Valentino McBride Family

Making a Joyful Noise for The Lord

CAPTION: Making music for the Lord is at the heart of the Valentino-McBride family. From left, Karen and Dave Valentino, Victoria (holding Avery), Jeff and Mason McBride.

Dave Valentino, also known affectionately at Saint Elizabeth Parish as, ‘the musician in the white shirt,’ started his stewardship service as an usher at Saint Joseph Parish in Downingtown many years ago. He was musically talented, but no one there knew it. All that changed when the director of music for the Lumen Christi Teen Ministry, Paul Wojcik, asked for and received a new keyboard for the parish. Paul played guitar and didn’t know anyone who could play the keyboard, but the Parochial Vicar, Father Thomas Gillin did. So, he invited Dave to join the music ministry.  Lucky day for Saint Joseph Parish and for the future of music at Saint Elizabeth, too!

 

 “I never played church music,” said Dave in response to the invitation. Paul assured him that it was not so different from other music that he played so beautifully, relying on his perfect pitch and musical ear at his Dad’s Brickette Lounge in West Chester. Dave had been playing there since he was 17, and, years later, his wife, Karen, joined right in and is now the manager.

 After three years of music ministry service at Saint Joseph’s, Paul retired to Florida and Dave thought his short career as a music minister was over. However, Deb Skrajewski asked Dave to stay on with her as she assumed music leadership of the Teen Group.  When Saint Elizabeth parish was founded, Deb was included in the new parish, joined our Music Ministry and she and Dave played the music for the Installation of Father Mullin as pastor, held at Bishop Shannahan High School in 2000.

 Father called Dave after that event and asked his advice for a sound system for the Lionville Middle School gym, where Masses would be celebrated for the new parish for the next 5 years and 2 months. Dave stepped up to the call, provided a sound system, and began volunteering  for Saint Elizabeth.  His daughter, Victoria, explained, “ My Dad always said that his ability to play music is a gift, so why not give it back.” She admits that she sings in the car, but hasn’t inherited her Dad’s talent. She and husband, Jeff McBride, along with their sons, Mason, 4, and Avery, 2, are parishioners. Both boys were baptized by Father Mullin, who has been a comforting presence in the family. Vicki gratefully recalls Father calling her personally when Jeff underwent open-heart surgery 5 years ago. 

 Dave played keyboard and bass guitar at the ground breaking and the dedication ceremonies for our church and has been a faithful accompanist for several musical groups at Saint Elizabeth Parish over the years. “I have always believed that the Holy Spirit’s eddies and currents move you in certain directions in your life,” said Dave. It was Father’s personal invitation, and the Holy Spirit that moved Dave from ushering at Saint Joseph Parish to becoming ‘Mr. Music’ at Saint Elizabeth Parish, and transplanting his growing family here, too. For that, our community is most blessed and most grateful.

-Elisa Sheronas