On May 4, John Michael Talbot, recognized as Catholic music’s most popular artist whose compositions have been published in hymnals throughout the world, will perform at Franciscan Church of the Assumption in Syracuse. The performance is sure to inspire and renew the faith of those who attend. The contemporary Christian music concert will feature peaceful, meditative music.
Talbot is looking forward to his visit to Syracuse and believes that he will enrich people’s faith. “It’s such a blessing to do this,” said Talbot. “My biggest goal is to bring faith, hope and love to faithful Catholic Americans at a time when they are discouraged because of political and economic polarization.”
Talbot is one of the pioneering artists of contemporary Christian music, performing for the last 37 years in the ministry. His 53rd album, Worship and Bow Down, is his latest work. A respected author, Talbot published his 24th book, Blessings of St. Benedict, in September 2011.
Talbot leads an active ministry from the Little Portion Hermitage in Eureka Springs, Ark, which he founded in 1982. He serves as Minister of the Brothers and Sisters of Charity at the community, which has about 40 members living at the monastery. His artistic and humanitarian efforts have been recognized with awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Gospel Music Association and Mercy Corps. He also received the Mother Teresa Award.
Talbot’s music career began at 18 when he performed across the U.S. with the rock group Mason Proffit. Reflecting on his life as a rock star, Talbot concluded that his lifestyle was empty and sad. After reconsidering some of the choices he had made, he left his band and began a spiritual journey that led him to his true calling.
After studying all of the Christian denominations, Talbot found that Catholicism spoke to his heart. Under God’s guidance, he began to use his musical talents to express his faith by joining the newly emerging Christian music scene. He recorded an album entitled Reborn, and later the albums John Michael Talbot and The New Earth. Talbot believes that music based on faith can take the listener on a closer walk with God, actually taking them into the heart of the Lord.
“I tell people,” said Talbot, “if we keep our focus on Christ, He will give us what we need — faith, hope and charity.”
The Little Portion Hermitage grew out of Talbot’s wish to live a life of quiet meditation as a hermit. Inspired by the life of St. Francis of Assisi, he sold everything he owned and joined a secular Franciscan order in 1978. After building a hermitage in the woods, he studied the history of the church and discovered that community had always been a part of it. As a result, he founded The Little Portion House of Prayer, which attracted many visitors. Talbot’s spiritual advisor suggested that he start his own community (The Little Portion Hermitage) and begin a music ministry.
Talbot performs up to fifty concerts a year and has shared his meditations and music with not only concertgoers, but also with Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa.
In April 2008, when a fire destroyed Talbot’s monastery, he started a new format of itinerant ministry, traveling from parish to parish to raise money to rebuild his community’s home.
Today, Talbot travels nine months a year throughout the world inspiring and renewing the faith of Christians of all denominations through music, teaching and motivational speaking.
The concert will benefit the Franciscan Collaborative Ministries, which include the Food Pantry, Northside Ministries, Poverello Health Center, Franciscan Place, St. Clare Apartments, St. Clare Theater and the Franciscan Church of the Assumption.
Rosemary Costa, OFS, minister for the secular Franciscan order at Assumption Church, said she believes the concert will offer an opportunity for different Christian communities in the area to come together as one. “What better way is there for them to get to know one another?” Costa asked. “It’s also a good way for them to support the ministries — a lot of good comes out of it.”
Ticket prices are $15, $20, $25 and $35 (tax deductible). For more information, contact Rosemary Costa at (315) 288-5395.