Dr. Richard Gibala has announced his retirement effective August 23, 2022, as Director of Music for the Cathedral of Saint Thomas More and the Arlington Diocese.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Gibala served Saint Winifred’s Catholic Church as a parish musician for sixteen years before becoming the Director of Music for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Under the leadership of the late Bishop Richard Keating, Dr. Gibala was hired in July of 1990 to oversee the liturgical music of both the Cathedral and diocese.
His contributions to the diocese and surrounding music community are wide-spread and well-known. In addition to guiding the respected Cathedral Choir, he created the Arlington Diocesan Choir and the award-winning Arlington Chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. Gibala also leads the Handbell Ensemble, String Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Youth Choir, Hispanic Choir, and the Arlington Festival Choir. His talents were recognized in 1999 as NPM named him Pastoral Musician of the Year. Over the years he has shared those talents with younger musicians as guide and mentor.
Bishop Michael Burbidge remarked, “Along with all in the diocese, I commend and thank Rick for his faithful, dedicated and generous service throughout the years. He used his expertise and gifts to praise God and to enhance the celebration of Mass and liturgies at the Cathedral and throughout the diocese with beautiful music. He has been a tremendous blessing to the Diocese of Arlington and St. Thomas More Cathedral Parish and I wish Rick abundant happiness and peace at this new and exciting time in his life.”
Cathedral Rector, Father Patrick Posey noted that, “I have known Rick for his entire time in the diocese; in fact, he played at my Ordination. When I became the Cathedral Rector three years ago, I was confident that the music would be amazing. There was a comfort there knowing that others would experience the same spiritual connection I have felt ever since hearing Rick play all those years ago. Rick gives each person, each wedding, funeral, or diocesan celebration the same level of care and professionalism. I will miss him and wish him all the best.”
Reflecting upon his career, Gibala says, “Serving Saint Thomas More Cathedral Parish and the Diocese of Arlington has indeed been a blessing these past thirty- two years. I am extremely grateful for the time I have spent working with supportive clergy, staff, and musicians. I am very proud of our music program, our wonderful choirs, and our award- winning Diocesan Chapter of NPM.”