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Grayson Warren Brown, an internationally known composer, author and recording artist, will present a workshop for people involved in Catholic liturgy from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 18 in St. John de LaSalle Catholic Church, 8469 Buffalo Ave., Niagara Falls.

The workshop, "Many Spokes, One Center," will be sponsored by St. Charles Catholic Church and is intended for clergy, musicians, Eucharist ministers, lectors, ushers, greeters, altar servers and other church members. There is a $10-per-person charge. Registration is requested by calling St. Charles Church at 283-7602.

Brown also will present a free concert, open to everyone, at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 in St. John's. Donations will be accepted to benefit the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Workshop topic is homophobia

AIDS Family Services will sponsor a free lecture and workshop on homophobia Thursday and Friday in Westminster Presbyterian Church, 724 Delaware Ave.

The speaker will be John J. McNeill, a psychotherapist, moral theologian and author. He will lecture on "Freedom of Conscience" at 7 p.m. Thursday and conduct a workshop on "Sexuality and Spirituality" from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.

There is no charge for either event, but a $15 fee is requested for lunch Friday. Those attending the Thursday lecture are asked to donate a teddy bear for a hospitalized HIV/AIDS patient. Reservations should be made by calling 881-7751.

Cathedral forming Girls Choir

St. Joseph's Cathedral, 50 Franklin St., has announced the formation of a Girls Choir and auditions for paid and volunteer members of its Adult Choir.

Cathedral Music Director Mark DiGiampaolo said 25 girls in grades four through eight will be accepted for the choir on a probationary basis for a three-month period of training and evaluation.

The choir will sing at the noon Mass on the second and fourth Sundays of the month and at special events and competitions. Rehearsals will be from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays beginning in mid-September. There is no membership fee.

Auditions for all sections of the Adult Choir will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday in the cathedral. The choir sings at the 10 a.m. Mass on Sundays and at about a dozen special services and events. Rehearsals are from 7 to 9:15 p.m. Thursdays.

Information on both choirs is available by calling the cathedral music office at 854-2561.

Retiring pastor to be honored

The Rev. Dr. Richard S. McConnell, retiring pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Clarence, will be honored at a banquet at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 12 at Lancaster Country Club, 6061 Broadway, Lancaster.

Dr. McConnell, a minister for 30 years, retired Tuesday after serving for 16 years as pastor of the Clarence church. A native of Pittsburgh, he served a congregation in Trenton, N.J., before his call to the Clarence church. He is past president of the Clarence Clergy Association and plans to remain active in the Presbytery of Western New York.

Environmental conference set

The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas will sponsor a free conference on environmental issues from 8:30 a.m. to noon Sept. 18 at Mount Mercy Academy, 88 Red Jacket Parkway.

The theme is "Have Mercy on the Earth," and participants will be able to choose among eight workshops, each of which will be offered twice. Topics will include Humanity's Impact on Nature, Pollution Prevention in the Home, Creation Spirituality and Energy, Equity and the Environment.

Registration is recommended by calling Sister Meg Quinlan at 825-8796. Everyone is welcome.

Retreats for men, women

Weekend retreats for men and women and an afternoon of reflection on the life and work of Catherine de Hueck Doherty will be offered at the St. Columban Center, 6892 Lake Shore Road, Derby.

Titled "Abba, Father, OUR Father," the retreats for men and women, conducted by the center staff, are intended as preparation for the millennium. The men's retreat will begin Friday and conclude Sept. 12. The retreat for women is scheduled Sept. 17 through 19.

Cynthia Donnelly, a member of the Madonna House Community founded by Mrs. Doherty, will lead the reflection on the founder from 2:30 to 9 p.m. Sept. 12.

To register for any of the events, call the center at 947-4708.

Courses on ministry training

Houghton College will offer six courses for ministry training under its Pastoral and Church Ministries Program during the fall semester beginning Sept. 13 at its Buffalo Campus, 2525 Bailey Ave.

The program offers a certificate in ministry or Christian education and an associate of applied science degree. For information and registration, call 893-1165.

Spiritual director training

The St. Joseph Center for Spirituality at Christ the King Seminary, 711 Knox Road, East Aurora, will offer a two-year spiritual director training program beginning Sept. 16.

The first course, Spiritual Direction I, will be led by Sister Joan Wagner, who serves as director of the center. It will be offered from 7:15 to 9:15 p.m. Thursdays through Dec. 9. For registration information, call the center at 652-2271.

Other first-year courses and dates are: Methods of Prayer, 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays from Jan. 8 through Feb. 26; St. Teresa of Avila, 7:15 to 9:15 p.m. Thursdays from March 2 through May 25; and St. John of the Cross, June, July and August.

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