by Moira Cullings
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Churches are alive again with the sound of music.
And musicians in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph are invited to come together to celebrate.
“Since music is re-emerging in our parishes, we felt it would be most appropriate this year to honor St. Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians, at a Mass on her feast day, Nov. 22,” said Maureen Henderson.
“And, we felt it important to invite all musicians from both the Kansas and Missouri dioceses to gather and be recognized and thanked for their untiring dedication and service in music ministry,” she added.
Henderson is the director of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) of Greater Kansas City, which includes two chapters — the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. with a Mass celebrated by Bishop James Johnston at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, Missouri. A reception will follow.
Anyone who serves in music ministry at their parish or religious community, including priests, deacons and others who support the ministry, are invited. No RSVP is necessary.
NPM has worked diligently over the past decade to amplify its online resources so that musicians far and wide can participate in training and networking opportunities, said Barbara Leyden, who edits the local chapter’s triennial newsletter.
“The vast majority of the hundreds of church musicians in each diocese are volunteers with limited musical and liturgical training,” she said.
“NPM is one of the few organizations that exists for Catholics in the USA to access preparation for their ministry,” she added.
Organizers hope the Nov. 22 Mass and reception will be an evening of camaraderie among those who attend.
“When the pandemic closed our church doors and silenced our choirs, pastoral musicians were left with a huge void in their daily lives,” said Henderson.
But she added that now is the time to support musicians as they begin to bring music back into parish life and the celebration of the Mass.
“And, at the end of the evening,” she said, “we hope each musician feels the renewed kinship with other musicians and feels refreshed to make beautiful music in the year ahead.”
To learn more, visit the website at: npminkc.com.
St. Cecilia Feast Day Mass for Parish Musicians
• Nov. 22 at 7 p.m.
• Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 416 W. 12th St., Kansas City, Missouri