St. Louis Jesuits

Considered by many the fathers of contemporary American liturgical music, these young Jesuit seminarians began composing in the early 1970s in the wake of the Second Vatican Council.

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Bio

At the time of change following the Second Vatican Council, parishes were hungry for a new kind of music to encourage the full, conscious and active participation of the faithful. As young Jesuit seminarians at St. Louis University in the 1970s, Bob Dufford, John Foley, Tim Manion, Roc O'Connor and Dan Schutte felt called to respond.

The result: “Be Not Afraid,” “Here I Am, Lord,” “One Bread, One Body.” Known and loved the world over, these and other classic songs have been staples in Catholic worship ever since. The St. Louis Jesuits released their first collection, Neither Silver, Nor Gold, in 1974. People discovered that their guitar-based folk melodies and clear, Scripture-based lyrics were an enduring way to pray in song. The group received Grammy nominations in 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1981.

After releasing many best-selling collections as a group, the five began to work independently, with several releasing solo albums. In 2005 OCP published Morning Light, a new collection from the group, as well as Thirty Years: The St. Louis Jesuits, a beautifully designed coffee table book highlighting their fascinating story.In the fall of 2017, OCP celebrated the 40th anniversary of their classic Christmas album, Gentle Night, with a beautifully remixed and remastered commemorative edition.

Jesuit Father Bob Dufford recently completed service at the Jesuit Retreat House in Oshkosh, Wisconsin; Jesuit Father John Foley is currently Editor in Chief of the Saint Louis University Sunday Web Site; Tim Manion continues to compose folk music in the Seattle area; Jesuit Father Roc O’Connor is Associate Pastor at the Church of the Gesu, a Jesuit parish in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Dan Schutte is composer in residence at the University of San Francisco.