Music Ministry Alive! is an annual five-day summer institute held at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, for youth and adult leaders who have a passion for liturgical music and the desire to serve as ministers in their parishes and schools. This experience is open to any young person entering their 10th, 11th, or 12th grade year in high school or their first or second year of college. Applicants should be presently involved in music ministry in their parish or school and have a desire to deepen that commitment. An adult track is also offered for adult leaders who are involved in mentoring young people in leadership roles in the Church, such as parish music directors, liturgy coordinators, youth ministers, pastors, catechists, teachers, and volunteers. Each summer, about 150 youth and 50 adult leaders come together as an MMA community to celebrate their gifts, their love of liturgical music, and the power of their faith!
Music Ministry Alive! was founded in 1999 by internationally known composer, author, teacher, and liturgical musician David Haas. Led by Haas and Associate Director Lori True, composer, cantor, and Campus Minister for Liturgy and Music at St. Catherine University, the program continually seeks to fulfill its mission of engaging and empowering young music ministers. Over its 16-year history, MMA has touched the lives of approximately 2200 young people and 550 adult leaders representing 44 states, 3 provinces of Canada, England, Ireland, Africa, Australia, Peru, Chile, and Germany. Many of the young people involved in MMA have continued to share their passion for liturgical music as adults, becoming music and youth ministers, published liturgical composers, or members of choirs and ensembles.
Team members and guest artists over the years have included Fr. Ray East, Tim Westerhaus, Kate Cuddy, Tony Alonso, Stephen Petrunak, Bobby Fisher, Leisa Anslinger, Fr. Michael Joncas, Bonnie Faber, David Dreher, Rob Glover, Marty Haugen, Bob Hurd, Joe Camacho, Tom Franzak, Rob Strusinski, George Miller, Jesse Manibusan, Bill Huebsch, Steve Angrisano, Robin Medrud, Tom Kendzia, Art Zannoni, Peter Kolar, Betsey Beckman, Tom East, David Livingston, Eileen Bird, Fr. John Forliti, Mary Louise Bringle, Paul Tate, Patrice Pakiz, Sr. Gertrude Foley S.C., Barbara Bridge, Dominic Trumfio, Donna Pena, Anita Bradshaw, Fr. Ricky Manalo, Laurie Delgatto, Brian Johnson, Jackie Witter, Joe Connelly, Sr. Kathleen Harmon S.N.D., Lynn Trapp, Jaime Cortez, Sr. Anne Bryan Smollin, and many more leaders in the areas of liturgy, music, and youth ministry.
The continued generosity of St. Catherine University, together with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and many publishers and other organizations, has resulted in a program that truly has transformed the lives of many and the Church at large.
Above: The Music Ministry Alive! Team - 2000.
Left: Former MMA team member Derek Campbell directs youth singers.