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 | By Sue Parker

‘We Are Given Talents by God to Bring Him Glory’

Remy and Mickey Share Their Voices With Parishioners

Mickey says it was one comment from another student in eighth grade that eventually led him to share his rich, bass voice as a cantor in his parish. “I was walking down the hall singing between classes and some random person said, ‘You sound just like the Grinch, you should sing in the Christmas concert!’’’ He had never considered singing in front of others before that encounter. He now serves as a cantor at Masses at St. Therese Parish in Lansing, along with his older brother Remy. “I am grateful for that one random person, just walking by,” he says.

For Mickey, who sings baritone, bass and contra-bass, the reason for sharing his talent as a cantor is simple: “We are given talents by God to bring him glory.” His older brother Remy, who sings primarily tenor and baritone, says, “The Mass is so beautiful and has a long, storied history of its music being powerful. I wanted to participate in sharing that beauty. Music really touches the soul and can really bring us closer to God.”

Remy also started singing publicly in junior high at St. Thomas Aquinas School. Raised in a family where everyone sings and loves fine arts, the brothers have grown up immersed in faith and music, and have been encouraged by their parents to take advantage of opportunities to develop and share their voices.

“Faith has always been around me and part of who I am,” Remy says. “I became fascinated with learning about different faiths when I was very young — I’ve always had a lot of curiosity about faith in general. We are not saved by faith alone; we need to share God’s goodness. God works through our shared gifts and even the encouragement we give to others.”

Mickey and Remy have been active in parish life since they became altar servers. Both still occasionally serve at the altar when needed. Both are members of the Knights of Columbus, and Remy has served as a catechist, a member of the youth ministry team and on the Pastoral Council, representing young adults.

Remy loves sharing his knowledge of his faith with preschool children.

“An under-appreciated aspect of teaching about our faith is the benefit you get from sharing it. It requires you to learn more and deepens your understanding of it.”

Although implementing safety protocols during the pandemic created many challenges for parishes, Mickey says, “Our parish and music director made it very easy for us to stay involved. We were the primary cantors for many Masses, and they took careful precautions to keep us from being exposed to the virus while at church.” The two were especially concerned because their father was critically ill and hospitalized during the pandemic.

Mickey gained a new insight about his faith during his dad’s illness. “I came to understand how suffering can bring you closer to God. I can’t say why, but I came to understand it through that experience of suffering — of worrying about my dad. I found some joy and peace in my faith — which the saints teach us about.”

When asked what he loves most about the Catholic faith, Remy says, “The history and theology is so abundant in what we do and know. There is a reason for every prayer and a reason so much of our culture has Catholic origins. People might have questions they don’t have answers to; saints before us have struggled with some of the same questions.”

Mickey agrees, “Our faith is full of thinkers and theologians who discussed and debated questions we have today. The Catholic faith is one where you can dig deeper to understand and appreciate more — there is a huge amount of depth to understand and learn. If you want to dig deep and learn about God, this is the place for you.”

Remy says there are other reasons to belong to the Church. “We have room for you. If you are hungry, we want to feed you. If you are joyful, come share it with us. If you are sad, we want to support you. If you are hurt, we want to comfort and help you heal.”

Mickey adds, “So many people feel empty and ignored today. Don’t let how you feel keep you from taking a step to where you can find fulfillment.”

Mickey Mumby began his study of physics in the honors college at Michigan State University this fall. His brother, Remy, will complete his studies in international relations this year at MSU’s James Madison College.