Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Drums help people to reminisce their feelings and relieve stress."

Parish pulsing with activities (Publication Date: 08-20-2005) By Rob Cullivan/Catholic Courier ROCHESTER --

In the atrium of St. Anne Church, hundreds of items were displayed for a next-to-new sale where one could buy a $3 photograph of the sea mounted on a wooden plaque inscribed with the words "We do not remember days, we remember moments."One floor below, Father Peter Abas was helping a group of elderly women do just that by leading them through a hand-drumming session designed to unleash a flow of pleasant memories. A native of Borneo, Malaysia, the priest works and studies at the nearby University of Rochester and ministers at St. Anne. He said drums were part of Catholic liturgies in his homeland and that he also has coordinated an all-ages drumming group at St. Anne."In my country, the drum is used to call people to prayer,"

Father Abas said. "Drums help people to reminisce their feelings and relieve stress." That notion was seconded by group participants Joan Seccombe and Mary Jane Marton, both of whom noted that they liked the way drumming relaxed them.
Another participant, Lee Beaudrault, added that participating in the group's exercises, which include jotting down pleasant memories, has helped to heal her from the loss of her husband, son and father over the years."When I came here, there was a lot of negative things on the surface I knew I was dealing with," she said. "(Father Abas) helped me to get through the surface and find the positive things."

St. Anne is filled with positive reminiscing as the parish marks its 75th anniversary. According to a parish history, St. Anne was founded to serve the Catholic population in the Mt. Hope-South Avenue area, and its first pastor was Msgr. George J. Schmitt, who had been serving as assistant pastor at St. Boniface, located nearby off South Avenue on Gregory Street.

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