David Haas

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David Haas in a concert at the Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines

David Robert Haas (born 1957 in Bridgeport, Michigan), is an American author and composer of contemporary Catholic liturgical music. His best known songs include "Glory to God”, "Blest Are They", "You Are Mine", "We Are Called", "We Have Been Told", "Now We Remain", "The Name of God" and "Song of the Body of Christ".


Haas studied vocal music performance and conducting at Central Michigan University, and has his degree in theology and music from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

In addition to serving in parish liturgical ministry in Michigan, Iowa and Minnesota over the years, he also served as composer-in-residence at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul, Minnesota; and was also campus minister and artist-in-residence at Benilde-St. Margaret's in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, where he taught in the music and theology departments. In 1999, Haas began the program MUSIC MINISTRY ALIVE!, a five-day liturgical program for youth and adult leaders that takes place on the campus of St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota.[1]

He has produced over forty-five original collections and recordings of liturgical music. His printed and recorded collections of music are published with GIA Publications in Chicago, with the exception of a handful of pieces that are published by OCP Publications. He is also the author of over 20 books on the topics of liturgy, music ministry, spirituality, religious education, and youth ministry, published with Franciscan Media, Liturgy Training Publications, Crossroad Publishing Company, GIA Publications, and St. Mary's Press. His music is sung throughout the world and appears in hymnals of various Christian denominations, including Methodist, and has been translated into Spanish and French. Years ago,[when?] Haas was a leading voice in the liturgical and musical aspects of the implementation of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), active as a team member for the North American Forum on the Catechumenate, and as a composer creating ritual music for the RCIA rites.

Haas is also known for his early collaborations with Michael Joncas and Marty Haugen, and for many years the three of them were an important influence on liturgical music in the English-speaking world, and together they traveled throughout the United States and beyond for many years, presenting concerts and workshops. They remain friends to this day. Haas presently continues traveling as a speaker, workshop leader, and concert performer alone, and often with his friend and colleague, Lori True (whose music is also published by GIA). He formerly wrote a monthly column for Ministry and Liturgy magazine entitled, "Sung Prayer".

Haas lives in Eagan, Minnesota, where he is the director of the Emmaus Center for Music, Prayer and Ministry. In the fall of 2011, Haas began work at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is a member of the Campus Ministry team there and is leader of the liturgical choir that sings at prayer gatherings throughout the school year. Haas is active as a cantor at St. Cecilia's Parish in St. Paul.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Haas married fellow composer Jeanne Cotter in October 1988. Haas filed for divorce in March 1995. Haas later remarried.

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • 2004 Pastoral Musician of the Year (from the National Association of Pastoral Musicians)
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1995 from the University of St. Thomas (together with Michael Joncas and Marty Haugen)
  • The 2004 Outstanding Service in Ministry Award from the Crosier Fathers
  • 2011, the "Servant Among Us" award from the Servants of Jesus in the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan
  • In 2015, David Haas was awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters Honorary Degree from the University of Portland for his contributions to the world of liturgical music and contemporary Catholic thought

Works in contemporary Catholic culture[edit]

Haas composes contemporary Catholic liturgical music. Following the movement that began with Ray Repp in the 1960s with Repp's composition in 1965 "The Mass for Young Americans", "The St. Louis Jesuits in the 1970s and 1980s, Haas, like Marty Haugen, Michael Joncas and Dan Schutte became one of the most prolific composers of the genre during the period of rapid change following Vatican II. Their hymns, songs, and liturgies are published by GIA Publications in their Gather hymnals,[3] and are also found in other hymnals used by the Catholic Church in the United States and several Protestant denominations. For example, his "You Are Mine," "We Are Called," "Now We Remain," and "Blest Are They" are in the Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW) hymnal used by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).


  1. ^ Haas, David. "From the Director". musicministryalive.com. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
  2. ^ David Haas on the Website of the Erzbistum Köln, Germany
  3. ^ "Sacred Music | Hymnals, CDs, Choral Music, Liturgical Music - GIA Publications, Inc". www.giamusic.com. Retrieved 2016-05-11.

External links[edit]