Welcome back, and happy new year! We took a little break in January to get caught up and moving again, but we are back and have a great lineup of podcasts set for 2019, so if you are not subscribed yet, please do subscribe to us at Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Stitcher, to make sure you don’t miss anything! Also, if you have a minute, we’d be grateful if you’d leave us a review on one or more of those platforms so we can move up in the rankings and be easier to find. And of course, if you’re a liturgical music person at all, please also give a listen to the Open Your Hymnal podcast, as well as the NPM Ministry Mondays podcasts—there’s a lot of good stuff out there for the church musician, so check it out!

So today we have a conversation with Phil Koncyk and Bob Batastini about their parish in Holland Michigan. St. Francis de Sales is that rare and wonderful holy grail of Catholic parishes, an engaged and functioning multilingual and multicultural community. Here we talk not just about what they are doing now, but also explore the parish’s 40-year journey from two communities worshiping in two separate buildings to a single parish where bilingual and even trilingual worship are simply part of the life of the community. And I warn you, by the time you finish hearing this, you might be making your own plans to move north to Michigan, because this sounds like an amazing place to pray and live.

We recorded this conversation at NPM last summer, since it was the only time we could get all three of us in a room at the same time—so please excuse the street noises and occasional sound of someone walking down the hall outside the room singing. Please also excuse the tendency of three friends chatting together who sometimes forgot the microphone was on—there are times when we caught ourselves talking with our hands and needed to aurally translate what was going on in the room (and I couldn’t seem to persuade Bob to stop hitting the table for emphasis when he talked, so if you hear some odd thunking noises here and there, that’s Bob).

So we hope you enjoy this! Phil, the 14-year music director at St. Francis, has some wonderful insights and strategies for how this parish has collectively worked to unite its people while still honoring and respecting the comfort zones and cultural heritage of each, and gently stretching and widening those comfort zones to include and embrace the traditions of their brothers and sisters from a different heritage.


Music heard on today’s podcast:

Muchos Miembros Hay (We are Many Parts), G-6876
As recorded on Oramos Cantando/We Pray in Song 3 CD set, CD-641

Si No Tengo Amor (If I Have Not Love), Tony Alonso, G-7240
As recorded on Table of the World, CD-729

SingAmen! the Podcast, with Jennifer Kerr Budziak
Sound by Jim Bogdanich

SingAmen! opening music: Promenade, by Bob Moore (from Let Every Instrument Be Tuned for Praise, CD-491, from Liturgical Suite #4, G-4789.. ©GIA Publications, Inc).
SingAmen! closing music: Amen, (from More Sublime Chant, CD-459, The Cathedral Singers, Richard Proulx, conductor. ©GIA Publications, Inc.)