OCP Parish Grant Program - Experiences?
  • Allan DAllan D
    Posts: 43
    Does anyone have any experience with OCP's parish grant program? (http://www.ocp.org/grants) Someone on our parish staff heard about it, and now it's up for discussion by the liturgy committee. We're not currently an OCP parish, and I want to keep it that way. Is this program just a trick to get you to buy their stuff?
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Well, let's say the purpose is to market their material. There's nothing wrong with that. Of course you might not want their material. And I do know that there is a focus there on which parishes are customers and which are not -- again, a perfectly defensible focus.
  • a1437053a1437053
    Posts: 198
    Well, let's say the purpose is to market their material.

    You can say that again. Our Confirmation Program was rejected. The goal was to teach Gregorian chant for Pentecost. Rejected!
  • a1437053a1437053
    Posts: 198
    That being said, we'll try again this year!
  • Answer written without realizing church does not need to be weaned off the OCP industrial complex, and deleted....
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    I am soooooo grateful that our pastor deleted OCP before I took this post. We now have WLP which is probably the best of the big three.
  • Yes, and that is probably why it is the smallest of the big three.

    I still recommend Liturgical Press which would seem to have a smaller following than all three....but ideally, a created hymnal with Magnificat in the hands of all for the Mass.
  • You know, we could all band together and flood them with requests for funds to buy PBC.....
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709

    That is too funny. We will each request at least 300 copies, sporadically spaced apart. And we would like to know if we can trade in our hymnals for a discount on the purchase.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I completely disagree. WLP makes a downright shoddy product. Their entire editing staff needs to be fired and replaced with a horse that stomps once for yes there are errors in that edition and twice for no it's fine. The music selection is so sparse you can't have a relatively traditional (or at all focused) program without some kind of hymnal supplement. Morally, they are the best, yes. But I'd still rank the products (not the companies) GIA, OCP, WLP, and then never use any of them.
  • OCP gives checks to parishes large and small, with the only requirement being that the request for a grant be related to music. For instance, a parish this year used their check to be able to pay for a part-time staff member to lead a youth choir. There is no requirement that any of the money be used for OCP products.

    Perhaps the reason that the request to teach Gregorian Chant for Pentecost was rejected was because there were other, slightly more deserving parishes. You know, like a parish that had been hit by a flood and had damaged musical instruments or sound equipment. Or a parish that had lost all the funding for its music budget because of cost cutting.

    Do any of you think it's possible that OCP is just trying to do something nice here? Or would you prefer that they not do any grants at all?
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,473
    Well, they rejected several grant proposals that we made. Honestly, I have bever seen them accept a grant that is concerned with 'traditional' Cathoilic music. I think that is the point that the above posters are trying to make.
  • After my sarcasm, I need to eat my words....

    I contacted OCP asking for permission to copy pages from the Choral Praise Comprehensive for my choir. We have 10 copies of the book and now 40+ singers....we use it to sing parts on hymns.

    I explained that the parish has been behind in giving since last June, giving an average of $20,000 a week against a budget of $30,000 a week, with no improvement in sight.

    [I was removed from the payroll last October and have been conducting the choir as a volunteer since then to keep the choir going, driving 200 miles a week to make this possible. I have paid for all music and copying of public domain music since July 1, aside from contributions for music for the choir made by members. The choir has cost the church $0 since October 15]

    They wrote back explaining that they could not permit this. They told me what the fee would be to make these copies. They then suggested that I fill out an application for a grant based upon the financial problems and included a grant application. Then they offered to ship me 40 copies of a book of popular hymns that is SATB for the choir to sing from.

    I have had the opportunity to speak over the last 2 years with at least 6 people at OCP and they have been helpful and gracious, without exception.

    Possibly they do take into consideration the financial situation of the church when granting funds, as indicated by this.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    Any parish that takes in $20,000 a week probably doesn't really need or deserve a grant, regardless of how deserving Noel and the choir are.
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,204

    We've no idea what hardships Noel's parish may be facing. Regardless, for a parish to only take in two-thirds of its needed weekly operating budget is indeed a hardship. Could you afford to take a 1/3rd pay cut? That's what he's describing.

    Don't you think "need" and "deserve" are truly harsh terms, and perhaps an apology to Noel is in order?

    Just my two cents.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    I have had the opportunity to speak over the last 2 years with at least 6 people at OCP and they have been helpful and gracious, without exception.

    This is my experience too. And not only that: many on the staff are outstanding musicians with high sensibilities and a broad range of familiarity with serious music.
  • David's right....they need $3 to provide the services and program and are only getting $2.

    I can see Chonak's side of it. Catholics tend to vote with their checkbooks, and this parish is in the wealthiest suburb. My lowly ten-year-old VW bug is the only VW in the parking lot, pastor drives a 10+ year old Mazda...which also looks shoddy against all the Lexus (Lexi?} and BMW's that fill the lot.

    I am not interested in applying for a grant, just thought it was kind of OCP to offer and might show that they do consider financial straits as a deciding factor.

    After more than 10 ears under the pastor (his normal 10 years extended by 2 or so to let him finish the building) it will be interesting to see what the new Bishop (who has a business administration degree) might bring about in this parish and the diocese.

    Some of us there are hanging on in hope for better things in the future.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    Thanks, Noel; I knew you'd understand.

