Meeting Celebrities

Celebrities often have large crowds that follow them. In today’s readings, both Elisha and Jesus have a large group following them. In our modern times, we count followers on Twitter and likes on Facebook to establish celebrity status, but what sort of nourishment do we get from these modern-day stars?

One of the advantages of attending conferences is being able to meet some of the current celebrities. While church music gatherings may not attract much attention from popular media, each organization has its own set of current rock stars. One of the people I was fortunate to meet for the first time at The Hymn Society conference in New Orleans was Sr. Delores Dufner, OSB, author of the text for our offertory hymn this weekend.Sr. Delores is a member of St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota, and holds Master’s Degrees in Liturgical Music and Liturgical Studies. She was a church musician and teacher of school music and private piano lessons for twelve years, and Liturgy Director for her monastery for six years. She also served as Director of the Office of Worship for the Diocese of St. Cloud for fifteen years. Sr. Delores has hymns published in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and China. She has received 45 commissions to write texts for special occasions and has published over 155 hymns, many of which have several different musical settings and appear in multiple publications. The hymn we sing today was written for the 1994 National Association of Pastoral Musicians regional convention. Probably her best-known hymn text is “Sing a New Church.” You can hear her speak about writing hymns on YouTube. I have used many of her texts, so was delighted to discover her seated next to me at one of the plenary sessions at The Hymn Society. I felt like I was meeting a modern rock star!

While many of our modern celebrities may provide entertainment, rarely do they provide nourishment for our mind and soul. Sr. Delores nourishes us today with her hymn text and, at the same time, reminds us that Jesus Christ is the one who takes the little we have and multiplies it until all are satisfied.

Hoping the music will nourish your faith,

Glenn