Laetitia received a request from Mind’s Eye headquarters asking her to take a group to the place of origin of the Christmas carol, Silent Night. When she had a break from her Antarctic research duties, she did so. In 1818, during a bleak winter in the small Austrian village of Oberndorf, parish priest, Josef Mohr, asked Franz Gruber, the church organist, to set to music a poem he had written two years before. The two sang it, accompanied by guitar, at midnight mass on Christmas Eve of that year. Later, a organ repairman took the carol home to the Tyrol with him. A traveling Tyrolean folk singing group added the carol to its repertoire and initiated its spread around the world. The parish church is gone; Laetitia took her group to the memorial chapel dedicated to Mohr and Gruber that stands in its place.
In Oberndorf, in days of yore
Franz Gruber and priest, Josef Mohr
Sang a song that went far
A duet with guitar
Silent Night that’s now known the world o’er.