Good liturgical music is an important item for any Catholic parish or school. The problem is, of course, there are expenses involved that the budget may or may not cover.
At 265-student St. Hilary of Poitiers School in Rydal, school principal Eileen Fagan recently received notification that in reply to her grant application the parish and school were awarded a $2,000 grant from Oregon Catholic Press (OCP).
This will go a long way toward the purchase of 300 youth-oriented hardback hymnals for use in the school and in the parish church.
“Your church was chosen for this award out of hundreds of applications from parishes both large and small across the United States,” said John J. Limb, publisher of OCP, in a letter to the parish. “Every application we received was of remarkable merit and each parish’s needs were worthy of assistance, making the selection process quite difficult. We take great satisfaction in knowing that so many parishes are committed to the needs of their communities.”
According to its literature OCP has awarded approximately $2.2 million in grants to Catholic parishes to enhance their worship experience since 2001, when the program was instituted.
OCP itself traces back to the early 1920s when it was founded originally as the Catholic Truth Society of Oregon to counteract efforts at that time by the Ku Klux Klan to discredit the Catholic Church. In 1928 it took over publication of the Catholic Sentinel, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Portland.
Over time it became a publisher of missals and publisher and licenser of liturgical music, and in more recent years, Internet-based programs. Among its 16 different hymnals is “Spirit & Song,” a hymnal aimed at youth and young adults, contemporary but theologically sound. This is the hymnal Fagan has chosen for her school.
“Our students take ownership of the music ministry at our school and share their gifts of voice and instrumentalist with the parish once a month through their participation in the liturgical celebrations as well as all school liturgies,” Fagan said. “Many of our parishioners join us at First Friday Mass. Our students’ talents enhance our liturgies. We had researched the possibility of purchasing additional hymnals for contemporary Catholic worship. With the grant, this is now possible!”