November 19, 2018

Transfiguration Catholic Church — A once-declining parish blossoming with new energy

A transfigured community Revitalizing a parish in decline


"The job that we do as music ministers reaches out to everyone in the pew. It gives them a message to take home with them and bring them through the week."
–Jo-Anne K., Music Director, Transfiguration

Meet Jo-Anne.

Jo-Anne is a music director at Transfiguration Catholic Church, located in a middle-class area of St. Petersburg, Florida. The church maintained a steady attendance, consisting of parents and the children that attended the parish's school. But when the school closed, many left and began attending other churches in the area. Transfiguration quickly became a sparse parish, with little generational diversity or foreseeable growth.

The parish's hope for such growth lay in attracting Catholics from the city's Hispanic, Tongan and Vietnamese communities. Jo-Anne worked tirelessly to create a musical repertoire that would appeal to a broad audience. She understood the power of contemporary music on the lips of a younger generation, but also needed to keep older generations engaged. So, she began to incorporate music that called for multiple guitars, bass and choir, to maximize participation. Then, by adding both new and traditional music to the liturgy, Jo-Anne created room for all to feel welcome. The pews began to fill as parishioners flocked once again to Transfiguration Parish. A new population of parents brought their children, communal involvement rose, and the church was given new life.

Yet, age was not the only factor that needed to be taken in to account when adding music to the repertoire. Many of the parishioners came from very different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Jo-Anne and fellow musicians used a variety of OCP resources — Today's Missal, Misal del Día, Flory y Canto and Spirit & Song — to appeal to these diverse music preferences. Over the years, Jo-Anne has seen trends come and go, but she knows beautiful music will always draw people into faith. The parish now maintains regular attendance with an active and engaged assembly.

Discover how Transfiguration's community has drawn new people to worship through the music in OCP Missals.


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