Matt Maher, Lourdes musical, diverse artists to perform at the National Eucharistic Congress

3 mins read
Matt Maher
Christian artist Matt Maher performs May 19, 2019, during the NJ Catholic Youth Rally at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, N.J. Maher is among the artists performing at the National Eucharistic Congress taking place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis July 17-21. (OSV News photo/Hal Brown, The Monitor, CNS archive)

(OSV News) — As the National Eucharistic Revival calls Catholics to enter into the Lord’s great love for them in the Eucharist, musical performers from a variety of backgrounds will invite those at the National Eucharistic Congress to faith-filled worship through song.

The congress, taking place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis July 17-21, features musicians and bands from all around the country. Catholics will notice some familiar names, like veteran Grammy nominated musician and composer Matt Maher.

Event details and notable performers

The event also features plenty of new Catholic music, including the two winning compositions of the National Eucharistic Revival Music Competition sponsored last year by the U.S. bishops.

The winner for the official hymn of the revival is “Let the Earth Acclaim Christ Jesus,” by Kathleen Pluth of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Phoenix.

Attendees also have the unique opportunity in the evening July 18 to preview “Bernadette de Lourdes, the Musical,” which was inspired by the official transcripts from St. Bernadette Soubirous’ interrogations by French authorities after Mary appeared to her in Lourdes, France, in 1858. The show is coming to the U.S. in 2025 after a successful run in France.

Performing at the congress throughout the week, Dave and Lauren Moore, a husband-and-wife musical duo from northeast Texas, are founders of the Catholic Music Initiative, which is “dedicated to enriching the liturgical experience by seamlessly blending the beauty of traditional sacred music with contemporary expressions of faith.” Dave Moore also is the director of music and liturgy for the National Eucharistic Congress.

Impact sessions and track-specific performances

The congress’s morning impact sessions planned for days 2-4 are organized into six tracks: Encounter, Encuentro, Empower, Renewal, Cultivate and Awaken. They each feature a unique musical performer.

Songwriter Sarah Kroger sings during Eucharistic adoration for Life Fest at the D.C. Armory in Washington on Jan. 19, 2024, ahead of the annual March for Life. Kroger is among the artists performing at the National Eucharistic Congress taking place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis July 17-21. (OSV News photo/Jeffrey Bruno, Knights of Columbus)

The Encounter track has music from worship leader and songwriter Sarah Kroger, who is based in Nashville, Tennessee. “A big part of what I’ve been diving into as an artist and as a writer (and) just in general as a human being is just the wonder of God and his presence in the world around us,” Kroger told the Our Sunday Visitor newspaper earlier this year.

The Encuentro track is in Spanish and includes music from Nico Cabrera, a bilingual worship leader born and raised in Colombia, who has lived most of his life in the U.S. He seeks to “create spaces of authentic encounter with Jesus.” Kairy Márquez also is performing for the Encuentro track. She was born in the Dominican Republic, grew up in New York City and now resides in a suburb of Atlanta. She is a wife and mother of three boys and travels to lead Eucharistic concerts in Latin America.

The Empower track, a more intimate series designed to help individuals become Eucharistic missionaries in their communities, features The Vigil Project for musical entertainment. They are a “collaborative group of Catholic musicians, filmmakers, and creatives who create music and media for the Catholic journey.”

The Renewal track for those who work in parish or diocesan ministries features the music of Josh Blakesley, who is based in Houston and feels the calling “to make music that moves people into prayer and action.”

Catholic musician, singer, songwriter and speaker Steve Angrisano sings and plays the guitar as he leads the first night of a two-night Lenten retreat at St. Rose of Lima Church in Massapequa, N.Y., March 9, 2023. Angrisano is among the artists performing at the National Eucharistic Congress taking place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on July 17-21, 2024. (OSV News photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

The Cultivate track, focused on families attending together, will feature performances by Steve Angrisano, a veteran musician and worship leader from Texas, and Francesca LaRosa, an Indiana-based singer and songwriter who arranges different musical settings for the Psalms as an aid for people to approach Scripture.

The Awaken track at the congress is aimed at high school youth and features the music of Andrew Laubacher, a singer and speaker from Southern California who is also part of Humanality, a nonprofit aimed at helping college students “flourish through creating healthy relationships with technology.” Ricky Vazquez, a Nashville-based singer of Puerto Rican descent, also performs for this track. He is a part of Anchor Hymns, a multigenerational collective of artists focused on writing new hymns for the Church today.

Additional performances and unique entertainment

In addition to the musicians performing for the individual tracks and on the main stage at the congress, the event also features two stages for performances throughout the week.

These stages include artists such as Nick and Nikki Garza, a husband-and-wife duo with five children from Mesa, Arizona; Louisiana-based artist John Finch; the group Liveloud; Louisiana musician Grae McCullough; and a local Indianapolis Mariachi group, Mariachi Sol Jalisciense.

A popular bluegrass band of Dominican friars, The Hillbilly Thomists, and the New Orleans-based gospel choir, the Voices of St. Peter Claver, also take the stage.

Catholic musicians Santiago Fernández, Javier Iván Díaz, Mike Serapio, Nick Scanlan and Eric Wilkes also are performing throughout the week.

In addition to these musical performances, Giancarlo Bernini, a Catholic magician who addresses themes of identity, apologetics and more in his shows, is part of the entertainment for the congress. There is also a dance performance from Danza Azteca Guadalupana.

Lauretta Brown

Lauretta Brown is culture editor for OSV News. Follow her on X (formerly Twitter) @LaurettaBrown6.