Rev. Chrysogonus Waddell, OCSO 1930-2008
Father Chrysogonus studied music composition with Vincent Perschetti at the Philadelphia Conservatory. A convert to Roman Catholicism in 1949, he entered the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani the following year. He was ordained a priest in 1958 and pursued further theological studies in Rome at the College of San Anselmo. Following in the tradition of his fellow Cistercian, Thomas Merton, Father Chrysogonus lived in a hermitage away from the abbey for nearly thirty years. He was choirmaster at the abbey for a number of years. In addition to his compositions, Father Chrysogonus published many scholarly works and translations of monastic and liturgical texts. A widely-recognized chant scholar, and consultor on chant and translations to the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), he traveled frequently, presenting at musicological and Cistercian conferences.
The ongoing association of the monks of Gethsemani and the Notre Dame Folk Choir under the direction of Steve Warner has resulted in the inclusion of a number of compositions by Father Chrysogonus in the series Songs of the Notre Dame Folk Choir.
In 2005, WLP began Music from the Abbey of Gethsemani, a new octavo series of music first sung by the monks at Gethsemani adapted and arranged for parish choirs by Father Chrysogonus. This series led to a recording in 2007 of music for the Easter season, Christ Is Risen, Truly Risen! (sung by the William Ferris Chorale directed by Paul French). Father Chrysogonus was a true friend of the entire WLP staff and we will miss his humble, gentle spirit and unique musical gifts.