The Vatican asked the choir to perform since the pope continually asked the group to sing for him when they toured Italy.
“We were asked by the Italian Prime Minister’s wife to give a performance for the pope in 1977,” choir maestro Fletcher Wolfe said. “After the performance, the pope asked if we could sing some more for him and every time we visited Italy after that he asked us to perform.”
After performing at the Basilica of St. John for the sainthood ceremony, the choir will tour the country singing in other churches and will visit a concentration camp.
“We are going to start with a concert in Krakow for Pope John Paul II sainthood,” Wolfe said. “Traveling is the best education in the world for these boys since they have the opportunity to meet people they never would probably get to meet.”
Alumni choir member Christian Harrington said he did not realize the significance of the opportunity he had as a child to travel and meet dignitaries.
The holiday season for the choir will start Dec. 4 at the lighting of the state Christmas tree. Other performances will be Dec. 7 at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Dec. 12 at Kennesaw State University and Dec. 15 at St. Thomas More Catholic Church. The choir will end the holiday season with a Martin Luther King Jr. annual tribute at the Georgia State Capitol Jan. 17.
The choir began touring around the world in 1961, when it was asked to represent the U.S. in Mexico. Since then the choir has toured in Italy, France, Austria, England, Scotland and many other countries around the world. It has performed at Notre Dame Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and was asked to perform at President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration. The choir has also received a Grammy award.