The Jesuit Music Ministry (JMM), an official ministry in the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus, traces its roots to the pioneering work of Fr. Eduardo Hontiveros SJ, who began composing Filipino liturgical songs in response to the mandate of Vatican II in the ‘60s. Vatican II’s Sacrosanctum Concilium urged the entire assembly to actively participate in the liturgy that includes singing. From the first song Fr. Honti composed for a group of young boys and girls in Barangka, Marikina to the songs composed by present generation Jesuits and lay partners, JMM songs have been sung in churches not only in the Philippines but in the world.
Today, JMM offers significant teachings and services to enhance and practice our God-given talents, such as Liturgical Music Seminars and Workshops, and Voice Trainings, which help choirs understand their role in the liturgy and choose appropriate songs for the mass, and help choirs sing better through vocal exercises respectively.
Fr. Eduardo Hontiveros, SJ
Fr. Eduardo Hontiveros, SJ joined the Society of Jesus in 1945, ordained priest in 1954 at the Fordham University College in New York. He finished his S.T.D. on Dogmatic Theology at the Gregorian University in Rome and for many years taught theology at San Jose Seminary and Loyola School of Theology in Ateneo de Manila University. Responding to the call of Vatican II for liturgical inculturation, Fr. Honti started writing Filipino Liturgical Music in the late 60’s up to present. His music has inspired and continues to inspire hearts that desire to be nourished by the celebration of the Eucharist. Since 1991, Fr. Honti, considered as the “Father of the Filipino Liturgical Music” has been under health care at Loyola House of Studies.
Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ
Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ entered the Society of Jesus after second year in college in 1985. As a child he had aspired to be a concert pianist; nevertheless he decided to discontinue his classical piano training at the age of 14 to devote his time to school and socio-civic activities. It was in his First Year High that he composed Hindi Kita Malilimutan. has been popularized by Mr. Basil Valdez. During the past 17 years he has composed more than a hundred and fifty songs such as Tanging Yaman, Sa ‘Yo Lamang are being sung all over the country — indeed, whatever there are Filipinos gathered together in prayer and liturgical celebration. Today, he is easily one of the most gifted musicians in the country.
Fr. Arnel dC Aquino, SJ
Fr. Arnel dC Aquino, SJ wrote “Pagsibol” and “Ito Ang Araw” while at Sacred Heart Novitiate, and began another tradition of Jesuit Music for Meditation with the LAUDS series. He studied classical piano for twelve years in Davao City where he was born. He began in music studies when he was in second grade and was actively involved in the choir of the Ateneo student Catholic Action as a “teacher”, conductor, flutist and guitar accompanist. Arnel, infers predominantly from the work of David Haas and Dan Schutte for the liturgical music he has recently been creating. Arnel has his chief achievements has been his albums – Lauds I- VI his performance on the keyboard has generated some of the most memorable and inspiring religious instrumental music this side of the world has heard. His dream is to be able to arrange Jesuit liturgical music for a symphony orchestra and to conduct a one-hundred-voice choir.
Fr. Fruto Ramirez, SJ
Fr. Fruto Ramirez, SJ entered the Jesuits in May 1974 and was ordained in 14 March 1981 . Quiet and reserved, his melodies provide a glimpse of his heart. Born in Baao, Camarines Sur, his love for Bicol is seen in the Ama Niamo in Am, sung in many Bicol masses. His love for the Blessed Mother is seen in his classic, Ave Maria. And his love for the Eucharist is seen in songs like Purihin ang Panginoon, Panalangin sa Pagiging BukasPalad and Si Kristo Ay Gunitain. Many of his songs are informed by the Theological background that he has: he studied at the Pontifical Biblical Institute and a Doctorate in Biblical Theology at the Gregorian University in Rome. He is presently the Academic Dean of the Loyola School of Theology.
Fr. Nemy Que, SJ
Fr. Nemy Que, SJ joined the Society in 1976 and was ordained a priest in 1983 in 1983. He was a member of the original group Jesuit Scholastics who along with Fr. Honti, recorded the first Himig Heswita album in the early 80’s. He contributed several compositions to the endeavor. He wrote liturgical songs such as Sa Diyos Lamang Mapapanatag (Psalm 62/23), Mahal na Puso ni Hesus. He teams up with Fr. Danny Isidro in songs like Ang Kaluluwa Ko’y Nauuhaw (Psalm 62). His contributions to the mass is laudable: Kapuri-puri Ka (for the Preparation of the Gifts) and his Sanctus, Ama Namin and Kordero ng Diyos.
Fr. Charlie Cenzon, SJ
Fr. Charlie Cenzon, SJ composed Awit Ng Paghahangad , which was heard on a PLDT commercial and became an anthem for Jesuits volunteers. Together with Fr. Bong Abad-Santos SJ, he made Pagkakaibigan (John 15) and Pag-ibig Ko which Hangad recorded in their first album.
Fr. Jboy Gonzales, SJ
Fr. Jboy Gonzales, SJ entered the Jesuits in May 1989 and was ordained in 2001. He composed Panunumpa which would later become a part of the sound track of the film “Tanging Yaman.” popularized by Carol Banawa. It is now a staple song at weddings and religious vows.
Fr. Danny Isidro, SJ
Fr. Danny Isidro, SJ joined the Jesuits in May 1973 and ordained in March 1982. He is the Department Chair of the Digital Arts and Computer Animation in the Ateneo de Naga.