National Association of Pastoral Musicians Convention coming to Houston

January 12, 2016

HOUSTON — Music ministers rejoice — the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston will be hosting the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) conference, July 11 to 16.

Although the local Church held a regional NPM conference in the 1980s, 2016 will be the very first time Houston hosts the national conference. According to Dr. Rick Lopez, Conference Co-Chair and an associate director for the Archdiocesan Office of Worship, the Bayou City is a prime location for the event due to the continued growth and cultural diversity in Galveston-Houston, as well Houston’s strong fine arts culture and reputation as a successful conference destination.

“When we were approached by the NPM two years ago, we were very pleased to accept their commitment to come to Houston,” Lopez said. “At the same time, we made it very clear that we would be committed to host an NPM that would be representative of the cultural diversity of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and the greater Southwest.”

Lopez said an early example of this commitment is evident in the theme selected for the gathering: “The Church Sings, La Iglesia Canta: One Holy, Catholic, Apostolic.” Five languages are represented in the conference logo: English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Igbo and Tagalog. 

“This is the first time the NPM logo is ‘multilingual’ in its design,” Lopez said. “This will be a truly ‘multicultural’ and ‘multilingual’ conference.”

In concert with that commitment, NPM will also incorporate the biennial Unity Explosion conference for the first time. Unity Explosion is a liturgically focused, faith-based evangelization regional conference for Catholics of African descent.

In addition, there will be a Multicultural Institute (MI) designed especially for the Hispanic and Vietnamese Catholic music ministers, particularly for the local and Southwest region Catholics from these cultural communities. 

There will be special registration rates for the MI and for single day attendance as well. 

Lopez firmly believes that the 2016 NPM conference will “truly have something for anyone involved in music and Liturgy in the Catholic Church today” and invites all to attend.

“My prayer is that if you are a person that has been serving as a music minister for many years at a parish or are new to the ministry of music at your church, you will take a close look at the many and diverse offerings of this conference,” he said. “In addition to the inspiring plenum talks and educational breakouts there will be music recitals, music publisher showcases, music industry exhibits, concerts, fellowship and Liturgies that will include the convention Eucharist with Daniel Cardinal DiNardo as celebrant.”

Cardinal DiNardo has served as the Episcopal Moderator to the National Association of Pastoral Musicians since 2003, being both an advisor to the association on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and acting as an advocate to the USCCB for the association’s members and its ministerial focus. 

In a letter to NPM, Cardinal DiNardo wrote about how he learned about the importance of “quality and grace” in sung Liturgy and prays that NPM members “will continue to find ways to let the Liturgy work its way in you, so that the ‘Amen’ of our lives in Christ might resound with greater clarity, potency and conviction. In so doing, we allow ourselves to be caught up in the mystery of the Trinity, until the time when the Liturgy of the heavenly banquet is all that there is.”

WHEN: JULY 11 - 16
WHO: Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, main liturgy
celebrant. Keynote speakers: Father Tony Ricard;
Carmen Florez-Mansi; John Flaherty; Father Paul
Turner; Dr. Vanessa White; Father Michael Joncas;
Dr. Carolyn Woo, Catholic Relief Services