MAGNA — Thanks to an Oregon Catholic Press grant, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish (Magna) has had help with its music and liturgical needs.
Pastor Fr. Lourduraj Gally Gregory first heard about the grant program when he was assigned to St. Patrick Parish in Salt Lake City. There he applied for the same $2,500 grant. The parish received the grant after he was transferred to Our Lady of Lourdes.
Then, last year Fr. Gally got an email from OCP inviting him to apply for the grant for his current parish. He responded and gave detailed information about the parish’s demographics and its need for support to pay for music materials. Bishop Oscar A. Solis also provided a positive recommendation.
In September Fr. Gally was notified the parish would be receiving a $2,500 grant from OCP. The committee was impressed with the detail of Fr. Gally’s request, the grant committee said. The check arrived within a few weeks.
“This grant is very valuable,” Fr. Gally said. “It takes off a lot of pressure in finding the resources to pay for the hymnals and missalettes.”
Usually it costs the parish, which has modest means, about $400 per quarter to pay for those items, which are used by parishioners and the parish’s choirs, Fr. Gally said. That funding has had to come from the parish’s ordinary income.
Along with the hymnals and missalettes, the grant also paid for music stands and microphones for the parish’s three choirs.
The parish’s Spanish choir, which has around 20 members, sings at the noon Mass each Sunday. The English-speaking choir, which has roughly the same number of members, sings at the 5 p.m. Saturday Mass and the 10 a.m. Sunday Mass. A third choir, which is bilingual and has about 10 members, provides the music ministry at fifth Sunday Masses and fills in where needed.
“Our music is really good,” Fr. Gally said. “They are all volunteers and give time and talent for the parish generously. … We don’t have a big music group as such, but the parishioners are happy with our program.”
Parishes are only allowed to apply for the OCP grants every two years. Fr. Gally said if he receives the invitation to do so, he plans to apply for another grant next year.
Our Lady of Lourdes was one of 86 parishes across the U.S. to receive OCP grants. Since its inception in 2001, OCP has awarded more than $2.6 million to parishes “seeking to enhance the worship experience of their parish community,” the OCP website said.
OCP was founded in Oregon in 1922 as the Catholic Truth Society of Oregon by Archbishop Alexander Christie to provide information about the Church and the activities of its educational and charitable institutions. He did so to combat the persecution of Catholics by the Ku Klux Klan, which was rampant in Oregon at the time.
Over time the name and the mission of the organization has changed. Today, OCP describes its mission in this way: “to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all, primarily through the publication of the highest-quality worship programs, spiritually-enriching music and the diocesan newspaper for the State of Oregon.”
The organization publishes hundreds of music collections and more than 3,000 octavos/sheet music. Two-thirds of all parishes in the U.S. subscribe to at least one of OCP’s missal programs.