New Music for Campus Ministry

The Catholic Voice

By Michele Jurich
Staff writer

Campus ministers are always looking for fresh ways to engage their students. Two of them in ministry at high schools in the Diocese of Oakland have collaborated on a project to bring new music to campus Masses, prayer services, retreats and times of reflection.

That they’re the best of friends is the icing on the cake.

Accomplished Hawaiian musician Patrick Landeza serves as associate campus minister for liturgies and retreats at Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward. Landeza is the producer of “Close to You,” a 14-song CD by the Moreau Catholic Music Ministry. Landeza’s collaboration with Adrian Mision Fulay, campus minister at Salesian College Preparatory in Richmond, has deep roots. They were in formation as Christian Brothers.

“We were best man at each other’s wedding,” said Fulay, who is also godfather to Landeza’s four sons and one daughter.

“Adrian gave me this inspiration when it comes to composing liturgical music,” Landeza said. “When I come up with songs, it always has to go through Adrian. Sometimes Adrian and I will just sit down and have songwriting sessions,” he said.

The dining room table sessions have proved to be fruitful.

“Because we’re both campus ministers, we have need all the time for engaging our students in prayer and song in retreats and liturgies,” Fulay said. “He’ll call me and say, ‘Do you have something for’ or ‘Give me something for’ or I say, ‘I need something for this.’ Instead of finding something, we know our kids will be able to use these collaborations.”

Landeza is an award-winning Hawaiian musician. “In Hawaiian music, we carry the flame, we carry the torch,” Landeza said. “Liturgical music is a genre that I’m unfamiliar with, but I use that same tradition.”

He said he draws inspiration from others in the diocese who are writing, particularly Janét Sullivan Whitaker and Jesse Manibusan. As a child, he was influenced by Father Don Osuna, who brought “the cathedral sound” of St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, to St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Berkeley, where Landeza grew up.

In creating “Close to You,” the duo sought to write for students.

“We want students to participate,” Fulay said.

Landeza agreed. “It’s always a challenge” to get high school students to participate. “We’re hoping that with this, it brings it new life.”

Landeza’s students at Moreau were an integral part of the process. “They loved it,” he said. “They couldn’t believe it. I’d go in my office, write, call Adrian, and he’d say, ‘You need to make these changes.’ It would happen in minutes.”

Landeza followed advice his friend had given him when he was campus minister at St. Elizabeth High School in Oakland several years ago. “Adrian told me, these have to be student-centered.”

But on “Close to You,” Landeza said he “didn’t play a lick.”

The CD was released March 19, on the Feast of St. Joseph, patron saint of Moreau Catholic High School. It is available online and at the Cathedral Shop in Oakland.

The Moreau community performing on the CD drew high praise from Landeza.

“They shine, we shine, every time they sing.”