HANKS TO THE LEADERSHIP AND VISION of Mr. Jerome Cole, the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend has been blessed by the presence of a new Catholic sacred music ensemble called The Saint Hildegard Project. Made up of local music directors and area musicians, the Saint Hildegard Project “seeks to communicate the beauty of the Roman Catholic liturgical tradition through the Church’s rich treasury of sacred music. Comprised of men and women who share a fervent devotion to the music itself, The Saint Hildegard Project strives to teach with integrity and perform with excellence for the edification of souls and the glory of God.”
In a letter endorsing the group, the local Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades remarks that he is grateful to The Saint Hildegard Project for “embarking on the important local work of promoting a deeper appreciation for the Church’s rich musical heritage.” He quotes the Second Vatican Council’s constitution on the sacred liturgy, Sacrosanctum concilium, which emphasizes that “the musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art” (112). Finally, Bp. Rhoades notes the “true evangelizing potential of sacred music,” with its power to “exude beauty and lead souls to give sincere, joyful glory to God.”
Their inaugural concert was given this past November at St. Joseph’s church in Mishawaka, IN. The program featured music on Eucharistic themes, including works from the Gregorian repertoire as well as music by Palestrina, Byrd, Victoria, and others. Some live recordings from that concert are available below:
Palestrina: O Salutaris Hostia
Salve Regina (Solemn Tone with Drone)
In addition to performing music from the rich patrimony of the Church, The Saint Hildegard Project also engages in educational outreach to local Catholic schools and parishes throughout the diocese. In the coming months, they will be leading two workshops on behalf of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend for the purpose of teaching other local music directors to lead Vespers in their parishes and to select doctrinally-orthodox Eucharistic hymnody for employment in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. More information about The Saint Hildegard Project’s members, aims, and upcoming activities can be found at their website, https://www.hildegardproject.org.