Singer John Michael Talbot to perform at area churches

| Julie Pfitzinger For The Catholic Spirit | May 10, 2011 | 0 Comments

Christian recording artist John Michael Talbot is bringing his music ministry to St. Stephen in Minneapolis and St. Joseph in Waconia.

Popular Christian recording artist John Michael Talbot has spent many years on center stage performing sold-out shows at large concert venues. But just over two years ago, he felt that God was inspiring him to lead his music ministry in a different direction.

“I was beginning to feel constrain­ed, somewhat like I was in a bubble,” said Talbot in a recent phone interview. “I wanted to bring a more complete, well-rounded ministry to people.”

Talbot’s idea of an “itinerant ministry” was born, allowing him to leave the concert halls behind and go directly into parishes, sharing his reflections not only through music but also through spoken observations and prayer.

Talbot said there is “about 50 percent sharing and about 50 percent music” during these more intimate presentations.

Talbot will be bringing his itinerant ministry program to two metro area Catholic churches this week.?On Satur­day, May 14, he will be at St. Stephen Church in Minneapolis and will also present a three-day retreat at St. Joseph in Waconia beginning on May 16. (See orange below for details).

Hunger for happiness

Talbot believes the current atmosphere of the nation and the world is weighing heavily on people, leaving them hungry for positive messages.

“There is a sense of some discouragement. I’m trying to bring encouragement and hope. Many times, I can see the expressions on the faces of people who may have looked very sullen when they come into our sessions, but leave looking happier and more hopeful,” said Talbot.

With the itinerant ministry mo­del, the barrier that Talbot said exists in concert ministry has been strip­ped away.

“While a John Michael Talbot concert was a peaceful type of experience, these evenings have not only allowed us to go deeper into prayer and meditation, but it is also an informal enough setting where we can laugh and have fun,” he said.

Before launching his itinerant ministry, Talbot spent nearly five years in almost total seclusion in the Brothers and Sisters of Charity community in Arkan­sas, which he founded. Talbot said he believes he was able to gain energy during that period, which is allowing him to share music and reflections with people in this new way.

“It was a time when I began to focus on becoming the person God created me to be,” he said.

Music for new missal

Talbot, who has produced more than 50 records and 20 books since the early 1980s, is releasing a new CD next month called “Worship and Bow Down,” which features the “Mass of Rebirth,” based on the new Roman Missal translation.

“When I heard about the new Roman Missal, I got kind of excited and did several settings,” he said.

“I ended up going with contemporary chant settings — there are elements of Gregorian chant, East­ern and contemporary chant in the music,” said Talbot, who worked closely with noted Catholic music publishing house Oregon Catholic Press on this recording. “There is music that is tailored for daily Mass, with a simple melody line, but it can also be dressed up into a full choral setting for a major celebration.”

Calling the music “ancient but new,” Talbot said he is particularly pleased with the settings of the Hail Mary and “Nothing is Impossible,” based on the Annunciation.

“The message that nothing is im­pos­sible with God is one that resonates. We just need to hold on to our faith and keep going,” he said.

Right about the time Talbot began touring with the itinerant ministry program, he also launched a Face­book page that receives more than 1 million hits per month. Having the opportunity to connect with people worldwide has been another blessing, he said, and a great way to build community.

“We only have two rules. We expect people to share, but not argue. We will all be civil and respectful to one another,” said Talbot. “It is a way for people to be in touch with other believers and a really new, exciting way to evangelize.”

Ministry sessionsThere is no charge for the John Michael Talbot ministry sessions and no pre-registration is required; free will offerings are welcome.

Saturday, May 14: 7-9 p.m. St. Stephen Church, 2211 Clinton Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Monday, May 16 through Wednesday, May 18: 7-8:30 p.m. St. Joseph Church, corner of E. First Street and Elm Street, Waconia.

For more information about John Michael Talbot, visit his website at http://www.johnmichaeltalbot.com or find him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/johnmichaeltalbot.

Category: Arts and Culture