All Saints parish in Liverpool has launched its first album, All Saints Youth, a professionally-produced set of traditional and new Catholic songs.
Parishioners, musicians, and students came together at the launch at the parish in late November to promote four tracks which will be released to listeners via the Spotify online platform.
The first is already available, an original composition written by Sydney’s John Burland, Koe Evangelista and Philippe-Marc Anquetil titled The Way, The Truth, The Life.
The project received funding from Sydney Catholic Schools with help Anthony Cleary, its director of mission and identity, and Burland, its education officer for archdiocesan liturgical music.
Fr Monkerud said he hopes All Saints in the future will be able to create a musical academy where young people can develop skills as singers, instrumentalists, and composers in the context of the divine liturgy.
“We’re looking to produce a sound that relates to young people, while keeping our tradition rooted firmly in the liturgy,” he said.
“The excitement of young people and the soul and heart with which they sing, show that this can lay a seed.
“And from little seeds, great forests grow.”
The project is rooted in the parish’s outreach to youth, with the understanding that music can be a significant influence and reach their hearts when other aspects of the faith cannot.
“Sometimes, what speaks to people from a Catholic perspective is very different, so we’re looking right across the board at many different hooks to try and engage young people,” Fr Monkerud said.
“That way, people have different doors through which they might access the faith.”
The idea was born from a casual Sunday youth group gathering, after discussing music with a member of the parish’s Antiochian community.
“He was expressing his frustration that as a young musician and composer wanting to express himself through his Catholic faith, there was no real place to do that,” said Fr Monkerud.
“I thought, why couldn’t we have a system where Liverpool could be a centre for young musicians to work on their musical worship?”