Since 1996, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians have recognized individuals that have made exceptional musical contributions to the Catholic Church in America with the Jubilate Deo Award.
|The St. Louis Jesuits. Back row, from left: Roc O'Connor, S. J., Timothy Manion; Front row, from left: Robert Dufford, S. J., Dan Schutte, John Foley, S. J. Photo courtesy OCP Publications, used with permission|
This year's recipient is the beloved Catholic group of composers, "The St. Louis Jesuits," including Fr. John Foley, S. J., founder and director of the Stroble Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University.
"This award is not only highly deserved, but very long overdue," says OCP Publisher, John Limb. "The St. Louis Jesuits are ground-breaking composers in the area of liturgical music. They were among the first to marry texts based on Scripture with melodies that were well crafted and memorable. Not only have they influenced the spiritual lives of millions of Catholics in the pews, but they have also influenced the music of almost every liturgical composer who's written and been published since Vatican II."
Working in collaboration, Tim Manion, Dan Schutte and Jesuit Fathers Bob Dufford, John Foley and Roc O'Connor have produced classics that have been staples of worship for more than 30 years, including "Be Not Afraid," "Here I Am, Lord," "Lift Up Your Hearts," "One Bread, One Body" and "This Alone."
After releasing several best-selling collections as a group, including Neither Silver Nor Gold, Earthen Vessels and Lord of Light, the five decided to work and write music independently, with several members producing solo albums for several years. However, they came together in February 2006 releasing their reunion collection, Morning Light.
The Jubilate Deo Award will be presented to the St. Louis Jesuits on Thursday, July 21, at the Pastoral Musicians' breakfast during the conference.
Fr. Foley's organization, the Stroble Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University, enlivens, enriches and deepens the celebration of the Eucharist by enabling Catholics to participate more fully in the Mass, by advancing the composition of liturgical music, and by teaching students about the riches of Catholic liturgy. For more information, visit liturgy.slu.edu.