During his Sept. 6, 2014, workshop at Holy Family Catholic Church, Woodruff, liturgical composer Marty Haugen encouraged cantors and choir members to live out their ministry by following Jesus’ example. He characterized his job as “writing jingles for Jesus.” (Catholic Herald file photo by Anita Draper)

Anita Draper
Catholic Herald staff

Marty Haugen, a celebrated liturgical composer and musician with 400-plus published compositions to his name, will return to the Diocese of Superior to teach, perform and inspire during the Diocese of Superior’s 13th annual Music Ministry Retreat on Feb. 8-9 in Amery.

Among the Twin Cities composer’s best-known works are “Eye Has Not Seen,” “We Are Many Parts,” “Gather Us In,” “We Remember,” and “Shepherd Me, O God.”

In a 2014 workshop at Holy Family, Woodruff, Haugen spoke of the necessity of reaching out to the margins, inviting parishioners to sing, and carrying out the ministry of Christianity.

The 2019 workshop will be focused on encouraging musicians and offering “spiritual sustenance” during these difficult times in the church, Haugen said in a statement.

“Communities of faith are called to be centers of hope, reconciliation and prophetic, truthful witness in the midst of a culture that is becoming increasingly cynical, doubting and despairing,” Haugen wrote.  “We hope that this workshop will be a time of encouragement for all pastoral musicians in the challenging work the Holy Spirit is calling us to.”

A couple of changes are in store for this year’s retreat, according to Diocese of Superior Office of Worship Director Paul Birch. The event has been moved to Amery, where the nearby St. Croix Casino and Hotel, Turtle Lake, is available for lodging. The hotel may provide a shuttle to St. Joseph Catholic Church, where the workshop is being held, if enough people stay there, Birch said. Forest Inn Motel, Amery, is another lodging option.

For the first time, the event – while primarily attended by and geared toward Catholics – will also be ecumenical. A member of the United Church of Christ, Haugen’s “pan-denominational appeal,” in Birch’s words, inspired the organizing committee to invite Christians of all denominations to participate in the workshop.

Nancy Anne Kalista, a servant leader at St. Joseph, Amery, offered to reach out to other area churches through her work representing St. Joseph with the local ministerium.

On the road to Colorado in early December, Kalista hadn’t yet had the opportunity to extend the invitation to area churches, but she said the ecumenical ministerium works together on a number of pro-jects – musical and otherwise – throughout the year. They meet monthly to discuss community needs, cooperate on such events as the annual Thanksgiving dinner, and team up with local organizations that support life.

“It’s a wonderful working spirit amongst all the churches in that area,” she said.

Although Kalista isn’t involved with the music program at St. Joseph, she believes Haugen’s music has widespread appeal.

“I think he’ll be a great draw,” she said.

The retreat begins Friday afternoon with a 5:30 p.m. social and includes a keynote address and dinner. Haugen will give a presentation following breakfast Saturday morning, and there will be an afternoon choral music reading session after lunch.

The hotel in Turtle Lake has a block of rooms reserved under “Diocese of Superior”; individuals must reserve rooms by Jan. 8 for the group rate.

For information about the conference, email or call 715-394-0212.