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Music Performance, Composition, & Liturgical Ministry

For over thirty years Fr. John Foley has been well known throughout the world for his liturgical compositions. “One Bread, One Body” is a staple in Catholic worship internationally, one of the five most favorite liturgical pieces in the American Catholic Church. Other well known pieces are “For You Are My God,” “May We Praise You,” “Earthen Vessels,” and the very popular “Come to the Water.” Overall he has over 150 published songs for the Mass.

In 1973 Fr. Foley founded the well-known 10:30 AM College Church Choir, and became the Director of Liturgy at that church for three years.

Originally he worked with four other Jesuit composers under the name, “The St. Louis Jesuits.” Foley contributed over sixty liturgical pieces published during the twelve years they published together. After that he has released six more collections of his own liturgical music. Most recently, the St. Louis Jesuits made a thirty-year memorial CD and music collection, released in January, 2006, and already hugely successful.

Paul Hasser: in addition to his other duties at the Center, Paul has been writing and performing liturgical compositions for over 25 years for local parishes. He is currently composing a new Mass setting.

Immediately after he entered the Jesuits in 1962, John Foley saw that the switch to vernacular music in the Catholic Church would create a need for new music. Previously, much of the music had been in Latin. Moreover, he and his companions saw the new Catholic emphasis on scripture as integral to the Mass. Foley began writing liturgical music, in English, based on the words of the psalms and scripture.
One master of ceremonies introduced the “St. Louis Jesuits” as the people “who wrote the sound track for our spiritual lives.”

Inclusion of singable, scriptural music at Mass throughout the world, not to establish any one style to the exclusion of others, but to add various types of music for liturgy. Currently Fr. Foley serves on the six member advisory panel for the United States Bishops’ Committee on Music and Liturgy, which will shape liturgical music practice for decades to come in this country.

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Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University
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