NPM in Detroit, Wednesday

No NPM report yesterday because my laptop computer crashed – there’s a certain virus I keep picking up, and our university computing center can’t figure out where from. Which website is sabotaging my work?? Is it Commonweal, or WDTPRS, or Süddeutsche Zeitung, do you suppose?! I’d appreciate any anonymous tips from the general public. Today I’m doing what I can from the computer in the hotel lobby, and now from the laptop LitPress loaned me. (Glad they trust me.)

Yesterday was NPM T-Shirt day, so lots of tan T-shirts with NPM logo in Detroit. I’m no fun – I wore black. I had a nice lunch with Msgr. Sherman of the BCDW and Peter Finn of ICEL. The Chant Institute continues to meet every day, the fun continues with about 35 participants. When NPM president Michael McMahon stepped in yesterday, we were discussing the augmented and diminished liquescent. I trust he was most impressed. In today’s session we’re going to plot to take over NPM and move to entirely Latin convention liturgies in the future. (Not.)

Pastoral Musician’s Breakfast today, opening with this, sung to DE EERSTEN ZIJN DE LAATSTEN (“What is this place?”):

What is this job / that we are doing?
Singing, directing, playing too.
Eight days a week, / twenty-four seven,
Having no life – we just make do.
Cantoring, playing, strumming, or ringing,
Sometimes we add drums.
We sure have lots of fun!

For many years / all the same mass parts,
Now news from Rome – it’s all arranged.
Why did the pope / and all the bishops
Think that it all should now be changed?
“That you should enter under my roof,”
“And with your spirit” too –
And so we start anew.   …
Text by Charolette Mariasy

Lots of scholarships given to young people, over $30,000 worth, and the recipients will be studying at CUA, Manhattan School of Music, Westminster Choir College, Notre Dame, Peabody, Georgetown, U of Kansas, Santa Clara, St. Joseph’s, Duquesne.

Director of Music Ministries Division (DMMD) member of the year is Michael Wustrow of Rockville Center. Music Industry award goes to Martin Marklin of Marklin Candle Design – did you know that he was named after the famous Msgr. Martin Helriegel? Outstanding Chapter Leader this year is Sr. Sheila Brown, RSM, also in Rockville Center. Outstanding Pastor of the year is Fr. Edward Hislop.

Pastoral Musician of the Year is Bob Hurd. He spoke movingly about the need for reconciliation and mutual understanding and collaboration in our sorely divided Church. Do we need to preserve Latin and the chant heritage? Yes! Do we need to keep developing music in a wide variety of styles for a Church which worships primarily in the vernacular? Yes! Bob had the attention of everyone in the room as he spoke movingly of lifelong lay ministers and musicians who feel excluded by the direction the Church is going, people who feel “bruised.” It’s a time for lament, for giving voice to feelings of abandonment and discouragement. He led us in the rousing blues song “You gotta move, you gotta move, when the Spirit says move.”

Jubilate Deo award this year goes to Sr. Kathleen Hughes, RSCJ, lifelong leader of liturgical renewal, who addressed the convention on Monday. Congratulations to Kathleen and Bob and all the rest!

Do you like all the photos with this post? I must be the only person left who doesn’t have a camera or a cell phone. Maybe if I ask nicely the abbot would let me get a camera someday. Watch this site for coming techno improvements.



  1. Thank you Father! I was unable to go this year (participating in SummerSing at ND has taken all my funds) and this helps me to feel like I am there.
    I concur heartily with Bob Hurd’s sentiments.There are many lay ministers who feel like their work is being nullified or that they/we have labored all these years for nothing. If we bruise these people enough, they will leave and the church will be poorer for it.

  2. Fr. Edward Hislop is a pastor in Helena, MT. I had the pleasure of meeting him in Helena at the FDLC RM3 workshop a couple months ago. He highly values art and music in liturgy, filling churches with beautiful paintings, sculptures, fabric arts, and fine crafted liturgical furniture. He was also very friendly and welcoming, even among so many strangers–so much so that I thought the host parish was his parish, but a little online research reveals that it is not!
    Congratulations Fr. Ed! Thank you for your service to the people of Montana; we are blessed!

  3. In my opinion Bob Hurd is worthy of this award if only for his composition of the Missa Ubi Caritas. This is post-conciliar music at its best. When my pastor first heard the recording of the Eucharistic Prayer sung by priest, and the beautiful acclamations sung by the congregation and choir, he noted this is how the Mass should sound. He immediately went to work learning his part, and we have used this setting for at least the past five years. What a difference when the priest sings his part completely… the dialogue between celebrant and assembly is moving. I pray that OCP has the wisdom to commission Mr. Hurd to rework Missa Ubi Caritas. This is one of the few contemporary settings that I would consider using after the new translation is implemented. (The Ubi Caritas hymn in the collection is beautiful as well, one of the few pieces that generally unites a divided Catholic music world… Mr. Hurd practices what he preaches). Congratulations Bob Hurd. Please keep writing beautiful music to bridge the divide!!

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