5655 Cassady Rd.
Hermitage, PA, 16148
Rev. D.G. Davis III
January 3, 2002
79 Case Ave. Sharon, PA, 16146
Dear Father Davis:
This letter is to inform you that I am resigning as Director of the Life Teen Music Ministry effective June 30, 2001. I have not reached this decision easily, but I feel this is an appropriate one at this time.
My position with the Life Teen Music Ministry has been challenging and a true learning experience. Looking back to the beginning of this year, I truly believe the music ministry has achieved quite a turn-around when compared past programs. This was made possible by the few committed choir members and by the support of my former elementary music teacher, Nancy Rehner. I feel that I need to further explain how I reached my decision to resign.
When I initially decided to accept the position as Director of Life Teen Music Ministry in early September, 2000, it was decided that Mikal Gonzales and Mary Stephenson would participate at Tuesday rehearsals and on Sunday Masses for this first year that I was hired. On Tuesdays, Mikal was to assist with teaching new music to the choir members. Mary was to do the same along with playing guitar. Within approximately 4-6 weeks, Vicki Hando and possibly others involved with Life Teen requested a meeting with the music ministry because of concerns with the musical format. As a result of this meeting, Mary and Mikal left their positions with Life Teen Music Ministry. Shortly before the Christmas season, Mikal did return to assist with the music ministry at my request. It was agreed that Mikal would attend every rehearsal and help to teach the music. He was also to attend every Sunday Mass, missing only for understandable reasons. As far as I know, everyone was happy with the music format during the Christmas season. Complications again arose toward the end of February, 2001. Mikal began to sporadically miss rehearsals and several Sunday Masses. At times, I had no prior notice of his absence. I would have to not only plan the musical format with the choir members, but also teach the music on those Tuesdays Mikal was absent. He would then show up for the Sunday Mass and change the format. This abrupt change of schedule caused tension to build within the choir and frustration on my part. The full responsibility for teaching and directing was placed on my shoulders, but this is not what was originally agreed upon.
In reference to the music, Vicki Hando was reportedly becoming upset because too much music was being used from the Heritage Missal and not from the Life Teen Book. I requested that this be purchased because I did not have the complete repertoire of Life Teen music. I was told that the purchase would occur, but it never did. Additionally, I did repeatedly request a piano accompaniest so that I could better fulfill my responsibility as director of the Life Teen choir. One male choir member did play several songs at several Masses, but he did not have the ability to accompany for an entire Mass.
As I initially stated, this position has been quite a challenge. Many disagreements did occur, but I want you to know that I attempted to make decisions for the music ministry based on my musical experience and education. I have studied piano for ten years, accompanied the Camerata Girl Choir for two years and have recently been recommended to accompany the Westminster College touring choir. As you know, I have also done vocal performances and play pipe organ. With my background, I felt thatl I could have been included in the staff committee meetings and possibly contributed to making Life Teen Music Ministry a positive force for the young people of the parish. I wish only the best for the 2001-02 Life Teen Program and the Life Teen Music Ministry.
Matthew David Fodor
CC:Msgr. William C. Karg
Mrs. Nancy Rehner
Mrs. Vicki Hando