David Haas

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David Haas resides in Eagan, Minnesota, where he is director of The Emmaus Center for Music, Prayer and Ministry and serves as campus minister / artist-in-residence at Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, where he also teaches in the theology and music departments. Highly regarded as one of the preeminent liturgical music composers in the English-speaking world, he has produced more than 45 collections of original music. His liturgical works are sung and prayed throughout the world and appear in hymnals of many Christian denominations and in many languages. 

David’s newest projects with GIA include two prayer books for youth and youth leaders: The Holy Presence of God: Daily Prayer for Youth, Teachers, Catechists, and Youth Ministers and To Give You a Future with Hope: Prayers, Blessings, Meditations, and Challenges for Young People and All Who Walk with Them and Living Spirit, Holy Fire, a new major resource of recorded and published music, prayers services, and pastoral resources celebrating the Holy Spirit, Confirmation, and discipleship. In addition to new compositions by David, this resource also features original compositions by Lori True, Tony Alonso, Kate Cuddy, Tom Franzak, Paul Tate, Jesse Manibusan, Ray East, Michael Joncas, Marty Haugen, Ricky Manalo, and Rob Glover. 

Other recent projects with GIA include God Is Here; Biblical Way of the Cross; To Worship in Spirit and Truth: A Liturgical Preparation Process for Pastoral Musicians and Liturgical Leaders; an ongoing series of music and prayer services for youth, A Time to Pray (With the Old Testament, With the New Testament, For Justice and Peace); Table Songs II: Music for Communion (with Tony Alonso, Kate Cuddy, Rob Glover, and Lori True); Reach Toward Heaven; and Do This in Memory of Me (a setting of Holy Communion for Lutheran Communities).  His live recording and video Glory Day continues to receive international acclaim, and he has served as a consultant for the various editions of the popular GIA hymnals Gather and Gather Comprehensive

A native of Bridgeport, Michigan, and the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan, David is a 1975 graduate of Bridgeport High School and studied vocal music performance, piano, and conducting at Central Michigan University. He completed his studies in music performance, liturgy, and theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Presently an active member of St. Cecilia Church in St. Paul, he formerly served as director of music and liturgy at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Ankeny, Iowa and The Church of St. Thomas Aquinas in St. Paul Park, Minnesota as well as being composer-in-residence at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Minneapolis. From 1985-1988 he was an adjunct instructor and composer-in-residence at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul, during which time he was very active internationally in writing, composing, and presenting workshops and seminars on the implementation of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. During these years, David was part of what is commonly referred to as the “Minnesota School” in collaboration with two of his colleagues, Michael Joncas and Marty Haugen, in producing some of the most popular and effective music for the Church’s worship that has appeared in the days following the Second Vatican Council. 

For more than 25 years, David has been active as a workshop and keynote speaker, author, retreat leader, liturgical musician, concert performer, and recording artist and has performed and presented at various conventions, workshops and conferences throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, the British Isles, Ireland, Australia, the Bahamas, Israel, Greece, and Turkey. He has been a regular speaker at various national and international conferences for the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, the National Catholic Education Association, the Irish Church Music Association, the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, the National Center for Pastoral Leadership, the National Association for Lay Ministry, the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership, the North American Forum on the Catechumenate, the Great Lakes Pastoral Ministry Gathering, the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Chicago Festival of Faith, and the Big Island Liturgy and Arts Conference in Hilo, Hawaii.

In addition to his work and ministry at Benilde-St. Margaret’s, David has been an international advocate for the role of young people in the life of the church. He is the founder and executive director of Music Ministry Alive!, a national liturgical music formation program for high school and college-aged youth, which has “graduated” more than 700 students during the past 9 years, many of whom now are serving as pastoral musicians and in other areas of ministry. He formerly served on the national advisory council for the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, and also has been a guest instructor for several undergraduate and graduate courses at the College of St. Catherine, the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, the University of St. Thomas, St. John’s University, Boston College, Georgetown University, Loyola College in Maryland, Clarke College and Loras College in Dubuque, St. Ambrose University, St. Joseph’s College in Philadelphia, Duquesne University, Aquinas College, the University of Dayton, the University of Scranton, the College of St. Benedict, Chaminade University in Honolulu, St. Louis University, St. Mary’s College in San Antonio, Presentation College, Fontbonne College, Mt. St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles, St. Patrick’s College in Meynooth, Ireland, and the North American College in Rome. 

David has authored more than 20 books in the areas of liturgy, liturgical music, youth ministry, catechesis, prayer, and spirituality and has served as a consultant to several catechetical and educational publishers. He is featured on the catechetical video Teach Us to Pray: Praying the Psalms (St. Anthony Messenger) and collaborated with Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ, on two projects addressing the death penalty, Death No More (video program with Harcourt Religion Publishers), and The Death Penalty: The Catholic Viewpoint (St. Anthony Messenger Press). He continues to write a monthly column titled “Sung Prayer” for Ministry and Liturgy magazine and has written articles for Pastoral Music, Catechumenate, Connect, and the GIA Quarterly

In 1991 he was nominated for a Grammy Award for the recording of I Shall See God, and his book The Ministry and Mission of Sung Prayer (St. Anthony Messenger Press) received the Outstanding Professional Book Award from the Catholic Press Association in 2003. Along with Michael Joncas and Marty Haugen, he was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995 from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. In 2004 David was named Pastoral Musician of the Year by the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, and that same year he received the Crosier Award for Outstanding Service in Ministry. 

David is available for conferences and parish and diocesan events, and he speaks on a wide variety of topics in liturgy, liturgical music, religious education, sacramental practice, youth ministry, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, whole community catechesis, prayer, and spirituality.


For more information, contact:
The Emmaus Center for Music, Prayer and Ministry
1595 Blackhawk Lake Drive
Eagan, MN 55122
(651) 994-1366; fax: (651) 994-1368
e-mail: rabbitsong@aol.com

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