The Sistine Choir brings Sacred Music from the Vatican to New York City

Having recently returned to the United States after his term as the director of the Patrons of the Arts of the Vatican Museums, Fr. Mark Haydu LC has an eye for sacred beauty and a desire to bring it with him to his new mission in New York City.

Fr. Mark Haydu, LC

St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan was the natural venue that came up when Monsignor Massimo Palombella, a Salesian priest and the choir director of the Sistine Chapel Choir, asked for Fr. Mark’s help to bring the choir to New York City. “With my background at the Vatican Museums, I was immediately attracted to promoting a cultural and spiritual event. Beauty opens the soul to God. It cannot not work! That is just what it does. So to put on a beautiful world class concert of sacred music with the Pope’s choir in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, America’s Parish Church, I knew that is what we should do,” Fr. Mark shared. Explaining how this event is part of his mission as a Legionary priest, he says he saw the connection quickly, “The Regnum Christi Movement has a charism to transform culture and so cultural events have to be at the heart of what we do.”

The Papal Choir, also known as the Sistine Chapel Choir, under the direction of Msgr. Palombella, was featured on 60 Minutes this past December. It is the oldest choir in the world, dating back to the first centuries of the church. In addition to its main commitment to music at the Papal Liturgies, the choir performs in concerts around the world where it carries out, according to its mandate, a work of Evangelization. They recently released two highly acclaimed Deutsche Grammophon CD’s.

On September 16th, 2017, New York City will welcome the choir for the first time since 1986, when it performs at St. Patrick’s, a flagship stop on its US tour.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Manhattan

Since the event will draw people from around the country, Fr. Mark encourages those coming, particularly Regnum Christi members, to make a pilgrimage of the event, “New York City has everything to offer. This can be a family weekend visiting museums and churches and the more iconic NY sites like Time Square and Rockefeller plaza.  I would encourage people to visit the 9-11 memorial which is a beautiful testimony to the motto ‘Vincit in Bonum Malo’ (Overcome evil with good). It could very well be the motto of our years of renewal. There is the also the first and oldest cathedral in the city at Old St Patrick’s, where the Movement offers much support and where we do our Holy Week Missions.”

Fr. Mark is inviting people not just to come and experience this once-in-a-lifetime event, but to get involved in supporting the visit of the choir, “To bring 60 choir members overseas is not cheap. We are looking to raise $150,000 to cover our costs. The Lumen Institute, which is a Regnum Christi apostolate serving business leaders and their families, is taking the lead on the sponsoring and I am doing my best to raise the rest. We are close to that goal so the good news is that any money we raise beyond the costs of the event will go to support seminary formation, namely our brothers in Cheshire. If someone donates to this event they can be confident they will be not only making this event happen but also supporting Legionary seminarians.”

To add to the experience and to encourage sponsorship, Lumen is offering sponsor and supporter packages including special seating, a pre-concert cocktail reception, and the opportunity to attend a special concert in the Sistine Chapel. Sponsors may also make donations to purchase tickets for gifted musicians to attend the New York event.

For those who can attend the concert in person on September 16th, at New York City’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, there is a minimum suggested donation of $50.00 per ticket. There is a maximum of four tickets per order although multiple orders can be placed. Donations can be made online at

For more information contact Paivi Eck at or visit