Saint John’s Abbey and University will bestow its highest award, the Pax Christi Award, upon well-known liturgical composers David Haas, Marty Haugen, and Fr. Michael Joncas, this coming June.
In their letter to honorees, President Michael Hemesath and Abbot John Klassen, OSB, noted,
You have generously offered your musical talents and contributed greatly to the “full, conscious, and active participation” of the people of God in the liturgy as called for by the Second Vatican Council. Your compositions are sung by congregations and choirs and ensembles around the world, across a wide variety of Christian traditions. In your writing, speaking, and presenting, you have evocatively connected liturgical music with the work of the churches for peace and justice. Your commitment to sung liturgy exemplifies the Benedictine spirit, as shown in the first scholae cantorum founded by Benedictines in the 7th century to teach sacred music to youth, through the work for liturgical reform by our Fr. Virgil Michel and other leaders of the Liturgical Movement.
Previous recipients of the Pax Christian award include Cardinal Walter Kasper, historian Martin E. Marty, Cardinal Joseph Bernadin, Methodist ecumenist Albert Outler, social activist Gordon Zahn, apostolic delegate Archbishop Jean Jadot, Vatican Two council fathers Cardinal Leo Josef Suenens and Cardinal Johannes Willebrands, Lutheran (later Orthodox) historian Jaroslav Pelikan, and religious liberty theologian Fr. John Courtney Murray.
Among other award recipients in the field of liturgy are liturgical reformer Msgr. Frederick McManus, former executive director of the International Commission on the Liturgy John Page, and renowned liturgical composer Richard Proulx.
The award will be bestowed at Saint John’s in Collegeville on Sunday, June 25, 2017. The community Mass will feature compositions for congregation and choir composed by the award recipients. Singing at the Mass will be the National Catholic Youth Choir, the Saint John’s Boy Choir, and the Abbey Schola. The award will be presented at a banquet following the Mass.
St. John’s is home to Liturgical Press, the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research, the Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s Preparatory School, and Saint John’s University which includes the School of Theology and Seminary, which offers the M.A. in Liturgical Music.