As part of Catholic Schools Week, Lonnie White, parish organist at St. Theresa of Avila in Salem for 47 years, receives a special blessing and recognition at the end of a liturgy.
White, who is also a St. Theresa graduate, said he hopes to continue to play until he reaches the 50-year mark, and then he might consider slowing down a bit.
Playing the organ is his gift to the parish, he said. He also plays at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Kinmundy.
“Lonnie White gives his gift (to the parishes) as often as he can for as long as he can,” Father Robert Zwilling, pastor, said.
As part of the celebration, the students sang “Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All,” White’s favorite hymn. He sang it when he made his first Communion, he said.
White said he would continue to “give my gift away as long as God wants me to do it.”
The school held a reception for him after the liturgy.