Jesuit Music Ministry (JMM) Shares Gift of Song At International Conference on Youth Ministry 2024

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In an effort to help ministers lead the youth to a deeper connection with their faith through the power of music, the Jesuit Music Ministry (JMM) gladly shared its time, knowledge, and expertise to participants of the International Conference on Youth Ministry (ICYM) held last April 4 to 6, 2024, at the Henry Lee Irwin Theater of the Ateneo de Manila Grade School and the Loyola School of Theology.

The JMM team, comprised of Director Lester Mendiola, Rey Malipot, Pat Morato, and Bro. Dom Bulan, SJ, conducted back-to-back days of talks and mini-workshops designed for youth and campus ministers, religious, and other individuals actively guiding and caring for young people.

Under the theme “Youth Ministry: A Fullness of Life for All,” the second edition of the conference organized by the Loyola School of Theology, in cooperation with the Don Bosco School of Theology, featured concurrent sessions intended to improve the competencies of youth ministers. JMM’s sessions on April 4 and 5, coincided with a wide range of seminars on other essential skills, including spiritual direction, conflict management, counseling, retreat and recollection facilitation- all in keeping with the proposals presented by the participants of ICYM 2023.

To open their first session on Thursday, April 4, Director Lester Mendiola took participants through the core of JMM’s and JesCom’s shared mission, tracing back to the pioneering work of the Fr. Eduardo Hontiveros SJ, who responded to the mandate of Vatican II by composing Filipino liturgical songs. The dive into JMM’s rich history touched on the emergence of notable Jesuit composers such as Fr. Manoling Francisco SJ and Fr. Arnel Aquino SJ, and how JMM’s beloved artists have produced a wide genre of religious and inspirational music, ranging from liturgical, spiritual, as well as praise and worship.

Apart from understanding the evolution of Jesuit music on social media and today’s digital streaming platforms, attendees also gained deeper insight into how music itself serves as an effective tool in evangelizing the youth, with its ability to speak to the depths of one’s mind and heart, all while serving as a springboard for prayer.

For Friday’s session, April 5, Bro. Dom Bulan SJ guided attendees through the differences between ecclesiastical, religious, and sacred songs, emphasizing the integral role music plays in the context of the solemn liturgy. They were also reminded that while choirs lead the congregation in singing, the greater purpose of their music is to enrich the liturgical experience of the people, so that they may be led to a more fruitful encounter with the Lord.

To conclude his “Handa, Awit,” mini-workshop, Bro. Dom tasked participants to create their own sample Mass repertoire, teaching them the value of selecting the appropriate music for the sacrament, liturgy, or liturgical season.

With the wealth of learnings gained after two fruitful days, JMM is indeed grateful for the opportunity to have helped participants experience the transformative power of offering one’s prayer to the Lord through song, as they extend this poignant encounter with the youth they serve.


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