Blessed Seelos Catholic Church Organ
New Orleans

In 2003, the Blessed Seelos parish suffered a major loss when their sanctuary caught fire and the inside of the building was badly burned, setting the pipe organ in the balcony on fire and completely destroying it. While the structural integrity of the building was preserved, the building had to be brought up to code in so many respects that all insurance monies were spent making the building habitable and no money was left for a replacement organ. The original organ was a Pilcher (1868) and the organ that was destroyed was a Wicks (1951).

In 2005, Katrina struck and nearly destroyed the church's parish hall but did not damage the sanctuary. Rita followed with an additional round of water, and the outlook for the parish was dim. A group of four churches in the Seattle area (Madrona Presbyterian Church, Seattle Community Church, University Presbyterian Church, Mercer Island Presbyterian Church) got together determined to make a difference for the Blessed Seelos parish. They sent down a series of crews and completely rebuilt the parish hall in 2006 but did not work in the sanctuary. In November, 2006, the sanctuary was again habitable, but there was no organ. They are currently using an electronic keyboard.

The members of the Blessed Seelos parish are ethnically diverse and they are not wealthy. 40% of the congregation is hearing impaired, and many of these people are entirely deaf. Every service and committee meetings are signed. Here is a link to the history and photos of the Blessed Seelos parish.

In response to the need, the Board of Directors of the Pipe Organ Foundation agreed to provide the church a pipe organ at no cost to the church. The organ will be significantly larger than the previous organ which burned, and it has been designed tonally to meet the needs of hearing impaired persons. The design of the organ was by James Stettner of Stettner Pipe Organs in Seattle. The organ is a combination of two Moller organs from the 1920s and it is being rebuilt by our volunteer labor. Installation of the organ will occur the first half of June, 2008. Here is a link to a detailed accounting of the sources for the parts are of this organ and their history.

The electronic switching and driving mechanisms are from the Syndyne Corporation of Vancouver WA, and they provide multiple memory levels for the combination action, a transposer, Auto Pedal by which pedal stops can be played on the Great manual, and other advanced features which will make the organ highly usable to the Blessed Seelos parish. The tonal resources and specifications for the instrument are as follows:


Great (unexpressive; 4 ranks+ chimes; 256 pipes, 20 tubes)
G1 8' Open Diapason (61 pipes, partially en facade)
G2 8' Melodia (73 pipes)
G3 4' Octave (61 pipes)
G4 2' Fifteenth (61 pipes)
G5 Chimes (20 tubes)

Swell (expressive; 7 ranks; 472 pipes)
S1 16' Lieblich-Gedeckt/Stopped Diapason (73 pipes)
S2 8' Salicional (73 pipes)
S3 8' Vox Celeste tc (49 pipes)
S4 4' Harmonic Flute (73 pipes)
S5 2 2/3' Nasard (70 pipes)
S6 8' Trumpet (73 pipes)
S7 8' Oboe (61 pipes)

Pedal (unexpressive; 2 ranks; 88 pipes)
P1 16' Subbass (44 pipes)
P2 8' Diapason (44 pipes)

TOTALS: 13 ranks of pipes, 816 pipes, 20 tubes


The following is the final list of stop tablets (46 total):

Great (17 stop tablets) Source Rank
16' Lieblich Gedeckt S1
8' Open Diapason G1
8' Melodia G2
8' Harmonic Flute S1 (1-12), S4 (13-61)
8' Salicional S2
4' Octave G3
4' Flute G2
2' Fifteenth G4
8' Trumpet S6
4' Clarion S6
Great to Great 16, 4, Unison Off
Swell to Great 16, 8, 4
Chimes G5

Swell (15 stop tablets)
16' Contra Salicional S1 (1-12), S2 (13-61--Notes 1-49 of S2)
8' Stopped Diapason S1
8' Salicional S2
8' Voix Celeste S3
4' Harmonic Flute S4
4' Salicet S2
2 2/3' Nasard S5
2' Octavin S4
1 3/5' Tierce S5
8' Trumpet S6
8' Oboe S7
Swell to Swell 16, 4, Unison Off

Pedal (14 stop tablets)
32' Resultant P1
16' Subbass P1
16' Lieblich Gedeckt S1
8' Open Diapason P2
8' Major Flute P1
4' Choral Bass P2
4' Flute G2
8' Trumpet S5
4' Clarion S5
Great to Pedal 8, 4
Swell to Pedal 8, 4

Project Blessed Photo1

[Back to Projects Page]