Saint Barnabas High School Students Return from Vatican – Mass with Pope Francis

Saint Barnabas High School students are back from their performance at the Vatican in Rome.

SBHS Festival Youth Choir at The Vatican (courtesy of Saint Barnabas High School)

SBHS Festival Youth Choir at The Vatican (courtesy of Saint Barnabas High School)

Bronx, NY — After a seven day whirlwind adventure, Saint Barnabas High School students have returned from their invitation to sing at a special Vatican Epiphany Mass in the Sistine Chapel officiated by Pope Francis.


The high school choir was the initial contact to perform at the Vatican with the invitation then extended to the St. Barnabas Parish including CCD program students and St. Barnabas Elementary School children.  A total of 55 choir members and chaperones along with choir directors Sharon Traditi and Shawna Mahoney traveled to Rome for the January 6th performance.  Saint Barnabas High School was the only school from the Archdiocese of New York to receive this invitation.  

“The choir’s performance was amazing and an experience of a life-time for our students – one I’m sure they will never forget,” said Sharon Traditi, Choir Director at the high school.  

Among the Saint Barnabas High School students, Caitlyn Thompson reflected, “It was so thrilling to be in Rome, see many of the places I’ve only read about like the Coliseum, and then to perform for Pope Francis at the Vatican was beyond our wildest dreams!  It was an opportunity that most people will never ever experience and we are all so grateful to those who helped get us there.  The Sistine Chapel is exceptional – there was so much to take in, most of us were on over-load with its imagery.”

The group received three special Papal blessings including one very personal one at the Epiphany Mass.  Additionally, the group walked through the “Door of Mercy,” a sealed ceremonial door opened during Jubilee years designated by the Pope. Situated in Papal Major Basilicas in Rome, pilgrims who enter gain plenary indulgences during the Jubilee year. Pope Francis has declared 2016 the “Year of Mercy.”

“The girls worked very hard to make this trip and opportunity possible.  I am so proud of each of them.  The Vatican invitation was a dream and their hard work made it a reality — what a great lesson for teenagers!” commented Saint Barnabas High School Principal Sr. Joan Faraone, RJM, PhD.


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