Recently we were made aware that over 40 allegations of sexual misconduct, spread out over many years, have been made against David Haas, a Catholic composer. After much discussion and prayer, it is our decision as your parish Music Ministers, with the full support of our Priests and Pastoral Associate, to suspend the use of his music at all of our parish liturgies and programs.
On a human level, this is a difficult decision because Mr. Haas was a very prolific composer and many of his songs are favorites that have helped us pray, grieve or celebrate. These songs include “Blest are They,” “We are Called,” “You are Mine,” “Now We Remain,” “And Holy is your Name,” “Deep Within,” to name just a few. On another level though, it is not a difficult decision – it is an opportunity to live out the Christian virtue of courage, also known as fortitude. “Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church). We are called to be in pursuit of good when we don’t ask the victims to listen and pray with music that we know will trigger a traumatic response. Let us draw on the virtue of fortitude to put aside our personal feelings for the music in favor of the feelings and experience of those who have lived through sexual abuse. Let us listen to survivors when they tell us what they need from us and take action.
This is a good moment for us to be courageous and take a small action for the sake of all survivors of sexual abuse. The courage of these survivors demands nothing less. It won’t be without a little sacrifice on our part, but we hope it will support the healing of those who have experienced the trauma of abuse.
If you are a survivor of abuse in any context, we want you to know that we believe you and we support you. Please reach out to any one of us if you would like to share your story or seek support.
If you have any questions about this, please feel to contact us.
Mary Robertson, Director of Music & Liturgy – Three Holy Women/Our Lady of Divine Providence
Brian Eggers, Director of Music & Liturgy – SS Peter and Paul/Old St. Mary
Fr. Tim Kitzke, Pastor
Fr. John Baumgardner, Associate Pastor
Chad Griesel, Pastoral Associate