In the latest edition of Pastoral Music magazine, St. Viator Parish in Chicago is showcased for balancing different cultural groups in parish worship, through its music ministry.
The magazine is published by the Washington-based National Association of Pastoral Musicians and traditionally mailed to its 7,000 members around the world.
Its January edition, however, was mailed to every parish — and every bishop — in the United States.
“This is the reality of the Catholic Church in the United States today,” says Gordon Truitt, editor. “It’s multi-cultural.”
Evan Snyder, music and liturgy director at St. Viator Parish, wrote the piece on its music program, reflecting on the last 18 months since he arrived and was charged with making “God’s Praises . . . Grow.”
“My commitment to diverse and inclusive liturgy is continuously at the forefront of my daily work,” Snyder writes.
He describes the increasing number of bilingual liturgical celebrations at St. Viator, as well as growing more youth music ministers and promoting formation retreats, with bilingual prayer, presentations and training sessions.
Snyder earned a master’s in divinity from Catholic Theological Union in 2013 and he was immediately hired by Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, pastor of St. Viator.
“He’s made a real difference in the parish,” Fr. Bolser says.
Truitt points to pastoral music as the key to parishes weaving together many ethnicities into stronger parish worship.
“Promoting unity through participation is a great catch-phrase, but there are a lot of complications,” Truitt says. “Pastoral music is the key to working through them, for parishes and churches around the world.”