By Rich Barlow
BOSTON, Dec. 17, 2005 (Boston Globe) - In the basement of St. Katharine Drexel Church in Dorchester, Meyer J. Chambers coaxed a languorous gospel melody from his piano. A hand occasionally flew off the keyboard to conduct the choir singers seated in a rectangle, most of them African-American like Chambers who had braved Monday night's frigid cold for rehearsal.
Pierre Monette Jr. stood at the pianist's elbow, his trilling tenor smoothly warbling the roller coaster peaks and dips of the notes: 'I will hear what God proclaims, / The Lord proclaims peace to the people/Salvation is near to the faithful/Glory dwelling in our land."
The rest joined in the refrain and its concluding call, 'The glory of the Lord will dwell, will dwell within our land."
After rehearsal, they stood, joined hands in a circle, and offered spontaneous prayers for sick and recovering friends, punctuated by amens and 'Thank you, Jesus."
Gospel is a popular music form in evangelical Protestantism. But these were Catholics.