Br. Al Mascia performs

Br. Al Mascia performs.

Dylan Thomas writes in “Under Milk Wood”: “Time passes. Listen. Time passes.”

A year has passed since my very first performance of the little musical I wrote inspired by the life of Blessed Solanus Casey, OFM Cap. All the while I’ve been doing a lot of listening.

At first—while I was still getting my feet wet—all I heard were the voices of my own thoughts; ones having to do with doubt, anxiety and apprehension. Whenever things went wrong in the performance—and they always did—those voices grew louder. Little by little, I began paying closer attention and listening to what other people were saying: audience members, the brothers I live with and even Capuchins themselves. While not silencing those other voices altogether, at least they were forced into uttering sotto voce.

At some point last year, I listened to a recommendation that the musical be filmed, that a professional production company would do so pro bono. That’s when those thoughts of mine began to howl! I was just beginning to get comfortable performing before a live audience; how could I possibly do so in front of four movie cameras with one on a steady cam rig following me everywhere I went? That said, a filmed before a live audience version of “More Love Than Skill: A Saint and His Fiddle” is available for streaming online. After hitting a few speed bumps, it’s now free to watch on Vimeo. The trailer can be viewed here and the full video can be viewed here.

Familiarizing myself with the life of Solanus Casey, researching his archives and taking on the challenge of playing the instrument he loved so well has certainly changed my life. My hope is that this little project helps spread the remarkable story of a humble friar minstrel who may very well become the first American born man to be canonized a saint!