I just returned from attending the 35th Annual Convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians held this year at the David Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. The theme of this year's Convention is mentioned above - "Renew the face of the earth" - and commemorates the opening of the Second Vatican Council in Rome fifty years ago this coming October 11th. Pope Benedict XVI has called for a special Year of Faith to honor the beginning of that historic Council. At the convention we not only remembered the Council's accomplishments and teachings, but we celebrated God's continued call to renewal of the Church and her liturgy, and to listen to God's Word and renew our mission to the world. It was a great week.
The National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) is an association of nearly 7,500 musicians, clergy, liturgists, educators and worship leaders in the United States that seeks to foster the art of liturgical music. There are 66 active diocesan chapters in 26 states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia. For your further information, their web site is www.npm.org. The annual convention invites the participation and growth in ministry to all who serve the liturgy in song. It reflects a diversity of cultures, ages, ministries, musical roles and styles of music. It is an opportunity for publishers and artists and composers to showcase their new works, and for the rest of us to be renewed and inspired.
The convention formally opened on Monday afternoon and concluded this Friday afternoon with a commissioning service. I'll share in the next few posts some of my observations and experiences, but suffice it to say the Pittsburgh contingent and their many helpers (many from our Greensburg Diocese) did an outstanding job this year. Our thanks to them all. I was particularly moved by many of the prayer experiences. But it is good to be home!