Prayer garden honors music director’s legacy

Geraldine Biggs McGrath is pictured in St. John Baptist De La Salle’s new prayer garden named in her honor alongside Father Robert Milbauer, pastor, on the occasion of her retirement as music director June 29

St. John Baptist De La Salle in Granada Hills dedicated a new prayer garden honoring Geraldine “Gerry” Biggs McGrath, who retired after 60 years as parish music director June 29.

The sixth of eleven children of the late organist and composer Richard Keys Biggs, Gerry became De La Salle’s music director soon after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles in 1951 with a Bachelor of Music degree in choral conducting.

Gerry formed her first parish choir out of the post-war G.I.s and young housewives who made up the community of the growing San Fernando Valley. With her late husband of nearly 55 years, Herbert McGrath, Jr., she raised seven children while continuing to lead music ministry over six decades. She counts her pastoral ministry work with the choir at De La Salle as her most treasured musical accomplishment.

Among her other accomplishments are: first lay woman to teach at the Los Angeles archdiocesan seminary of Our Lady Queen of Angels; appointee to the Los Angeles Archdiocesan Music Commission; founding member of the National Pastoral Musicians; and recipient of the Papal Cross Pro Ecclesia Pontifice medal from Pope Benedict. As a soprano soloist for many weddings, liturgies, concerts and funerals over the years, Gerry “has been the soundtrack of the milestones of life for countless Catholics and non-Catholics alike,” noted daughter Noelle.


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Archbishop José H. Gomez

For me, it is always powerful to hear our Holy Father speaking and praying in his native Spanish. And during this pastoral journey, he is inspiring me with his strong words about the family, and his passionate call for a society that reaches out to the lonely and the hurting and works to promote human dignity for every person. 

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July 7, 2015

  • Tuesday, July 7

    Information Evening for 2016 Holy Land Pilgrimage, 7 p.m., Holy Trinity Parish Center-Fireside Room, 1226 W Santa Cruz St., San Pedro. Father Mike Grieco will host an information evening to answer your questions regarding the Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus pilgrimage, April 4-15, 2016. Father Grieco will be joined by the Group Coordinators, John D’Isacco and Mary Hornickel.  (310) 466-3820, maryandjohn@vitalityforlife.com.

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