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Marty Haugen and the Catholic Church

April 9, 2010

What timing; what a coincidence!?

I am working on my RCIA lesson for this Sunday. My main source of information from my RCIA director is the Foundations in Faith from RCL Some of it might be a little fluffy at times, but for the most part its content for the weekly lessons seems pretty true to Church teachings, especially to me, novice that I am.

Well, this Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter, the doctrinal focus is Faith. (I was disappointed that there wasn’t a bigger focus on the sacrament that Jesus gave the apostles in this gospel reading, but I am adding Divine Mercy Sunday content to cover that…) In the touchy-feely, how do the readings make you feel segment of the lesson plan, they suggest opening the session with singing Marty Haugen’s “We Walk By Faith.” Yes, I am familiar with the song; we do have the GIA in our pews, sadly. In searching for the lyrics online, which I didn’t find; I discovered Marty’s bio. He’s a protestant! Half of the songs in the GIA are his! And half of the churches in this country have the GIA in their pews (that is a guess on my part… it may be more). We really don’t need to sing in the session anyways, so I dropped that part from the lesson that I am putting together.

So I go back to completing my lesson. I add some text from the Catechism to outline the Profession of Faith. Much more meat than the RCL.

And now, on my Facebook feed I see an article from Fr. Z, “Marty Haugen, protestant, “composer”, priestess champ, to lead diocesan translation workshop,” that he got from the Ten Reasons blog post “Were the St. Louis Jesuits unavailable?

You wouldn’t think that Marty Haugen, the Protestant composer of so much of the liturgical music that’s come to symbolize “what went wrong” after the Council, would be an ideal expert for a workshop on the translation of the revised missal. You wouldn’t, but you’d be wrong. The workshop is sponsored by the Worship office for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, and notice of it appears in both the diocesan Clergy Communications newsletter and on Haugen’s website. And to the extent that lex orandi, lex credendi has any currency, bear in mind his main reason for not being Catholic is the Church’s failure “to commission, ordain and welcome all humans as Jesus did–male and female, married and unmarried, saints and sinners. I believe that the Church, God’s people and all of creation have suffered from this omission.”

UPDATE. Haugen’s latest passion is eco-spirituality, and he believes “the next few decades will determine whether we will pass on a planet to future generations (and indeed to all life) that is sustainable and life-giving or a planet devastated and dying. This may be the single most important issue facing us today.” Accordingly, he has teamed up with a fellow musician to record “Tree of Life,” a collection of “earth-honoring” songs “intended to sing with groups at worship and rallies.” Personal favorite: “I Am a Child of This Planet.”


Who is running the Catholic Church in America? And how do we fire them? I realize the best way to destroy the Church is from the inside, but really, is there anybody in upper “management” that wants to see the Church survive?

Pray for our Church.


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