OH MY GOD…

A message from Nick Sisto.

Do you remember being at the required 9 o’clock required mass on Sunday morning?

Several things stand out…

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Amongst them, Msgr. Downing would give his homily before mass started. After Communion he would walk to the pulpit and everyone would kneel in unison and recite; “Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus…”

Most of the time the mass would end with everyone joining the organ while it played, “Oh My God.” It was a very short hymn with only four lines.

Oh my God, I believe in you,

Oh my God I adore you,

Oh my God I hope in you,

Oh my God I love you…

We would sing these phrases over and over; and the organ notes would get slightly higher each time. Somehow, everyone seemed to know when the song was over.

It was often said that Msgr. Downing wrote this piece himself. Wouldn’t it be fitting to reintroduce this piece of music as we work to restore Holy Name to its former glory?

Is there anyone who would have a copy of the music or is talented enough to try and recreate the music from memory?

To get involved and for more information, please like us on Facebook (Holy Name of Jesus Brooklyn Church Restoration Project), contact the Buildings Committee at HNJBuildings@aol.com or call the Holy Name Rectory at 718-768-3071.

Respectfully,

Steve

Hoops135@hotmail.com

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21 Responses to OH MY GOD…

  1. Ed Kearns says:

    Does anybody remember the “competition” between Msgr. and Maude quinn when this song was being sung?

  2. Glenn Thomas says:

    Maude would sit up front in the front with her red hair. My father would bring me up to devotions and Maude was belting out the songs in her high pitched voice! Nick Sisto brought back a lot of memories! I also remember if you didn’t go to Mass, one had to have a note from their parents on that following Monday morning explaining that you either went to a later Mass with your family or perhaps you were travelling. I remember Msgr. Downing getting all psyched up when he was able to inspire the students to sing with passion! Good stuff!

  3. Michael Savage says:

    One evening I was the altar boy assisting Father Shine at May devotions. We were behind the altar cleaning up. Father Shine was anxious to wrap things up and close the church. We heard a voice whispering over and over “Good night dear Jesus, good night dear Jesus”. We peered around the curtain and there was Maude, alone in the church bowing and repeating the phrase. Finally, Father Shine said in a booming tone, “Good night, Maude!”. Maude looked up, didn’t see anyone, and ran out of church. Father Shine couldn’t stop laughing!

    • hoopscoach says:

      Mike,

      Great story.

      I wasn’t eligible to be an alter boy. But deep down, I was always envy and jealous of my friends that were chosen. Word on the street was that they made some good scratch during weddings…

    • Ellen Garland says:

      I remember Fr. Shine storming accross to the other side of the altar to preach the gospel. He would avoid her and that would only made her pray louder!
      Does anyone remember Msgr. Downing’s First Communion standard hymn – Little White Guest —

      • hoopscoach says:

        Ellen,

        The only time I heard Father Shine talk was when he would stick his head out of the rectory window and throw me out of the schoolyard at 11 O’clock at night…

        Msgr. Downing would throw me out on Sunday mornings while mass was going on.

      • Don Cush says:

        As I remember it, 1st to 4th grade went to 9 am mass in the Upper church and grades 5 to 8 went to 8am mass in the lower church.
        Ellen I do remember Little White Guest. It was tatooed to my brain during the second grade and I can still hear it now 46 years later.

      • Don Cush says:

        LITTLE WHITE GUEST
        You have come to my heart, dearest Jesus,
        I am holding You close to my breast;
        I’m telling You over and over,
        You are welcome, Little White Guest.
        I love You, I love You, my Jesus,
        O please do not think I am bold;
        Of course, You must know that I love You,
        But I am sure that you like to be told.
        I’ll whisper, “I love You, my Jesus,”
        And ask that we never may part;
        I love You, O kind, loving Jesus
        And press You still nearer my heart.
        And when I shall meet You in Heaven,
        My soul then will lean on Your breast;
        And You will recall our fond meetings,
        When You were my Little White Guest

    • Jim Fox says:

      Mike
      Do you have a brother named Bruce?If so I went to Holy Name with him.
      Class of 1960.I live in Tampa now for the last 15 years.Would like to say hi if he is your brother
      Jim Fox

  4. Joan (Ferraro) Hanvey says:

    I absolutely love this hymn; it was so simple yet so inspiring!!! And we all sang it with much gusto!!!