    David, I was trying to imagine the point of view of someone offering grants. At least around here, a collection over $20,000 per week is impressively large, even if it's a drop from $30K. Looking at a few suburban churches around Boston, I found figures of $5K (in a very affluent town), $13K (two big parishes in moderate-income suburbs), and $22K (college parish in affluent suburb) per week. Since Noel's parish took in $24K a couple of weeks ago, they still beat all my examples. My old city church took in -- probably under $3K a week.
  • Maybe we need to offer Valet Mass Parking for a generous fee to goose up the funding?
  • The parish supports a school...which most parishes do not...

    So the parish did not take in $24,000 that week. It lost $6,000. I am a glass is half full person so this has been hard for me to adapt to.
  • Having taken a 100% pay cut last fall, being faced with unemployment...which was denied as the Diocese does not participate....and then the great news of the reduction of COBRA insurance payments, now costing me $1,266.04 a month (the choir actually paid it with help from the KOC for more than 4 months which made it possible for me to volunteer) being reduced by 65% (this was cause for great rejoicing!)...

    The Health Insurance firm, UHC, told me to contact the diocesan COBRA agent (their words) to find out how much the adjusted payment would be. The diocesan HR officer (person they referred me to as their COBRA agent contact) responded that it is not COBRA, but continuation insurance and I have to continue to pay $1,266,04 a month...the diocese has deposited my checks with COBRA payment clearly marked on it since last November.

    I was actually let go on the 18th of November with the health insurance being extended to the 30th, and the HR officer then let me know that my insurance payment for health insurance having been...fired...was overdue since it is due on the 10th of the month prior. So having been...fired...on the 18th I had failed to make my payment on the 10th prior.

    Joseph Heller would love this.

    But, I am not writing about me. I am writing to ask everyone to think, take a moment and seriously think, about where David Andrew can find a job. For me, we are living off my wife's $21,000 a year salary as a director of music at an Episcopalian church, but I am not sure what David's circumstances are...but I KNOW HE NEEDS A JOB.

    Thinking caps, please people.
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,204

    Thank you for your further explanation, and I hope you'll forgive me if I came off as too aggressive.

    Noel (and others),

    I'm off to the metro Detroit area on the Tuesday of Easter Week to explore a very interesting and promising opportunity. Keep the good thoughts!
  • FYI - just saw the press release on this year's Parish Grants on a news feed.

    OCP Awards over $135,000 in Grants to 69 U.S. Parishes

    PORTLAND, Ore.--In the latest round of the OCP Parish Grant awards, 69 parishes throughout the United States received a total of over $135,000 of assistance. Since the inception of the program in 2001, more than 450 churches in total have been awarded over $930,000. Parishes in every diocese in the country have received benefits.

    "I believe the timing of this grant award is an act of divine providence," said Scott C. Pluff, Director of Music Ministries for Epiphany of Our Lord Catholic Church in St. Louis, one of this year's grant winners. "I had no idea how to maintain four growing choirs without a budget for purchasing music. When I learned of this grant award, my heart leapt for joy!"

    Applications for 2010 grants can be submitted between April 30 and June 30, 2009, at www.ocp.org/grants. All U.S. Catholic parishes are eligible to apply, even if they don't currently use an OCP worship program. The purpose of the grant must be linked to liturgy and/or music.

    "Service to the Church is one of the guiding principles of our company," said John Limb, publisher. "We're a not-for-profit, but we are a successful company, thanks in large part to the support we've received from churches. Being in a position to give back to the communities that have helped us spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a tremendous blessing."
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    All winners for all years are listed on their website ( http://www.ocp.org/grants ).

    With 69 recipients this year, a little web-surfing on each probably would
    help investigators discern the type of application to be favored.

    Being lazy, I started with the only recipient quoted in the newsfeed.
  • Very. Awkward.
  • I worked for a lady and, at a convention in her husband's field, there was a drawing for a free ham by an insurance company by a company soliciting them all for business. She said, "My husband's going to win the ham. They really want his business."

    And they did. And he did. All too close to home for me. Akward.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    The parish I play organ once a month uses Breaking Bread (OCP), so I happened to have a copy. (they needed a voluteer player.) In my opinion, while the churches appreciate OCP Grant program and generosity, what the churches desperately need is hymnals with more sacred music that the Catholics can truly express their Catholic faith and more suitable liturgical music. The grant money will be better appreciated if OCP inspects the music in their hymnals and include more sacred music that our Church places priorities, rather than songs with commercialized tunes and questionable texts. The song "Yeweh ' is still in the recent Breaking Bread. People who didn't have opportunities to hear what the Church said would be still singing it, because it's there.
    One more thing I have a problem with Breaking Bread is that the parish has to purchase not only the hymnals for the pews but also the huge accompaniment books (a few of them) every year. Poor sisters, they are still doing it every year out of their tight budget. I'm sure there are other parishes have to do that too. I don't know. I want to be positive about the program, but it seemms to me that the good intention and the end cannot justify the means.
  • Although one of the four weekend Masses in my parish still uses OCP hymn materials, we have not bought a new Music Issue (or accompaniments) since the 2007 edition. The old ones are as good as they ever were. We still buy the Today's Missal quarterly for the readings, especially those for daily Masses. Within another year or so we will be completely off the Music Issue and will probably get the Saint Michael's Hymnal once the new texts have been included. It's very important, IMHO, to continue raising the issue of the bastardization of traditional texts in OCP and GIA materials. They don't do this with the best known hymns (Christmas, Easter, etc.) but do so whenever they can otherwise get away with it. I view this as violently cynical and, again, an attempt at social engineering.