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Fr Tim Cahill

Fr Timothy James Cahill was a much-loved Catholic priest who incorporated music into all celebrations, himself singing a cappella if musicians were not part of a service. Fr Tim was a multilingual historian and musician who happily advised, argued the finer points of and corrected the production of Latin, Italian and French phonetics if anyone dared approximate a non-English vowel. He sang with heart and was proficient in organ, piano and violin. After a few glasses of red, Tim considered himself proficient in all instruments. Tim loved rich harmonies, ancient chants and forgotten hymns. He also enjoyed modern and inclusive Church music. He detested spiders and appointments prior to midday. Sean Cahill, Fr Tim’s brother, said in Tim’s eulogy that the greatest miracle was not the feeding of the 5000, but the 5000 who fed Tim. He loved combining great food, beautiful music and interesting conversation, and could talk with authority on many topics to all ages.

After a long battle with cancer Fr Tim passed away in January 2021 with an album of music, unfinished. A team of his friends including Pastor de Lasala OAM, Consultant and fellow organ-enthusiast; Fr Paul Devitt, Dean of the Catholic Parish of St Michael and St John; Nick and John Hansen of the Shalom community in Carcoar; Francis Dorman, organist at St Paul’s Anglican Church in Carcoar and Christine Porter, gifted soprano, have been honoured to bring this project to fruition in Fr Tim’s memory. Special mention goes to Pastor de Lasala, for his mastering of the final recordings, knowledge of the works, doggedness and tireless energy in searching out details, extensive notes and communication with the Organ Historical Trust of Australia for funding. We could not have achieved this without him. Over the last few months, a team of us completed a project that Fr Tim Cahill had begun prior to his death – production of a CD to commemorate the restoration of the Kirkland Pipe Organ in the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Carcoar.

The Kirkland organ is rare, one of its kind in the world in that it is tonally intact and still in the exact location for which it was built. This is a unique CD. The final compilation decision was to use 23 tracks, a number of which comprise Marian themes that included Fr Tim and others playing the organ and/or singing. This CD is world-class music produced by local people in memory of a much-beloved Priest.  Nick Hansen of Shalom House of Prayer painted the cover picture.  Pastór de Lasala has written a detailed history of the organ restoration project, and a description of each track, and this document is included with the CD.

The CD will be officially launched at a concert involving the people on the CD and Mass on the feast of the Holy Rosary, October 7 2022 – a significant Marian feast on which to launch a CD dedicated to Mary. Copies of the CD are available for purchase for $20 at the Cathedral Presbytery or by calling 6331 3066.

Christine Porter