  5. mike slavin says:

    I WAS IN THE THIRD GRADE A WE HAD TO GO TO THE 8 AM MASS IN THE LOWER CHURCH. WE SAT IN THE PEWS THAT WERE ON THE SIDE OF THE ALTAR. FATHER SHINE WAS SAYING THE MASS AND WHEN HE WAS CLEANING THE CHALICE AFTER COMMUNION HE HEARD MOST OF US 3RD GRADERS TALKING. HE STOPPED EVERYTHING, WALKED TO OUR SIDE OF THE ALTAR AND YELLED “WILL YOU KIDS SHUT THE HELL UP” ! WELL, WE WERE ALL IN SHOCK. WE KNEW THAT ON MONDAY MISS LYNN WAS GOING TO GIVE US HELL, BUT WHO EVER THOUGHT A PRIEST WOULD SAY GO TO HELL IN CHURCH ON THE ALTAR. AFTER MASS I WENT HOME TOLD MY MOTHER AND FATHER. MY MOTHER WAS SHOCKED MY FATHER LAUGH LET HELL. FATHER SHINE CAME OFF GRUFF BUT WAS A GOOD MAN.. . HE BECAME PASTOR AFTER MSGR. DOWNING RETIRED BUT DIED SUDDENLY TO BAD HE WASN’T PASTOR FOR LONG.

  6. Glenn Thomas says:

    I remember Father Shine at Midnight Mass one Christmas Eve give the organist the sign to cut the music by pretending to cut off his own neck for the organist would not stop playing to begin the Mass. The organist had that mirror that he could look up into and see what was going on downstairs. People were laughing!

  7. jimmyvac says:

    I was afraid of Downing.. I thought he was God.. As a kid, I bet my Stephen Shine that I could not off some guy’s Russian hat with a snowball… 2nd snowball, off went the hat and there was Monisgnor Downing’s bare head. if it possible for a eight year old to have a stroke , I had one!! After threating Steven with a horrible death if he squealed, I had visions of Downing calling me to the principal’s office during the morning announcement… Father Shine was alot more approachable when you were a kid…
    I did like the hymn,… Simple yet as Joan stated inspiring…

  8. Lizi Moses says:

    I’ve never commented before but I read Container Diaries all the time and really enjoy it. We went to St Saviour”s but my Grandmother lived on PPW across from the church and all my Sturges cousins went to Holy Name. Every once in a while, we would end up going to mass at Holy Name. I clearly remember that hymn and the way the pastor would sing it. It always made my mother cry which kind if freaked me out back then because she was not the weepy type at all! I realize now that the power and the passion of his voice and the message of the hymn was what moved her. Even as a kid, I knew there was something special about that. I just didn’t exactly know why back then. Thanks for reminding me of that.
    Keep up the good work!

  9. Jack Kelly says:

    You Holy Name folks have some fond memories. I was 30 ft shy of Holy name thus I went to St. John’s on 21st street. Was an alter boy myself during those Latin Days. And for some reason I remember that song also. Perhaps I heard it from the Holy Name guys singing it to themselves in the corridors of Bishop Ford 🙂

  10. jimmyvac says:

    Jack,
    I remember my dad being annoyed because he was brought up being told the Mass would always be said in Latin… then came the folk masses and masses said in Spanish…then his cousin was giving him communion ,,, alot of adjustments….

    adjustments

  11. Gloria Cunningham Kreth says:

    Don Cush,
    I am looking into including Little White Guest as one of the hymns for !st Communion this year. We have a great Music Director Ivonne. Thanks for reminding me of it.

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