The Story behind the Eucharistic Congress Liturgical Music Ministers
Did you know that each year between 250 and 300 musicians in our diocese come together to serve for the Eucharistic Congress Mass? In fact, from the first Eucharistic Conference to our past six Eucharistic Congresses, Bishop Estévez’s vision has been supported musically by over 30 parishes of our diocese.
Liturgical music for each Eucharistic Congress is a labor of love and unity. parish musicians, instrumentalists and vocalists, amatueur and professional, all volunteer their time each year to support and encourage the full, active participation of the faithful in praise and prayer. parish directors, choirs, and instrumentalists, volunteer time above and beyond their seasonal music responsibilities. Preparation and planning begin as early as August as music is selected to support the chosen readings for the Congress. Music is ordered, invites sent to each pastor and parish music ministry, director meetings scheduled, music distributed, and rehearsals planned. Shortly after Christmas, the rehearsals begin, and the music is practiced and prepared. Then, at the Congress Mass, the gifts given to each, choir and the gathered assembly, united by the Holy Spirit, are shared and given back in love to our Creator in honor, thanks, and praise.
In 2012, the first Eucharistic Conference was held at St. Joseph’s Parish, with music under the direction of Dr. Bernie Sans. Three parishes helped with the music for this first Eucharistic event: Cathedral Parish, St. Joseph’s Parish, and St. Anastasia. Frank DeProspero, Director of Music from St.Joseph parish, hosted and welcomed brothers and sisters, inspiring the musicians who followed. So enthusiastically attended was the first conference, it was moved to the Prime Osborn Convention Center achieving Eucharistic Congress status the following year and is one of the most popular events in our diocese.
Here listed in tribute to their spirit of sharing and giving of time and talent are the parishes contributing instrumentalists and vocalists and the music directors past and present, united in love to provide the music for our beautiful liturgies!
Participating Parishes and Schools
Eucharistic Congress 2018 “ Live my My Love”
Queen of Peace
Our Lady Star of the Sea
Mary Queen of Heaven
Sacred Heart, Jacksonville
Sacred Heart, Fleming Island
Santa Maria del Mar
Most Holy Redeemer
St. Catherine of Sienna
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Prince of Peace
Holy Spirit School
Eucharistic Congress Conductors and Music Directors
Dr. Bernie Sans (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016)
Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Bernie is the oldest of three children. He was educated at St. Mary’s University, Winona, MN, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Alverno College, Milwaukee, WI and Notre Dame University, South Bend, IN. Currently, he is the Cathedral Basilica Music Director, St. Augustine, Florida. As the Cathedral music director, he works in collaboration with Father Tom Willis to plan, provide, and direct music for the bishop, the episcopal liturgies (ordinations, rites of election, etc) and hosts musicians and choirs from all over the world. In addition, he is responsible for the Cathedral Music Concert Series. Bernie is a member of the American Guild of Organists, Phi Mu Alpha-Sinfonia, the national music fraternity, National Pastoral Musicians, and The Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians. He lives in a quaint 1920’s cottage in St. Augustine.
1968 -70 Peace Corps Volunteer, Lycee LashkarGah, LashkarGah, Afghanistan
1970 -73 Principal of American International School in LashkarGah, Afghanistan
1974 -76 Middle School teacher at St. John’s Catholic School in South Milwaukee, WI
1976 -80 Principal of St. John’s Catholic School in South Milwaukee, WI
1980 -82 Principal of St. Veronica Catholic School in Milwaukee, WI
1982 – 1994 Director of Music and Liturgy at St. Matthias Catholic Church, Milwaukee, WI
1994 – 2008 Director of Music at Christ the King Catholic Church in Jacksonville, FL
2008 – present Director of Cathedral Music, Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, St. Augustine, FL
David Emery (2015)
David was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He attended Jacksonville University where he received his Bachelor of Music Degree in Composition/Theory with minors in Piano and Voice. While a junior his church music mentor, Professor C. Edward Bryan, brought him to Riverside Baptist Church where he served as assistant organist before continuing his education at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky where he earned a Master of Church Music in Composition and Organ. Postgraduate study followed until he was called to Holy Faith Parish in Gainesville, Florida where he served for four years. David, currently serves at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Jacksonville where he has been Director of Music and Organist for the past twenty years. Mr. Emery is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity, National Pastoral Musicians, and is active in The American Guild of Organists.
Peter Morin (2017, 2018)
Peter Morin graduated with a Master of Sacred Music from Emory University and also earned a Bachelor of Music, Pipe Organ Performance from Syracuse University. Currently Peter serves as Director of Music and Organist at St. Anastasia Catholic Church, St. Augustine. There he developed a strong choral and instrumental music program centered around the daily liturgy of the Church. Over 100 singers and musicians are involved in the music making at St. Anastasia which includes a chorale, contemporary ensemble, children’s chorus, a concert series, and singers that come together to prepare regularly monthly music sing-a-longs at local nursing homes. Peter is a member of the American Guild of Organists, National Pastoral Musicians, and Royal School of Church Musicians. He serves on the Diocese of St. Augustine Liturgy Commission.
Awarded the Arthur Poister Prize, Emory University Research Grant, and a Mark and Pearle Clements Internship Award allowing his first four month summer of observation and performance based at Worcester Cathedral in England.
Assisted in BBC recordings, performed within the Three Choirs Festival and a choir tour of Ireland and many other recitals at cathedrals and festivals.
Most recently, he has performed with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the EMMA Concert Series, Memorial Presbyterian Organ Series, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, Emory University, and a lead an EMMA concert-lecture with his wife Helen.
Frank DeProspo 2012
Frank DeProspo has served as director of music and organist for St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Jacksonville, Florida since 1996. A graduate of Florida State University, Frank has been involved with church music for over thirty years in various capacities, serving as organist, guitarist, composer, liturgist and director of music. In addition to serving the Church, Frank has also directed several ensembles ranging from orchestras to jazz ensembles for local theater productions. His most rewarding experience, however, has been working with the wonderful people of St. Joseph’s. These wonderful talented volunteers exemplify the true spirit of liturgical music – to serve God in song.
Lisa Moser (2013 – 2018)
Lisa Moser, the oldest of five girls, was born in Washington D.C. and grew up attending Catholic Schools, Mary’s of the Mills and Pallotti High School, in Laurel, Maryland. She is currently the Director of Music Ministries at Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Church and Director of Foundations at Bishop John J. Snyder High School. Lisa earned a Bachelors of Music from The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, The Catholic University of America, graduating SumCum Laude and was awarded senior soloist. In 1986, she was awarded the American Opera Scholarship and pursued graduate studies in voice performance. She obtained her Masters of Education from the University of North Florida receiving the Outstanding Graduate Award. She was blessed with the opportunity to sing for Saint Pope John Paul II three times and treasures opportunities to serve wherever God calls. She is a member of the National Pastoral Musicians and serves on the Diocese of St. Augustine Liturgy Commission.
1981 -1983 St.Thomas the Apostle, Washington , D.C., NW , Apostolic Nuncio, Cantor
1985 –1989 St. Matthew Cathedral, Washington, D. C. , SW First Alto Section Leader
Washington Opera, Kennedy Center
1990 -1992 St. Catherine of Sienna, Orange Park, FL – Cantor
1992 –1994 St. Joseph Catholic Church, Nashua, New Hampshire – Cantor
1994 –1996 RAF Navy chapel West Ruislip, UK Cantor, Substitute Director
1996- 2011 Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Fleming Island – Director
2011 –2015 Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, Jacksonville, FL Co-Director
2015 –Present Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, Jacksonville, FL Directo