America’s got talent — Local clergy edition

Wednesday 30 July 2014 — Homeport: Falmouth Harbor — Elvis Presley’s first concert appearance, Memphis: 60th anniversary


Welcome, dear viewers, to “America’s Got Talent — Local Clergy Edition.” Here we are this fine summer’s day at the bandstand on Falmouth Harbor. And what a scenic location it is for our show. Cameraman, can you get a shot of the harbor? Look at those gorgeous yachts! To my left is the Island Queen ferry, waiting at the dock as the passengers file past in anticipation of a trip to Martha’s Vineyard. If you look farther down the shoreline you can see St. Thomas the Apostle Chapel, with its stunning stained-glass window of Jesus calming the storm. 

And what an exciting show we have for you today. The winner will go home with the coveted Vianney Award in the hidden talent category. Our expert panel of judges today includes Fathers Dick Chretien, Bob Oliveira, with special guest judge Bishop Edgar da Cunha. Bishop da Cunha will soon be reporting for duty as the eighth Bishop of Fall River. This will give our new bishop the opportunity to see his priests in action. Don’t forget, at the end of the show you viewers at home will be able to vote for your favorite contestant and even nominate others not appearing on stage today.

Without further ado, I call up on stage our first contestant, Msgr. Tom Harrington and his saxophone rendition of “Unforgettable.”

(Opening number.)

Thank you, Tom. I hope the title is a prediction for our show: unforgettable. 

Our second contestant is none other than the acclaimed composer and music director Father Ray Cambra with the Flint Chamber Orchestra. This, ladies and gentleman, will be the world premiere of his avant garde work entitled “Bones in my Bed.”  


Let’s give it up for Father Cambra. 

Wheel the grand piano on stage, boys, for next we have concert pianist Father Rick Degagne. He will be playing “Candle in the Wind.” 


Thank you, Rick. We go now to a commercial break during which Father André Patenaude will tell us all about his latest recording. We will be back with Father Jack Andrews and his hilarious George Burns impression — compete with unlit cigar. Don’t go anywhere.


Next, if you turn your attention to the field on your right, you will witness a breathtaking dressage performance by equestrians Fathers Mark Hession and Tom McGlynn

(Performing horses.)

Thank you. While our grounds crew gets out the shovels, we will have intermission. During intermission, Msgr. Ronald Tosti will softly strum his melodious harp, with Father Bill Campbell on tambourine. After intermission, we will have Father Joe Viveiros giving a fascinating Japanese origami demonstration. Please be sure to return to your seats promptly when the stage lights blink.


Thank you, Father Joe. Next on stage are Father Henry Arruda and the Portuguese choral group the Chamaritas, followed immediately by Father John Dolan virtuoso with the Chatham Chorale. 

(Two performances.)

Keeping the musical theme, the next contestant will be acclaimed soloist and skilled orchard-hybridizer Father Martin Buote singing “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” followed by the reunion of some of the original members of our diocesan priests’ singing group, Fathers David CostaJon-Paul Gallant, Tom Rita, Phil Hamel, and Tom Frechette. The group last appeared in public in 1986.


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And now, for something completely different, award-winning filmmaker Father Ken Gumbert will introduce his never-before-seen short subject film on our giant screen.


I’m sure you found that film inspiring, and thank you, Father Gumbert, for your insightful documentary. Father Gumbert’s paintings and sculptures will be available for your viewing pleasure at the marina after the show.

And next we have Father Tom Lopes who has been practicing since his seminary days that beautiful song, “Lisboa Antigua.” Father Lopes will be performing today in authentic Portuguese fisherman’s costume (also left over from his college days). Father Lopes tells me he finds the hat (barrete de pescador) useful for carrying his lunch.


Good job, Father Lopes! Now we’re going to kick it up a notch! Father Bill Blottman will rock the keyboard as we all sing together some favorite golden oldies. Hit it, Bill!

(Sing-along begins.)

Look! Up in the sky!  It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, that’s Father Mike Nagle overhead doing a spectacular parachute jump. Oh, dear. He seems to be landing in the field to the right. I hope the grounds crew did a good cleanup job.

(Father Nagle lands while the crowd roars and applauds)

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, what a finale for today’s show! Unbelievable! Unforgettable! Unforgiveable! All of our contestants were terrific but only one can take home the Vianney. Now, while our judges are consulting, you too can participate. Simply email your vote to If you want to nominate some other priest, just let us know his hidden talent.

That’s it for today, folks. Come back soon, ya hear? And don’t forget to visit Father Gumbert’s art exhibit on your way out. 

Anchor columnist Father Goldrick is pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish in Falmouth.

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