Loyola University. She feels most blessed to have served as cantor for Blessed Teresa of Calcutta's New Orleans visit, as Music Director at St. Rose of Lima for 5 years before Katrina, and as cantor for many churches in the New Orleans area. Givonna is a recipient of the 2004 Order of Saint Louis Medallion.

Her daughter, Aria Mason, who sings with the choir, was trained in music at The Catholic University of America. They both are happy to be a new part of the Blessed Seelos community.

She can be contacted by email for more information about the 9:30 choir.

 


 

Tyler Henderson
Piano/Organist

 

 

 

 


Ben Batalla
Piano/Organist

 

 

 

Open Arms Caring Ministry

A support group for anyone who is coping with grief of any kind will begin Monday, morning September 9th after the 8:00am mass.
 
All are welcome.   Support is offered through Faith, Prayer and the group process. All matters discussed are strictly confidential. For further information please call the parish office and leave a message for Sandy Sanchez.

 

Youth and Young Adult Ministry

The purpose of the Youth and Young Adults Ministries is to foster faith and fellowship among the members.  To enable today’s youth to become tomorrow’s Christian leaders. To preach, teach, lead, encourage, and live the Christian life. To help one another walk closer to Christ and nurture our Catholic faith through prayer, friendship, fun and various activities that will be of interest to the youth.  The members will meet Fridays at 6:30 PM. 

For more infomation call our parish office (504)943-5566

Courage Ministry

Persons with homosexual desires have always been with us; however, until recent times, there has been little, if any, formal outreach from the Church in the way of support groups or information for such persons. Most were left to work out their path on their own. As a result, they found themselves listening to and accepting the secular society's perspective and opting to act on their same-sex desires. The late Terence Cardinal Cooke of New York was troubled by this situation. He knew that individuals dealing with same-sex attraction truly needed to experience the freedom of interior chastity and in that freedom find the steps necessary to live a fully Christian life in communion with God and others. In response to this concern, he decided to form a spiritual support system which would assist men and women with same-sex attractions in living chaste lives in fellowship, truth and love. With the endorsement of the Holy See, Courage now has more than 100 Chapters. The Ministry has five goals:

1.To live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality ( Chastity ).

2.To dedicate our entire lives to Christ through service to others, spiritual reading, prayer, meditation, individual spiritual direction, frequent attendance at Mass, and the frequent reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist (Prayer and Dedication).

3.To foster a spirit of fellowship in which we may share with one another our thoughts and experiences, and so ensure that no one will have to face the problems of homosexuality alone (Fellowship).

4.To be mindful of the truth that chaste friendships are not only possible but necessary in a chaste Christian life; and to encourage one another in forming and sustaining these friendships (Support).

5.To live lives that may serve as good examples to others. (Good Example/Role Model). www.couragerc.net

If you would like more information about this ministry in our parish, please call the parish office (504)943-5566

Seelos Ministry of Hope

Throughtout the year our Parish Ministry is present to our community with visits to the poor, sick, elderly and disabled. Throughout the year we provide utility and rental assistance, food from our Food Pantry, fans during the summer months, schools supplies for our children, referral to the SVdPS community pharmacy, thrift stores and shelter at the Ozanam Inn. Thanksgiving finds us preparing food baskets and Christmas is always a joy helping parents to provide gifts for their children, our angels!

Sometimes, it’s easier to forget about the plight of the disadvantaged people in our community. You can be assured, however, that the members of our Parish Ministry continue their work everyday as they are called to do. Every person we see represents an opportunity to serve our Lord.

 Every time we go to Mass, our last instruction is to “Go and serve the Lord and one another”. Hopefully, the beautiful language of the Mass is not just the end of the service, but also a reminder of what is to be our mission on earth, until we see our Master and Lord in heaven.

If you would like more information call  (504) 943-5560