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Fr. Ricky Manalo, CSP...

posted Jul 16, 2011, 12:39 PM by Unknown user
…is perhaps the first Filipino-American priest to introduce “Asian liturgical music” into mainstream usage in the United States through his popularly sung hymns, especially Many and Great and Spirit and Grace, which we sang again today.  An accomplished composer, lecturer and author, he specializes in assimilating the rituals and spirituality of these two cultures, in harmony with the evangelization, reconciliation and ecumenism so important to his Paulist order.  He collaborated with Filipino composer Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ, to produce the first Filipino-American liturgical music collection for the US Catholic Church, Gentle Strength.  He was also the main facilitator of the first national gathering of Asian and Pacific Catholics sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2006.

Fr. Ricky was born here in Brooklyn, the fourth of six children, and told Asian Journal, “We grew up in a VERY religious household… Mom made sure we prayed the rosary every night (even during those evenings when we’d rather watch Happy Days or The Love Boat).  On the weekends, we often gathered with other relatives nearby and ate, ate and ate.  And after we ate, we ate again… We lived in a very musical (and very noisy) household.  My dad would often blast out the stereo system to deafening heights with Beethoven and Chopin, while my mom would quietly hum melodies (some of them original) around the house.  Meanwhile, we ALL had to learn how to play the piano.  I began when I was 6 years old…”  Around that time, his family moved to St. Gabriel’s parish in Marlboro, NJ, where his involvement in music ministry eventually led to a deeper discernment towards the ordained priesthood.

Fr. Ricky has composed a new Mass setting for the Third Roman Missal, the Mass of Spirit and Grace, inspired by his Eucharistic hymn, in which the Prayers of the Faithful can be sung in over twenty languages!  If you wish to hear more of his music, you can download many of his songs on iTunes.