Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
February 25, 2001
Catholics who can 'rock it up'
Mixture of musical interests adds up to Living Communion
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
RADWAY — Jason Reinhart's style of music could be classified as alternative.
His wife Janelle leans more towards Celine Dion.
Musician John Connelly is a bluegrass folk man.
Gerald Montpetit is pure rock and Jennifer Mattrick has formal classical music training.
But this group makes music together and the release of its second CD proves its music ministry is not falling on deaf ears.
The band is known as Living Communion and they've been the core musicians at several Catholic conferences in the province. Their second CD, entitled Living Communion, was recorded live at the Family Life Conference last summer amongst the conversations between mums and dads, squeals of hungry toddlers and laughter of young and old.
Besides the applause, the background noise will be drowned out, and the band was such a hit that several hundred people placed orders for the CD right after the show.
"We're not trying to make money from it," said Jason Reinhart, who plays bass and is one of the studio mixers. "This is a ministry for us."
The ministry is Life Vision, and is based on an acreage in Radway.
They released their first CD, Songs of Prayer and Worship for the Journey, in 1999, which is "doing very well," said Reinhart. Of the 3,000 copies made, Reinhart can't say how many have been sold, but local recording industry professionals have praised them for a well put-together product.
The aim of the ministry was to produce music for youth, targeting the age group between 18 and 35. But the uniqueness of the band is that it's turned out to be a popular musical staple among youth, families and even some of the seniors.
Part of the reason for it is the popularity of music in general, said the members of Living Communion. The recent CD, like the first one, is chalk full of music of various genre, from the more traditional Ave Maria, which Janelle sings totally in Latin to the not so laidback Lord of Creation.
"Catholic music is growing in leaps and bounds," Connelly said. "There's more and more Catholic music and Catholic creativity. It's just mushrooming. It just seems the Catholic Church is getting organized and showcasing some of that talent."
Reinhart said, "A lady called up and said 'You guys are Catholic and you guys can rock it up.'"
The difference in today's Catholic music and that of half a century ago is its appeal to all ages. Living Communion has the type of music they can play to the parents at family conferences and to teenagers at life teen events.
The group is fairly young, as are its members. Connelly jokes that at 39, he is the grandfather of the bunch. Their average age is 25.
Life Vision is a six-year-old ministry, whose "overall goal is to help people discover Christ in a fuller way," Connelly said.
One lady in New Zealand became a believer in the words of the music after she regained hearing in one of her ears while listening to the CD.
The group doesn't proclaim to be miracle workers after that incident, but "isn't it amazing how the Lord works?" asked Reinhart.
Many members for the ministry have come from the nearby John Paul II Bible School, which Mattrick referred to as "an incubator for anyone with talent. It's a place for young people to express themselves."
Radway in itself is a place that nurtures the talents, said Gerald because it's small town that's quiet and simple.
Because it's a ministry, they turn no one away. They've been known to give a few CDs away at conferences. They're their own marketers. In countries like Scotland and New Zealand, fans have been the ones spreading the word and helping the group to sell CDs abroad.
The music is sometimes specifically Catholic, but always Christian, which makes it appealing for those of all faiths, said the musicians. The studio is working on other projects including a solo by Connelly and a youth oriented CD.
"It's more focused for the youth," Jason said. "Kind of Top 40 pop sounding stuff."
For more information on the ministry or to order a CD, call 780-736-3606 or visit their website at www.lifevision.ca.
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